One evening our 10-year old son Josh told us over dinner that his
teacher was threatening to send him down to the lower math class due to
his continuing poor performance in mental math tests (You remember
those tests you did at the start of math class where the teacher called
out math problems and you had to solve them in your head and put down
the answers). Josh had received just 4 out of 10 on the test that day
and had been told that unless he received 7 out of 10 on the next day's
mental math test he would be sent down to the lower class. He was very
concerned about this because the teacher told him that "all the other
class do is worksheets all day".
We were concerned about the teacher's approach however we
decided to assist Josh as much as we could. Since the mental math
questions were mainly based on multiplication tables we decided to see
if we could practice those tables with Josh in preparation for the next
day's test. The tables Josh didn't know were 6x 7x 8x and 9x.
My wife taught Josh a simple process for remembering 9x tables and he
seemed to pick this up fairly well. However, he still had all those
other tables to learn and the test was the next day. Fortunately for
him the teacher was away sick the next day and he had a reprieve! The
next night I sat down with Josh to teach him the other tables.
As soon as I sat down with Josh and started to ask him about
his tables I saw him do a big sigh and go into a low energy state. In
this state he wasn't able to recall any of the tables we were working
on and it was clear that this negative state was affecting his
performance at school. As I saw him sigh again I said "this is the real
problem - that bad feeling you are having" and asked him if he would
like to try tapping on it to see if he could feel better about doing
his tables. He's very receptive to EFT now since I have used it with
him since he was 3 years old so he readily agreed.
As I tapped on the points for him I was simultaneously talking
with him about his math and about what he was feeling. He said he was
worried about going down to the lower class, so we did some tapping on
that (Mostly we were doing continual tapping as we talked about things
rather than formal set-ups, although each time he came up with another
aspect we did an initial set up on that aspect). He then went on to
tell me that he had felt bad about the teacher yelling at him and we
did some more tapping on the hurt and scared feelings about that.
During the time we were tapping he also remembered some other times
that the teacher had yelled at him and we did some tapping for the
feelings caused by those incidents. All in all we did about 15-20
minutes of tapping on specific aspects, then we did some continual
tapping as we practiced the 6x tables. I was surprised that Josh learnt
his 6x tables completely in a matter of minutes!
The next day Josh's teacher was still away, however the relief
teacher did a mental math test with the class. Josh came home to
announce proudly that he had achieved 45 out of 50 and told us that
he'd been surprised to find that the entire test seemed like it was
almost completely based on the 6x tables! I began to think that the
universe was on our side as I congratulated him for his success.
That night we did another session of teaching him the 7x and 8x
tables. Again, we did continual tapping on the points while we went
through the tables, while I encouraged him to recite and visualise the
tables in his head, and while I tested him. And again I was completely
amazed that he was able to learn the whole lot in a time period of
about 20 minutes! This more than any other experience taught me that
when we are emotionally open and ready to learn we are capable of
learning incredibly quickly.
Again the teacher was away so we were fortunate to have another
night to practice tables with Josh, although now all we were doing was
testing him - He no longer needed to program the tables into his mind,
just to recall them with fluency.
The next day Josh came home to announce that the teacher was at
school and he had achieved 10 out of 10 on the mental math test!
Although he knew he was still under threat if he didn't continue to
perform his new-found confidence was clearly evident. The next day Josh
achieved 8 out of 10 on the test and cemented his place in the class.
A few days later my wife was dropping Josh off at school and the
teacher happened to mention how pleased and surprised he was about
Josh's instant turn-around. During the course of the conversation he
mentioned the "threat" and apologised for it, telling her that he had
made it out of frustration and hadn't realised what a strong effect it
might have on Josh. Later she and I both met with the teacher and
shared with him that having experienced our own frustrations with Josh
at times we could afford to be forgiving on this point. He was
relieved, as his intentions had been positive and he'd really just
wanted to motivate Josh to improve.
In our meeting and in his discussion with my wife, he pointed
out that Josh was not only performing better but that his entire
attitude and demeanour in the classroom had changed. This change had
also spread into other areas of schoolwork and his general preparedness
and personal organisation had improved also.
Josh has continued to improve and just a couple of months later
he received an honour certificate at the school assembly for "Instant
and significant improvement in mental math work." His school report at
the end of the year also praised his "dramatic improvement in math
performance throughout the year". The best thing of all however is that
he no longer sighs when thinking or talking about mental math - in fact
he beams whenever he talks about it!
At the end of the year my wife and I were reflecting on the
year we'd had. We asked Josh what had been the highlights of his year.
Apart from our big family holiday in the USA do you know what was the
next thing he mentioned? "Finally learning my tables!"