Thursday, December 23, 2010

The way he thinks. . .

I was driving home this afternoon with my kids after a playdate at McDonald's and a trip to Target.  My son is in 1st grade and likes to do math problems while riding in the car (and who am I to stop him?!).  It's usually something to the tune of. . .

me:  What's 5 + 7?
him: 12
me: What's 7 + 5?
him: 12
me: What's 12 - 7?
him: 5
me:  What's 12 - 5?
him: 7

Good practice, right?

Then I gave him 9 + 6.  There was a pause, so I assumed that he was counting 6 fingers up from 9.  But then I heard him saying "19, 18, 17, 16" before he gave an answer of "15".

So I asked him how he'd gotten to that answer.  I was amazed (and pretty happy) with his response.

He told me he started at 20.  (Because he knew 10 + 10.)  Then he counted back 5.  Why? I asked.  Because he knew that 9 was 1 away from 10 and 6 was 4 away from 10.  That made 5.

Isn't that awesome?

Now, keep in mind that I'm a high school teacher, so I don't know how 6-year old are supposed to think through these problems.  But I doubt that many go about it that way.  I don't think many of my high schoolers would think through it like that!

I can't wait to see what he'll do in the coming years!

Now back to wrapping presents.  I'm almost done (finally).

Merry Christmas to everyone!


  1. First off, that's awesome. Secondly, I don't know about you, but I am worried my child is going to be smarter than me...

  2. Thanks, Seiler.

    And for both of our sakes, I hope our children ARE smarter than us. :)