“I’m never going to need this.” E tells me as I help him with his algebra homework. “I mean, nobody is ever going to come up to me and say like, ‘Can you solve this? -2.5 (0.5K+2.4) = -K-5.45.’ Maybe if I was going to be a mathematician, or an engineer. But, I’m never going to need this.”
I sighed and coughed (again), happy to at least be helping with his algebra next to him on the couch, and not 6 feet away like last week.
“Well, I don’t know.” I said. “I used to say the same thing. But I now I do need it.”
“For what?” E asks, eyebrows furrowed.
“To help you! Right now! Here you are! I need what I learned in high school algebra!”
He rolled his eyes, and we got back to work.
Poor E: 12 years old, great math brain, plus amazing ability to overthink. He gets the overthinking part from me – so imagine how helpful I am with his algebra homework when we get to parts where we have to use the distributive property with negative variable. I think 3-3x -3 is just 3x, right? Thank goodness he likes to check his work. (I won’t even try to explain our in depth conversations about why -5.45 + 6 = 0.55 and not 0.45. I think I got myself confused with that one, actually.)
For the last few problems, we figured out a good color coding system on the iPad for like terms.
“It’s like our own Kahn Academy!” E said.
“On a academy … Ona academy . . . OnAcademy! Why haven’t I ever thought of that?” I asked. “OnAcademy.com!”
That earned me another eye roll and a sigh. “.org you mean? But, please don’t make that a thing, mom.”
But, it has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? OnAcademy?
2 thoughts on “Algebra”
Oh math, uniting parents and kids over frustrating homework since the dawn of time… I like the back-and-forth banter of this piece.
Wow, Ona, I think it’s amazing how you are able to teach him algebra. You have captured this experience well. I’m glad you are getting closer, with your Covid isolation. Take care!