Tagged: math, ray's arithmetic
This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Tanya 5 years, 11 months ago.

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Howdy y’all! I’ve been looking at math programs lately and came across Ray’s Arithmetic. It appeals to my budget and I’m having a hard time finding a good math program that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg! Has anyone used Ray’s and can you give me your impression or experience with it? Thanks so much!
Rachel
I downloaded Ray’s from google books, but have only glanced at it. But have you heard of Math Mammoth? That’s what I’m using with my girls – they are ebooks that cost about $3 to $5 each. The girls do two pages a day. I think the program is great and each book can be used for all the girls – I just print as many pages as I need. I’ve emailed a few times with the creator – who was a math teacher and then a homeschool mom – and she is very nice and helpful.
There are many free worksheets available on her site.
I use Rays, with the assistance of Ruth Beechicks guide. I alternate it with Developmental Mathematics (another inexpensive curriculum). They balance each other’s strenghs and weaknesses; I use Ray’s purely orally and then with D.M., I have a workbook to use, too. I use each two days a week.
I believe Ray’s is very thorough and I think the math skills of our ancestors (for example, those that calibrated the space launching and moon landings and return without a computer!) were strong enough for me to use what they did.
And yes, I can use it with both of mine for 3 years; I bought it used for 3.99, but it’s still a steal new. However, you do want to use Beechick’s guide with it.
Rachel
Thanks Rachel (my name also 😀 )! I really like the simplicity and clarity of older style mathematics, my kids seem to get really distracted by all the newer, flashy curricula and it ends up getting in the way of real learning. We’ve been using Making Math Meaningful Level I and Everyday Number Stories (from 1915) which are both very simple, I prefer function over form, but I am wanting a bit more of a challenge (and drill) without all the fuss. I love Ruth Beechick’s approach to math (I’ve nearly memorized her ” Easy Start in Arithmetic”) so when I saw that she authored the guide to Ray’s I was immediately drawn to it. Thanks for your helpful thoughts, at least I have until September to decide!
Rachel
Ok Rachels, Help me with this. I looked for Rays Arithmetic and found it but I am not finding the Guide by Beechick. Is the title Easy Start in Arithmetic? I didn’t look that up I just looked up under Beechick and found her other books but no math guide.
Thanks,
Shelly
ok I found it.
Shelly
Sure thing! An Easy Start in Arithmetic is one of three short booklets by Beechick under the title “The Three R’s”. These simple booklets have been fantastic for our family during the early years, I believe her book “You Can Teach Your Child Successfully” takes the basics a step further for 4th8th grade levels.
As for Beechick’s book in the Ray’s Arithmetic series, I believe it is simply the Parent/Teacher guide that comes with the 8 volume set. I am really leaning towards this series for our math learning, I’d love to know what your thoughts are too!
Rachel
I began 1st grade w/ dd using Ray’s and the accompanying workbooks (though the workbooks are unnecessary). It was simple and effective.
I began to doubt myself and have tried many things in the interim for 2nd grade Singapore, MathUSee, and Math Mammoth. I realize now I should have just kept on w/ the Ray’s. DD is not a math whiz, but all of the changes have done more harm than good and have put her behind. I am learning to trust my instincts more and I know I prefer many old fashioned books like Ray’s and methods like teaching cursive handwriting first.
I like the simple approach much better, too! I just obtained a copy of StrayerUpton Practical Arithmetic and plan to use this with Ray’s for 3rd grade for dd.
I have the actual set of books as I don’t like reading or printing from the computer. The book quality is great and I will be reusing w/ the next kids.
Christie
Christie,
I appreciate your response, I feel like I ought to just “trust my gut” and go with Ray’s but I keep doubting myself. We are not a strong math family, although we do enjoy working with numbers, we are a very literary/artistic family. I feel as though I will somehow be shortchanging my children if I don’t have them doing modern math curriculum programs with all the bells and whistles, but deep down I know that just isn’t true. I will need to have hard copies as we will be homesteading in a couple years and may or may not always have access to the computer, so that is definitely a benefit of using the hardcover Ray’s books. Also, I want to be able to use them for all 3 ages of my children over a period of several years rather than spending money every year for another set of curricula. Thank you for some good information, I really appreciate your thoughts!
Rachel
Rachel,
Not to confuse you with another option but I have been looking at Math on the Level. During the curriculum fair I was able to sit down with the homeschool mom that wrote it. It is an all inclusive nonconsumable math program for all ages preschool – pre algebra. I love that it is a more living math approach and that it gives you ways to teach the concepts but doesn’t lock you into a certain scope and sequence..you go at your childs pace. They also have a 60 day money back guarantee..so to me it was worth it to buy it have time to mull over it and see if it will work for us.
Shelly
Shelly, thank you for “confusing me with another option”! 😀 I’ve never heard of Math on the Level but I just spent some time looking at the sample pages and information on their website and it looks extremely CM friendly. It is a bit more expensive than I would like (isn’t everything! LOL) but with three children we would certainly get our money’s worth in the amount of years it would cover (a main reason why I was drawn to Ray’s). And now, there will be much prayer and supplication regarding which math books to choose…. I’m halfjoking! 😀 Thanks again for your thoughtfulness in passing along this information!
Rachel
Rachel,
The price of MOL did turn me away at first. But then I sat down and calculated what I have already spent with only 2 children so far $240(Horizons Math) and that is only through 3rd grade. I would have spent $90 this year since I will have an added student this year starting K. And that is only buying one new teacher book since I have all the 3rd and below teacher books. I realized that over the long haul it was much more cost effective..like you pointed out.
Of course things can look good and be more cost effective but only if they are a good fit for your family and you WILL use them instead of giving up and switching curriculum after a year of using it.
That was what appealed to me with MOL. I can taylor it to my family, or a particular child, I have flexibility to meet the needs of each child and of my own teaching style (sometimes TO relaxed) :). And I can use it over and over again. Now I am excited about learning Math..living math not just giving my dc a wkbk. YEAH!!
Shelly
What is the difference in the printed books and the CD version? There are many more books on the CD, but not all the titles are the same, or some include “new” in the title.
Polly
Hi Rachel,
We use Ray’s mixed with Miquon. One of the reasons I like Ray’s is that it gives “real life” math. I know that word problems can sometimes be intimidating to kids, but Ray’s starts with word problems from the beginning, so it’s not scary. Also, it shows kids that there is a reason for math and that we actually use it. Now we are still on the lower levels, but I hear that the upper levels are very solid. I bought the actual books and it is quite economical. I use Miquon math also for some handson playing, discovering, etc. I feel like they complement each other well. Hope that helps!
Tanya
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