Maths. It’s a school subject that seems to divide people – both children and adults. Some people just hate it and find it so so difficult, yet for others, like myself, it is their favourite school subject!
When you think of Ladybird books most people remember the Keywords scheme which taught children all over the country to read, they remember fondly the classic stories and also the vast array of history books that Ladybird published. They may also recall all the nature books with their amazing illustrations and the various hobbies that were covered in other series. The books that may often be forgotten though are some of the maths titles.
There are two main maths series – series 661, Word for Number, from which I’ve featured Book 3 previously on Ladybird Tuesday and also series 678 which was originally called Basic Arithmetic. Published between 1967 and 1968 this series had four titles originally:
- Book 1 – Addition made easy
- Book 2 – Subtraction made easy
- Book 3 – Multiplication made easy
- Book 4 – Division made easy
It is Multiplication made easy that I have chosen to feature on this week’s Ladybird Tuesday, but it is worth considering the general introduction to the series (again quoting from the Curriculum Bulletin No. 1 of he Schools Council) as this outlines the series as such:
- Book 1 covers the 100 basic facts of addition
- Book 2 covers the 100 basic facts of subtraction
- Book 3 covers the 100 basic facts of multiplication
- Book 4 covers the 90 basic facts of division
Now, looking through this multiplication book I have to say that I am a tad puzzled as to exactly what these “facts” are that it claims to cover. Yes the book features the 100 different multiplications of numbers between 0 and 9, but are these really facts? I guess only if you are learning “facts” by rote. As a child, if you were picking this book up cold it night have helped to have had a bit more written explanation of exactly how to do multiplications. Also featuring numbers higher than nine in the sums might help stretch the children too, especially since 10 is such an easy number to multiply by!
It’s interesting to note that in the 1980s a new title was added to the series (The Ladybird Book of Tables and other Measures) and this was followed a year later by the series being renamed Junior Maths and four new titles were brought out called (unsurprisingly) Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. I’ll be looking out for one of these versions to see if the maths gets any more explanation.
If you have a collection of old Ladybird books then please feel free to join in with Ladybird Tuesday. There are no formal rules to follow, just leave a link to any post you write in the comments below and if you’re feeling kind link back to my Ladybird Tuesday index page here on Being Mrs C. Thanks!