Hello To Whom it May Concern, 🙂
I noticed in the sample videos a Ray’s Arithmetic book. I just started using these and was wondering if this video talks about using Ray’s and/or if this video would greatly aid me in teaching Ray’s?
Great question! We can look at this two ways: Charlotte Mason suggested math books for the teacher to use to glean oral problems. Ray’s was originally written as an oral math curriculum so many questions fit well. I like to have it to sort of “get me going” in a math lesson but I follow Charlotte’s scope and sequence and her methods as laid out in the dvd…for example, Ray’s formally introduced multiplication much earlier than Charlotte and in a much different way. Charlotte’s methods actually make sense as to why multiplication is called “times” and why times tables are so handy.
When I looked at the page sequencing for each math book that Charlotte’s PUS schools used, I saw that they, too, skipped concepts they thought were too early to introduce and, generally skipped introductory pages that spelled rules out. Rather, the children would “discover” the rules themselves then, only before moving on to a new concept, would the class return to these pages to review rules or concepts which they’d already put into practice and put into words themselves. It is really almost magical to see it in action.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a resource to help you teach purely Ray’s — rather than utilizing it for its oral problems in a CM-driven education — I would highly suggest using Ruth Beechick’s Ray’s Parent-Teacher Guide. Ms. Beechick has done a fantastic job in laying Ray’s out for each school year.
Please let me know if this makes sense or you have any additional questions. Forgive any renegade auto-corrections and typos as I’m currently traveling and on my phone.
Most affectionately, because, hey, we’re all in this together, RichelegreenebaltsParticipant
First off, I’m so excited about the new SCM DVD!!!…thank you!!! I ordered a copy this week and absolutely cannot wait for it to arrive!
Secondly, I had no idea Ray’s was written as an oral math program. I’m intrigued by this Richele. Maybe this is a silly question, but how do you know this? Can you give us more information?
I recently purchased the Mott Media Ray’s Arithmetic set. Can one start anywhere in Ray’s…more specifically, I have a dyslexic 5th grader that’s “behind” in math. I’m wondering how/where to place him? BTW, he absolutely hates “school” (because it’s hard for him) and he completely flips his lid at the mention of math 🙁
Thanks so much,
Wow, these are really great questions as well and, you are right, I need to clarify. I called Ray’s “oral” in the sense that the student would not be filling out pages of worksheets, which is standard today, but would be presented with oral exercises – first worked with concrete objects before moving on to mental images and then abstract thinking. It would be better to call Ray’s a “mental arithmetic,” meaning that children are learning to think mathematically rather than merely doing math. Indeed, Ray’s “Intellectual Arithmetic” was originally called Ray’s “Mental Arithmetic” as problems were given in applied situations and the child is taught to “reason, to analyze, to think for himself…”
With Ray’s Primary or New Primary, children are learning to read and write numerals up to 100 but not before receiving the idea of what a number symbol represents. They are not thrown directly into abstract numbers and a workbook or worksheets which is the popular method of today. Ray’s is not a writing-heavy curriculum.
Charlotte’s philosophy maintains that atmosphere, ideas, and habits are so important, culminating into these many relations the child makes. Thus, her methods, or her ways to the means, meant oral narration came before written narration – though children had both handwriting and reading lessons. And, so, in arithmetic oral and mental work are given in order to impart ideas and secure those habits such as attention, exactness and steadfast thinking. Reading and writing of numerals does take place but not in such a way as to overshadow the ideas found in arithmetic.
Also, please remember that Ray’s Primary or Ray’s New Primary is taken incredibly slowly and steadily with those 90-something pages taking up about two years of careful work. For placement, I would suggest going way back with your son – we won’t think in terms of “behind” or “ahead” but rather where is he comfortable and really thinking mathematically? Relax, now relax some more. With Ray’s by your side and a bag of pennies and dimes, give him some money, shopping exercises, or problems that pertain specifically to him and see how that goes. Maybe it will just be five minutes today and tomorrow and then ten minutes the day after. If he flips his lid at the mere mention of math, maybe do some sweet math using m&m’s or organic SunSpires and let him have some success in that area – though remember, “its in his own power” he must go. Don’t worry if you go back to the beginning with him. With each successive step on the rungs of a ladder, one eventually reaches the top. As the ground feels more secure under his feet and he gains a comfort with numbers, he’ll start finding the joy in working with them and making discoveries for himself as well.
I do hope this helps you. I have to run now but I’ll check back to see if you have follow-up questions.
Thank you Richele, this does help 🙂 I especially like this phrase…
“With each successive step on the rungs of a ladder, one eventually reaches the top.”
I need to spend some time familiarizing myself with Ray’s or whatever program we decide on.
“Don’t worry if you go back to the beginning with him.”
As I read/study Charlotte’s writings, I’m getting there. Being schooled traditionally, I have preconceived notions about what education should look like. I get, LOVE, and believe in Charlotte’s other methods so I don’t know why math is so different/difficult. Maybe it seems more abstract to me. I’m still in the concrete phase when it comes to thinking about and understanding the method.
My new Math DVD arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to sit down and watch. Maybe this will help me to see the practical side of all this 🙂
Piggybacking off of Melissa’s question, if you would … I think I also detected a Strayer Upton in the stack with Ray’s. Do you use that in a similar “get-you-going” manner while still following Miss Mason’s scope and ways? I have the S/U Red Book and may dive into that with your book this fall. If it is indeed the S/U, do you have a preference of Ray’s or the S/U, or perhaps you use them for different ends.
Your book and your DVD are a treasure trove of ideas, and more earnestly, such an encouragement.
Your kind words mean ever so much to me Erin and Melissa. Thank you.
Melissa, I hope you will find in your viewing of the dvd just how many of CM’s methods that you already know and love dovetail with her methods of teaching arithmetic. Let me assure you that the learning curve isn’t as steep as you might think while the rewards are every bit as delicious as you’ve found in other subjects.
Erin, you are right, both Ray’s and Strayer-Upton are resources I’ve suggested for getting one’s brain going with mental questions while using Charlotte’s S&S and methods of teaching arithmetic. I have them both on hand as neither are wholly CM and glean what works from each. For example, Ray’s New Practical Arithmetic is particularly handy for the introduction of numbers the first year and Strayer-Upton Red (First Book) seems to fit better for the second year when the rules are formally introduced).
S/U “planned instruction for problem solving” are laborious and verbose and I wouldn’t use them at all. For example, S/U uses the abstract concept of carrying early on while Charlotte Mason’s exercises of changing pennies to dimes, bundling craft-sticks into ten bundles and stringing buttons; keeping pennies to the right and dimes to the left; and her introduction of notation have all formed natural bridges when larger sums are introduced. In this way, children make the connections themselves (a very powerful thing) and we moms get to experience that heady “delightful consciousness of drawing out from day to day new power in the child.”
Thank you for all your detailed information. You have been helpful! 🙂
Richele, You are a breath of fresh air. Thank you for your responses!
Richele & Sonya: This dvd is really a blessing! I have been watching a little bit each day as I work at ironing/mending before the children wake up. I’m reading the book as well, but at a much slower pace. I thought we had been using a CM-like approach to math, but I was really just copying the modern “hands-on” ideas that still tell the child what he/she should be thinking & “discovering” and that run through the concepts way too fast. Then due to life circumstances, we have depended on math workbooks without many manipulatives during the last half of the past school year. I want to use true CM math methods this upcoming year, but honestly feel a bit overwhelmed. My dd9 needs to start with multiplication & the tables. She understands the concept of mult., but has only the tables up to five memorized well. My ds7 has been doing addition & subtraction so we need to start somewhere around there. My other ds5 has been begging to have lessons, and he already knows the numerals & understands the amount associated with each. He learned that from daily life & his siblings, I guess. How does a mom keep track of all that? I keep a planner/journal of our work, but can’t figure out how to document this sort of math. How do I remember from day to day what each child did, what we need to work on, when we are ready to move to the next thing? Are we allowed to photocopy the scope & sequence in the book to use as a guide or checklist? Trying to wrap my brain around this… Do you have any words of wisdom? Thank you for such a great resource!Jordan SmithKeymaster
Are we allowed to photocopy the scope & sequence in the book to use as a guide or checklist?
Yes, you’re welcome to make copies from any of our books for your personal use or for the use of your immediate household.
Thank you. Including a copy of it in my planner/journal should help me stay on track with each child.Sonya ShaferModerator
One thing I did that has worked pretty well is looked at the next bit of work ahead and tried to find a natural break point. For example, with my youngest we are working with numbers 1-9; I thought double digits made an easy “next chapter” in my mind. Then I detailed just that chunk into smaller steps. It turned out like this:
- Introduce number, count forward and backward.
- Sums with items at hand.
- Sums with imagined items.
- Sums with pure numbers.
Since I’m using the CM Organizer for my planner, I created a resource called Numbers and Sums and entered those four divisions for each number 1-9, so 36 total divisions. Sort of like this with the 3 replaced with another number each time.
- Introduce number 3, count forward and backward.
- Sums with 3 items at hand.
- Sums with 3 imagined items.
- Sums with pure numbers for 3.
Then I can see where we are in the process and just check it as Worked On until we’re ready to move on to the next step. I added in a couple of specialized steps too. For example, in the middle of the steps on 5, I inserted working with nickels and pennies so I wouldn’t forget that step.
Once we get to 9, I’ll take a look at the next chunk and itemize it into smaller steps.
Hope this helps!cedargirlParticipant
Yes it does help!!! Setting up a list in the CMO for teaching reminders is brilliant! Thank you Sonya. I am very excited to do math in a whole new way next year. I definately need that DVD to see this all in action. Grateful for your resources Sonya and Richele.
Yes, that helps me too. I can’t use the CMO (yet!) b/c we have internet only on our phones. I try to make my planner/journal in a way that enables us to slow down, take a side road, etc. without tons of erasing. I just read this week’s blog and “guided discovery” is a perfect description of Charlotte’s approach to math as well as language!
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