Should I Stay or Should I Go?

One question that I get frequently is “What if my child doesn’t understand what is being taught in the lesson? Should I stay on that lesson or should I continue to move forward?”

To be honest, there is not a one answer that fits all for this question. However, here are a few thoughts to consider.

First, is the lesson an introduction to a concept?

When a math concept is first introduced, you will see in the Objectives section of the Lessons Manual “To introduce…”. If the lesson is an introduction, then by all means, keep moving forward in the lessons. More teaching and practice will be done on that topic in future lessons. Mastery is not needed at this time.

Next, is your child struggling with a concept that he has already mastered? Mastered in theory, that is.

If this is the situation, you may want to spend a day or two reviewing the concept. I like to look in the Table of Contents for previous lessons that will help me review the topic with my child. I don’t do the entire lesson, just the sections that he was struggling with.

Or is it a concept that your child needs to know before moving forward?

For example, if I am teaching my child addition and she doesn’t know her math facts to ten and the next few lessons are adding double-digit numbers, then I need to spend some time strengthening up her math facts to ten!

My general rule of thumb: if my child is getting frustrated daily, then it usually means that he needs more time on a math concept or on math facts. That is my cue to linger on a lesson or to play some math card games to strengthen math facts or math skills until he feels more confident.

How often do you linger on a lesson when your child struggles? How do you determine when you should spend extra time working on math facts? We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to post your comment below so we can all learn from each other.



  1. We have four kids (aged 7-12) currently in RightStart. We absolutely love it!! All the kids find math a favorite subject and are doing great!! We only go by time, never by lesson … every day we do an hour (today we did two). My recommendation: Absolutely wait for mastery!! Take your time when they don’t get something … it will save so much time later on. Otherwise it will be like building a Jenga tower with a few of those wooden blocks missing every once in a while … pay day will come eventually.

    • I too have 4 children, 3-10. when you say you spend an hour on math, do you mean as a group? Are you teaching them all together? If yes, how?

  2. My kiddo gets the concepts easily, but ASD,ADHD, and dyslexia make reliable recall of math facts almost impossible. We work on them briefly every day, and they are slowly coming,
    but otherwise, he uses the abacus, and other manipulatives, and we keep going.

  3. Grace Cockburn says

    I also teach a kiddo with multiple challenges (ASD, ADHD,dyslexia) that makes memorizing math facts almost impossible. If he understands the concept, we keep moving, and I give him whatever tools he needs to do the work. The facts are slowly coming together, but they can’t be our priority.

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