Monday, April 22, 2013

Number Cross

Although I think logic is very important, it's a subject that I haven't yet managed to work into the girls' regular school schedule. Logic is important, yes, but so far reading, grammar, math, Latin, music, science, history, geography, and art are more important. I always have in the back of my mind, however, that one day, sooner or later, Sydney will no longer need formal reading instruction, and then I could replace that spot with logic.

I have mentally replaced Sydney's reading spot with probably half a dozen different theoretical subjects by now. I hope that reading frees up a LOT of time!

I do occasionally include stand-alone logic activities in Will's schedule--she has extra space set aside for enrichment activities almost every school day, and when I don't want to assign an enrichment activity based on what we're working on that day, I sometimes assign her a logic puzzle or game, or challenge her to a chess or Othello match. She loves word ladders, and recently she's been REALLY into this book, Number Cross Puzzles: A Quick and Challenging Workout for Your Brain, that a publicist gave her:

Seriously, how cool is this?!?
Ignore her backwards digits. She still does that very rarely when she's thinking VERY hard.
The format is exactly like that of a crossword puzzle, except instead of clues, you're given the numbers that will fill in the blanks. Many seem interchangeable at first, and only by trial-and-error or a LOT of logical forethought can you tell which goes where.

I tell you what--I LOVE these puzzles. Will is such a words girl, but she's quick at math, too; she just rarely takes the time to immerse herself in math. These puzzles give her a fun experience playing with numbers, which is something that I would like for her to learn to take pleasure in.

Will is also a girl who hates erasing and re-doing. If she wants to avoid that in these puzzles, then she must stretch herself to think ahead and visit all possibilities, but the puzzles are fun enough to her that even when she must erase and re-write, she sticks with it:

My biggest surprise, however, was when Sydney got ahold of this Number Cross book. I fear that I am sometimes guilty of underestimating my Syd--she's younger than her sister, and not yet fully literate, and has a different learning style from her sister's almost invisible way of picking many things up, so sometimes I forget that she's a very quick learner, too, especially in math, at which I am convinced she will catch up to and then pull ahead of her sister someday soon, but that's a story for another day.

Anyway, it had never even occurred to me to show this Number Cross book to Sydney, but she found it on her own, took it to Matt, who explained how to work the puzzles, and then sat herself down at the table and did this:

Not too shabby for the kid sister, huh? She's got a mind for numbers.


Tina said...

Those look pretty fun! Sometimes it's hard to not underestimate the littles. Although it's always a nice surprise when we remember how capable they are.

julie said...

It is, isn't it? I like it when my kids surprise me in a good way.