First Year in Number is a free math book that takes a “real objects” approach. Those familiar with Ruth Beechick’s ideas will likely find the book complementary.

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.

Ruth Beechick, An Easy Start in Arithmetic

First Year in Number takes this “real objects” approach:

Each topic is developed concretely in connection with some interest of children; the new facts are then established through games and exercises; and, finally, power and independence in the use of number facts are acquired through a variety of applications to common situations in the lives of children. Every step is made as interesting as possible, but no time is wasted in mere entertainment.

Despite the simplicity of the book, it does cover an amazing array of topics including:

  • Counting.
  • Addition and subtraction.
  • Measurement.
  • Fractions.
  • Time.
  • Money.
  • Multiplication and division.

You’ll also find drill exercises and games for use after a child is familiar with the concrete.

We highly recommend An Easy Start in Arithmetic by Ruth Beechick (found in the compilation The Three R’s). But for those who prefer something already laid out for them (or those looking for extra practice), you may find what you need in First Year in Number.

Free eBook

Additional Resources

Math texts are such a personal thing when it comes to finding that perfect fit. If First Year in Number doesn’t work for you, you might try one of these other free options:

Beechick Basics

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. Highly recommended for the homeschool handy-mom. (Can also be purchased as one of The Three R’s.)

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