We use Ray’s Arithmetic at our house and I love it. We started with it (except for a little trial of Saxon a year ago), so dd doesn’t know anything else. I found a review of Ray’s that summed it up a lot better than I could. Even if you don’t use Ray’s there are still helpful things to know below.
In James Rose’s A Guide to American Christian Education, James Kilkenny lists things to consider when buying math resources (P. 249-250).
1. Statement of principles and rules. Ray’s Practical Arithmetic says
Every principle is clearly explained by an analysis or solution of a simple example from which a rule is devised. The application of the rule to the solution of problems of gradually increasing difficulty completes the presentation of the subject.
The exercises have been constructed with a view to affording the mental discipline necessary to strengthen the reasoning power and to giving the pupil a mastery over the problems that are sure to present themselves in the common walks of life.
Ray’s method is to explain a principle, analyze the principles, derive a rule and assign exercises to which the principles and rules may be applied (p. 249).
2. Overall organization
The logical organization of an arithmetic course is:
I. Skills of counting
B. Written (notation and numeration)
II. Categories of Application
A. Counting individual objects or individual groups
B.Counting equal parts
C. Counting units of measure
3. Are scripture references inherent to arithmetic?
Is the Scriptural foundation and use of the subject identified, or are the Scriptural references tacked onto each chapter as a pious exercise that bears little or no relationship to the nature of the subject? The teacher should do his own study of the Scriptural origin and purpose of the subject so that he will be able to intelligently apply this standard (p. 250).
What if you have already invested in another math curriculum? Mr. Kilkenny states:
“…the teacher who understands the organization of arithmetic can pick and choose useful exercises and statements of principle from books that fail to measure up to standards one and two.”
Things I personally love about Ray’s:
Or you can get the book version from Mott Media. They also offer workbooks that follow their books for extra drills.
While FACE officially recommends another math program, they have endorsed Ray’s in the past and offer Ray’s from their site. I also recommend FACE’s Mathematics Curriculum Guide. It’s full of helpful information, suggested scope and sequence and help for discovering and applying Biblical principles.