Monday, 1 July 2013

Tonight, Algebra, we beat you!!! I am a Good Mummy!!!

I think that I can safely say that this evening I have been a good Mummy. You may think that I am blowing my own trumpet here, and you would be right, but it is a rare occasion when I can genuinely say "Tonight I have been a brilliant Mum!"

I will take you back to about 40 minutes ago when I was safely snug on my sofa, tapping away at my laptop, confident that my daily chores were over and all I had was a quiet evening ahead of me before toddling off to bed.

Along came Son #2 at that moment with the worried look that I recognise as the accompaniment to an extreme lack of completed homework. The problem, it seemed, was Algebra. He had no idea how to do his maths prep and wanted me to help. Me ... Algebra .... My first reaction was to send for Son #1 who is far brainier than me when it comes to the demon Maths. Unfortunately, due to what turned out to be either a complete lack of understanding of said homework or, more likely, a pressing engagement with YouTube, he decided it was beyond him too.

photo courtesy of

It is at this point that a mother shows her mettle. A girl either writes a note in her son's planner expressing total ignorance of all things mathematic or she heads upstairs to the Mac in an attempt to at least show willing ... In a fit of positivity I took the latter option and with beating heart trudged towards almost certain humiliation.

Having discovered that the homework was due in tomorrow (obviously) and that the time was now 9.20 pm I gave the requisite speech on doing homework immediately its given so any problems can be ironed out and then looked at the screen before me. My heart sank as I saw what appeared to be hieroglyphics ... How on earth was I going to sort this out?

With a sigh I suggested we both do the online tutorial in an attempt to understand anything at all. Gradually, before our very eyes, the mystery of Algebra unfolded. We followed the lesson and then tentatively attempted the homework sums. It was like walking along a balance beam ... neither of us were quite sure how we were doing it, but we seemed to be understanding what to do. The screen started to glow with green tick symbols ... Each time we hovered over the "Mark your Work" button we held our breath and bit our lips ...

And blow me down with a feather if we didn't get it right!! When I say "we" I mean my son because it was he who decided on the answers, but I was checking them in my head and knew he was doing the right thing.

In the space of 20 minutes we went from being complete Algebra duffers to a couple of excited nerds giving High Fives to each other as yet another green tick appeared. There can't be many people who bond over maths ( not in my Arts dominated world anyway) but tonight we bonded like bilio!

As we said "Good Night!" and he padded off to bed after a huge hug and a giggle I knew that tonight I had been a good mum. Tonight I had entered an unknown land with my boy and we had emerged triumphant together. We may not actually ever be able to do it again, but this time we beat you Algebra ... we beat you!!


Tammy Chrzan said...

Good for you!
I love Algebra, but I have to use it all the time at work!
Tammy xx

sarah said...

Thanks Tammy! I know its silly but it was such a good feeling to succeed and see my son understand the work when he had been very down about his chances of getting anything right at all. X

Jordan Hamilton said...

As a math teacher, I love to hear that you beat, Algebra! And I love to hear that you did it together!

sarah at secret housewife said...

Hello Jordan. So glad you think so! We were really proud of ourselves and it made my day to see my son feel so good about himself!