Published by Memoria Press, Rod & Staff Publishers Inc. Format: Hardcover, Paperback
Source: Memoria Press
Next on our schedule I believe, is Mathematics.
Going in, I knew our year with Memoria Press Kindergarten would be great, but I didn’t know what parts were going to help add up to that greatness. One of my biggest surprises was in the math department. The full curriculum package provided by Memoria Press for their Kindergarten Classical Core Curriculum utilizes not only the Numbers Books series from Memoria Press, but also Rod & Staff Beginning Arithmetic 1, Part 1 (and the Teacher’s Edition and Practice Sheets). I really wavered on whether or not I would use R&S math or something else, I kept hearing about so many people just substituting in something they already liked. For me personally, I know I liked the higher levels of Saxon math but not the Larson elementary years. I don’t really know anything about Singapore, and we’re not willing to just throw it to the computer with something like Teaching Textbooks so I was already indecisive. Yet with the inspiration of the people behind the packages at Memoria Press I decided to give Rod & Staff Beginning Arithmetic 1 a try, and I haven’t looked back since!
I LOVE Beginning Arithmetic 1!
In the Lesson Plans for One Year in Kindergarten use the first portion Part 1, the lesson plans for One Year in First Grade use a review of Part 1 and fully Part 2 in the second half Lesson 70+, so we are building a foundation this year. (There is an eight week review period at the beginning of the first grade year.) Topics covered include the very basics of identifying and writing numbers with adorable little phrases to the addition of sums to six and telling time to the hour.
Beginning Arithmetic is a gentle introduction to math concepts. The text is full of Christian and family friendly examples in problems and explanations. Fully black and white it is left without distraction yet not quite bland either, as segments have small illustrations capable of being colored as well as practice sheets that included dot-to-dots, find the image and more.
I am honestly surprised with how much I like R&S math.
I did not expect to but I love it. The parables in examples, the merge from gray tracing to copying and then calculations. The introduction in one lesson and the “homework” reinforcement in another. My daughter enjoys it as well and always surprises us with what she retains. I will not say she is always eager for math, but overall it is a win an I do not hesitate to consider continuing with Rod & Staff Working Arithmetic 2 as a part of our 2nd Grade math plan.
This course is designed to start at the beginning of the first grade. 170 lessons are bound in two workbook with 1 tear-out sheet for each lesson. No unit or chapter divisions are given. Money, measures, place value, fractions, and so forth are taught throughout the year while addition and subtraction facts are being drilled.
One hardcover teacher’s manual covers the whole course. The preliminary information in the beginning should be thoroughly read so you understand exactly where you are going. This manual is essential for the course. Directions are given to guide the teacher in class time to assure that important concepts are taught and drilled. A reduced copy of the pupil’s lesson is included with answers filled in.
In the Teacher’s Manual, each lesson is outlined under three main headings: Preparation, Class Time, and Follow-up.
Preparation lists the things to do before school in the morning. Gather the materials that are listed. Put the chalkboard samples on the board. The notation with each one tells at what point you will use it in class time.
Class Time outlines your teaching session with numbered points. These points generally begin with review drills and move on to new concepts and preparation for the workbook assignment. Bold print is to be spoken by the teacher or recited with the class. The last point is always the assignment of the lesson.
Follow-up gives further practice which may be done in various parts of the day. Do the drill activities after the children have finished their workbook pages or in another part of the day. Many of them are little activities that can put odd minutes to constructive use, perhaps even lunchtime.
As the children become accustomed to school and math, you may have them do the practice sheets independently. The papers for each day could be put in a designated place for each child to take and complete according to his ability. Encourage the goal of finishing all the papers each day. A vigorous arithmetic program is valuable for several reasons. Thoroughly learned basics will be a lifelong benefit. And the habit of industrious diligence will be a character blessing as well as academic advantage.
Many lessons in the Teacher’s Manual include brief selections from the Bible placed there for your personal inspiration. As you find it suitable, you may share these bits with the children as you teach them arithmetic. You may find them a source of ideas for the devotional period.
In the lesson plans, Memoria Plans plans a lesson to work on and schedules in supplemental reinforcement with their own Numbers Books and the Beginning Arithmetic Practice Sheets.
This practice is provided in the form of reproducible worksheets to allow the teacher to tailor the amount of work to the needs and ability of the class. Each lesson lists recommended practice sheets for that day in the Follow-up section of the Teacher’s Manual.
Most important are the ones in the middle of the list coded with a black circle. The first ones, marked with an open square, are more fundamental, and should be done first if the students are doing them all. The last ones, marked with an open diamond, are extra activities for challenge or interest. These should be kept for last. Since the slower students might rarely have the pleasure of doing these, try to provide occasional opportunity for them to do the extras too.
The Practice Sheets are categorized by skill. The list for each day in the Teacher’s Manual names the skill and the number of that worksheet within that skill category. On the practice sheet itself, the lesson number is given in the oval at the top of the page.
These numbers correspond to the recommended listing in the Teacher’s Manual, but practice sheets are intended to be flexible. Use them according to your best purposes.
Some frequently used practice sheets are called Forms, they are distinguished by capital letters.
A thorough sample inside view of the Teacher’s Manual is available online from Milestone Books. The books for Beginning Arithmetic 1 are all a creamy orange clementine color. I look forward to the pale purple lavender of Working Arithmetic 2 in our future. There is enough drill to cover and truly learn concepts and I enjoy this approach.
In the process of figuring out Jr. K I was blessed to get my hands on the Memoria Press Numbers Books 1 & 2. While we are not using them this year, I’m definitely holding on to them for next year. *This was originally reviewed with the Junior Kindergarten Curriculum. Junior Kindergarten also used Rod & Staff books for math in the form of their preschool A-B-C and G-H-I series.* Looking at these I’m eager and excited. As I mentioned before we’ve had green, yellow, pink, and blue and now we have lavender and orange or I’d love to call it clementine. Really they should all be that, it’s sage, buttercup, rose, cornflower, lavender and clementine — that’s what I’m going with.
Written by Leigh Lowe (author of Prima Latina), the Numbers Book is the perfect introduction to numbers, counting, and patterns. Lots of tracing practice also makes this book ideal for the slightly older student, who has already mastered counting, but still needs extra practice writing numbers. The activities (mazes, coloring, pattern recognition, connect the dots, and more!) are so much fun that your student won’t be able to wait for the next lesson!
The cover on this one contains the same bushel of apples we saw on the Numbers Coloring Book except now we have the little boy from the Alphabet Books helping to carry the bushel with a little girl in yellow with an adorable bow on the side of her head. Again, this graphic designer has talent that I enjoy to see. Using similar images that we have come to enjoy from the Alphabet and Numbers Books that we have already experienced we find these again in the Numbers Books. Numbers Book, Part One contains pages on numbers 0-15 and then an appendix of reproducible pages. Numbers Book, Part Two contains a 100s counting chart and then pages on 16-20, followed by review pages and then less details pages to learn higher numbers up to 100. Interspersed throughout are pages to work on patterns, and same/different. There are also numberline activities, dot to dot, color by number and decoding. Then again is an index full of reproducibles to help on the writing experience. Book Two has about twenty more pages in it than Book One.
I received a portion of this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.
Make sure to check out the parts of my Kindergarten review in posts to come!
You might also be interested in Junior Kindergarten.