Monday, January 25, 2010

TOS Crew: Dollar Homeschool/Ray's Arithmetic

When I got an email for the Crew from Dollar Homeschool/Ray's Arithmetic, I really didn't know what to expect.  I thought it was going to be just another math course for Jacob and I to review.  Little did I know the background behind it or what all it entailed.  Dollar HomeschoolEES, or Eclectic Education Series, which was the set of textbooks used back in the one-room schoolhouses from 1865-1915.  I was immediately intrigued by this. is actually a company that has brought back into existence, for homeschoolers everywhere, the

We actually had the privilege of reviewing the entire math collection, Ray's Arithmetic.

This CD is comprised of 38 books, including textbooks, teacher's editions, answer keys, and some extracurricular math books.  Here's a listing of just the math textbooks included:
  • Ray's Primary Arithmetic
  • Ray's Intellectual Arithmetic
  • Ray's New Elementary Arithmetic/Rudimentary Arithmetic
  • Ray's New Practical Arithmetic
  • Ray's New Higher Arithmetic
  • Ray's New Elementary Algebra
  • Ray's New Higher Algebra
  • A Complete Algebra
  • Ray's Treatise on Geometry and Trigonometry
  • Ray's Analytic Geometry
  • Ray's Differential and Integral Calculus
  • Ray's Elements of Astronomy
  • Dubbs Problems for Practical Arithmetic
  • Complete Book Keeping
  • Schuylers Logic
  • Schuylers Surveying and Navigation
  • Norton's Elements of Physics
  • A Complete Algebra
  • White's First Book of Arithmetic
  • White's Intermediate Arithmetic
  • White's New Complete Math
  • White's Practical Problems in Arithmetic
This is such a comprehensive list that I picked just a few to give a more thorough review on; also seeing as Jacob is only in 2nd grade, there were only a few that we can use right now.  I can say, though, that I'm very grateful to have this as a resource later on in future years.

Ray's Primary Arithmetic begins by teaching your student to count.  It has oral exercises, as well as written exercises, which is good for Jacob.  I try to use both types of exercises with him in math because it seems to help him learn it even more quickly and in different ways by using both auditory and visual/kinesthetic learning styles.  Next the book progresses into addition, and I noticed that there are a lot of word problems, which is also something that Jacob and I can use over and over, as he struggles somewhat with word problems.  Just to give you an example of how the book presents addition problems, here is one: 5 and 1 are 6.  That's the format of the combinations.  Likewise, as you get into subtraction, the combinations are set up like the following: 4 from 9 leaves 5.  After subtraction comes multiplication and then division.  All of these basic math concepts are taught in a very mental/intellectual way.  Towards the end of the book come concepts like money, weight and measures, etc.  I can definitely see us using this as a supplement over the next couple of years, although it could most certainly be used as a main text.  With a few black and white illustrations throughout, it's not the most eye-catching text, but the amount of learning to be had with the use of this book far outweighs any cosmetic disadvantages.

As you progress each year to the next level and the next book, you begin with some rudimentary review, just so your child can be sure he understands previous concepts.  

Ray's Intellectual Arithmetic begins with a review of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and then proceeds right into fractions.  I know with Jacob that I have to illustrate a lot of concepts, so that he can visually see it before he understands it, so I'd have to make use of the dry erase board, since there are not a lot of illustrations that accompany the text.  This could be a good thing, though, as it promotes more of a mental form of math, which is needed out in the real world.  Ratios and percentages are taught after fractions are mastered.  The amount of word problems is just amazing....I was thinking I needed to buy a supplement for Jacob in his math for this very purpose, but I can see now that I have all I need right here to help me teach him basic concepts.

Rudimentary Arithmetic begins with Roman numerals and place value.  It then proceeds into more advanced mental exercises with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Money, weight, and measures are incorporated, and everything is just much more advanced.

Elementary Arithmetic again begins with a review and then proceeds into more advanced problems, even leading into decimals and the metric system.

White's First Book of Arithmetic is much like Ray's Primary Arithmetic in the beginning, but you quickly notice that it covers more than just primary math.  It's actually meant to cover 3 years worth of work in arithmetic, leading from addition all the way through fractions, decimals, and measurements.  

Again, there may not be a whole lot of cosmetic advantages to the series, although the pictures in the books are wonderful, in my opinion; they just are not as colorful as a lot of today's books.  Pictures don't make the book, though; that's just common sense.  What I mean is that there aren't illustrations to go along with the concepts....they could easily be illustrated by a teacher or parent, though.  One specific advantage you have with this whole program is that you have all of the K-12 school years covered in math, once you purchase this series.  Granted, it is a PDF file, so you have to print it, but it's everything!  The best part is that it's only $59 for this CD.  If you have multiple children, this is a truly huge savings when it comes to purchasing math programs for all of them.  Not only that, but you don't have to pay extra for all of the teacher's editions and answer keys.  They are right there. Another great thing about this series is that it was designed to keep in mind the children who were living on the frontier, who were being taught by their parents.  It is designed to be self-teachable and progress in a logical manner for the child.  You can find out more about Ray's Arithmetic on the Dollar Homeschool site.  Just to let you know also that you can buy, for a limited time, the whole EES for $159 with a 30 day money back guarantee.

To read more reviews, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.

(Disclosure: I was provided this CD, free of charge, by Dollar Homeschool/Ray's Arithmetic, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.)


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