Thursday, March 1, 2012

Math and Art

Math remains one of my son’s favorite subjects.

At home, we are having him do some extra math work through IXL, a website that enables kids to practice a wide range of math topics at levels from pre-K through eighth grade.

Lately, Kai’s preferred topic usually involves shapes. First, he was just interested in learning shapes beyond the basic ones he knew years ago. These include things such as knowing the difference between a rectangular pyramid and a triangular prism. After that, I showed him how to calculate the area of rectangles, triangles, parallelograms, and trapezoids. Most recently, we’ve learned about vertices, edges, and faces.

And when I say we, I include myself. The IXL site is great for testing your abilities, but it doesn’t really teach the concept. So, when Kai was interested in knowing about vertices, for example, I found that I had to research the topic myself before I could teach him as I had forgotten what I learned so long ago.

This past weekend, we were invited over to the home of a family we had met recently. My wife and I were able to speak with the other adults when we kept Kai occupied with a pad of paper and a pen. Later on, I saw that he had filled the page with pictures of various shapes, and the formulas for calculating the area of those shapes.

I don’t have a picture of that sheet, but below is a page that Kai doodled at school on his break the other day.

It is interesting to see that Kai’s art abilities have improved. My wife and I could hardly believe that he drew the shapes on his own, but he insisted that he received no help. And these days he is much better able to stay within the lines than before. I’m not sure if that is an indication of improved patience or better fine motor skills.

What is most interesting, though, is what he chose to draw. Even on his free time, the boy just can’t stop thinking of shapes!


  1. OMG he really is drawing beautifully
    must check out that website

    1. K, his ability to draw has taken a leap forward in the past several months.

  2. Very good. His fine motor control is better than my son's or mine!

    1. Shiroi, it's so good to see the improvement in his fine motor skills.


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