I do try to not post dumb stuff about how awesome my kids are on here, because I am bored to tears by that sort of thing. But I think I am about to anyway...
Tonight Jonni wanted to know what -1 + -1 came out to. She had several opinions, including one, supposedly from her teacher, that said it would be zero. So I told her the answer and then went on sort of an explanation of how great I am at math and told her about all the math classes I did in college and how awesome I was at it, partly to brag and partly to prove that my opinion was of more value than her teacher's was in these matters. I convinced her easily.
The end result of this conversation was that Jonni wanted to know what Calculus was. And she went to our book shelf and took out my Calculus book and started leafing through it. I tried, but in the end, I told her I couldn't think of anyway to explain what Calculus was until she knew Algebra.
And it turns out I don't own an algebra textbook. How wrong is that?!
So we evolved into a conversation about algebra while I was making dinner, and she really wanted me to give her some basic algebra problems to work on... so I did. First, I introduced the concept of a variable to her, by telling her that in algebra you had to make up a name for a number so that you could talk about it and think about it, while you tried to work out the number's real name. Normally, I said, they use X for that, but since you are using that for the times sign, X might be too confusing, so why not use J (our favorite) for now? Or, I added, not wanting to limit her, make up any name you want, if you want.
She wanted, and so she thought for a while and decided to use the word "Quamillion" for her unknown number's placeholder name, and to represent it with the letter "Q".
I really don't push her into this stuff, she just asks and I talk. It flows. Anyhow. I'm not sure what the point of this story is, but I'm going to bed now. There is it. Gnight all.