RightStart – Manipulative Swaps

This post contains affiliate links that help support my blog at no cost to you.

It’s been a while since I’ve given you a look into our homeschool math curriculum, so I thought I’d give a little update and share a few manipulative swaps that I do. I do love most of the pieces that come standard with the RightStart kit, but there are some things like to swap out. So, here goes!

(My youngest adores doing “maf”. Her owl, Yago, is helping move the beads!)

Money – As much as possible, I prefer to use real money! I’m thankful that my husband is a coin hoarder, so when I realized I wanted to make this swap, I just dumped out his coin jar and BAM – he had everything we needed, including $1 and 50c coins!! When I don’t have enough, I’ll add in the plastic coins, but I do much prefer the real ones! (Fun fact: I didn’t grow up with US currency and I still struggle to remember which one is called “nickel” and which is called “dime” so I often ask my kids LOL.)

Cardboard 3D shapes – My kids do love this manipulative, but especially in level A and B, there are a number of lessons where you just need a triangular prism, pyramid, or cube. For those basic ones, I swap out for MagnaTiles instead and save the cardboard shapes for the more complex designs (in later levels, you still need the cardboard ones for measuring, but at least in these earlier levels you can save yourself some rubber banding if you happen to have MagnaTiles or similar laying around!).

Fraction Chart – I really really love the RightStart wooden fraction chart. Initially I thought it was a little frivolous, but I find it so much easier for my kids to use than the plastic one that comes with the kit. My 9 year old had a lesson with it just this week and I once again marveled at how easy this one is for kids (and me) to use. It’s the type of thing she enjoys randomly playing with, which I think is a great bonus!

Drawing Board – The drawing board that comes with the kit works decently, but I have noticed that after two years of constant use, ours is looking pretty beat up (we use ours as a white board A LOT – and only started using it as a drawing board as well in Level C). RightStart make a deluxe drawing board that I’m considering getting. This one is raised up from the table and the straight edge is built in, making it a lot more ergonomic.

Right Start Deluxe Drawing Board

That, I think, is all the swaps I’ve made! So, not too many, but I feel like they improve our flow a bit!

The RightStart Centimeter Blocks are a hit with my engineering minded son!

Are you looking for a math curriculum you can use with your whole family? We’ve loved using RightStart Mathematics. You can learn more by checking out the rest of my blog posts on this curriculum, or visiting the RightStart website to get started!


*I am a RightStart Mathematics Affiliate, and am committed to writing a monthly blog post about our journey with this curriculum. Any purchases you make using my affiliate links will earn me a small commission (this will not affect the cost to you!).

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