Okay, that’s an exaggeration. She doesn’t answer them WRONG on purpose, she just literally spends 4 minutes adding 8+0 in her multiplication problem. While sketching a girl in a ballgown on the dry erase board. While staring off into space. While making my head explode.
This kid is a truly incredible artist, a fabulous storyteller, a dedicated dancer, and interested in a hundred different things–just not math. It’s tedious and boring and repetitive (in her mind) and she wants to be doing literally ANYTHING else, which leads to the daydreaming, which leads to it taking even longer and (again, in her mind) justifying her dislike of it. She’s not bad at it! She grasps the concepts just fine, she just does NOT want to sit and work through the same kind of problem 20 times. We’ve come a long way since 1st grade, when math ended in tears daily because I couldn’t let go of my need to finish each set of problems . . . once I discovered that I could have her do fewer problems as long as she “gets it,” that sure helped. Handing off math instruction to a computer-based curriculum helped too, until I realized that if no one prompted her to write down the problems, she would stare off into space for 10 minutes wondering if she could do it in her head. Math has been quite a tumultuous journey for my little Hater of Math and her Math-Lovin’ Mama.
Still, we keep on trucking. Soon we will try going back to a story-based math program that she enjoyed in the past, which hopefully will open some magical math windows in her brain now that we can work through it together instead of having a toddler in the mix to keep us from focusing enough to actually learn from it.
Please, please let it work for us this time. PLEASE I BEG OF YOU! If my head explodes by this time next week, just wipe up the pieces and hand her an abacus, okay?