Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Math

Today Rehm and I had a breakfast date. OK, I have to admit I didn't really plan the day that way, but after I dropped all the girls off for school I realized that while I needed to work it was an opportunity to do something special with Rehm. So I took an hour to take him for his favorite - pancakes at Kerbey Lane.

While we were waiting for our food Rehm asked me, "Mom, four times what, equals 100?" I asked him if he knew the answer and he said "no" so I told him it was 25 and reminded him that it was like 4 quarters making a dollar. Then I asked him, "two times what, equals 100?" He immediately answered "50!" We continued playing our game.

2*_=10
2*_=20
2*_=8
2*_=40
2*_=3

He answered all without pause. When we got to 2*_=3 I expected him to be stumped. He thought for a second and said "1 1/2!" At this point I about fell in the floor. I really did not expect him to get that one. I expected to have to explain it and then it make sense. But no, he knew the answer.

So then I asked him, "Two times what, equals negative two?" He didn't know the answer so I asked, "two times what, equals two?" He immediately answered "two!" So I repeated the first question and he immediately answered "negative one!" Then I asked, "two times what, equals negative six?" He immediately answered, "negative three."

Later in the day we were in the car and he was scribbling math facts on a sheet of paper. He asked me "Mom, four times what equals six?" I asked if he knew the answer and he said, "yeah, it is 1.5!" He went on doing this kind of math for several minutes. I was and continue to be shocked that my first grader can do multiplication with fractions. Then he really surprised me when he said "Mom, 4+4+4+1/2=12 1/2 and that is the same as 4*3+1/2!" Again he did several more number examples of doing the addition and then changing it to the appropriate multiplication.

I asked him if they were doing this in math at school. I've not seen anything come home beyond addition and subtraction, so I didn't think so? He said they hadn't. Maybe this isn't unusual for a first grader but I don't remember this kind of stuff making sense to me this early.

I'm just glad he enjoys math so much.

Now I have to admit for a brief second I thought, "maybe I should homeschool, this is actually fun to see these things click." Then I remembered that I have four kids, not one. And while this was fun, it wouldn't be so much fun with the other three all needing my attention while trying to have school with Rehm. And it wouldn't be so much fun when I was doing school for four children all at different levels. And that while Rehm likes math trying to get him to work on his handwriting or write a story is torture. I quickly thanked God for the wonderful teachers he has and the wonderful school he goes to. Homeschooling is not for me and it wouldn't be the same thing as playing math games while having special one on one time.

Back to reality,
Jenn

3 comments:

Cici said...

That's my boy!!! I think he must have Aunt Sherri's genes.

Brenna and Molly said...

Smart cookie! He can come do homework in our house any day!!

Sherri said...

Not Aunt Sherri, I still can't do math. It would be really weird if your children were not math geeks with you guys for their parents. He was doing multiplication with me when you were home for Christmas.