Math time with my kids! Hell yeah, I got math time. I own math time. I am going to rock out some prime numbers with my 9 year old. 2,3,5,7,11. Yea, I own that. Ask me multiples of 2. I'm all over that. 2nd grade math? I will math fact the crap out of that. 7+6? 13 all day long baby. Let's go, let's pull out our books and finish some math!
My kids then both pull out laptops that they got at the beginning of the school.
So this is the world that we live in now. Laptops and youtube videos have taken the place of Dad instruction at the table. We are sitting here and I can hear the the taping of keys as they answer math facts or play a game designed to teach them without realizing they are being taught. Not that I'm complaining mind you, it's just that I'm feeling like a machine has kind of taken my job. I am more than just the guy that unclogs the toilet and picks up dog poop. I'm supposed to sit with them and go over this stuff. Math is supposed to be Dad's realm! Mom handles spelling and definitions of words, Dad handles the function of Y and god damnit math facts!!
Look over here kids, I have flash cards. Let's learn our math facts on these real life, wonderful to touch flash cards. Written in 1970's big black numbers, these math facts will change your life! They will help you memorize what 7 plus 12 is! With no battery power required, these glossy coated cards have been vital for generations! Only available from Dad!
They are having none of it. They are having none of it because they have a game where a guy gets to earn coins and wear dresses and he fights bad guys by answering math questions. Then they get to dig around in this mythical world to try and find monsters and their digital father who lets them watch youtube videos on fancy ways to learn math.
Look, 5 x 5 is always going to be 25. Sure, my way is old fashioned and doesn't require some sort of personal buy in or princess saving. But I submit to you, isn't that a bit of unneeded pressure? I mean, if you screw up and say that it's 26, BAM the princess is dead. You killed the princess and now she is at the bottom some god forsaken pixalated pit. Good job kids, your murderers. At least with Dad I just give you a disappointed look, then look at you harder while you stare back until we both just get frustrated and throw our stupid awesome flash cards into the air. See, this way no one is killed and only our relationship is ruined forever. Doesn't that sound more fun? Math is supposed to be mine!
I lean over and ask my daughter what she is working on. I grab her laptop away from and take a look. I have no idea what I'm looking at. I'm looking at it for a good ten minutes. It's not a game, I don't think it is. It's some sort of graph although for the love of fuck I have no idea what it's supposed to be graphing other than the further evidence of my uselessness vs. the amount of time I look at it.
"It's a math lattice" she tells me.
I swallow my pride and ask her what the hell a math lattice is. She explains it like she is talking to a 2 year old. I still don't get it.
I hand back her laptop and tell her good job although honestly I have no idea what the hell I just looked at.
There are no math lattice flash cards that I'm aware of. But I'm pretty sure there are some youtube videos that will explain it to me. After the kids go to bed of course.
I still prefer my flash cards.