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March 01, 2011

Everyday Math.

I have been going crazy trying to teach Addition and Subtraction to Ashu. It takes talent to teach a kid something as basic as 2+2 = 4, I tell you. And I sorely lack that talent. She is getting better though after a month of me sitting on her head. Though the ride has not been smooth, it has been quite comical. Like when I ask her whats 15 + 4, she ll do some calculations in her head and answer "11"! And Im like "Dude! how can you add two numbers and then get a lesser number?" But of course she ll give me a blank look like her father does when I explain to him the method of loading the dishwasher. For the 100th time! And then she ll start guessing, "Is it 15 then? Or 17?" And when shes in one of those annoyingly silly moods, "Is the answer fifteen hundred and twenty, Amma? Or a Trillion and one?" Sigh! One day she wrote 9 + 9 = 19. I was nt even sitting with her or anything. She was playing with stencils and using the number stencils, wrote this in a paper. And many other sums. All of them were right except this one. I winced. Told her as gently as possible that she has done a very good job except this one. And thats it! She exploded! "I hate maths, Amma and I hate you! Im never ever doing addition again! 9 plus 9 is 19! You dont know anything!" and stomped off. I gave her the royal ignore. A few minutes later she walks to me and asks gently, "What is 9 + 9, Amma?" Phew. At least she is interested!

A few weeks back she was asking me when her Easter break was and I told her its in April. "Thats a long time away, Amma! Its only February now", she sighed! I told her that its only a month and a half away and that February is a short month with only 28 days instead of 30 and it will fly. "But thats only like 2 days less, Amma! Thats not a lot!", she responded! I was stunned needless to say!

As if all this drama with Ashu is not enough, Antu for her part shocked me the other day. So theres this shop (Migros) which gives out a small toy called "Nano" every time we buy something for 20 francs. Collecting them is the current craze amongst kids here. I dont shop there a lot much to Ashu's disappointment. So she had only two. The girls treasured them like gold and played with them all the time. Then a couple of days back, Antu and I went to Migros to buy groceries and got two more of them. I gave them to Antu and as soon as she saw them she screamed, "Nano!! Ippa namba kitta four irukku!" (Now we have four!) I refused to believe my ears. The girl can count, yes. But adding?! That too instantly! I think its time I ask Antu to teach Maths to her sister!

25 comments:

ambulisamma said...

That is wonderful shot from Antu.Ashu will frown if she reads the last line of your post later.

Utbtkids said...

Lol!!!

IKEA abacus? Work very well, but I am struggling to make the transition to aid-free math. It's like walking on egg shells or the child declare flat out ' I HAAATE math amma' sigh!

ramyaababu said...

LOL! Antu is so cute!

cantaloupes.amma (CA) said...

@UTBT: Ikea abacus is treated more like a toy ... no math lessons.

@Boo: Ask Ashu to solve 6+3 and she will drive you nuts, but ask her how many months away her birthday is ... and she will have that answer in a jiffy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Boo,

Antu is looking very cute...
I agree teaching Math is really hard.. there is no easy way! kids are so inconsistent too...

the labels are typical Boo stuff!

Sujatha

anubharat said...

Hugs and kisses to Antu. She is definitely the smart cookie.
Kids finding maths tough is understandable especially when we adults went through the same phase 20-30 odd years back :)

Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion that I'm planning to try on my 2.5 yr old son ...Use Candies or any of Ashu's favotite items to assist with the counting Boo..Give her nine of candies first and then add on another 9 and ask her to add...remove 5 candies from 9 and ask her to subtract ! My mom used the trick..9 in the mind 5 on the hand and then we go 9 and touch the head..and say 10,11,12,13,14 while counting fingers !
BTW - BOO..lemme know how my blog can show up at the indiam mommies blog list..
Shalini Jerome

S said...

At least, Ashu doesn't want to know why 2 + 2 = 4. I used to ask my amma, why can't it be 6 or 7? Of course, I never turned out to be a math whiz. I still don't get it. Can't blame the 5-year-old thing.

R's Mom said...

Awww! Antu is so cute..and Ashu..I hear you girl...Maths is horrid

noon said...

Good one from Antu! I saw your post title and thought you had the everyday math curriculum that a lot of schools in the US have. It is a strange one and a lot of kids have a tough time with it initially. I taught addition/subtraction to KB the good ol way we learned - just using fingers - the one thing that helped him was to say - now take the bigger no and put that inside your head and put up only the fingers for the smaller number - he used to like physically pretending to put the bigger no in his head...once he got that he could transition to two digits etc mentally. Like 13 plus 6 etc. I used to keep one of them as single digit and the other as double digit. I used the unifix cubes a few times to show what it all meant...

Sundar Narayanan said...

all I have to say is

Vaazhga Kumon. Varlarga adhan kulam.

:)

Priya said...

You know what this means for Antu, right? Math camp. :-P

B o o said...

Ambuli's Amma - LOL! Thats her problem! ;)

Utbt - aid-free math, yes! thats where i want to reach too! :)

Ramya - Today as a dare Ashu and I asked her "What is 4+4" and she said 8!!!! But then to balance out she said 5 for 2+2. So I cant scream "genius" yet! sigh! ;)

CA - I know! Kids are so self centered! When will they realize its all about us?!!!

Sujatha - inconsistent is the word!

Anu - A smart parrot looks like! :)

Shalini - Yes, we did all that now we have reached the two digit plus one digit stage. was totally an uphill task though. phew.

Vidya said...

Ashu and Antu sound so cute! I like the queen-like stomping-off act of Ashu. Antu sounds like Shakuntala Devi already:)

B o o said...

S - LOL! I let Ashu spell phonetically and did nt correct her. So shes most upset that I am "correcting" her math!!

R's Mom - shush! dont let her hear you! Let her do the basic math first and she can hate it when we come to differentiation and integrals!!!

Noon - Yes. Thats the stage we are now. adding a 2 digit num to a 1 digit. but teaching them the tips and tricks are so tough, na? like 10+ 5. or 10+10. I admit I dont have the patience!!!

Sundar - grr... No Kumon in Zurich.

Priya - Not if shes anything like her parents!!! ;)

Art said...

its always fun to read about ashu and antu...

I used to love math as a kid... even taught my younger brother :)

S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B o o. said...

Shalini - Please leave your blog link. I ll add it to indianmommies. its as simple as that. :)

anu said...

hey boo..
i am so inspired by your blog that i decided to write one. i am seven months preg now, and i would like to document all the good moments in my blog. i would like to join indiam mommies blog list..

http://anuthati.blogspot.com

-anusha

Orchid said...

:) boo o boo!
stop fretting..she will master - all in good time!

chittu's mom said...

Boo, I was literally LOLing when I read your post :D Ashu & Antu rock!

dipali said...

Most impressed, Antu!

Sue said...

Moral of the story? They will learn only what they need or makes sense to them.

Kill me now, please. *sob*

Cuckoo said...

Ditto Ditto. Kids learn only "if" they want to. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

i tried this with my daughter for simple addition n it worked:
6+5
lock 6 in ur mind n put 5 fingers out.
then count on from 6.