The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Friday, September 23, 2005

Maybe my 8th grade math teacher was right, and math IS life after all

One of the few things that Paul actually remembers from his childhood is the nightly math problems his father used to toss out at the dinner table. It's one of those traditions I think he'd probably like to share with our kids (a far healthier one than the restricted TV tradition I've saddled them with, no doubt), but we so rarely eat as a family that it's never really happened. Julia has a real affinity for math, though, and considers addition and subtraction grand entertainment (clearly, our genetic connection stopped at the physical resemblance). So Paul tries to squeeze in a facsimile of his father's old game whenever he can -- in the car, during mundane activities, etc. And in the process, we've learn some fascinating things about the way our daughter's mind works.

"Julia," he said the other day as she was watching him get ready for work, "if I had 1 and I took away 3, how many would I have?" It was a trick question for a kid far too young to grasp the concept of negative numbers, but Julia didn't miss a beat. "I'd need 2 more to answer that," she promptly replied.

Turning the negative into a positive. What a nice idea. Now if only she could learn to apply the same concept to bedtime and sharing with her younger brother...


At 3:20 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

You know how I weigh in on this one...MATH IS LIFE. OHM. Just wait till she learns about infinite sets, and ones that exceed others...see how she'll turn THAT one around on you. Go, Julia.

At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Gretchen C. said...

Bleargh. Surprisingly, I just don't like math, although my math SAT was higher than my verbal. Go figure that one. Have I told you lately that Julia is scary smart? Might as well sign her up with Mensa right now.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Steph said...

I'll have to agree on that one, although I haven't been using a lot of my math brain lately.

Way to go, Julia. Negative numbers at 3 1/2? Definitely a smart one. I agree with Gretchen, get the Mensa membership going :)


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