I Once Flunked Math

Do you have a favorite teacher?  If you were homeschooled, you’d better answer, “MOM,” but if you attended school chances are you have a few teachers you can still name-some for their wonderful influence, others for reasons of infamy.  

I remember my 1st grade teacher all too well.  I can still picture her with her blonde hair sitting behind her big desk.  And I clearly remember the day she called me to her desk to talk with me about my math assignments.  You see, I was failing subtraction (I still can’t believe it’s possible to fail something in first grade).  But, I was answering every. single. subtraction problem incorrectly on every. single. assignment.  This was happening every day.  She would review subtraction and my answers were still wrong every time.  In fact, I was 1 number off on each problem.  

She called me to her desk to try to figure out what I was doing wrong.  But rather than help me discover my errors, she humiliated me and crushed my self-esteem.  I couldn’t explain why I was struggling and she could not figure it out.  Finally, she threw up her hands and said, “I just don’t know!”  I went back to my desk and cried.  

I’ve hated math ever since.  I have forever been convinced that I just cannot do math.  And now I’m supposed to be teaching math to someone else.  Is there anyone less qualified??

When we started our homeschool journey I told my husband that I expected his help in the math department.  It’s perfect that he loves math!

I thought I would love teaching art, history, and literature.  I do love those subjects.  I even halfway like science – now that’s shocking!  Spanish is fun too.  But guess what?  I love teaching math more!

  • Through teaching my children math I finally have confidence in my own math abilities.  I can even do math in my head now!  And so can my kids.  Hooray!

  • When they are struggling with a math problem, I can empathize with them.  I have definitely been there. 

  • I enjoy cheering them on.  I know it’s hard but I also know it’s possible.  I survived math and I know they will too.

  • It’s extremely gratifying for me to see their eyes light up when they understand a concept.  I love when they learn something new.

There’s nothing better than knowing that we’re conquering this thing called “math” together.  Experiencing success is so so sweet!  I love teaching math!

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0 thoughts on “I Once Flunked Math

  1. I can totally relate to your post. I was homeschooled so I can say that my mom was my teacher, but my dad taught me math, and I still remember the frustration of not being able to understand it.

    Memorizing math facts along with my kids has helped immensely, plus the amazing assortment of math manipulatives that are out there today. But I still really struggle with it. (Once I spent a half hour trying to do decimal math with one of my kids and realized later that the whole time I was looking and teaching .01 as .1)

    But I know that God has called me to homeschool, even with my strengths and weaknesses. And in His grace, he gave me a husband that loves math. 🙂

    Great post!

  2. I am learning a lot of things as the teacher that I didn't "get" as a student. For me, it's science, but math was never a favorite for me. I am learning a lot by having to explain to my kids though!

  3. I can so relate. I hated math my entire life. I barely passed my math classes. When I got to high school only two years of math were required for graduation. I took Developmental Math and Record Keeping. I never took Algebra or Geometry. I still dislike math, but I have come a long way and learned a lot by teaching math to my kids. It is a lot easier to grasp as an adult. LOL

  4. I can relate! Math was always my worst subject. I'm not sure how I made it out of college algebra alive. I've tried not to pass along my math phobias to my son. Sometimes I do a better job than others.

  5. Well, math is my hardest subject to teach but I enjoy it the most! I love how I've learned along with them. I've also made the most mistakes teaching math-it's humbling! But I do hope my kids can graduate without a hatred of math.

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