Monday, April 14, 2008

Math Guy that U See?

This last weekend I attended the St. Louis Homeschool EXPO . I took the kids with me on Friday and they attended a kids expo where they played and made crafts and sang songs and watched puppets and did all sorts of things.

The absolute highlight of the day, for my kids especially, was getting to meet Mr. Steve. Mr. Steve is actually Mr. Steve Demme, who is the founder of Math U See, the math curriculum we use. My kids LOVE Mr. Steve. The program comes with DVDs that Mr. Steve actually teaches on. The idea is that you watch the DVD and then do the book/block work, so my kids see Mr. Steve pretty regularly, and are always thrilled to see his smiling face on their TV.

Half-way through the day, The Boy decided that he was done with the mass group of kids regardless of how much fun they were having and he opted to join me in my classes. He sat in on two hours of speaking and declared it was like church. Between the classes though he did get to meet Mr. Steve. He had wanted to meet his math teacher so badly, but The Boy is my shy guy and so upon meeting Mr. Steve he didn't talk much and was keeping the conversation very short. He did answer questions and we went on to checking out some of the myriad of booths to shop at.

At the end of the day we got the Girl out of her classes and I took both of the kids with me to the sanctuary so The Girl could meet Mr. Steve. We had to wait in a short line of other adoring homeschool moms who wanted to talk to the man who "literally saved" their children, and in the meantime my children were um... embarrassing. They were running amok. They had sat still too long and now looked and acted the part of children who needed saving by Mr. Steve! We were in a church sanctuary and it was a large church sanctuary and my kids were honestly and truly running the aisles. I tried to get them to simply stop by asking them to stop. They just giggled and ran, we were so obviously beyond that simple request. I didn't want to go into a full blown run in front of the other moms who were seated and watching and waiting for the next session, which was due to start in another half hour. Finally, I did the one thing I have tried to stop doing. I counted. You know... ONE. TWO. THREE. HERE NOW! I had The Girl skid into place. The Boy mischievously grinned and followed. That had been the whole trouble, The Boy had chosen this moment to chase The Girl.

I kept the girl in line beside me by the hand, but The Boy, I merely confined to the boundaries of the nearest church pew. He continued to run from one end to the other. The other moms looked on with sympathy, I know that they had all been there at one point or another. They were all thinking, "Poor woman. I am SO glad I didn't bring my kids up here. She must have special needs children, you know, those uncontrollable ADHD kids. She should be over there in those special classes. I wonder why she is here with us normal-kids-people?"

Finally the two women in front of me stopped chit chatting with the amazing Math teacher and he looked at The Girl expectantly. Her eyes lit up and she put her hands up to her mouth. She was grinning from ear to ear. He asked her a couple of questions and she talked with him a bit then when I felt we had taken up enough of his time, I whispered to tell her to let him know how much we liked his math. She looked up at him and beamed and said, "I love Math U See!" She put all of her feeling into delivering this line. His face lit up and he called his son Ethan over, who is the director of marketing for Math U See. He asked The Girl if he could pick her up and she agreed and was overjoyed that this very tall Mr. Steve would pick her up and carry her to his booth out in the hall. There they talked and they filmed The Girl saying cute little mathisms and The Boy ran around the pillar in the hallway like The Flash. Granted he wasn't that willing to talk with Mr. Steve and he was done talking, it was time to play. Frankly, it was time for The Boy to run a good five miles in my very humble opinion.

Mr. Steve and Ethan finally scooped The Boy up and swung him side to side by his hands and feet. They threatened to toss him and finally set him down, commenting that Ethan also used to need to run a good five miles periodically as a child. They then tossed The Girl around and threatened to do a full loop with that one!

I finally gathered my children and all the paraphernalia that I was carrying around and said our goodbyes. We headed outside to walk to our car and The Girl looked up at me and said, "I didn't realize that he was a real person!" I could do nothing but laugh.

Today she drew a picture of Mr. Steve and Ethan swinging her through the air. I let her know that we would send it off to him. He will be getting fan mail from my kids, I bet he hadn't planned on that when he wrote his math curriculum.


ethan said...

It was fun meeting you and your kids, and tossing them around :-)

FHL said...

I forgot to ask you about this! I am so glad the kids got to meet Mr.Steve! I know it meant a lot to them.

susan said...

Great story. It's great to know taht there are still people out there who can make learning exciting. Mr. Steve is one of them, but so are you, Anna.

Megan said...

We were there too, only for some reason I didn't think to take my kids up to meet Mr. Steve! Today we watched one of the lessons and I casually mentioned to my oldest that he was at the conference we went to and she gave me this look like, "We were there and he was there and we didn't even bother to meet him?"

Yikes! I will know better for next time...


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