Tips for Getting your Child Help at School
Have you ever been at the kitchen table, sitting eye to eye with a bleary eyed nine year-old and a fourth grade math problem? Has the vein the size of an inchworm popped out of your neck as you tried to explain for the hundredth time why the answer to the same math problem is ‘10’? I’ve been there. Perhaps it wasn’t math, but reading for you. When helping with math at home got to this point, I would rather shovel snow out of every seat in the MetLife Stadium – by my-self, than to explain it one more time or find one more example. At one point in time my oldest needed some help in math. At home we recognized that she could learn how to do a math problem, but a few weeks later she would forget how. How could that be? Why did she not comprehend? We asked the teacher to recommend any websites or books for practice. We provided those books (and then some) at home. But still, she did not seem to always ‘get it’. We were baffled, frustrated and running out of at home solutions. Fortunately, I knew that I could ask for help at school. Before my oldest started fifth grade I asked her teacher to place her in a math support class, a.k.a. remediation. I was hesitant at first. I couldn’t help but remember the children who would magically disappear with a resource teacher from class and teased later for doing so. I didn’t want that for her. But, then I read this article. Fascinating article, but what really resonated with me was that the author struggled to read in elementary school. After a few years of support reading classes the author of this article went on to graduate school. It was then I had a ‘you know what?’ moment. My you know what is, that even though I didn’t envision remediation classes at birth, my baby needed help with math that I couldn’t give her. Additionally, just because my child may enter into support/remediation does not mean she will stay there [ nor, if you really freak out like me, that she will not go to college]. We still continued to work with my oldest at home. If she was ever teased about going to her math support class, it was never to the extent where it seemed to bother her. She has long left her math support class and is doing much better now. Thank God, because I can’t afford to pop any veins and I wouldn’t last outside in the cold shoveling snow.