Rightstart Mathematics

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  • Reviewed on Saturday, February 1, 2014
  • Grades Used: B/K-1
  • Dates used: 2013-2014
Very much a hands-on program.
Lots of manipulatives.
Lots of games.
The abacus is an amazing tool!

It is absolutely a 1 on 1 program, which means that mom't time must be dedicated to this math program for each lesson (no multi-tasking).

There is a lot of "required" mental math at a low level. We simply allowed our daughter to use her abacus any time she needed it and thus avoided much frustration. Not many 6 year olds can mentally add 36+27, so I didn't stress the mental math at this level.

Some of the concepts were difficult to explain and at first I was stressed that my daughter didn't do it the way the book suggested. She was able to figure out the answers using her own way...which is just fine. And, it turns out that "her" way is actually the way RS wants a child to do the math later in the program.

The concepts jump around quite a bit. In the middle of mental addition, a child will change direction and do work on symmetry or work on the peg board. These lessons seem a bit random, but I think that my daughter enjoyed the change of pace.

Not every lesson suggests a game, so it's good to know that any game can be played for review at any time - it doesn't have to be scripted in.

In All....
This is a program that has a permanent place in our home classroom. We have been quite pleased with the way RS teaches math.
This is a perfect program for Wiggly Willies and Social Sues. Maybe not for Perfect Peters, though. :D

Hope it helps!


  • Reviewed on Thursday, November 21, 2013
  • Grades Used: Level B (1st-2nd)
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
My son attended kindergarten then I decided to homeschool after that. I began with this curriculum. There is prep work involved, however the lessons are solid and my children remember them. My son, now 7, and his sister, only 4 have been doing very well with this curriculum. I love it because it is very hands on and there are many games to play that reinforce the lessons. They both are adept at using the abacus. My daughter has learned all numbers that equal 10 by heart within 5 days total of playing card games and using the abacus. The most important factor for me was keeping the learning fun. They both love the games. I will continue to use this curriculum! I did get it used from homeschool classifieds for about a third of the price and it was well worth it.


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, December 18, 2012
  • Grades Used: 1-7
  • Dates used: 2010-2012
this is a great math program for children and moms with math brains. It is very different. For instance, when adding two digit numbers it teaches the child to add the 10s then the ones. My kids just naturally gravitates towards adding ones then 10s. It moves very fast. I would love it if my kid had a natural gift in math, but she does not, and I am giving up on it. There is simply not enough review, not enough explanation. It had her adding two digit numbers before she even got her math facts down. I'm fed up with these curriculum that only teaches a kid to 'think'. At the end of the day they truly need to memorize that 7 + 7 is 14.

My eldest daughter has been using their geometry program. Her dad has a masters degree in economics and even he can not understand the lessons. I've written to the author to ask questions and the answer is always something not included in the lesson.

If you have a whiz kid they will love this program because otherwise they will be bored. If you have a plain Jane average girl you may hate teaching it as much as I did. I hate having to pull various pieces from different places and always avoid teaching this program.

We're moving over to Mammoth Math. Good luck on your search!!


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, August 28, 2012
  • Grades Used: K and 2nd
  • Dates used: 2011
A good program for families who are at the "school at home" end of the homeschooling style spectrum and for a family where mom will enjoy doing quite a bit of preview reading of the manual, preparation for next lesson presentation and gathering of materials for each lesson.

I think that if you meet the above criteria this could be a great program for your family. We are no longer using it because we don't meet this criteria.

We have not used Right Start math as a sit-down-do-at-preplanned-times.

Rather, we've used it more sporadically and often times because I'll catch something that my 5 or 8 year old are showing some interest in. For example, we just recently did the place value lesson because one of my children was interested in the idea.

The lesson I prepared using the RS place value lesson worked out well (Although last night I saw via sample lessons how Oak Meadow and Math U See explains this same concept and they were better explanations, imo, than RS Math).

However, overall, I don't think that Right Start is going to be good for this kind of thing in general. Reasons being that it builds so specifically on itself (using the Japanese based ideas and vocabulary, abacus, etc.) that a lot of the lessons would require you to know previous specific RS math style lessons.

---Additionally, there are 107 lessons in the level we have. I am quite comfortable skipping some of them at this stage in the game. However, if you feel compelled to do each one, this would be a long process because none of them are short.

---I have also found that because of the nature of the manipulatives, games, concepts, vocabulary, etc., etc. that it takes quite a time to prepare ahead of time (this, in part, because I don't like to refer to the book, but rather have an eye to eye conversation). IMO, this is very far from an "open and go" kind of curriculum. I've never minded this. However, I'm starting to consider that my daughters might be better served at this stage in the basic math foundations by doing something more concertedly and frequently and I wouldn't want to sit down for the length of preparation time each and every time lesson multiple times a week.

You can also find a review that was interesting here http://cathyduffyreviews.com/math/right-start-math.htm

After doing the sample lessons on the math u see site and having a great experience with those, we're going to try that this coming year.