It was math, a subject Owen has usually owned. After making sure to celebrate all of his well-earned A's with a trip to the bookstore, I asked about the B.
It was his tests. His times tables. He was getting the questions right, but he wasn't up to speed on the timed tests.
I followed his homework and noticed the same problem occurring over and over: 70s and 80s on the quizzes. Everything else had 100s.
I had to do something, so I did what any 21st-century dad would do: I downloaded a new app for my cell phone.
Last Christmas Jenny surprised me with a Motorola Droid. Wow! It had the touchscreen and the MP3 capabilities of the iPhone, but this one ran on Verizon's network! I've had so much fun with that thing in the past two months. I have apps to view the night sky, listen to Pandora, play word games.
For Owen, I downloaded an app called "Flash Cards." It spits out math problems, and he has to answer them quickly. There is a journal that keeps track of his times and the number he gets wrong. He began to play it once or twice on the way to and from school.
Last week, he brought home a math test: 100%! Yes!!
Now that's what I call high-quality 21st-century fathering.