kitchen table math, the sequel: Terri W is of two minds

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Terri W is of two minds

re: Fill-in-the-blank has a really bad idea
I'm of two minds whenever I hear of particularly dumb ideas being floated in the school systems.

On the one hand, I'm thinking, "Cool, this gives my kids a leg up over the competition."

Then on the other hand, I realize that the overwhelming vast majority of the next generation of citizens are being educated with these cockamamie ideas and I think: "We are so hosed."
I'm on both sides of that fence with just one (typical) kid!

C. is now an official Math Victim of U.S. schools (including his Catholic high school, sad to say). And, at the same time, he's way out in front in the verbal realm compared to most h.s. seniors in America (also thanks to his Catholic high school, as well as to family background).

Speaking of 'official,' C. has just now reached the point of maturity at which he realizes, without being told by his mother: Holy ****, I don't know any math. 

He has two weeks left in high school. He came home the other day, said he'd had a talk with his math teacher (statistics!), who had convinced him he needed to take math in college. So he was wanting to know whether NYU has remedial math courses.

K-12 kids don't know, while they're K-12 kids, that they're going to be sorry they didn't learn math or writing or science or whatever else they didn't learn. I remember Glen, I think it was, once saying that we have to advocate for our children's future selves: for the selves they're going to be, eventually.

That's exactly right.


Glen said...

Yes, that was my comment. I started making audio recordings of my kids when my first son was tiny. On the tapes, I talk to the child in parentese, but I also speak directly to the future listener of the recording, adult to intelligent adult. The listener, whom I address by name, is the future adult version of the small child in front of me. My little one asked, "Dada, who are you talking to?" as I spoke into what he thought was a phone, and I told him it was a very nice man, someone he would meet later who, amazingly, had the same name he had.

When my kids become parents, I'll give them these recordings, on which I'll be speaking directly to them out of their own past.

Doing this from time to time makes it easier for me to imagine, during a fight with a kid about working on his math or writing, that I really am working for two parties with sometimes-conflicting interests. I can't let either ruin the life of the other. The child can speak for himself, but only I can speak for the guy on the other end of that "phone."

K9Sasha said...

What a great idea, Glen! Your kids will really treasure those recordings.