Will I ever use them? (A clue, no)
So why do I need to do them?
No doubt someone out there is thinking the logical answer: "To get through highschool, of course."
That's not reasonable enough for me.
If I am never going to use simplifying square roots, if I am never going to use a(2a+b), if I am NEVER going to become a mathematician, why in the universe do I need to waste my time on this stuff??
Why do I need to know stuff that I really don't need to know just to get through school so that I can go to college, get a well-paying job, save money, retire, and then do the things that I enjoy?
That isn't and has never been my ambition! It's my ambition to work in the church, write and read books, and have a big brood of kids if that's God's plan.
Why should I spend my time trying to understand things that I will never use in life just to pass the judgement of the secular norm with good results? Wouldn't it be much better if I learned to hone and use my God-given talents which will eventually become my career/life? Shouldn't I love learning instead of loathe it?
Imagine how much more kids would love learning if we let them learn what they loved. Kids are surprisingly smart if you let them be.
Look at Mozart! He didn't go to school. He picked up his father's violin when he was four and never needed any lessons. He went on tour when he was six and wrote his first opera when he was 11. Admittedly, he died young and poor, but now he's one of the most celebrated and most listened to composers in the whole world!
Abraham Lincoln. He grew up in a log cabin. His family were very, very poor and he didn't go to school. Instead he read and read and read by firelight at night. Sure his lawyer firm failed, but then he became one of America's most influential and most recognized presidents!
I don't understand math. I never will. That equation up there about simplifying roots... that doesn't make any sense to me. I have NO idea why it works. But I memorize the formula so that I can get the right answer.
I'm getting a solid A- in math right now (or a B+, I'm not sure). That's good. Amazing actually, because I'm as stupid as a fish trying to climb a tree when it comes to anything more complicated than addition/subtraction/multiplication/division.
But is it worth it? Lately I have been getting so frustrated and angry during math that I scare myself. I always end up snapping at my mom who patiently helps me through math, and I hurt her feelings. I don't want to do it, but the anger just boils inside of me. I don't like hurting my mom's feelings. Because that just makes me all the more angry and sad. But I don't know how to control the anger... either it comes out in hurtful tones of voice or... I don't know. I've never let that side come out. But let me tell you, it feels something akin to this:
It makes me want to turn into a big green rage monster and go punch a hole through the wall. Or tear my hair out... or bite my fingers... or hurt myself or the house in some other way.
After my math lesson today I've been listening to this to calm myself down (because if my life was a piece of music after math, it would probably be this... or Tchaikovsky's Slavonic March or the Queen of the Night Aria from the Magic Flute):
Also, tears are usually involved during math time because I can't understand something, or even though I got the answer right I got the answer wrong, therefore making my answer wrong... and me having to do the incredibly long complex hard problem over again.
And don't even get my started on word problems...
One thing I love about homeschooling is the freedom to do things at your own speed. I don't understand something, we can spend more time on it, or come back to it later. We did this with addition and subtraction. I did not understand it. At all. I couldn't grasp the concepts. So we waited a few months. When we started it up again, I understood it and was able to get through it.
If I was in school, I would have been forced to continue doing it without understanding, and probably would have gotten horrible grades (and there would have been many, many more tears... and I would have probably ended up hating learning as a result).
Some homeschoolers abuse this privilege and use it as an excuse to forgo doing schoolwork (aka being lazy. I don't condone laziness). I think that's what people (in the real world) would assume if I told them what grade of math I'm in.
Since this isn't the real world, I have no problem shouting to everyone:
I AM SEVENTEEN AND A HALF YEARS OLD AND STILL IN ALGEBRA ONE AND PROUD OF IT! I'M NOT LAZY! I'M JUST WASN'T CUT FROM THE SAME COOKIE CUTTER! YOU WEREN'T EITHER, BUT SOCIETY TELLS YOU TO BE THE SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE!
So, world, stop judging me for something I'm not.