Saturday, December 31, 2011

Use Ray's Arithmetic and Math Worksheet Generators to Teach Homesschool Math for Free

The very first public domain math book that I ever heard of was Ray’s New Primary Arithmetic for Young Readers. And after skimming the book it quickly became evident that this is an excellent resource for teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. I suspect that the book could be used as the sole means of teaching arithmetic. But I use it along with a few other free resources available online to help my kids become proficient in basic math.

Flash Cards are Your (and Your Kids) Friends
Flash cards are my favorite way to have children memorize math facts. I know it’s old school. But it worked way back when and it still works today. I printed off addition flash cards for numbers 1 - 9 from And I found 10 through 12 on another site, the name escapes me right now. But there are numerous free printable flash cards available online; they’re just a search away.

I printed them out, cut them all to roughly the same size, and laminated them. Yes, it was time consuming. But I invested some time and now I have cards that are already being used by 2 of my students and will be able to be passed down to my youngest when the time comes.

Once the children have their addition facts memorized then I will go through the same process for subtraction, multiplication, and division. I teach in the same order as Ray’s Arithemetic does. 

Math Worksheet Generator
To reinforce the math facts I print out math worksheets from Super Kids. You can customize the sheets to be exactly what you need. For example, if my daughter has half of the 3s addition facts memorized then I generate a worksheet with a minimum number of “0” and a maximum number of “6” and all of the numbers are added to 3. Take a look at the generator and you’ll see what I mean. 

What’s 3 + 5?
I also quiz the children randomly throughout the day to see if they are truly memorizing their work. It’s not unusual for me to ask them a few facts at the kitchen table or while they’re playing with toys or whatever. I also sometimes make a game out of the flash cards. I quiz the child and if she gets the answer right then she gets to keep the card, if not I keep the card. Whoever has the most cards at the end of the game wins. This was my husband’s idea and the children actually started learning their facts quite quickly once there was some competition involved.

As you can see, it’s not that difficult to use public domain books in combination with other free online resources and come up with a very effective way of teaching arithmetic in your homeschool.

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