Topic | Rays for Today reviews

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  • Amber

    Has anyone used Rays for Today? Pros and cons? I’m planning on using the first two Charlotte Mason arithmetic books for my 1st and 3rd grade boys but I need something for my 5th grader. I’m curious about the RFT for him but I haven’t seen much about it. My other idea for him is using Strayer Upton book 2 and perhaps some LOF. Any insight on either of these ideas is greatly appreciated!!


    I’ve used all of the above and more:) As a teacher, I had a difficult time finding a math program that I understood and could stick with.

    Several of my children struggle with math and each has their own curriculum preferences.

    For two of mine, Ray’s for Today felt like too much. They balked at the repetition of building tables, etc. It felt boring and long to them.

    From a curriculum standpoint, it looks great on paper and would prepare a student well for life mathematically.

    I liked that it could be used independently for older kids.

    One child felt like the explanations were too wordy.

    Strayer Upton works fine for a good math teacher. I’m not there yet.

    Life of Fred we have used as a supplement for some. Others used it for a year or two. Two of mine used it for Trigonometry because it made the subject more interesting. My kids all liked the stories, but some preferred math time to be separate from stories. One child would cheat because she didn’t get it.

    In case you are curious, Singapore math is what we use now. My 11-year-old understands it best, and I like the methodology of the math.   I took two free classes on how to teach it, which helped immensely.

    For my little boys, we are excited to try Apologia’s new math. The method looks similar to Singapore and the correlation to science will be nice.

    If your children are fine with CM math, any of these choices would work. Life of Fred is a try it and see if they like the stories first, sort of thing.





    We use Ray’s for Today for my third and fifth graders.  We have tried several different curriculum options, but this one is really working well so far.  I finished last year going through Mathematics An instrument for living education to build up skills and work out gaps and then started RFT this year.  It is kind of wordy, but overall it explains things very well in my opinion.  Math is not my strong suit so I need a lot of hand holding as the teacher, and I feel like I get that from this.  We don’t use every part of the curriculum because well, it just gets to be too much and there is a lot of review built in.  I think I could give the curriculum to my third grader and she could pretty much teach herself.  My son needs much more interaction and doesn’t do well with the wordiness, so I read the lesson ahead of time and then explain it in terms I know he will get using the examples on the page.  I feel like this is the first year he actually gets what he’s doing and the why behind it.  I also love that it is much more like the way I learned math way back when.  Much more practical.


    We are also using Rays For Today right now and what has been mentioned I agree with.
    We started with the CM Living Math books from here, I went back to book 1 and 2 with my 10-11 year old, but as book 3 is not out yet, and could not make Strayer Upton work for myself. I needed more hand holding and I have some health things that are making me have brain fog so, I had to work on something that makes less effort for me in the moment with 4 kids.

    I am using the guild book for Mathematics An instrument for living education to help me determine the scope and sequence for my 11 year old right now (we are in book 4 of RFT). It is wordy when explaining some of the next steps, which seems to go against the way CM would let the kids come to understanding them selves, so I am starting to “pre-read” or read it in a summarized fashion. Some of the order of things I don’t agree with, like teaching how to change to proper fractions before adding fractions, but again- I am going by the order of scope in the Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Education.

    I wish I could work my brain around just using Strayer Upton because it is so cost effective, but it was not a go for me, so we are going to try and stick with RFT. I know that skipping around in math can really hinder a kid, but I have not found “the one” yet.

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