Well, if I wasn't sold on Right Start before, lesson 14 did it!
The first thing was that one of the lingering issues in the back of my mind was resolved. I have been worried about the use of the abacus, and Reece's color obsession. The first part of that was helped when we started the new, larger abacus yesterday and she didn't have trouble. But I was still worried about her inability to transfer what seemed like a rather static usage to other areas. See, the beads have always been on the right and moved to the left to show the amount - meaning that the same color always is the first five (for our new abacus that would be blue) and the other color makes 6-10 (yellow in our case). But, today, we worked on showing the beads on the right instead (which changes the color arrangement)! And then we also worked on showing the numbers on our fingers to each other, which makes them show up "backward"! I was tickled! I was even more tickled that she didn't have any trouble at all.
The second part was that this lesson involved partitioning through 5 using the coins, and there were six word problems. You may remember that the final straw with MUS was when I realized that she was simply plugging the numbers into the equation. Today, these problems would be oral (read to her) and she would use the partition chart to solve them. She could also have used the abacus if necessary but she didn't need it. The instructions said to read the first problem and then wait. I love how they keep up the reminders to wait. As this first problem was straightforward, she didn't need much processing time. "M had two cents. She puts in 3 more pennies. How much does she have now?" She answered it easily.
The second problem was different. "B had 7 cents. She gave away 5 cents. How much does she have now?" I watched as Reece wrote the 7 and the 5 into the spaces for the "parts", and I waited to see what would happen next. She said, "Can I write a minus sign between them?" I said, "No, the numbers all have to fit into the circles you are given." I was about to give her a little more help when she said, "Oh... so the 7 needs to go in the big circle." And she set about to fix her own problem!
It was AWESOME!!!!!
Each of the problems was just slightly different - either by the usage of the name of the coin or the amount, or by it being a subtraction or addition problem. She really had to use her head. There were only 6 problems altogether, just enough to practice without overkill. She did need me to repeat a couple of the problems (mostly the amounts), but I wonder if that was because she was using most of her mental energy to attack the problem, so the actual amounts went by the wayside? She usually has great auditory memory. I wouldn't have a problem with her neglecting the static details if she was trying to focus on what the problem MEANT! :)
Now I find myself wishing we had done this a year or two ago. But I'll try to take comfort in the fact that maybe she wouldn't have been developmentally ready a couple of years ago.
Oh, and yet again she was being ornery while we were reviewing the coins. She thinks it's too funny to say "3 coins" so I'll make a funny face at her. @@