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Right Start Math Review

Right Start Math Review

Right Start Math is Fun

We found RightStart Math 14 years ago when our two youngest were starting out on their math journey. They loved RightStart Math- the games, the abacus. Math was fun. My daughter, now in Algebra II, has kept her abacus through all these years!

Fast forward and we are still using RightStart Math. The True North Homeschool Academy Special Needs program uses RightStart Math and our students are thriving using Math games and manipulatives under the excellent tutelage of Amy Vickrey.Right Start Math Program Images

Right Start Math Works

We are doing yet another review of RightStart Math, this year with a couple of giveaways to boot. Why? Because we love this program and it works!

Let’s start by talking about Level A. Level A helps students understand quantities based on 5’s and 10’s, addition and subtraction to 10, place values to the hundreds, money, clocks, basic geometry and measurement. Card games are introduced. And seriously, folks, the card games are fun, interactive and will take your kids to math success!

Included in Level A you get the Right Start Math Lessons, Worksheets, Level “A” Appendix, and Yellow is the Sun book.

The book begins with objectives for the level by math subject and includes:

  • Numeration
  • Money
  • Place Value
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Problem Solving
  • Geometry
  • Time
  • Measurement
  • Fractions

The book also tells you which quarter of the book these areas will be covered in. Next is a list of “living book” suggestions, along with the materials needed for particular lessons that are not included, all of which are easily found at home- such as sticky notes, tape, etc. Then a note from Joan Cotter (the developer of Right Start Math) about how the program was developed along with thoughts on how to teach math, and how this program differs from others.

Daily lessons are straightforward and simple to implement with specific learning objectives, along with materials needed clearly stated at the top of each lesson. Daily lessons also consist of warm-ups, activities, worksheets, and games.  The lesson pages are then divided in half visually with “Activities for Teaching” listed on the left-hand side of the page, and “Explanations” listed on the right-hand side of the page. The Appendix includes songs, activity cards, and Assessment Checklists.  It is so simple to go through the book sequentially or to pick out lessons that need to be reinforced. The structure of the book is simple and straightforward.

The First Lesson – Level A

In the first lesson, children hold up their hands and sing a simple song, then tiles and tally sticks are incorporated. Lessons include tactile, auditory and visual modes of teaching, utilizing and integrating various neurological pathways for optimal learning. Games are integral to the program and are an excellent way for kids with executive functioning issues to build not only their math acumen but overall neural integration. The Activity Pack includes several game decks: a money card deck, multiplication deck, fraction cards, and the basic number deck.

Level A helps the child understand quantities based on 5’s and 10’s, addition and subtraction through 10, place value to 100 and basic geometry and measurement. Money and clocks are introduced and problem-solving is emphasized.

This math program is well-organized for the teacher and is a fun, dynamic and interactive way to introduce basic math facts with your littles. The program acknowledges the strengths and challenges of young learners, capitalizing on both to create an exceptional math learning environment!

Level G and H

Level G and H are geared towards Middle School Mathematics and early geometry. Like the other levels in the RightStart Math series, each program includes a lesson manual, complete with lesson objectives, materials lists, activities, and extras. The program emphasis is on students taking charge of their learning, and it is assumed that they will be teaching themselves, as they go through the book. The materials for this class are worth gathering ahead of time and include a T-square, 30-60 and 45 Triangle, 4-in-1 ruler, Goniometer, mm Arc Compass, a Scientific Calculator and the math card games book.

Each lesson follows the same format where students read the lesson, look at figures and patterns, read the extras, and then summarize. But that is not all – children are encouraged to read the lesson again (gaining not only math acumen but study skills!) to look for vocabulary and define terms, and then read the lesson again to look for details. This builds critical thinking skills as they read for detailed information. Also, included are review lessons and assessments for understanding. This is a sequential, skill-based program, so understanding previous skills will ensure later success with the program.

Both levels include:

  • Spiral-bound Lesson Plan Book
  • Spiral-bound Solution Manual
  • 3 Ring Binder and Worksheet Results Rubrics
  • Game Logs
  • Worksheets
  • Math Dictionary: the student co-creates this
  • Records: a place for students to record need-to-know information
  • Certificate of Achievement

The program is laid out in an easy to use, easy to succeed format, that makes math comprehension and learning do-able, accessible, and honestly, fun. Math games are an integral part of the program. I love how kids can record the number of times they played games. Games build math literacy, competence, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity as students search for information and solutions.

Level H is a continuation of Level G, with the added bonus of the History of Math woven through this level. Daily Card Games are included and students are expected to work independently. This is an excellent and comprehensive introduction to Geometry and will set your student up for Geometry success through High School and beyond!

Right Start Fractions

We were also given the Fractions Kit to review. This kit comes with a lesson book, workbooks, 3 Card decks, and 2 fractions charts. Are you intimidated by the thought of teaching this complex subject to your kids or your “non-mathy” kid isn’t succeeding with the program that you are currently using? Is one of your children struggling in your homeschool? You are going to want to stop what you are doing and purchase the RightStart Fractions Kit.

Lessons begin with the basics- simple enough for everyone to understand- and continue through more complicated lessons. Concepts are solidified while building on each other in a way that is fun and engaging. I love how Dr. Cotter (the author and developer of the Right Start Math Games program) has woven games in and throughout each part of the program. Math becomes associated with fun and success!

At True North Homeschool Academy we love RightStart Math; all the levels, all the games, all the fun, all the learning, all the math mastery. Kids learn math. They realize that it is doable, enjoyable and is figureoutable. Win-win for everyone!

A Special Offer

Thanks to RightStart Math for this special offer for our readers. You will get 15% off your order when you use the discount code NDHSA20ME at checkout online PLUS you get free standard shipping within the US.

About Our Giveaway

We are giving away the full RightStart Math Fractions Set. Enter from now until February 7, 2020.

Right Start Math Games and Fraction kit product image at True North Homeschool Academy

RightStart Fractions Kit

This set includes everything you need to teach addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions as well as a solid introduction to percents in just 42½ days!

The RightStart™ Fraction Kit includes:

  • The new RightStart™ Fractions Lessons Book
  • RightStart™ Fractions Worksheets Book or E-WorkBook
  • Fraction Charts (set of two)
  • Basic Number Card Deck
  • Multiplication Card Deck
  • Fraction Card Deck

You can enter multiple times for more than one chance to win over the next two weeks. Follow us on Facebook, visit RightStart, share our Pin to one of your boards on Pinterest, follow us on Twitter and leave us a comment here on the blog! Lots of chances to win this wonderful resource!

Enter to win here:

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Review and Image of Right Start Math Fractions on True North Homeschool Academy

RightStart Math Games Review

RightStart Math Games Review

RightStart Math Games Review

RightStart Math Games Review was exciting to do! Having taught for 16 years, I have seen many different approaches to math.  I have found that the best approach is to be hands-on, visual, consistent, and thorough.  Manipulatives can definitely meet the requirements of this approach, but so can games! RightStart’s Math Card Games is a set of games with custom cards.  

The RightStart Games set comes with the following:

While you have to read the directions in the book very carefully to play the games, the included DVD and instructional videos available on the website make these games easy to explore and play!  The students and my own son have enjoyed these games we have played in the True North Homeschool Academy Math Games Classes and at home.

Here are some of the games we tried, and what we thought of them:

Making Ten Game

My student and my son both really enjoy this game.  We even modified it to add to 9, 8, 7, and 6 to reinforce those facts as well.  The directions in the book were a little unclear, though. Because I have played the game on the IPad app, I understood most of the directions.  The instructional DVD or the video on their website would also be useful to someone who wants to learn the game quickly and easily, or for those who are visual (like me).  I did not discover the videos until after we had played the game. After reading through the directions several times, I was still unsure whether I was supposed to turn the cards over all at once, one at a time, or if that mattered.  My conclusion was whichever made the student feel more successful. Overall, a fun game.

Multiples in Common

This was a fun game!  Took about one round to get it down, but the kids really enjoyed it!  Really made them think as at first, they wanted to just multiply the two numbers together to find the Least Common Multiple.  As we went, they got faster at finding the right answer the first time! I let the students (I had 3 in class) team up against me.  The first game I won by 1. As we entered into the second game, the comment was, “Come on guys, let’s bring it!” What a fun way to reinforce the Least Common Multiples!!!


We have played War in my classes and with my son, who is at about a second grade level for math.  We have played it adding 2 cards, adding 3 cards, multiplying, and multiply then add. Kids really respond well to this game and seem to enjoy it.  It is a game of luck, though, so they get disappointed when the cards don’t go “their way.”


I have one student who has fallen in love with this game.  It is definitely a game of strategy. He will think through all the possibilities to see how many points he can earn.  He currently holds a high score of over 700. He prefers to play by multiples of 3 rather than multiples of 5, as this offers more possibilities for play.  

Multiples Solitaire

This is another game of strategy, so my strategic thinking students really like it.  You have 4 sets of multiplication fact families you are working with, so it is a good way to reinforce those facts once they start to get them down, or to reinforce skip counting when first learning.

Here are a few other thoughts to consider when looking into whether or not to buy the RightStart Games set.

Making My Own Game

Using the cards, I was even able to create a “game” for my 3-year-old, who wants to do everything Big Brother does.  We took one of each card (1-10), and worked to put them in order. These games and cards are great resources to create your own games, expand on a game in the manual, or play the game as written.  It’s all about exploring math together, having fun and enjoying time together. When your child is relaxed and enjoying himself, math will “click” and make more sense!

Abacus and Custom Cards

When we are on the go, or I want to my son to “see” the problem a different way, I have found the Abacus a useful tool.  It helps him to subitize (know how many without counting), the numbers quickly, an important skill in math. I even saw a Mini-Abacus available on their website now!  The custom cards with fractions, time, multiplication, and money allow for math games to be played beyond what other programs I have seen allow. They really have given a lot of thought and consideration to putting together a set of games that can range throughout their curriculum.

Even after having the book for several months, I am still discovering new games and enjoying them with my students and my son.  I really appreciate the wide variety of games – both “luck” based and “strategy” based that appeal to different types of learners.  No matter what curriculum you are using as a base, it would be worth the investment to buy the RightStart Games set to use to supplement and add to your math routine.


Amy holds a Masters of Science in Education, Specializing in Curriculum and Instruction, from the University of Central Missouri and a Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas State University-San Marcos.  Also, she spent 2 years of college studying Interpretation for the Deaf and Deaf Studies and knows American Sign Language. Her teaching certifications include Special Education, English as a Second Language and Generalist (early childhood through fourth). She is now part of the Struggling Learners Department of True North Homeschool Academy and loves the discovery approach to learning. Teaching children how to learn will help them reach their goals and dreams.



Have you ever considered using RightStart Math Games in your homeschool? See our full review, and how we think RightStart can be used in your homeschool. #RightStartMath #TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy #curriculumreview #homeschool