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Best Math-Start Books

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Math books are a useful resource for teaching kids the basics of math. A good math workbook can make learning math concepts fun and help pave the way for a solid start in STEM learning. Here are a few of the best math-start books for beginners that will pique their interest and help kids get comfortable with math concepts at an early age.

“Mastering Essential Math Skills: 20 Minutes a Day to Success” presents math lessons in a way that makes these skills easier to understand. The lessons are short, making them easier to absorb even in a single study session. Meanwhile, there are plenty of example problems for each subject. Readers have access to step-by-step solutions for these problems to help guide them as they learn. Problem-solving is an essential part of the book as well, with real-world examples used to highlight the many ways students can apply their new math knowledge. While it is excellent for older children who struggle with math or even as a refresher for adults, this book is recommended for ages 8 through 12.

T With activities on all 300 pages, this workbook packs in a ton of educational fun for preschoolers. Among the five different sections in this workbook is an area devoted to teaching kids numbers and early math skills. Here, kids can practice these skills in a variety of ways. The pages all feature colorful illustrations that keep children’s attention as well as notes for parents so they can help their children learn. The workbook’s lessons increase in difficulty as well, so children can gradually learn and build their skills. This option is recommended for ages 3 to 5.

Kids can ride along on an elevator with Ben as he uses his imagination to see unusual new scenes each time the doors open on different floors. A rock concert? A farm?! Anything can happen when the door opens now that Ben has turned his mom’s boring errands into an adventure. But there’s more to this story than Ben’s creativity, because the author and illustrator have worked in a clever but natural way for kids to learn math along the way. Readers will get a visual take addition and subtraction as Ben and his mother select a floor from the line of numbered buttons in the elevator. There’s even an elevator button for kids to push, making the math magic happen. It’s made for 7- and 8-year-olds.

This workbook offers an incredible variety of material in its pages, teaching many different basic math concepts. These include numbers and operations up to 20, basic geometry and measurement, number and shape patterns and other important concepts. Everything is presented with exercises that have been tested by teachers. This material is a great way to help children move beyond their earliest math learning and pick up more advanced skills. This option is recommended for children ages 6 through 9.

This activity book is a fun way for first graders to learn math and critical thinking skills. As kids explore the book and help Opal Opossum as she searches for Sneaks Weasel, they will have the chance to practice fractions, problems with unknown numbers, word problems and other fun activities. There are over 30 activities in the book, along with over 25 stickers parents and teachers can use as a reward. This book is a great choice for children ages 5 to 7.

Expert Commentary

“The first few interactions with math and numbers can set the stage for a child’s perspective on all of STEM. I think it’s important for all kids to have great math-start books to give them multiple tools to learn the subject. It is hard to know in advance what teaching method or application will resonate best with each child, so I recommend testing a few.”

Our Expert Consultant

Emily Lehman

Emily Lehman is a licensed teacher, nonprofit youth coordinator and mother of two young girls. Emily understands how to make learning fun and is a pro at engaging children in the classroom. She also learns constantly in her own experience raising children. When she isn’t teaching or raising her daughters, she is taking care of her horses and family farm.