For those of you with experience using Ray’s Arithmetic, are there any placement tests? Our dd struggles with math and is not necessarily at grade level. She’s entering 5th grade in the fall, but needs work with mulitplication and has not had much exposure to division, fractions, decimals, or percents. A friend borrowed me the Parent-Teacher Guide and the Intellectual Level, which looks like it’s intended for 3rd/4th grade. However, it looks much too advanced for her. How do you place your children? Has anyone else had this issue? Is it too late to start Ray’s at this point?
I don’t think it’s too late to start with Ray’s if that is what you want to use. From the sounds of it she needs to start in the middle of Ray’s new primary arithmetic. That is the beginning of multiplication and divison. We are still working on memorization for the multiplication facts and ended up coming to a halt as working with fractions and everything else is easier once you have the math facts memorized. HTH
Edited: I ment to ask whether she understands the concepts of multiplication and just needs to work on memorization or if she is still struggling with what multiplication is.
She understands the concept and knows many of the multiplication facts, but a year ago, (end of 3rd grade) she hit a wall with MUS Gamma and multiple digit multiplication. I threw the baby out with the bath water and scrapped the whole program. This past year in 4th grade, we used Singapore, but went back to 2a/2b according to placement tests 🙁 Last night, I pulled up Ray’s Practical Arithmetic online and we played around with multiple digit multiplication using two digits such as 43 x 25. She got it! I also have Strayer-Upton Practical Arithemetics Book 1. I pulled random problems, again two digit by two digit and she worked them on a dry erase board. She actually thought it was fun! I definitely think there was a maturity factor playing out here. Unfortunately, over the past year and a half, she has developed math anxiety. After much thought and research, I want to change our approach to math. I was even thinking about skipping formal math altogether this year 🙂 Right now, she’s reading LOF for fun and I’m thinking on trying Ray’s or Strayer-Upton. I welcome any thoughts, ideas, and suggestions!! :))
If she is suffering from math anxiety then taking a break would be a good idea. Perhaps just work on memorization and do a few oral problems like she enjoyed to keep her engaged and having fun. I really like Rays for their “gentle” approach to math. It is laid out very well and easy for my ds to understand. We use manipulatives alot when introducing new math ideas as well wich helps a lot. However as mentioned in another post gentle does not mean easy. There is some real meat in these books.
After reading your post we will be switching to the practicle arithmetic book this coming year (4th for my ds). I’m not sure how the books are to be ordered but this would be a better fit for my ds as he continues to work on his memorization and just increase the knowlede he has about addition, subtraction, multiplacation, and division. Once he has that mastered then we will go back to the New Intellectual to pick up fractions and percentages. I don’t think this is quite the order Ray’s was ment to be used, but it does line up with the scope and sequence in Mathmatics, An Instument for Living Teaching.JanellParticipant
Practical Arithmetic book 2 goes right into long division. You may want to start with the latter lessons in the red book 1 if your daughter needs more practice. I really love the gentle but thorough way the red book introduces long division. It will help strengthen multi-digit multiplication skills too. I have Ray’s and all sorts of math texts that are awesome, but I stick with PA because it encompasses much of the same math instruction and is easier for us to get to consistenly every day. Don’t worry about grade level.
Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land..
Thank you so much Ruth and Janell! I’ve went through the red book and put a tab on each diagnostic page. I think we’ll start at the beginning and use the diagnostic pages for placement. We talked about setting a timer for so many minutes or doing one diagnostic page per day. If it goes well, she can proceed to the next. When she starts to struggle, we’ll back up according to “Page Helps” and pick up with lessons there. I do have a couple more questions regarding Strayer-Upton, but will bump back to the original thread.
BTW, I love the verse :))
Just for the record, does Ray’s have placement tests or diagnostic tests?
I have been looking and haven’t found any.
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