I actually felt like throwing up during curriculum night at my daughterâs school when I heard these words from the math teacher: âAnd moms! You should not be waving off your daughters and telling them to, âGo ask dad for help! You should be learning with them!â FML, l thought. Iâve already gone through grade five math. To ask a sweeping question, I wonder how many mothers do this, passing off of the math homework to fathers. Hands up? Well, I do.
At least I pawn her math homework or any math-related questions to her bonus father. Why? Because I have way better things to do, likeâŚnap or stab myself with a fork in my eye. Kidding. I do ask her bonus father to help her with her math, because I stopped understanding my daughterâs math questions in grade three, which was two years ago. I just wanted to moan to the teacher at cirriculum night, âIâm just NOT good at math. Never have been and most likely never will be, so suck it upÂ buttercup. The math homework is going to her bonus dad, who actually understands!â
But because I am trying to be âmother of the yearâ at all times, when her first math test notice arrived, I sat down with her to look at what she was studying.
I was like, âUm, what the hell are they asking?â And then I asked, âWhy the hell canât they just teach you to memorize multiplication tables in your head like they used to do when I did math IN THE OLD DAYS at school?â
No, these days they have to write out not only the correct answer but also HOW they got the correct answer. So, the morning of the test, I gave her practice questions like, âWhat is 325×18?â and she would get to work figuring out the answer on one piece of paper, while I worked out the answer too on another piece of paper. Needless to say, I got a completely different answer to my daughterâs answer, which is why a calculator has become the most important item in myÂ house, including the washer and dryer.
This is how bad I am at math.
I still have to count on my fingers. So then I just threw out her questions, while I sat by with my calculator, to see if she got the answer correct. She did pretty well, meaning she got most of the answers correct, according to my calculator. I was also a little offended by the teacher telling ME (a grown up!) that I had to learn it withÂ her.
Sorry, teacher, I know you mean well and are a self-admitted âmath nut,â but I did my time, thanks very much. I did grade five math and grade six and grade seven and grade eight all the way through high school.
But hereâs the thing about this teacher. I love her. She actually understands that many students are terrified of math. So, for my daughterâs firstÂ test, she called it a ârelaxation math test,â meaning the girls (my daughter’s school is all girls) could go in with a bathrobe or bring in their favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Now, THAT part I thought was fun, trying to figure out what my daughter should bring to make her ârelaxâ during her math test.
My daughter came super prepared â slippers, a bathrobe, and some magic math rocks (that I had from a spa but told her they were âmagical math rocksâ that she should rub if sheâs stuck on a question.)
I know what Iâm good at and, by this age, I know that Iâm bad at math. Also, Iâm busy. I donât have time for a career, being a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter AND go through grade five math again!
My daughter scored 95% on her test. Either sheâs actually really good at math. Or it was the magical math rocks.
(photo:Â Â Sean MacEntee)