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For the past few weeks we’ve explored math study from a different perspective, asking two important questions: Why do we do what we do when it comes to this subject? Are there other valid approaches to consider?
An alternative to workbook pages in the early years is the simple sharing of a book spread open across your lap. It’s one of the easiest ways to create a blossoming love of numbers and patterns in a child’s heart and mind.
I started to put together a massive list of books for you to choose from in today’s post, but then I stopped to consider what I would have found most helpful when I was getting started as a slightly-insecure homeschooling mama.
I realized that I would have loved to have a handful of well-chosen math titles, recommended by a blogger I trusted.
I’ve tried to provide that for you here, highlighting the resources we’ve found most enjoyable in our own family – as well as including a list of other popular books you may want to check out.
Enjoy the journey as you read your way to a love of math!
Who is it for? Ages 4-12
What a fun addition (get it?!) this resource is for your math-learning littles.
Sign up to receive a daily email with a math question, or get one of the three published Bedtime Math books: Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late; Bedtime Math: This Time It’s Personal; or Bedtime Math: The Truth Comes Out.
The beauty of bedtime math is that there are questions geared to a variety of learning-levels, making it something you can use for your preschoolers all the way to your pre-teens!
Who is it for? Ages 6-College
Since I started this math series, I’ve been asked the same question several times: “I’d like to approach math differently, but what can I do if I have to provide documentation for my state and/or my kids have to take a standardized test?”
My top recommendation for those in the above situation would be to explore Life of Fred Math, a curriculum that goes from early elementary all the way through college level math–but in a very different way to the norm!
Used in a structured or formal way, you’d be able to approach math creatively but still be able to provide the documentation you need to meet your local requirements.
Like any resource, Life of Fred isn’t for everyone. But my kids love it, and I love that I can read math aloud at the lunch table!
Who is it for? Ages 4-12
Mathemagic is Volume 13 of a kids’ encyclopedia series that used to be produced by Childcraft. It is full of inspiring math stories, clever puzzles, riddles, and games–perfect for reading aloud or putting on the shelf for your kiddos to flip through.
(Math study aside, we have a used set of several Childcraft volumes and hardly a day goes by that I don’t see a child with one of the titles tucked under their arm in our home–so colorful and fun! No longer in print, check for them on Amazon or Ebay.)
Who is it for? Ages 8-12
This is a fascinating collection of short stories about the lives of the great mathematicians throughout history–often including the details about how they developed their groundbreaking theories and discoveries.
A perfect way to show our kids what passion for math looks like, this series contains two volumes.
Who is it for? Ages 7-11 (give or take)
The Sir Cumference books introduce foundational geometry concepts through adventurous stories–radius and diameter, data collection, perimeter, area, and pi all make an appearance in this growing series (currently eight books).
Other titles to explore for ages 4-8
- Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream
- Anno’s Counting Book
- Anno’s Journey
- Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar
- Arithmetic Village
- The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos
- The Doorbell Rang
- Each Orange Had 8 Slices
- Even Steven and Odd Todd
- Fannie in the Kitchen
- Full House: An Invitation to Fractions
- The Greedy Triangle
- How Much is a Million?
- Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money
- Math Fables: Lessons That Count
- Math For All Seasons
- Measuring Penny
- Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin
- Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry
- One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale
- One Hundred Hungry Ants
- Perfect Square
- A Place for Zero
- The Rabbit Problem
- Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!
- What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?
- Zero the Hero
Other titles to explore for ages 8-12
- 5 Minute Math Problem of the Day
- The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat
- The Best of Times
- Danica McKeller’s Math Series (Ages 12+; Perfect for adults looking to freshen up, too!)
- Eat Your Math Homework
- G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book
- The Grapes of Math
- The Librarian Who Measured the Earth
- The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures
- Math Curse
- Math Potatoes: Mind-Stretching Brain Food
- Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem Solving
- The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
- The Phantom Tollbooth
** Update: This series is now finished! You can find the final post here – enjoy!
“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty.”
~ Bertrand Russell
Do you have any inspiring math titles to add to our list for ages 4-12?
Originally published on March 16, 2015.