Although, I must say, in all honesty, I had no idea what he was doing.
Here's what happened. I was washing the dishes after the kids were in bed and I made an offhand comment about how when I was doing some of the summer math work with our first grader, I noticed that he didn't really have his basic math facts down. My husband, my MIT-trained engineer and lover of math who teaches AP Calc with such joy, stopped in the middle of the kitchen and said, What? What do you mean? And proceeded to look at me like this was my fault because I had obviously contributed the anti-math gene** to this child.
I went on to explain that we*** were having trouble with single number addition and subtraction. My husband, who usually never ever builds anything unless it means he can use his power tools, grabbed one of those styrafoam 18 egg cartons and using a scissor, cut out a Ten Board. What's a Ten Board? I'm not totally clear on this, but according to Josh, in Singapore (or maybe the
math series he uses is called Singapore Math, I don't really know) they use these boards to make adding easier. But that's not the point of the story.
It's also not the point of the story that Josh used one of the 18-egg styrafoam cartons that I was saving because I like to transfer the eggs from the flimsy cardboard containers that the 2 and 1/2 dozen eggs come in from BJ's into the sturdier 18 egg ones. Anywho, way off topic here.
My whole point here was to share my pride in my husband, the man who cringes everytime I say we should think about some upgrade in the house but that we should totally do it ourselves(!). Just a few years ago he would have decribed to me what he wanted to make and stood there while I made the project. But this time, he used his engineer's brain to do it it himself. I knew sooner
or later I would rub off on him.
Here is a picture of his project.
*crafty, as in crafting a project and not as in a mustache twirling crafty kinda guy. Are you still with me?
** I really can't deny it. If there is an anti-math gene in this family, it absolutely came from my side of the family - my maternal side of the family. Sorry, Ma, it's true and we both know it. In college, I took one and only one math class and just so you can better understand where I am coming from, I will tell you that it was called Math for Poets. And I dropped it midway through the semester. I mean, who the heck cares who Fibonacci was and what was so important about his square. Or maybe it was his triangle. I don't know. I can't think about it, I'm getting all worked up here.
*** I'm not just saying "we" here to be nice. I still have to stop and add small numbers in my head for a second when I am checking his work. I was never any good at memorizing math facts. What was the point? I was blessed with ten fingers to count on, I see no reason not to use them to their fullest ability.