We recently started our first real math curriculum, and so I thought I would share some info about it. At the HEAV convention in June, Dad had the pleasure of attending a session that was quite informative on this product, but alas, I was off in a totally different session, so I am learning as we go.
Right Start Math is a lot different from how I learned, in that it is not based on counting *gasp*. Yes, you read that correctly. This program is based on grouping and visualizing, and it uses an Abacus to teach children how to do this. For those of you who may be thinking that the abacus is a little outdated, let me assure you that it is becoming quite a popular method again. I have to admit that even I laughed a little when Dad expressed interest in this program, but since he is practically a genius when it comes to math, and I’m more at a middle school…okay, well, maybe high school Algebra level, LOL….it’s easy to see why I said “okay, let’s do it!” The fact that he agreed to teach it might have weighed a teensy bit heavy in his favor.
First impression: At the convention Dad took me to the Right Start table in the exhibit hall to show me all the wonderful things they had to offer. I must say that I was quite impressed with all that comes in the box. The price wasn’t too bad, and the lessons looked like something that Muffin Man would really enjoy. There is a LOT of hands on stuff here! I was hyped! We ordered and waited excitedly for our kit to arrive.
Right out of the box I was completely impressed. Everything you need for a full year of kindergarten math is right at your disposal. There was our brand new shiny abacus, just waiting to be played with, along with a whole pack of tally sticks, some plastic coins, a balance scale, some shapes, a clock, etc. You name it, and it was included! Here is a photo (from their website) of the kit that we purchased
We are only a few lessons into it so far, but from what I have seen, Muffin Man is truly loving the program. When it is time for school he actually asks if he can do math first! I love seeing him excited about learning, especially when I know that it’s not one of my favorite subjects and I hope that he can develop a deeper appreciation for it than I did. I also love that he is able to transition what he is doing there, to things in the real world. We see him recognizing groups of items a lot quicker than before, and his ability to put the correct amount of items into groups without counting them individually is drastically improving! Who knows, the farther along we get maybe I can pick up some of that mathematical energy, too!
If you’re curious to know what learning to visualize counting groups is like, or would like to get the “feel” of using an abacus, check out this interactive AL abacus on the Right Start website.