B has been more than frustrated with Math lately. (If I'm honest with myself, it's been longer than "lately." I believe I went looking for new curriculum this summer and ended up simply continuing with our current pick.) He displayed some extreme frustration this week because he'd neglected to finish one day's assignment and therefore needed to finish it and do the current day's assignment. He cried. "I just have SO MUCH math to do."
But I don't think that was why he was crying. I think he cried because it's not making sense. And I think it's not making sense because of his dyslexia.
His curriculum utilizes spiral learning. So at the same time that he's learning to multiply and divide, he's reviewing addition and subtraction of some rather large numbers. Every day that he has subtraction he asks me,
"Do you take the bottom out of the top, or the top out of the bottom?"
When he has big numbers to multiply he uses the white board to write out 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x7 x 7. Then he groups them into 14s and adds the whole thing. I look at this and wonder why he uses the extra white board step and when I see the doodles all along the edges I assume he's spending the time unwisely.
"Not so," says his dyslexic father who encourages him to keep using that method. He's being visual and I am reminded of some things I've read about right-brained children...using the whiteboard is easier on the hands and eyes...visualizing is powerful...
And then I get it. Not only does dyslexia affect his reading and writing, it affects math too. I knew it affected the way he saw the world in total, but I'd excluded math from that world somehow.
I'll be more sympathetic toward B's math struggles, to be sure. But more importantly, I'm finally going to apologize to my bank account and do what it takes to get my boy some help.