*“Lord Help me. I’m not strong enough to handle this trial of faith. I feel myself buckling under the immense desire to tear my hair out as I sit next to my child, the math student.”*

And, it has begun. What almost took me to a completely debased level of myself late last school year has already materialized in the first 3 days of school. Homework.

Avery’s 2nd grade teacher follows the principle of ‘homework packets’ wherein she provides the week’s work on Monday with a due date of Friday. This includes math. So, we sat down Monday night to this year’s first installment.

Avery: So, we have story problems this year.

Me: (Great). Okay, great.

Avery: So, it’s like a math problem but it’s a story.

Me: Yep. I understand the concept. Let’s start it. Read the problem to me.

Avery: Okay, like, so it starts, “Susan has 7 apples. Jack gives her 3 more apples. How many apples does Susan have altogether?”

Me: Okie dokie. So, what do you think?

Avery: About what?

Me: About the math problem.

Avery: It’s okay.

Me: No. Not how do you *feel* about it, but what’s the answer?

Avery: Oh, um. What’s the question?

Deep breaths. I made her reread the story problem, while trying to calm the nerve that had begun expanding rapidly alongside my neck.

Me: Okay. So, what do you think? Susan has 7 apples. Jack gives her 3 more. How many does she have now? In total?

Avery: Why does Susan have all the apples?

Me: That doesn’t matter, Avery. It’s just the problem. What’s the answer?

Avery: Oh. 7?

Me: Nooooo.

Avery: 3? She has 3 now.

Me: No.

Avery: But Jack gave her some. It says right there.

Me: Avery. She already had 7 apples, remember?

Avery: Oh, right.

Me: And Jack gave her 3 more, remember?

Avery: *Riiight.*

Me: And?

Avery: And what?

At this point folks I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. I stared at my child, my beautiful little girl, and wanted to flick her on her little nose. For a moment I wondered whether she was truly trying to bewilder me as part of some *grander evil plan *or she honestly was not comprehending the story problem set before her.

And we regrouped.

Me: Okay. Avery. Focus here. Susan has 7 apples, gets 3 more. How many does she have?

And then out of nowhere…

Avery: Oh. 10.

Touchdown!!! I’m not quite sure why our homework session had to take the path it did, but in the end, at the point it most mattered, she got it. Thank God. Because I truly think I could not have taken a minute more of the mayhem.

Our personal relationship is tight and mighty, unwavering and true. Best friends and confidantes, hopefully for life. Our working relationship? She’s oil and I’m water. She’s flighty and I’m focused. She’s there and I’ve been there done that. She’s 7 and I’m 34. She’s child and I’m mom. It’s a homework match made in Hades.

I’ll have to be honest, I’m a little worried about our future sessions together. This little slip of a girl pushes me slightly past my maximum patience level and I know I’ll need to work on that. She is, after all, only in the 2nd grade but she’ll also have a little work of her own to do if we’re going to make this a great year. But, rest assured, we’ll work through it and I will do my best to not only help her with her homework, but also help her to understand it. And we’ll both be speaking to each other afterwards. Hopefully.

*Mindy*

Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says

Eventually they take math that there is no way you can help them with.

I don’t know what the co-sine of ANYTHING is. In my head, co-sign is a verb, not a noun.

It’s actually pretty freeing.

Mindy says

A day to look forward to…and with my math skills I’m guessing it’ll be around the middle of 3rd grade. π

Mindy

Brandy says

Don’t worry, Min. In only a few years her homework will be way too hard for you to help her with anyway.

Wendy says

I wish you luck on that!! I was “lucky” in the fact that both my kids muddled through their math assignments for the first few years and I was able to assist them….but then came 6th grade π When asked to help with integers (probably did not spell it right), negative numbers, I failed miserably and my daughter got the ones I “helped” with wrong……..In my defense, 1. she did not bring the book home so I could review, 2. I stunk at math when I had a book, 3. it had been well over 20 years since I had been in 6th grade math, and 4. being a “bookkeeper, I try really hard not to deal with negative numbers. The one “good” that came out of it,,,she never asked for my help again π

amber says

hahaaa! story of my life! this is why the hubs is now relegated to helping w/ math homework! she also goes to daycare after school and they help there as well! i was never a whiz and my way of doing things probably isn’t the best way to show her how to do it! so he handles that and I tackle the english and other “creative projects!”

I’m dreading the idea of staying home w/ the next one cuz then that will mean I will HAVE to help Sweet Pea w/ the math!

eek!

Mindee@ourfrontdoor says

From 2nd grade on, I have just told them that I am math deficient and they are on their own. Somehow it gets done without me. π

Angelia Sims says

Yep.

I think it was second grade when Syd got to division. Shrooom, I was out of there. Haven’t helped her with math since, and she doesn’t bother asking. Luckily, she had no problem asking boyfriends of mine, her step dad, dad, uncles, and grandpas for help. Gawd, it was like OLIVER, “Please sir, can you help me math?”

christina says

What kind of apples? Golden Delicious? Gala? Granny Smith? Are they caramel apples or candied apples?

Spot says

So I homeschooled my kids. Imagine doing that on a daily basis. Imagine when they get to the point (as sean did) that you have a scrap paper and a calculator and you are furiously working out the answer only to be wrong 7 times out of ten when you’re child is right every time without doing any work. When you ask how they got the answer and they look at you calmly and say “well it just makes sense”. Gahhhh! Genius boy wins again.

Good luck with the homework honey. I feel your pain.

♥Spot

Angela says

Oh, I still cry when I see story problems.

And the whole part about why the girl as all of the apples is hysterical.

Tinkerschnitzel says

Not looking forward to that with mine. Hubby is relegated to math homework for now and I’m doing spelling and reading. It’s sooo much easier!

SuziCate says

I so don’t miss the homework part of my children’s youth! Funny story though!