When there is a rock in our path, we can stumble over it or use it as a stepping stone.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

playing cards to help math skills

One of the benefits for me of living with my best friend's Dad* now is that I get to play cards with him several times a week.   He has me keep score which, while definitely not my favorite activity, I know is good for me as my math skills have become abysmal.

While I was always stronger verbally than mathematically, I did manage to get as far as Calculus in high school with grades high enough to give me High Honors and make the National Honor Society.   So to have reached the point where even some two digit math (especially subtraction) is now a struggle for me and working with fractions and doing division (other than very basic things like 9/3 = 3, for example) is beyond me, is definitely a steep drop for me!!!

I have no desire whatsoever to get back to where I used to be in math but I do still need to do things like balance my checkbook.    I use a calculator to do it but even there I need to have some number sense in order to figure out the error when things don't balance.**

Keeping score while playing cards is a way to give the math part of my brain some exercise while still having some fun.

*I found a useful trick.   Each time I balance my checking account (something I normally do weekly), I draw a line with a yellow highlighter through the last line that balanced back to my checking account.   This way any time I run into a discrepancy, I can tell at a glance last time it was balanced and thus know the error has to be in the entries since then.        I rarely have more than 4 - 6 entries per week in my checkbook so that makes it much easier to find errors when they occur.

**I have known him for over a quarter of a century.   He is very much like a father to me too, so I also call him Dad.


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