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Recommendations for maths workbooks

(14 Posts)
alanyoung Fri 01-Mar-13 21:36:54

Agree with pellshky that times tables are vitally important. Go to for highly targeted practice with no chanting or singing.

pellshky Thu 28-Feb-13 16:27:51

The best thing I found for my own DD was to give her a thorough grounding in times tables and mental arithmetic.

For mental arithmetic the best book was the "Daily Mail 30 second challenge", sadly out of print and being advertised for silly money on amazon. However, the author (Norman Lock) has his own site now where he sells ebooks. You can preview some puzzles. You would only need one book I think. We never wrote in ours, just rattled off a few examples before tea etc. No problem going over the same puzzles, and we never actually timed them.

Both my children enjoyed these puzzles. I can't comment on his other books aimed specifically at children other than I did do some of this kind of thing with my children and they found it a bit boring tbh.

Milzy Thu 28-Feb-13 12:52:46

Have you looked at Komodo Maths? A friend recommended it. Her little girl was having a really bad time with maths and she says it's helped her a lot. My two sound a bit like dd1, not bad at maths but lacking confidence. We've been using Komodo for 4 months and are seeing the benefits. Bonus is they really quite enjoy using it - that may have something to do with the built in reward system and the fact that they can also use it on the ipad.

schilke Wed 27-Feb-13 13:10:17

Thankyou. Some great suggestions which I'll look in to. Glad to know she's not the only shy & retiring one. Some of her friends are so confident with everything that I sometimes think I've messed up as a parent, but dh & I are both quiet types so it's in the genes!

Squeebles looks good and have downloaded it on to her tablet (recent birthday present). We did a bit on perimeters on the Woodlands website before school today as that is what they are doing in class at the moment. She was much happier. I got her to stop saying "I can't do it" when she looks at
a question and just to ask herself what information is there and to breathe!

I have discovered her basic number bonds are bad. She has to think about simple addition, but can do things which are trickier quite quickly - odd. So we shall practise those and time tables.

Elibean Wed 27-Feb-13 11:14:29

dd1 (Y4) was exactly as you describe, with maths, at the end of Y3. We actually paid for some tutoring, for two terms, to cover 'gaps' in basic principles that had probably happened as a result of various KS1 teachers having babies and being ill - no one's fault, just life. It has completely turned things around for her, but I appreciate its a costly solution - though some of the maths sites aren't much cheaper shock

The single biggest help has been learning her times tables thoroughly - it has made a huge difference to her confidence - so if your dd doesn't know hers well, I would focus on that. Squeebles (if you have an iPad or iPhone) are brilliant, and do division as well as multiplication apps.

Poor old dds - yours and mine, who was also refusing to ask for help when stuck! You sound like a lovely supportive mum, so I'm sure you'll find the right way forward for her.

PolkadotCircus Wed 27-Feb-13 10:46:22

I looked at loads and found CPG the best as you can get year based books that gave me a lot of info in what they were doing.They do levelled books too.They come soooo quick,next day!Last time I got free delivery and a load of discount off after going to basket so it might be worth ringing or buying in one go iykwim.

My boys year 4 are quite able in maths but dd year 3 has zero confidence they're kind of a good pitch between the two.Boys don't really do much extra maths if any but to boost dd's confidence I did CPG and Maths Factor summer and winter club which ironically she makes a fuss over doing and the boys beg to do.

Couldn't afford to buy it for the boys,bit hacked off you get no twin or sibling discount. Do find we never finish the camps as they don't run for long and I'm not big on spending hours doing extra work. So think we'll do the one off times tables thing next time.Going to focus on her core skills eg times tables,number bonds etc so she feels happier tackling things.

Squeebles times tables quite good and the times tables colouring book somebody recommended on here.Dd quite liked the Carol Vorderman books although she moans and says "that Vorderman woman again" .hmm

Basically we dip in and out of loads of things,to be honest we probably do very little as I don't want to make a thing of it however we've got parents evening coming up so we'll see how she is doing,bracing myself.If needs be I'll step things up a gear but hoping we don't have to.grin

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 10:35:17

Try ubrainy, galore park, master maths, kumon work books from Amazon, Schofield and Sims.

PastSellByDate Wed 27-Feb-13 10:23:32

Hi schilke:

Yes Maths whizz is hugely expensive (which is why we didn't go for it) and I think for all sites its just 2x the price for a sibling.

With mathfactor you can opt for worksheets (one off payment - around £20), short-term clubs (they do winter and summer clubs - again one-off payments - I think the winter club is just finishing, but summer club will start later this year) or multiplication club (again one-off payment) (info here:

We pay 2 x £14.99 for both girls (because we pay monthly, but it is cheaper to pay yearly). We do this mainly because math at our school is so poorly taught, with little or no homework for any practice, that it seemed a small price to pay for piece of mind. Yes, my DH and I'd like some new shoes/ clothes, but in the scheme of things, we'd rather our girls were numerate and it was clear if we left it to the school - they're "life long love of learning" would be literally true - it would take a lifetime to make up for the loss of opportunity in learning math in primary school.


schilke Tue 26-Feb-13 20:05:32

Thanks. Luckily the cgp books are the ones I ordered earlier. I discovered the boys had a couple of the sats books and I thought they looked comprehensive, so I ordered the year 4 & year 2 (so dd2 doesn't feel left out wink)workbooks.

trinity0097 Tue 26-Feb-13 19:20:37

The cgp workbooks are good, look on their website for the full range, rather than in whsmith.

Make sure that she knows her table and related division facts and can add, subtract, multiply and divide using whatever method they use at her school, check with the teacher. If she struggles with these then I recommend (I am a head of Maths) doing one of each every day to build up her skills, little and often, e.g. 5min a day is far better then doing say an hour once a week.

schilke Tue 26-Feb-13 14:06:38

Just discovered maths whizz would be £249 for both girls for a year!! Might stick to written workbooks - photocopy pages and then can re-use for younger dd.

schilke Tue 26-Feb-13 14:04:15

Thanks for that. I have had a quick look at the sites. I have 2 primary age girls, so I'd like to do it for both of them, but those sites are very vague about cost for 2 - is it just double?

I think we had a free trial of maths whizz for my boys when they were younger.

PastSellByDate Tue 26-Feb-13 13:20:54

Hi Schilke:

I know that Carol Vorderman does a range of maths books (check out mumsnet learning pages store section) - if it is something very straightforward like more practice with multiplication or something you can buy specific books, just have a look at them at a local bookshop/ newsagent. we've also turned to internet tutorials.

We have subscribed to mathsfactor (link here: Others on Mumsnet have also sung the praises of mathletics ( and maths whizz ([[]. They all offer practice, games and explanation of the calculation methods - but their approaches are slightly different. You can trial these (visit the web page and see what lesson format you like - but all also offer 1 month free trial I think, so you can see if it works before fullly committing).

It is expensive (£14.99 a month) but we've found that the solid, steady building-block approach really ensures skills are acquired, rather than kind of understanding what you should be doing. It has meant that both DDs are confident with their maths ability, understand that it takes time to acquire skills (and practice) and are much calmer when they encounter new things.


schilke Tue 26-Feb-13 12:23:45

Dc3 (dd1) has just turned 9 and is in year 4. She is bright and capable, but lacks confidence in maths....just like I did! In her class there are 5 maths groups and she has just been moved out of the top one into the second one - this is a crisis for her as she has always been in the top group in all subjects.

I have tried to explain to her that this will help her, but she can only see it as a bad thing. Ds2 (12) tried to help (unusual for him!) and said that he had just gone up to the top group having spent most of primary and all of year 7 in the second group, so she can move back. He said he preferred it in the second group at primary, as when he was briefly in the top, he didn't like the competitive racing to finish the questions first.

She had maths homework last night. She seemed ok with it, but when I looked over it she had got in a right muddle. I tried to help her, but she was hysterical. We left it. This morning I suggested to her that I could get her a workbook that we can do together - if she wants to. She did and she has said she won't get hysterical hmm

I had a quick look online and there are loads. Can anyone recommend one?

She is terrified of giving the wrong answer - I have told her loads of times that you learn through mistakes and that she must ask the teacher if she is stuck, but she is very quiet. Oh goodness, I just see myself when I listen to her! How do i cure this problem of worrying about the wrong answer? She can do it, she just has this fear about it - I can see it in her eyes!!

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