By Logsdon M.I.
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Extra resources for A Mathematician Explains
Children need us to be ego-less quite often, for a long time. We made some audio tapes when the Explorer was growing up, and they delight us to this day. There are qualities of “ego-less-ness” in children’s explanations of what they see and conclude, too, and it is strangely reassuring as well. Some of these precious conversations were with the Explorer before he was articulate, and they’re wonderful. When we listen to them together, the three of us experience that pre-verbal state—we laugh so hard we cry and can’t speak!
As their teachers, we must work really hard not to shame our children for their feelings, even though we might have been shamed (or smacked) for ours. One way to deal with anger, akin to hitting pillows but more dramatic, is to stomp it out. Put sand or dirt or even a pile of dirty laundry down so the child can jump up and down on it until the pile is flattened and the anger is exhausted. The energy goes into the ground, the children see that they’ve done something, and with that energy vented, children feel better.
They like beats that are in heartbeat range, of course. This is a great time to let them listen—and wiggle and giggle—to a variety of percussion. There are lots of tapes available, featuring various cultures’ drumming. ) You’ll soon learn which music your baby likes best. There are still Gordon Lightfoot, Linda Ronstadt, and Eagles albums we can’t hear without crooking elbows and starting to sway, still rocking the baby to sleep years after he’s grown up, because we played them at least twice every night when the Explorer was a baby.
A Mathematician Explains by Logsdon M.I.