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Ray's Arithmetic Review by Teri Lucas

Are you looking for a no frills, tried and true classical math program? How about something which has been around for several hundred years that has been used to train men like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Alexander Graham Bell? Something with a teacher's manual written by Ruth Beechick? Is there a complete K through 12 program that is not going to require you to take out a bank loan and is non-consumable? Does this all sound just too good to be true? Ray's Arithmetic offers you the perfect solution. The complete 20 book series is now available on CD-ROM for just $59.00. The list of books included are as follows:

Basic Math:

Primary Arithmetic (94 pages)
Intellectual Arithmetic* (140 pages)
Practical Arithmetic* (actually comprised of two books/approx. 8000 problems, 336 pages)
Higher Arithmetic* (408 pages)

Intermediate Math:

Ray's Elementary Algebra* (240 pages)
Ray's Higher Algebra* (406 pages, answer key for text only)
Ray's Plane and Solid Geometry (250 pages, no key ever printed)
Ray's Geometry and Trigonometry (420 pages, no key ever printed)

Advanced Math:

Ray's Analytic Geometry (600 pages, advanced students, no key)
Ray's Differential and Integral Calculus (430 pages, no key)
Ray's Elements of Astronomy (somewhat outdated, but part of the original series, some good basic information)
Ray's Surveying and Navigation (actually a good study of Trigonometry)

* Contain answer keys and/or Tests

From the earliest beginnings of this classical math curriculum your student will become familiar with math language. Story problems are a regular feature. Instead of rote learning the child is given an understanding of mathematical rules and principles through computation based on examples of everyday experiences. Ray s Arithmetic takes the student through 3 stages in development: 1) the manipulative stage (includes suggestions for making manipulatives within text, not included), 2) the mental image stage, and 3) the abstract stage. Because there is no mention of grade levels in the original texts, the student simply begins where he/she is comfortable and continues through the remaining studies. A few subjects have been entirely re-written and in some cases the definitions have been simplified to bring them up to date.

Joseph Ray believed that the primary goal in teaching should be that of developing character, therefore problems in his text are not unlike those found in the Mennonite texts. They often portray hard working, industrious, generous and polite individuals.

It is important to note that this is a copy of the actual texts. You print the pages you need. Increasing view to 125% makes it quite easy to read producing a nice copy. Because over the course of time (about 30 years) various changes were made in the titles and mistakes occurred in the printing, you will find that the titles in this series (listed in each volume) differ somewhat. The collection is a definitive set of what was printed. Also, I did not receive the teacher s manual so I was not able to read Mrs. Beechick's comments, rather took the seller's word on this.

Below are 2 examples of problems taken from the Primary text:

1. If 3 be added to 3, and that sum to 5, what will be the result? (page 9)
2. If 4 men can mow a field of grass in 5 days, in how many days can 10 men mow the same field? (page 82)

I especially liked the fact that the students have to think about each problem. They are not simply memorizing methods or solutions, rather developing an increasing knowledge of mathematics. Overall, Ray's Arithmetic is a good classical comprehensive math curriculum for the money.

-- Product Review by: Teri Lucas, Staff Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine