My Math-Challenged Son by Robin Gorman Newman
Another school year has flown by….though it didn’t exactly feel like flying while we were in it. It was actually a challenging year school-wise for a variety of reasons, one of which is my son’s extreme challenges with math.
I’m a creative person, so numbers are not my strength….though I can hold my own.
My husband is a CPA, so they are his strength….though that doesn’t mean he’s a good instructor. My father is a CPA, and while I recall him helping me through statistics and other mathematics-related subjects in college, I still barely squeaked by.
We hired a tutor for my son who worked with his this school year, yet that said, he still turned in a 53 on his most recent exam.
It was very hard for my husband to process that he has a kid who is not math savvy.
So, we are on a quest to further help my son, and aren’t sure what’s best at this point.
We signed him up for MATHNASIUM, a tutoring program that has a location in our town. He will be going for an hour on Saturday and Sunday for the months of June and July, and we’ll see how it goes. He isn’t thrilled to be in a “school” like facility for summer, but we feel it’s imperative to work on this to hopefully get him up to speed as best we can for fall when he enters fifth grade.
My son has made huge progress in the reading and writing department, and for that we are hugely grateful. We’ve had a tutor work with on that as well….and it worked!
My son has such talents in other areas. He loves to draw and is good at it. He loves computers, and is quite astute. He has a incredible ability to put things together, without reading a manual. We recently got a fan/air purifier, and in no time, he assembled it with ease and almost immediately had it up ‘n running. I feel like I’m living with a little technical whiz, and he makes our lives that much easier when it comes to equipment and technological pursuits.
I recognize that you can’t be good at everything…..so, the challenge comes in when kids are expected to conform to standard and perform in school on subjects that do not make them feel good about themselves. Our hope is that Seth will ultimately up his math ability, but if he doesn’t grow to master it, we don’t want his self esteem to suffer. He deserves to feel empowered and to recognize that we all have weaknesses. It’s just tough as a parent to watch your child put in admirable effort, yet still struggle.
We applaud him for what he does get right, and when he demonstrates real skill. Other than that, and trying to get him the help he needs, there isn’t much more we can do. Each school year will present new experiences and expectations. But, I’m not gonna think ahead to what’s coming. For now, I’m gonna focus on what we can do….and enjoy the summer…..a welcome respite from homework…and keep the faith that my son will ultimately thrive, even if he one day has trouble balancing his checkbook.