Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Product: Ray's Arithmetic Complete K-12 curriculum
Company: Dollar Homeschool
If you've ever wanted to go back in time and see what was taught over 100 years ago in a one room school room then Ray's Arithmetic may be the program for you. I received this complete curriculum from Dollar Homeschool to review as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew and I have to say that I was impressed. Despite being written well over 100 years ago these textbooks felt warm and familiar to me (though I would have LOVED to have them in print, Dollar Homeschool offers the program on CD so I couldn't quite snuggle up with the computer).
Ray's Arithmetic was used for over 50 years in pioneer schoolhouses all over America and millions and millions of students have been taught using this method. Does this make it a good program? Well, for the most part it aligned with my view of math in that the youngest of students are taught to recognize numbers by sight and not to count on their fingers to solve problems. The abacus and other manipulatives are used heavily in the first year (with absolutely NO written work for the first year). As the child progresses through the program, it changes so that the teacher can assign pages of the text for the students to work on individually while she works along with the younger students making it ideal for a school setting with numerous children of different ages. Math doesn't change much over the years so it is just a valid today as it was over a century ago. As you progress into algebra/calculus some solutions get long winded and better methods for solving these equations have come to light since the text was written but for the most part this text is just as good today as it was when it was first being used. At a price of $59US even if you just use the product for elementary school then you have well spent your money.
While we did not, and likely will not, be using this program in our homeschool I do think it is a valuable resource if you want to teach your children from classic texts. I cannot think of a better price for a complete math curriculum out there anywhere. I very much enjoyed reading the Manual of Methods and A Manual of Arithmetic as it emphasized to me that the way that I naturally teach my children math is actually a proven method of arithmetic instruction. I will likely use some of the worksheets for my children as they continue along in their study of math. For $59US you get 38 .pdf files including complete textbooks covering a wide variety of topics, answer keys and two manuals on how to teach the program to your students. The manuals are invaluable and the texts are clear so that once your children are on the road to independent studies then they should be able to complete most of their math work on their own. For the price, all this is really an exceptional deal that I encourage you to look into on the Dollar Homeschool website.
***Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.