Monday, February 22, 2010

Reviews: Rays Math/Dollar Homeschool

I know that all it seems that I do on here is review curriculum, but we have had rather a lot of things to do recently and my children have been ill since Christmas. My youngest is still not himself as he has a dose of shingles, as well as flu.

The above curriculum is a rather interesting and 'old' one. Rays Math on CD is put together by a company called Dollar Homeschool. On this CD is a collection of books now in PDF format which are a Math text book series from the 1800's. On looking at the initial amount of files I was overwhelmed, but then I began to read them and focused on just the first few books that were of use to me at this time in our homeschool journey.

I opened up the Welcome folder which explained how to work out where to start your child in the series and how to move from one book to the other and when. The 'Manual of Methods' book explained each method, how to teach the math and explaining why it is taught this way. On reading this I realized that most of the lessons are taught orally and using manipulative's like balls, buttons, sticks, marbles etc to teach the student the number concepts. A second teachers manual is called 'A Manual of Arithmetic' and presents in detail how to teach these different levels of Math.

The Student series begins with the book called Ray's Primary Arithmetic. I have used many pages from this manual as an alternative math curriculum on days when I did not want my son to do his written math. I had him march around the table reciting the answers to the quick math questions I was asking him. These were basic " What is 6 + 7", what is 7 + 6, what is 6 + 8, what is 8 + 6. The questions are set up like this in order to get the student to be able to learn the reverse equations and not just one directional. Basic addition and subtraction have improved amazingly in my son's math ability. He has had to think fast and as he is moving and not sitting still at a desk his brain has worked better. He is a fidget child. We will progress towards the multiplication level later in this year probably.

The set of books on CD is all in PDF format as I said before but when you open one book you can access all the others through the Bookmarks column on the left side. You can flip from one book to the other easily without having to go back and locate the individual file you need. That is convenient. There are 38 books in the series which is part of the Ecelectic Education Series but can be purchased separately for $59.00. The books on the CD range from Primary level all the way through to 12th Grade and include difficult topics like Algebra and even Bookkeeping. At the end of looking through what was on the CD there is a lot to read and absorb so I could not do all of that but I am impressed. You can find details of this set at the following link:

Once you are used to the language and flow of the books you can adapt the way you teach and see your child benefit more from learning that just using a non-reproducible book. This does save on the cost of your math curriculum for the younger children. I have chosen to use these books as a support to the math I have already chosen for my son and it is helping him grasp concepts faster. It seems that children in the 1800's and early days of America could count better than they can today. Perhaps my son will be different if he learns these basics when he is young.

There is a video on the website that you can watch to give you more ideas on the series and there is always the rest of the TOS Homeschool Crew's reviews to look at. They are individual opinions on the same product or a variation of Rays Arithmetic and/or Eclectic Education Series. See the other reviews here:

As a part of the 2009/10 TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent this product free of charge to review and share my opinion on this blog.

No comments: