Math always gave me anxiety. Like, big time.
I wish some adult, at least ONE, had assured me it was okay not to be great at math. I didn’t bloody care what time trains met if one left at 10 pm from Atlanta, and the other at 3:16 from Chicago. Like, seriously, who cares. But I DID always wonder about the passengers, their loves, their fears. And I wanted to be on a train, going somewhere, too. I resented hearing “she’s not trying hard enough.” Um . . . let me assure you, I tried.
It makes me sad seeing these same anxieties in my own children. I explain there’s more than one way to find the right answer, but this makes them uncomfortable. I often hear of America’s ‘lagging’ scores on standardized tests and feel for kids that live and think ‘outside the box.’ No one ever tested my ability to harmonize on cue or read people with my eyes closed. Maybe our children’s collective skill sets are evolving beyond measurable means? Maybe?
Find their talent and feed it, whatever it is. Tell them different brains mean different skills. Kiss their nose. Tell them they are weird and fabulous, colorful and brave. And not to worry. That those skills are seldom tested. At least not on paper.