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Should I expect my child to narrate back what they learn when doing maths?


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#1 EngOZ

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 06:33 PM

As part of learning to work independently, I ask my 5th grade dd to teach back what she is learning when she does MM. However, when she teaches back what she has learnt to me, she is generally incoherent, there are lots of um's and er's and finger pointing.

 

I require her to explain in complete sentences, because if she were to explain the concepts to someone learning it for the first time, they simply wouldn't understand it. 

 

I'm conscious however that this process often takes up time. I also feel that narration is a different activity to math, and I'm not sure whether I should leave this to when we actually do LA.

 

Am I being too pushy expecting proper narration, and asking her to speak in complete sentences?


Edited by EngOZ, 15 March 2017 - 06:35 PM.

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#2 regentrude

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 06:40 PM

The complete sentences would not be a hill to die on for me. But definitely she needs to be able to explain what she does and why she does it.

First, it is the best way to find out whether she actually understands or just memorizes procedures; second, as any instructor knows, one has only truly understood what one has taught to others. 

 

I would not call it "narrations". She should be able to explain with the help of a whiteboard or paper, with sketches and pictures if she finds it useful, and should be able to answer questions "why" she did certain things. Fluency in the delivery of these explanations is not something I would require - the explanation just needs to be coherent. 

And I would not do this for every problem. Usually, writing out the complete problem with all steps will illustrate the thought process.


Edited by regentrude, 15 March 2017 - 06:43 PM.

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#3 CadenceSophia

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 06:41 PM

You seem to have very different cultural expectations for schooling than many of us on this board. I'm not sure "Am I being too pushy" is the question you want to ask.

Are you leaning more towards "does narrating math improve understanding?" Or "Will she be able to teach math eventually even if I only ask for narration in LA?"

I would not ask my child to narrate math if I am sure he has understood it. But then again I wouldn't do most of the things you are trying to do as my beliefs on elementary education are different.
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#4 EngOZ

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 06:55 PM

The question is in the title "Should I expect my child to narrate back what they learn when doing maths?" And yes it has to do with understanding.

 

 

 

 

You seem to have very different cultural expectations for schooling than many of us on this board. I'm not sure "Am I being too pushy" is the question you want to ask.

Are you leaning more towards "does narrating math improve understanding?" Or "Will she be able to teach math eventually even if I only ask for narration in LA?"

I would not ask my child to narrate math if I am sure he has understood it. But then again I wouldn't do most of the things you are trying to do as my beliefs on elementary education are different.

 


Edited by EngOZ, 15 March 2017 - 07:06 PM.


#5 texasmom33

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:01 PM

As part of learning to work independently, I ask my 5th grade dd to teach back what she is learning when she does MM. However, when she teaches back what she has learnt to me, she is generally incoherent, there are lots of um's and er's and finger pointing.

 

I require her to explain in complete sentences, because if she were to explain the concepts to someone learning it for the first time, they simply wouldn't understand it. 

 

I'm conscious however that this process often takes up time. I also feel that narration is a different activity to math, and I'm not sure whether I should leave this to when we actually do LA.

 

Am I being too pushy expecting proper narration, and asking her to speak in complete sentences?

 

I wouldn't call it a formal narration, however I think having her "teach back" a new concept is an excellent idea!!  I would think the um's and er's would dissipate with maturity and confidence. I took graduate classes with people who still "umm....and...uh" their way through, so I think giving some grace at 5th grade is completely appropriate. :)

 

Maybe help her frame it with you repeating the jist of what she is saying/teaching to you in a full sentence, and then have her repeat the sentence you helped her construct. I think SWB recommends something similar when narrating history (?) in one of her talks. 


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#6 mathmarm

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:34 PM

As part of learning to work independently, I ask my 5th grade dd to teach back what she is learning when she does MM. However, when she teaches back what she has learnt to me, she is generally incoherent, there are lots of um's and er's and finger pointing.

 

I require her to explain in complete sentences, because if she were to explain the concepts to someone learning it for the first time, they simply wouldn't understand it. 

 

I'm conscious however that this process often takes up time. I also feel that narration is a different activity to math, and I'm not sure whether I should leave this to when we actually do LA.

 

Am I being too pushy expecting proper narration, and asking her to speak in complete sentences?

 

I think it's perfectly appropriate to expect a 5th grader to explain/teach back what she's learned in Math. But I think that unless she's been doing it for some time now, that some time where you provide direction and scaffolding is necessary to help her learn how and to share her thoughts coherently.

 

Start with problems 2 grade levels below her current level, so that she is not puzzling with the problem, as she puzzles out how to explain/teach it. She needs to be confident in the math, so that she can focus on the presenting of the concept and explanation.

 

Ums, ers and finger pointing is the natural human fall back. Most people flounder with public speaking. It's only natural that children have to be guided and taught to do otherwise. Public speaking is a skill and a difficult one to master.

 

Start with verbalizing the concept and then talking through the algorithm.

 

Start with simple calculations. Math Mammoth teaches what each arithmetic operation means, so I would have her study those for help on explaining it. Start with straight forward calculations and practice going over the explanations and working examples with her. You put two problems on the board, and as you explain yours to her, line by line, she explains hers to you, line by line.

 

Then put up 2 more problems (of the same caliber) and let her explain/talk you through it, line by line, as you follow her explanation.

 

 

She'll need a "script" to help her model her explanations off-of for a little while. Once she's good at explaining just basic problems such as 89+54 or 12x34, then you can begin teaching her how to explain the connection between those concepts and word problems.

 

Her explaining a word problem, should sound something like

"From reading the problem, I am asked to find____________, and I know _____ and _____. The connection between the information I'm given and the information that I'm asked to find is__________."

 

Then, she can fall back on her arithmetic concept explanations. I would expect her to be able to learn it, but I wouldn't expect her to be able to do it without a lot of guidance and coaching first. But if you guys practice on just 2-3 problems, a few times a week, then she'll probably be able to do it more by the time that she gets to 6th grade.


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#7 EngOZ

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for the detailed post mathmarm  :laugh:

 

 

 

I think it's perfectly appropriate to expect a 5th grader to explain/teach back what she's learned in Math. But I think that unless she's been doing it for some time now, that some time where you provide direction and scaffolding is necessary to help her learn how and to share her thoughts coherently.

 

Start with problems 2 grade levels below her current level, so that she is not puzzling with the problem, as she puzzles out how to explain/teach it. She needs to be confident in the math, so that she can focus on the presenting of the concept and explanation.

 

Ums, ers and finger pointing is the natural human fall back. Most people flounder with public speaking. It's only natural that children have to be guided and taught to do otherwise. Public speaking is a skill and a difficult one to master.

 

Start with verbalizing the concept and then talking through the algorithm.

 

Start with simple calculations. Math Mammoth teaches what each arithmetic operation means, so I would have her study those for help on explaining it. Start with straight forward calculations and practice going over the explanations and working examples with her. You put two problems on the board, and as you explain yours to her, line by line, she explains hers to you, line by line.

 

Then put up 2 more problems (of the same caliber) and let her explain/talk you through it, line by line, as you follow her explanation.

 

 

She'll need a "script" to help her model her explanations off-of for a little while. Once she's good at explaining just basic problems such as 89+54 or 12x34, then you can begin teaching her how to explain the connection between those concepts and word problems.

 

Her explaining a word problem, should sound something like

"From reading the problem, I am asked to find____________, and I know _____ and _____. The connection between the information I'm given and the information that I'm asked to find is__________."

 

Then, she can fall back on her arithmetic concept explanations. I would expect her to be able to learn it, but I wouldn't expect her to be able to do it without a lot of guidance and coaching first. But if you guys practice on just 2-3 problems, a few times a week, then she'll probably be able to do it more by the time that she gets to 6th grade.

 



#8 EKS

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:08 PM

Teaching back something you just learned is difficult.  It needs to marinate.  When people are required to do things that they don't yet fully understand, they tend to rely on memorization/regurgitation.  So, when you ask her to teach the lesson back to you, you are actually reinforcing the idea that math is all about memorized processes, which I'm pretty sure is not your goal.  I'd give her some time to work with the material before you ask her to teach it back.


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#9 reign

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:58 PM

I think it is unreasonable to expect a 5th grader to be completely competent at teaching math lessons but a fine thing to work on. I do ask my daughters to teach back lessons on occasion.
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#10 OhElizabeth

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:26 PM

Not only is there the issue of instructional appropriateness (being asked to do two new skills at the same time, never appropriate), but there's also the question of whether she's able to do a similar narration in non-math situations and whether she has any underlying deficits in working memory, processing speed, word retrieval, etc. that would affect her ability to do the task. Challenges in sequencing or mild, undiagnosed anxiety would also make it harder.

 

Just because someone else's kid CAN and we read it on a BOARD doesn't mean our kid SHOULD.

 

If she has all the background in place, successfully doing narrations in other subjects, and has no working memory deficits, etc., etc., she'd probably slide into the task easily. My dd struggled, and it turned out she had clinically poor, like shockingly poor, word retrieval, in addition to low processing speed, low working memory, and ADHD. In other words, she's super bright (like most people would envy her ACT score), but that's not a task she's ever going to be able to do well. We moved on. There's more to life.

 

I would make sure she can do what's most important and be very cautious about buffaloing forward on things that theoretically should be good that may actually be limited by unrecognized problems. Not everyone gets $$$ evals to find out their quirks. Some things are just going to be hard for some people, and sometimes it's ok to let a few good things slide.



#11 EngOZ

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:17 AM

:confused1: My dd does not have a learning issue. But I get your point about the appropriateness of being asked to do two skills.

 

Not only is there the issue of instructional appropriateness (being asked to do two new skills at the same time, never appropriate), but there's also the question of whether she's able to do a similar narration in non-math situations and whether she has any underlying deficits in working memory, processing speed, word retrieval, etc. that would affect her ability to do the task. Challenges in sequencing or mild, undiagnosed anxiety would also make it harder.

 

Just because someone else's kid CAN and we read it on a BOARD doesn't mean our kid SHOULD.

 

If she has all the background in place, successfully doing narrations in other subjects, and has no working memory deficits, etc., etc., she'd probably slide into the task easily. My dd struggled, and it turned out she had clinically poor, like shockingly poor, word retrieval, in addition to low processing speed, low working memory, and ADHD. In other words, she's super bright (like most people would envy her ACT score), but that's not a task she's ever going to be able to do well. We moved on. There's more to life.

 

I would make sure she can do what's most important and be very cautious about buffaloing forward on things that theoretically should be good that may actually be limited by unrecognized problems. Not everyone gets $$$ evals to find out their quirks. Some things are just going to be hard for some people, and sometimes it's ok to let a few good things slide.

 



#12 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:38 AM

I don't think my boys could have done this in the fifth grade, but we had our own version: They worked out their problems on a chalkboard while I watched.

 

Having been the one to teach them the concepts and skills, I could tell in the moment whether they remembered and understood.

 

I'm not highly gifted in math, myself, so I was never very good at trying to decipher their thought processes while grading their lessons later (even if they showed their work on paper). But I could understand what they were attempting AS they did it, so we worked together at the chalkboard.

 

I agree with what mathmarm was saying about scripts -- providing the language with which to talk about the problem in front of them. Our version of that was to name a lot of the concepts, and use those same terms all the time. If my child didn't say, "Because of the commutative property of multiplication..." or "order of operations says I'll need to solve the problem in parentheses first," as he worked, I would supply those words.


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#13 fralala

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:26 PM

I've always asked my kids, "Okay, how did you get that?" about math problems...not every one, but occasionally for ones that I see as interesting or worth discussion, or after learning a new concept.

 

For me, I enjoy talking about it and seeing what's going on in their minds, and then I can say, hey, I did a different way, want to see?

 

I do think being able to explain how we've reached a certain solution is important in math, and being able to demonstrate the reasonableness of your answer, but to me the ability to talk through a problem or two with somebody else who understands the concepts (me) is enough.

 

This to me seems to be something we can do together than both enhances our understanding of math, of each other's minds, and of the concepts. I would not demand the kind of narration you are talking about, although it could certainly help her become a better teacher of math than I was when I began homeschooling! (I kind of LOL'd at your statement "if she were to explain the concepts to someone learning it for the first time, they simply wouldn't understand it" because it provided a brief flashback to my early attempts to teach math to my eldest daughter...understanding and doing and explaining and teaching really can be discrete skills!)


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#14 MrSmith

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:47 PM

There's a difference between grammatically clear and actually making sense. I think it is reasonable to require that a 5th grade student use complete sentences to describe something to another person.

Whether the student can explain the math (or whatever subject) in a clear way has more to do with maturity and practice than understanding. That is, one cannot tell if the student understands or not if they fail to explain orally. My kid can't narrate a proof to save his life but his written ones are quite good.
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#15 rbk mama

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 06:56 PM

This sounds like a good way of making a child hate math.  I know it would for mine!

 

I ask them how they got their answer (when appropriate, obviously not for every problem), to make sure they understand what they are doing.  But narrate in full sentences as if they were teaching?  They would hate that, and I don't see how it would help them.  They love math and find it fun and exciting, and talking about what they did is a normal conversation with no fixed rules and expectations. 


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#16 daijobu

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:06 AM

I've been coaching a MOEMS class for some years where students spend the first half hour taking the test, and the second half we review the problems we just did.  I have the students volunteer how the solved each problem, while I transcribe their solution at the white board.  

 

Some students raise their hand a lot, some prefer to listen to others.  Some students are quite articulate and can roll with it when I ask them to stop a moment while I catch up or clarify some point.  Some students are really excited because they know how to solve it, but then stumble because they can't always articulate their solution, so I will lead them a bit to get the ball rolling.  (Sometimes in the midst of describing their solution they realize an error they've made.  Usually they take it with a laugh.)

 

I think the students who describe their solutions aloud to their peers benefit from being forced (not forced really because they are volunteering) to describe their logic step by step.  (Sometimes that logic amounts to guess and check, but it's still valid and we embrace all valid approaches.)  

 

The students who don't participate still gain, I believe, because when they see their peers describe their approaches, it encourages them to see that they too can use some of those tools next time.  HTH.  


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#17 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 04:19 AM

I am really surprised at the amount of flack the OP is taking for asking this question.  Maybe there is some background baggage I am unaware of...  

 

Being able to discuss math using math terms correctly is an extremely important aspect of problem solving, and I would hope a 5th grader was near competent at it.  My 4th grader is.  I work hard with my 2nd grader on this skill.  I don't expect her to "teach" the material.  But I work with her on being able to explain her solutions to problems and being able to ask questions when she doesn't understand that don't involve grunting and pointing.  This is an ongoing process, and I don't expect perfect spoken math fluency form her or her older brother.  

 

To the OP, I would say keep working on this skill.  Maybe don't expect her to teach the material, but do expect (and coach her when necessary) her to explain a solution following logical steps.  This also helps a student think through how to WRITE logical steps of work, aka, "show your work", a process many students struggle with because they haven't practiced breaking their math down into discrete steps and then recording those.  

 

Phrases that I regularly force my kids to rephrase:  "I need to plus these together" (no, you either add them together or find the sum), "I need to minus these" (no, you are subtracting, and please give me the numbers in the correct order!, or say you are finding the difference between...), "I just know" (Tell me which fact you know that leads to this conclusion), etc.  I encourage the use of ordinal words, "First I..., then I... Next we..., Finally we..."  

 

Before ever solving a two-step word problem (with my 2nd grader, who I sit next to for math), I ask her "What do you need to know to answer this problem?"  I have her explain what she needs to know, then how to get that information, then how to use it to find the final answer.  F.ex. in the problem, "Julie has 4 boxes of 12 pencils.  26 of the pencils are red, the rest are blue.  How many blue pencils does she have?"  I would expect this, "First we need to know the total number of pencils, which is 4 times 12.  Then we can subtract 26 from that to see how many pencils are blue."  At that point, I would have her actually work through the math on her paper.  

 

For my older son (4th grade, just finishing SM5b), when he misses a problem, I expect him to be able to tell me how he completed the problem.  This allows me to know right off if it was a calculation error or conceptual error.  There is a huge difference in how I treat those two errors.  Also, often times he sees his mistake while talking himself through his solution.  Problem solved.  

 

 

 

 

 

I've always asked my kids, "Okay, how did you get that?" about math problems...not every one, but occasionally for ones that I see as interesting or worth discussion, or after learning a new concept.

 

For me, I enjoy talking about it and seeing what's going on in their minds, and then I can say, hey, I did a different way, want to see?

 

I do think being able to explain how we've reached a certain solution is important in math, and being able to demonstrate the reasonableness of your answer, but to me the ability to talk through a problem or two with somebody else who understands the concepts (me) is enough.

 

This to me seems to be something we can do together than both enhances our understanding of math, of each other's minds, and of the concepts. I would not demand the kind of narration you are talking about, although it could certainly help her become a better teacher of math than I was when I began homeschooling! (I kind of LOL'd at your statement "if she were to explain the concepts to someone learning it for the first time, they simply wouldn't understand it" because it provided a brief flashback to my early attempts to teach math to my eldest daughter...understanding and doing and explaining and teaching really can be discrete skills!)

 

:iagree:


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#18 arliemaria

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 07:22 PM

I would really like to see more discussion of how this is done or what the expectations should be for different age or levels of math.  Perhaps there is a book that already explains all of this that would be helpful.


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#19 daijobu

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:56 PM

I'd like to add that as my kids have aged out of MOEMS (starting in 7th grade), I ask them to coach the younger students.  Their first year as coach, I ask them to review the solutions at the board with me alone at home as practice before proctoring the students.  After that they gain the confidence to prep without my help.  I figure we check off the public speaking box and their students really love them.  (They are less uptight than I am.)

 

But I don't think that should be the expectation of all students.  It just happened to be right for my own daughters.  


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#20 Sherry in OH

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 06:51 AM

Begin by scribing for the child.  Ask leading questions as needed, but do not write anything the child does not say.  

 

For example:

 

4 + 2x = 12

 

You: ‘What do we need to do to solve this problem?’

Child: ‘Solve for x.’  

You: ‘How do we solve for x?’

Child: ‘Subtract 4.’

You: ‘Subtract 4 from where?’

Child: ‘From both sides’

You: ‘Subtract 4 from both sides of the equation?’

Child: ‘Yes.’

You write

4 + 2x =12

-4           -4

[If you are a stickler for complete sentences, ask child to state ‘subtract 4 from both sides of the equation’ before writing] 

You: ‘What is the difference when 4 is subtracted from 4 + 2x?’

Child: ‘4-4 is zero, so 2x’ (or ‘0 + 2x’ OR ‘2x’)

You: write response, if child doesn’t tell you that 12-4 is 8, prompt him for a response then write it.

You: ‘We have 2x=8, what should we do next?’

Child: ‘Divide both sides by 2.’

You write 2x/2 = 8/2

Child states x=4

 

You: ‘How can we check the answer?’

Child: ‘Four plus 2 times 4 is four plus 8 which equals 12.’

You: ‘Very good.  Let’s try another problem.’

 

If there is specific terminology you want the child to use, rephrase the child’s responses using those phrases.

Note: if child makes an error, write what child states.  Child may at that point correct you.  If not, decide whether to point out error or continue the problem until it is obvious to the child that there is an error.

If child does steps mentally, remind child that he needs to tell you what to do one step at a time.

 

Once the child become reasonably proficient at solving problems orally, prompt only when the child appears to be stuck. Do not ask child to write and narrate steps of a problem at the same time until child is able to dictate with little or no prompting while you scribe.

 

 


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#21 EngOZ

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:27 PM

Thanks for the detailed steps Sherry OH  :laugh:

 

I appreciate everyones advise, and to those who kindly took time to write detailed steps... I think my first step is to find a whiteboard and come back to this post.

 

Begin by scribing for the child.  Ask leading questions as needed, but do not write anything the child does not say.  

 

For example:

 

4 + 2x = 12

 

You: ‘What do we need to do to solve this problem?’

Child: ‘Solve for x.’  

You: ‘How do we solve for x?’

Child: ‘Subtract 4.’

You: ‘Subtract 4 from where?’

Child: ‘From both sides’

You: ‘Subtract 4 from both sides of the equation?’

Child: ‘Yes.’

You write

4 + 2x =12

-4           -4

[If you are a stickler for complete sentences, ask child to state ‘subtract 4 from both sides of the equation’ before writing] 

You: ‘What is the difference when 4 is subtracted from 4 + 2x?’

Child: ‘4-4 is zero, so 2x’ (or ‘0 + 2x’ OR ‘2x’)

You: write response, if child doesn’t tell you that 12-4 is 8, prompt him for a response then write it.

You: ‘We have 2x=8, what should we do next?’

Child: ‘Divide both sides by 2.’

You write 2x/2 = 8/2

Child states x=4

 

You: ‘How can we check the answer?’

Child: ‘Four plus 2 times 4 is four plus 8 which equals 12.’

You: ‘Very good.  Let’s try another problem.’

 

If there is specific terminology you want the child to use, rephrase the child’s responses using those phrases.

Note: if child makes an error, write what child states.  Child may at that point correct you.  If not, decide whether to point out error or continue the problem until it is obvious to the child that there is an error.

If child does steps mentally, remind child that he needs to tell you what to do one step at a time.

 

Once the child become reasonably proficient at solving problems orally, prompt only when the child appears to be stuck. Do not ask child to write and narrate steps of a problem at the same time until child is able to dictate with little or no prompting while you scribe.

 



#22 Hunter

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:40 PM

I find it easier to verbally discuss math, when it was presented to me in certain styles.

For example, this older edition of Ray's Arithmetic that predates the more modern editions published by Mott Media.
https://books.google...bs_similarbooks

My verbal skills are stronger than some of my STEM skills. To interact with math with words works for me. Lucky for me, I can find some classic free books from when children were expected to narrate math.
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#23 Hunter

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:43 PM

This is probably a bit young for your daughter, but I love Hoenshel's instructions of number stories.

Hoenshel's Progressive course in English Teacher Manual
Pages 11-16
Composition scope and sequence for grades 1-3, including composition work for math
https://books.google...=gbs_navlinks_s
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#24 daijobu

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:54 PM

This is probably a bit young for your daughter, but I love Hoenshel's instructions of number stories.

Hoenshel's Progressive course in English Teacher Manual
Pages 11-16
Composition scope and sequence for grades 1-3, including composition work for math
https://books.google...=gbs_navlinks_s

 

Ooh, I love those exercises, creating word problems given the operations and numbers.  It reminds me that many students on the AoPS message boards prepare for exams by writing their own questions.  


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#25 Hunter

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:56 PM

An oldschool pre-Y2K classic

Writing in Math Class.
https://www.amazon.c...s/dp/0941355136

I think I found this book when my son was about 11/12. It was hard back then to find math writing resources for high school level math, but I tried.

I remember we had a calculus book that included writing assignments. My memory of the title is long gone.

I think some of math writing and journal ideas might be somewhat applicable to narrating.

I was a bit overkill on my son being able to communicate about math, as his dad not using standard notation and being unable to communicate with coworkers contributed to us living in poverty.
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#26 Hunter

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:07 PM

As to your comment of it taking time. As I have been studying classic methods of math instruction and have found more and more resources that assist me in providing a more verbal math experience, I am very aware of time constrains. Some time can be transferred to the language arts period, but truly some other things would need to be skipped, to fit much of this in. That is okay with me, but I know would not work for others.

I'm fascinated with our number system, in the same way I am fascinated with phonics.

I'm mostly taking a break from tutoring, but I'm still spending hours a day preparing to teach. I have a lot to learn that consumes me. Classic math instruction, especially from the 1700s and 1800s, is at the top of the list. Those people loved their catechisms, rules, oral compositions, recitations, and object lessons that taught precise vocabulary.
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#27 Hunter

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:09 PM

You might like Blumenfeld's chapter on Arithmetic and our number system.
http://blumenfeld.ca...Arithmetic).pdf
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#28 Hunter

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:15 PM

There is so many living math books now, but back in the old days, there were not many.

We loved Mathematicians are People Too
https://www.amazon.c...s/dp/0866515097

I got ahold of every scrap I could, that mixed language arts with math. Teaching math while hunched over with belly pain because I couldn't afford a doctor, and wearing a winter coat because we couldn't afford heat inspired me to end the cycle of not being able to talk about math.
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#29 EngOZ

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:49 PM

Thanks for your input hunter, I'll go back over those resources. I hope things get better  :sad:

 

There is so many living math books now, but back in the old days, there were not many.

We loved Mathematicians are People Too
https://www.amazon.c...s/dp/0866515097

I got ahold of every scrap I could, that mixed language arts with math. Teaching math while hunched over with belly pain because I couldn't afford a doctor, and wearing a winter coat because we couldn't afford heat inspired me to end the cycle of not being able to talk about math.

 


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#30 Hunter

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:29 PM

Thanks for your input hunter, I'll go back over those resources. I hope things get better :sad:


Things are different now. The boys are grown and I got a divorce. I just still hang out here because educational theory is a hobby and I still do some tutoring at times. And I like you all!

Good luck choosing what to prioritize. There is no way to do it all. If we push the kids too hard, they go into power-saving mode and adopt passive-aggressive methods to survive us.

Communication about math is a passion of MINE, and is ONE way to do math, but certainly not the only or "best" way for all.

Good luck! 5th grade was a great year for us. It was just younger son and I, and it was our first year. He was so excited to be allowed to accelerate, especially in math and Latin. We had fun.
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#31 Farrar

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:38 PM

I am really surprised at the amount of flack the OP is taking for asking this question.  Maybe there is some background baggage I am unaware of...  

 

I think the "baggage" if there is some is that some of the math guidelines in Common Core and some of the interpretation of them has kids in early elementary doing a great deal of writing to explain their math. Or, it has them doing a great deal of specific sorts of drawing (the specifics depending on the particular curriculum). And it's just creating a lot of problems for some kids. I think getting a 6 year to explain in clear terms how addition works is just difficult for a lot of kids. First graders have trouble explaining what they want for dinner.

 

Of course, 5th grade isn't 1st. And kids do need to be able to do all this and get fluent with math vocabulary. It's a built up skill. I'd be hesitant to overdo it. Or to require that it be free of "um" sounds. I think, especially at first, it's best done as a child is doing a problem. As in, it's easier to explain what you're doing as you're doing it than to explain it in the abstract. And I strongly agree that sometimes it needs to marinate before being required. Explaining what you learned is maybe for the end of the chapter, not the end of every lesson.


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#32 daijobu

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:44 PM

I think getting a 6 year to explain in clear terms how addition works is just difficult for a lot of kids. First graders have trouble explaining what they want for dinner.

 

Of course, 5th grade isn't 1st. And kids do need to be able to do all this and get fluent with math vocabulary. It's a built up skill. I'd be hesitant to overdo it. Or to require that it be free of "um" sounds. I think, especially at first, it's best done as a child is doing a problem. As in, it's easier to explain what you're doing as you're doing it than to explain it in the abstract. 

 

I see this a fair bit.  A student will explain to our MOEMS group that "the angles are the same" and I will briefly interrupt to say, "they are vertical angles and so have have the same measure" both to gently correct and mostly so the other students will be able to follow and understand.  It's fun to see them improve and take pride in their explanations over the years.  They start out barely able to articulate and require a lot of hand-holding, and as they gain practice and mature, all I'm doing is copying at the whiteboard what they are telling me.  


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#33 Rosie_0801

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:51 PM

As to your comment of it taking time. As I have been studying classic methods of math instruction and have found more and more resources that assist me in providing a more verbal math experience,

 

If you ever get to test this out on people with dyscalculia but who have much higher verbal than non-verbal intelligence, I want to hear about it.



#34 okbud

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:38 AM

The OP is afterschooling. I think people are concerned he's asking too much in general, not that there's no value in "teaching back" mathematics.


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#35 Hunter

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:02 AM

If you ever get to test this out on people with dyscalculia but who have much higher verbal than non-verbal intelligence, I want to hear about it.


I also want to test this out more in the other direction of people with higher math skills and lower language skills, like my son.

I sense that there wasn't always such a divide in math and language and art and other skills in the 1800, and a more natural use of them. Or at least an attempt at a more natural combining and use. Some of the books I read give me a glimpse into a less artificial and isolated approach to every subject.

Nature study, geography, and art were also SO integrated into every other subject including math.

Many of the "new" educational ideas are not new. They just are more complicated, expensive, and less effective ways of doing what was done in the 1700 and 1800s. Books were smaller, and teachers knew how to teach and teach and teach from those small volumes. Children narrated, wrote, dramatized, memorized, went outside, and did art about everything. Not just busywork, but sensible assignments that grounded them into their world and made them useful within it.

We cannot just blindly adopt the old ways for all children. The average child did not complete the abastract and isolated knowledge that many people value today. I disagree that rushing into the abstract and isolated is best for all children, but I respect those who choose that route, and know it is needed and pleasurable for some. There is no one size fits all education in our complicated world.

But this is a subject that fascinates me, and that I see as a teaching tool, and knowing the pros and cons, intend to us in MY tutoring in the future as a default. Each student gets an individualized plan, but more and more I'm settling into defaults, getting good at those defaults, and mostly offering what I'm good at, and finding other tutors to send students to that are not appropriate for my defaults.

I started these studies with a little 5th grader who was barely verbal but fully ready for high school level math, way back in the 1990s, and even a little before that when we started a bit of afterschooling. It is a part of ME at this point, and I don't know how to teach any other way.

Watching my exH argue with a business partner over math, knowing that the completion of that project was needed to put food on our table, set the stage for decades of study on combining language arts with math. The math they were arguing about wasn't advanced. The partner didn't fully understand the foundation of our number system despite knowing a LOT of advanced math, didn't know that exH had created and incorrectly borrowed symbols from the standard notation, and they both were unable to communicate about it all. And throw in lots of testosterone and worries about finances, and it was pretty heated.

I stood to the side, as so many homeschooling parents do, and plotted how to make things better for my kid and to break the cycle. It is typical for us to get tunnel visioned on preventing what is going wrong in our own lives.
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#36 Hunter

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:09 AM

The OP is afterschooling. I think people are concerned he's asking too much in general, not that there's no value in "teaching back" mathematics.


Ahh. I don't know the OP. We must tend to post mostly in different subforums or threads.

As much as I gravitate towards verbal and written maths, I'd be very hesitant to ask a 5th grader to narrate back much of what was taught in school.

#37 Janeway

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:13 PM

I would have her explain it coherently or it would not count. If she cannot explain it coherently, she probably does not get it, does not really get what she is doing.


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#38 CadenceSophia

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 03:14 PM

I would have her explain it coherently or it would not count. If she cannot explain it coherently, she probably does not get it, does not really get what she is doing.

 

 

Except that, afaik, this girl is doing 3 full math curricula -- one in school, and two more after school. Plus the LA she gets in school, plus more LA at home every day. She might just be tired, or deliberately balking one more expectation.


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#39 Hunter

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:28 PM

Some students are absolutely capable of doing certain maths years ahead of being able to talk about them.

My son spoke English like it was a second language. He spoke like a very intelligent foreigner.

We spent a LOT of time talking about math, but I didn't automatically expect him to be able to talk about all lessons.

Who here hasn't had a math teacher that was unable to talk coherently about a certain topic?

To hold all children back from all advanced lessons unless they can translate it into English isn't a good idea.
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#40 EngOZ

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:12 PM

Sorry but you're making wrong assumptions.

 

 

Except that, afaik, this girl is doing 3 full math curricula -- one in school, and two more after school. Plus the LA she gets in school, plus more LA at home every day. She might just be tired, or deliberately balking one more expectation.

 


Edited by EngOZ, 21 March 2017 - 12:43 AM.


#41 EngOZ

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 02:12 AM

Hi Okbud, again I think that you and CadenceSophia are making the wrong assumptions about the way I afterschooling.

 

I'm here to learn from others, not make how I afterschool an issue. So if you feel strongly that I'm doing something wrong, than maybe I need to rethink what I'm doing.  

 

I'm willing to explain my situation, but I don't want to do so on a public forum for obvious reasons. Feel free to pm me your questions and I'll try to clarify. 

 

The OP is afterschooling. I think people are concerned he's asking too much in general, not that there's no value in "teaching back" mathematics.

 



#42 CadenceSophia

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:52 AM

Hi Okbud, again I think that you and CadenceSophia are making the wrong assumptions about the way I afterschooling.


I don't think I am making assumptions about anything. I only based my comment on your thread on the accelerated learner board, and the thread on the afterschooling board where you posted your schedule and curricula.

People all over the world have different values about schooling and what a child's day should look like. This is fine. You don't need my stamp of approval. There are plenty of people on this board who will agree with you.

I just think some people may have given their advice not realizing that this is an afterschooling question, which means more factors in play.
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#43 gstharr

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:30 PM

Late to the party, but here is my 2ct.  My 6th grader has been doing accelerated on-line math programs since the 2nd grade.  At first there was a lot of supervision, and interaction, But by 5th grade, I worked myself out of the process.  The thing I check most is his progress and chapter test results.  I analyze error trends and work with him on these. Only occasionally will I ask him to explain something to me.  Mostly, to keep him on his toes that I am interested and involved. I really don't pay much attention to what he actually says.  I am casually listening for the key/buzz words appropriate for the unit.  I mostly correct when he says "it", instead of the proper term.  But no why am I expecting him to be articulate or teach the subject. 


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#44 EngOZ

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 05:18 PM

I'm working with my eldest dd towards more independence learning too. As a few have mentioned, I've started listen more and encouraging her to use the right math lingo. I also mark what she does so I can analyse her errors, and if there's too many, we stop and revisit what she's done. Over the last few days, we've been going back over some of those errors and working on them together. This is great because we get to spot the gaps in her learning, and so fill it and move on. 

 

My 6th grader has been doing accelerated on-line math programs since the 2nd grade.  At first there was a lot of supervision, and interaction, But by 5th grade, I worked myself out of the process.  The thing I check most is his progress and chapter test results.  I analyze error trends and work with him on these. Only occasionally will I ask him to explain something to me.  Mostly, to keep him on his toes that I am interested and involved.

 



#45 EngOZ

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 05:35 PM

This is a serious problem, and why you need to understand that you're making gross assumptions.

 

For example, you assert I do 3 full math curriculum. Wrong. I change curriculum often - last month we were on MathUSee, now I use Math Mammoth as our main curriculum. My children don't use a formal math curriculum at school. And yes, I've ordered two curriculum, CWP and BA, but we've spent nearly two months doing CWP, we haven't touched Beast. Will we stick with CWP, maybe, will it change by next week, next month? Critical Thinking - we spent 1-2 days on it, completely dropped. LA, I said we do narration, dictation, copywork, etc. In reality, we gave those things a try, but since my post we've only stuck with 10-20 min read aloud in bed, listening to audio cd's and just practicing narration in different forms. I'm still trying to figure out narration that will suit my kids learning style.

 

I come here to learn from the wisdom and experience of other homeschoolers. And when I find something that works for me and my children, like Miquon Math, Phnomics Pathway, CWP, etc. I refine my approach. My children are excelling academically, we're more bonded from time spent learning together...that's just priceless.

 

I could go on, and on and on. This list will change faster than you can type your next post.

 

What's the point of thinking you know our afterschooling style, or that you know me and my children enough that you can explain it to other people on here?

 

Have you spoken to my childrens teachers? Do you know our family values, and cultural expectations? Do we even live in the same country and experience education in the same way? Do we even share the same schooling philsophy as to make such sweeping assumptions???

 

And for the little information you think know and that you readily and negatively share with others, you base it on 1-2 public posts that I've written on a public forum???? That borders on either stalking or cyberbullying. 

 

The only thing that's constant are the questions i ask. As I have said to Okbud, don't try to make public representations about me. If you have "baggage" to offload, you're welcome to PM me your concerns and I will try to answer them.

 

So with respect, don't. make. assumptions. on the way I afterschool. 

 

 

I only based my comment on your thread on the accelerated learner board, and the thread on the afterschooling board where you posted your schedule and curricula.

 


Edited by EngOZ, 21 March 2017 - 07:22 PM.

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#46 Hunter

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:04 PM

Wow! Can we talk TOPIC, instead of judging and assuming and bringing up old threads?

The TOPIC is narrating maths. It is a fascinating and useful topic. Why ruin it?

I know I'm stuck in oldschool, the good and the bad of it. But being one weirdo among a bunch of others, we didn't throw stones from our own glass houses. Maybe I and my peeps were wrong then, and I am doubly wrong now to still be acting that way now, and triply wrong to expect modern homeschoolers to copy me, but DANG. This is not fun! And I dont think it helps ANYONE.

If someone thinks a parent might be being a bit pushy, there are effective ways to talk about the TOPIC, and one's OWN mistakes in that area, that will provide a standard that a parent can measure their own practices against, and maybe re-evaluate what they are doing, while feeling respected, included, and safe to make mistakes and correct them.

Homeschooling is HARD. And as much as we tweak and tweak, we never get it "right" for ourselves, never mind able to supply a template that is fit for all homeschoolers of all abilities and worldviews around the entire world.

In group therapy there is a practice called "I statements" meaning we offer statements about ourselves and refrain as much as possible from making "you statements".

Some people here have all sorts of stuff they are not sharing online. What they DO post is often out of context of that missing info. I know as much as I DO say, there is still a LOT I'm NOT saying. And other people who are majorly holding back tend to contact me by PM and post in private forums I am invited to. People hold back. Some have to. Sometime you all have NO idea the background of some posters here.

I turned 50 recently, have PTSD, probably am a bit on the autism spectrum, and am just weird. So maybe I need to just be ignored. But this isn't fun. And I dont think the least fun parts are the most efficient way to do things.

My social worker called me out on that my "efficiency" talk is a worldview too, judgemental, and unwelcome if I'm implying others too should prioritize efficiency over shaming. But I dont know. I'm not sure I believe her. I dont understand the point of some of what is happening in this thread. There must be something satisfying to others that is not fun for me. Or something people feel IS more useful and efficient above other useful methods of communicating.

I'm making "you statements" now, aren't I? :lol:

I like talking math topics that are not curriculum based. Don't others? I dont know the OP well and would like to get to know him better. He started a good thread topic, didn't he? Don't we want him to keep starting thread topics like this? Don't we want to learn and grow and bond as a community while reading and posting? I'm probably just being an autistic nerd right now. Oh, well.
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#47 okbud

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 05:19 AM

I just think some people may have given their advice not realizing that this is an afterschooling question, which means more factors in play.


Right.

#48 4kookiekids

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 08:41 PM

Ummm. Reading through this thread (at least near the end) was a bit depressing...

 

SO my thoughts on the original question are that most people don't know how to talk about math, and if you want your child to be able to talk about math competently (regardless of whether it's math she learned today or math she learned last month), you need to first model what it looks like to talk about math. This may sound stupidly obvious, but I'm not sure it is in a homeschooling environment, since there may not be a teacher doing the teaching verbally and visually in front of the child (perhaps the child is reading or being read to, but that's different than having a mathematical conversation, imo) and thereby demonstrating what it is you would like. So I'm totally in agreement with the above posts about leading the child in what you expect and desire and modelling precisely what you would have her do. Perhaps, initially, that looks like you reading together, and you giving a summary/explanation of the material the way you would like her to and doing a sample problem for her. Then slowly involve her more in the process (let her come up with the sample problem, let her work out your sample problem, start to discuss the topic and then ask her to finish, etc. - whatever works for you!).



#49 EngOZ

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 04:34 AM

This post has already gone pear-shaped beyond repair. I prefer a PM/private dialogue, I don't like calling anyone out. But when one's choice is disrespected because one has decided to afterschool, and their ideas quashed... one could either ignore the critics or silence them. So let me finish off by pointing out one last hypocrisy - the argument about "...not realising that this is an afterschooling question" (full context here: https://goo.gl/XgcQTh)
 
 
EngOZ, on 24 Feb 2017 - 10:28 AM, said:
My 7 yo dd is very reluctant to do any kind of afterschooling. She's in grade 2 and is doing well in academics. She's a social butterfly, very creative, and would prefer to draw and colour in, rather than do any after school work.
 
Often I have to resort to banning her online games time or not paying her for her chores to get her to act. I don't really like this tug of war and I was hoping that you can share what you use to motivate your own reluctant learner.
 
 
okbud, on 24 Feb 2017 - 10:45 AM, said:
I'd either homeschool or send her to school. She's seven. No amount of external motivation, even if successful, is worth spending more than 8 hours a day in a school frame of mind.
 
 
okbud, on 24 Feb 2017 - 10:48 AM, said:
Wait, there's an agreement in place that she's paid for chores, but you don't pay her even though she does them to """motivate""" her to do more school after she's been at school all day where, in your words, she is doing very well?
 
Dude.
 
That's a recipe for resentment and a shut-down.

Edited by EngOZ, 26 March 2017 - 04:47 AM.