My daughter’s always done fine in school. Particularly in math. For years, we cruised smoothly through the basic playground of mathematics together, she and I. We hopscotched through the simple playground of Addition and Subtraction in those early elementary school years. We learned about borrowing, and understood when to carry the two. We didn’t freak out when we graduated to the grand ballroom of Multiplication and Division, which dressed numbers up in their fancier clothes and brought them together in new, swirling waltzes. Over the last couple of years, we tackled fractions, ratios, percentages, even flirted with quadratic equations. All with relative aplomb.
My level of involvement was clear: if she needed help, I would sit next to her and serve as support staff. I wouldn’t do the work for her, but sometimes I would help her figure out the first step in the equation, if needed. Just to help her get a sense of direction, or equilibrium. If she asked me some basic theoretical questions, I would provide answers that established a foundation for her process, but still enabled her to unravel the problem herself.
My skills were sufficient enough for this. I held my own. Years after the end of my own math education, I could still solve for “X” just fine, thank you very much.
But now, as we near the end of fifth grade, we find ourselves facing some challenges. Something is happening. Math. Is. Changing.
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