Saturday, October 4, 2008


It seems we're creating a family of math-heads here. When DS was little....around 2 years old....he taught himself how to add and subtract using M&Ms candies. We never explained the concept to him but one day he said to me (while eating a handful of M&Ms as a dessert after lunch), "Momma, if I have four M&Ms and eat two of them, I will only have two left." After receiving confirmation from me that he was correct he then told me, "If I have three M&Ms and you give me two more, I will have five." (He then proceeded to eat enough of his M&Ms to only have three left, then asked if I would give him two more to make the five! Gotta love how kids think!) So that was around 8 years ago. Fast forward to today's conversation with DD who is now 6 and in first grade. They have been working with addition and subtraction basics in her class. With an older brother who is taking advanced math and a Dad who is currently studying abstract algebra while working on his master's degree, DD has evidently overheard some upper-level math discussions at our house. She was reading a cookbook to me today (she wanted to practice her reading out-loud skills and that is what she chose to read to me for some reason). On one ingredient list it stated "1 - 6 oz bag of cashews," meaning that it required one bag of cashews in the 6-ounce size. DD did not understand that and read it as "one minus six Oz (as in "The Wizard of Oz") bag of cashews" with a very puzzled look on her face. She then looked at me and said, "Wouldn't one minus six be like negative five or something, Mom? How can there be negative something in a recipe?" After a stunned moment of silence on my part, I did explain what the recipe meant and also that yes, she was correct in her math of 1 minus 6 equaling negative 5. It's a good thing DH is studying graduate-level math.....with these two kids, we're going to need that knowledge sooner rather than later.

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