A Parent’s Story – Epilogue
By Kris, mother of 3
An Epilogue is brief, so I will try to be. Here is how my story of meeting and embracing Making Math Real ends. Kevin, is 21, graduated summa cum laud from DePaul University in Chicago with a bachelor of science in game design and an emphasis in programming. Yep, math was key in the latter stages of his educational path. A quote from Kevin last month, “Mom, anything that humans can do is made better and easier with math.” After clamping shut my dropped jaw, I found myself beginning the words of this final chapter of our MMR story. I am still amazed how far we have come 13 years after learning of MMR and rebuilding our learning foundation.
Matt, 19, is in his freshman year at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, playing baseball for their highly rated team. In 5th and 6th grade, Matt needed MMR techniques to help him synthesize fractions. He did not become frustrated in the jump to Algebra; he had the “tools” and the “language” from MMR to stay current in his concepts. He did not stumble when the teaching became cryptic or evaporated altogether in high school. Math never barred his way from sports or from scholarship opportunities as college applications loomed.
Brian, 15, who once had the Nine-Lines taped to his ceiling, is in 10th grade now and taking Algebra 2. Math is the toughest and least favorite of his classes, due, for the most part, to the speed of “presentation” and the lack of consideration for development of the learners. He is also not interested in math, much, but he recognizes it as a “gatekeeper” to what he will want to do in his future, whatever he chooses. So he is grateful for his firm foundation, albeit begrudgingly and irreverently at times since he is 15.
Math is only “natural” for a few, but it is completely accessible to all who are willing to stay the course, not loose heart or confidence, and keep asking questions. I have learned to be courageous myself and have tackled Geometry, Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus in the last few years so I can further help others. I am continually on the hunt for excellent math instruction and have discovered just how difficult it is to find. Math is increasingly taught on computers, without any human interaction at all. It is taught without feedback as tests are kept in the classroom and not returned to students. The scope of human tragedy from poor math instruction is not even on anyone’s radar, yet. But in my family and in our corner of our city we are making a difference one student at a time, one day at a time. And my commitment to the process increases every day. I’m “all in” for all time.
Thank you, David, and thank you Making Math Real. You truly have made a forever difference in our lives.