We rarely know how far our work goes, but once I got a glimpse—

I was working with some parents on producing a manual of family math activities (Family Math Fun!). We met twice a week for 11 weeks.

Jeannie (not her real name) only came to the first session, where I showed the group how to play Yahtzee, and gave them all dice and score cards to take home. We played a few rounds so that everyone got familiar with the game.

As the project came to a close a few months later, I asked all the participants to come in for a final interview, and Jeannie was happy to come.

Since she had attended only one session, I did not expect her to have got much benefit from the group, but I simply asked my first question, “Has coming to this group made any changes in your life?” She answered with a decisive yes.

She said that she and her husband got along better, as did the kids. “We have better communication. I see my daughters helping each other with school math by using a ruler or calendar, explaining, not just giving the answer.”

I asked what had made the change. Continue reading