February 23, 2010

When your child struggles in school

The hardest part in being a parent is seeing your child struggle in school.  Our youngest DS, for lack of a better word, hates math.  My DH spends a considerable amount of time helping him every night.  We're talking hours.  Our DS has plodded along getting decent grades but last night he hit a brick wall. If you have a teenager in your household you know the look.  It is kind of a glazed over the eyes, I don't care anymore look.  I just want this to be over. 

Our DS gets really good grades in his other classes, he is not a discipline problem at school or at home and he has a great interest in current events and politics.  He attends the school board meetings and city council meetings.  He is on a local community committee involved in promoting our downtown area and he is also on student council.  For him to want to give up scared me.  Or perhaps it is the fact that I understand what it is like to have to put hours into studying something that does not interest me.  I've been there.  I hated math too and subsequently I didn't get a lot of sleep last night worrying about him. 

This morning I made a phone call and have hired a private tutor to help him.  The tutor is a family friend and he and his wife tutor a lot of students in math. 

It will cost us around $15 per session - twice a week.  That is a considerable sum to add to our budget, but we can make cuts in other areas.  These are friends of ours and they have given us a break on what they normally charge. What they earn from tutoring helps to pay their bills (they have two small children) and I would never ask them to tutor our son for free.  Besides here is where the stockpiled pantry is going to come in handy.

Anytime we face an expenditure, I determine whether it is a want or a need.  This is a need and we will gladly pay for the tutoring if it alone gives our DS some confidence in the area of math and helps him improve his skills and his grade.

Education is a high priority in our family and sometimes we have to go the extra mile with our kids to help them out.  Our DS is so happy that we are sending him to this tutor as he knows it is going to help him.  I am happy as it relieves the stress from my DH having to spend hours each evening reteaching math to our DS. 

When I was in high school I had a lot of difficulty with Algebra and Geometry.  I would spend hours in the evening trying to figure problems out and I wanted desperately to understand the subject so that I could get a good grade. I was an A student in every class, except in math I was a C and sometimes D student.  It always bothered me. 

The irony of all of this is that our oldest DS majored in mathematics in college and earned his Master's degree last year.  He loves math and it comes quite easy for him.  Too bad he lives in another state.

No matter how old they get, they are still our babies.  When they are struggling or hurting, we feel it just as much as they do.  If I can make a financial sacrifice that in the end will give him confidence and understanding of math, then it is money very well spent.

Do you have a child that struggles in a subject in school?

1 comment:

Moderate Means said...

We're about 10 years behind you but I have a son that struggles in math. I feel your pain and hope that math starts to make sense to both our boys!