Are you Smarter than a 3rd grader?

My third grader announced tonight that he had homework for me.

“Oh really?” I said. Fully expecting him to pull out yet another questionnaire or form for me to fill out.

He then proceeded to pull this out of his backpack:

That is Laszlo Polgar’s book titled Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games.

It is 1104 pages long.

And all the pages that look like this:

Apparently the kid did not get the memo that I don’t do books that long. (Although I have read a certain Vampire series whose 2560 pages were worth every minute of my time.)
I asked him why I needed to read the book, which ironically has very few words and far to many pictures of chess boards.

He told me that he wants to be a better chess player because chess players are better at math.

Ummm okay.

Then he said that in order to be a better chess player he needs to practice more at home. And in order to practice more at home someone there needs to know how to play chess.
So he asked Mr. Wagner (the media specialist and chess coach at his school) for a book that I could read to learn how to play chess.
Apparently Mr. Wagner recommends this one.

Can’t we just stick to being mediocre in math?


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15 responses to “Are you Smarter than a 3rd grader?

  1. Meredith

    Wow. I really pray that none of my children ever bring that book home… well, I guess they can as long as it’s recipient is their father. I could totally be just fine with mediocre.

  2. Elena

    LOL!!! 1100 pages to learn chess? You’ll be the next Chess champion.

  3. Lee Ann

    Seriously? You’re not going to read it? 🙂 I think I would just pay Mr Wagner to play with him after school. 🙂

  4. Meagan

    That sounds like something Micah would bring home! I can’t believe how much those boys are alike! I wish we lived closer, then we could all go to Starbucks and the boys could play chess while we sipped coffee (or whatever you drink…you’re not a coffe drinker are you?) and talked!Let me know how the book is…I may have to add it to my reading list! 😉

  5. meleea

    my kids played chess for years with each other and curtis. i never learned. i just had cody teach his sister to play so she could be better at math too – wink, wink. it worked perfectly! hmm..maybe that was why i was never good at math!

  6. Kat

    I never learned how to play chess. My father was supposed to teach Katie…but that didn’t happen. I still have the instructional chess game. With the plastic attached.You need to get some sort of computer program so that he can play the computer. And not you. Everybody wins.But there is a great book (fiction) about Chess. “The Eight” by Katherine Neville. Really good.

  7. Gina

    Beleive me, We wish for mediocre math here. Either we’re fabulous- or we suck. Ah, mediocrity, wherefor art thou?

  8. Gramma 2 Many

    Start reading Trish.Gina, you know you DO NOT wish for mediocre at all.

  9. JourneytoFamily

    I’d rather re-read that “vampire series” than read a book on chess any day! I’m voting for the mediocre in math too. Cell phones have calculators these days. Do you really need to be fantastic in math? LOL.

  10. Dee

    When it comes to chess, no, I’m not smarter than a third grader. And proud of it! Give that assignment to dad!hehehe

  11. annaliese

    oh…that vampire series got me too! and it was worth every guilty second it took away from the laundry, dishes, time with my family (oh, should I admit to that last one?!) but a book on chess? hmmm…perhaps you could envision his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize someday–thanking his mom for taking the time to play really challenging games of chess with him? does that help??

  12. Hot Tub Lizzy

    I’m thinking “CHess for Dummies” would be much more practical.

  13. Ronnica

    I’m all about parents being active in their child’s learning, but I don’t know that I could do that for my kids (not that I have any yet) if they asked me too…

  14. Debbie

    I have never played chess and dread the day my kids start asking to play it. My reply will be “Let’s play Trouble instead.”

  15. mer@lifeat7000feet

    I’m mediocre in math, and I’ve survived just fine thankyouverymuch. OH my word. That is one book I hope my kids never bring home. I’d probably collapse in a puddle of tears because yes, I’m THAT afraid of math. Not afraid of vampires though. 😉 *wink*

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