February 16, 2017 posted by littlewhitecottage

When your child is better than you at something…

I’m sat in the kitchen typing away after clearing and cleaning the floors and surfaces. I’m busier in the kitchen this week as O is revising for his Year 8 exams and my way of supporting him is to be near him but not fussing him.

We’ve the notes printed out, past papers have been sorted and the wonderful colour coded timetable is up on the kitchen door having been ticked off at various points throughout the week.

O has been awesome in his approach and attitude. I really couldn’t have asked him to do any more and this is wonderful as just a few years ago he was the boy who asked ‘When can I leave school?’ as he was so unhappy in a place that just didn’t seem to get him.

The revision has been lovely though we’ve spent some great times this week together discussing what he’s learning and his opinions of the different topics he has covered. He’s laughed at my misreading of his work -‘The French didn’t love their King as he was a nob…’ was one of my favourites. O actually wrote ‘he was mad’ but my misreading has us in fits of giggles and then again when O told Hubbie who laughed and laughed while he made his coffee. He’s discovered a love of Geography (History always used to win) so now he’s pondering which of the two he might take for GCSE.

It’s all been great.

Well, that is apart from Maths.

Oh and I don’t mean for O I actually mean for me.

I have to say we’ve got to the point where I can’t really help him as I actually don’t understand what he’s doing. My maths lessons at school weren’t that great: I wasn’t really that great and so I preferred to be social and talk to my friends and if you read any of my reports from secondary school I think you’d find my teachers disagreeing with this.

It’s a bit strange when that little boy who you taught to count, helped understand the oddness that is ‘teen’ numbers and spent ages going through maths homework is now better than me. I knew it would come but, like most things with parenting, there was no great announcement, no fireworks and the moment arrived one Thursday morning with my Year 8 son doing something magnificent and wonderful with brackets, numbers and letters.

What do I do about this?

I really want to support my children in their educational life. I want to help them be who they are supposed to be in all that they do. If I can help: I will.

But secondary school maths has lost me and we’re only 1 1/2 years into the journey so goodness knows what I’m going to do when GCSE’s arrive.

Luckily I do have some magic cards up my sleeve. The first is Hubbie. He is the analytical side of my brain that I don’t have. He’s loving all the mathematical conversations he’s having with O at the moment it’s like his moment has arrived to be parenting King and he’s happy to step up and take the role. They sit a the kitchen table and laugh over the work together in a way that I just can’t join in with. This is lovely though and I do like to see them chatting away.

The second is an online website that’s been recommended to us by O’s Maths teacher (‘There’s a lot of really rubbish stuff out there on the web but this is really good…’ quoted O) and I wanted to share it with you all:


It’s great as it has all the topics covered, videos to watch for explanations and then paper to print out and try. There’s even mark schemes for some of the papers too.

This has really helped (me) O. His revision has gone smoothly as a result and he’s going to walk in to his exam knowing he did all the work asked (2hrs a day school asked for) and he understands what he has to do.

It is strange though, that my baby is now whizzing ahead of me. I know he can run faster than me too though I haven’t actually tested this for a while but it’s pretty obvious. He’s nearly as tall as me, plays the piano better than me and can do wonderful whizzy things with brackets and numbers.

…and I am just so darn proud.

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