Twenty-five years later and I’m pulling my hair out, again, over……MATH! The last time I had to suffer through the experience of math lessons was College Algebra. And yes, that was 25 years ago. Once I got through that I swore I would NEVER darken Math’s door again. EVER. I’ve been able to keep that promise to myself all this time. Of course, I had no way of knowing I’d have a child 25 years later (since I didn’t want children at the time) and even less way of knowing I would be homeschooling that child one day.
Exasperation sums it all up rather nicely, I think. I’m exasperated, Punky is exasperated….and my hubby….well, we hide this from him. See, he’s one of those that believes since we homeschool, Punky should already be doing Pre-Algebra level math which is a far cry from where she is. I would say, if we are really honest about this, she is around Grade 3…..possibly 4th with her math skills. That would be a very unconfident, shaky Grade 3….(possible 4th).
I suck at math. I am the absolute WORST at math. I hated it then and I hate it today. The only math I find worthy of my time is the kind that involves money. Yet, I hate accounting too….so go figure. I can add (even in my head if the numbers aren’t too big), subtract, multiply, and divide as long as we are talking about positive, whole numbers. I understand the basic operations of life, for example I can calculate percentages – that’s helpful when calculating my savings for sale items (see? That involves money). I can do basic fractions (recipes helped me there) and decimals. I understand time and length measurements. Perimeter and Area I can do….usually. I guess I’m decent at what I refer to as living skills math. That’s it. Don’t ask me to perform any greater math function that that. I can’t do it and it’s partially why I married my husband – he’s the math whiz with his Calculus 17 and Physics 12 level college classes.
Now, despite the fact that I’m horribly wretched at math, I like to solve puzzles. As long as there isn’t some set formula required to do so. I like word problems. Not crazy ass ones like one train leaves at a certain time heading North at xx speed and another train leaves at a certain time heading South at xx speed and you are asked when will they collide in Kansas City, type questions. Word problems that require more critical thinking skills to decide on a strategy for solution and then basic math operations are used to arrive at a solution are what I like. I taught myself, by the way, to solve these. Nary a math teacher ever got jack-shit through to me in all my years in ‘public education’. My grandmother taught me the math skills I have and she was a money-oriented miser (God bless her).
So *I*, of course, having sucked at math in school and remember the horrid feeling I had when asked to perform the most basic of math skills on tests, felt that *I* would be the best person to teach Punky who clearly inherited that portion of my DNA known as the “Missing Math chromosome”.
Sigh. I believe it’s just about time I admit defeat. I may need to find a tutor. I can’t seem to discover the key to unlock Punky’s brain so that Math makes sense!
If there are any veteran homeschooler’s out there that have a story about how their child finally got math much later than ‘normal’, I would LOVE to hear from you! Punky was a ‘late’ reader, she didn’t really start reading until she was 7 and I was fine with that because I believed she would in her own time. I’m just having a very difficult time accepting that she can’t grasp, on a continual basis, basic math operations. I don’t know if she’ll ever just ‘get it’, if I were to leave her alone and wait.
So for now I’ll sign off as………Mentally Anguished Over Math (Again)!