Math in the Car

Lately Ben does math in the car. He’ll ask, “What’s 83 times 12?” And Tony or I will say, “Can you figure it out?” And he does. His thinking through 2/3 + 1/4 occupied a good 15 minutes of a long drive recently, and that’s okay because he’s seven. I don’t believe his first grade teacher has even taught the kids fractions yet, let alone how to add them.

So now of course Eli wants in on the fun. The other day on the drive to school he asked, “What’s 3 divided by 2?” Before I could respond, Ben said, “Eli, do you know what ‘divided by’ means?”
“No.”
“Well,” said Ben, “It’s a kind of math process; do you know what ‘math’ is?”
“No.”
“Okay, well, math is numbers. 3 divided by 2 means, how many two’s fit inside three, and that’s one and a half. “
Eli was perfectly satisfied with that explanation, and for now I am, too. Maybe Ben can teach Eli long division, also…

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