anyone recommend some math books for an intelligent 9-year old?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by andrew markworthy, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. andrew markworthy

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    I know this sounds like the doting father, but my 9-years old son is pretty good at maths (all right, math). He's at least 2 years ahead of his age in math (and also reading and writing, come to that).

    Please can anyone suggest some fun-to-read basic math books for him? I'm not a mathematician (though I do a fair amount of statistics in my job) nor is my wife, and we're running out of things to suggest. He can do the basics of algebra, geometry, stats, etc, already, and he actually *loves* doing math problems.
     
  2. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    Andrew, I don't know of any books to recommend, but I would highly suggest searching the net for lesson plans on activities relating to what he likes, geometry for example. I have two more semesters, including student teaching, before I get my Elementary Ed. with Middle Level Science Endorsement degree, and this is how I've gotten many different ideas.
    Ahhh!! I forgot about a great place to buy math books, games, and manipulatives for all grade levels. It's located at www.educatorsoutlet.com. This site has a ton of different things for math, science, and language arts. I actually have one of their catalogs sitting right in front of me. It's a GREAT place to buy things.
    What exactly about each area of math does your child like? Anything in particular? I will try to help you out as many of my teachers have a ton of ideas, especially my Math Methods instructor. He's a wealth of knowledge in this area!
    Best of luck and let us, at least me, know what you get for him.
    Oops!I highly suggest looking at tangrams. There are some great activities for tangrams and can be very difficult and fun. We're using them now in my Math Methods class and we love them. A lot of fun!
     
  3. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Aside from math, maybe you should get your kid to read The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. It was originally approved by the publisher's 8 year-old son way back in 1936 (he recommended that any kid 5-9 years would enjoy it...guess kids knew how to read back then! [​IMG] ).
     
  4. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    Find a book on probability for a him. I think he would have fun doing those problems. I found the easy ones to be quite fun; the hard ones, on the other hand, were extremely frustrating.

    ~T
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Well there's always the classic Flatland by A. Square. Maybe a little advanced for a 3rd grader.
     
  6. Dereck Graefer

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    I don't know how advanced he is, but I was kinda the same way as a kid. My parents simply bought textbooks that were used in higher grades. I would read the textbooks and do the problems. If he likes math, then the dry est math book should be fun-to-read. I'm just speaking from my own experience. I had fun reading and doing the problems from the textbooks, but that's just my geeky way. By the time I made it to high school I was delving into the calculus. Most High school books and curriculums concentrate on calculation based maths. Compute this value, solve this equation, etc. This is fine, but there is so much more to math. Students start to believe math is all about doing calculations. I feel this is wrong, because real math, in my opinion concentrates on theory and proof(This is my opinion. Teaching theory in high school is almost useless to people who do not want to make a career out of Math. If one wants to do say engineering, then calculation based math is most useful). If he is genuinely gifted in maths, then perhaps in the future encourage him in the more theoretical aspect of it. Many schools leave this aspect out of there curriculums. Mainly because it's not necessary for every student to know. Get him some good low level textbooks and let him go at it. Once areas like Linear Algebra, stats, probability, combinatorics, logic, geometry, Notation, etc are all second nature, move on to some fundamental theory. Things like set theory, idea of theorems, quantifiers, proof techniques, functions, counting, Number systems, etc. Many of the ideas can be understood without knowing numbers. For example, the Pigeon-hole principle. If you have 10 pigeons and only 9 holes, at least one hole must accommodate more than one pigeon. Once an understanding of mathematical reasoning is in place, move onto the calculus. Many would disagree and say the calculus should be a prerequisite to Mathematical reasoning. I disagree, mainly because an understanding of reasoning allows for a much better understanding of the calculus(I would have liked to learn things in said order). After this, he is ready for higher level math. things like Analysis and Abstract algebra. Another thing that schools seem to skimp out on, is the history of mathematics. I feel it is important because it really gives an insight to what it is to be a mathematician.

    I know i've went on into a huge banter here, but I'm just an enthusiastic Math guy. I was taught Math with textbooks. It worked for me, and may work with you child. Some kids need games and child orientated activities to learn, some don't.
     
  7. Pete_S

    Pete_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Dereck is right. If your son really enjoys math, he'll find plenty of fun in simply going through textbooks. The 6 year-old son of one of my mother's friends actually does calculus for fun. [​IMG] Story problems or just plain numbers, he'll do it... Really amazing.
     
  8. Dereck Graefer

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    Children are amazing at learning. Don't let there size fool you, they can learn very abstract concepts just as well as you or I can.
     
  9. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    Cool! We need more people like that!

    I agree, get him started on some more advanced stuff, like algebra, set theory, and the like. Once he masters that, go on to series and then on to Calculus. Like Dereck said, but take it easy on the theoretical side, it is not to everyone's liking. It can be made interesting, though. If he likes that, it's totally awesome; not many people out there with a natural feel for math. Goodness knows folks like that can write their own ticket to school and onward.

    Once he's gotten differential and integral calculus, I'd go off into Linear Algebra, ODE's, multivariate, PDE's, etc. Buckingham PI theorem and its counterparts are very handy for starting to set up equations to describe what is beign observed. Good stuff there.

    Best wishes - and congrats to you for your privilege of steering that kind of gifted child!

    Mike
     
  10. andrew markworthy

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    Many thanks for the input, folks - I'll start working on it.
     

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