Baxter’s local grandparents, his Oma and Pops, have been doing “algebra” with him for a couple years now.  This has basically consisted of giving him a series of problems such as, “8 + x = 10, what is x?”  He loves this and because it suits his quick mathematical mind very well, he asks for algebra problems all the time when he’s with them.

A few nights ago, he asked for algebra problems at the dinner table.  To challenge him, we started tossing multiplication and division problems his way, and he was solving them fairly easily.  Out of boredom, because his mind (like mine) is oriented more towards the verbal than the mathematical, Matt eventually switched from numbers to words and called it “Animalgebra”.  We were so blown away by this exercise and Baxter’s answers to the problems that Matt started to write them all down.  He generously forwarded the list to me tonight so that I could share some of them here:

Matt:  “hippopotamus + x = rhinoceros”      Baxter:  “x= tusks”

Matt:  “giraffe – x = horse”      Baxter:  “x = neck”

Matt:  “chimpanzee + x = human”      Baxter:  “x=technology”

Matt:  “horse + x = zebra”      Baxter:  “x = stripes”

Baxter then took a turn…

Baxter:  “half horse + half zebra = x”     Matt:  [stumped]    Baxter:   “x = zorse”

Good times, no?


16 responses to “Animalgebra

  1. Forget meeting you, I want to do animalgebra with that kid! He’s got the math + creative mind. Actually, I think I just want him to develop more interesting iPhone apps for me. 😉

  2. Yes, I’m sure he’d have a good time with you, Heather. One of our friends in St. Paul says he’s going to create a radio show that is completely built around a daily 10-minute phone chat with Baxter. He’s certain it would have a widespread following. That idea cracks me up. 🙂

  3. Hey, I’d listen to that show! Wow, such a facile mind that kid has! All that and he understands the electoral college, too. Too bad I’m already married! 😉

  4. Wow, what a quick mind he has!!

  5. I got number 3 wrong.

  6. Eh, don’t sweat it, Chimp.

  7. I’ve never heard of this idea before but LOVE it. Passing this along to my husband!

  8. This is awesome! I had to share it with hubby, and it cracked him up. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Zorse still has me laughing!!!

  9. Do you guys ever watch TV?

  10. I usually have to remind my kids that PBSKids is an option on weekend mornings, to tell you the truth. When they’re sick or on school vacation they watch more, but still not a lot. But we do watch a fair amount of PeeWee’s Playhouse, thanks to you, drama mama! I think it keeps the wackiness flame alive…

  11. Don’t feel bad, Brian. The answer I was looking for on number three was “pants.”

  12. That is fantastic! Go, Baxter!

  13. I love it!!!

  14. This is great! You all don’t need a Wii, look what fun you have. Those kids are brilliant, I think a podcast for kids by your kids would be a fantastic. We’d listen, although Jane might get a big crush on B.!

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