Jump to content


Should I switch from RS Math to Ray's?

Recommended Posts

My dd (6) just finished her Kinder year, and we used RS Level A, and got about halfway through B. We just did the mid year test on B, and she did perfectly. I'm wondering, though, about Ray's arithmetic. I am drawn to it for the simplicity and rigor, as well as the fact that we can get the books for free online. RS is expensive, and though currently we have it paid for by our charter school, I am thinking of dropping the charter, and I don't know if we want to pay for RS ourselves.


Can someone give me and opinion on this one? If we get some counters, and abacus, and Ray's, would be be doing well for math? Or since she seems to be completely good with RS, should I keep going and not rock the boat?




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't used RS so I can't really say anything with regards to comparing the two, but we use Ray's and I have to say that I don't feel the need for anything else. We do a lot of practice with cuisinaire rods when needed and we play math war daily to drill the facts. Sometimes we mix it up with story problems from The Verbal Math Lesson, but that's really the only extra thing we do. I tend to like physical books rather than ebooks, so I bought the set, but they were only about $20. It helps to read The Eclectic Manual of Methods (The section that discusses math, which can be found on Google docs) so that you can get a feel for how to approach it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like Ray's, but as you get to the 3rd book there is a LOT of outdated material. There is a very cheap out of print book that can keep you on track, because it is very similar to book 3, but more up to date. Arithmetic Made Simple.


I tend to use Ray's, Simply Charlotte Mason Mathematics and copywork from How to Tutor to start, but then switch over to Arithmetic Made Simple and the more up to date Strayer-Upton after that. As an alternative (NOT a supplement), I also like Saxon, starting with 54, but not the earlier books, for students that are capable of keeping their butt in a chair, and are capable of moving onto high-school math. The older edition Saxon 54 through high school books are pretty cheap used, because there are so many of them around.


So my advice is, if you want to do Ray's for now, go ahead. I'd also download the Eclectic Manual of Methods, that was written to go with it. See if your library has How to Tutor; many do, and all of them can get it through ILL. It will help you use the tables in Ray's more effectively. And the SCM math is cheap and written based on vintage math books.


Another free resource that you might like, if you like vintage math is the African Waldorf pdfs. Another book you might be able to get at your library for free is the How is My _ Grader Doing in School? series (not to be confused with the Needs to Know series). HGD is a lot of unschooling type ideas for the 3Rs including math. You don't need either of these, but I'm just listing them because they are free and easily available and complement Ray's nicely.


If this is all too much information, just download the Ray's and Eclectic Manual for now. You'll be fine for months with just that. The rest of what I wrote is for a full K-8 education, and you can add these resources if and when you get bored or nervous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My impression is that the philosophy of Ray's is completely different from the philosophy of RightStart. Is that a change you feel comfortable with?


Math Mammoth might be more similar to RightStart (possibly...). I'm not familiar with it personally, though.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...