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Math by Kids: A collection of word problems written by kids
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Math by Kids: A collection of word problems written by kids

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Math by Kids edited by Susan Richman. $6.95. 78 page supplementary work book (including solutions) of original math problems created by homeschooled students aged 4 to 17. Help inspire your kids to try writing their own unique problems, as well as have a great time working out these tricky problems made by other kids. The first book of its kind. Includes a wide range of math topics and concepts: money and time, fractions, percentages, geometry, logic, and multi-step problem solving.


From Susan Richman:

So what is this book, anyway? The subtitle says it all: a collection of word problems written by kids for kids of all ages. The problems are organized in different sections-- problems about working and earning, problems about time and travel, problems about cooking, problems about trading things back and forth. There are logic puzzlers, mystery number problems, geometry problems, and problems dealing with real-life data. And even this section called "Legs Problems":

Full solutions are in the back section of the book, and often there are full explanations written by students themselves on how to go about solving their problems. And there are ideas to help students write their own similar problems. In fact that is the real goal of the book-- encouraging students to be problem creators as well as top-notch problem solvers. To further this aim there are certificates in the back of the book for students who make up at least 3 original problems for each chapter of the book-- and an Expert Problem Maker Award for students who earn all the chapter awards! And be sure to include those awards and those original problems in your year-end portfolios-- what a wonderful demonstration it will be of the full range of your math abilities!

The book is for all ages, as there are problems by very young 4, 5, and 6 year olds, right up to senior high students. And there's lots inbetween. It's a book to browse through and enjoy over many years, choosing the problems that are right for a child right now, and leaving the tough ones for another year. To make it easy for a family to use it with all their children, you have photocopying rights within your family.

The book also has an appendix of other resources for math problem solving and a listing of my favorite math competitions for students, elementary through high school. I hope Math by Kids! will be a really useful and unique learning resource for all homeschoolers.


From Homeschooling Today (PO Box 1425, Melrose FL 32666):

What better way to stimulate math interest than to involve kids in creating the math problems they are to solved? Students seem more engaged in significant math learning because they are creating, not just problem solving.

Susan Richman, a home educator in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, encourages kids to create their own math problems using real life situations. As they do this, children begin to understand the entire process of mathematics and the many practical ways it can be used.


From Walter Mientka, Executive Director, American Mathematics Competitions:

I was absolutely impressed with your publication Math by Kids!. The idea for the publication was excellent and the content is first class! You have accomplished a tremendous feat by illustrating that students can propose 'real life' problems and solve them in various ways. You are to be commended for providing many opportunities for home school students to succeed and to reach their academic potential.


From George Lenchner, Director and Founder of the Mathematical Olympiad for Elementary Schools

(in the January 1995 newsletter for the Math Olympiad program)

Math by Kids!, edited by Susan Richman, is a collection of word problems written by kids for kids of all ages from 4 to 17. Having students write original problems is recognized as a worthwhile goal in the math curriculum. Such writing can help kids learn more about mathematics by helping them think, edit, arrange and rearrange mathematical notions until a meaningful problem is created.

This 78-page book contains over 200 interesting and challenging problems of many different types. The difficulty of the problems in this collection generally corresponds to the age of the student-authors. The following problem is a notable exception. This great problem was written by an 8-year-old named Molly:

Right now Suzy is Augusta's age times ten, and Elizabeth is Augusta's age times two. When suzy will be 72, Elizabeth will be the age Suzy is now. Elizabeth was what is Augusta's age now when Suzy was 36. How old is Elizabeth now? [answer: 8 years old]

Edited by Susan Richman, a prominent home schooler, the book includes solutions to all problems as well as suggestions for developing a variety of problem solving strategies.

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