More bookstore adventures: January 15, 2006.
A lady called and wanted me to find for her something that just isn't published.
Her problem: She has a fourth grader who can't do subtraction.
Her request: Find her a workbook that will help the child.
Where her request became an impossible demand: She wanted it to have ONLY subtraction problems in the book (which ruled out getting a nice broad math book that included subtraction) and she didn't want to accept that the subject her daughter was having problems with was SECOND-GRADE WORK.
I only had a couple of workbooks that were ONLY subtraction, and they were both clearly labeled for second grade-level math. The lady didn't want this, and kept reminding me that her daughter was ten years old, a fourth grader.
Well, fine and good, but she needs remedial materials apparently, and they don't make a book of subtraction problems for fourth graders who do second-grade work. They don't MAKE remedial workbooks. If you're a tenth grader who reads on a fifth-grade level, they don't make a book for that. You bite the bullet and buy a book for fifth-grade reading.
I wanted to tell her that if her kid was going to be hurt or embarrassed by being given a second-grade book that the mom just tear out the pages or make copies, but I had a feeling it was actually Mom who didn't like the idea of her kid doing second-grade work. "She's good at everything ELSE," the mom protested. Well, I understand this. "Isn't there anything you can get on the COMPUTER and order it in?" Well, the problem there is I can't see how elementary the subtraction is. But I tried anyway and got kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
Guess what that means?
It means if your kid's still struggling with subtraction in fourth grade, she needs a book for a younger child, and either you just deal with any feelings of inadequacy you or your kid might have over this or you get off your dead ass and write her some subtraction problems yourself--it won't kill you, since you obviously have the time to have this conversation with me.