Math-U-See vs. Right Start - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't see any curriculum reviews so I'm here to ask...

Reviews?

I'm leaning towards RS because it seems to have more variation but then I'm wondering if simple is better.

If you use one of these programs, can you fill me in on the pros & cons, please?

:

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#2 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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We love MUS here, but I don't know anything about Right Start.
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#3 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama View Post
We love MUS here, but I don't know anything about Right Start.
Can you tell me a bit about why you love it? Is there anything about it that you don't love?

thanks!

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#4 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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Can you tell me a bit about why you love it? Is there anything about it that you don't love?

thanks!
Ooops. Forgot that part.

The kids just really seem to like being able to watch a video explanation when they are having extra trouble with something. They also seem to like the use of the manipulative blocks too. It's hard to explain, but for a while we were using Horizon math and they both melted down with their books. They hated them and asked to go back to MUS, so who was I to say no?

There's nothing in the way it's set up that makes you feel like you might be behind either.
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#5 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 06:12 PM
 
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RS is a good program, but we chose MUS for a few reasons:

- it's mastery based instead of spiral
- the video and online support
- the ability to take us through high school with the same program

So far it's been great. We're almost through our second book and it's been very easy and smooth.
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#6 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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I'll start off by saying that we haven't actually started used RS yet. : However, I did spend a lot of time considering MUS and RS before choosing RS, and I've spent a lot of time going over the RS materials in preparation for starting. We're easing into RS A but plan to spend some more time doing pre-math stuff first (Family Math, the old version of Singapore Earlybird, etc.).

I viewed the MUS demo DVD, and was impressed with what I saw, but decided against MUS, at least for now.

First, at this point (Kindy) I have no interest in DVD instruction, except perhaps for foreign language. I really like math and I want to help facilitate some of the ah-ha moments, rather than give them away to the TV screen. (Just my personal opinion on that, so please don't be offended if you feel differently!)

Second, MUS uses manipulatives that are unlike anything used in any other program. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but if MUS turned out to be a mistake, we'd have to start over with new manipulatives.

Third, I really like the way RS approaches math and especially manipulatives. RS emphasizes manipulatives that can "exist" mentally as well as physically. For example, a child will eventually construct and use a mental abacus (though I prefer to call it a counting frame!) which gradually replaces the need for the physical abacus.

RS's use of games in place of most worksheet-type drilling is really appealing to me. Though my daughter still likes worksheets, she's also a game lover, so I think the games will be a hit when we get to them.

Good luck figuring out where to begin. For what it's worth, I think you can't go wrong with either.
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#7 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 06:52 PM
 
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I have heard really good things about right start.
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#8 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jplain View Post

First, at this point (Kindy) I have no interest in DVD instruction, except perhaps for foreign language. I really like math and I want to help facilitate some of the ah-ha moments, rather than give them away to the TV screen. (Just my personal opinion on that, so please don't be offended if you feel differently!)
Just to clarify, the dvd is meant for the parent. Some of us use it to help teach our children, but it's meant to be an aid like the teacher's manual, a way to prep before the lesson.
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#9 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was impressed with the MUS demo, as well, and liked the fact that it went all the way through. Plus, it seems like it will cost less $$ in the long run (always a consideration). Does it involve a lot of worksheets, though?

And thank you, jplain, for your thoughts on RS. So are the manipulatives good quality? They look chintzy in the photos & it's not a cheap program....2 to 3 times the cost of MUS! If I times that by how-ever-many years we homeschool, it will add up to hundreds of extra dollars. I have to admit, though, that I'm still leaning in this direction. Can't put my finger on it exactly but just a gut, "oooh, that looks like a cool program!"

Any other opinions?

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#10 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Light bulb moment....

I just noticed a link on the RS website that showed some of their products that would complement other math programs. Should I dare follow MUS & purchase a few RS supplements? Not sure, not sure....

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#11 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 08:53 PM
 
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Oh sure!

You could purchase an abacus (it's really a counting frame!) or two plus the Abacus Activities and Abacus Worksheets and/or the Math Card Games Kit.

The abacus materials are where the RS curriculum started anyway, and I've heard of parents successfully using the RS counting frame with other curricula. The card games can be used to complement any curriculum.
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#12 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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We started using MUS this year with dd. We were using Miquon before that but it wasn't working out for dd. I had thought she would love it but she did not enjoy it.

Dd is happy with MUS.
I find the instruction to be clear and the method to make sense.
It is nice to have the teacher manual and dvd to help me. So far dd has only watched 1 lesson on the DVD with me. You can let your child watch it but I don't think it would take the place of you working with your child on the concepts.
She likes the manipulatives.
She asks to do it. She was pretty resistant to math before so it is great that she is enjoying it.
She is asking about doing the next level. I like that we can stick with the same program all the way if it works for her.
I saw many people selling MUS materials on e-bay so there is the possibility of getting it used or selling it.
I wish I had been taught with MUS.

http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/rev...ws.aspx?id=209
http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/rev...ws.aspx?id=158

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#13 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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We are using MUS this year i was between rs and mus a few friends of mine use right start but i just liked the look of MUS, we are using the primer with my Kindergartner and Beta with my second grader.. i hate math, but LOVE MUS!! it is great! my son has never done any math till this year and in 2 weeks we have just started the 6th lesson and its awesome! he totally understands it! and my Dd was struggling with math last year and this year is loving it and asking to do it first!

Susan, Mom to 4- Elizabeth 12, Hailey 9, Sammy 7, Caroline 3
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#14 of 22 Old 09-22-2008, 09:56 PM
 
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We are using RS this year, and really, really enjoying it. I too was torn between the two, but ultimately went with this one. I like the way it encourages understanding and being able to do math easier in your head. It's really clicking for DS, and he is already doing addition and subtraction to 10 and not even realizing it (3 weeks into it now, and he doesn't use his fingers for this math, either). He is doing word problems, not straight equations. It's really great. I think he is understanding math, kwim? To me, it seems to lay a strong foundation. We used Shiller Math last year, which is montessori based (RS is too at heart), but we did not like it. It hopped around from topic to topic, in the craziest spiral I have ever seen. With RS, DS is learning something before we move on. It is not jumping around. Also, they are working on the higher levels of math for later. Being that we are only on Level B right now, I'm not too worried about how far we can go with this program later. My main concern was getting a solid foundation in math for DS, which will make math and many other related subjects SO much easier later on! Math was never my strong point (or DH's) so I want to be sure my children get the right start (LOL).

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
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#15 of 22 Old 09-23-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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Oh sure!

You could purchase an abacus (it's really a counting frame!) or two plus the Abacus Activities and Abacus Worksheets and/or the Math Card Games Kit.

The abacus materials are where the RS curriculum started anyway, and I've heard of parents successfully using the RS counting frame with other curricula. The card games can be used to complement any curriculum.
The math card games kit comes with an abacus. I've decided I like RS, but I already had some manipulatives(especially an abacus!), enough that I didn't want to buy a whole set(and I think manipulatives can be a crutch), so I'm getting the math games kit(I wanted the junior size abacus that's more portable), and the level A manual/worksheet.
It looks like it goes through elementary school, maxing out with geometry and pre-algebra. Then I'm going to try the Calculus for Young people. MUS doesn't really attract me. But then again I've already been teaching my 4yo addition with the abacus and she seems like she's getting it, even without a curriculum.
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#16 of 22 Old 09-23-2008, 12:28 AM
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we are using MUS for the third year. My children were coming from a Montessori school and I felt MUS was the best fit from all math programs out there.
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#17 of 22 Old 09-23-2008, 08:53 AM
 
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We are using MUS this year and loving it. Granted it has only been 3 weeks but we are all enjooying the program. I hate math and am such a dunce but my kids are really getting it and so am I.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#18 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ack! y'all aren't helping me out, here!

i can't help seeing the benfits of both & am paralyzed from committing to anything. i suppose i'm not in a rush....dd1 is only 5.5 & is already very math minded. (can add & subtract small numbers in her head & is starting to understand the concept of fractions from cooking with me, etc.) but, dh is wanting to start worksheets & i feel the need to have something in the house to counter that.

i think i'm just going to order the RS program & jump right in. i can see using this for the foundational years & moving on to MUS later.....

off to take one more look at both websites & drive myself crazy.

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#19 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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If it makes you feel better, RS has really good resale value. If you decide it isn't for you, list it on the RightStart yahoogroup, and someone will snatch it up.
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#20 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If it makes you feel better, RS has really good resale value. If you decide it isn't for you, list it on the RightStart yahoogroup, and someone will snatch it up.
Excellent to know, Carolyn! Thanks!

Since you've rec'd the curriculum already, can you tell me the quality of the manipulatives? From the website, they look...um...cheap. Plastic & cardboard type stuff. Are they at least durable? I have 2 younger kids that I'd like to use this for, as well....

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#21 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 07:10 PM
 
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Ok, one other factor for me was bits and pieces, as in things to get lost easily. The abacus is self contained, if we choose to travel and school. I didn't buy the whole kit with all the manipulatives. I bought the math games kit and the Level A manual and worksheets. They both use math counting, which is kind of a non-issue for me, since I'm teaching dd an Asian langauge already. I'm comfortable enough with math to not have to buy all the curriculum I see. It's just useful to me to see the sequence the different currcula uses. If it's an issue with dh, not having worksheets, there are free ones in the internet. You can do one or two and strew them around for him.

I haven't started the program yet, since I just ordered it last week, but dd has already decided on math games for herself, as in shopping. I charge her and we make change. She's only 4. It's scary. I wasn't planning on starting this early. She's already powered through 2 smallish preschool workbooks in about 3 weeks.
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#22 of 22 Old 09-24-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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Hmmm...well you're right that it is mostly plastic and cardboard.

I wouldn't say anything is particularly cheap, but it isn't heirloom quality either. I bought the curriculum used, and the geared clock I received doesn't work. But I don't blame RS; that's a common problem with cheapo geared clocks. The peg boards are typical plastic peg boards...nothing special, but they aren't falling apart.

If handled with some care, I'm sure you could re-use stuff with younger kids. But you'd have to have ground rules about putting away the manipulatives and cards after use, etc.
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