Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I'm Not That Bad at Math and

my neck is not that long.

So it turns out I am not bad at math.  I find this out now at age 28 while my husband is in grad school, after 20 years of calculators and bashful avoidance and strategizing my undergraduate course load out of fear, leaving knowledge gaps in economics, physics and microbiology as a result.  How did this happen?

I know its the the same reason I have strategized my hairstyle and necklines around my long neck and "beady head" as Chris Rodriguez so loudly pointed out to me in 8th grade MATH class.  I believed what I was told about myself.

And then I rose to those expectations. Some teachers assumed I would not excel at math; they treated me as such and students perceive more than grownups realize.  Some kids are late bloomers academically, prolonging that blissful stage of play dough, crayons and ignorance- or just growing their strengths in some  areas before others.  My math and reading skills lagged.  I recall crying over 2nd grade homework pages and literally hunching down at my desk when the teacher called on students for answers. For me, my creative and verbal skills blossomed first, earning me encouragement which naturally bred confidence in those areas.  I am so thankful that Mrs. Macklebee promoted my writing.  Teachers unintentionally put kids in boxes (there is simply not enough time to give to a Texas-sized classroom of individuals.  As a teacher, I know- my own largest of 6 classes had 27 11th graders and no para).  At 6-years-old, I was filed in the sweet, well-dressed, artistic girl box not the clever, analytic, scientist box. So I adjusted to my imperfect label.  

As parents, we must check ever word we put into our kids ears.  We should ask ourselves, "Is it true? Is it uplifting? Is it necessary?"  If all three do not apply, skip the statement because it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Back to my body proportion.  I looked at myself in fitting room mirrors recently with less assuming eyes.  And you know what!  I don't look awkward or ugly after all! In fact, if Chris Rodriguez's magnifying words hadn't launched me into insecurity, this trait might never have stood out to me.  I've decided to call my neck elegant and my brain smarter than average (because obviously it isn't as big). The self-conscious feeling I have been so conscious of for so long was not necessary.  My neighbors don't waste brain space thinking about how weird that girl looks. My friends did not choose me and my husband doesn't love me because of the "normal" human I do or don't resemble. But hey body image and contentment is a whole other post, guys.  Like this throwback.

Homeschool Moms, do you have advice for me and readers in how homeschooling does or doesn't bump this problem?  Tell us in the comments.  

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