Math Madness

mathequationIn a twisted science fiction-like turn of events I’m now taking fourth grade math. Or it least it feels that way whenever Ben comes back from school with his homework and asks for help. I hated fourth grade math as a fourth grader and I hate fourth grade math as a forty-year-old.

And it’s still the word problems that get me. The only real difference is that I no longer toss the textbook across the room when I get frustrated. Though I have been tempted. I guess that wouldn’t be good parental modeling. Unless I was trying to raise the math equivalent of John McEnroe: “That equation was clearly on the line!!” In retrospect my own father must have had the patience of a saint.

It’s tough when your nine-year-old realizes you’re not as smart as he thought you were. Of course he may as well learn that lesson now. But I readily admit math is not my strong suit. There’s a reason I went into the priesthood — I only ever have to count to three. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is all the math I care to learn. Well, that and calculating the vaulted Average Sunday Attendance numbers.

Fortunately Ben can always call the math tech-support hotline, aka his maternal grandmother. A lifelong teacher, my mother-in-law often comes to the rescue. Of course he can’t call my mother — my math skills were hereditary.


3 Comments on “Math Madness”

  1. Matt Schenck says:

    In yet another celebration of our differences, I’d been looking forward to helping Elsa with multiplication table tricks, fractions, word problems. Nostalgia! She can’t start preparing for SAT math soon enough…

  2. Father Tim says:

    Maybe you can take the boys for a month-long summer math camp. Camp Matt! Don’t bring them back until they can adequately do trig.

  3. Megan Ward says:

    You can always call me Tim, Math was always my strong suit. I promise not to charge too much for tutoring…


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