Math: Multiplication (and Ranting)

19 06 2010

Floppy’s last day of real school was Friday, and he came home with the usual pile of art projects plus a letter from his principal, politely and calmly letting us know that his school is a federally-designated School In Need of Improvement in both math and reading, and that he was required to inform us that school districts are required to offer parents at substandard schools such as our own a choice of a better school. Except the only other elementary school in my town is also a School In Need of Improvement, so we can just fuck right off. The tone of this letter was relaxed to the point of complacency, had a distinct whiff of “the guvment is making us do this, so we have to, but we don’t care,” AND also did not offer any proposed solutions to the problem. Naturally, it got me so angry I can scarcely see straight. Since I can’t afford private school and don’t want to move, we renewed our homeschooling with greater vigor.

Luckily, this isn’t terribly difficult. Floppy had been begging for homeschool all week. Lately, Floppy has been saying “I love math!” to a degree that is positively nerdalicious. He loves learning math more than I do teaching it to him — when I am trying to show him something challenging and above his head, like multiplication, I wear out much faster than he does. I’m saying, “enough” and he’s saying, “Just one more problem? Please?”

Unlike his school, I must be doing something right.

Today we learned the distributive law of multiplication, how to multiply two-digit numbers, and — most important of all — what “double the stakes” means in poker. Here’s the Floppy doing his math thang:

Yes, that is a tail on the table. What?

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