Rightstart Mathematics

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, January 27, 2015
  • Grades Used: 4th grade
  • Dates used: August 2014-January 2014

This is my first time to do a review of a curriculum. I got this curriculum through my son's charter school. I had researched this program for a while and thought it would be a perfect fit for my son this year who is in 4th grade since he has a lot of difficulty with attention. We are using level D. We did the transition lessons for a month and have been using it since. At the beginning, my son loved it. He loved all the manipulatives. But as time when on, he has been so frustrated and having meltdowns everyday during math for the last 2 months (literally) that today we decided to terminate Right Start.

Some reasons are as follows:
Very brief explanations to where I was having difficulty understanding some of the lessons and concepts. This is probably the main reason-if I don't understand what they are teaching, how can I expect my son to understand :) I am not a mathy person but I am a substitute teacher and a tutor so I do have some background.

I feel that it is not covering enough of what is need for standards and I am afraid that he is very behind because of this program which really surprised me since it is supposed to be an advanced program. For instance, we have not really started multiplication strategies and we are on lesson 51. We are going over number checks?- never heard of before. This lesson had my son in tears and I did understand this one!

Overall, I am disappointed. I really wanted it to work but don't want my son to hate math. I know a lot of people love this program and it's a good fit for kids that are quick with math and don't need a lot of explanations.



  • 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!!