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Think you’ve got problems? Solve them.

This contest has ended. Check below for the results!

Note from Tsh: I smiled when I first read today’s guest writer Laura Laing’s book title: Math for Grownups. If anyone needs Basic Math 101, it’s me (just ask my parents). So when Laura asked if I’d like to check out her book, I jumped at the chance. And I’m so glad I did! Now, Simple Mom readers have a chance to win a copy as well. Read on…

You’ve probably figured out by now that math in your everyday life isn’t much like the worksheets and timed drills you suffered through in elementary and middle school. And in the real world, you can leave those way, way behind.

That’s because grownup math has more to do with problem solving than remembering that 7 times 8 is 56. Most of us don’t use trigonometry or calculus. But basic math skills figure into some of the most critical decisions of each day—how to save money, save time and save your sanity. These days, you need to know how much top soil to order for your flower bed or what time your parents will arrive in Boston, if they’re driving in from St. Louis.

Four summers ago, I decided to build a deck—something I’d never done before. This process taught me a lot about the math I already knew and how to fill in the gaps with some pretty simple problem solving skills.

Tackle your fear

Don’t let these problems throw you completely. If the math freaks you out, deal with those feelings first.

Building a deck was an overwhelming proposition for me, and not only because I’d be using power tools. The materials were expensive. (What if I ordered too much or too little?) The project required skills I didn’t have. (What if I had to mix concrete?)  And I was going to have to deal with tiny details that can make me crazy. (What if the deck turned out six inches too tall on one side?)

Photo by Laura Laing

And then I asked myself a basic question: How hard could it be?  I’m as smart as the average construction worker. Besides, how great would I feel drinking my coffee out there in the morning? (Answer: pretty darned great.)

Figure out what you know

It’s easy to focus on your shortcomings, but good problem solvers almost always start with what they already know. Take my deck. I knew how big I wanted it to be and that I didn’t want any railings. I also knew that it would be situated over an existing concrete pad. I knew that I needed a set of steps and that it would be attached to the side of my house. I knew how to use a circular saw and swing a hammer.

Brainstorming these little details not only boosts your confidence, but also highlights what you need to find out.

Research what you don’t know

With my deck, I felt pretty confident that I could manage the posts and decking. But the stairs were pretty darned scary. So, I watched online videos and read articles. I trolled through DIY forums for been-there-done-that advice. Basically, I gathered information.

These days, the Internet makes it relatively easy to learn something new. Don’t remember the formula for the area of a triangle?  Look it up. Want to know how many tablespoons are in a cup? Open up a browser. There’s no need to remember everything you were supposed to learn in school. Not with the world wide web at your fingertips.

Get it down on paper

This is my favorite piece of problem-solving advice. Whether you’re figuring out how much you’ll save with your weekly stash of grocery coupons or you’re hanging pictures in your hallway, writing and drawing can be a huge help. And you don’t have to get fancy.

I drew my deck designs on the back of a school flier that my kid brought home that spring. I didn’t use a ruler, and nothing was drawn to scale. By the end of the project, the paper had been folded and refolded so many times, I could see light through the creases. This drawing was for my benefit, so no one else needed to understand it.

Check before you do

Unfortunately, the most important thing (besides confidence) that was probably drilled out of us in our math classes was the ability to spot an unreasonable answer. When the goals are speed and memorization, there’s no time for that kind of self-evaluation. But as a grownup, you can and should take this step.

Each time I measured a board to cut for my deck, I stepped back and took a look. Did it look too long or too short? Then I measured again. And took another look.

When doubling a recipe, make sure the altered measurements make sense. When balancing your checkbook, look through the amounts to be sure that they’re reasonable. You might be surprised by the little mistakes that you find, mistakes that could lead to bigger problems.

Each day, we’re faced with problems. And if you’re like most folks, the ones involving math are often the most daunting. But as grownups, we have more freedom to break the rules and get help. Having a few go-to problem-solving techniques can get you to a solution quicker and more confidently. And who couldn’t use a little more time and confidence?

Giveaway time!

10 Simple Mom readers will win a copy of Laura’s new book, Math for Grownups! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post, answering this question: “Growing up, what was your favorite subject in school?” (If you’re reading this via email, you must click over to the post to leave a comment.)

This giveaway will end Saturday, September 10 at 11:59 pm PST (that’s tomorrow). I hope you win!

The winners are: Shannon, Theresa, Angela, Emily, Julie, Gretchen, Lawana, Catie, Fiona, and Bree. You’ll be notified shortly! Thanks for entering.

Reading Time:

4 minutes





  1. Alisa


  2. Jill Satterfield

    My favorite subject growing up was art. It still is! I also did pretty well in math, until we got to high school geometry. Math for Grownups sounds intriguing!

  3. Kristy

    I loved science. Still do.

  4. Celina Green

    Hmmm . . . my favorite subject was Science.

  5. Kristy

    Definitely English Composition!

  6. Michele

    Oh, how I hope I win! My favorite subject was English. And Art. And Choir. Anything but Math. We dated once; but he was always right, I was always wrong ~ who needs that aggravation, right? Yes, I still have issues and baggage. I really need this book. Thanks so much for a great post and giveaway!

    xoxo michele

  7. Gretchen

    English…the literature part of it. Not-so-much the diagramming of the sentences!!



  9. Sarah

    Music was always my favorite, but English came as a close second!

  10. Serena

    Mine was the broad subject of ‘Social Studies’, which is just a quicker way to say ‘History & Geography’.

  11. Shannon @ AnchorMommy

    English! That’s why I became a journalist and a writer. And I still hate math to this day. 😉

  12. Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm

    My favorite subject was geography by FAR! It has always made me sad how little most people know of the world around them. Once at work I surveyed my coworkers as to how many countries that they thought were in Africa. (The answer I was going for was 47, this was pre South Sudan!) The answers I got ranged from 2-30.

  13. Betsy

    My favorite was English and Literature!

    But I’m discovering the joys of math as my son does Saxon Algebra. Who knew numbers were so interesting???

  14. Allison

    My favorite subject in school was always Literature, but when I went to college I double majored in History and Philosophy.

  15. Carrie Cotton

    History, I had an amazing teacher my Junior year, he made it all come to life and instilled a lasting love in me for it.

  16. Erin

    I loved art and still do 🙂

  17. Fiona

    Hisory…loved it!

  18. Christie

    History has always been my favorite. We homeschool and I’m finding I enjoy math so much better this time around.

  19. Phronsie Howell

    Hm, my favorite subject at a kid was probably literature. I didn’t get math till pre-algebra. It’s a toss up between literature and science. Oh, or music.

  20. Missy

    I loved reading and writing AND ceramics. Anything that allowed me to to be creative.

  21. Jennifer

    I loved history – the classes, the museums, the History Channel. And I shied away from Math – and any math-related sciences starting around 5th grade or so. That fear of math still haunts me in real-life situations and in academic ones as well (even though I am a writing teacher). This book sounds amazing!

  22. Deborah

    Math-wise, I loved algebra and geometry. In general, though, I was (and still am) more of an English/literature kind of girl.

  23. Julia

    My favorite subject was history. Definitely not math, which is why I would love this book!

  24. Debra


  25. Tina

    I loved PE – does that count? I maxed out my brain In high school science after Chem I and in math somewhere during Trig or Calc I. I enjoy reading now because I get to choose what I read.

  26. Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)

    English was my favorite subject growing up. Math… not so much. It has never been my strong area so I would benefit from this book!!

  27. Julie

    My favorites were History and Literature.

  28. bryssy

    Band! I love playing music.

    I just read this book on my Kindle last night. What a fun book about math! I’d like to share it with some of my non-math friends.

    The funny thing is, although I hated math growing up, I became a math teacher! I adore Algebra. In fact, I known for using the Pythagorean theorem to figure out how much material I need for a sewing project or slope to compare cell phone plans. But, that just me. Math rocks!

  29. beth lehman

    I think this book looks so interesting! I read about it over on Sew Mama Sew a few weeks ago and loved what the author was saying. As a teacher and mom, I would love to be able to talk about “everyday math”. I loved READING and wanted to love math – by middle school with a cranky math teacher I stopped enjoying math, but kept finding solace in books… oh, and I really like Home Ec!

  30. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    I’ve just started sewing again, which has provided the intellectual challenge for me that you’re deck-building did for you–math, patterns, geometry and spacial conception, oh my!

    English lit has my heart 🙂

  31. Carrie @ in the sweet sunshine

    I loved band. 🙂 But my husband is a math teacher… yeah. I married one of THOSE guys. (I’m going to show him that pi picture at the top of your post — he’ll love it!! 🙂

  32. Lee

    English and Literature was always my favourite 🙂 Though, grade 9 Classics was fabulous!

  33. Sharon

    Drama and Biology….I was weird!

  34. Ashley


  35. Rebecca

    This book is great, I think my husband needs to start handing them out! My husband is a Math Professor and when someone asks what he teaches, their response has always been I was never good at math! Even doctors, have responded this way. My husband and I crack up afterwards, because w have yet to meet a person (besides fellow mathematicians) that have said I am/was really good at math.

  36. Sara S

    My favorite subject was English/Literature. I really loved my British Literature class in high school.

  37. Angela

    English. I loved Science until it got too Math-y.

  38. Erin Shaheen

    My favourite subject was gym class. I always wanted to do something as a career that took me close to other athletes – physio, gym teacher, recreation leader etc.

    I’m totally math phobic, I would love to make it real for me. I think if my highschool teachers used math for knitting, I would have been more motivated. That is where I notice my lack and fear of math the most.

  39. Lisa

    Honestly, it was and still is Math!

  40. Kimberly

    English and math… I was a weird kid 🙂

  41. Elizabeth

    English was always my favorite subject–I even became an English teacher. Now I’m a homeschooling mother, and I spend my days reading with my children.

  42. Breezie

    I enjoyed English.

  43. Kelsi

    My favorite subject was Latin!

  44. Nicole Dufendach


  45. naureen15

    I was laughing reading your post, you really said it well. Before when we are still in school, we always do memorizing multiplication, getting our jelly brains out finding the least common denominator. Now, as a mom get headache computing how to stretched te last money in the wallet for whole week groceries and bills. Computing the time wh doing the laundry and preparing hot meal for the family when they arrive. Hah! we really bombarded with math problems everyday. I thought I am done with it.

  46. Kim Johnson

    I love love love the idea of this book! I love math (I have my PhD) and whenever I tell people that, they always say something like, “Oh, I hate math!” My response is that we do math every day all the time, and never notice it. If people knew how much power they could gain just by being aware of the math they already do, their lives would be better.

    My favorite study I read about in grad school was a bunch of middle aged women who hated math. They were given a bunch of problems to do on a test or worksheet or something—they did terribly. Then, they went to the grocery store and did the SAME type of problems in context, and they did much better.

    The other thing I love about this post and the title of the book is that now as adults, we can do things differently. I hated P.E in school, but now that I’m grown up I can make it fit me, instead of doing things because the teacher made me. I’d never applied that to math before, what a great insight!

  47. Amber

    Anything but math or PE!

  48. Marci

    I’m a Math/Science girl.

  49. RLR

    I loved biology – even though we eventually had to dissect a frog.

  50. Darnetta

    Fav subject was english…i could surely use this!

  51. Laura Gail


  52. tina

    Math was my favorite subject. If I win this, it will go to my husband. He needs all the help he can get.

  53. Tricia

    I LOVE art, but I didn’t get to take a “real” art class in school. So as far as subjects are concerned, math was probably my favorite. 🙂

  54. Kara

    I too loved English/Literature!

  55. B

    I always enjoyed Math!

  56. Angie

    Music was my favorite!

  57. Jill

    English. Loved it!

  58. Ashley D.

    Literature was my favorite subject.

  59. Heather

    My favorite subject in school and college was Science!

  60. DebbieRN

    History! Am reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin now. An excellent book I never read in school – probably because it’s over 600 pages and full of Christian apologetics. Who knew Harriet Beecher Stowe was the Martha Stewart of her day? Please, this book is a Must Read.

  61. Mary

    English/Reading!!!!! But I really enjoyed the brain challenge of chemistry. It wasn’t ‘my thing’ but I loved how hard I had to work for it!

  62. Rachel Salazar

    I’m a science girl all the way – enough to major in chemistry!

  63. Anna

    History! I still enjoy reading,watching and learning things about the past.

  64. Penelope

    I’m thinking this book would really help my husband and his Mom. They are both so phobic about math that they won’t even try!

  65. Jackie s

    English and science. Hated chem though.. Thats why i need this book 😉

  66. Christine

    English was always my favorite subject. I suffer from mathphobia (wink), so I could definitely benefit from this book!

  67. Maria

    I liked Music and Biology.

  68. Emily Woodall

    My favorite subject in school was history=-)

  69. Jaime

    This looks like a great book! My favorite subject was always history.

  70. Hannah

    My favorite subject was Literature. I hope I win, too!

  71. Kimberly

    I always enjoyed the social sciences and literature because I am fascinated by stories of other people and cultures. Sadly, though, I am another math phobic and have always struggled. I always say I wanted to like math, but it never liked me back! I have become comfortable with some simple calculations I routinely run into at work (I’m an RN), but one of the reasons I’ve been putting off getting a more advanced degree is because I’m so afraid of taking statistics!

  72. Heather

    I loved history in high school, and anthropology in college!

  73. Jen

    My favorite subject was English.

  74. karrie


  75. Alex J

    I was and still am a math and physics person.

  76. Erin

    This book has been on my wishlist!

    I enjoyed most subjects in school, so it’s hard to pick one favorite. Science, history, English…

  77. Kristen

    I’ve been visiting your site pretty regularly lately and I love the information you provide to your readers! This post made me laugh because my husband always makes fun of my bad math skills. My favorite subject in school was definitely art – I love everything about it, drawing, painting, pottery – everything!

  78. Michelle

    I enjoyed a number of subjects, but Biology was always my favourite.

  79. Amy from Texas

    Band, most definitely.

  80. Elena

    Funny enough, it was business management. I learned how to write checks and balance a check book when I was 16. Of course this was during the pre online banking days 🙂

  81. Emily S

    English! Especially with Mrs. Elsen– we had a wedding ceremony in class while studying the Common Book of Prayer, and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party where she got a little wild pouring tea all over the table. She loved what she taught and let us experience her contagious enthusiasm!

  82. Lori Pavelka

    English! Which might explain while my math skills have always been a bit lacking . . .

  83. Sarah G @ JoyontheJourney

    English literature! I was the one who actually enjoyed all that class reading : )

  84. Caitlin

    My favorite subject was always history.

  85. Andrea

    My favorite subject was reading/literature.

  86. Billie

    My favorite subject was art although I was/am still good at math. I would like this book for my husband though.

  87. michele


  88. Sunny

    Oh goodness, I didn’t really have a favorite, but if I had to choose, I’d say English. I was not a stellar student and math makes me shake in my boots so this book would be fabulous for me!

  89. Cara @ WhimsySmitten

    My favorite subject was English – probably because I loved to write even then. But Math… I {still} break out in hives trying to solve a word problem. Help! 🙂 What a wonderful book idea. I know I need it!

  90. Erin T

    Anything science! I had the chickenpox the first day we were schedule to do a dissection. I cried for a couple of days. LOL! I’m a nerd.

  91. Anne

    My favorite was English!

  92. Amber N.

    So my favorite subject was reading! But my favorite subject to teach is math, its way more fun.

  93. Carmen

    I loved math and science as a child – up until I got to college-level calculus but still graduated with a minor in Math. But the crazy thing is that I have a tough time with daily math! My husband teases me to no end about it.

  94. Raji P.

    As the daughter of a math professor, it’s no surprise that MATH was my favorite. I really loved studying math!

  95. Olivia

    Ha! Math was my absolute WORST subject in school and then (go figure!) I take business administration as a major in college. What a mess! The subject I enjoyed the most at school was English. Still love it!

  96. Sarah

    Music and art. I was a music teacher, and I’m married to a music teacher, so we could really use this book! 🙂

  97. Elizabee

    English- which is exactly why I need Math for Grown ups! 🙂

  98. Mary

    I did better in English/social studies in high school but ended up graduating from college with honors in computer science – a subject that required two full years of calculus and calculus based physics. Everything changed for me when I discovered my learning style and math started clicking.

    I love this post!

  99. Lisa A

    I have to choose? Science or English!

  100. Jennifer Jones

    Great article, however just the title scares me…my years trying to learn math and now my son who unfortunately has my ability for the subject…{not a good thing for him}…

    I definitely loved music, the arts, english {some} and history!

    thanks for sharing!

  101. Mary Elizabeth

    My favorite subject in school was French. Followed closely by English, History, Science, Art… Basically, I loved everything except math. (Even when I loved my math teachers.) How I would love to win this book.

  102. Dawn

    My favorite subject was English….but now homeschooling three children I am realizing that I should have paid more attention in math class!

  103. Jan

    I actually liked math but it is as if I’ve forgotten most of it. So humbling.

  104. Nickolina Jacoby

    Boy did that bring up the memories! I had such a difficult time with math that I still don’t know my multiplication tables, although I deeply understand the effect of that lack. Homeschooling was a challenge but my kids generally are better at numbers than I am which says more about the method than the teacher.

    Reading, English, spelling, art…those were easy because you can ‘fudge’ them a little bit and creativity is rewarded (except in spelling). I think favorite subjects are chosen because they were easier, but maybe that’s just me.

  105. KimSD

    I loved History class! Math for Grownups sounds like a great book!

  106. Debi

    I said to my husband, just 2 hours ago, “I’ve got a journalism degree – you do the math!”

  107. Jennifer

    Certainly NOT math!
    Loved history and English lit.

  108. Erin

    Definitely English/lit/creative writing! Still love it!

  109. Kathy Albright

    English and Social Studies were my favorites – definitely not math. My son won’t even let me help him with his math homework – he says I give him the wrong answers! 🙂

  110. Jessica

    “Rock Band”was my favorite class in HS. Yes, I actually had a class called “Rock Band”

  111. Laura

    I always loved English class.

  112. Alexis

    My favorite subject was English!! Math was my nemesis.

  113. Mandy Moore

    My fav would have to be History!!
    It amazes me that my 11 year old LOVES math 🙂 She did not make it into the highest math class for her grade and was really disappointed. She said to me “Mom, I want to learn algebra on my own with you!” Oh dear!! Unfortunately, she will not be learning it from me. I told her to seek out her Dad 🙂

  114. Julie vH

    This grownup really struggles with math, I would so love to have help in this area. Thank you for the opportunity!

  115. Kat

    I loved math!!! Unfortunately on of my kids doesn’t . . . so it is a little hard to watch her struggle. Maybe this book will help us communicate!

  116. Liz Gerstung

    I loved reading and science – specifically biology!

  117. Mary Beth

    My favorite subject was “Anything Not Math!”

  118. stephanie

    My favorite subject was reading or library.

  119. Terese

    English and music!

  120. Rana

    English, Brit Lit. anything to do with reading.

  121. Amy W

    Calculus and journalism… but then I became a high school Spanish teacher. Go figure!

  122. katherine

    i loved math, but am horrible at it now!

  123. Allison

    It’d be a toss-up between art and english lit. I still love to read and make stuff, and discovered as an adult, making the things I love to make, that I’m actually good at math! Once I got it off the page and into the real world it finally made sense to me.

  124. cagey

    My favorite subjects were always the ones in science. NOT math. Then, for some reason, I grew up to become a licensed CPA. Go figure!

  125. Cindy

    Actually Math was and still is my favorite subject. This book looks exactly like what I can use to teach my older kids about real math and how it fits into real life.

  126. Vicki Jepsen

    My favorite school subject was History, especially American History.

  127. mkw

    Art, then history. Math makes my head hurt!

  128. Mimi

    PE was the class that opened the world for me. I was so uncoordinated as a young girl and my teacher Ms. Hawkinson took the time to show me how PE involved strategy, skill, cunning and not just brawn and athletic ability. Also with a little practice I got better at those things I was not so good at… like hitting a softball, kicking a soccer ball and throwing a football. She inspired me to make PE fun for all girls out there, I became a teacher too. (Ode to Ms. H)
    I love being outdoors and using the body God gave me to move, have fun and play with the kids and my own child.

  129. Lori Mercer

    I LOVED Math. My dad was a high school math teacher. BUT, my husband despises it and is trying to go back to college and starting in Math 050. Pray for our marriage 🙂

  130. Lori Mercer

    I LOVED Math. But my husband despises it. He is getting ready to go back to college and starting in Math 050. I totally need to win this book for him and the sake of our marriage 🙂

  131. Susan Hardt

    I loved History, Geography and reading…any subject that involved reading was fun.

  132. Wendy

    English and reading

  133. Nicole


  134. Cheryl B

    This is one of my all time favorite articles. I’m going to print it out and put it on my fridge. Sometimes fear of not doing “it” just right controls what I do….or don’t do. Your points are excellent and I can’t wait to put them in practice. Never thought I’d find a post on overcoming fear here. BTW, my favorite subject in school was math. It energized me when a complicated problem worked out exactly as it was supposed to. I’d love to learn more!

  135. Sarah

    Definitely English.

  136. Myrtle

    Actually, my favourite subject was… math!
    Can I still enter the contest?

  137. Pamela


  138. Mandi

    My favorite subject was English because of an amazing teacher!! 🙂

  139. Darcy Nugent

    I enjoyed creative writing and science!

  140. Merri B

    Typing! Took it every year through high school. It was easy and fun!

  141. Kelly

    Computer Science and Math!

  142. Robin Bird

    In elementary school I loved anything in with a workbook. It was so satisfying completing a page, then turning it into the teacher for that sticker on top. Simple, easy and gratifying.

  143. Sharon W

    Does playing on the monkey bars at recess count as a subjevct????? 😉 I love to read, so I really enjoyed home room time when we would read quietly to ourselves.

  144. Sara

    My favorite subject was history in school. In college it was Psychology.

  145. Abby A

    English and Literature, fo sho’.

  146. Kellie M

    I loved math. (Although, had my school offered a Home Ec class, I bet that would have been my favorite!)

  147. Lee

    Good heavens, do I ever need this! I have a master’s in English, and my favorite t-shirt wisdom is “English Major – You do the Math.” Seriously, I’d love to give this book a spin to see if it can help my math phobia. I’ll never forget the panic I experienced in preparing for the GRE and dreading the math section!


  148. elizabeth

    my favorite subject in school would *have been* home economics ~ IF my school would have offered it!! as a home schooling mom to six kiddos, and an avid crafter & sewer, i *would* have benefited GREATLY from this class. nonethless, i would have to say that art was my favorite class. i dapple in painting, but it always seems much more mathmatical than i realize…i usually walk away frustrated that i can’t create what i envision in my mind. which is why i’m *HOPING* that i win ~ i could SO use a math refresher before my oldest enters Algebra :0)

  149. Theresa Brennan

    English (Reading) not math 🙂

  150. Trish

    Actually one of my faves was Math! But I would love this book for my hubby who readily admits he “stinks at math”

  151. Judy

    Natural sciences

  152. Tina Riemer

    I was (and am) a lit girl. . .good thing, since I make my living writing. Congrats on the deck — I’m thoroughly impressed!

  153. Melissa B

    I loved literature/english, but I also had a favorite social studies teacher that got me excited about life and the world around us. Unfortunately I had a math teacher that turned me off to math for a long time, well, actually forever, by telling me that “only smart kids” could be in his math class and I should transfer out. Now I realize that he was a chauvinist but the math fear lingers on. I could really use this book before my kindergartener gets math homework. Thanks for the opportunity!

  154. Kim M

    My favourite subject was math oddly enough! I liked the black and whiteness of it all, you were either right, or wrong. Then I got to grade 12 and it turned a little grey…I haven’t really enjoyed math since!

  155. Kris E.

    My favorite subject was Art class :)!

  156. Christine S


  157. Nicole Devereaux

    Oh, I always loved to READ! Anything literature/English related was my favorite subject.

  158. Kellie

    My favorite subject in school was English and I always struggled with Math! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win this as I am studying to pass the CSET to become an elementary school teacher. I am so worried about passing the Math portion of the test, any extra help studying would be fantastic!

  159. Erika Russell

    I loved English!! And history, but only with the right teacher!

  160. Erin

    My favorite subject was French.

  161. Kathy

    Believe it or not, it was math, but since that was more than 40 years ago, I have slowly, but surely forgotten so much of that knowledge.

  162. Heatherly

    Reading and then Literature!

  163. Pattyann

    My favorite subject in school was always English. Mostly because I love to read and write. I still do both those things and hope to someday be able to publish my own book. I also liked math (except Geometry), and used to be pretty good at it. I find that it is amazing how many things we do every single day that need math skills.

  164. Hollie Heintz

    My fave subject was spelling! It’s fun helping my daughter with spelling…but, I’m finding myself really excited to help her with Math too…it’s like I get to have a second chance at learning the stuff I didn’t learn the first time!

  165. Penelope

    Oh my goodness this book has my name on it!! From 6th grade fractions on, math was
    my downfall, and still is. (repeated Algebra 1 ) But am willing to face this fear and relearn.
    At almost 70, it’s never too late…I hope. Became voracious reader instead.

  166. LC

    I loved history! Still do, but my husband is a math guy and I would love to be more knowledgeable in that area 🙂

  167. Sara

    Loved Choir – and now I love Glee! Math….not so much.

  168. mary


  169. Julie in NE

    English! Although I always loved science as well. Then when I went to college I had the stunning realization that math is very often the basis for so many science courses (chemistry, physics, etc.) The horror! In other words, I could definitely use a math refresher course. 🙂

  170. Christine Parent

    my favorite subject was not Math. I liked Recess the most but English came in second.

  171. Kristen Rundman

    My favorite subject was math. It always felt like a game to me.

  172. Rachel

    The reading part of English followed by science & math

  173. Diane

    My favorite subject was probably math and especially accounting in college! I also loved statistics. But of course, Mommy brain has taken over and I need that book!

  174. Kirsten

    English! 🙂

  175. Rheana

    English and Biology!

  176. Melissa

    Math and English tied….I like structure. 🙂

  177. Jodie

    I loved Geography! Anything to do with learning the world. My mum and dad used to take us camping and my mum being a teacher, would always talk to us about the things we saw, how they got there etc. I loved it all. Now I find I am doing the same with my children.

  178. Anita

    I enjoyed most subjects, but Latin is the one I loved the most.

  179. Lee

    Elementary School – science
    Middle School – art
    High School – English/Language Arts

  180. tricia

    I think I liked most subjects, especially when I had to do any reading – I absolutely love to read!

  181. Patty

    my favorite subject was what used to be called Home Ec, that’s where I learned to sew and I still love sewing

  182. Kara


  183. Vanessa

    Math… I’m actually an algebra teacher! The book sounds REALLY intersting. We’ve had a lot of discussions at school lately about making it more applicable for the students, so this could be a great resource!

  184. Elizabeth

    My favorite subject was Literature and still is. I’m trying to pass that love onto my two boys!

  185. Nancy Mosley

    English was my favorite subject. Math was my worst so this book sounds great.

  186. JeriP

    Anything that wasn’t math.

  187. Lorelei


  188. Alicen

    Ironically, I liked math 🙂 And biology when I got older.

  189. Lisa

    Social Studies!

  190. nicole i

    industrial education also known as “shop class” way back in the day when electives were still offered!

  191. Teri Arp

    Oh, math was always my worst subject! Give me a language class any day: English, Spanish, French, Hebrew . . .

  192. Esther V

    I Loved Music! (choir and orchestra) but I did well with Sciences too. Math has always been an issue though…any help would be appreciated!

  193. Stefanie

    Science and math!

  194. Robyn

    I liked most subjects at one time or another depending on the teachers. But, I NEVER liked math! My favorites were art and science.

    I think this book might help to introduce my daughter (homeschool) to some everyday applications for math. Sure, I use math practically everyday, but I really don’t think about it. I haven’t figured out how to explain exactly why I come up with my answers — in a way that makes sense to the rest of the world. I use crazy “cooks math” in my head. I don’t want to confuse the poor kid!

  195. Amber

    I loved (and still do!) SCIENCE!!!

  196. Lawana

    Yeah, my favorite was Math…though I pretty much liked all subjects. I was kind of a school junkie. (aka NERD)

  197. Sue Klingseis

    My favorite subject was English…so I could really use this book!

  198. nopinkhere

    Chemistry–though I don’t use it much currently except when cooking.

  199. rani

    Growing up my favorite subject was English! The teacher was amazing and inspirational and I loved the way she taught it, with interaction and creativity! The when I hit college, a few of of my favorite pre-req courses was Geography and Political Science of all things…and again, it was because the teacher was very engaging and made the material interesting and engaging! I wish it was like that for math growing up!!!! Maybe my kids will have better experiences!

  200. Laura Tierney

    Home Economics – Guess that’s why I’m a stay-at-home mom.
    Math -Not my favorite. Guess that’s why I need this book!

  201. Heidi

    I loved math until midway through high school, something happened to my brain… I struggled with math and suddenly enjoyed writing. Go figure!

  202. Bree

    My favorite subject had to be math actually – algebra specifically. I loved how everything was logical and could be solved to a definite answer. I absolutely loathed “social studies” – nothing made sense, nothing was logical, and nothing had a definite answer. Of course I later married an arts major who doesn’t have a logical bone in his body. I love him more than anything, but of course I still enjoy that logical also.

  203. Beth

    English was my favorite subject. I loved it so much I got a PhD in it and now teach students who want to go to college, but need their fundamentals “brushed up.”

  204. Sara Castonguay

    I really enjoyed reading this article, well written. My favorite subject was biology and I always had a love-hate thing with math.

  205. shana

    my favorite subject was math and now i’ve got a 12-year-old who is a math geek too. looks like a great book. thanks for the giveaway.

  206. sara

    My favorite subject year was usually linked to who my favorite teacher was, but I think it was probably english or science.

  207. Sarah

    English and History were my two favorite subjects, followed up by Art and Chorus. I wish I remembered more math – I had a huge block against it as a kid, but now it doesn’t seem quite so daunting – I just feel like a lack basic skills and formulas. This book would be a great resource!! Thanks for writing about it!!

  208. Jill G

    My favorite subject was always math!

  209. Kim Donohue

    I loved math problems…getting to the end and figuring out the value of “x” was always
    so satisfying!!!

  210. Stephanie

    Oh, English literature and History. Reading the textbooks were like reading novels, I couldn’t put them down. Math was dry and stressful (all those timed tests and games); except geometry. Geometry was simply elegant.

  211. Sandi in MN

    I loved algebra in school, not by any means because I was good at math,I still stink at math and can’t do a stick of it in my head but I loved problem solving! Algebra is problem solving.

  212. Laura

    Science! I was always good in Math, but you wouldn’t know it now! lol

  213. Carrie M

    Gym. I loved having a break from the serious studies, burning off energy and being carefree.

  214. vicki A

    I loved English. I did really enjoy an accounting class in high school too!!!

  215. Abbie

    My favs were math and reading – I still do lots of reading, but not as much math …

  216. Heather Weis

    I love and have always loved English, from the geeky grammar to the beautiful literature. As a college student, every time I go to class, I think “Wow, this is my class? I get to read for homework. Awesome.” 🙂

  217. Kinda Crunchy Kate

    This book is a great idea! I need this book. 🙂 As for my favorite subject, it was English. (Not the grammar part, though. Just the reading part.)

  218. Cheri

    English- especially all the great literature we read every year!

  219. Bethany

    My favorite class was not “a subject” but a variety of them meshed together. It was a seperate class set aside for the “gifted” students. It was the only class where I was really taught how to reason, self-evaluate, and think outside the box. I so wished the school had continued to fund that program!

  220. cheryl

    P.E. 😉 , Music, and Art!

  221. Shayla

    Reading…..during every other subject……..with a book under the desk or hidden in the textbook!

  222. Kelly Marriott

    Literature was my favorite subject. Still love it!

  223. MelodyJ

    I love History and Geography. Most school around here don’t really teach geography sadly.


  224. Archer

    My favorite subject was English.

  225. Debbie

    Toss up between English and Art!

  226. Brenda

    Hi! I’d be thrilled to win. Sunday 9/11 is my b-day! : ) My favorite subject in school was German, because I had such a fantastic teacher who made it fun to learn. She was very creative, full of energy and I still remember a poem she had us memorize in 10th grade (and I’ll be turning 42!) Most of all – I loved the class because she cared about each of us, and was a grown-up we could trust and count on. Thanks!

  227. sharon

    My favorite subject was art. I love to create and work with my hands. Math was always difficult. It’s embarrassing how I can’t remember how to do algebra! I could definitely use a refresher course.

  228. Denise G

    Science – but only after I had to retake it over one summer. Thanks!

  229. Fiona

    Math in any shape or form has never been a strong point of mine, which probably explains my preference for English, French and German. I loved Modern Languages when I was at school and graduated with a degree in translating and interpreting. I could sure use this Math book!!

  230. Ingrid

    I loved reading any great book. Still do. Desperately want to conquer the Math fear. Thanks for the encouragement.

  231. Leslie Corney

    Geometry/trigonometry, do not use it daily but yearly for sure.

  232. Lea G

    Hey My favorite was always English and art classed best time to run around the class.

  233. Suzanne

    I loved spelling & grammar. Had to take beginning algebra 3 times before I passed it!

  234. Marianne

    I need this math book; sounds like simple genuis for those of us who could use a little help figuring it all out!!

  235. Fe Louis

    Mine was Dance and Math – what a combination!!!

  236. Nicole Rae

    My favorite subject in school was definitely literature and Spanish!

  237. Waleska Wilbourne

    I loved History!

  238. Chrissy

    My favorite subject was history!

  239. Jamie

    If reading books is a subject, that was my favorite. (And where most of my learning occurred.)

  240. BP

    English – enough to major in it. Only math class I really enjoyed was calculus, funny as that is…

  241. Gayl

    I think my favorite class was music, but I also enjoyed algebra and literature!

  242. Anita

    Math!! Not kidding:)

  243. Laura

    English Literature. 🙂

  244. Pamela

    My favorite was definitely English! I love to read and write!

  245. Lisa

    English & Spelling….now, as a homeschool mom, I could use the extra math help! lol

    Great Giveaway!


  246. Hélène Métivier

    Definitely Science, closely followed by art, French, math, music, English (second language), and everything else (except gym). ;0)

  247. Tamrah T

    Math…and if I can add another, science. Very good idea for a book. I’d use it to talk more with my son as to why math is always important.

  248. vanessa


  249. erica b

    I loved chemistry and things science.

  250. vanessa

    Love this! These steps are basically what engineers do every day. I had to learn “higher math” in my engineering training and I was terrified of it.Then my husband pointed out that the average mom solves more problems before dinner than an engineer does in three days…usually multitasking to boot.

    I ended up loving discrete math more than any other subject I’d ever studied.
    It’s my favorite so far.

    “how hard can it be?” has gotten us through renovating a 1925 house, and many other projects.

  251. Catie

    My fave subject was English. 🙂

  252. Darcy

    I loved English Lit and any foreign language I could take (German, Spanish, Japanese). Math was my greatest struggle, and still is…

  253. Kim

    Creative Writing (I took it twice – the instructor didn’t care since we wrote new stuff each year) and modern history. Math – not so much. Yet I ended up in the financial services area!

  254. Jessica

    Definitely wasn’t math! English was my favorite! But I could totally use the math help as an adult!

  255. Jodi


  256. alison

    my favorite subject was always english. now that we’re about to embark on the homeschooling front, i’m dreading when the math comes…mostly the problem solving and analytical skills that i never seemed to master. this book would help me in so many ways!!

  257. Jenn C

    AP English was my favorite course in high school. I so enjoyed writing that I wrote poetry all through my algebra II and geometry classes, which may be the reason I would benefit from Math for Grownups!

  258. Nina

    high school english where we read books. I don’t like grammar and that’s mostly what english was up to this point.

  259. deanna dean

    English…LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read!

  260. Jilla

    Well, I can tell you what it wasn’t! MATH!!! This would be a lifesaver for me. 🙂 I told my daughter the other day that one of my favorite classes was shop. I bet I used math for that class without even knowing it. 🙂

  261. Alisa

    My favorite was always science.

  262. Barbie

    Math!!! I teach math at a local community college and I like to have more examples of how to make math fun!

  263. Sherley

    I learned early on that reading allowed me to be nosey without getting in trouble. I could ease drop on all the characters and no one would mind. Literature was and is still my favorite subject.

  264. Tara

    My favorite subject in high school was Chemistry, but in elementary school, it was DEFINITELY English Literature – reading was my favorite thing to do! 🙂

  265. Frugal Student

    My favourite subject was/is geography. Most people think geography is maps and knowing the capitals… but I am finishing up University this year and applying for my Masters in geography, and sure enough I haven’t studied a map as part of my curriculum for about 2 years now. Geography is about how the earth works and how it changes, not about memorizing what it looks like. I study rivers and how it affects city environments.
    Moral of the story: I think geography gets a bad rap in high school 😀

  266. Brenda

    I LOVED this post! You brought something to the surface for me that I haven’t thought about for years … my fears around math! I had no idea this kind of book even existed. I would LOVE to win a copy. My favorite subject was always art and still is. 🙂

  267. Laura

    I loved history because my Mom taught me that we can look to the past to avoid mistakes in the future. Now I am a Government/History freak, teaching my daughter (this summer, we took an idea I saw somewhere and she created her own country and we talked about everything from type of government, to ethnic make up to what amusement parks were there (she decided tourism was her country’s major source of income). And I was totally freaked out by math from middle school on but am looking forward to my “second education” as she rises through those grades soon. And Math is her favorite subject and when she gets tired of drills and homework, I try to show her how she already uses what she is learning in her everyday life. 😉

  268. Ashley M

    It was most definitely NOT math;)

  269. Mary Farris

    probably my favorite would be a combo of Reading-English-and Spelling
    Math always made me feel stupid – especially those word problems!

  270. Kacee Brown

    english…I love reading!

  271. Amy

    Loved English. Hated math. But when I had Mr. S for Algebra 2 junior year of high school–he so made me appreciate math! And the cool thing was my husband got to have him as a math professor in college.

  272. angela


  273. Erin

    My favorite subject was always science.

  274. Leigh

    When I was growing up we didn’t have “subjects” we had a theme and we learned everything through the theme (Colonial America, Africa, etc.) but I definitely enjoyed the history piece the most

  275. Karen Ziemlak

    My favorite subject was Art and I still use a lot of what I learned in my everyday endeavors.

  276. Lucy

    My favorite subjects were English and Music. The only time math made sense to me was in the context of music. 🙂 This book looks great!

  277. Katherine

    Art by far!!

  278. Sarah

    Hands down, history, specifically American History.

  279. Sarah

    History, specifically American History.

  280. allison

    I loved science as a kid, although we didn’t have it too often, so my mom taught her own “Science in the Summers.”

  281. jenny

    I loved biology- became a nurse who married a doctor 🙂

  282. kathy w

    I liked history.

  283. jessica

    reading hands down!

  284. Kim

    Literature was always my favorite class. I did take math all the way up to Calculus, and even chose Calculus as my required math class in college. Though now that I teach first graders, I don’t really remember anything about calculus or any of my other advanced math classes! This sounds like a great book!

  285. Melodie B

    Science was always my favorite. Always. Even thought I was best at English.

  286. Michelle

    Very timely as my husband and I just decided to build a deck. 😉

    I NEED this book. 🙂

  287. Ashley

    I loved literature!

  288. Katie R

    HAH! I loved loved loved English, History…Art…basically, anything EXCEPT math! (I was homeschooled, and my mom STILL despairs over my tenacity regarding learning math, definitely something I am not proud of!).

  289. Christina

    PE!! Loved it, always have! That’s why I became a PE teacher.

  290. Beth Werner Lee

    Thank you so much!
    I won, because it was too late to enter.
    I looked on Amazon and a Kindle edition is free right now!
    What I think is, this is going to help me inspire my 10 year old who struggles (timed anything heightens anxiety you know) with math anxiety.
    Bless you for reviewing it and God for provisions so abundant.

  291. MomOfFour

    English!! – Definitely NOT math 😉

  292. Jessica B

    I love(d) history and art, but not Art History.

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