What a fantastic idea for a book: Horse interest teamed with math – so on the one hand we have a passion and on the other a required task. And required tasks can be made enjoyable and fun, when given the right encouragement and setting.
The spiral-bound workbook is comprised of seven sections: A Day in the Life, A Trip to the Tack Store, Horse Science, Stable Management, Sports, Horse Facts and Math Games and Things to Make and Do. A summary page appears at the end of each section listing both the information about horses and the math used in the section.
The introduction may be somewhat formal for the target market of Grade 4 students (nine-year-olds) but that said a good array of subject matter is covered throughout the book with the corresponding math.
There’s also an accompanying website, with free content and fun (yes) learning exercises to work through, as well as a Horse Lovers Math club.
It may surprise youngsters how much math is used in the real world – from jump striding, to measuring horses, calculating the weight of a horse, and so on.
In the workbook, I’d like to have seen more detail relating from one page to another, and more links to websites would have been beneficial; for example video presentation of clipping of the bridle path, and pictures and description of clothing for different disciplines.
The book provides some interesting information and shows a good use of the Timeline. Important facts, “Did you know?” and Tips are relevant and interesting, and easy to understand.
While the focus of the book is obviously on math education, I’d have liked some more detail on some of the equine points, ie: what is the maximum height of a pony? A glossary or basic dictionary alongside the vocabulary section would have been useful.
I was also a little confused with some questions that were given in feet, but answers in meters. The metric-imperial battle continues!
But definitely highly recommended for the horse-crazy youngster. I await the second and third workbooks in the series.
Deborah Stacey is the Founder & CEO of HorseLoversMath.com, a website for kids ages 8 and up devoted to horses and math. As a horse crazy girl growing up she dreamed of a life with horses, and realized her dream by receiving an honours degree in horsemanship from Humber College. For years she worked in the equine industry on hunter and jumper farms, in dressage barns and boarding stables. For the past three years, Deborah has worked to align the math curriculum guidelines for grades 4, 5 and 6 to the real-world of horses.