Right Start Math vs Singapore Math - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 18 Old 11-07-2008, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
AdoptChina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DS is 5 and seems to understand math pretty well. We have been working on some kindergarten workbooks and they seem way too easy for him (contain things like connecting equal sets, color by number, patterns, counting items and writing the correct number etc)

Im looking at ordering some new math books for him and am kind of torn between Singapore and Right Start. Im currently leaning towards Singapore but I think the Earlybird A may be too easy...I guess I could start with Earlybird B. The two concerns I have with this program is that reviews say there is not a lot of review. Even though DS getst he basic stuff right now, I do think he will need to review things to retain those skills

Right Start intrigues me. I like the whole approach and thought behind it but I wonder if all the manipulatives would get tedious over time (I also have a 2 yo at home and if the lessons take too long he may get restless lol). I also wonder if this method of learning would make it harder for him to merge into private school sometime next year or the year after.

Anyone try both of these? Opinions?
thanks!
AdoptChina is offline  
#2 of 18 Old 11-07-2008, 06:33 PM
 
mamaMAMAma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: home, where my heart is
Posts: 1,382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm looking into Rightstart right now. But would love to hear how the two compares.
mamaMAMAma is offline  
#3 of 18 Old 11-07-2008, 08:33 PM
 
IncompetentHousewife's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: In the farmhouse at the maple woods
Posts: 201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use Singapore Math and love it. I also considered Rightstart and Math-U-See. I can't really give any great reasons not to use the latter two because they do both seem great.

I also worried about how the reviews say there isn't a lot of review with Singapore. We're in our third year using it and it has been absolutely no problem. I don't know if my daughter just gets it, or what. There are options for handling this and still using Singapore, even if you see that your child does need more review. They sell practice workbooks of all kinds (three different ones, I think). You could use math manipulatives — Unifix cubes, base ten blocks, etc. — to make up your own games to do review yourself in a more hands-on way. They also sell a computer game called Rainbow Rock that goes along with Primary Math 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B. My daughter likes it. So I'd say that if you're interested in Singapore, go ahead and use it and then see if he needs review. To tell you the truth, my daughter would go nuts if we did one of those spiral math programs where you do some of the problems you already know every day. We used A Beka for a little bit and doing an entire page of the same kind of problem was trying for both of us. She hates tedium.

If you do go with Singapore, do start at a higher level. We started when my daughter was 4 and we skipped Earlybird 1A and 1B altogether. It looked like more basic counting and shapes to me. What you describe tells me your son is already beyond that. Consider trying Earlybird 2A, then 2B. If you go to www.singaporemath.com, you can view samples of the pages. That might be the best way to see what would work for him.

Good luck!

Raising and educating free-range kids in our farmhouse at the maple woods. In March, find us in the sugarbush making pure maple syrup.

1 me + 1 hubby + 4 kids + 5 goats + 3 pigs + 3 dozen chickens + 6 ducks = 1 crazy place
IncompetentHousewife is offline  
#4 of 18 Old 11-07-2008, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
AdoptChina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thanks for the info...that makes me feel better

DS can already do some basic math in his head (2+3, 6+1 etc) and my one concern is that if I start using manipulatives (like the abacus) and make it something physical instead of something mental, that it might confuse him.......or heck, for all I know it might help lol
AdoptChina is offline  
#5 of 18 Old 11-08-2008, 12:21 AM
 
tankgirl73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: NB, Canada
Posts: 2,810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Okay -- caveat emptor, I'm not an expert on Singapore. I've only seen bits and pieces of it.

But from what I've seen, it's still just the same math curriculum as almost everything else. What I've come to realize, is that 90% of all math curricula out there are basically the same thing, just with different "packaging". They might have different sequence, or a different reinforcement method, different pictures, different explanations, etc... but it's still the same basic method of teaching math. The pages of Singapore I've seen were virtually indistinguishable from the pages of the $3 math workbooks I used to get for DS in the regular bookstores, the ones that are just intended for "school enrichment" etc.

RightStart is a totally different method. And personally, I think it's stronger. My SIL is using it (level B) with her 7yo DD, they just started and they're enjoying it. I've just switched to it for DS who's now 10 -- he's been through the aforementioned 'school' workbooks, a year of Saxon, a year of Teaching Textbooks... he's technically finished grade 6 math, but I felt he still lacked true understanding in many areas. So we're doing level E in RightStart (basically grade 4) then doing their middle-school Geometric Approach. We just started, and it's easy review right now, but he's really enjoying it. He's very much a physical, hands-on kind of dude... I only wish we'd done something like this much earlier!

So you might guess what I'll say about your musing whether the physical instead of mental will help or confuse.

How can providing additional ways of thinking of math be harmful? If he understands mentally that 2+3=5, but is confused by doing it with real objects, then does he TRULY understand it? Isn't math derived from real life in the first place?

Using the abacus gives physical reinforcement, as well as visual, and the ultimate goal is to be able to do everything mentally by having an abacus in your mind (or just understanding the patterns more clearly if you're not as visually oriented).

The strategies of RS I think, are just so sound for creating real understanding. Like the author says, math should be only 5% memorization, and 95% understanding.

Now, as to your other concern about merging into school later... now it is true that RS is different enough that he'd probably have to do some 'conversion'. But if it gives a stronger foundation for true comprehension of how math works, then that foundation will stand no matter what methods he switches to down the line. I would think that at the worst, you'd just have to get a little workbook of the previous grade to quickly go through it together and see if there's anything to review or do differently or whatever.

But really I don't think it would be a problem. Everything for the first few grades is really SO basic, and there's so much review and re-covering in every grade, I don't think the transition would be impossible.

Heck, you might get lucky and find a private school that uses RightStart anyway Or you could recommend to them that they switch lol...

Oh and I don't think the manipulatives will get tiresome either. They're FUN! Today we played "Go to the Dump", a card game that's basically like Go Fish except you're pairing cards that add to 10 instead of that match. Pretty easy stuff for a 10yo who's finished grade 6 math, right? Well, he asked to play it again THREE TIMES. And the math balance is just way too much fun... He's been experimenting with it on his own already, just trying to get the sides to balance by moving things around. And DD who's not even 2 plays with it.

She also plays with the square tiles - I just gave her a handful while DS and I were "working" and she kept herself occupied with her own explorations. While we played the card game, she took the unused cards and carried them around and "counted" randomly at us. I think it's great how she's entranced by the whole thing! And yes, I am planning to use RS with her officially in a couple years.

So that's my ringing endorsement for RS!

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
tankgirl73 is offline  
#6 of 18 Old 11-08-2008, 12:25 AM
 
theretohere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,676
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We're doing Singapore and loving it. DD is enjoying math- it's her favorite subject. I've posted a bunch of pages from the Earlybird 1A to my blog. She asks to do it every morning- so I'm a little biased. :

To my husband I am wife, to my kids I am mother, but for myself I am just me.
we're : with and : and
theretohere is offline  
#7 of 18 Old 11-08-2008, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
AdoptChina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think I didn't explain myself well before in regards to manipulatives.....I think DS is fine with using things like counters, paper clips etc to show him the math.

I guess I'm just wondering if the abacus would be hard to teach and hard for him to get. I have read lots of great (and some not great) reviews on Right Start so I am definitely interested....but their method is more different to me than any of the other programs I've looked at (which I suppose could be good or bad depending on how the child takes to it)
AdoptChina is offline  
#8 of 18 Old 11-08-2008, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
AdoptChina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by theretohere View Post
We're doing Singapore and loving it. DD is enjoying math- it's her favorite subject. I've posted a bunch of pages from the Earlybird 1A to my blog. She asks to do it every morning- so I'm a little biased. :
Great pics, thanks! Have you tried using any manipulatives with it? I think what Im realizing is that I'd like to use them when necessary (when they really impact a lesson or when DS is stuck and needs something more to understand a concept) but not sure I want to use them for everything. He is a kid that likes workbooks
AdoptChina is offline  
#9 of 18 Old 11-08-2008, 01:22 AM
 
theretohere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,676
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdoptChina View Post
Great pics, thanks! Have you tried using any manipulatives with it? I think what Im realizing is that I'd like to use them when necessary (when they really impact a lesson or when DS is stuck and needs something more to understand a concept) but not sure I want to use them for everything. He is a kid that likes workbooks
We use manipulatives as needed. The bubble portions on the bottoms of the pages have extra practice and explanations that often call for manipulatives. We use things from around the house- cheerios, checkers, cut up pieces of construction paper.
You are pretty much describing exactly what we do and it seems to be working wonderfully.

To my husband I am wife, to my kids I am mother, but for myself I am just me.
we're : with and : and
theretohere is offline  
#10 of 18 Old 11-08-2008, 01:43 AM
 
Leersia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: A 50s ranchito CO farm house
Posts: 539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdoptChina View Post
I guess I'm just wondering if the abacus would be hard to teach and hard for him to get.
The abacus is neither of the above - it is very intuitive. It is simply a 100-bead abacus, with the beads in rows of tens and some contrasting colors so that kids can easily see that 8, for example, is 5+3. It is not the classic Asian abacus.

I have both Singapore 1A and 1B and RightStart. I got the Singapore books for free and only use them to entertain my kids when we are travelling, etc. I agree with a PP that they resemble the cheap workbooks that you can buy at Target. Similarly though, I have not tried to implement it as a curriculum, so perhaps I am missing something.

I am about halfway through Right Start Book A with my two 6-year-olds, and the abacus has given them such a great mental math model that I am now going through the lessons pretty quickly. The card games are great too. My kids know their addition math facts without any attempts at memorization, which to me is high praise for the program.

Sue
Leersia is offline  
#11 of 18 Old 11-08-2008, 02:12 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post
Okay -- caveat emptor, I'm not an expert on Singapore. I've only seen bits and pieces of it.

But from what I've seen, it's still just the same math curriculum as almost everything else. ... The pages of Singapore I've seen were virtually indistinguishable from the pages of the $3 math workbooks I used to get for DS in the regular bookstores, the ones that are just intended for "school enrichment" etc.
I wanted to say that unless you've used Singapore Primary Math, you probably wouldn't realize the subtle ways in which it's different. The presentation format is fairly mainstream, but there are some very important differences in the way in which concepts and skills are introduced and linked. In how the operations are introduced, for example... Subtraction is never conceptualized as "taking away." Addition and subtraction are the same set of numerical relationships looked at in different ways, and so they're introduced alongside each other. Ditto for multiplication and division. Both the partition and measurement conceptual models of division are taught. Mental math skills are stressed from very early on. (My 5yo can easily do 184 - 98 by subtracting a hundred and adding two, thanks to Singapore.) Multi-step word problems are introduced at a basic level at the 2nd grade level and further developed during 3rd grade. A bar-diagram approach allows kids to solve complex ratio and fraction problems which would otherwise require algebra at the primary level.

I was intrigued by RightStart but found it a poor fit for my kids in terms of the sequence of introduction of concepts and skills. Certainly the presentation is different -- more like how we used Miquon, which I liked. But placement turned out to be a huge conundrum because RS didn't seem to follow the natural order of skills acquisition that my kids had spontaneously undertaken.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#12 of 18 Old 11-08-2008, 12:18 PM
 
theretohere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,676
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I wanted to say that unless you've used Singapore Primary Math, you probably wouldn't realize the subtle ways in which it's different. The presentation format is fairly mainstream, but there are some very important differences in the way in which concepts and skills are introduced and linked. In how the operations are introduced, for example... Subtraction is never conceptualized as "taking away." Addition and subtraction are the same set of numerical relationships looked at in different ways, and so they're introduced alongside each other. Ditto for multiplication and division. Both the partition and measurement conceptual models of division are taught. Mental math skills are stressed from very early on. (My 5yo can easily do 184 - 98 by subtracting a hundred and adding two, thanks to Singapore.) Multi-step word problems are introduced at a basic level at the 2nd grade level and further developed during 3rd grade. A bar-diagram approach allows kids to solve complex ratio and fraction problems which would otherwise require algebra at the primary level.

I was intrigued by RightStart but found it a poor fit for my kids in terms of the sequence of introduction of concepts and skills. Certainly the presentation is different -- more like how we used Miquon, which I liked. But placement turned out to be a huge conundrum because RS didn't seem to follow the natural order of skills acquisition that my kids had spontaneously undertaken.

Miranda
: Don't let the appearance of Singapore distract you from how great it is.

To my husband I am wife, to my kids I am mother, but for myself I am just me.
we're : with and : and
theretohere is offline  
#13 of 18 Old 11-09-2008, 10:29 AM
 
umsami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Capital City
Posts: 10,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bit the bullet and bought Right Start for my just turned 5 year old and I'm so glad I did. It truly is a wonderful program. The variety of the manipulatives are great... there's the abacus, tally sticks, plastic cubes, geoboard, cards for games, etc. And that's just level A. My 5 and 3 year old both love doing math... and they're getting a much better understanding than had we just done worksheets.

I know many people just fly through level A, but I'm purposely not doing that. We only do 2 or 3 lessons per week, and the rest of the week we play the games associated with the lessons or just do normal family math. If you think you'll fly through Level A, then you can always buy Level B and go slowly...as there's overlap there.

I honestly think that Singapore is affordable enough that you could use it to supplement RightStart if you wanted to. It was really hard for me to invest the $$$ in RightStart, but I've never regretted it one bit.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

umsami is offline  
#14 of 18 Old 11-09-2008, 12:49 PM
 
NoHiddenFees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,064
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
I was intrigued by RightStart but found it a poor fit for my kids in terms of the sequence of introduction of concepts and skills. Certainly the presentation is different -- more like how we used Miquon, which I liked. But placement turned out to be a huge conundrum because RS didn't seem to follow the natural order of skills acquisition that my kids had spontaneously undertaken.
Placement wasn't our issue, but presentation was. My oldest is math adept and chafed at having information doled out bit by bit as in Right Start, not to mention having me as an intermediary. Singapore's topics are presented as discrete units, which gives her the ability to read right through and not labour over concepts she already understands. The content of the programs are actually very similar (after all, Right Start is largely based on Asian math), and, with the exception of the alabacus, the manipulatives are virtually identical. The activities are in the Singapore Home Instructor's Guide.

I also like that Singapore is adaptable for the needs of a child. There's the basic program with text and workbook. Children who need extra practice cementing concepts can use the Extra Practice books. Math adept children can challenge themselves by using the Intensive Practice books. And then there's the Challenging Word Problems books, which I'd recommend no matter what program you're using.
NoHiddenFees is offline  
#15 of 18 Old 11-09-2008, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
AdoptChina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is Singapore easy to teach (not the Earlybird, Im sure I can handle those ) ? I've read that the Home Instructor's Guides don't always give enough info to explain things (as compared to the guides for say, Saxon)
AdoptChina is offline  
#16 of 18 Old 11-09-2008, 03:53 PM
 
NoHiddenFees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,064
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdoptChina View Post
Is Singapore easy to teach (not the Earlybird, Im sure I can handle those ) ? I've read that the Home Instructor's Guides don't always give enough info to explain things (as compared to the guides for say, Saxon)
The HIG's contain coordinated schedules, mental math exercises, explanatory material for the parent, answers to workbook and textbook problems, and complete lesson plans including activities and games. However, the lessons aren't scripted like in Right Start. Ideally you'd do the lesson first( taking as much time as necessary to master the content), then the text, followed by the workbook exercise.

I can't compare the HIG's to Saxon, as I've never used the latter. I do know that many, ourselves included, don't use the teaching material in the HIG's and find the textbook to be sufficient. I purchase the HIG's for the extra mental math exercises and materials. IMHO, parents new to Singapore/Asian math methods should get the HIG's at least for their own benefit, so they have a better understanding of why things are presented the way they are. I also highly recommend reading Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics by Liping Ma.
NoHiddenFees is offline  
#17 of 18 Old 11-09-2008, 03:57 PM
 
theretohere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,676
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees View Post
The HIG's contain coordinated schedules, mental math exercises, explanatory material for the parent, answers to workbook and textbook problems, and complete lesson plans including activities and games. However, the lessons aren't scripted like in Right Start. Ideally you'd do the lesson first( taking as much time as necessary to master the content), then the text, followed by the workbook exercise.

I can't compare the HIG's to Saxon, as I've never used the latter. I do know that many, ourselves included, don't use the teaching material in the HIG's and find the textbook to be sufficient. I purchase the HIG's for the extra mental math exercises and materials. IMHO, parents new to Singapore/Asian math methods should get the HIG's at least for their own benefit, so they have a better understanding of why things are presented the way they are. I also highly recommend reading Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics by Liping Ma.
:

To my husband I am wife, to my kids I am mother, but for myself I am just me.
we're : with and : and
theretohere is offline  
#18 of 18 Old 11-10-2008, 04:34 AM
 
fadedgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi. We started with Math-U-See a few weeks ago and with it my DD5 was learning to do addition and subtracting by "counting", which I was not thrilled with. She really liked it but I put it aside. I read how Singapore was good for "mental math" and ordered that. Then I discovered RightStart and ordered that as well, its not here yet. ARGH. I may send the Singapore back as I'm not sure if implementing two different methods is wise.

The reviewers of RS won me over in regard to its ability to instill a truly inherent understanding of math. I will let you know as soon as we get into it, but for now I will read with great interest everyone else's posts. Thanks!
fadedgirl is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off