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:bigear: I am a long-time MUS devotee, but my youngest may be going to brick & mortar school earlier in his educational career than his older sibs have/will. I want another way to "cover" multiple facets of elementary math, so that if ds7 (now 1st grade) goes into school in 3rd or 4th grade, he will not be at a loss from not knowing things MUS did not address yet. (MUS works from "mastery" approach and the main concern I have is not covering fractions in the earliest grades.)

 

Anyone who knows about Rays or has a better suggestion, please pipe up. :001_smile:

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I keep getting interested in maths curriculums other than what we use, including math-u-see, Strayer Upton and Rays Arithmetic.

 

However, no matter what curriculum I look into, I always see lots of people saying that our curriculum is either basically the same or better LOL. Which is very good for my pocket and staying standard.

 

We use Singapore Maths.

 

I have seen people Compare Rays Arithmetic to Strayer Upton, saying they are basically the same but that one has more books, but that Strayer Upton is easier to teach, then people comparing Strayer Upton to Singapore and saying the layout and approach is practically the same, just the Singapore is obviously newer and more brightly coloured/visual approach. Then Math-u-see threads saying that content/topics were missed and they changed to Singapore and were happy with the overall program.

 

So I guess I am happy where I am. Not sure if that helped you, but thats what I have gleaned from the various threads LOL. :lol:

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:bigear: I am a long-time MUS devotee, but my youngest may be going to brick & mortar school earlier in his educational career than his older sibs have/will. I want another way to "cover" multiple facets of elementary math, so that if ds7 (now 1st grade) goes into school in 3rd or 4th grade, he will not be at a loss from not knowing things MUS did not address yet. (MUS works from "mastery" approach and the main concern I have is not covering fractions in the earliest grades.)

 

Anyone who knows about Rays or has a better suggestion, please pipe up. :001_smile:

 

 

For brick-and-mortar prep, it would be hard to outdo Singapore. We use MUS as our spine and are fine switching into the matching level of Singapore, I just teach what he's missed. Singapore, with the Home Instructor Guide and the tests and a suppement (I like the MathSprints), would provide you with a daily schedule and a rigorous, standards-based math curriculum. Ray's has it's fans (not me, esp, but I only used it for a few days) but prep for brick-and-mortar is not something they use it for, as far as I know.

 

You could also just supplement MUS with the Critical Thinking Company's grade-appropriate math test prep book.

 

I am not sure that Singapore introduces fractions early, though ... if you are esp. concerned about fractions, you might want to use something like the Key to Fractions books. You can find them at Amazon, too.

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My husband used Rays for a good portion of his education (he was hs) and he says that Rays has the most real-world application problems of any curriculum he was ever exposed to. And that they continued all the way though up into the higher levels.

 

I would also add that my husband has BY FAR the most amazing mental math abilities of anyone I have ever known. He does civil construction (big bridges, dams, etc.) and it is common on every job site that the guys will gather around him with their carpenter's calculators (specifically made to do construction trig and volume stuff quickly and easily) to see if he can still "beat the calculators". He always does. It's really amazing.

 

Once I am back in full swing, I'll be going through his old Rays books. THere is no doubt that they will be incorporated with our children, and quite possibly will be their main math curriculum at some point.

 

Tracey in Oregon

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I like them. I notice they are a bit less consistent in transition than the Strayer-Uption, and that the different levels each have a different feel to them. I'm not sure how to put it, but there is a choppier feel when jumping from level to level, which might be a good thing :-0 My Ray's are on the back burner and SU is up front for right now, but I cannot say that I intend for it to stay that way.

 

I like the older Ray's better than the New, so I need to print out the books. I'd say that is one of the primary reasons I'm not using Ray's right now. I got in a math textbook mood one night, grabbed my SU, and started plugging away and haven't stopped.

 

Ray's and SU have taught me how to be quicker and more accurate with math. They also overlap with a lot of Waldorf ideas that fascinate me, but that I don't feel confident to implement. I definitely have old school math priorities and philosophies. I like some of the new stuff too, but like to use it as frosting. I like the integrated high school math that was used and abandoned in New York in the 1990s, so I'm not just old fashioned, but I just have my priorities, and most modern publishers differ from them.

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For brick-and-mortar prep, it would be hard to outdo Singapore. We use MUS as our spine and are fine switching into the matching level of Singapore, I just teach what he's missed. Singapore, with the Home Instructor Guide and the tests and a suppement (I like the MathSprints), would provide you with a daily schedule and a rigorous, standards-based math curriculum. Ray's has it's fans (not me, esp, but I only used it for a few days) but prep for brick-and-mortar is not something they use it for, as far as I know.

 

You could also just supplement MUS with the Critical Thinking Company's grade-appropriate math test prep book.

 

I am not sure that Singapore introduces fractions early, though ... if you are esp. concerned about fractions, you might want to use something like the Key to Fractions books. You can find them at Amazon, too.

 

Great info in here. Thanks so much! I didn't even think about Keys to Fractions, but that might be a good way to cope with that particular "weakness" of using MUS.

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  • 3 months later...

I have homeschooled 7th and 8th graders from the get go using only Ray's Primary (K-3) and Ray's Intellectual Math (4-6) volumes and Singapore Math through 6th grade. We aged out of the Primary Singapore into New Elementary Math in 7th grade with good results.

 

For classical home educators, who value a language-based approach to learning, Ray's cannot be beat. The mesmerizing lessons, if given orally, build fluency in the basic operations. Although the lessons seem repetitive at first glance, the word problems contain subtle differences in phrasing as you go through a lesson. This trains the student's ear to listen for cue words which signal different math operations. For example, if you ask the child what is 1/3 of 9, he will hear "of" and multiply the fraction by the whole number. The chapters in Intellectual Arithmetic on fractions, ratios and proportion are the best possible boot camp to prepare for (heck, graduate from) 5th grade math as they cannot be passed unless the kid knows his math facts.

 

I have used Ray's with Singapore in the following way. One of the chief criticisms of the primary level Singapore books is that they lack enough practice and review to produce mastery. Perhaps, although I did not find this to be true. Then comes Ray's, with its literary boot-camp format. We used to take walks while we did Ray's. Fresh air and fractions. The K-6 stuff for Ray's is well-adapted for mental maths in the format of parent-asks-kid-answers. It worked very well, and more importantly, I knew what the kids did not know. In other words, if they got stuck on a math fact, guess what flash card would get pulled out for review?!

 

Ray's could thus be used as a problem bank for building mastery in Singapore. It can also be used as a "vacation" math book. My kids liked oral math lessons -- no mom to complain about penmanship!

 

Ray's word problems are the absolute best. They ask the question in every possible way and force the student to grasp the essence of what is being asked. The multifarious approach prepares the student for real life where problems are not framed in only one way. Simply wonderful and easy for the harried home educator to use -- the small neat volume fits in one hand.

 

The Practical Arithmetic volume of Ray's is geared to the pre-Algebra Middle-schooler, and again, offers real-world word problems, phrased in a variety of ways, to build confidence in more complex calculations.

 

I wish you luck and hope that this helps.

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