Many parents realize when they try to teach math that they have hang ups about their own math learning and ability. Even parents who are competent at math do not know how to treat the subject as in anything other than a traditional way.
If you would like to explore other ways for your children to learn, and ways you can pass on a positive attitude toward math learning, here are some suggested starting points. FAQs
Patricia Kenschaft, Math Power: How to Help Your Child Love Math, Even if You Don't
Marilyn Burns, Math: Facing an American Phobia
W.W. Sawyer, Vision in Elementary Mathematics
John Paulos, Innumeracy, Mathematical Illiteracy
The antidote to math burnout for some kids . . .Hans Magnus Enzensberger, The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure (approx. ages 8 to 14, fun illustrations and story, don't be fooled, there is a LOT of math in this book!)
Marilyn Burns, I Hate Mathematics! (Brown Paper School Books) (approx. ages 8 to 14)
Kjartan Poskitt, Numbers, the Key to the Universe (Murderous Maths) and others in the Murderous Maths Series (approx. 8 to 14 - see Library page for listing)
Theoni Pappas, The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat (approx. 7 - 12)
Luetta and Walter Reimer, Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians Vol. 1, & Mathematicians are People, Too Vol II
Tahan, Malba, The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures, Chapter book, loosely based on the story of Khayyam
Do you want to gain reassurance that the "math gene" didn't skip your family?
Suggested starting points:
Frank Smith, The Glass Wall, Why Mathematics Can Seem Difficult
(Frank Smith's book, The Book of Learning and Forgetting, is one of my all time most recommended resources on general learning)
Kevin Devlin, The Math Gene,How Mathematical Thinking Evolved & Why Numbers Are Like Gossip
Stanislas Dehaene, The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics
Try: Mathematicians Are People, Too, Vol I & Vol II (Amazon UK link)
Also very good: Julia Diggins, String, Straightedge and Shadow: The Story of Geometry
Marilyn Burns, The I Hate Mathematics! Book
For older and science oriented kids, Kevin Devlin, Life By the Numbers
For you, the teacher/parent: Whitin & Wilde, It's The Story That Counts and Read Any Good Math Lately
The Teaching Company, Joy of Thinking: The Beauty and Power of Classical Mathematical Ideas DVD or VHS Series recommended
Edward B. Burger, Michael Starbird have written a textbook, The Heart of Mathematics based on the Joy of Thinking ideas. Accessible to middle school (working with a parent) on up.
Harold Jacobs' classic text, "Mathematics: A Human Endeavor" is also used by many families as a "living" textbook, particularly when studied together with a parent.
To learn how to "read math" with your kids:
Read Any Good Math Lately & It's The Story That Counts by Whitin & Wilde, - how to "read" math (K-6)
Articles "THIS is A Math Book?" and other resources on the Just Read It! pages will help you see how picture books teach math to younger children
High School and Adult level, for self ed / increasing YOUR enthusiasm:
Denis Guedj, Numbers: The Universal Language (art and math)
Clifton Fadiman, Fantasia Mathematica Anthology of logical/mathematical short stories
Isaac Asimov, On Numbers, The Realm of Number, The Realm of Measure, and The Realm of Algebra
Michael Guillen, Bridges to Infinity: The Human Side to Mathematics (not a formula to be found :o)
David Wells, The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Mathematics
A bit more advanced, but accessible and "human" math: Philip J. Davis, Reuben Hersh, The Mathematical Experience Adult level, understanding what mathematics is, humanizes math.