# Back-to-school for my kids ... and me

## What the \$#*% is a number bond?

We’re inching closer to that first school bell ringing. Where did the summer go?

That school bell means less time playing outside with my kids (boo) and more time at the kitchen table with their homework (double boo).

I did my hard time. K-College. I wrote countless papers, solved endless math problems and did hundreds of science experiments. I THOUGHT I knew it all…until my kids started elementary school.
School is hard. It’s okay. Admit it with me. You find yourself sneaking a look at the answer page often while doing homework with your school-aged child. I do it every single time (and totally pretend like I know the answers). This especially happens with math. When did elementary-level math turn into Isaac Newton-level challenges?! Multiple step multiplication, common core, division, fractions, boxes, shapes, angles, and number bonds. What the \$#*% is a number bond? AH! I’m so lost. My daughter is 9 and she’s teaching ME math.

Oh, and it’s not just math. The spelling tests are c-r-a-z-y. I don’t even know how to properly pronounce some of the words given to my children, let alone spell them. Um, Gibbous!? That’s G-i-b-b-o-u-s. No joke, that was one of my daughter’s elementary school spelling words. We studied and studied. She nailed it on the test, but I still don’t know what it is. Paul Gross might need to help me with this one.

I must say, this situation has severely dented my confidence (in an entertaining way). But, I’m also learning a lot. I’ve learned how special it is to sit down and experience this with my kids. Learning can also mean laughing. My kids get a big kick out of being smarter than me. It’s encouraging to them that they “beat daddy” at the math games we play. Or, they’re cracking up at how they’re able to ace the same spelling tests I struggled through. I’ve learned to laugh at myself in these situations while they learn new things that will help them grow as a student.

I’ve learned it’s ok to get teased a little because I can’t crack some wild math code, or can’t spell dendrochronology (it hasn’t come up yet, but I’m sure we’ll be spelling it and studying it by 4th grade) – because that means I can teach my kids to laugh at themselves sometimes, too.
Afterall, you can’t always take yourself so seriously, right?

So, as we head back to school, know that you’re not the only one peeking at the answer page. I’m right there with you.

Go ahead, you can look up dendrochronology, Gibbous and number bonds now.