I have an 8 year old son and a 6 year old son. I have been using Saxon Math for the 8 year old for the past couple years, however, I was thinking of switching over to Math U See. I've been wanting to do more of the Charlotte Mason Way of teaching and noticed they use Right Start for grades 1-5. Does anyone know the difference between Right Start and Math U See? Would you recommend one over the other? Why does CM start MUS in 6th grade rather than in 1st grade? And should I do any kind of math with my Kindergartner? Thanks!
Math U See vs Right Start(7 posts) (7 voices)
I think there are several other threads on this forum that might answer you questions. Just search or look under the math topics.
We use Math U See and really like it, but I do not know anything about Right Start :) Maybe some others will chime in that know more than I do! LOL
I have a 7 1/2 year boy and we use RightStart Math. We love it! I spent hours searching all the different courses and Right start fit along with our natural learning. So much is learned through the math games we play. The lessons move along at a great speed. The foundation of the course is one of the things that really sold it for me. I encourage you to check out their site and read the intro from the founder. It all makes so much sense when she explains her reason for developing the program. The way she presents the material is great, I am learning along with my son because her style is a bit different with a strong focus on place value and mental math. He's doing addition in his head of double and triple digits. I'm amazed. I did not use Math U See so I can't compare but I know there are sites that do a comparrison. Hope this helps. Toni
Like Amanda said, do a search because there has been a lot said on both these programs. It seems that most of us have done one or the other, but not many of us have tried both so it's hard to speak about the one we haven't done!
We're a RightStart family and we love it!!!!!
I do math with my kindergarten kids, but it's fairly gentle. Real life measuring, sorting, etc. My 6-yr-old has listened in on his older brothers math lessons for years so he knew a lot by the time he hit kindergarten and I haven't really worried about teaching him. Sounds lazy but it works!
I apologize in advance; this is VERY LONG!!
But I am someone who HAS used both programs - started with RightStart, and now use Math-U-See, which turned out to be a much better fit for me and our family. I agree with all the positive things said about RightStart, which were the reasons I chose it in the first place for my son's 1st grade year (And 1st yr. of formal math instruction.) I had read every word of the website, been to a workshop at the SE Expo, and spent much time at the booth asking questions. As a very "math-challenged" person (B.A. in English, thank you very much!) I really wanted something that would teach my kids math conceptually, training them to think mathematically from the beginning, and felt that RS. was the best program to do so. (I didn't investigate MUS at that time, having believed/misunderstood someone's assertion that "you had to watch the videos to even understand how to use their system.")
The downside to RS for me, and for other moms I hear of who stop using it, is that it is VERY VERY VERY teacher-intensive. Everything is taught through card and other types of games, and hands-on manipulatives that require you there every step of the way. And the lessons are set up such that you use/do several different manipulatives/games per lesson. And struggling, as I said, with math understanding myself, it was often very hard for me to grasp the concept being taught. I would have to read and reread the directions for each activity, trying to make sense of it, and and of how to follow the directions to set up the game, etc. (Of course, none of this was made any easier by the fact that my daughter was 2yo at the time, and, despite my best efforts at giving her her own special activities during math time, she would interrupt at 10-15 min intervals, completely breaking both mine and my son's concentration, as we tried to "get" whatever game/manipulative activity we were on at the time!) It was very frustrating for both of us.
And then that Nov. our year was totally derailed by 3 separate crises/tragedies, one of which forced us to put our 50-yr-old house on the market and move that spring; once we hit January and went into frantic, "get-the house-ready-to-sell-and-find-a-new-one-ASAP" mode, all teaching went out the window, but that which could be accomplished on the run, in the car, by audio, etc. And RightStart did not fit that model AT ALL. So essentially my son had no math for the winter and spring.
To keep this very long post/story from getting any longer, I won't go into all the details about what makes MUS so much better for us; I'm sure you can find great reviews/feedback on it, both here on this forum and elsewhere. But after our move that spring, we put our son in PS for 2 years, and then returned to Home Education last year. As it was also the first time I was adding my daughter in for formal schooling (she was K) I was very nervous about the time required to teach both of them, and approached Sonya at the SCM booth that summer to ask her opinion on the math issue. (I was obviously very skittish about using RS, after my previous experience, but had already spent so much on it and still owned everything.)
After hearing my story, Sonya recommended I look into MUS, and I am forever grateful to her; my son got through 1 1/2 levels last year for 3rd grade. We even went back and remediated his multi-digit addition/subtraction, which he had never "gotten" in the PS, due to their lack of emphasis on place-value, which is MUS's strength. He's doing well now with multiplication, and my daughter, who's now 1st grade, started in on "Primer" level this week. She is so excited to be getting to finally use the blocks she saw her big brother with all last year! I'm very curious to see what her progress will be, starting with the MUS methodology from the beginning. . .
I believe that both RS and MUS "fit" CM's philosophies of math education - making sure that concrete understanding is very strong before introducing the abstract, and using manipulatives to do so. And that conceptual learning is far more important than speed drills, and rote memorization of math facts. And either can give your boys a superb math education, far superior to what they'd get in PS. It really comes down to how either one "fits" you and your boys - your personality/temperaments, your lifestyle, and your time. . .as your situation isn't what mine was at the time, RS might turn out to be fine for you, but at least you've got a picture of "worst case scenario" to weigh in with the good reviews ;).
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