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Another Math woe: can someone explain this child to me?


SGPS
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My child works best at Math without my input. It seems that it all goes smoother if I just hand him a worksheet and walk away. I also have to insist that he does it silently. I don't know why .. and this is what I really would love an honest answer to .. but if I'm involved - either actively or just able to hear him work through it out loud - he intentionally fools around, giving wrong answers to things he either knows or could easily work out. I can tell it's intentional by the way he's talking. Not the tone .. that doesn't change - he sounds genuine - it's what he says. It's as if he is trying to draw my attention to his error (he'll draw the required 6 marbles, count them as six, then write 7 as the answer and try to discourse with me about how nonsensical this problem is). If I walk away, tell him to work silently and that he'll have more to do if he fools around (I hate threats but I'm confused and frustrated and need help! It's an act of desperation!) then Math is completed in the few minutes it's supposed to take with minimal error. I'm convinced he just hates me and wants to make me miserable but then, this only happens with Math ... well, actually it happened at one point during phonics too when he was doing a lot of practice of stuff he'd learned but hadn't mastered and OPGTR said not to move on until he quit mixing up the short vowel sounds and instead of getting better he started behaving as if he had forgotten how to read ANYTHING. Problem resolved when we moved forward instead but he still mixes up vowel sounds when reading from time to time. That's not a subject I could have left him to work on silently either.

 

So, why is he doing this? Why does he despise me so much during math that he wants to make me run for the nearest bridge? I could actually enjoy homeschooling if it wasn't for this subject. Is my presence provoking him somehow? Does he see my "help" as patronising considering he apparently has a pretty good grasp on what he's doing (although hasn't mastered it)? Is there a problem with me just leaving him with a worksheet, blocks and a pen and letting him have at it?

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My middle son will give silly answers sometimes. In his case, I chalk it up to age. He's still 4. :P I'm hoping the silliness will get a LITTLE better by time he's 6 or 7. :) My oldest very occasionally does silly answers, and it's usually because he already knows how to do the material, so it's silly for him to even be doing it.

 

Are you doing anything "new" to your son? Or is it mostly review with a bit of new in there? My oldest likes it when I teach a new concept on the white board. It's just taken us a while to get to new concepts. :tongue_smilie:

 

Also, sometimes I just have to be stern and remind them that there are times to be silly and times not to be silly. School is a time not to be silly (except in certain circumstances when Mom says it's time to be silly during school :lol:).

 

I don't think your son hates you. ;)

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I have one who delights in tormenting me. But I know he adores me too. And... well..... I don't really get it either, except I think he loves having POWER over his mama. I am am working on keeping my cool. I am trying to chuckle at his antics and hoping they diminish when they get less of a negative reaction.

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I see you're using MM- I'd be inclined to allow a child who works best independently the worktext and then go fold laundry or something else in the room.

 

I don't think it's that he hates you, he just prefers to figure things out for himself. My brother was like that, which is one reason why the traditional PS we attended growing up was such a bad "fit" for him. He didn't want to sit there listening to the teacher talk, talk, talk.

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MM is my spine. My supplemental (and preferred) curriculum is highly dependent upon me and I've started avoiding it unless I have a particular desire to torture myself for five minutes which I rarely do. I have no problem dropping curriculum that provokes provocative behavior which in turn may drive me to drink. I just feel somewhat out of place with settling on the idea of sending my young child off with independent Math work but I suppose as long as he's showing understanding there's no need me being more involved than necessary. :-/ I guess MM is a perfect fit in this case. I did want be sure there isn't some underlying interpersonal issue that needs addressing that I'm not seeing but if not, that's good I guess.

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You know I have an 8yr old and a 5yr old that does the same thing to me. While we do the lesson I get wrong answers, goofing off. etc. But if I say okay, I explained it then hand it over to them and walk away. They do the work and show me that they did to understand it. Grrrrrr. They may just be more independent. I don't know. I guess that's why I like CLE , because once I'm done there is work for them to do by themselves.

 

A good example today. My 5yr old and I were going over subtraction problems. She goofed off by saying 3-1 was 3 pass away 1. Okay so I'll give her some creativity for that. But she kept giving me the wrong answer. Once we were done with the lesson and she did the Can Do this lesson . She got all her addition and the two subtraction problems right! It blew me away.

She did the same thing to me during reading too. I think they just get irritated and want to be independent. Maybe it depends on the order of things. I find its my 3rd and 4th that feel they don't need my help. My 8yr old definitely gets annoyed if I try and help her. So I am starting to get into the habit of asking first if she needs it.

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Guest gooseberry

I hope this helps. I saw your post(s) and was so amused, I joined the forum just to leave my two cents. I have homeschooled my son since he was born, I suppose is the correct statement. He has been a joy to teach, but at times it leads to some amount of thinking out of the box. Ever since he was a baby he has pulled those type antics you describe. I learned early to spot them. Just some thoughts here to help. I found with my son, that as he was old enough to reason with, I was able to ask him why? Well, you will be surprised at the numerous answers. Believe me, your child doesn't hate or despise you, he loves you very, very much. It is a game. They are intelligent. They want your attention. At the same time they want a challenge, and are testing you to see if you are up to the challenge and if you can spot/play their games. It gets better as they get older. They are thinking out of the box because they need a challenge. So, I found that this would occur when boredom set in, or he just wanted a change. I found role playing works really well. Switch your roles (don't be the studious attentive student, if you know what I mean). Have them teach another student. That gives them a different perspective, and respect for your position as teacher. And by all means, give them a challenge. Just half way through the book and find some problems that are difficult to solve. Logic problems on a board first thing before they brush their teeth. You will be surprised how fast they hit that board in the morning for the challenge. Logic books work like Lewis Carroll's, maze books, construction challenges as in engineering. challenge them to build a bridge out of small recycled materials that will hold a certain weight. Even a chess or checkerboard can be utilized for math challenges.(my son came up with that one to teach someone else, totally amazing). So, rest assured you children love you, adore you, but want you to challenge them, but also want to challenge you. As I said before, I hope this helps.

 

Gooseberry farmer

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I hope this helps. I saw your post(s) and was so amused, I joined the forum just to leave my two cents. I have homeschooled my son since he was born, I suppose is the correct statement. He has been a joy to teach, but at times it leads to some amount of thinking out of the box. Ever since he was a baby he has pulled those type antics you describe. I learned early to spot them. Just some thoughts here to help. I found with my son, that as he was old enough to reason with, I was able to ask him why? Well, you will be surprised at the numerous answers. Believe me, your child doesn't hate or despise you, he loves you very, very much. It is a game. They are intelligent. They want your attention. At the same time they want a challenge, and are testing you to see if you are up to the challenge and if you can spot/play their games. It gets better as they get older. They are thinking out of the box because they need a challenge. So, I found that this would occur when boredom set in, or he just wanted a change. I found role playing works really well. Switch your roles (don't be the studious attentive student, if you know what I mean). Have them teach another student. That gives them a different perspective, and respect for your position as teacher. And by all means, give them a challenge. Just half way through the book and find some problems that are difficult to solve. Logic problems on a board first thing before they brush their teeth. You will be surprised how fast they hit that board in the morning for the challenge. Logic books work like Lewis Carroll's, maze books, construction challenges as in engineering. challenge them to build a bridge out of small recycled materials that will hold a certain weight. Even a chess or checkerboard can be utilized for math challenges.(my son came up with that one to teach someone else, totally amazing). So, rest assured you children love you, adore you, but want you to challenge them, but also want to challenge you. As I said before, I hope this helps.

 

Gooseberry farmer

 

 

Thank-you for taking the time and trouble to join the forum and respond. Your insights make sense as I think about my son and they have been a great encouragement, helping me to move from hopeless frustration to appreciation of him. I will be taking these things to heart. Thank-you so much!

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