I ran across the below article on CNN and… here here, CNN. Here here. I remember trying to teach my second grade daughter math and thinking I was crushing it. I taught her how to carry the single digits to the tens spot, borrow from the tens spot for subtraction and even the process of long division. She picked it up quickly; she was excited. I’m an expert at math, Dad! I know more than you do. I was feeling like an expert teacher until I told my wife about it.

She quickly told me to stop what I was doing like a week ago because I was actually setting her back in math. Apparently they’re taught something called “grouping” in Montessori. Well, pardon me Maria… I put my faith in you! But unfortunately you now have the plague, and I’m all that’s left for my daughter (when my wife is giving the baby a nap, anyway). I’m left with the task of relearning math (as if I had time!), teaching her the wrong thing, not teaching her math at all, or locking her eyeballs to a Zoom screen (an approach with countless flaws enumerated in the article). Fantastic.

While I’ve started to pick up their pedagogy, it’s the experience of the kid who is half asleep at the back of the classroom counting the minutes until lunch, because I’m… well… half asleep and waiting for lunch. If she learns basic math it will be because A) Montessori is awesome and I don’t manage to screw it up. B) I learn the Montessori math system (least likely option) or C) The pandemic mercifully and miraculously ends.

I’m a poor bet for relearning math according to the principles of regrouping (whatever that is…), so the best I can do is sit by her side and encourage her to go on, at least until the baby wakes up. Then off to work two rooms over! Happy Tuesday, everybody…

Parents’ biggest frustration with distance learning

Helping your child navigate Zoom tech support is daunting enough. But as many parents try to help their kids with online learning, they’re having to summon long-forgotten knowledge — and learn new tricks.