Sunday, October 25, 2009

Climb Every Mountain (or Boulder)

Really now, you know there are no mountains in Nebraska, right?! Heck, truth be told, there are very few hills around here and even less as you go further west. Warning, do not attempt to drive I-80 across Nebraska without a big ole' pot of coffee. The flatness will make you very, very sleepy!

But there are mountains and challenges to be faced everywhere, aren't there. Lately, we've had a bit of a math challenge going on. Miss M has had the darndest time since school started with math -- mostly addition and subtraction of larger numbers. Being a parent can be such a balancing act -- trying to help your child, build some self-confidence and still not become one of those neurotic mothers! Oy -- parenthood is not for the weak of heart!

Already, Miss M looks down and says "I'm no good at math." Oh man -- that kills me. And she's a bit of a shy girl and very tender-hearted. She doesn't want to ask her teacher for help or tell her if she doesn't understand, so she'll just take a wild guess. We've talked to her teacher, we work on math worksheets and flashcards, and we also have a tutor come over every week. Oh, gosh, I do sound a bit neurotic, don't I!

During the summer, she and Courtney (the tutor) worked on and practiced reading together. Maddy really, really likes her. I wasn't sure if I should keep the tutor for the school year too, but I'm so glad I did. They spend nearly the whole hour going over math and doing fun math-related problems. They do a bit of reading too and go over any papers that had mistakes on them. Probably at least partly because it is somebody else (not Mom), Maddy thinks it is fun and looks forward to it every week. Guess who else attends tutoring sessions - Mickey Mouse and sometimes other random stuffed animals. Second grade is so different than first grade. In 1st grade, it was all about learning to read. In 2nd, it's more reading to learn and figuring things out on your own . . . a bit more of a challenge and that's a good thing, right?!

22 comments:

Sue said...

It's hard to watch them struggle. Alexa does not like me helping her either with homework, I think all kids are like that...I know I was. Sounds like the tutoring is a great thing! I love that the stuffed friends get tutored too! : )

Kate said...

No such thing as neurotic when it comes to mothering. We do what we know we must. Lia is timid in asking for help or directions too...just last night she went to a Kids Night Out at our gym and Jim and I went to dnner...and before we left, I made sure she knew where the bathroom was as she has never had to use it there. So when we got her home...she RAN to the bathroom and I asked her why she didn't go there and she said she felt shy to ask the teacher if she could!!!! Oh gosh...I felt terrible. Sometimes it is hard to be a kid!

Your pictures are lovely. So Fall-ish!!!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh, that is so hard to navigate. We haven't had to deal with that yet. I mean, kindergarten is pretty easy if you can get past the no nap, being away from momma all day. But I struggled in math a lot as a child. And I remember feeling like your sweet little gal does. I didn't have a tutor until high school. My unsolicited advice? Keep the tutor... I felt so much better about myself, even though my grades pretty much stayed the same, because - although I still made mistakes - I actually "got" it much of the time.

Kristin said...

So glad Maddy responds to a tutor. Not surprised to hear she is not into mom as a teacher! I can't teach my kids anything.....and I am a teacher by trade!

The jump from 2nd to 3rd is even more challenging. Build the good base now!!!

Jodee Leader said...

So glad to hear Maddy loves her tutor. That definitely helps!

Cute pictures! I love that park!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

You are not neurotic....you are just a good Mom!! I went through the exact same challenges with Nick....except it was in Reading, not math. He also was afraid to ask the teacher for help or to ask questions because he didn;t want the other kids to think he was not getting it. In one year it all changed.......and he realized the only stupid questions were the ones that were not asked!!

Hope second grade gets a little easier for Miss Maddy...thinking of her:)

Lisa

Kim said...

It is great that she is liking the tutor. Math was my worse subject and I also had a tutor that was a lot of fun and it really helped. I am sure it will help Maddy too.

Great pictures!

Lucy said...

For every weakness there is a greater strength. We can't be perfect in everything. It's just so hard to be in school when you HAVE to work on those things that are difficult. I can imagine how hard it would be to see her struggle. I think parenting is hard now, it doesn't look like it gets easier! Hang in there, you are such a good mom being so on top of it and getting her a tutor:)

EllieNat said...

You are not neurotic at all! Sounds like you are a mother who is right on top of things!

Lisa said...

"trying to help your child, build some self-confidence and still not become one of those neurotic mothers!"

truer words were never spoken!!

Lisa said...

She is too cute! I get what you mean about struggling and homework. That's great that you have continued to use a tutor. I'm sure that is helping her A LOT. Wait until 3rd grade...it's almost over my head (ha)...thankfully my hubby does the majority of homework with our kids. He has a lot more patience than I do. : )

Margaret M said...

It is hard to watch them struggle. Lily Wen is bringing home little readers in Kindergarten and it is so hard to watch her work through them. By the end of the week, she has and is so proud. Monday starts with a whole new book. Sad it is monday and dreaming of Friday! Thinking of you and your wee one!

Super Mommy said...

Yes, Second Grade is a lot different. The kiddos are so much more challenged then when I went to school!! I'm sure M will catch the math, it's all about repetition. Oh yeah, please add me to the neurotic mother list - I am totally there!

Lori said...

Your Miss M is adorable! I look forward to going through more of your blog. Thanks so much for stopping over at mine.

Donna said...

What beautiful autumn pictures of Maddy. It is shocking when you come to the realiztion that your brilliant child is struggling. With Emma, she is good at math, but has problems with reading and spelling. But she's getting help and improving and that's all we can do as parents. I'm glad Maddy is responding so well to her tutoring...good luck!

Jeanneoli said...

I am so sorry that she is having a hard time. I know that is tough on both of you. There are so many things that just take a little more time and then one day it clicks. She is so darling.

Lissa said...

I can't stand watching my children struggle with something. I'm sure it was painful to hear her say she's no good at math. But I'm sure all of your hard work will pay off!

Lissa said...

I can't stand watching my children struggle with something. I'm sure it was painful to hear her say she's no good at math. But I'm sure all of your hard work will pay off!

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

I have not gotten to the homework/tutor/math phase, but I can imagine it's tough to take on that balancing act, like you said. How to help without being neurotic? Let me know if you work that one out...I have a feeling I'll be wondering! :)
Carrie

Tonya and Casey said...

That IS a good thing. When I was her age, I had a difficult time with reading b/c of my eye sight and my parents hired a tutor. I can't tell you how much I remember just loving to learn... and it was all because of that tutor. If I hadn't had her, I would have struggled more and eventually hated to learn. So I think it is fantastic she is doing so well. Bet she becomes a professor!! haha!!

She is looking so grown up!! Love those pictures...

AND BTW- We HAVE driven across Nebraska on 180 TWICE and both times there were tornadoes all around us.... flat as a pancake. Pretty scary! haha!

Marla said...

Neurotic, nah, we love our kiddos!
Dalton has had a tutor for years and wasn't on board at first. The harder school gets, the more he likes having one. Now I'm a good mom, yeah!

Erin said...

You are such a perfect Mother for Maddy! A tutor sounds like just the ticket, especially a fun one! I hated math, and it will hurt my heart if Libby doesn't catch on easily... if so I'll follow your lead.