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Why skip Level A? [Level A or B for a 7yo?]

Hi,
My son is just 7yrs and did 1 year of school last year before starting homeschooling this year. The RS program had been on my radar for quite a while and I managed to pick up a whole kit someone had finished with - First edition A & B plus all the manipulatives, card game book, maths balance etc. Very excited!

I am a little unsure where to start him however. Using the placement test he makes it into B, however a seasoned user of the program suggested I start with A as they believed that the first 2 levels were the stars of the program and gave an excellent foundation for all further understanding, and therefore why skip A?

My son is a very bright, kinesthetic learner who loves mathematical concepts and challenges, but hates worksheets (hence why this program attracted me!). I was hoping once we start he will find it an exciting program, however I run a fine line between boring him with a pace that is too slow or too easy and introducing something that is "too much like school, Mum!"

When I had a look at Level A it seemed to have more of a hands-on element to it? Or is that just my interpretation.....

We aren't following a formalised "school-at-home" approach as yet and so I'm keen to make our maths time as relaxed and enjoyable as possible.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

(He can count in 2s, 5s, 10s; tell the time to 1/2hr; understands place value up to 1000s (tentatively); addition facts up to 10; some 10s addition; has been exploring multiplication & division of objects)...

Re: Why skip Level A? [Level A or B for a 7yo?]

Hi, Catherine!

If your son tests into Level B, you will want to start him in Level B. In the First Edition program, everything in Level A will be taught in the first 30 lessons or so of Level B. It sounds like your son has a good grasp on the 'foundational' math concepts. I think working through Level A will move too slow for your son and not challenge him at all. While the activities are fun in Level A, I really think he will be bored - because he is conceptually further along. There are still PLENTY of activities in Level B! In fact, you will use the Math Balance in Level B (not used in Level A) which was my kids most favorite manipulative! :-)

If you have any further questions or concerns, though, please do not hesitate to post them here or email RightStart Math directly at info@rightstartmath.com.

Enjoy teaching RightStart!
Rachel

Re: Why skip Level A? [Level A or B for a 7yo?]

Hi Rachel.

Do you think it would be ok to incorporate some of the fun elements from Level A into the lessons for B if it is covering the same topic? Or does that create confusion? Eg: The lesson on making triangles & quadrilaterals in A involves making the shapes with sticks and looked quite fun.

And if my son already understands the basic concepts, is it necessary to start him right at the beginning of B, or can we skip ahead? Or is it important for us both perhaps to cover the absolute basics (perhaps quicker than if he'd never had any prior instruction) so as to fully understand how to think in this new way?

Also, how do I approach using the "Activities for the AL Abacus" book? Do we need to start that first before the actual program, or incorporate it in? Or is it only optional?

Was I meant to have instructions with the Math Balance? It is a relatively new set with everything included, but I can't seem to find how to use that item... :-)

With thanks again,
Catherine

Re: Why skip Level A? [Level A or B for a 7yo?]

Hi, Catherine!

I do recommend that you start at the beginning of Level B. It will help both of you get used to using the manipulatives and various strategies that RightStart Math uses. It is also a way for you to determine if there are any 'holes' in your son's math learning.

Feel free to add in other activities from Level A! That is a fabulous idea! It shouldn't create confusion. However, if you find that it does, you may want to use the activities in Level A that correspond with the lessons in Level B.

Finally, the book, 'Activities For The AL Abacus' is not necessary because you are using the curriculum. 'Activities For The AL Abacus' is designed to be used as supplemental activities for those students who use another curriculum, but want to get a different 'view' (using the AL Abacus) to math concepts. Because you are using the curriculum, those concepts will be taught within the curriculum itself...so you do not need the book.

The Math Balance should have come with instructions. However, instructions on how to use the math balance will also be included in the curriculum. You may want to look at Lesson 48 to give you a 'start' on how to use the balance.

Let me know if you have any further questions!
Have a fabulous week!
Rachel