Need course/book advice - math starting from middle school level

I never was much good in math, but always wanted to get at least a decent level. Poor teachers in middle and high school really ruined any interest I had back then. That was over 40 years ago. My old schoolbooks are long gone, and I probably wouldn’t like to use them anyway, as they explained little, just made you learn things by heart and apply that with some exercises. No guide to insight whatsoever. Different times.

What books could you advise for an old geezer trying his hand again at math? Should start a the real basics, as my memory is spotty and I had little use for math the past few decades. But if possible, not books aimed at kids, and there’s no problem if they really go at a fast speed, requiring a lot of effort. Should also include exercises too, math is a muscle after all, need to recreate all the brain connections.

No online video courses though, I prefer written learning guides.

The end goal is to get at least up to the level that would make entry to a university course in say physics possible (from a math level perspective).

Any books you can think of? English or Dutch language only please. Thanks!

Khan Academy is an amazing online resource for learning general math.

2nd that: Khan Academy is good.

My kids also use the Big Fat Note Book series for middle school. The books pack a lot of information in bite-sized chunks and they have test and answer pages after each little section.

The No Bullshit Guide to Math and Physics got me back up to speed when prepping for Grad school. It starts at High School level math, though.

This got pretty good reviews.

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While I don’t have a book for you because I also did to relearn my math skills, I would suggest going back quite far into the primary grades. You need to have the basics down pat before moving up in difficulty. I was surprised at how little I remembered from grades 2,3, and 4…

Can confirm kumon has a bunch of good math practice.

If you want self-studying to be effective, structure and discipline will go a long way. Classes are effective as they set up a structure and keep you disciplined with grades.

the method is different from what they teach in school. IIRC they show you a pattern, give you 5-10 pages of problems where you get to practice the patterns. As they introduce more patterns, the problems mix up the patterns.

I think it’s good if you are trying to get the context and develop problem solving skills. Khan academy is good if your math teachers in school didn’t teach anything. I don’t think it matched my learning needs as the host would ramble on about why it’s important to know instead of getting to show the method.

The channel description matches what I needed

As I did more precalc stuff, I preferred Patrickjmt much more than khan academy. Patrick would have multiple questions of the same topic so I’d learn in one video, then find another video and try to solve the question and check if my method matched his and the answer.

@op if we are talking intro university engineering physics, you definitely want to get to calculus (lots of integrals and derivatives). If it is intro non-engineering physics, you should be good up to geometry and algebra 2 (though precalc would make understanding kinetics easier and trigonometry would also help with understanding forces and free body diagrams)

Thanks all very much indeed for all your replies. My apologies for the lateness of my response, I had a few “quarantine” issues to sort out .

I will carefully check all the book suggestions, they seem quite adequate and now I have the luxury of choice. Khan Academy may be useful as an extra, but I never was good at learning at someone else’s pace. Shuffling back and forth in a video is also time consuming, it’s far easier and less frustrating flipping dead tree leaves.

Again, my thanks for the many prompt useful tips you all provided!