Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Addendum to Previous Post

Eventually, the elder offspring was able to focus enough to determine that Josh had 9 marbles total.

And I did not burst out and say, "Kid, he has 3 green and 6 red! Three plus six equals nine! Come ON!!!!" even though my brain was shrieking it. Because I know what it's like to have words and numbers flung together seemingly willy-nilly and have no clue what to do with the ungodly spawn thereof. For me, it created a disconnect between reading (fun) and math (dull) and probably screwed with left- and right-brain functions as well.

It's like learning to play the piano. First you learn how to use the right hand, then the left, then you put them both together. Musically, it was usually no biggie (although don't fling any of J. S. Bach's Inventions at me -- I am halfway convinced he was possessed when he put those nasty little compositions together), but for math it was quite another story.

I had a terrible time with math starting when I was around my elder son's age (8), and it continued until sometime between my sophomore and senior years in high school when it finally just clicked, that math is just another language. Learn the vocabulary, grammar, and mechanics, and yes, you too, can survive math class!

I don't know what sparked this transition for me. It could have been the consistent use of language in geometry in tenth grade that did it. It could have been the poor idiot student teacher in eleventh grade Algebra II, who couldn't teach let alone control a classroom to save her life who spurred me on out of a desire for GPA preservation. Or it could have been both of those plus my most awesome trigonometry/ analytical geometry teacher my senior year who finally made it gel.

Regardless, I survived, and survived to make A's in Calculus I and II on the college level as well.

The boy can do it. It just depends on the "click".

And on him managing to keep from flinging himself about in frustration long enough to pay attention. Oish.

(Note: He did apologize for being rude, lest anyone think I raised a total brat.)


tz said...

Ahhhh, homework...Jake came home with his first FIRST grade word problem last year and I panicked....I didn't even read it, I just sat there, saw the words and started hyperventilating....

I will seriously need therapy when the kids are done with school and not for empty nest syndrome but for helping your kids w/ homework PTS(post traumatic stress)

Amanda said...

Oh agony, TZ! And I hear ya on the PTSD. I swear, after the last two nights I have it already.

Thank goodness he's on an incredibly weird school schedule and goes off track (his particular school is year-round... his really long break is from Thanksgiving until after New Year's Day) in a week. I need a little breather!

tz said...

we're track too...jake starts next tuesday....saw these fun flash cards/multiplation game in a magazine, called mythmatical battles...mythmatical balles.com I was thinking of picking up for next year???

Amanda said...

TZ, sounds like a good idea! My elder is in 3rd grade, and I picked up flash cards for addition, subtraction, and multiplication for him at the end of last year because he was really wanting to get speedy with all his problem solving. Good thing too because last night at Open House his teacher told us they need to be instantaneous on those facts up to 12. Hey, yay me! Did something right!