Michelle sat at her desk and tied the knot in her beaded necklace. After an hour of working, she had finished her gift for Mom. She went to find Mom, ignoring the 100 subtraction problems on her desk.
Mom was in the kitchen making dinner. “Mom, look what I made for you,” Michelle exclaimed as she handed her the necklace.
Mom looked at the necklace. “Thank you. It’s beautiful, Michelle,” Mom said. “I can tell you’ve put a lot of time into designing such a pretty pattern, but what were you supposed to be doing?”
Michelle remembered the math problems on her desk. Tomorrow was her 100-facts test for subtraction, and Mom wanted her to practice. But Michelle had taken a 100-facts test in class every week, and she wasn’t getting much better.
“My homework,” she said, “but I’m not very good at subtraction. How am I supposed to be able to do 100 problems in just five minutes?”
“Would you like me to help you?” Mom asked.
“Then we’ll practice your math problems after dinner.”
After dinner, Mom held the timer while Michelle practiced. Michelle was worried. Having Mom time the 100 facts helped Michelle focus, but Mom couldn’t help her during class.
“Don’t worry,” Mom said after Michelle had worked for five minutes. “The scriptures say that ‘if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.’ If you’re ready to work and to pray for Heavenly Father’s help, you’ll see great improvements on your math tests.”
Every night during the next few weeks, Mom and Dad helped Michelle by timing her while she worked on a practice sheet. And every night Michelle remembered to ask for help in her nightly prayers.
At the end of the school term, Michelle and her parents reviewed her weekly test scores. Two months ago Michelle was only completing 30 out of the 100 problems, but on her most recent test she got 83 right!
“You’re doing great, Michelle,” Mom said.
“Yippee!” exclaimed Michelle. “All I had to do was prepare and pray.”
Illustrations by Mark Robison