The one subject I was most apprehensive of helping Charlotte with was mathematics. When she was still at school, I was aware of her struggles with the subject but she wouldn't allow me or her father to help with her homework. As far as she was concerned, what could we possibly know? Once out of the state education system, she had no option but to rely on me for her learning.
As her grasp on the subject was so poor, I decided that we would go right back to the beginning (a very good place to start!) and learn the times-tables thoroughly. Thank goodness for my 1950s rote style of learning because this is one area I am firmly grounded in. It was difficult for Charlotte at first, but with repetition on a small but often basis, she is now fairly competent with the tables and is able to learn further operations, of which the times-tables are a basis. We have already covered a good deal of geometry, fractions and decimals.
I was gratified when she told me that she could now do so much more mathematics than she could when she was at school. I don't mean to debase the state education system but, for children like Charlotte who take longer to grasp a subject like mathematics, it is easy for them to get left behind while the more apt pupils are able to keep up. Learning at home means that we are not restricted by time deadlines. We are able to go over each topic until she understands it. As a parent, the best thing for me is to see her confidence grow as she becomes more able in doing her work. "I can't do that," has now become, "I never used to be able to do that."
I take nothing for granted and face each day as it comes, but I have a feeling that we're on the right track!