Sunday, July 27, 2014

Why can't math textbooks be more engaging reading for students or is that an oxymoron?

Curriculum of prestigious private K-8 school
Aritstotle Academy, a chartered school in Utah, uses the wonderful book byJoy Hakim “A history of US” for history and social studies and Delta modules for science. But in math students are forced to do Glencoe Math which reads like a recipe for Minestrone soup. I’m surprised that Aristotle Academy doesn’t use at least one of Joy Hakim’s science books. (See For math Ivar Ekeland's The Cat in Numberland is not only interesting to kids, but contains some real math worth considering. But then something would have to give from Glencoe Math's maze of topics which of course are way more important than a silly book about cats. (Really?)

 Since textbooks are written by committee and need to cover all the bases for all the stakeholders involved, adopting a creatively written textbook is a long shot at best. Finding one is not easy either. Julie Brennan over at has many good ones to recommend. Her audience is mostly homeschoolers, but good alternative schools will benefit their students by exploring her list.


  1. Wow. I had no idea how expensive the Cats book is. It's out of print and I suspect the homeschooling world has bought most of remaining available copies. I wonder if there are any on eBay.

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