Ironically, even though there are greater expectations for our children to learn more material and do more homework — all at a younger age — we don’t want them to struggle, especially with math. We want our children to be happy and successful. We live in an “instant gratification” culture. If we want something to happen, we expect it quickly. And it should be easy. our children should get A’s, be ahead of the others, and be comfortable.
The trouble is that learning math usually isn’t quick and easy. It takes patience — patience for the student, patience for the teacher, and patience for the parents. Working through struggles is an important part of learning math — and is a great life lesson. One of our challenges as class teachers today is to create a safe environment — without fear and stress — in which our students can work through their struggles. This is certainly no easy task. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all our children could learn how to calmly face their challenges and develop confidence as they successfully work through their math struggles?