Home » allergies » It Just Doesn’t Add Up

It Just Doesn’t Add Up

OnlySon is failing math. 

OtherHalf and I have a meeting at the school today, to find out what can be done, so he doesn’t have to do summer school.  Cause, hellno he doesn’t want to go through the summer. 

I’m having issues with this whole subject.

See, I’m not good at math, either.  Never was.  I almost failed Algebra in high school, barely squeaking by with the lowest possible grade to get me through without my parents killing me.

I was always an A student, but this definitely was not an “A” class for me.

I’ve always said that “Math gives me a rash”

And I meant it.  So, now that I have to come down on OnlySon for his problems with Math class, I’m having trouble reconciling how to do this without being a hypocrite about it. 

Not only that, but I can’t do his math.  The schools have up and changed the math that kids do in 6th grade, and I no longer qualify to graduate to the next grade.


I’m glad I graduated in the 80’s, when expectations were lower, or I’d still be sitting in Mr. Gronvold’s class, waiting for the pervy teacher that smelled like booze to come stand over my desk and sweat on me, while asking if I “need help”. *shudder*

So, how do I tell my son that Math is an important subject, and that he has to work harder?  Well…

I told him that this is one of those things that you just have to “get through” – like the dentist visits, and immunizations, and learning to unclog a toilet.  Part of the “growing up” process that he’ll just have to deal with and work his way through, till he can throw it on the bonfire of graduation and say “YAY!  I NEVER HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN – oh, until I get to college, and they require it there too… yeah, nevermind”.


Love the math jokes! Just can’t do the math!

Luckily, we have a resident math whiz in the house, in the personage of YoungerDaughter.  She doesn’t love math, but she doesn’t hate it, either.  And she’s pretty good at it.  So at least, when OnlySon brings his books home, she can at least look over his work, and tell us how he’s doing.  I just get hives and run to the bathroom for more calamine and an anti-anxiety pill.

I don’t know what we’re going to do when YoungerDaughter graduates next year, and OnlySon is left with two math-illiterate parents to finish out his school career.  Maybe we’ll have to get one of these:

I’ll even clean his cage – as long as it doesn’t require me to do any equations.


*Just a note – OnlySon does go to an afterschool program…supposedly to finish his homework and get help from teachers.  He’s just stubborn about asking for help with his math.  I’m not sure where this reluctance to ask for help comes from? *scratching head in puzzlement – while rolling eyes in sarcasm*


15 thoughts on “It Just Doesn’t Add Up

  1. OMG I wish I could help him!!! I flippin’ LOVE math!!!!!!!! There are rules and the rules never change…you can count (forgive the pun) on math to always remain constant…..it makes sense in a nonsensical world… : )

    • LOL, you always were better than me at it! And yet, you were the one to tell me to keep the stats! BIG mistake on my part! *still shaking head*

      • Come on…it was GREAT – I got to drag you with to all my games and later I took all the statistics home and figure out all the percentages…win-win situation for me!!!! ; )

      • I did love going to the games, I just did much better once we figured out I was more a “water and towels” kind of girl, instead of the “stats and percentages” girl. I thought your dad was gonna kill me… *snort*

  2. Maths was my worst subject at school and my only ever C grade at O level(back in prehistory in the uk, O levels(the o stands for ordinary ) were what you took at 16, were you among the top 20% of kids. C was the lowest pass possible, unlike the exam today(the GCSE) where it goes down to G counting as a pass.
    I find it distinctly ironic that I get called in from time to time to tutor in maths the Chinese students my company runs guardianship schemes for: I have made it quite clear Maths is not my subject, and nor is science, but I still get asked to tutor these kids. I have to blague it.
    Maths is one of those subjects you either get or you don’t. I got it enough to get through and no more. brains are made one way or another; it gives me a headache when I have to tutor in it.
    I wish you all the best with it. Honestly.

    • Honestly, my best subjects were English and History. I love words… so fluid and adaptable. I just don’t do so well with the finite nature of numbers. And the rules… gods, the rules! I am more of a rule-breaker than a rule-follower! 😀

  3. I hated math. There is something about numbers. I don’t know what, but my poor brain just flips a switch and quits working when they pop up. That is not a good thing when you have a child that also has this same problem. I am fortunate that I married a math geek. His job is to handle all of the math based homework with the kids. I get to handle all of the creative side. 😉

    Sadly, even with being married to the math geek, we are seriously considering getting our son a tutor. Sometimes just having someone that isn’t mom or dad or the teacher helping out is enough to allow the child to “get it”. Since homework time with my son usually ends up in a battle of wills that just makes all of us upset, we are thinking that bringing in someone not emotionally connected will help him to see that we aren’t just being mean and that this stuff is actually important.

    • Absolutely! That’s one of the reasons why we started OnlySon in the ESP (extended school program) that his school has! It’s 45 minutes after school, and he can get homework done, right there with the teachers present. He just won’t ask for help when he doesn’t understand something!

      Honestly, both his dad and I have the same problem with asking for help, so he comes by it genetically… crap.

      • We had a similar program at our son’s school, but we found out pretty quickly that there was actually little to no help provided. It was more like a supervised after school study hall with the attending teacher acting more like a babysitter. I’d rather him be at home where I could actually attempt to help him than have him spend an extra couple of hours a week doing unsupported work and why we are now looking into tutoring options.

      • Oof, I can’t do the math, so he’s better off asking the teachers at his school! 🙂 I’m sorry your son’s school doesn’t help him more, it’s a shame when the people that are supposed to be TEACHING, don’t. It’s not a daycare, it’s a school, and the students are there to learn, not be shuttled from room to room, from one babysitter to the next.

  4. Oh how I can relate. My son is failing math (as well as four other classes for lack of effort), but he’s failing math primarily. While he “gets it” he can’t show his work. He says “I just look at the problem and see the answer.” However, they’re required to show their work on how they came to the answer.

    Now me, on the other hand, failed pre-algebra three times; my theory is letters are letters, and number are numbers… they SHOULDN’T be in a sentence together. I can’t help my son, and it drives me crazy.

  5. I took two semesters of Math in College to get my degrees and even I have trouble understanding the Math they are doing now in middle and high school. One of the things that I discovered was that it’s all the same stuff, its just being taught differently and at a faster pace. Sometimes I have to go over the lesson in the book a few times before I can help with any of the homework.

  6. This is so spooky! We are having the same issues with the kid! I, like you, managed to just scrape through Math in HS….though I only had bonehead math and failed the only algebra class I took. I suck at math! My wife was straight A’s in everything during her whole school life! The kid is perfectly average and normal in all his other courses…but Math is just killing him. He is in danger of getting booted off the Bball team if his Math grade does not come up. We are thinking of subscribing to an online tutoring program for him to try to help him. My wife has tried helping him until she is blue in the face so we are running out of options.

    • Hey, Mark, you could see if there’s a program through his school, first. Most of them offer some sort of teacher assistance, or tutoring by an older student. Does Tyler’s school have an afterschool program anything like my son’s? Maybe he’d get a pretty girl tutor…. ummm… maybe you want to go with the online tutor… 😉

  7. I am a math idiot so I feel your pain. Luckily, both my kids were good enough at math that they didn’t need any help from me…they just failed the subjects I’m good at…history, English, reading, writing. Kids.

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