My son is in fourth grade right now and is currently working through level E. We have really liked this level so far and he is doing fine with it. It's a little early, but I am thinking about what to do after this level and going on to Level G is a definite possibility. I have noticed several posts of people being frustrated or overwhelmed with it, though, so I do feel some apprehension, especially since I can't hold it in my hands and really look at it before I buy it. (We live in Japan, so we can't attend a homeschooling convention).
Anyway, I have some questions about this level.
1) Is there a way to see the objectives page for the teacher's manual? I would like to see at a glance all of the mathematical topics covered in Level G. I saw the table of contents in the sample on the website, but would like to see the objectives page as well.
2) Does level G continue to use the games at all or do those totally stop? My son loves the games, but when I looked at the few sample lessons on the website, none of the lessons mentioned games at all.
3) If my son goes straight to level G from Level E, will there be important mathematical concepts that he will miss out on that are generally covered in more traditional fifth grade math programs? Or, if he does the video text course plus level G will all of his mathematical "bases" be covered between those two? I like the idea of sticking with Right Start because we already "get" the Right Start style and we've already purchased all of the manipulatives. I think it would be hard to switch to another curriculum and have to purchase all new items as well as know what level to fit into in another style of curriculum. However, I don't want to do something that forces me to supplement his math with a bunch of other sources that cover more basic math skills that possibly aren't covered between the video math and the Level G. I think that seeing the Objectives for Level G would help me to determine this as well.
4) I feel concerned that my son may be too young to go straight into Level G plus the video text curriculum. According to the video text curriculum's website, their program is supposed to be started around seventh grade. My son is doing fine in level E, but he's not a super mature person and he's not a math genius or anything either. He's just an average fourth grade boy who would rather play with Legos than do school if given the choice. He is quite a good reader, but I'm concerned that if he is expected to read everything himself and be super independent about learning math on his own, that he won't be ready for this level at this age. I have mostly seen comments about people struggling with Level G. Do you get many comments from people whose fourth grade sons really enjoy and do well with the Level G and video text combination? If not, what do you recommend for boys such as mine who are finishing Level E?
Sorry to write so many questions, but I hope you can reply to my concerns.
I am so glad you have asked these questions! When I started my son in Level G in 5th grade, I, too, was a little concerned about his comprehension of the information. However, it ended up that he enjoyed it so much that he did not want to start VideoText Algebra until he finished Level G!
I am giving you a link to the Objectives Page and Sampler. It is: http://todaycms.s3.amazonaws.com/alabacus/3b/14a237b526bedafe0196bf37f457d2/RS-Geometric-Approach-Sampler.pdf. You can see in there the Table of Contents as well as samples of the lessons and worksheets. It also includes information how this program is aligned to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards. If you want more information, please email RightStart directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You need to continue with the games. There are no games listed, but it is assumed that you will continue to play them. Dr. Cotter also highly recommends that you continue the Multivides that are described in Level E.
Your son will not miss out on any math concepts by going straight into Level G. In fact, you will find that he is covering so much more than a typical 5th grader will learn. Your son will continue to do multiplication, division, decimals, squares, etc. He will learn why 'pi' is the number it is and what the Pythagorean Theorem is. There is a lot of information in this program that I did not study until high school. But Dr. Cotter does it in such a way that not only did my son understand it, but even I went 'Ohhhh!' :-)He will not only discover the 'formulas' to calculate, but WHY the formulas are what they are.
Like I said at the beginning, my son didn't start VideoText until he completed Level G (half way through his 6th grade year). Many students start working through VideoText when they reach lesson 80 in Level G. Tom Clark, the author of VideoText suggests that students follow this schedule when working on Level G:
Monday - Watch Lesson on the video and do the odd questions on the worksheet.
Tuesday - Take Quiz A (if there is one)
Wednesday - Watch the lesson again and do the even numbered equations.
Thursday - Take Quiz B (if there is one)
Friday - Play Math Card Games
My son finished both Module A and Module B in the 6th grade! He not only does well, but he enjoyed it, too.
I hope that has given you some confidence. If, however, you want further information, feel free to contact RightStart Math at info@rightstartmath.
Thank you for your thorough reply to my email. After reading your answers and looking through the curriculum with my husband I think we have decided to go ahead with doing Level G and the Videotext Module A next year. My husband was VERY impressed with the content and style of both curriculums and said he wish he'd gotten to learn math that way as a kid.