The Arithmetic Primer by Frank H. Hall is another wonderful tool in the DIY homeschool mom’s toolbox!
Frank H. Hall wrote a series of arithmetic books published by Werner School Book Company in the early 1900s. There were two series — one graded and one not graded. The primer was intended to stand alone and precede either of the two series of arithmetic work.
The premise behind the Frank Hall books was that number work in the early years should be primarily oral. This agrees with Dr. Mary Hood, Dr. Ruth Beechick, and others who believe we do not need to put a math text before our children until 3rd grade or even later.
This is not to say that children in those younger years should avoid math! Not at all. In fact the opposite is true — a solid foundation in what we might call “mental math” needs to be laid.
Children grow through three modes of thinking about arithmetic….
With real objects, three-year-olds can do problems that are not introduced until second grade, or later, in textbooks. Children can think about spoons, candy, fruit, and friends very early in life. And they can figure out some surprisingly complex problems. Just give them a chance.
The Arithmetic Primer is one way to set your child on the right road. The primer lays the groundwork necessary to help a first-year student learn arithmetic. Therefore, the first section of the book is aimed at parents wishing to get their children off to a great start in arithmetic, or for remedial work or review.
For the first year of school, number-work:
should be mainly oral, should occupy comparatively little of the pupil’s time, and should be presented incidentally in connection with (1) the administrative duties of the teacher, (2) nature work, (3) constructive work, and (4) reading.
Therefore, you’ll find instructions and suggestions for using math in connection with time, plants, animals, weather records, drawing, paper-folding, and exercises using books.
After the teaching instructions you’ll find the student exercises — to be completed using oral or mental arithmetic — along with review exercises.
No matter how you end up teaching math (and once you do switch to a math textbook we recommend sticking with it and working through the series you have chosen sequentially) you’ll find this primer does a very adequate job in helping your child understand numbers!
An Easy Start in Arithmetic by Dr. Ruth Beechick
Targeting parents of children in grades K–3, this title explains how children learn math — progressing through manipulative, mental image, and abstract modes of thinking — and then provides a course of learning and suggestions for teaching math for each grade. Excellent tutor for the homeschool handy-mom. (Can also be purchased as one of The Three R’s.)