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Understanding Mathematics: From Counting to Calculus / Math Problems and Solutions Guide Review by Courtney Larson

Keith Kressin / David Scheinker
K Squared Publishing

As a homeschooling mom who has forgotten much of the math I learned past basic arithmetic, I'm always excited when I get a math book that will help refresh my memory on different concepts. Understanding Mathematics: From Counting to Calculus is one of those books. This 352-page paperback book does just what the title says and systematically introduces and explains mathematical concepts, beginning with simple counting and building until calculus is reached.

Understanding Mathematics: From Counting to Calculus can be used by nearly anyone since it covers all math topics from 1 st grade through college. It can be used as a supplement to another math program or as a refresher course for parents, and it can be used by itself as a math course if you add in the companion book, Math Problems and Solutions Guide. This book contains over 10,000 problems and solutions.

There are 24 chapters in Understanding Mathematics: From Counting to Calculus . Some of the chapter titles are "Addition and Subtraction," "Fractions," and "Negative Numbers" (in the Elementary Mathematics section), "Functions," "Geometry," and "Trigonometry" (in the Intermediate Mathematics section), and "Logarithms," "The Derivative," and "The Integral" (in the Advanced Mathematics Section). Each of the 24 chapters is further broken down into short sections, and each section includes easy-to-understand explanations of the concept being presented, along with several examples. The examples are taught step by step, so the concepts are covered thoroughly. In Math Problems and Solutions Guide, there are several problems for the student to work, and these problems correspond to the sections in Understanding Mathematics: From Counting to Calculus.

I would decidedly recommend both of these books to anybody who is homeschooling. Even if these books are not used as a stand-alone course, the information and easily accessed explanations contained in Understanding Mathematics: From Counting to Calculus and the number of practice problems available in Math Problems and Solutions are invaluable.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2010