Hanging on to a Streak

Posting a placeholder, if our ancient rural internet can stick with us just a tiny bit longer. I’ve managed to post at least a little something for 53 days in a row.

The ‘net has been off and on all day, but mostly off. We need to get a repair guy out here to see if he can do anything with these rusty old phone lines (or even better, convince the phone company to run new lines — but that’s probably a pipe dream).

But in the meantime, the streak still holds…..

Hello, Food TV

I didn’t get anything written to share today, so here’s a cat picture instead. My favorite shot from Puck’s babyhood.

He’s grown about two years’ worth since then.

Still full of puckishness, though. He had a time of it today, “helping” me put up the Christmas tree.

Bookshelf Cat

Only a writer who loves wordplay (my daughter) would name her cat Hypocorism. Hypocorism’s hypocorism is “Puck,” which well suits the little trouble-maker. He loves to climb up to the top of the bookshelf by the window, where we hung a couple of toys for him.

When he was little, he used to climb across the curtain rod to the opposite set of shelves. He still tries it from time to time, though the rod bends under his adult weight. And at least once he took a fall and had to grab for the curtain on his way down. We didn’t see it, but that’s the only explanation we could think of for the huge rip we found later.

One other disadvantage to growing up: The places he loves to sleep have somehow shrunk. After playing for a bit, he stretches out for a nap — and his back hangs dangerously over the edge.

Keeping Busy

Since I started a blog streak in early August, I thought I’d see how long I can keep it going.

So this is what’s called in the industry a “placeholder” post. It keeps the blog streak live, even though I really don’t have anything to say.

In addition to working on my Prealgebra & Geometry Games index and finishing up the math activity booklets, I’ve been getting to know Mariah — taking long walks, and just plain having doggy fun.

Friday night, we discovered that she loves to fetch tennis balls — although she’s not so keen on the idea of giving them back so we can throw them again.

Oh, and she can catch a treat in the air. Smart dog!

Even a Math Workbook Can Be a Game

Homeschooling Memories…

My youngest daughter wanted to do Singapore math. Miquon Red was her main math text at the time, but we added a bit of Singapore Primary Math 1B whenever she was in the mood.

We turned to the lesson on subtracting with numbers in the 30-somethings.

The first problem was pretty easy for her:

30 − 7 = _____

I reminded her that she already knew 10 − 7.

She agreed, “Ten take away seven is three.”

Then her eyes lit up. “So it’s 23! Because there are two tens left.”

Wow, I thought. She’s catching on quickly.

Mom Always Talks Too Much

We went to the next problem:

34 − 8 = _____

“Now, this one is harder,” I said. “But you know what ten minus eight is, right? So we could take one of these tens and—”

She waved at me to be quiet.

I was just getting started on my standard speech about how to turn a tough subtraction like 34 − 8 into the easy addition of “2 + 4 + two tens left.” But her mind was still on the last problem, specifically on the two tens and the seven.

“If you have 27,” she said, “and you add three more, you get 30. And four more is 34.”

“Um, yes, but…” I interrupted.

She shushed me again.

“And then you can take away the four. And then you can take away the three. And then you can take away one more…It’s 26!”

Mom Learns a Lesson

She continued through the next page that way. For every problem, she started with whatever number struck her fancy, usually containing at least one digit from the problem before. She added enough to get up to the 30-something number in the book.

Only then would she deign to subtract the number in question.

I don’t think she ever saw the point of the mental math technique the book and I were trying to teach, but she did have a lot of fun playing around with the numbers.

In the long run, that’s much more important.

Feature photo: “Laughing Girl” by ND Strupler via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).