Does my anxious son need to know geometry?

My ten-year-old son is in fourth grade and came home completely stressed out about math yesterday, literally four days into the school year.

It turns out they’re learning geometry, right angles, obtuse angles, etc. It’s not the entire curriculum of high school tenth grade geometry I had when I was in school but it seems above what is considered developmentally appropriate for fourth grade when we were in school.

It’s actually not entirely horrible but my kid is completely stressed out. Maybe it’s the culmination of all he’s exposed to in school, plus having to wear a mask all day and be socially distant, that’s put him at somewhat of a breaking point. Just wondering if this rings true to you.


1 reply
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    I’m sorry the start of school is so hard for your son.

    He does need to know the angles eventually. Probably not this week specifically, though.

    That said, your son’s anxiety is real. And it’s probably not the reaction that other kids had to math because if this strategy made lots of kids anxious it would be too big a burden to the teacher to teach. Consider having a psychologist help you and your son manage his anxiety.

    Also, one of the reasons I homeschooled was that I couldn’t imagine sending my kid to school every day while not respecting his teachers. That would put him in an extremely difficult position since teachers in school control what parents do at home with their kids.

    So maybe the issue isn’t the geometry per se but rather you and your son both have stress around your full participation in school. You probably both need help — him with a therapist and you with an education consultant, or therapist, or someone who can help you be more respectful of the place you are sending your kid for eight hours a day.

    Not that I have great respect for school, but if you’re sending your kid there it won’t work to be disrespectful. He has to contend with the school on his own all day. He needs your support. Or you need to find an alternative.


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