Here is Asutyn enjoying a yogurt and RightStart Math. He really enjoys it. We do it many times a week right now.
Here are 10 reasons that this program works so well for him.
1. There is very little paper work. He has never been a huge fan of being told that he has to fill in blanks or do work with a pencil. What work there is is fast and I just photocopy from the work pages provided.
2. It's very hands-on. He loves to manipulate things, build, touch things, and experiment. This program is all of this and more.
3. It is full of self-discovery. He isn't a fan of being sat down and told facts without any self-discovery. The lessons are laid out in a way that I can follow the instructions easily to allow him time to figure things out on his own. Basically I'm told through the lessons what to tell him and ask him to help him discover the answers on his own. He loves this way of learning since he is a thinker.
4. Not much emphasis on memorization. This program goes about math in a similar way to how they teach math in China so that the basic understanding of the concepts is well known instead of just memorizing numbers and how the concept is done. It approaches each concept from many angles but in a way that the child understands truly what is happening instead of just memorizing something. This makes math more interesting and fun.
5. Each concept leads into the next concept in a way that just makes so much sense. At the same time they sometimes mix things up a bit to keep interest and help him remember what he has learned in the past.
6. It teaches math with place value as an important factor when naming numbers. So instead of saying twenty this program says 2-ten. Instead of saying nineteen he says 1-ten, 9. Again, this is how they learn it in China, from what I understand. This helps so much. I would, however, like to note that I get him to say twenty and nineteen etc... after learning how the program says it to ensure that he knows both. I know a couple examples of children who didn't learn the names of the numbers that we commonly use here in Canada and when they got to a certain point they had some difficulties. So, if you do this program you may want to consider teaching them both together. Just mention the commonly used name after each RightStart number learned.
7. It's so much fun and full of games. I wish I learned math this way! I am learning it over with him and am so much better at math than I've ever been before. It's a great program that I find is well worth the money.
8. It's learned in a way that falls in line with unschooling. As many of you may know, I tried to set up schedules and follow a whole curriculum with Austyn but it was a complete flop. That is when we moved toward unschooling which is how he seems to learn best. I read many books and articles on unschooling and was amazed at what John Holt said about math and how it should be taught, if it was going to actually be set out for a child to learn. It seems to me that this program is as close to his example of how kids would learn math as I could ever get.
9. The child moves away from counting and toward a faster more efficient way of seeing numbers. It is recommended to start your child with the RightStart program at about the age of five because it is hopeful that by that age they don't have too much of a habit yet with counting things. Instead he learns to see the numbers or sort them without having to count which is much more efficient. Counting is a waste of time. The human eye can see up to 5 items without having to count. They learn to see the numbers quickly through many different common visuals.
10. Testing isn't a focus with this program. I remember when I went to school we had math tests all the time and even the regular math sheets that we did on a regular basis were taken from us and marked. We were given grades and compared to other children. This isn't how this program is done or at least it doesn't have to be if you don't want it to. There is not a great deal of testing or marks so far.
Here is their website in case you would like to check it out for yourself.