I realized last night that when I said (a couple of posts ago) that I had been going to camp since 1981 and that it had been 20 years of my life that clearly didn’t know how to subtract correctly. It didn’t even occur to me to think that 20 years would be wrong if I thought about my current age and the age when I went to camp. So, yeah – 1981? THIRTY years ago. Thanks, me, for reminding me how old I am.
I do get other reminders of that – like realizing that one of the first babies I ever babysat is now a college graduate, and I was left in charge of her when she was 4 months old. Or that the kids I had as my preschool students are graduating high school this year (but I can still see their little 4 and 5 year old selves in their faces).
Math also came up today on a homeschooling message board I read when someone posted that the principal of her local public school told her most of the elementary education teachers he knew (and according to some study he’d read) couldn’t do math beyond a fifth grade level. I was honestly shocked! That means no basic algebra, no square roots, no negative numbers? Nevermind things like geometry or trig. Maybe it’s just because math generally came easily to me, but I’m always still surprised when I meet adults who haven’t mastered basic algebra – I feel like school has failed them. Algebra isn’t scary! It was logical and orderly and there was a plan to solving it. A bit like a puzzle (which I also like). I think tomorrow I’m going to take this test: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/online/2006/grade7/math/7math.htm (I’m going to need paper and it’s late). Want to share how you did?