When I was at school there were subjects I enjoyed and subjects that were tolerated. Maths was one of those to be tolerated. It seemed to the teenage me, that beyond knowing my times tables, addition, subtraction etc there wasn’t really much more I needed.
I only needed to know how to do a few sums and the rest of the maths syllabus seemed pointless and something to be endured. I am keen for learning to be an enjoyable experience for Emma and Daniel and I was excited to see a new series of books called ‘You do the Maths’ from the team at QED. The books are written by mathematicians who have experience of teaching children – so know what engages them.
The contents page tells you what skill is required at each stage (fractions, time, interpreting data, shapes, graphs etc) and they also have a glossary at the back (and the answers!). The books have a comic book style to them with call out speech bubbles and nice bold illustrations.
The two books I were sent each use different maths skills so if you had all four books in the series they will show just how much mathematical knowledge is needed to work through life on a day to day basis.
There are lots of applications of mathematical principles that we often don’t think about. I know as a teenager I hated maths and struggled to see how some of the things I was learning could ever be useful outside of the classroom. This series of books will be a winner, I am sure, as they help children to see just how important understanding and applying a range of mathematical principles.
Obviously these are above Daniel and Emma’s age range at the moment so I took a read through them. I had assumed I’d work through them with ease but I did fall down at the first question of ‘write eight million down in figures’. Not a good start! I persevered on though and it was good fun to give the brain a little workout.
If using this in a home education setting there is a lot of other things that could be done. The Solve a Crime one could be incorporated into role play, English (in terms of writing up a crime report) and you could even get your children designing a notebook to record their findings in.
Whilst I am keen to let my children be small, and not hurry their lives along, I am also really excited for the time when we can get stuck into things like this.
I was sent a copy of each of these books in exchange for a review. All words and opinions are my own.