*A Repost from 2010*
What can’t you get away with? All the stuff you pulled on your parents when you where back in middle school. You know, all the stuff you did with your friends that you thought you kept from your parents. It comes back and bites you in rear. Those naughty little misdeeds were not forgotten the day you finished your classes in that school. Because, my internet friends, the bricks remember. They see and hear everything, and they wait until you are an adult to unleash those memories back into the world.
Okay, before you think I am completely nuts, let me explain. The reason I say that you can’t get away with it and that it comes back to haunt you is because of 3 simple words: middle school algebra. My oldest son started middle school this past September, and he is going to the very same middle school that I went to so many years ago(and believe me, it was very many years). That why I say that the bricks remember. Don’t get me wrong, my friends and I were very tame compared to some of the miscreants that go to that school now. What we did back then was so lame, that I can look back and say: just how stupid were we? There was so much more we could have done to make middle school a more interesting place.
But I am regressing and reliving some of the most hated times of my life. So now my son is in 6th grade, and has started algebra. Now, my husband and I both have college degrees and have had algebra in the past. Several semesters of it, in fact. But we have been out of college for just about, *cough*, 15 years. There are some things we may have used basic algebra for, but to be honest, most of it was forgotten the second we got our final grades in those classes. I know, not a good example to be setting for our children. But honestly, when are we going to need to know that if Train A is going 75 mph and Train B is going 125 mph, and then are heading towards each other and may crash at some point? We never travel by train! Our need for algebra is limited to if there are x numbers of slices in a whole pizza, and 4 members of the family, how many slices does each person get?
This is the part that is coming back to haunt us. Trying to help our oldest with his homework. My son is a really good student, but not necessarily the most organized. Do you know how hard it is to do 2 step equations without the textbook in front of you? And, generally, where is the textbook? In the desk or the locker, and not at home. So then DH and DS sit there and try to figure out the problem. And it’s a comedy show. DH is an engineer, basic algebra should be a piece of cake. Well, it is, if you are not used to using more difficult formulas on a daily basis. So there’s arguing, and stomping, and grumbling each night, and that’s just DH. DS has his shares of fits and mouthing and talking back, too. I admit it, I conveniently run off to do laundry during this period of time because I am too much of a coward to attempt it. I will gladly check science and spelling and social studies without any hesitation. Perhaps I am a very bad Mom, but I just can’t handle checking algebra homework, mostly because I am reminded of just how horrible I was in math. When I worked as a nurse, I could calculate medication dosages, and IV rates, and weight-based therapies without a single second thought or hesitation. Yet, middle school math sends me practically screaming from the room. Real nice, eh?
I can’t wait to see how things progress as the years pass. Perhaps by the time he takes calculus, I may get over my math phobia?