Sunday, April 22, 2012
Right Start Math or Singapore Math????
Now that all of our time is no longer taken up with researching brain tumors, neurosurgeons, and brain surgery, I am now back to searching for the very best (and most fun) 1st grade curriculum for O(5). We've tried Life of Fred, and O loves it, but it will just be an extra math book for fun. I'd like to use either Right Start Math or Singapore or maybe even both...I'd LOVE some input. This is a very difficult decision (although not as difficult as choosing a neurosurgeon!!!), and since O loves math so much, I want to make sure that I get the best program for her. Thanks in advance for your comments and emails!
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I can only leave a very biased opinion in that we have never tried Singapore, BUT we love love love Right Start!!! :) I have a 7-year-old near the end of Level B and a 5-year-old just finishing Level A. I can't say enough great things about it, so I just had to comment to say so, since you are considering it! I love how thorough it is, and FUN. I like the mastery approach too, but I don't know anything about Singapore Math so I am not sure if that is a mastery approach also. It's so hands-on, and my boys really appreciate that! ;)ReplyDelete
We really enjoy RightStart. I like that it's so mental -- teaching math feels more like having a conversation than "doing school".ReplyDelete
I wasn't really sure about the abacus when I was doing my research, but it's been a really good fit for my daughter. We even made her a smaller one to have in the car, and she's actually made a lot of her mental breakthroughs while just playing with with it in the backseat. For instance, she spent a couple weeks figuring out combinations to make different numbers using the abacus, and it was all driven just by her own interests.
The main 'con' that I've heard about it is that it's too teacher-intensive, but that hasn't been a problem for us. We sit down and "do math" for 10-15 minutes every day, some days moving quickly through multiple lessons, sometimes spending a couple days on a single topic.
So although I can't directly compare it to Singapore, I highly recommend RightStart from our own experience!
You should read this about singapore math from imagination soup:ReplyDelete
I'd love to hear what other people think of Singapore Math, too, because I grew up and was educated in Singapore (until I graduated from college). Did we do Singapore Math? Or is Singapore Math a US-adapted version of what we did growing up? My Dad, before he retired, was a Primary School (= elementary school in the US) teacher, and taught Math as one of his subjects, along with Science, English, Art and PE. When my daughter Emily (now in Minnesota public school 1st grade) started to be interested in Math, she was asking me to write worksheets for her, and I wasn't familiar enough with the 1st grade syllabus to pitch it at the right level for her. So I called Dad and had him look for workbooks/textbooks/curricula in the Singapore bookstores that would be useful for her to do for fun. He emailed back to say I should print worksheets off the internet instead, because the books he found had too much text for the kids to plough through, and it wasn't the right way to teach them. !!!!!!! Um, so here I am, educated in Singapore, and I'm still not sure what Singapore Math is. I'd love to find out, though. I'll be following the comments to see what everyone says. Purely for interest, given my background, since I'm not homeschooling my girls.ReplyDelete
I teach HS math and while I do like Singapore I have noticed a lot of my students who used it really struggled when they had to transition to other curriculums. I actually like Saxon at the early levels because it really emphasizes building skills and repetition.ReplyDelete
I've tried right start and Im also a Singaporean educated here. Personally, I don't like right start because it's too 'story' based. I feel the mathematical concept can get lost in the story. I prefer going straight to the topic without much ado. Singapore maths requires alot of thinking and can get a little overwhelming for a kid at one point. But its really what your family likes. Or you can do both use one as a supplementary study to the other. :)ReplyDelete
I only have experience with right start, and I wanted to like it, I really did, but it did not work for us. We tried level B, 2 years ago, and it was just to slow and repetitive for my daughter. It is a great curriculum that builds a lot, but is difficult to skip a topic if it is already mastered because of how it is worded and taught. So we were covering things she already knew but in a more convoluted way that confused her. I have a very mathy child who likes a straight quick explanation to any topic and is done, grasped it and ready to move on so this was not a good fit. I really don't know what curriculum we will be using for math next year. We tried Aleks (but it is only 3rd grade and up) Ansley liked it initially but then asked to go back to a pen and paper approach (Aleks is on the computer) So we just picked up 2 3rd grade math workbooks to finish out the year. I like the one we are using, can;t remember the name right now...core something or other, because I can skip through to the mastery pages on the things she knows, and on new items I can use all 3 levels of practice it entails. It is working great. Good luck with your decision.ReplyDelete
I also wanted to like Right Start but it really wasn't right for my dd, she did the work but was in tears every single time it was time for math. I love the abacus and we actually do work with that with Singapore (we switched to Singapore). My dd is excelling with Singapore Math and I am very happy there are no more tears at math time!ReplyDelete
If you want her math to remain Montessori-style, go with RS. We use a combo of both and Miquon too but Singapore is my spine, with RS and Miquon to fill gaps - sometimes Singapore gets too mentally draining for her and she needs "easier" curriculum to break it up. We love the way Singapore teaches to do the math mentally and how RS teaches to look for groups of 5s. We like the RS games for practicing the facts but like the mental math approach of Singapore. If you really want, read Liping Ma's Teaching Elementary Mathematics book; it explains what is so great about Singapore. I have gotten infinitely better at mental math through teaching Singapore. It is a very hard decision to make. If you go with RS, you may want to skip straight to C depending how far she got in Montessori math. My DD finds B slow and dragging - we did Montessori math prior to this. I am speeding through the lessons to try to get to something that isn't so basic for her.ReplyDelete
I am looking into 1st grade curriculum for my oldest for next year. Can you let me know what else you use for curriculum?ReplyDelete
My son is 2 and we adapt right start math for him. He is doing level A quite well. I would certainly suggest starting at level B at least.ReplyDelete
Right start math has less of an emphasis on counting. My son can not count yet. However he can do basic equations using cheerios or other counters because he can subtitize.
I have videos of him doing basic RS style math If you are interested.
I think in a few years we will be using Singapore Math alongside RS I just want my son to get that concrete thought of math set in his mind with a very hands on monterssori approach before I introduce him to the more abstract worksheet orientated singapore math.
I don't know how RS progresses fully, however I play the games with a 4th grader I tutor. And she loves them. She is struggling and was bored to tears with a Singapore math approach.
This is our first year homeschooling and I'm debating on what level rightstart math to choose. Mainly it's with my 4th grader. I don't know which level to start her in. She is not a math person. My 2nd grader I've decided to start her with level b. Can anyone help? Thanks.ReplyDelete
I am aware of Singapore Math and involved with Japan Math. I think the most important thing to do is to see which program is the most well rounded for your learners.ReplyDelete
I think choosing Singapore math as your kid's foundation will be the best decision you'll ever made. I found a great book about Singapore math in MSA Academic Advancement Institute.ReplyDelete