Math for Grownups
BOOK DESCRIPTION (FROM THE BACK OF THE BOOK)
Ever wish you’d paid more attention in math class? From third grade to senior year of high school, it went in one ear and out the other, didn’t it?
But now you’re staring at the new washer and dryer, trying to figure out the percentage of sales tax on the purchase price. You multiply something by something, right? Or you’re scratching your head, wondering how to compute the odds that your football team will take next Sunday’s game. You’re pretty sure that involved ratios. The problem is, you can’t quite remember.
Here you get an adult refresher and real~life context ~ with examples ranging from how to figure out how many shingles it takes to re~roof the garage to the formula for resizing Mom’s tomato sauce recipe for your entire family.
Forget higher calculus ~ you just need an open mind. And with this practical guide, math can stop being scary and start being useful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Laing graduated from James Madison University with a BS in Mathematics. After teaching highs school math for four years, she became a staff writer for Inside Business. Her articles have appeared in Parade, The City Paper, Baltimore Sun and The Advocate. She lives in Baltimore, MD.
When I was in high school, we had math teacher who used to get so violently angry when we couldn’t solve an algebra equation that he’d kick the trash can, turn red and scream out the answer with such vehemence that “y=mx+b” sounded like a curse word. And that’s exactly what math became to me, a four letter word. I hated it. I feared it. I dreaded it. Yet, some part of me wanted to love it. To embrace it. To make it my own. I wanted to study math in college but even I know and accept my limitations.
After I had kids, I made it perfectly clear that once they got beyond the basics, they were on their own. As luck would have it, I gave birth to four math geniuses who stopped requiring my assistance after the fourth grade. Just as well, because all the problems I helped them with they got wrong anyway. Over the years, the kids have tried to explain fractions, percentages and decimal points to me but to no avail. I just keep seeing my balding teacher with his nose inches from my face yelling mathematical slurs and I dummy up…
But you know what has me willing to try math again? Other than the fact that we really do use math in every day life. Coupons. Yes! I keep hearing, reading and watching these people who are saving money using coupons and I wanna do it too. And I’m not talking about a couple of cents here and there, I wanna walk into the store put hundreds of dollars worth of food in my cart and pay $35.*
Using easy language and real life situations, Laing explains not only how to figure out if couponing is worth the effort but she also shows you how to figure it all out in your head. Math. In your head. Seriously, no paper or pencil required.
If you need a refresher course or have kids who need to learn math from a practical standpoint, I highly recommend this book. The explanations are solid and easy to understand. The examples are clear and practical to every day experiences.
Disclosure: Daenel received a copy of Math for Grownups courtesy of Adams Media in exchange for a review, this in no way influenced my opinion of the book.
*Ms. Laing does not tell you how to do extreme couponing, what she does do is give you the skills to figure out if clipping that coupon for 35¢ off 5 bottles of ketchup is really worth the time and effort or if you’d be better off just picking up one bottle for $3.99.