Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why My Daughter Hates Math

I have known that my daughter's least favorite class was math for some time now. I thought that it was too hard for her and there was too much work involved. After talking to her about it, I have discovered that instead, it is too easy and there is too much work involved.

I thought that the time might come where this would be an issue... school was incredibly easy for me as well, and I had trouble with all the "busywork" that the school gave me (aka homework). I was very bad during middle school... we had one math teacher where you corrected your own paper, so you could erase the date on yesterday's homework and turn it in the next day. If he'd write the grade on the paper in pen, you could draw a picture over the grade and turn it in again that way... I was bad, lol. Anyway, despite my aversion to homwork, I would ace the tests and even did well in a math competition that my school took part in.

I didn't know that school being too easy would be an issue when my dd was 5. I don't remember school becoming too easy until around 4th grade. I'm glad that I started Math K when my daughter was 4, because Math 1 is easy for my 5 year old. And looking ahead, Math 2 has a lot of review to it and will probably be easy too.

I told dd that I was making her repeat handwriting 1 for another year because she wasn't doing very well at it... she got very upset. She told me it was easy and she was bored with it. But she writes on her handwriting pages so sloppily. I told her that I wouldn't let her move on to handwriting 2 unless her writing improved and looked nice. Wouldn't you know, her handwriting pages improved 100% that same day.

So far, reading is not too easy. I don't think that it is a challenge any more... but so far it is not too easy with not too much busywork. But I suspect that at some point reading will get that way with her as well. We've primarily focused on phonics this year, and there's been a smattering of grammar thrown in. She already knows what a homophone is though, thanks to a VeggieTales song on the subject, and I think that once we start introducing grammar topics, she's going to get it quickly. I remember when I was in school, it seems like they introduced nouns and verbs every year... boring...

Now that I have this new revelation, it makes some things easier for me, and some things more challenging. I now know that I can skip parts of certain lessons and not feel bad about it. I don't have to make her do every single problem, every single day. School is going to take up less of the day this way. On the other hand, I have to make sure that she is getting enough work. At some point, I may want to supplement her school work by giving her extra subjects to learn or having her read more books on her own. I want to instill a work ethic in her, but I want her to have something meaningful to do.

I figured that it could come to this point eventually, because not only was I bored in school, but her dad must have been bored in school too because he has told me that he cut class a lot and still managed to get As in his schoolwork... and he was on the Dean's list at ASU last fall despite rarely studying.... but I didn't figure that this would happen at age 5 with us. I guess this is another good reason that we're homeschooling. Not only would dd get into trouble all the time because she'd be talking to her friends all day, she would also be bored with the work... especially considering that we're already one year ahead of what her peers normally would be learning.

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