I’m very impressed with RightStart Mathematics, a very hands-on mathematics learning system that, if not new, is new to me. I saw it for the first time at a recent home school book fair, and y’all, I really like it! Here’s why:
- RightStart is hands-on. (You knew that was coming, right?) From early addition through geometry, RightStart uses manipulatives, games, puzzles, and weighted scales to introduce and practice mathematical principles. For example, a special abacus is marked for place values and has color-coded beads for groups of 5s and 10s so children can literally “grasp” borrowing and carrying.
- An abundance of games makes practicing math skills fun.
- Workbooks are used to reinforce the hands-on learning. That’s a subtle and very interesting distinction. Yes, kids do need written practice, but in most math programs the written assignments are nearly overwhelming while the games, if there are any, take a backseat. With RightStart Mathematics the focus is on the games. Students understand and master the concepts by playing around with them every day. THEN they learn how to write what they’ve learned down on paper.
- The curriculum is not divided up into grade levels, but into skill levels A-G. There’s no stigma for students who may need review or who require a little more time. Start where you need to, and advance at your own pace.
The workbooks provided are not intimidating. The games are fun. Learn the concepts, win the games. Learn all the concepts, and you are rewarded with a whole new set of games to play with!