The Sudoku Champion

One thing I really struggle with while homeschooling is the odd amounts of open time.  I find that especially while the kids are doing what you might call “table work” that I never know how long I’ll have.  It might be ten minutes.  It might be two.  It might be thirty seconds or even ten seconds.  It’s not long enough to read without losing my flow.  Doing anything interactive online is too distracting, though I’m guilty of it, I’ll admit.  I’m often tempted to do the dishes or sweep up, and sometimes I actually have to, but my kids really still need me to sit with them, to keep them on task and bolster their confidence as they go.  However, if I give them all my attention, I get impatient with their speed.  They’re really very slow workers.  Here’s what’s perfect: Sudoku.

Imagine this average morning at the dining room table.

BalletBoy: Check it!

Me: You got it.

(I fill in three numbers)

Mushroom: hum, hum, hum…

Me: Mushroom, do you need some help?

Mushroom: I don’t get this one.

Me: Here’s how…

Mushroom: Oh…

(I fill in one number.)

BalletBoy: Check the rest of them!

Me: Look at that one.

(I fill in two numbers.)

BalletBoy: Check it!

Me: Yep.  Now do the next one.

(I fill in eight numbers.)

Mushroom: Lalalalalala

Me: Mushroom, you’re being really loud.

Mushroom: Sorry!  I just have to make noise to do math.

(I fill in two more numbers.)

BalletBoy: Can I be done?

And so on.  I think I’ve probably done a few hundred Sudoku this way.  How many more to come by high school, I wonder.

3 thoughts on “The Sudoku Champion

  1. I listen to my talk radio show on ipod.

    Farrar — I meant to write yesterday to tell you how much I loved the blog that included a math game. Question: we just moved from apartment-life with a ton of kids everywhere to house-life with no kids around. We do a co-op, a theater class and a tennis class, but the kids are still pushing, pushing, pushing for play dates. How many a week is fair to the kids’ social needs do you think? I’m afraid the apartment-experience with kids everywhere to play with has confused us all on what a kid “needs.” My boys are 9 by the way.

    Love your blog,


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