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Math Power: How To Help Your Child Love Math, Even If You Don't Paperback – November 24, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book was written by a university math professor and mother of two to guide parents of preschool and elementary school children through the math programs typical of U.S. public schools. The first half offers the usual good suggestions for ways parents can encourage children to think and learn about math at home. The second half is uniquely valuable, containing specific advice for how parents can evaluate the math education at their school and how to approach teachers and administrators to suggest improvements. Parents are urged to read the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards to know what their schools should aim for. The author is against rote learning and standardized tests, believing that they preclude joy in learning. Chapters titled "How Drill and Kill Cripples U.S. Math Education" and "What Every Parent Should Know About Testing and Grading" show how the system rather than the math itself may cause problems for a child. An excellent bibliography suggests resources for math education reform. A parent armed with the advice in this book could do a lot to help improve a child's education.?Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake City
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (November 24, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201772892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201772890
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,537,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daryl Anderson VINE VOICE on July 7, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You've probably heard that youngsters who are anxious about math also do poorly in math. A lot of folks thought this was just because students with limited ability appropriately worried about the subject. Not so!
Just the other day I clipped a short piece that described a scientific study demonstrating that this "math anxiety" itself gets in the way of doing the math. The chicken that comes before this egg is not low ability but high anxiety. Finding ways to lessen that math anxiety can improve math achievement.
As a parent and as a math teacher this is important news. Many parents have worried about how they could help their children with math that is often very different from when they were kids. These studies tell us that we'd do better to try to find ways to turn a math "phobic" home into a "Math Power" place. Patricia Kenschaft's book is a wonderful blueprint for such a home 'remodeling' project.
The significant subtitle of this book is:
"How to Help Your Child Love Math, Even If You Don't."
There, as Shakespeare said, lies the rub. After all, most parents bring those same childhood math anxieties right up into their adult lives, right to the dinner (or homework) table. What Kenschaft does is to show you a wide variety of ways, starting even in pre-school, that you and your child can explore math in wholly new forms. You don't have to memorize the rules for fraction division all over again; you just need to find new ways of looking at math.
This book does the best job I have seen of describing the failings of the "old school" approach to math. It has an entire section entitled "Why so many children are damaged" including chapters entitled "How drill and kill cripples U.S.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
Pat Kenschaft does a superb job of giving even the most math phobic parents the confidence to help his/her own children adore math. If only I had had this book when I was growing up! The explanations are very straight forward and unintimidating. Even if one is not a parent, But is afraid of math, this book is extremely helpful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By southern pilgrim on October 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you have concerns about the ... math acheivements in our country you must read this book and take action. If you have kids you will learn that they depend on you to teach them in ways that their teachers may not even be capable or prepared to do.
Math is usually taught in such a way that it actually discourages kids from liking it, feeling competent in it or wanting to pursue it.
While the primamry focus of the book is Math, its principles apply to all branches of education and learning. Learn that there are pitfalls to standardized testing and minimal competency standards.
The book includes practical advice for parents on how to encourage their children to hone their math skills and encourage their analytical skills since their teachers may not be equipped to meet children at their level in order to fully communicate and cover a subject in depth.
Seems that many teachers are not prepared to teach math in successful ways. We must put the focus and resources into preparing teachers in order to acheive the kind of results we want from their students.
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