Monday, September 15, 2008

More Murderous Maths

I've just come by from Monica Lim's site and wrt my 2007 post on the Murderous Math series, she showed her daughter a summary of the topics covered by these books and Lesley-Anne said they practically covered all the topics in the GEP! Lest you guys think I'm that knowledgeable or kiasu (I do admit to the latter), I seriously had no idea this was so.

I guess we just lucked out. We were in a bookshop and Brian picked up a book he liked, that was it. His first book was More Murderous Math, and from then on, he started reading those books and practically nothing else (oh yes, his chess books) for a couple of years. Friends who hung out with us during the Frankfurt/early London years would always see him with one of the books. I believe he's read each one at least 20 times, if not more. But he's lost the fervour and hasn't touched those books for the past year or so.

I've probably told everyone I knew who cared to listen and with primary school-going kids just how fantastic these books were. I even introduced the books to Brian's Math teacher in his UK school (the school library had plenty of Horrible Histories, Geography, Science in the library BUT no MM!). I definitely remember telling my homeschooling friend Irene about the books (one of her Christmas presents to Brian was an MM book, which we already had!!), a cousin of mine in Sg, in-laws in Sabah, and now you guys.

Sure hope your kids derive as much fun from these books as Brian did.


MM has an official site here which Brian likes to visit. Kjartan Poskitt's official site is here. Kjartan doesn't just write math books, he writes plays and music (he also wrote The Knowledge's Gobsmacking Galaxy and Dead Famous' Isaac Newton).

Over summer hols, we bought Kjartan's first book in a new series of novel, called Urgum the Axeman. I only realised there were two more Urgum the Axeman books when googling for this post. Both boys found the book funny. Be warned: There's no math in there :)


As an afternote, these books may be great for GEP math, but doesn't help much with Singapore Math (where there are some pretty mind-boggling questions)! Brian has more trouble with Sg PSLE Math workbooks than he does with GEP worksheets, how strange is that?


bACk in GERMANY said...

Book sales are climbing after your review!!!

Lilian said...

Funny lah you!

monlim said...

I think PSLE maths has a lot to do with English more than concepts. Andre is quite ok in his maths, the sums he tend to get wrong are those he misunderstood the question.

Lilian said...

At the lower level, I think it's English. But some of the PSLE questions (well, those in workbooks); after looking at the solutions, we go aaaahhhh so!, but I think there's no way Brian would get it right if posed the question another time.

I guess it could just be exposure and practice (he's not well-versed in models), not so easy to just jump into it and do, unlike GEP work (which is actually more straight-forward).

Li Min said...

This is the conversation I had with Andrea.

ME : Hey, do you read Murderous Maths? I heard it is good for you.

Andrea: Yes, I have read them. But I don't like it.

ME: Why don't you like it? It is good for you....

Andrea: Because it is Kumon in words.

Lilian said...

Kumon in words, haha, really?

Brian loves MM but hated Kumon; he did it for 2 years and I think it almost killed his love for Math!

Li Min said...

Haha.. I have no idea. That is what she says.

Yah, she is also not very interested in Kumon and is only doing less than 15 sheets a week. Think she told the teacher how she spends more than 10 hours in school a day and how much homework she has in school... In fact she is going off to Tioman on Monday and will be telling the teacher she has no time for Kumon.

Andrea is crazy over Horrible Histories and Science though.