We get pretty excited over math night at our house. I know this is unusual. It hasn’t always been my most favorite thing in the world. In fact, I think I am like so many people who are either intimidated by math, bored by it, or just confused.
Here’s the thing. My boys dig architecture, and building things. They have engineering and technology in their veins. I know that math will be a big part of anything they do for a career. It feels like an important exercise on my part to learn to love math and foster an environment rich in mathematical adventure and fun. So many people just shut down when math is brought up, and that is really limiting. I want to bust through any limits that might pop up for my boys, and this is a big one.
I have always been curious about mathematicians, and I understand that there is a beauty to the intricate perfection of math. There is an art to it. I have read histories of mathematicians, and the way they speak about math makes me want to understand it better. They discuss it like it is a living thing. They talk about theorems being exquisite. I am not in their brains, but I want to be. I do not get it entirely, although I have seen fractals, and they are glorious. I want to catch the bug that makes mathematicians chase down answers to puzzling questions for years and decades. I want to get to a point where prime numbers are magical to me, and I thrill at discovering new proofs. That may not happen for me, but I am open to math in a new way that is exciting. And my boys look forward to math games every Tuesday night, and that right there is half the battle.
This week, we played cards. It is a simple game called Golf, where the object is to replace cards in your hand (two of which you’ve never seen) with lower numbered cards. At Bean’s age, just knowing if a number is higher or lower is a big deal. Ben loves the memory function of the game. If you don’t focus, you can completely forget where you put the good card and end up giving it away.
Full Einstein poster here.