Signed Simon up for Brilliant, a service that e-mails you quick math problems every day. It took Simon about 5 minutes to solve this sequence. Longer than myself, I must admit. First he jotted some guesses on a sheet of paper…

But then he yelled: It’s to the power of! 2 to the power of 0 is one, to the power of 1 is 2 – that’s how we get 5, and so on. 2 to the power of 5 is 32. 33 + 32 = 65, the correct answer!

The same evening while having dinner he all of a sudden thought of a second way to solve the same sequence. He didn’t even want to eat his dinner any more as he said he enjoyed continuing the sequence so much. He was very quick at adding hundreds and thousands.

He said he could not wait until we got a new task the next morning!

This is a perfect example of how rows of boring sums are totally not motivating at school and the child is slow and unwilling to solve them, but when doing sums is part of something very exciting – solving a personal difficult and exciting math challenge that you’re being e-mailed every day it’s a whole different story.

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