The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series, Book 1 vs RightStartMath

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  • Is anyone here familiar with Right Start Level A 2nd edition?
    If so, and know The CMElementary Arithimetic what are your
    thoughts differences, recommendations?
    Thank you

    Heather Robbins

    We have used both. I switched to SCM math book 1 and won’t be looking back. I feel that it is very natural. Some concepts are similar. Like subatizing (sp?). In SCM math it’s a natural thing that occurs and is not taught. Right start drills it more so. Right start takes much longer imo. Right start also moves slower through the concepts. The entirety of level b is spent in addition mostly and level c starts subtraction. My older son liked the lessons overall but because it moved so slowly through the concepts he got bored and it was hard to place him and figure out where his weak spots were. I wanted to switch and I’m glad I did.

    Another differnce that comes to mind is the place value. Each teaches it differently. Place value in right start uses the cards and games. In SCM math it uses the actual lesson to teach it. Using dimes and pennies with the questions. The handbook and dvd is an invaluable tool to go along with the series.

    Most problems in SCM are word problems moving to pure number problems. It is perfect. Kids are very concrete in the beginning. It moves from the concrete to the abstract. Right start uses pure number in the beginning with word problems sprinkled throughout.


    All of if this is as far as I can remember. I switched almost a year ago.


    My kids like the Rightstart games and manipulatives, but not the lessons, at least the way I teach them.  Something about not knowing what is coming next and many lessons are long.  They tend to get lost easily with highly conceptual curriculum.

    They didn’t like SCM lessons much better. Those felt like too much of the same thing each day, and they didn’t like all the oral problems and building tables so often.

    I struggled with the wording a bit.  It felt awkward to say things the suggested way.

    I am in no way trying to dissuade you from either!  Math is so individual for each teacher and student. I am a better English teacher than math, so that plays a part.

    I love the theory on paper of CM math, but I haven’t been able to pull it off.  Ray’s For Today is the closest I came, but that was too much like SCM math for my two.

    My son is using The Good and the Beautiful Math K. We love it, but the higher levels aren’t done yet:(

    For my youngest daughter we are still searching. I ordered BJU Math because it is similar to The Good and the Beautiful in some ways.

    Praying that you find a good fit.


    Heather Robbins

    Each subject is a personal choice 🙂

    My oldest son is using book 2 of SCM math and he looks forward to it every day. It wasn’t so in the beginning. Math was his least favorite subject. Once  after a break, I asked if he was looking forward to starting school and he said no and it was all because of math. We have used a free curriculum, Saxon and right start before switching to SCM math. It took awhile, more than 6 months for him to like SCM math. But that’s because of years of pressing too hard. I’m glad I stuck with it. He delights in math now. He says “I like math” I have not heard him say that in 4 years. I’m glad I persevered with the curriculum from SCM (we follow the CM method as closely as we can and I really believe in the manner it is taught.). It is a highlight of our day now.

    I love personal testimonies and I hope mine helps you. But you know your children best and curriculum is never to be the master but the tool.


    I am using RightStart edition 2 and love it. We’re  not changing anytime soon;)

    I have not used the SCM lesson books. Partly because they are new and I am wary of new;) and partly because they weren’t out when I needed them. When my son was in K I did buy the older dvd and guide book, and used it with rays primary for a while. This was before the actual lesson books were written. I didn’t like coming up with lessons each day (he has 2 soon to be 3 siblings),  but we still do some oral story problems, and I liked some of the concepts of how to teach math.

    I am using rightstart A and C this year with my 2 school aged children. I dont love all the games in C instead of oral or worksheet drill, but I still have the first strayer upton book from trying the SCM thing and it is a goldmine of practice and drill problems. Often I substitute with those for some games in level C.

    I love level A it is just perfect for my kindergartener, even some lessons that seem too easy I see helping her learn and think. Level C has been good too. I am planning on B and D next year. Each lesson has some oral warm up and then the lesson then a little wrap up at the end. My sons mental addition and subtraction are great!

    I realize any one curriculum is not for everyone. RS teaches the way I think and teach and does not seem jumpy or random to me. My children are kinisthetic and verbal learners….I tried a worksheet based sprial program last year and it was like beating my head against a wall;) I think RS is a good blend of mastery lessons with sprial review and drill.

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