Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Looking at Rightstart

I have been looking at Rightstart Math over the last couple of weeks, and I do like what I see. Honestly, I had looked at it about 3 years ago, and really liked it then, but couldn't get over the price. So at that time I looked for other options and found MEP.

I do think that MEP is a wonderful program. I like how it gets kids thinking. I have liked how it approached things. I feel it does as good of a job as most math programs for teaching concepts - better than many, and the price was definitely right.

BUT.... over the last few months, Delta has gone from loving math to hating it. He has been struggling, and I have struggled with helping him using MEP. Although I can see what MEP is doing, he doesn't understand why they have him doing various things. And recently I've seen Echo starting to not enjoy math so much.

So, when a conversation about various math programs came up on the Discussion forum on Simply Charlotte Mason, I started looking at what might work better. And I'm sure it comes down to the way Rightstart does math.

Rightstart approaches most math differently than "traditional" math programs. And.... it does a lot of math the way I naturally do it. It uses manipulatives (mainly their special abacus) to learn how to visualize math. And they use games to practice. Sounds like fun to me!

So, to try things out a bit, I made 3 abaci (abacuses... there is debate of the proper plural...). I don't know how long the homemade ones will last, but they work for now... I took larger popsicle/craft sticks for the frame, pony beads for the beads, and bamboo skewers for the rods. I used binder clips to hold everything closed while the glue dried.

We have also tried a card game that is mentioned on the website (just using playing cards) and the kids enjoyed it, and got some practice using the abacus.

So now the only problem.... how to aquire the program?


  1. Interesting...I have everything printed to start my two oldest kids in MEP year 1 and the Reception year, but summer is just too fun for us to start the program right now! I will definitely keep your experience in mind if things aren't going well for us once we start. And I am REALLY impressed you made your own abaci (?)!

  2. You will probably enjoy MEP. As I said, I think it is better than most programs out there. But it wasn't working well for Delta anymore.

    I'll keep everyone posted on how Rightstart goes for us.