Thursday, May 19, 2011

10 Reasons RightStart Math Works!

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. 

Gymnastics

Zoe started gymnastics. This gym has a homeschool gymnastics class but we were too late to sign up for it, so in the mean time I signed zoe up for one of the daytime preschool classes. She loves it!

 Austyn watches from the stands and can't wait until he can sign up for the homeschool class and join in on the fun. 

 Zoe runs to the front of the line for all of the activities and goes through the routines quickly, doing anything that could involve flips over a couple of times if the next child is not waiting for her yet.

 I can't wait to see Austyn do all of this when we sign him up. I think he'll do great and enjoy the company of other homeschoolers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Homeschool Park Day

 We attended a homeschool park day in the area where we moved to. This is actually the first homeschool park day that we have attended here in Alberta. Only three homeschool families showed up, but it was still fun. The kids were building shelters in the forest. 

 I got a picture of this guy who we could not miss because he was so loud.

 There is a stream behind the forest that the kids could explore without getting too wet. 

 It was the first time in a long time that I got such great pictures. This is why I was able to change the header of our blog, finally from winter to spring. 

 The kids got along well and seemed to really have fun together.

 I got some great shots of my kids.

 Here they posed for me. 

 Another pose. 

 Some fungus growing on a dead tree.

 Zoe posing for the camera in the forest. 

 The trees seem to look so different from the trees we know back in Ontario and I noticed that they even smell different. 

 A pose from on top of the play equipment.

 Austyn leaving the forest.

 Zoe sitting in the sand a the playground.

 She always insists on making angels. 

 The older kids really took to both of them quickly even without knowing them previously.

 Looking into the distance.

Snails.

 A Water Slider.

 Picking up the snails.

Looking at them closely on the rock before returning them back to the water. 

It was a great time and we will definitely be returning.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Sharing Monday - Pond Circle

 This beautifully illustrated book by Betsy Franco teaches the circle of life that occurs in and around a pond. Each animal eats the other and Anna is a girl who lives near this pond where this whole sequence of events occurs.

 This is the snake
the garter snake
that swallowed the frog 
that gobbled the beetle
that ate the nymph
that nibbled the algae
that grew in the water
that filled the pond
by Anna's house.

We enjoyed the bold, colourful pictures.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Science Sunday - Weather Study

We haven`t posted Science Sunday for a while. It`s nice to start getting back to updating our blog. 

One thing we`ve noticed so far, living here, compared to back in Ontario, is that there is more sun, less rain, and usually there is hardly any wind. This past week we`ve had a good deal of wind so we made a wind sock, two weather vanes, and two paper windmills (seen above).

I did not take anymore pictures but I did use The Curiosity Club Kids`Nature Activity Book again. We are in the middle of the weather section. We also did the experiment to learn about condensation and humidity but it did not work. We put cold water with four ice cubes outside and on a warm morning and waited to see if any water drops formed on the outside of the glass but nothing noticeable happened. I guess it just was not humid enough that day here in dry Alberta. :)

To join in the fun visit Adventures in Mommydom.

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