You know we’ve never been normal homeschoolers, and that applies to how we typically do math, too. Ever since the first kids were little, we’ve done math through fun activities, real-world applications and lots of wacky word problems.
Daryl has always been particularly fond of doing strange math challenges in the car while we’re driving. Since we live in the middle of nowhere, that leads to lots of time in the car and it’s a perfect opportunity to create a little math fun with our captive audience.
I’ve posted about our “mad math” challenges before and I put some of them in my homeschooling column once (reposted now at the Magical Homeschool site). Only my husband would make up math problems involving kidnapping Minnesota Vikings and figuring out how many could fit in grandma’s swimming pool.
It’s nice to know that some things don’t ever change. We took the little ones to the science museum in Sioux Falls earlier this week, and on the drive Daryl started asking Alex all kinds of math questions involving yet another mad scientist (Dr. Evilton) and all of the jobs he wanted Alex to do for him as his henchman.
There were genetically engineered animals with extra body parts, hover cars of various weights and with various materials needed, budgets to figure out for evil inventions, energy sources with different needs, and so on. If Alex was taking a long time to answer, Daryl would caution him, “Careful, Dr. Evilton is coming closer to your desk with his henchman-whacking stick!”.
Alex did a remarkable job with even really complicated problems, and Dr. Evilton rewarded him with the promise of a cookie on his desk each day next week. When Alex asked if they’d be gluten-free since he’s allergic, Daryl said that one would be. But he wouldn’t know which one, because he is evil, after all.
That’s what you get when you work for evil scientists…..