on April 21, 2007
As the book suggests, the book is geared for parents who want to teach their children math. It might be a good system for a home-school parent, but I find that since my 6 year old daughter is in 1st grade the lessons are going to be a tad different from what she's learning in school. Since she's having a hard time as it is, I don't want to confuse her further.
The book starts with some really basic sorting and describing games. It was really funny when I held the cat on my lap and asked my two children what I was holding and why it was a cat. They both liked that. But when I went on to ask them to describe a ball as suggested by the author they lost interest. I tried the same game later with my 4 year old son and a few different cups, but he became bored almost immediatly and told me he wanted to play that game "later". Not helpful.
I wonder if this book wouldn't be better had it been created as a workbook. The author assumes you have access to a photocopy machine to copy the pages in the book. Somehow I don't think photocopied, black and white drawings of pigs are really going to get my already-not-interested-in-math child interested in math.
I'm not sure if the author has children or has worked with children. It might just be that the author is used to working with kids who already like math and find it interesting. Or maybe his enthusiasm for math is contagious in person. I don't know. I do know that my own enthusiasm for math is minimal. I was hoping to find a book that would get both me and my kids into math. It hasn't inspired me and the excersises don't seem to be exciting my children. So if you don't find math all that interesting, and if the kids you're trying to teach are having a hard time with math, then this book probably won't be very helpful.
on August 3, 2005
I bought this book for my 5 year old- to get many fun ideas on how to introduce math to her, but was disappointed to find that only the first two chapters are devoted to that age group. It is more geared towards the 2nd grader and up. So until I can find a better book, we are just counting shells, beans and whatnot, adding and subtracting.
on October 7, 2000
I read this book because, although I don't have any kids yet, I want to do some substitute teaching this spring. I thought I might be able to capture some of the fun that math games can entail. This book does the job. Bear in mind, these exercises are for YOUNGER children, up to 3rd grade or so. The authors are full of ideas, and seem to have a grasp both of child psychology, and the trials of parenting. The parenting part doesn't apply to me at this point, but I hope to be able to pass on some of the fun spirit these guys infuse their book with.
Hey, whoever is reading this -- you might want to think about sharing this book with someone in your life who couldn't afford it, when you're finished getting ideas from it. Or even more than one person -- go on a parenting listserv and talk about the book, and pass the word along. Maybe you have a poor cleaning woman who comes to your house, and only speaks Spanish. You could try to share a few of the games with her, if she has kids, and show her how her kids might benefit if she played these games with them. Think about it. It can only help.