I am no math wizard but I love to hear that my son tells his teacher “Oh, I know that – my father already taught me that”.
Of course that doesn’t mean I do not run into my fair share of mathematical problems but that is what the internet is for – it’s a life saver.
For instance, my daughter came to me the other night asking for help with a math problem – college algebra, I know a little about that so I said sure: this was way beyond my comprehension. So first I asked her to show me what her teacher had shown her in class and to give me a rundown of what she knew (as in formula), because now a days everything is about knowing the formula – remember the formula and you can usually find the answer.
Yet this was not the end, the adventure continues: she now gives me an even harder question and says that she has no clue how to solve it. So again I ask to look over her study notes. I ask her to use the formulas that were taught to her by her teacher and when we can’t find an answer I decide to cheat.
I decide that we need to learn this – the answer is not important, learning how to solve the question is, so I tell her to find the answer to the question in the back of the book and we will reverse-engineer the problem (working backwards to find the solution). Now knowing the answer to the problem we check her formula, her equations and each step she took: Bingo! We find what she was doing wrong and we fix it. After that my brain was toast – but there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishing, achieving and conquering a challenge. Hopefully my children will see my efforts and seek to do even better in life.