I just started using Rightstart A with my almost 6 year old son. He did pretty good with the first few lessons, but he got really frustrated with the workbook page in Lesson 10 today. He has no problems visualizing amounts up to 3, sometimes 4, but he struggles a little with 5-10. When he uses the abacus, he can put the right number over when I ask him, but he can't always identify how many if I slide an amount over. He could not visualize above three when we did the worksheet page today. He kept trying to count and got extremely frustrated when I asked him not to count. Should I repeat some lessons? Is this something that he will catch onto eventually?? How do I help him visualize the amount without counting??
Each child learns differently. For one of my kids, I had to slow down some sections until he got it. I would recommend that you spend some time working with him on identifying quantities. It is of vital importance that he doesn't start counting.
Also, I suggest that you do your practicing of the identifying quantities in a more informal way. For example, get his piggy bank out. Ask him to pull out 6 pennies and lay them out like the abacus (5 and 1). Then give him another number to lay out. You can do the same thing at dinner time - whether it is carrot sticks, peas or grapes.
Because he is getting frustrated, be sure to include a LOT of encouraging words. If he still gets frustrated easily, focus on 1 or 2 numbers each day until he starts getting it. Have a 'number of the day' and periodically have him show you on the abacus or other manipulative that number.
He will get it. It sometimes takes a little longer - but that's ok. Once he gets it, he will start flying through the next lessons!
If you have any further questions, feel free to email RightStart Math at email@example.com.
Thanks, Rachel. I have been trying your suggestions and they have helped a little, but he is beginning to think it is a guessing game. When I ask him to stop and think about it, rather than guess, he says, "but I can't count!". Ahhh! Haha. He does pretty good if I spend a day or two showing him the same number (6), but as soon as I add another, say alternating 6 and 7, he just guesses.
That's ok. This is a new concept for him, so it may take a little time.
Another thought I had since I wrote last was for you to continue to FREQUENTLY sing the 'Yellow Is The Sun' song. As he sings, make a big deal about how many fingers he is holding up in his right hand, like, 'Notice that when you sing about 6 you have '1' in your right hand?' or 'How many fingers are in your right hand when you sing about '8'?'. This way you are emphasizing the differences between the numbers.
One of my kids struggled with visual memory (still does), but he did very well with learning things with music. Even as you 'quiz' him throughout the day, sing the phrase of the song without giving him the answer. For example, when you are showing him '7' and he is 'guessing', sing to him 'Why's the sky so blue? ____ is '5' and '2'. Let him shout (or sing) out the answer. Eventually, you may find that he is starting the phrase of the song without you singing it for him. Then you will know that he has discovered a 'tool' to use to find the answers. After a period of time singing the song, he will no longer need the song and he will just know it.
Don't worry or stress...he WILL get it. Sometimes it takes a little longer for kids to get various concepts. That's ok. Once he gets it, it will be solid - a great foundation to build upon.
Let me know how it goes! If he continues to struggle, I will think of some more ideas to try. WHEN he gets it, let me know, too, so I can celebrate with you! :-)