But trying to teach it to someone to whom math is not a favorite thing, but a source of utter confusion and frustration is a different subject entirely. I mean I can look at a problem and instantly know the answer, often without even thinking. But to break it down into steps, and explain why we do those steps a certain way - well that's a challenge!
It got me thinking about so many other things that are so easy to me and so hard for other people. And vice versa, there are things that are near impossible to me that others find so insanely easy they can't understand why I don't get it.
It's always easy once you know how to do it, but until that moment it can appear impossible.
So while helping my friend, I remember to slow down and have patience, reviewing the same material as many times and in as many different ways as it takes until he gets it. I also remember to chunk it down, and take breaks when I see the signs he's at his limit. And above all I make it fun. Well as fun as I can. The more we can relate it to real life and the more fun it is the easier it gets. And I think its working. We'll see how he does on the test in a couple weeks!