Why the name ARBE?
The letters A.R.B.E are the first initials of 2 of our most important co-founders. At the time we launched these apps, A.R. was 9 and B.E. was 6. The name is pronounced “Arbie” and it is also the name of our baby pangolin mascot. (Why a pangolin? It’s A.R. and B.E.’s favorite animal!)
The Story of the ARBE Series:
This is a story of girls and math. After her first fourth-grade math test, my 9-year-old daughter made an unsettling announcement at dinner. Not only did she dislike math, she informed us, but she was "just no good at it.” My wife and I were shocked and more than a little confused. Just 2 years earlier, our daughter’s teacher had praised her natural affinity for numbers, noting her stellar performance on math projects. And she (along with her younger sister) had always adored science; they knew that math was the gateway to all the scientific adventures they dreamed about, from chemist to astronaut. Declaring that she wasn’t any good at math was like saying she was abandoning all those dreams.
At first I was upset and furious. This was so stereotypical — the elementary school girl who pivots from enjoying math to believing she is bad at it, who suddenly doubts her abilities, and veers away from a love of STEM. This was a phenomenon my wife and I had heard about, and had earnestly believed that we had fended off — but we were wrong.
After working with my daughter on an effort to reignite her love of numbers and recover her confidence, I realized what the problem was. Somewhere along the way in her “new math” curriculum, somehow she still had not mastered her basic, old-fashioned math facts. Remember those incredibly tedious table drills that forced kids to memorize basic addition, subtraction and multiplication? Those have gone out of fashion. And while I don’t think tedium is a great teaching tool, kids still need to drill their facts so they don’t freeze up when more advanced math gets complicated.
So I decided to do something about it. A software engineer, ex-wall street trader, entrepreneur, and stay-at-home dad, I knew I could create math games for my girls that could make a difference.
I worked with both kids (nine and six) to devise a fun way to help them learn their math facts. The ARBE series (ARBE10: Addition, ARBE10: Subtraction, ARBE10: Multiplication, ARBE10: Base -- pronounced “Arbie”), named for the first initials of their names, is the sum of that effort. Each game in the series focuses on a basic math drill, delivering math facts in an enjoyable app that even adults enjoy playing. Now, our daughter is not only back to thriving in math class again, but her confidence — and science ambitions — have been restored. And even our 6-year-old can effortlessly perform some of the same calculations that used to cause her older sister anxiety.
Our whole family is so excited to share the ARBE series with you.
AR is a 4th grader and BE is a kindergartener.
H is an attorney.
JM worked as an engineer and developer in various startups for 9 years before going to business school. He then joined a wall street firm as a trader for a few years. Now he is a stay-at-home dad/entrepreneur/investor.
The family lives in Manhattan.