I am working through Level C with my 8-year-old son. Right Start has really helped him in understanding math. He can visualize well and almost always gives me a correct answer. My problem is that I need to devote more time to my younger children and their schooling and individual needs as young children. I really need my son to work more independently. Is there any way I can do this with Right Start or will I have to switch to another program? Do the upper levels use more worksheets or have less teaching time? I think it is a great program and would only switch because of this problem.
I have 5 children so this has come up for me as well. I would try a few other options before changing a curriculum that works. If Right Start is working for your child, I would suggest adjusting your schedule rather than changing your curriculum.
Right Start is parent intensive and there are more worksheets in later levels, but there isn't a good math program that isn't going to involve your time to teach the concepts. Looking back, I can see that I would have been better off sticking with the same math and language arts and adjusting the pacing to fit my time rather than switching.
One possible option is rotating days/weeks. One week ON for math lessons and one week OFF. Or do math lessons on T/Th and language arts on M/W instead of every subject every day.
Using an excellent curriculum that has good results every other week is still a better choice than an inferior program every week. Even if you switch to a good program, you will have gaps and some kind of adjustment period which may be just as time consuming.
If you have a child that really likes workbooks, you could also give them worksheets from the internet or hand them an inexpensive workbook on the days you won't be doing the RS lesson.
As a side note, a helpful place to get ideas of what to do with younger children during school time might be Paula's Archives:
I have had some of the same thoughts that you shared, but I didn't know if they were good or bad or if they would work. Thank you for sharing your ideas and for boosting my confidence that I could make it work.
I bought my daughter a stopwatch so she can do the practice sheets by herself. I copy the practice sheets and slip them into a dry erase cover, so she can do the ones she's on, graph her times, and erase them. That's at least 5 minutes! I'm homeschooling her for the first time and brought her back to level C. We tried Singapore, and she was often frustrated. My first grader was doing RightStart B and I could see that the gentle, gradual, conceptual basis was what she needed. Keep it up!
Mar 19, 2011 - 12:47AM
Re: Need more independent work
You've been given some good advice, I hope you don't mind some more.
I home schooled all six of my children and at one point I had five of those children in RS at the same time. I did combine some of them for a season and that helped. But I know that combining children isn't always an option.
So consider having some "solitary" math games on stand by for those days when you just aren't sure you can get it all done.
Depending on the level I have also wrote the warm up on the marker board for the child to do on their own.
Maybe you can split the lesson into two small lessons done at different times in the day. Assign him the warm up and let him work on it alone while you do something with any other children. Then later you can teach the lesson.
If your lessons take too long then consider setting a timer for 15 minutes and when it goes off then the lesson is finished. You can just pick up where you left off the next day.
It really is worth it for you to look at your daily schedule and rearrange it if necessary. RS does an exceptional job at helping children learn the concepts and according to research.... concepts are remembered much better than things learned by rote.
I just want to encourage you to do whatever is necessary to continue teaching your child in RS. [yes I love this program and find it far superior to any others out there] I am finally seeing the fruits of my labor and while it's been challenging at times I can say it's been well worth it.
Be encouraged dear mother...the sacrifices you make now can have great impact on your child/ren later.
As I've been reminded many times...just because it's easier for me doesn't mean it's right for my child.
We have had this problem too, and the way I solve it is having a math workbook within arms reach. When I pull out our RightStart materials for the day, an additional workbook is with them.
I have three children and when the younger ones need attention, it is often needed immediately and for several minutes. If the baby needs a diaper or my Kindergartner needs help with an assignment, etc. I can stop the RightStart lesson with my oldest, hand him the workbook and say "open to the bookmarked page and work until I get back" (usually 5-10 min). That takes care of math for the day, reinforces concepts we are learning in RightStart Level B and it is fun for him.