Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Math" Book Recommendation

This book is hilarious! I would link to amazon here so you can see it, but I can't get it to work right now.

The book is called "Math Curse" by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. The narrator is a student whose teacher puts a "math curse" on him/her with this statement, "You know, you can think of almost everything as a math problem." So, of course, the narrator proceeds to have a full day of being driven crazy by thinking of everything as a math problem.

The part that cracked us up so much we had to take a break is from the the page where the narrator is describing how each non-math subject is turned into a math problem:
"English is a word problem: if mail + box = mailbox:
1. Does lipstick - stick + lip?
2. Does tunafish + tunafish + fournafish?"

Fournafish...I'm even chuckling as I type this. There are a few real problems in the first few pages, but more importantly to me, this book shows that math can be fun (or funny...whichever way you want to look at it). We've been struggling with this a little because school sent home a bridge/review math workbook that needs to be turned in to his second grade teacher when school starts.

And on a totally unrelated note, Samuel and I have been team playing Family Feud on Facebook (my account). A few days ago, one of the Fast Money questions was "What do people call the smartest kid in school?" Samuel blurted out "awesome". I love that his school has a culture where the smartest kids are admired and not called names, like nerd, which happened to be the #1 answer.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Busy Summer

Summer is getting to be a little busier than I planned, but I seem helpless to slow it down.

The second week of June, we spent in Edisto Beach, SC, which is not a real touristy beach and I felt that we were just enjoying each other and the down time. Samuel and Chris loved playing in the waves together and finding shells to bring home. It was great that they got to spend so much time together every day. I did not bring Samuel's workbooks with us. We read together as a family each night and Samuel had a book he had brought to read for fun and finished a few chapters.

When we got back, it was to an e-mail from school that we were to pick up a Math workbook for the students to finish during the summer and turn in to their teachers. So, now we have Math every day, cursive 3 times a week, and a summer reading list to work on (complete with "book reports" - one page that is half filled with a drawing). All this to turn into the teacher at the beginning of the school year.

I am actually fine with this in theory, but I had planned on doing my own math and writing reviews with him in a more fun/less workbook-y way.

Then he has friends wanting play dates, swim lesson once a week, our family volunteer commitment once a week. VBS one week, zoo camp one week, fun day camp one week. I am working about 5 hours a day Monday through Thursday, and I am starting to feel like that old commercial "Calgon take me away!"

I really didn't realize I was "overprogramming" but that is exactly what happened. I have to find a way to slow things down, at least for Samuel, so that summer can be a more relaxed, fun time for him.