Oct 31 2010

You Can’t Control the World…

Summary: My daughter figures out one of life’s most important lessons at age seven.

So we’re driving around, which for some reason is when our most interesting conversations take place, when she has a most profound moment.

“You can’t make time. You can make cookies. You can make brownies. But you can’t make time. At dinner you can’t just make three more hours so there is more time to play before bedtime. You just can’t control the world.”

I’m not shitting you. She really said that. No segue or anything.

Oct 29 2010

A Dead Whale of a Tale and Counting to a Billion

Summary: Rotting whale smells far worse than you think and why playing math games with your young child is a real eye opener.

dead whale at bean hollow

If you took a jar of cat urine and then put a dead rat in it, plus a big scoop of fresh dog shit, then sealed the jar and left it the sun for a week, you’d get close to approximating the smell from a bloated, rotting, eighty-foot blue whale on the beach. But just close. The actual smell is beyond description.

On October 6th, 2010, I read an article in our paper about a big blue whale that had died and washed ashore at Bean Hollow, a state park about 35 minutes north of Santa Cruz.

“We should go see the dead whale after school today. The tide will be low at 4pm so it will be perfect. This is a very rare event so this may be the only chance in your life to see this.”

“Yeah, let’s go see the dead whale!” Continue reading

Oct 5 2010

One-To-One Correspondence Despondent – Learning to Count, Or Not

Summary: Making your kid count jelly beans when they don’t understand one-to-correspondence is a great way to make yourself feel stupid.

It’s something we take for granted, and we can’t recall ever not being able to do it, but without it it’s impossible to do any sort of math or even tell time. I’m talking one-to-one correspondence of course.

In a nutshell, one-to-correspondence is the understanding that numbers correspond to objects. When someone says “one” you should have a clear picture of just one object. Not two, not three – just one. If you add another, you know that is now two and can clearly picture two and only two objects.

Now just because a kid can count to ten, or even a hundred, doesn’t mean they know what ten is, or they can count a hundred objects. You can recite your numbers from route without any understanding of what it means. This is generally how kids first learn their numbers – with route memory. Continue reading