Warning: This post may cause post traumatic stress disorder. Plus, prolific profanity to follow because, math.
Boy-Child#1 has his first junior high pre-algebra benchmarks today.
They're akin to mid-terms, if it were the middle of the term. Which it isn't. So: benchmarks. I had a difficult time getting the point across that this test would cover everything from all of the chapters they've learned so far when I told him, ad nauseum, that this test would cover everything from all of the chapters they've learned so far. Exactly. I tried another tactic.
You know all of that homework you've done since school started? It's going to be on this test.
And... you see this bloody bruise on my forehead? It's from all of the beating against that brick wall.
I figured I'd help him study, being his first
midterm benchmark and all. And this way I could instill some rather bitchen study habits. Plus? I don't like to grab my own boobs toot my own horn but I did get an "A" in algebra eventually in high school and also in community college [which Mr. Farklepants condescends by referring to it as my "little college" and I'm all, at least I went. Oh SNAP!] so I was all, no need to hire a professional! I can do this! Tutor schmooter.
I try to reiterate whenever possible that textbooks are marvelous tools for learning. If you know how to use them. The study plan I designed for Boy-Child#1 included various exercises selected from the chapter review section at the end of each chapter, odd numbered problems only. Because the answers are in the back of the book. Which I could use to correct the problems and see which areas he needed additional instruction.
He took a gander at the volume of math problems I assigned and after fighting back the tears and probably the urge to put a voodoo hex on me; he set about adding and subtracting integers, evaluating expressions, multiplying and dividing integers, [now is probably a good time to climb inside a bottle of Xanax if you feel
a tingly sensation the onset of a panic attack] familiarizing himself with distributive properties, remembering lowest common denominators, multiplying fractions, converting fractions into decimals and vice versa. Etcetera. I'm super math talky.
Then we came across a problem where a mixed number had to be subtracted from another mixed number but the fraction part was smaller than the fraction it was to be subtracted from... And who just left? Bueller? Anyone? ...And my help was needed. Except I couldn't remember how to do it. So I consulted the oh-so-handy textbook of wisdom to find this:
When you subtract mixed numbers , compare their fraction parts. If you are subtracting a larger fraction from a smaller fraction, rename the mixed number before you subtract.
Huh. This book fancies me omniscient. I appreciate that the book informs us that we NEED to do that. I don't want to split hairs but it might be helpful to tell us HOW to do that. And show us with a detailed example. Otherwise I'm just going to rename the mixed number Ricky.
Then I threw the textbook across the room with some fuck you on my lips. And looked my son in the eye and told him to pray that question does not appear on the test. Because when I tutor my children, I'm thorough like that.
*photo by Dorothy Z.