Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Small victory

Today I was vindicated for being taskmaster mommy during homework time. Let me just take a minute to soak up the justice...taste the happy.
Backstory: homework for 2nd grade started this week. Monday post-school was not a happy time around the Quiggle kitchen table. Normally B thrives on learning, loves homework, excels in finishing early. This time it was different. The math is more complicated and B just was not picking it up. I was running out of ways to explain fact families and how to 'find the missing number' in a number sentence. She was frustrated and her eyes were glassy, I could tell she was on the verge of tears. We've never had tears during homework before. We both soldiered through that first 2 hour homework session together, and then Tuesday came. More of the same frustrations as I tried to stay calm through her mini freak outs and cries of "Why do you say I'm smart? I'm NOT smart!" We got through it and ended on a good note since I had learned to start with math and end with language arts (her favorite).
I'm glad I didn't blog yesterday about my fears of raising a child so like myself in that she hates math, doesn't understand it, and doesn't care to. When I picked her up from school today one of the first things she told me excitedly (after "Check my lunch box! I ate all my lunch!") was that her class had worked on the same math problems during school that we had done for homework last night, and she finished hers without any help. She remembered what I had taught her and applied it the very next day. I was so proud of her! I asked her if she thought that the homework had helped her in class today and she replied with a confident "Yup."
Homework was much easier today. I watched as she worked on word problems with nary a care in the world, reading the problems, writing the number sentences, and solving them as if she were an old pro. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and scooted back from the edge of my seat where I thought I'd be perched for hundreds of homework nights-to-come. I learned something big today. Bigger than patience, or diligence, or excellence. I learned that her mind really is totally shapeable, and I can shape it. I learned to stop thinking of myself as a parental failure in the subject of mathematics. I learned to have confidence in my daughter's ability to slowly lap up the language of math. I sure did. Yup.


Natalie Ensor said...

Praise be to God! That is so awesome!

jacks mommy said...

nothing is more soothing to my soul than the much needed mommy advice and "tales from the trenches" sent via email or blog from thousands of miles away. even tho the distance seperates us, you are a lifesaver.... xoxoxo

jacks mommy said...