I was going over my 12-year-old son’s math homework yesterday. I asked him to explain what complementary angles are (after explaining to him that it’s not complimentary, as he’d written it in his note book, but complementary).
Pat came his reply with a deadpan face: “Angles become complementary when they go to Sarawak.”
I’m used to this, so I took a deep breath, counted up to ten, and tried again.
This time he gave the correct answer: “Complementary angles are angles whose sum is 90 degrees.”
I was relieved.
He takes no interest in math and performs indifferently in math tests and exams, which pains me somewhat as I teach math and my father is a mathematician. Don’t pedigree and genes count for something?
Well, interests shift with age, and I can only hope he’ll come to like math eventually. I want him to be good in math; it’s a family tradition, after all.
Of course, I know what I should do: Allow him to grow into whatever field interests him; do not force-feed him my interests.
I know, I know, I’m willing to let go … but, but I’d like him to be good in math.