Do you think I should downsize? You didn’t know I had a decent size fish pond.

“dans mes rêves

I dread to think how much my house insurance would go up if I did live in a French chateau. I suspect my little hover mower would struggle a bit. The dog could do some serious digging here. Space and isolation would certainly not be a problem for our son.

Having a garden big enough to go for a long run would be fun. We could even be like Professor X and set up our own school here then we could tell the government to stuff off with its targets.

We were trying to do some work for our son’s end of year maths tests. Not one but two tests. It always fascinates me how his mind works. For example practicing some multiplications. I would write them down old school while he does them almost faultlessly in his head. How on earth can he do 55×23 or 78×33 in his head. That would be beyond me.

He can see numerical progression sequences so much quicker than I can. Working out ratios and percentages are easy for him. He can work out modes, medians and averages again in his head whereas I again have to write them down. This will cause him problems going forward in exams as he will need to show his workings.

Yet he just can’t process decimal points. Introduce a decimal point into the simplest of calculations and his onboard processor stops working. So for example 1897648+987985 can be done in his brain really quickly yet he is lost with 1.4+1.7. Similarly ask him to round up 14356965 to the nearest thousandth and it’s done instantly. Yet ask him to round 1.23 to one decimal place and again he is lost.

He’s got other black holes in maths. Apparently no clear rhyme or reason to these. A Clinical Psychologist referred to these as his Number Dyslexia. Another label which is not really understood. It wouldn’t be a problem if we lived in that French chateau but in our reality we will need to find a way of solving these riddles. It’s added to our to do list and we will crack on with them – at some stage. But first I need to go and clean my 1000 windows.

85 thoughts on “Downsize

  1. That is frustrating for sure. I know many people who struggled in math because they could do it in their head no problem, but had a hard time showing the work. Math has certainly changed. I try to help my son with math problems, but apparently the simple methods I learned ages ago are no longer acceptable. Even though the answer is the same, the kids are marked wrong for not working the problem in some ridiculous fashion that they teach now.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree, I think it is ridiculous the long way they have to do maths, compared to the old way at school. It’s not like it’s going to help us in our own lives.
      As long as we under to add, to subtract, etc.. which will help us to understand our wage slip that we are being paid correctly in later life and to know we are given the right change before leaving a shop, then that’s great. But the rest is not going to help a majority of us.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Nice rêve! 😉 – That guy sure liked the old observation tower huh? Think maybe he had a lot of enemies and wanted to see them coming??

    Hmmm… starting up your own school? Or study group even?? Might be worthy of further thought – maybe you could even get a government grant to help? Any other Yorkshirites you know may be interested? Or what if it was ‘on-line’ – i’m sure there could be some support for that one!

    It would be fascinating to know how his mind does (and doesn’t) do that. I can guess the answer he gives when you ask him how he knows the answers: “It’s Obvious!”, “Because it is!”, “It’s so simple!” but ask him to teach you how to do what he does and what happens? Let him explain to you VERY basically (as if you were dumb!) how he goes about ‘seeing the so obvious’ that the rest of us can’t see at all?

    As for decimals, tell him to ignore the ‘point’ to start with and get the ‘raw’ answer then use a simple table to provide the answer for where the dot has to go (depends if problem involves one of addition/sub or multi/div., and on the number of places after the dot in the original numbers – there are only around 8 common choices for double sets of numbers like in the examples you gave above).

    As for the ‘workings’ … Sadly, in science and maths, there is no real value in a thing if it can not be repeated by someone with no real expertese, which means you have to be able to explain how you came to the conclusion you reached so that others can easily verify if you are right and where any error might have occured in the unlikely instance that you are, in fact, wrong! (Even if you just put the decimal point in the wrong place!) 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Yes, I too occasionally dream of exchanging my flat in the South of France for a chateau in rural France when perusing property porn. But common sense reasserts itself when I think about trying to clean all those windows. I sadly have no solution for the decimal dilemma.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can see that this accepted method does not fall into logical processing used by the brain, and might be why your son struggles with it. He will want to resolve how the fractions become whole numbers… In other words, his brain computer wants to use all the cogs, rather than take the zip-line short cut to the answer.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh to live in one of those! Seems like it would be so cool – and then I would wonder at how I would clean it all. And parts would definitely be haunted…. That is really interesting about your son and math. So brilliant and stuck at the same time. How the mind works!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I would love it as a child. So much fun to explore. Then the old negative nilly parent in me comes out and looks at silly stuff like “cleaning” and “ghosts” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I could do the calculus problems if they were written on the board. But I couldn’t write down how I had done it on paper. I always had the right answer….just couldn’t tell the professor my thought process.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. If I could afford to live in a chateau, I could afford a gardener and window cleaner.
    Right now our two bed bungalow has yet another blown window (guy coming tomorrow to measure up) and Hubby managed to cut both front and back lawns yesterday.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Late to the party here. Talking numbers, I’ve never been able to balance a cheque book which is why I had to bookmark this today in order to pop back later. Ask no questions get no lies told. I just think reading this, your boy can more than do numbers and what is wrong here is the system that says you have to do them a certain way. A way that you never use again in your life that I’ve noticed. I am dyslexic with numbers with many stories to tell re that at school. Seriously, go clean the chateaux windows.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh me and the MR have been bank manager dyslexic all our married life. But we’ve always landed stupidly, unbelievably lucky with houses we’ve bought without thinking about it either so they shut it eventually. School and system will want to consider what they want to consider. The thing is ? I spent my whole school life thinking I am an idiot with numbers and actually I’m not as I found out later in very different circumstances. So hang in there.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! Your son has a phenomenal talent. Asking him to show how he works it out is like asking Picasso how to paint. Ugh! Some rules should be thrown out the window especially in exceptional cases, like your son’s. That’s like genius level stuff! Wish you could have a castle and all the benefits that would ensue.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Yeah, this is definitely a problem and sadly he’ll need to do the whole “show your working out thing” or lose the marks. I know from experience. I was always in trouble for either not showing my working out or not working things out in the way I was meant to. It’s still relevant now because I’m doing an OU degree in my spare time.

    It’s just another way in which people who can totally do the work get penalised if they don’t do things the same way as most other people in the group.

    It would be so much better if he could be allowed to focus on the good stuff, like the fact that he gets the answers way faster and more easily than everyone else 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I never even thought about number dyslexia. My daughter decided she wanted to do GCSE Maths and English this year. Her decision. So we’ve been in the world of major melt-downs and study for a while. We just went for foundation Maths but it was so frustrating at times. There are so many different exam boards. We went for Edexcel IGCSE, I think because it was just two exams and both calculator ones. It really makes no sense to me all the things they have to learn. Foundation for what? She quite enjoyed Pythagoras as it turned out but I can’t see it playing a very necessary part in her life. It was a huge thing for her anyway, whatever her results. And the more we focused on the things she could do, the more the other things came together, or became less of an issue. Funny that! Keep on keeping on!

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