Sudoku and the Brain

sudokuMy nephew correlates playing Sudoku on the train every day with improved grades at school. Looking on line I found less than I would have expected about the efficacy of word and math games and improved brain function. There is some evidence though it is not overwhelming.

Getting games on my phone for my kids has led to way too much wasted time playing Angry Birds Star Wars which is what I was indulging in when my nephew told me about Soduko. So I began to play. I have written before on the blog about being a slow learner and how frustrating that can be.

Sudoku has been no exception. It took me a week to even begin to understand the process. Helpful hints meant nothing to me as I floundered about trying to figure out what didn’t seem to be all that complicated. Nine rows of nine and nine boxes of nine—simple enough? Boy did I feel like an idiot.

And then the fog began to clear. Not much really but at least I began to see how the rhythms work and I have completed my first easy puzzle. It took ten days but I am not complaining. Being bad at something before the mastery comes is one of the most difficult things in life, and trying to explain that to young children is even harder.

I gave up on a number of early pursuits because I didn’t have the patience to persevere. I am able to do that now and I am trying to share some of that teaching with my kids but as with many things, I fear they will have to learn it on their own.

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