It's been frustrating for everyone as students have done some form of virtual learning since the end of the last schoolyear. Parents and educators recently created a Facebook page dedicated to getting students back in the classroom in Missoula County Public Schools. One of the main reasons for creating the page is the fear that students are falling behind without having the face-to-face instruction time with their teachers.

I don't have a whole lot to base my thoughts on - I have a kindergartener with only four months of school under her belt. But I get how there's the thinking that learning from home just isn't the same as being in the classroom. I was helping my daughter do a math assignment/quiz today and I was blown away at how difficult the questions seemed.

I don't remember much about kindergarten. I think my big memory was that we had a sandbox in the classroom. And it's probably not true, but it feels like it was just a joyous world of finger painting and glorified recess for the few hours that I had to attend the half-day. Again, I can't be certain, but I don't recall having to work through story problems at that age.

Here's a few of the questions I was helping my daughter work through:

Photo: TSM
Photo: TSM
Photo: TSM
Photo: TSM

Sure, the problems themselves aren't too difficult for you and I - but that's some tough stuff when you're a 6-year-old!

I should mention that these were a bit harder than your typical math problems because it was designed to see how much the students already do or don't know. But as I'm asking my daugther "Drew has 2 cups. Ashley has 6 cups. How many more cups does Ashley have than Drew?' Choose the number sentence that you can use to solve the problem," I could see her staring off into the distance. It had to seem like I was talking gibberish.

Was kindergarten math always this hard? Or did I maybe eat a little more paste than I should have back in the day?

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