Anyone using this? Have you had success? I purchased the second book for my 6th grade ds and plan on moving into Systematic Mathematics afterwards. How do you go about the lessons? I’d love to hear how you’ve utilized it. Thanks much!
Hi. We use these books. We have been through the whole first book and are just getting started on the second. I love these books. So simple, yet thorough. We use them along with Life of Fred. I hardly ever make my kids do all the problems on a page unless it’s one of those pages full of story problems. I usually give them one lesson from LOF and then a little bit from Strayer Upton. So, for example, here is their schedule for this week:
(M) Fred ch. 15 and SU pg. 46 #1-7
(T) SU pg. 49 #1-10
(W) no school, outdoor co-op
(Th) Fred Bridge 1 and SU pg. 56 (1-20)
(F) Fred Bridge 2
I guess we use it in a complementary manner with Fred. In my opinion, Fred doesn’t have enough practice for my kids so the Strayer Upton has become the book where we practice what we are learning in Fred and also practice previously learned skills like multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. This is for my 10 and 11 year old kids.
Before this year, we used just Strayer Upton and I would have gladly continued that way if LOF didn’t exist. I think the SU books are great.
My younger daughter is working her way through the first book, the red one, right now along with Life of Fred Elementary in the same manner as what I described above.csmammaParticipant
Thanks so much. I think it’ll be a great fit for this particular ds of mine. Your reply has been most helpful! Blessings, Heather
pslively…are you still using SU Practical Arithmetics? I’d love to hear more about your experience.
Has anyone else used these exclusively?
I would love any insight or experience you are willing to share 🙂
I’m also looking to buy book 2 (blue) if anyone has it available.
Yes, we are still using them. 13 and 12 year old are not using right now and are exclusively doing Life of Fred Elementary Physics, but we will do some more work in tan S.U. when they finish. I’ll probably order book 3 after that.
10 year old has finished red book and moved into Simply Charlotte Mason Pet Shop Math. Older two also did that book after completing S.U. red. She is also going through LOF elementary series.
8 year old has completed about 100 pages of S.U. and is also doing LOF elementary. She is also working in Mission blue book. We use Miquon, LOF, and S.U. for elementary.
Does that help at all or just make it more confusing? 🙂
6 year old will start S.U. after he finishes Miquon Red.
That should say MIQUON blue book. Sorry, I am on my phone.
Practical Arithmetic books are my favorite math books. My three oldests have used books 1 & 2 (some of book 3 like a section on circles etc) and then jumped right into prealgebra and algebra. My dd16 was able to jump into Forester’s Algebra just fine and continues to use Saxon’s upper level books. My ds12 and ds14 went straight into prealgeba by Art of Problem Solving. They are now taking Art of Problem Solving online courses for Algebra 1 & 2. My nieces also used Practical Arithmetic books 1 & 2 exclusively before algebra and have had great math success. One of my nieces got a perfect math SAT score (she went into Saxon after PA book 2). Practical Arithmetic provides a strong foundation in computation skills needed for upper mathematics.
My younger children are using these books as well. They bring their books to me and we decide if they will work with a timer (15 to 30 minutes) or make a page goal for the day. Because the books progress incrementally, I don’t have to teach much. I am really there to help out when needed. And they do every problem in the books, which means I don’t supplement with other math texts or have the children do math fact drills. There is no need to.
I would love to answer any specific questions.
BTW, Book 2 is a brown book.
Yes, pslively, that does help 🙂
Janell, thanks for clarifying book 2 being brown. I actually have an orginal early 1900’s book 3 and it’s tan/brown. That’s why I got confused. I do still need “brown” book 2 🙂
I’m thrilled to hear your success of transition to high school/higher level math. I’m also thrilled to hear you don’t supplement. I’ve been very overwhelmed by math issues over the past year. I’m looking to simplify things here.
Do you feel PA provides enough problem solving?
On the other thread, I mentioned starting from the beginning and using the diagnostic tests for placement. Do you anticipate any problems with this?
I’m also intrigued by the fact that you “don’t have to teach much”. Do your children use manipulatives? Do you introduce/teach new concepts?
Also, the red book I have has answers in the back. Do you correct your child’s work each day or do you let them check their work?
Thanks so much,
Yes, Practical Arithmetics has plenty of word problems especially in the brown book. Back in the day when I first discovered PA, I thought “this is so Charlotte Mason” because of all the word problems. Having strong computation skills, my older children transitioned into algebra just fine. I doubted the books occasionally when we first started using them and worried that we weren’t doing much geometry and negative numbers. However, my children truly understood the why behind dividing fractions and converting fractions to decimals and percents. I don’t worry anymore and keep things simple here by sticking to those nearly 500 page books.
I think the diagnostic test idea is great, but it may simplify things if you try to settle soon somewhere in the book to continue steadily from (like page 310, if multiplication work is needed). Since you are teaching the child and not the math book, it’s definitely okay to skip or add computation problems. The books may seem to move slowly, but that is a good thing. Practical Arithmetics builds concept by concept with a lot of similar problems grouped together to produce mastery. My children don’t need much instruction from me because of the books’ pace.
When we begin math, each child tells me what he/she will do for the day as we look over the math book together. I ask if I can work a couple of sample problems with the child on the dry erase board. When the assignment is completed, the child checks his/her own work using the back of the book and brings it to me so I can look over it too. Right now, though, I still check my dd6’s work because she would get lost in the answer key with it’s small print. I haven’t had problems with cheating because I make a big deal about the privilege and honor it is to use the answer key independently.
I have sets of cuisenaire and Math U See rods that I use to teach basic addition and subtraction. I especially use them for multi-digit addition and subtraction problems, but I rarely use manipulatives once we hit longer multiplication and division problems. I keep the rods handy just in case.
I love the way the red book teaches the additive method for subtraction on page 68. I can subtract multi-digit problems mentally now using that method, and my husband who computes problems all day in his work loves the additive method instead of the borrowing method. So, I have my children learn both the additive and borrowing methods for subtraction. They work problems using both methods until they are ready to choose which way they want to do their subtraction. Some prefer the borrowing method over the additive. What?!
I hope that helps.
I just found this post and I am wondering what grade do you think the 3 rd book would be good for? I was thinking of putting my 12 year olds in prealgebra, they will be in 7th grade, but after seeing these, I am wondering if I should spend a year on these?
Suggested grade levels for the books are:
First Book: 1st-4th grades averaging 20 minutes a day
Second Book: 5th-6th grades averaging 30 minutes a day
Third Book: 7th-8th grades averaging 30 minutes a day (this text has a lot of interest rate calculations)
I also recommend SCM’s Pet Shop math if you wanted to strengthen computation skills before moving into prealgebra/algebra.
Janell….thank you so much for you time and thoughtful response. Your posts have helped me tremendously!…and the timing was impeccable.
I’ve been struggling with how to go about math off and on, really since we started homeschooling over 7 years ago. However, since our dd hit that wall in MUS at the end of 3rd grade (a little over one year ago), I’ve felt very unsettled. I’ve pulled that little red PA book off the shelf too many times over the last couple of years, but always thought I needed something more. After making the decision to finally go with it, yesterday while driving to our dd’s end of softball season party, I had this wonderful feeling of peace and contentment wash over me…that I haven’t felt in years. You know the feeling of just knowing you’re heading in the right direction…not necessarily on the perfect road, but in the right direction. :))
I may have more questions down the line, but at least for now I have a plan
You’re welcome, Melissa. Thank you, too, for your American History booklists and book reviews. I was able to check out This Dear Bought Land a couple of weeks ago. I copied your explorers booklist two weeks ago, so we’re sharing ideas. I love this forum. 🙂JenniferMParticipant
Oh… I was all set to pick back up with Math-U-See when we start back with lessons in August. After reading this thread, I went and pulled my copy of Practical Arithmetic Book 1 off the shelf and started perusing it. Even my husband was enjoying it one afternoon. Now I’m debating – PA or MUS for my 9 year old and 7 year old. AHHH!!! I love this forum, too, but sometimes it causes me to second guess myself! 😉ForJoyMember
I don’t know if the OP is still reading this thread, but I would caution you about using Systematic Mathematics. The instructor on the videos makes a lot of errors. Some, his students (grandkids) catch, others go uncorrected. It became so frustrating for my son that we decided to drop it and find something else – I just didn’t have the time (or patience) to monitor for errors. :-/ When I contacted the company, they said they had no plans of correcting the videos and did not offer an error page on their website. I really wanted to like this program but it became a no-go.
As for Strayer-Upton, we loved these books! My student’s only complaint was that the books were small and thick which made them difficult to lay open nicely while they did their work.
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