Right from my first falter on the number line, grasping at mathematics has been the mental equivalent of apple bobbing. And more years later than I care to remember, at times it still is.
Desperate to pass my maths GCSE, I asked my teacher if a tutor would help. “No, I’m afraid there wouldn’t really be any point,” he replied, turning on his heel. He thereby saved us some money but very little face.
So, while we’ve tackled letters with gusto, our first foray into arithmetic with Raffie was something I approached with apprehension.
“Are you going to eat all those oranges Mummy?” “No, we’re going to do some numbers Raffie.” “Can we make a cake with them?” “Not at the same time poppet.” “Can I get some flour?” he asked, heading towards the cupboard. “Not yet.”
And so, flour retrieved and cleaned off the carpet, we made our first meal of mathmatics. Staring out of the window during maths lessons, I wondered if this sort of thing was useful in real life. To my surprise, it was. And so I am keen for Raffie to embrace, rather than avoid, numbers.
Starting with oranges. Having to catch them first is all part of the fun. With a bit of adding and even stepping out with some subtraction we dipped our toes in the pool of numbers and liked what we found.
Despite passing my GCSE, I will probably always be bobbing for apples when it comes to maths, Raffie is loving number oranges in small doses.
And I’m hoping if he starts off by learning just to have fun with numbers, then our efforts might start to bear fruit, be they apples or oranges. And who knows, I might just learn a thing or two along the way as well.