I am one of those people who dread math.
But I am a single mom so I can’t say “Dan, can you please help Alex with his math homework?” just yet because we are not living together. I have to help Alex with his maths homework.
And believe me, his 2nd grade math homework is a lot harder than what I faintly remember from my own primary school days. He is subtracting thousands and multiplications by the hundreds among other things.
When my father is in town he gladly helps Alex with math and matematika. Wait, mate- what? Okay, since my boy goes to an international school here, he has some Indonesian subjects as well. Matematika is math but in Indonesian. My father is really good with math and he explains things to Alex easily that makes him understand the method while I get frustrated easily with math.
My father would love to reminiscence and tell you how one day I came home from school crying. “I want to move to a new school! One that doesn’t have math!” yes, those were my words exactly. I can’t remember how old was I but my father will tell you I dislike math since early on.
My favorite subjects in school were English, Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language), History and Social Study. The psychology test I took when I was in high school showed I excelled in language and social studies. Math was one of my weakest points and still is.
Yesterday, I faced one of my fears.
Family Math Day in school!
When Alex was in first grade, I used work as an excuse not to come – I know it is horrible! But since I am not working anymore then I have absolutely no reasons not to go.
I was so anxious that I had a nightmare the night before the ‘big day’. What if I embarrassed myself? I thought about a million ways I could embarrass myself or worse, my son because of my weakness with maths?
“I had a bad dream last night. I dreamed I was being locked in a room and I’m trying to run away…” I vented out to Dan.
“Oooh dear Math dream!” he teased me.
“Oh dammit, OK I’m staying home!”
“Face our fears hey, and find joy in our perceptions.”
So I went to school and I decided to just give it a try. I teamed up with my happy child, he did all the counting and I just made sure he did it on time and most importantly we ended up having fun together. Some of the maths games are actually really good as it implies real life situations.
“Thank you for helping me with math, Mommy.” His whole face lit up after we were done.
“Thank you for trying your best, Alex.” I kissed his cheek.
Maths may still be challenging for me but just like anything else in life, I realized sometimes our fears are irrational and unfounded. Facing them is the only way to truly live a joyful life.
Yes, I will still need help with homework.
Do you have a great fear that you would like to overcome? Do you enjoy math or no? Please do share in the comment box below. Thank you.Picture from 401(K) 2012