One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else. My daughter Hannah is struggling with all things related to math, so today I brought in a new student in serious need of help with his numbers. This is Baxter the Basset Hound –
aka the “Math Hound”. Baxter is known around here for his bad attitude and desire to sleep all the time, so he brought that attitude and lack of knowledge to school today. I can’t say that Hannah’s ready to take on Einstein’s theory of relativity yet, but she was able to explain and demonstrate things for Baxter that she was struggling with prior to his arrival in class. Here’s an example (we were building trees with Tinker Toys):
- Baxter: Hey kid! How many trees do you have there?
- Hannah: Two trees.
- Baxter: What if you build one more tree?
- Hannah: Three trees!
- (this exchange went back and forth all the way to 17 trees)
- Baxter: Hey kid! I just ate one tree.
- Hannah: Crazy basset hound! There are 16 trees.
- (this exchange went down to zero – Baxter ate all the trees)
Hannah also helped Baxter get his numbers in order and showed him how to count backwards from 20.
Those of you who stop by here regularly know that we homeschool, and that Hannah has a severe mixed expressive/receptive language disorder. Strangely, her best subjects are all language oriented: reading, spelling, and grammar. Math is definitely her weak subject right now, so I was glad that Baxter could drop by school today and help out. It was interesting how easily she could explain something to the puppet that just minutes earlier she could not answer for me.