Sunday, February 2, 2014

So bright, his father calls him Son

My dad's a smart guy. He made sure to train me to do some math in my head. While waiting in lines at Disneyland or for a restaurant to seat us, he'd play math games with me.

Having a grandson is a fun thing for Pop because he gets to do it all over again. Imagine his surprise when Superstar - who is only 5 years old - walks into his office, asks to practice his math with Pop, and wants to work on fractions and division.

Superstar's school is a wonderful place. Recognizing he already has remarkably advanced math skills, they let him join the older kids for math. One day the teacher was showing a movie in her class, and he complained that he was there to do math and wanted to do his math. They have him work on addition Tuesdays, subtraction Wed, multiplication Thur, and he gets to choose what he wants Mon and Fri, which is usually subtraction. Just before I left to return here, he passed a multiplication test. (One school I was interviewing with during lunch heard about this and asked if he got an A or just a passing grade - as if that made a ton of difference in a 5 year old. The answer is: he got a B.)

Now, I'll grant you, the way he does his multiplication is by adding numbers quickly. So you give him times tables to fill out and he can do them, 6x7 is just the last question 6x6 plus 6 more, and 6x8 is that plus 6 more and .... But he can still figure it out if they pick problems at random too.

Superstar, Joy, and I played Quirkle - a Scrabble-like game using colors and shapes instead of words. Superstar was able to keep track of his score in his head, adding up double-digit numbers to over 200 almost flawlessly.

My dad's a smart guy. He's in a little bit of awe about Superstar. That's my boy! My son, the math will be with you, always.