Though we live in a world where numbers, percentages and statistics are tossed at us daily — a world that expects us to make sense of these figures — 87% of American adults are deemed “non-proficient” at math, according to a recent Education Department study.
A recent U.S. Department of Education study found that American adults are largely unable to calculate tips, understand their mortgage payments, or even figure out their weekly salary when told their hourly wage.
But there is hope. As this problem has become publicized, community colleges have moved in to help, offering courses to help adults gain math proficiency. And programs and books have been created to address the issue, too.
Still, most adults need to start their math journey is back at the beginning, and few resources have been developed to address the earliest math skills.
Singing Turtle Press, publisher of the award-winning Algebra Survival Guide, is coming to the rescue, with its new book, Math Basics Made Easy. A new offering in eBook format, Math Basics Made Easy teaches adults the four fundamental math operations: adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.
“These four skill areas are the foundation stones of mathematics,” says co-author Steve Slavin. “Because most Americans have never mastered these skills, they haven’t gotten very far in math. And that has closed the door to many high-paying careers.”
Slavin should know about these problems. He has devoted his life to teaching math, and to writing books to help people grasp math. Slavin believes that no matter how far behind a person may be in math, “it’s never too late to learn math, even if one must go back to the very first grade.”
Math Basics Made Easy presents early math concepts in a format that works for adults. The book offers brief, easily understood lessons with worked-out sample problems, followed by a collection of practice problems for the reader. Answers are provided to all practice problems, so readers get instant feedback on how well they are progressing.
Within each of the four content areas — adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing — concepts are taught sequentially, easiest concepts first, most challenging topics last.
The book is heavy on practice because Slavin believes that we “learn math by doing math.”
The benefit, though, is that anyone who works his way through this book will learn the basics of math and thereby put himself in a position to move on to more challenging topics.
In today’s challenging economic times, Math Basics Made Easy offers a gateway to better opportunities for today’s job-seeker.
The book also gives anyone who never fully understood math’s basics a chance to master them, for the book’s message is that it’s never too late to learn. A solid self-teaching guide, Math Basics Made Easy offers solid encouragement and competent instruction to anyone with the desire to master math’s basic skills.
Steve Slavin is a retired Professor of Economics and Math where he taught for fifteen years at Union County College, Cranford, NJ. Slavin’s co-author, Ginny Crisonino, currently serves as Mathematics Chair at Union County College.