School Arithmetics by George Wentworth and David Smith is a series of math books written in 1919 for the elementary years. The series has been favorably compared to the Practical Arithmetics series by Strayer-Upton that has found a resurgence in some homeschool circles. School Arithmetics is in the public domain and free.
An effort has been made to avoid the extremes of:
- All calculation, no application.
- All application, no calculation.
- All play, no purpose.
- All methods, no application or drill.
To this end, the authors have arranged the book by topic, showing the reason for the topic and “the uses to which it can be applied.”
The safe mean proceeds on the supposition that the pupil should be led to his arithmetic through paths which are interesting;
that he should see that he is studying a subject which is usable in school, in his play, in his home, and in all other phases of his daily life;
and that, so far as possible, the applications should be real to the pupil, particularly in those grades in which his tastes are being formed and in which his outlook on life is very limited.
There are three books in the series. Book One covers grades 3–4, Book Two grades 5–6, and Book Three grades 7–8. For those who would like to use the series for the earlier elementary grades, Work and Play with Numbers by the same authors might be what you are looking for.
One advantage of these books over a series such as Rays Arithmetic is that it is closer to what is familiar, while still retaining the appeal of a basics-first approach.
For those interested, the series continues into advanced arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and more.
Best of all — the series is free!
Work and Play With Numbers
School Arithmetics Book One
School Arithmetics Book Two
School Arithmetics Book Three