The transition from 4th grade to 5th grade in the school district I live in can be tough for some kids.
The social and independent part of it has been great for Number 3.
And the homework hasn’t been too bad either.
But the pace of the math program is really hard for him.
That’s just the way it is. Number 4 will have no problem with any of this stuff next year when she gets to middle school.
Number 3, on the other hand, just doesn’t get math.
He’s doing great in all his other subjects. He has straight As, in fact.
But math just ain’t his thang.
At first I thought he was being a tool on purpose.
That was the day I realized that Number 3 is just never going to be a super strong math student.
As the math unit progressed, it got harder and harder for him.
He had three quizzes, and he did progressively worse on them.
After he totally failed the third one, and after realizing that he is much more distractible than I thought, we changed our routine.
Fortunately Number 3 gets home from school about an hour before Number 4, 5, and 6, and while Number 7 is still taking a nap.
So I started having him sit in the office with me to work on his homework as soon as he got home.
The stuff he didn’t understand, I helped him with. I didn’t do it for him, but I helped him with it.
Then, once the homework was done, I made a review sheet for him with five or six of the problems on it that really gave him a hard time to practice.
After he finished that, he did about ten minutes of math practice online using this program called IXL that our district uses.
We did this every day for two weeks right after he got home. We also did it on the weekends.
It was tedious and boring and not fun.
Yesterday Number 3 had a big math test.
We practiced A LOT. But I was still nervous.
When he got home from school today, I hesitantly asked him if he got his test back.
“Not yet,” Number 3 said to me.
“But Mom,” he continued, “my teacher called me up to her desk. She only called me and one other kid up.”
Shit. That’s not good, I thought to myself.
“And guess what, Mom?
I GOT AN 84!!!!”
He had a huge smile on his face.
And so did I.
“I’m pretty proud of myself, Mom,” he said to me.
I guess that makes two of us.
Bring on long division. We’re ready.