In my nightmares, I am sitting at a too-small desk, faced with a series of computations. I have to solve for x...but I have no idea how to do the work.
Math is not my strong suit. Don't get me wrong, I can do it - algebra, geometry, even some calculus - but I don't enjoy it. I plodded my way through my required math classes, made my good grades and then was happy when I didn't have to take any more of them. I remember some of the concepts being hard, but I eventually got them.
One thing I don't remember is getting lots of math homework help from my parents. But this could be a failing of my memory: I am sure my parents helped me when I was little (thanks, Mom and Dad!), but when I got older, I either stopped asking or maybe they couldn't do the math.
You see, I didn't understand when I was little, but the school system had changed the way they taught math between the time my parents went to school and the time I went to school. And with the common core standards in math, it has changed again, making it difficult for parents to help with math homework.
This is frustrating - parents could help their children do the math the way they were taught, but not the new way. Why? Why change the way we do math?
But maybe I should be thankful for the new math. After all, this will keep me from ever trying to do my son's homework. A recent study on family interactions with schools has shown that parents who review their child's work or attempt to do it for them, actually end up harming children's overall test scores.
So, what will I say to my son when he needs help solving for x? I always thought of math as a finite subject - one answer. But, I guess in this case, Mommy's old skills don't apply.
Maybe he'll end up teaching me some new skills.
What was your favorite subject at school? What about the one that was the hardest for you? Tell me in the comments.