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There are numerous maths education, recreational maths and popular maths books written for a general audience – so much so, that no length of lockdown would be sufficient to read them all. Mr Barton’s Recommended Books for Teachers, the MEI Recommended Reading List and the University of Cambridge Mathematical Reading List are all great places to start.

The special circumstances we are facing now reminded me of a book I had read (and actually reviewed) when it first came out in 2013: More Maths for Mums and Dads by Rob Eastaway and Mike Askew. The full review is on the Plus Magazine website, which is itself a nearly inexhaustible source of mathematical reading, and is kept amazingly current.

As the title suggests, More Maths for Mums and Dads is the sequel to Maths for Mums and Dads, and is aimed at the parents of secondary school children while the first was aimed at primary parents. My original review was a little lengthy, but here is an excerpt:

…the first chapters of the book reflect their understanding of the attitudes and issues peculiar to teenagers and their study of maths. …there is so little repetition of the material in Maths for Mums and Dads that the authors specifically acknowledge instances where they have felt it would be useful to show something again, such as their table of rough metric-Imperial equivalents.

For parents who just want to know how to get the answer to a particular question on their child’s maths homework (probably at the insistence of their teenager who just wants the answer, let alone the “how to get it”), some patience will be required. The book starts with teenagers’ attitudes and motivation, works through everyday skills and then tackles the heavy duty maths before finally considering exams and exam questions… The emphasis is on problem-solving, playing with maths puzzles and games and talking about maths, even answering the dreaded question “Why do I have to learn this?” Each topic is presented with some combination of interesting applications, historical background, personal experiences and humour. The authors have skillfully presented an overview of the big ideas in secondary mathematics which is accessible, logical and entertaining without being condescending so that parents from a wide range of mathematical backgrounds may benefit.

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