Math Story Books Inspire a Love of Learning

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how to create a love of learning in your kids from

Classics can inspire a love of learning, even in math.

Am I crazy?

Classics in math?

No, I’m not crazy.

Math Trek - fun math activitiesWhen my kids were younger, we read math books with great stories that teach mathematical concepts. When I was planning for one year, I flipped through some books from our discontinued rack.  I found a book called Math Trek and thought this might work with Hunter, especially since he couldn’t find his math workbook at the time.

Have you ever lost a math workbook?

Plus, I wasn’t very excited about starting his math workbook.

Math Trek has about seven or eight chapters. Each chapter focuses on a mathematical concept or math puzzles.  The first chapter is all about knots.  My son used a string to see if the loops drawn on the page would really knot or unknot.

After going through several of these, he discovered there are fake knots, as well as cool information about knots. He worked through three more chapters before I knew it.

He loves this book. In fact he came up a week later and says, “Mom, is there a Math Trick Two?”

I had to tell him,  “I didn’t know.  The reason we’re using this one is that it didn’t sell at the book sales last year. Aren’t you glad it didn’t sell?”  He never complained about doing his math studies that week.  We still need to find his math workbook, which we did eventually find.  My thought is to alternate between math workbooks and living math stories.

Good Math Story Books

Mathematicians are People TooIf you’re trying to figure out a book that would help you inspire Math, I highly recommend Mathematicians Are People, Too. We started reading one chapter a week in January. Each chapter has a short biography of a famous mathematician.

The first chapter we read was Thales. Thales figured out how to measure the height of a pyramid by using shadows and ratios. The ratio of Thales’ shadow to his height, compared to the shadow of the pyramid determined the height of the pyramid.

One of my children did not know what a ratio was. When we finished the chapter, we sat on the bed with paper, figuring out all sorts of ratios.

Did he have to complete math workbooks to learn how to use ratios?


Ratios became real life after we tried some on paper.

What's Your Angle PythagorasThe next chapter was about Pythagoras.  Two of my children knew the Pythagorean Theorem, but the other one did not.  He did know what the square of a number was, so he understood the concept of squares. He was introduced to the concept of the Pythagorean Theorem as we read about Pythagoras.

Next he read What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?, which futhered his understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem.    He completely understood the theorem after reading What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?

Our Favorite Math Story Books

Sir Cumference & The First Round Table from HowToHomeschoolMyChild.comOne of most popular math book series I have ever found begins with Sir Cumference and the First Round Table.

Take a look and see all the math concepts your child can learn in Sir Cumference Series

Sir Cumference with his wife, Lady Di of Ameter & his son, Radius will teach you all about circles, geometry, cones and much more. Click here to see a listing of all 7 titles & the Teacher’s Guide (Round Table Geometry)

Finally, get ready for Build Your Bundle’s Elementary Homeschool Bundles. You’ll find several Math cheat sheets & other math helps to inspire your kids.

Question: What math books have you used to encourage a love of learning? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

If you’d like some other storybook ideas, check out Tell Me a Tale.

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  1. Kerry, I JUST asked a question on my blog post today…about good living math books. Can you tell me which set(s) you link to…for children 5, 9 and 10????

    1. Rebecca,
      I’ve been gone all day today and just now catching up with online stuff. The 5 year old would enjoy the younger adventures. The 9 & 10 year old can learn from the Older Adventures or Sir Cumference sets. Here’s a list of the books that are included in each set.

      Both the Pythagoras books are included in the Older set.
      Thanks for asking. Sounds like you had a fun-filled week!

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