Local Man Phil Lines Publishes ‘Modern Maths Made Easy’ to Help Parents of Young Children
Altrincham local Phil Lines graduated in Electronics Engineering and achieved an MA in Business Administration before becoming a maths lecturer. He has mentored employees and successfully taught many students up to A level. Phil has written what he describes as ‘The must-have book for parents with children in primary school’. What he has achieved is an easy to follow book for anyone struggling to engage with their children over their maths homework. From number lines to dividing fractions, each chapter is set out in an easy to follow way; each preceded by a quirky joke for the adult!
Q: Little Johnny has 12 doughnuts, he eats 7, what does he have?
A: Yes, that’s right, type 2 diabetes!
Hale and Altrincham Life caught up with Phil in this short interview.
“So, how was lockdown for you then?”
A question frequently asked over the period that we are now calling the “new normal”.
The answers vary; Make 6 Litres of home-made Jam, homeschool the kids for at least 20 minutes a day before reaching for the vino colapso, put on a Covid Kilo (or 3), file for divorce or give the house the cleaning of its life…
For Phil Lines, who is already divorced with grown-up kids and a man who doesn’t like jam, none of the above really appealed. Instead, he decided to write a book, get it edited, hire a publisher, find a printing house and is now selling his new book Modern Maths Made Easy.
H&A: Phil, Why have you written a book about maths?
PL: “I think we can all agree maths can be a nightmare for some people especially when numbers don’t come as easy as words. Society tells us that Maths is hard, people shrug their shoulders and simply resign themselves to the fact that ‘I can’t do Maths’ and give up”.
“Then the kids come home from school (or are still being homeschooled) and it’s usually the maths homework which requires parental help”. BUT, here is the problem. The parents discover the kids are learning maths in a fundamentally different way, with some ‘head-scratching’ new methods”.
“The new ways being taught today are often more analytical in their methodology and offer a more visual approach which can be a bit puzzling at first. This can be challenging for parents to help out, so helps to plug that gap. It helps parents understand these new methods and in turn helps their kids”.
So I decided to write a book with a rather simplistic and arguably prosaic title Modern Maths Made Easy.
H&A: Who is the book aimed at?
PL: “The main audience is parents of children of primary school age (Year 3 to Year 6). Obviously, there are no restrictions on who can buy the book and I hope grandparents, relatives and teachers buy it also as a gift or as a learning resource”. Parents should be engaged with their child’s maths education and this book will assist them when it comes to maths homework”.
H&A: Why is it so important to be good at Maths?
PL: “I could give you a flowery answer as to the importance of numeracy and some academic rationale, but I think I will quote the results of a salary survey conducted by the government a few years ago. They discovered that those who were employed in areas where maths was involved earned approximately £15,000 a year more than those who were not required to be numerate”.
“Set aside the increased salary that people engaged in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics ) can potentially earn; fundamentally, it is better for people to understand their own private finances, bills, debts, taxes, loans and mortgages, than rely on others. It is also my view that children should be taught private finance, and at least the basic principles of budgeting, to avoid getting into financial difficulties in the future. Understanding maths is at the very heart of preventing money worries”.
H&A: Where can we buy the book?
PL: “It is available on-line at Amazon and Waterstones. You simply click on the book section and type in ‘Modern Maths Made Easy’, place an order and it will arrive in the post. Hopefully it will soon be available in all good (and evil) bookshops!”.
H&A: I am sure there are many books out there on maths. What makes your book stand out and why should parents buy it?
PL: “That is certainly true. There are lots of educational books out there. It is a crowded market with authors and publishers all too eager to cash in on anxious parents wanting the best for their children. The reason though is very simple, I have yet to see a book out there that covers the new modern methods being taught in such an engaging and informative way, and more importantly, made easy to read and understand, until now”.
“What the book achieves is to compare and contrast the old school traditional methods and the modern methods in an intuitive, engaging and practical way. This enables the parents to connect with their kids during homework time and give them that ‘light bulb’ moment”.
H&A: It sounds like you’ve hit on something here Phil?
PL: “I hope so. I wanted it to be an easy read too, and with it being about maths it obviously had to be non-threatening. The initial feedback I have had from parents and a couple of teachers has been positive, with one common theme, that it is not necessary to read it from cover to cover. You can pick it up any time, just like a recipe book, and dive into it one section at a time”.
“For example; if your child says ‘I’m struggling how to multiply two double-digit numbers’ you simply turn to chapter two on The Multiplication Grid and learn about the new method being taught today”.
NC: Good luck with the book Phil. How about a giveaway for H&A readers?
PL: OK, I’ve got two to giveaway!
“Email me the answer to this maths question and I will select two lucky winners at random”
Win a copy of Modern Maths Made Easy by Phil Lines by answering this question:
What is: 4 + 7 x 8 + 9 = __________
Hale and Altrincham Life wishes Phil all the best with his new book. Hopefully the first of many!
H&A & Phil Lines©