RightStart and long lessons

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  • catherine

    Hi. I am new to this forum and have been home schooling for about 7 yrs. now. In the fall, I will be schooling 5 of our 6 children. My dilemma, we seem to get very little accomplished each day other than math and some sort of Lang. Arts. The older two, almost 12 and 13 yr. old, may get a little more day, due to being able to read independently. My 7 & 9 yr. do not read on their own yet. My 9 yr. old is struggling and I think it will be some time before she is able to read independently; she is very frustrated and I believe it is beginning to affect her self-esteem some.

    The bad thing is that I do not seem to ‘fit in’ much of what, in my head, seems important…”just” reading to them (particularly the younger two), nature, narration, dictation, etc. I used to do much more of these. Anyway, I use Right Start and am beginning to see that this is part of our problem in the sense that it takes generally AT LEAST 45 minutes to do a lesson…and that’s if I have them on topic the whole time. It seems that many lessons have quite a bit sandwhiched in. I use Right Start for the 7,9, and 12 yr. old. The older does VideoText Algebra fairly independently…THANK GOODNESS. I have recently mentioned the amount of time I do math with each child to several other home schooling friends. I thought, “whatever it takes, I just need to do it”, but the concensus (when I discussed with several friends separately) seems to be that that is too long to spend with each child for one subject and get anything else done. And I actually had begun to see that I will never get much accomplished if I spend 45-1 hr. with each on math. It sucks up a lot of our day. Right Start also wants you do do games at least weekly. Early on, I let these fall by the wayside due to time factor. (I know these are probably more important in a real sense than the lessons.) My almost 12 yr. old daughter may just naturally NOT be geared a lot toward math thinking, BUT she stills does not have basic facts down.

    In addition, it is likely counter productive for my children (and self) to do such long lessons…definitely not the CM way.

    I do NOT want to switch to Math U See really; having them watch their lesson sounds a little freeing to me,BUT I like (had liked anyway) RS’s philolsophy and do NOT want to purchase a whole new set of manipulatives.

    One of my friends suggested just doing part of the lesson, but I think the pressure from taking twice as long to do a book would make things worse; it is not always that they are not getting it. …the lessons seems to have too many parts to me at times: warm-up, new concept(s) or ‘lesson to be ‘presented’, oral questions/figuring for the child and then worksheet to go along with lesson.PLUS the fact practice sheets sometimes depending on age/level they’re at. Another suggestion was made to just use colorful math workbooks in the younger grades (such as those you might get at Office Depot or Staples, maybe even Teachers’ Store.

    Sorry so long, but I want to get more than math and maybe a thing or two else done daily and I feel I’m cheating my non-independent readers out of some good reading and other types of learning. I think they all rather dislike school 🙁


    Thanks for your help.



    With my children, we set timers and work on math for just that amount of time, then move on to the next thing. Yes, this means they may not get a whole lesson done a day, but if they have a focussed amount of time each day working on math they will still advance and still have time for other important things in their day also. This works for us. Maybe you could do this for 4 days a week then have one day where you just focus on the games, or have a math games afternoon once a week.

    Just a few ideas.



    we do RS….i think it is most important to just cement the concept. we are on book B and on some things DS just didn’t grasp…and so we moved on and came back. on other stuff i knew he was on the cusp of it so we did it and took a week to do one lesson. I hear ya girl! I just wrote to a friend that I wanted to just have a ‘program’ for DS that I could just have him do…but as Charlotte would say -it is more about the relationship anyway. Any info is just ‘extra’ in a way. If you like RS- then stick with it and don’t worry about the calendar. I went away from RS at the beginning of last year because Andrew conceptually just wasn’t where RS was- and it was ‘torture’ to use Andrew’s word! (no more worksheets mom!)…oh don’t move to MUS…i need some more partners in RS!!! (There is a RS yahoo group- not sure if you were aware.)



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