Math! While I love math (seriously, love math) and my kids do too, there are still those moments in which my kids want to cry;). But even within such conflict great revelations can be found!
My oldest child has already learned long division but as we all know, that is a talent that can use a lot of practice to perfect. So one of NerdBug’s math assignments recently had long division on it. I corrected his work and he went back to correct them. Then he brings them back and I correct those he previously got wrong.
Well, there was one problem he hadn’t even touched. So I told him to do it. So he erased the problem and rewrote the exactly same thing. The problem was instead of dividing the big number in pieces (486 divided by 15), ie dividing the 48 by 15 he was just guessing what the whole number was. Then just subtracting 486 from the whole so he didn’t have a remainder. So I told him to take it step by step and sent him away.
I told him to first write what 3 time 15 was and subtract. He would say yes and then just erase his previous work and write the exact same guess. 7 times…. Finally he did as told and guess what? His answer had been wrong.
So why is this note worthy? I have been teaching my kids math for many years, this exchange can’t be all that special. Right? Well, it revealed a huge rebellion in his heart. It revealed a rebellion that cropped up a lot in the next couple of weeks (I will let you know if we ever dispatch it;). It boiled down to the fact he was sure that he was right and did not need to give what I said any heed. The Bible says that a fool does what is right in his own mind but a wise man seeks counsel. And it is my job to (try) rid my son of this foolishness.
This whole situation is something that I consider a homeschool win! After all that conflict why would I? Well, I received the opportunity to guide my child’s heart in a way that I would have never could have if he had been in school. I would rather deal with with a child who reveals rebellion through math than the rebellion going unchecked and revealing itself in a much more dangerous and damaging way.
We’ve been going through the same thing at my house. My son’s recent math assignments have revealed in him an unwillingness to receive counsel, lack of diligence and failure to give his all to complete a task well.
I love it that we have an opportunity to observe and work on these traits before we launch him into the world!
[…] NerdMom shares her perspective on a frustrating review lesson in When Math is More Than Math. […]
I can’t resist writing a note of how much I appreciate this post. We too homeschool, and also realize that parenting is so much more than maintaining a balance between the kids playing in traffic and being their “friend”.
I just happened upon your blog, and am blessed for it. Thanks for this post, it is appreciated. 🙂