Update: My Math Books

photo by goXunuReviews via Flickr

Are you a homeschooler? Are you happy with your current curriculum, or would you like to break out of the textbook mold and explore math through “living” books and activities? Whether you hope to replace your math program or just to supplement it, I can show you ways to turn math into a learning adventure for the whole family. Your children will build a stronger foundation of understanding when you teach math as a game, playing with ideas.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote:

This blog originally grew out of my books, and now it’s coming full circle: New, expanded editions of my long-out-of-print books are ripening on the vine, growing out of the blog. To bring them to harvest, I’m going to need your help.

It has taken much longer than I had hoped to whip the manuscripts into form. My new goal is to publish ebook editions, since I will be able to sell them for about half what the original books cost twelve years ago. I’m hoping that I can finish at least a couple of the ebooks by mid-summer.

The “Let’s Play Math!” Book Series

Here are the titles I’m working on:

Let’s Play Math: How Homeschool Families Can Enjoy Learning Math Together
Discover new ways to explore math as a family adventure, playing with ideas. You can lay a foundation for success in math with toys, games, and living books that help children of all ages experience the “Aha!” thrill of creative mathematical thinking, no matter what math curriculum you use.

Be a Math Ninja: Master the Tough Topics of Elementary and Middle School Math
If teaching fractions makes you frantic and you are paranoid about percents, you are not alone. “Math monsters” are those scary topics of textbook arithmetic, the things that go thump! in the mind. Find out how to use hands-on games and manipulatives to teach the real killers of elementary and middle school math.

Algebra at Any Age: Getting a Handle on Abstract Math
Children can begin to learn pre-algebra skills in preschool, and elementary students can master the first stages of algebra through hands-on exploration. Teenagers will understand how to multiply binomials and gain insight into the history of Greek geometric algebra. Step-by-step instructions and examples take you from solving simple equations to factoring quadratic polynomials.

Math You Can Play: Games That Build Your Child’s Number Skills
Forget flashcards and worksheets. Your children can practice their math facts by playing cards. Beginners will enjoy simple addition and place value games, while more advanced students will be challenged to master fractions and negative numbers. (This book is completely new, though several of the games have appeared on my blog. It had originally been planned as the fifth book in my earlier how-to-teach-homeschool-math series, but that first self-publishing experiment ended after book four.)

More Math You Can Play: Games That Build Your Child’s Logical Thinking Skills
Strategy games combine a relief from tedious textbook work with the adventure of creatively logical reasoning. When children play strategy games, they learn to enjoy the challenge of thinking hard. Introduce your family to a variety of games you can enjoy at home or in the car.

Would You Like to Help?

I’m looking for a few more beta-readers to preview the books and let me know about any problems they can find. No writer can see her own work with unbiased eyes, so I need volunteers to help me find weaknesses and places that need revision.

I need to know things like:

  • Does the manuscript make sense?
    Which parts seem clearest, and which seem hard to understand? Where do I need to add more details or examples? Does anything feel intimidating or hard to understand?
  • Do the chapters flow?
    Does the book seem well organized? Where are there gaps in my reasoning or seemingly-irrational jumps from one topic to another? Do any sections seem boring or off-topic?
  • What else would you like to know?
    If we could sit down for an afternoon and chat over a pot of tea, what questions would you like to ask?

If you have writing or editing experience and would like to help with my books, please email me or leave a comment on this post.

What Do You Want in a Math Book?

Finally, if you’re homeschooling, then I’d love to know what sort of math book you think is most helpful. Please vote in my sidebar poll!

[Note: This is the same poll I ran last year, so if you already voted and haven’t cleared your cookies recently, it may not let you vote again.]


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13 thoughts on “Update: My Math Books

  1. Hi Denise! I am a homeschool mama, a journal editor (www.tajaltspace.com) with over a year’s worth of experience, a writer of sorts myself, and have a strong interest in the subject you are writing about. Plus, I’m curious about your books! I’d love to be considered for one of your beta reader positions. No worries if you choose other folks — I’ll still be a big fan and grateful for the resources you provide!

  2. I only recently began following your blog but I would love to be a Beta reader. My degree is in Journalism w/Public Relations emphasis. I have a 4th grader and precocious preschooler.
    Either way I appreciate your blog.

  3. Thank you both!
    I’ll be sending you, and the others who have responded, an email as soon as I get a chance. (But probably not this weekend — I’m way overextended for the next several days.)

  4. We would love to beta test as well! I’m a hs mother of 3 (11, 10 and 8). I am a nurse practitioner with a masters degree and my husband is a pharmacist. We are a math/science-centric family and we would both love to help. In addition, thank you for your wonderful blog.

  5. I homeschool a 13 yr old, 10 yr old and 6 yr old children. We use many different approaches to math to promote true understanding. I am starting a problem solving club at my homeschool co-op and am collecting resources for that endeavor. I am a weekly editor and an amateur writer.

  6. I would also be interested in being a beta tester. I home school my 11 year old dyslexic son, but am also mom of a 16 and 21 year old. I was an elementary school teacher for 11 years prior to home schooling, teaching math and language arts.
    Thanks for your blog and all the great ideas and resources. Jill

  7. It sounds like you have enough readers, but let me know if you would like one more. I don’t know how qualified I am- I have experience in tutoring college English comp and proofing many papers.

  8. If you need any help, I would be happy to be a beta tester. I am a certified special education teacher and a homeschool mom of 5. I have created my own math program (using parts of other programs) to teach my own children. I can’t wait to see your books. I love the ideas on this site.

  9. Thank you all! I now have enough beta-readers for the two books that are ready to go out this week, but that still leaves three books in the future. I’ve started a waiting list of volunteers for whenever I have the next book ready — hopefully by sometime this summer, but things often take longer than I expect.

  10. Nice. Although I am not a home schooler! Instead I am a Engineering student and blog online about science and mathematics at http://oscience.info , But still I learn a lot of things on my own from my home. If you can count me in , I would also like to be a beta reader.

  11. I’d be interested in reviewing your new math eBooks. My family and I have only been homeschooling for our 2nd year and I’m responsible for teaching the kids math and expanding into more science as I can. Just let me know how you’d like me to help.

  12. I’m a homeschool mom with a degree in education but also a background in math and science. With only two (of 6) kiddos currently remaining at home I’m always on the look-out for way to enhance math for my gifted 11 year old and my plod-along 14 year old. I would love to beta your Algebra at Any Age or Logic Skills book.

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