Lucky for us, my son doesn’t need a lot of help. But when he does, the lines are clearly divided. Dad handles the math and science, Mom helps with spelling, writing and language arts.
Yes, I’m a stereotype. So sue me. Math and science were never my first love. And if I didn’t quite get it the first time around, why torture myself with it now? I think I’ve managed to do quite well for myself without knowing how to estimate the quotient of 7987 divided by 39 in my head. (That was really on last night’s homework–yikes!)
Now that I think about it, I was tested on a LOT of things that have proven to be utterly useless in real life. I’ve never had to figure out three-fourths of five-eighths. I mean if you’re slicing a pie, you just cut enough pieces for everyone at the table, right? And as for those two trains leaving the station at the same time, my best recommendation is to bring a good book. Then it really doesn’t matter which one gets there first because you’ve been properly entertained the whole way.
But the things I learned in language arts, those have been useful. I can diagram a sentence faster than I can label the parts of an atom. And dissecting the plot of a novel is far more entertaining than slicing open a smelly shark. Who wants to smell like formaldehyde all day? At least I know how to spell it!
So am I smarter than my fifth grader? Who knows. But I am smart enough to delegate what I don’t understand (or care about!) to someone who can get the job done. And really, isn’t that one of the best life skills to learn?