As someone who never remembers a time when she did not love mathematics, I could never understand the utter distaste with which my older one treated the subject. Try as I would, I could never seem to interest him in the subject. The groupings and patterns that I saw without even trying, remained invisible to him even after I described them to him.
Needless to say, his understanding of the subject matched his enthusiasm for it. Forget addition and subtraction, even counting up and counting down were huge tasks which he was normally unsuccessful at. Then came the phase when he started mechanically doing his sums- without enjoyment, but with reasonable success. About a month back, he actually finished his homework without any help. He was elated about getting the answers right, but that was about it.
And this weekend, he had to do addition with carry over. I broke my head trying to teach him to understand the concept of 10s and 1s, but got nowhere. Then suddenly, he got it- he just got it. He figured out how to group the 1s to get sets of 10, and learnt to ‘carry over’ the 1 to the 10s column. What he did not get was to add that extra 1, while totaling the numbers in the 10s column. But, he had fun doing it, and after showing me the workbook full of answers that were 10 less than they should be, he told me “Mamma, this is lots of fun.”
I couldn’t care that he got all the answers wrong- I was glad that he was having fun getting there. I can only hope that he continues to love numbers – the answers will sort themselves out in time.