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AIBU to feel ashamed at my general lack of mathmatical ability?

(49 Posts)
lolaflores Thu 27-Sep-12 16:17:07

Have spectacularly under achieved in maths all my life. embarrasment heaped on shame; standing at the blackboard totally blank cherry red with shame. in a few jobs basically not having a clue, too shy to ask for more explanation. laughing off my lack of mathsness but in honesty feeling deeply ashamed. If I was illiterate I would feel no different I think. I can get to grips with big concepts like how changes in interest effect our mortgage and so on. But little things fail me like 1x0 = ?, I have always said 1. At the ripe age of 45 I now know it is 0. Is that not stunningly stupid? Seriously.
I did not get the degree course I wanted due to shitty maths. Am terrified of DD2 starting maths at school and me sitting there like a lump of lard going
"erermmmmm...1".
Husband is maths boy genius. Which is nice. But I lag behind by several miles.
Anyone else feel the same

adeucalione Thu 27-Sep-12 16:21:51

Are you happy to carry on as you are, or do you want to do something about it?

Could your DH give you some tuition, back to basics stuff?

I'm quite good at maths but there are other things I've been rubbish at in the past - took steps to remedy the situation wherever possible.

WorraLiberty Thu 27-Sep-12 16:23:10

I'm exactly the same.

My head just will not see mathematical patterns or retain any number information...like phone numbers for example.

However, it's never held me back thanks to my old friend the calculator.

I've worked in retail, I've worked as a pawnbroker, I've managed to teach my 3 kids their times tables (despite not knowing them myself) and now they're all in the top sets for maths.

Oh and I'm a school governor who has to help decide/monitor the school's budget every half term grin

Without calculators my life would be pointless << Dramatic swoon >>

GoldShip Thu 27-Sep-12 16:24:02

Oh don't worry about it.

I'm doing a course at college, Access To Higher Education so the ages range from 18-49. Some people don't know their times tables

lolaflores Thu 27-Sep-12 16:26:17

He got me through GCSE maths, scraped the 40% and that got me to university. So in practical terms I have a qualification but just wish the old head worked a bit better with numbers. Its like fear now at this point.

I screw up my times tables after the 7's

Dramajustfollowsme Thu 27-Sep-12 16:26:20

There is a condition called dyscalculia, a bit like dyslexic with numbers. Google it online and you might find some ideas to help you. smile

mumof4sons Thu 27-Sep-12 16:27:06

Very brave of you to admit to the problem with maths. How about trying to find an adult numeracy class in your area.

Please don't feel ashamed, because you certainly aren't alone. I know lots of adults who say the same thing. Maybe the way your were taught maths didn't click for you, but now days they seem to teach maths several different ways to get the same answer, so you might find a method that clicks for you.

Good luck.

phantomnamechanger Thu 27-Sep-12 16:27:21

Many adults, even those who did Ok at basic maths at school, if they dont use it in their day to day job, struggle to recall things - even simple things like quartering or easy percentages

Lots of schools run worshops for parents to relearn how to do basic operations so they can help their Dc do the homework "the right way"

and there are plenty of online resources available to help you teach yourself in the privacy of your own home if you did not want to go back to a night school or something.

I am sure there are lots of things you are good at that mathematicians can't do!

OldGreyWiffleTest Thu 27-Sep-12 16:27:46

My son is 28 and has the same problem as you, OP. He has now started a Back to Maths Course.

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 27-Sep-12 16:28:11

Mine is hit and miss some days.
If you want to play about in private and see if you catch on to math you can play about on www.khanacademy.org/ it's free, he does short simple videos (you only see the numbers appearing on the black screen) then do a quick skill check and each time you get stuck you can watch the explanations over. My Dd was struggling and we got her to watch the basic math addition and subtraction and she's improved a lot, and she loves watching, so we are keeping it going, she's doing fractions this week.

WorraLiberty Thu 27-Sep-12 16:29:40

I don't know why but I absolutely loathe to call myself 'dyscalculate'....it just sounds like one of those 'woo' descriptions for someone who's no good at maths grin

meditrina Thu 27-Sep-12 16:30:36

If you can work out how to do the calculations, then your maths is OK - it's just you arithmetic that's duff. And that's far less important.

No need to feel shame for realising you've got a skills gap. Especially if it leads you to fix it.

lolaflores Thu 27-Sep-12 16:31:52

CaliforniaLeaving that is a fab idea. I like the idea of doing it on my own as it were.

Phantomnamechanger there are many things I am good at in the rest of my life. Funny, my brain operates very differently from DH (mathsboy) but yet we sort of balance out one another's weak spots.

Thinking about it, I hate the classroom environment. I would much rather beaver away at something on my own time. Satisfying my own curiosity without an audience

lolaflores Thu 27-Sep-12 16:33:46

worra yeah, I can't see myself in the dyscalculate zone either. I can be as flaky as fuck about things in general. If there is a way to fuck it up, just as Lola, new and exciting ways to create havoc without even trying. The discipline and precision of maths does not suit my flighty ways

financialwizard Thu 27-Sep-12 16:34:16

My husband is exactly the same. He has dyscalculia. Cannot do any maths, not even check if the change he is given in a shop is correct. He was diagnosed as an adult and has struggled to learn maths. I do all the budgets in the house because numbers is my thing, and he does all the ironing because that is his thing smile

He is hugely embarrassed, but it is not his fault he needs help with things like this it is just the way he is built.

Mum2Luke Thu 27-Sep-12 16:34:41

I feel exactly the same, a shitty teacher lost my confidence when she smacked (yes teachers were allowed to years ago angry) me in front of the whole class for not being able to work some fractions or percentages out in my head.

I learnt my tables parrot fashion when at another school, I just find working out things like %s, algebra (who needs it in Asda anyway?) hmm and fractions out.

Have decided I am going to go to evening school at local college and do skills for life course grin the rest I'll leave to DH

my DH is about to start an open uni course and decided to brush up his maths before hand - we got this book which he is finding very good and easy to use

ethelb Thu 27-Sep-12 16:36:30

Could you go back to basics and grab a SATS/GCSE maths book?

I am v good at maths and science but 1x0 = 0 took me a long time to get my head round at school tbh.

lolaflores Thu 27-Sep-12 16:37:17

Yes Mum2Luke I had some interesting educational interventions in my time. I am also blessed with a fuck you stance on life and rather stuck my heels in.

Mum2Luke Thu 27-Sep-12 16:45:03

I feel so much better now I know what I have. financialwizard - thanks for that info, am going to show this to DH as he is the one who takes the mickey out of my inability to do maths and I feel stupid blush.

I get ribbed at the fact I am always wanting to be early (time concept) for meetings, ds' football matches etc, no harm in that, better than being late I suppose.

I'm going to enquire whether the college could help with this problem.

CuriousMama Thu 27-Sep-12 16:46:04

Oh wow just been on that site it's fantastic smile Cheers from me to CaliforniaLeaving.

My friend's currently doing a basic maths course at college. I'll show her this site too.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 27-Sep-12 16:52:06

If you can get to 7 times tables, you are doing better than me! I do think I might have dyscalculia though, just because I do not get numbers at all. I can't even remember the price of important things and hour after I've been told.

I used to feel embarrassed about it, but I don't any more. I have two children that are both excellent at maths, so they do any maths stuff I need for me. It's ace!

I don't see why I should feel ashamed about being crap at numbers, there are plenty of other things I'm good at that make me a worthwhile person, so I'm not prepared to feel bad about it.

YouMayLogOut Thu 27-Sep-12 16:52:32

YANBU. This is a sign of a thoughtful person who cares about things. It's sad when people go the opposite way and are proud of having no mathematical knowledge. (Mine is mediocre!)

ethelb Thu 27-Sep-12 16:57:29

I know a maths professor who couldn't do his times tables until he did his degree. I was slower than most as I tried adding them all up instead of parrotting.

Times tables are used by innumerate teachers as a stick to beat people who want to "solve" the question, with.

akaemmafrost Thu 27-Sep-12 17:01:17

Same here. My mind simply will not hold onto mathematical rules. I learn them, understand them for about five minutes then they slip gently away.

I did an access course in maths and science, which is equivalent to A Levels. I got through it somehow. Passed all the assessments. This was four years ago. Today I am as clueless as I ever was. Oh I know 3D shapes now because I am teaching them to dd, she is in year one. I did not know them all before I started looking them up blush.

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