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Maths is probably the one area that makes me question my competence to teach! (It’s one of the reasons that I opted for a Scandinavian Studies degree and not a Teacher Training degree!)

I’m concerned that I should get over the hang-ups I have about Maths and not pass on my bad attitudes to my children, but I’m very much aware that my attitudes stem from the negative experience of maths-learning at school which taught most of the children in my class to think that Maths had no practical use in the real world! For that reason, I see it as of great importance that we learn maths through real life, for instance, measuring & weighing for cooking, dividing portions, sorting, counting and matching clothes for washing, handling money, noting speed and distance when travelling, looking at calendars and clocks, and so on.

Books and Resources


Usborne: “Number Lotto” £7.99

Usborne: “Counting Train Floor Puzzle”

Story-books for Young Children

“Each Peach Pear Plum” by Janet & Alan Ahlberg (Fontana)

“The Enormous Crocodile” by Roald Dahl (Puffin)

“Funny Bones” by Janet & Alan Ahlberg (Fontana)

“The Jolly Postman” by Janet & Alan Ahlberg (Heinemann)

The “Spot” Series by Eric Hill (Puffin)

The “Teddy Bear” Series by Suzannah Gretz (A & C Black)

Introduction to Maths

An Usborne Introduction: “Maths”

Usborne Farmyard Tales series: “Counting Book”, “Telling the Time”

Usborne First Learning: “Odd One Out”, “Sizes”, “Numbers”, “Starting to Add”

Teacher Resources

The following books are aimed at maths teachers in primary schools classes, but I managed to find them in our local library and I thought they were quite useful, although I don’t think I would actually buy them:

“Bright Ideas: Teacher Handbooks: Maths”, published by Scholastic at £7.99. inludes photocopiable pages and worksheets.

“Bright Ideas: Inspirations for Maths” by Beryl Webber & Jean Haigh (£6.95) again published by Scholastic. Includes photocopiable pages.

Worksheet Text-books
(that don’t need a Teaching Manual)

“At home with the National Curriculum” Maths Skills Learning Workbook for “Key Stage 1” Maths (ages 5-6) from Letts Numeracy, £4.99

“Let’s Learn at home” Maths, published by Scholastic £2.99

“Leap ahead with Maths” Books 1 – 6 (?) by Brian Nash & Paul Nightingale, published by Nightingale Press

Scott Foresman Maths A friend of mine is using this for her 5 year-old and highly recommends it. The books I have seen are bright & colourful and beautifully illustrated, and the content seems to be quite good as far as I can tell. It is used as part of the “Sonlight Curriculum” but is available separately.

“Pre-packaged” Maths Schemes and “Curricula”

Heinnemann Maths

From the US:-

Saxon Math

Scott Foresman Math

Literature for older children

“Murderous Maths” and “More Murderous Maths” These books are written by a friend of ours, Kjarton Poskitt, but they are really aimed for older children.

“The Mathematical Universe – An alphabetical journey through the great proofs, problems and personalities” by William Dunham.

When MamaBear was studying for my GCSE Maths, PappaBear thought it might be a good idea to get some books which had to do with the history and personalities of mathematical discoveries, the people and so on, to get me interested in the subject, and this was the book he bought me. It seems like such a good idea, but I don’t know whether there are books like this for children – if you know, mail me!

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