I gave my 7yo the final math test, and was confused about the way it was organized. What does the section AA, AB, AC mean? How do they differ from A, B, C...?
Also, I know this is not a "graded" program, but there is a huge discrepancy between a 1st grade workbook and what is required in Level B.
I am starting level C with her, but will probably only have half of it accomplished, if that, at the end of the school year. How does that affect her ability to enter in Middle School/HS math material?
For your first question regarding the Year-End Test, the questions are numbered in a way that you can divide the test up into two different days. You can do the first 2 pages (Questions A - T) on the first day and then do the last 2 pages (Questions AA - AV) on another day or after a break. Children taking this test are too young for an extended length of concentration time. That is why the test is broken up into two sections.
As far as the Level breakdown, basically, the grade levels fall like this:
Kindergarten = Level A
1st Grade = Level B
2nd Grade = Level C
3rd Grade = Level D
4th Grade = Level E
5th grade - 6 or 7th grade = Geometric Approach Level/Algebra
This is a very loose structure as each child learns at different speeds. Many kids take two years to complete Level C - as it is a very large book with lots of information. Two of my 3 boys took 2 years to complete it. However, kids who strictly follow the schedule listed above will start high school Algebra in 6th or 7th grade!
Don't be concerned about not finishing a level within one school year. Once your child has a solid grasp of math concepts, she 'catch up' later.
I hope this has helped you understand the Levels in RightStart Math. If not, I encourage you to contact RS's help desk at (888)272-3291 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was actually just recently reviewing my son's standardized test scores through the past several years. In 2009, when he was 11 and finished "grade 5", he tested at 54th percentile for math -- perfectly fine, just average. This was *before* we went to RightStart - or at most, shortly after we had started using it, I've forgotten the exact starting timeline.
We then realized he has some serious holes in his math retention. We started level E RightStart and he continued it through the first half of his *grade 6* year. In spring 2010, he had finished level E and also gone through Life of Fred Fractions, and was starting a bit of the RS Geometry course.
His math test that year scored 86th percentile, an enormous improvement.
Then his 2011 test, where we've been slowly working through the geometry book as well as starting pre-algebra, he scored 99th percentile.
So I have NO worries whatsoever about RS being good preparation for middle school math. ;)