Monday, September 6, 2010

Spirograph

Here's some of what's been happening:
  • We finally bought some gel pens suitable to use with the old Spirograph that we picked up at a yard sale a year or two ago. I loved my Spirograph as a kid. Unfortunately, the makers of the Spirograph have botched the new design, so if you want a functioning set, you either have to buy an old one or a knock-off. We're missing the apparatus that would keep the gears in place as you work, so my husband has been trying to fabricate a replacement.
  • D and I sifted through D's papers today and C and I went through C's books. I also went through all of the books in our master bedroom. I'm trying to do at least one of these projects every day or so. Beyond just thinning down our possessions, I find it very helpful to get to know what we've got, so we can use up old supplies and avoid accidental duplication and pointless storage. Also, doing organizing projects in the kids' rooms helps them reacquaint themselves with old favorites and avoid boredom.
  • I'm within striking distance of the end of Persuasion.
  • Our after dinner math tutorials have gotten serious. This evening, my husband was asking the kids "What is the square root of 99 times 99?" Somebody (probably C) got that one immediately. My husband had better luck with the problem that (according to legend), the young Gauss solved immediately: what is the sum of the integers from 1 to 100? The kids were stumped, but he walked C through the problem. What is 100 + 1, what is 99 + 2, 98 + 3, etc. Once that pattern was established, he helped her figure out how many of those pairs there were (50). Once that was done and C realized that the answer to the problem would be 101 times 50, she was able to come up with that almost instantly.
  • D said: "Pi is a yummy number!"

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