December 15 15

So, here’s a thing that happened.

Isabella brought home a 2/10 on a math test.

I was surprised.

She was surprised.

We were all surprised.


“I really thought I knew how to do long division, Mama,” she cried. “I really did.”

And so did I. She was doing pretty well in math. She was an A student. And I might not be a math genius but even I know that a 2 out of 10 is a 20%, which is not even a passing mark, not even close.

But apparently, these things happen. Skills get missed. Long division gets overlooked and then we find ourselves sitting at the kitchen table wondering how it is that our 5th grader doesn’t know how to divide.

Her dad sat with her and tried to teach her and he yelled and she yelled and he got frustrated and she got frustrated and they each threw up their arms, exasperated.

I sat with her and tried to teach her and I cried and she cried and I got stressed and she got stressed and we threw up our arms, exasperated.


It was very clear that we were not going to be able to help our daughter with long division. She just does not get it, no matter how many times and way we try.

So, we had her open up her Mathletics.


We thought maybe something else could help her.

And much like Maria Von Trapp, we started at the very beginning, because, obviously it’s a very good place to start. With multiplication tables. And multiplication facts and grids and properties and fact families. Then she moved on to multiplying by 100, 1000, and 3 single-digit numbers. And then we slowly moved into division.

She felt comfortable, she moved at her own pace, and the best thing is that she didn’t yell, scream, cry, or get frustrated.

And now my girl can do long division.

No thanks to her dad. Or to me. It was all Mathletics.


So, as you can tell, I’m a little impressed (and jealous) with Mathletics these days. For this reason, all of my nieces and nephews are getting the gift of Mathletics this holiday season. You’re welcome, sisters and brothers and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. If you are looking for great holiday gifts too, I highly recommend. It’s affordable — click here to get 20% off a year home subscription — and it will keep the yelling and screaming out of math.


Looking for some more great gift ideas for your favorite people this holiday?

Behold, this is my list of things I not-so-secretly covet right now, so obviously, I highly recommend them to you and your loved ones.



1. Airport Greeting Cardigan, $54.99,

2. Splendid Cities: Color Your Way To Calm, $15,

3. NPR logo kid’s tee, $20,

4. Minimalist Stadium Series poster, Lambeau Field,$42.18, Etsy

5. Richie and Margot kokeshi doll mug, $22, Etsy

6. Polaroid Zip Mobile Photo Printer, $145, Urban Outfitters

7. Old World Continent Map Canvas, $132,

8. Grand Quilted Strap Metro Watch, $195, Kate Spade

9. Mathletics Holiday Special, $99/year + 20% off!,

10. Pandemic, $39.95,

11. Vintage 1960s Glasses, $217.91, Etsy

12. Rainbow Ripple Blanket, $99.95, O.B. Designs

13. The Wire t-shirt, $25.84, Redbubble

14. Mama bird necklace (up to 8 kids), $40.77, Etsy


{As part of my partnership with Mathletics, I was compensated for this post. But all opinions, thoughts, words, and attempts at humor are my own, as always.}

  1. But what if a train leaves a station at 2:10 PM with 75 passengers, what time will it get to Barcelona? 🙂

    Comment by Kristabella on December 15, 2015
  2. We had this exact same experience at our house. A 5th grader crying because he can’t understand division. Him and I fighting over trying to learn how to do division. Realizing that he can barely multiply, now on earth will he ever divide if he can’t multiply. There must be something wrong with the curriculum if most 5th graders can’t do this. And I talked to my son’s teacher and he admits that many of the kids in his class are in the same boat. He is teaching them basic math facts in 5th grade!!! We are all caught up now. And he is happy, I am happy, teacher is happy. Phew

    Comment by Chantal on December 16, 2015
  3. Mathletics is awesome Ali – all primary school kids get it free here in Western Australia through school. Isabella is a bright and amazing young lady and I’m glad that she’s using that resource to help her along. Miranda is not a mathling like her mom or brothers so it’s helped her massively with her confidence too.

    Love all the pics and I covet some of them too!

    All the best during this holiday season – are you heading south for the annual Chrismakah celebration? I always ?? seeing all the Martell- Boyce photos of the gorgeous kids and the famous Doris Christmas tree and baked goods!
    Say hi to Charna and Joe for us.
    Love from
    Heidi, Jetrmy, Toby and. Miranda

    Comment by Heidi on December 18, 2015

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>