Monday, August 8, 2011

Right Start to Math U See? Really?

I really can't believe I'm writing this (hangs head). We are such Right Start junkies; I really never thought we'd switch math programs. Little Bean is now on Level C of Right Start, and he is still doing AWESOME with the approach Right Start takes. But...Miss O, who has been working through Level A, is not.

I've come to the conclusion that in some ways she is just not ready for the rigorous work that Right Start expects of it's students. It moves quickly, and it relies on UNDERSTANDING the concepts in order to move forward. Miss O isn't "getting it" most of the time. Honestly, we could probably keep on with Level A for her this year for K (yes, she is now 5 and ready for K), but she not only isn't getting it all, she isn't enjoying it. Not the best way to start out Kindergarten.

I started looking at Math U See. I have always stayed away from it because I know it incorporates video instruction, and I like to be the one teaching my kids, at least at their ages. But come to find out, the videos can be just watched by the parents ahead of time and then explained to the children during their lessons. That's how I plan to use them.

The biggest difference between Math U See and Right Start is that Math U See is a mastery based program, and Right Start is a lot more spiral. Mastery means focusing on one topic for the most part until mastered, then moving on. Spiral means visiting lots of topics over and over and with increasing complexity over time. Part of Miss O's struggles does seem to stem from the way Right Start moves around from topic to topic all the time. Little Bean has never minded it or said a thing about it, but I do notice it's hard for Miss O to keep up.

The other part, as I said earlier is that Miss O just doesn't seem ready for Right Start. It is a very rigorous curriculum. So I'm starting her on Math U See Primer, which can be used for preschool or Kinder, just depending on their needs. Some of it seems too easy for her, but I'll know more when it arrives in the mail. I plan to use it in conjunction with Right Start A, because I do like some of the way things are presented in Right Start better than they are presented in Math U See (this just based off of the demo video I sent in for from MUS).

More to come as we try out this new program!

Do you use Math U See? How do you like it?

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Kayla said...

We are a spiral method gone mastery lol -- We changed to MUS 2 years ago... And we love it. I thought and always have said the same exact thing as you -- Me: If Im going to homeschool then why do I need a video cast to do it for me... I should just send them so school then... WRONG! So here is what I do. I watch the video and if its a part I think they are going to have trouble with at the math time they will come watch the video WITH ME... Then we move on to our area for us to go over and practice a few times before they are asked to complete the work for that lesson. I have seen some wonderful thinking happen as they work threw the MUS... I really enjoy his lessons. Hope That Helps!

Christy S. said...

We love Math-U-See. I have my 1st grader watch the videos with me, and it works well for us. They explain things in a very clear way (I've learned some things, and we're only on Alpha!) and my daughter loves the manipulatives. Hope you have good luck with it.

Rochelle said...

thank you for this post; we were deciding between MUS or RS. We've decided on RS.
I'd really like to find a used copy of Level A with the manipulatives,but can justify a new one since 3 kiddos will go through it, barring they all learn the same lol

Mary said...

We've been using MUS primer for a bit and I was actually thinking of switching to RightStart! My son is learning from MUS, but we both find it a bit stale. I'll stick with it for awhile longer to see if it gets better b/c everyone seems to love it - plus, I don't have the funds to switch to RightStart at the moment. Can't wait to see other posters/commenters - thanks!

Anonymous said...

What an interesting post. We use RightStart Math and LOVE it. My best friend used MathUSeee and LOVES it. It will be interesting to see your comparisons once you start using both. This just shows you how important it is to use what works for each of our different kids. :-)

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