More thoughts on math.

After my last post about the way that Kiddo and Dearie do math, I thought a lot about the way Honey’s math works.  Honey is using Right Start mathematics.  It is a program based on Asian Math and really focuses on teaching the kids to THINK.  It is very similar to Singapore Math in the way that numbers are taken apart and put back together.  I really like that part.

Right Start Mathematics is very teacher-intensive.  The teacher has to teach every lesson, and there does not seem to be much that the child can do without the teacher.  (There are some worksheets and some practice sheets, but some of them require the teacher to read directions to the child as there are only blanks on the paper.)  I don’t mind the teacher involvement.

Everything about Right Start mathematics is laid out with exactly what to do each day.  This is the problem that I have with Right Start. 

There is a warm-up section to start each day.  I really looked at how the warm-up works, and they do cover most topics, but there is no customizing it for your child.  If they have been able to count by threes since they were 2, it is still listed in the book.  (The helpful people at Right Start will tell you to skip stuff that they know.  You don’t have to do all the warm-ups.)  The problem that I have been having is that Honey will do the warm-up problems, but it could take us 1/2 an hour just to get through them.  She needs practice with some of the concepts more often than is scheduled.

The next section is the activities section.  This is the meat of the program, and it is really good.  The only problem that I have with this section is that if you already know the material or if you catch on quickly, it is hard to move forward.  It is also very difficult to play “catch-up” if you miss a day or two.

The final section is the games section.  This is the drill that is built into the program.  You might play math war or a memory game to help learn those math facts.  I like this part of the program, but if you have already spent 30-45 min. on the warm-up and lesson, then you might be tempted to just skip it. 

So once again, I am out to tweak things.  I can never leave well enough alone, can I?  (This must be why I like Singapore and Miquion so well, I don’t have to tweak anything.)  I have decided to customize the warm-up section of the program.  I wrote out all of the warm-up problems (for 10 lessons) on note cards.  We will do one problem from the first few cards each day.  Then we will add in new cards when needed.  I think that I will use a timer for a while and keep the warm-up time to 5  min.  Then we will work on the activity section for 10-15 and that will leave 10-15 min. for game time.  I am going to look at each section as independent of the others.  If she ‘gets’ what we are doing, then we will go on to the activity section of the next lesson.  If she is having trouble, then we can stay with that topic until she does ‘get’ it.  We will do the same for the games.  Not every lesson has games listed, but some have several games listed.  We will play the games for the amount of time that we have.  I am not going to try to keep the warm-up/activities/games on the same lesson.  This fits my way of thinking, and I don’t think that it will bother Honey at all.  If I do it right, then she won’t even know what I have done.  They say that a program has to fit both the teacher and the child.  This is so true.  We have found several programs that work for me that don’t work for Honey.  We have also found several programs that work for Honey but not for me.  It is the “do ABC on day 1 and DEF on day 2…’ that really bugs me.  I don’t know why, but it does.  I guess that it is a good thing to have figured out about me, it will help me in future purchases.

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One Response to “More thoughts on math.”

  1. ksb08 Says:

    So so true that you have to find what works for the teacher and student. I have had the same problem!! It does feel good though when you finally find something that works for both of you.

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