Tag Archives: middle school math

F**k Math

Starting with learning the multiplication tables in third grade, our son became more and more phobic about studying math (and later academics in general), or more specifically, doing math problems for homework or on tests. By eighth grade this storyline climaxed with an incident that shocked his parents and the school staff and sent a strong signal that he needed to chart a different educational course than the one he was on.

He had had a particularly old school math teacher in fifth grade who believed strongly in the “drill and kill” approach to learning the subject, and our son had gotten so frustrated with her and how she ran the class that he had circulated a petition among his classmates and others to ask the school to fire her. After that experience, I think he entered his middle school math classes with great anxiety but managed to barely pass 6th and 7th grade math due to more sympathetic teachers. Our son has been one to sink or swim based on the quality of his relationships with others, an area where he has always shown great aptitude and skill. Continue reading →