Saturday, January 15, 2005

Teaching the kids.

Lauren and I sat after dinner and worked on a few math problems. I had read some tips on how to teach young kids math from our "hooked on math" program. Last weekends lesson had ended poorly, so this time I was ready with more patience and tons of spoons to help L add.
We started with small numbers: 3+2 and 4+5. L plowed through those easily. As we moved up she began to struggle with 7+6 and 8+7.
I took out 15 of our spoons and broke them into two groups. The first group had 7 and the second had 6. "How many spoons, I asked?"
L quickly replied with "13". My heart raced and swelled with pride.
I subtracted 1 spoon from the 6 group and added it to the 7 group. How many now I asked?
L looked at me quizzically, "Still 13, dad!"
I was about to burst inside. I laughed out loud.
"That right! Still 13."
We added 2 more spoons and split up that group again.
"Still 15 dad!"
Then the sillys broke out and potty talk began. "Still poop dad!"
I knew L's lessons were over. I felt lucky to have snuck in a lesson after such a long day. I moved over to the couch with my 11 month old daughter, M.
I had been holding M during L's math lessons. My boy T was busy mixing food coloring in his makeshift chemistry set of sippy cups.
M and I read the Touch and Feel Farm board book. For the first time she began to feel the textures on the book. After each page she would reach out for the new furry animal. My heart raced each time she did it.
When my kids experience learning through me it is like an electric current that is moving between us. I get excited and overjoyed.
Lessons were over. Time for M's' bedtime.

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