By Diane Ako
Olivia is great with reading but not very great with math. Yet. At least, that's what I like to end the sentence with.
Every night Claus works with her on math. I don't like math either. He's such a good dad. She usually gives him a hard time and he plods forward patiently.
One weekend, her neighborhood best friend Kira decided they should create their own business selling crafty items. They invented bookmarks by picking hibiscus leaves and inserting a few beads around the stem, secured by a rubber band.
The girls spent hours making the leaves and then going door-to-door selling them for a quarter. I now have a dozen dead, beaded hibiscus leaves somewhere in my house, while my wallet is 12 quarters lighter.
To encourage her about real-life application for math skills, I told her, "This is why you need to learn to add quickly. This way, you can add up all the money you two earned, then split the pile in half."
"I don't need math," she insisted.
"How will you figure out how much money you got?" I asked.
"Kira will do that," she said.
"Well, at some point in life it might be nice to be able to figure that out for yourself," I pointed out.
"I don't care about my half. She'll just give me what she gives me," Olivia countered.
Oh, the innocence of children. If only life was always like that!