Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Review: Math and Magic in Wonderland

Review: Math and Magic in Wonderland

*Disclosure: I was given a free book to review but all opinions are my own. 

Are you ready to go on a grand adventure?  A magical journey? Then you have to get this book!    It’s a fun expedition from beginning to end. In fact, you will have so much fun that you will not realize you are learning.  You are taken into this interactive book to help solve riddles, puzzles, and math problems; but, there is much more you can learn from this book.  There is also science, literature, and history.  The vocabulary used in this book is amazing. It is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s poetry, but there are references to other famous books, stories, and people. My favorite reference was the nod to Fred Gauss of “Life of Fred”—especially since this book reminded me of the style of “Life of Fred” math books.

I have two boys.  One is 13 years old and the other is 8 years old, so I was unsure if they would be ok with the main characters being girls. But it did not bother them at all because the girls liked to play with toy swords just as my boys do. I was also unsure if the math problems would be too hard for my younger son or too easy for my older son. It turns out they were neither too hard nor too easy.  Both boys found them challenging, yet not too difficult.

We looked forward to relaxing on the couch every day and taking off on our magical exploration. It was fun to solve the puzzles, riddles, and math problems together. We even earned points throughout the book to become mathematical royalty. What about you? Will you be an Apprentice or The Math Monarch?

 A description on the back of the book says, “Lulu and Elizabeth embark on an exciting journey to a realm inspired by Lewis Carroll’s poetry. The twins must use ingenuity and sagacity to solve classic logic puzzles that promise to uncover the book’s secrets and earn them The Vorpal Blade.”

This book is great fun from beginning to end, but don’t take my word for it. Get the book so you can start the adventure for yourself!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Memorable 13th Birthday For My Son

A Memorable Birthday 

With my son about to turn 13, an age which seemed like a very monumental time in life, I wanted to do something special for his birthday. I asked him what he would like to do. Like any normal, almost teen boy, he said, “I don’t know.” Then like any normal mom, I scoured the internet. I searched through Google, Facebook, and Pinterest and found nothing that I thought would be special or momentous for a boy about to turn 13.

Then I had an idea to have family members, friends, and church members send him cards with advice for his life and Bible verses they thought would guide him through his teen years. My husband said he thought that sounded more like something you would give a graduate; but, I explained that I want our son to have these cards to read and reflect on as he struggled through his teen years. I want him to have wonderful words of wisdom from people that he trusts, and Bible verses that he can hide in his heart to get him through tough times.

So I sent a message out on Facebook to friends, family members, and my former congregation where my son had grown up. I asked them to send cards with Bible verses and advice that would help him through his teen years. I also said if any kids would like to send cards, too, those cards would be appreciated as well. He was very excited when he started receiving the cards. He found a special box to put them in so that he can read them whenever he needs encouragement or inspiration.

 My sister had my niece who is 3 years old to send advice as seen through the eyes of a preschooler. It was hilarious and it was one of my son’s favorite cards. I loved how people would include memories they had of him when he was little, along with the advice and Bible verses. That made the cards extra special. We even received cards from family members that we rarely have an opportunity to see. That was special as well.

I am confident that these cards will make a difference in his teen years. I am hoping that when he is struggling at any point in time, he can look through his box of cards and realize how many people are supporting him throughout every phase of his life.