RightStart™ Mathematics; A Hands-On Geometric Approach

We received this comment from a Geometry Approach curriculum user: “I’m finding myself very frustrated because there are no explanations of how the answers are obtained. Is there no teacher manual in addition to the answer book? The answer book is nice but it doesn’t tell us how you got the answer if we are confused.”

This is a good point. The RightStart™ Mathematics; A Hands-On Geometric Approach level is a different format than the prior RS levels. Geometric Approach is set up more as exploration of math, which, of course, is more like your child’s future learning.

In high school and college, it is expected that the student will “read between the lines” and extract information that’s not quite specifically stated. My high school senior and three college kids get so very frustrated with this, but that’s the way it works!

Real life is this way too. Think of a baby running a fever. There is no manual that specifically states the answer or provides the steps to the cure. Instead, we need to run with trial and error. Sometimes Tylenol brings the fever down. Sometimes a cool bath. Maybe both are needed. Sometimes it’s a trip to the doctor for antibiotics!

So, how do we help you and your child work through these lessons? Well, two things will help.

First, read (or re-read) the “Hints on Tutoring” found in the front of the lesson book and attached below. A critical excerpt from this page reads “If a paragraph is unclear, the student should reread the paragraph, keeping in mind that sometimes more is explained in the following paragraph. No one learns mathematics by reading the text only once.”

I personally find not rereading the lesson is my greatest error when working through the Geometric Approach. My second most common error is reading too quickly, then jumping to conclusions, which mostly are wrong.

Second, ask us a specific question and we will get an answer to you. Have your student send an email to either or to, put “Math Student” in the subject line, and we’ll get an answer to you as quickly as humanly possible. You may call us at 888-272-3291 and talk through the question with one of our competent people.

Also, have you and your child watched the “How To Teach” recorded webinar? This will give both of you a firmer foundation in which to work through the program.

Remember, if we did have a teacher’s manual, it would be so tempting to following the instructions item by item, which may stifle true learning. So, although I understand and agree with some of the frustration, think of this as a change in your child’s thinking and learning. It’s now time to explore and think through situations, rather than just follow a rigid algorithm.

Finally, remember to email and/or call us. We are here to help you and your child be the best you can be with your mathematics and with your future learning.


Aspen and RightStart™ Mathematics Level A Lessons, Installment #3: Teaching Now

As we’ve been going through the RightStart™ Mathematics Level A program, I’m absolutely amazed to see how quickly 5-year-old Aspen is picking it up. She is so excited about math and devours it each time we open up the kit.

Currently the items we’re doing are coinciding well with her kindergarten class. We’ll go through her lessons at home and then a few weeks later, they’ll touch on the same concept and she flies right through it with great success.

Aspen carries around her AL Abacus Junior in her backpack and has been using it in her classroom. She says that the kids in her class love to use it as well! She is also using it in her daycare to “teach” the other kids math. Her daycare provider gets a huge kick out of watching her be the teacher and how excited the other kids are to learn from her.

Aspen’s grasp of math has been such a blessing. Time and time again, I’m wishing I had known about the program when her older brother was going through school….

Trouble with 6 and 9

Jill Velicer’s 5 year old son keeps confusing 6 and 9, so they made some visual art projects for the ‘Yellow is the sun’ rhyme to help him remember.

We think this was a great idea so we thought we would share with all our RightStart™ users.

Thanks Jill!

Four-Year-Old Aspen and RightStart™ Mathematics Level A Lessons, Installment #2

Maren has continued to work with her daughter, Aspen. Let’s hear how it’s been progressing…..

January 25, 2012

Aspen has been showing great understanding of organizing items by size in Level A. She is able to take any type of items and organize them both smallest to largest and in reverse. She continues to beg to go through her lessons each night and rarely gets frustrated with anything we’ve encountered thus far. She continues to want to “count items” using her AL Abacus. She wanders around the house and totals up her findings then has to verify that she is correct. When asked if a certain quantity has been added or subtracted, she has been stellar in her grasping of the concept and rarely gets them incorrect. I’m finding that the lessons are clear and concise and that it’s been quite easy to give the instructions to her to follow.

February 22, 2012

Aspen has been flourishing with her Level A lessons. She’s still so very excited when we work a lesson. We were working on parallels and about a week following the lesson as we were driving down the highway, Aspen kept asking to play the “pallellell game”. She definitely has a slight problem pronouncing it, however I was racking my mind trying to figure out what she was talking about. It finally came to me that she wanted to play a game to see if items were or were not parallel. We play our new game now whenever we have a drive, as well as when we are at home. She continues to verify with me if she’s correct when she judges if any two items are parallel or not. Math has been becoming one game after another with her, and it’s such a joy to see her enjoying herself and her new knowledge she’s acquiring.

March 27, 2012

Things are progressing nicely for Aspen, as she continues to enjoy her math. She loves working with the Abacus, and continues to play with it to work on her skills even when we’re not doing a lesson. She’s been working diligently on identifying numbers of items with her tally sticks, abacus and her fingers, and for the most part, she’s been successful. She still struggles with the 7, 8 and 9, but is getting more successful with those all the time. She still has a tendency to try to count those out when she thinks I’m not looking. She was working on them the other night, when her big brother, who’s 18, was watching. She was given an “8″ and she was looking at the abacus to figure out the appropriate beads to move, when her brother said, “Aspen just count them out on your fingers”, in which Aspen replied: “Bohdey, we don’t do it that way, we have to think about it.” He just looked at her and grinned. Maybe a little of this will eventually rub off on him, as he didn’t have the opportunity to take advantage of this product and he struggled all the way through school with his math classes. A mom can always be hopeful!