The coolest Math games I’ve seen are from Dragonbox. Dragonbox teaches math concepts through intuitive games. They have algebra for 5 year olds (video), geometry for kids (video) and very interesting game to learn adding and subtracting (video). The kids love them and they learn a lot.
Brainpop is a wonderful site that provides 5 minute learning videos on Math, History and every other school subject followed by a series of multiple choice questions. My kids (6 and 3) have been using BrainPop Jr. which is targeted for K-3.
- A 3-year-old can see that learning can be fun.
- A 4-year-old can start to the grasp the concepts.
- A 5-year-old can answer the questions.
- A 6-year-old can read some of the questions and answers himself.
Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize for Economics — becoming the first non-Economist to win that distinction. He summarized the field in a wonderful tome called Thinking Fast and Slow. The basic thrust of the book is that we have a number of unconscious heuristics and biases that drive our decision making — which work well MOST of the time but not ALL of the time. On a different note, Kahneman gave a fascinating TED talk about happiness that’s well worth watching. Kahnemann’s book is a fantastic tome but a little long for the people new to the field. If you want something that’s a little quicker on the topic, check out Dan Ariely’s books Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality. I wrote a few hundred words summarizing Ariely’s work on default settings as well. For more of a financial look at this, check out Nicholas Nassim Taleb’s books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan.
Only pay for things you use. When buying a subscription on an iPhone or App Store, they often default to auto-recurring. This means you can be paying for things forever and never use them. What I do is immediately turn off the recurring subscription. Then, when I need to use the subscribed service again, I renew it.
David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) is the current standard on life and time management. Almost everything that David recommends is powerful and useful. I find the most powerful tool to be the Weekly Review. I try to do one every Friday. I found the GTD methodology a bit overwhelming at first but found the Getting Started on the GTD Path extremely useful.
Neil Degrasse Tyson, head of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, is a fascinating human being. I’ve really enjoyed listening to his audiobook The Pluto Files and the course The Inexplicable Universe. But here’s a guy who is the head of the Planetarium and hosted the remake of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos who also puts on a Science/Comedy show that Abigail and I saw live! He also does a mean moonwalk.
Po Bronson writes on a number of fascinating topics. He wrote a great magazine article on how mindset applies to child rearing. It’s also a great and short introduction to the Mindset concept. The upshot from Po’s article is that you should praise children for how hard they try, not their innate qualities like how smart or pretty they are. Po expands upon this in the book Nurtureshock. He’s also wrote other great books like Nudist on the Late Shift where he convinces people to join the internet boom at the turn of the century and What Should I Do With My Life? Where he apologies and attempts to help people figure out what to do after the crash.
Powers of 10 is a fantastic video by Charles and Ray Eames on how big and small the universe is. It’s great for kids as well as adults.