|badgerbag (badgerbag) wrote,|
@ 2009-04-22 10:44 pm UTC
I need to keep the house reasonably tidy and organized so that I can move around in the house. And my computer chores pile up too, so I need to do a backup and clean up my hard drive and find lost files. I think I just lost my entire web site and files from 1995-2002. Could I really have lost them? It's so horrible!
Minnie came over with her Mr. Pants who is almost 2. my nephew is damn cute. He likes to flail around and he talks up a storm now. He is EXUBERANT. She brought me a chicken pie!!! Yum!! We gossiped and hung around. I sat on the ground and trimmed the plants in the back yard. Moomin & Mr. Pants and Nukie watched Chip and Dale video for the bazillionth time.
Moomin did his homework fairly quickly. I sat with him and tried to bully him into NOT writing things into one square of graph paper. So he would attempt to write "323" in one square. ARRRGH. With his usual light touch so that it is nearly impossible to read. WRITE BIG! STOP ERASING! QUICK! Draw the line QUICKLY! I try to say I am the Speed Coach and I praise a lot too, but he feels badgered. His math is impressive. I feel that his desperation to follow the rules is eroding his (never firm) capacity for common sense. Like, I *know* that in his head, he knows that $4.00 minus $3.97 is 3 cents. But it has been beaten into him to Show His Work so he thinks he has to write it all out. For fuck's sake! And Argh!
First, they fold the paper long ways so that there is a stripe down both edges. Then they draw a line across the top and two lines to mark the columns. If you have seen Moomin draw something, you will now be smackng your forehead in despair because he insists on drawing slowly and precisely. I think I am going to make him practice creating those 3 column pages and drawing fast lines. Anyway, in column one they write the number and what the problem is (which means he writes down insane amounts of stuff there sometimes.) Column two you Show Your Work. Column three you write the answer. So picture a headdeskishly easy "problem" like a graph showing a line that goes through 1,1 2,2 3,3 etc. and a multiple choice to which the answer is clearly "C. X and Y are equal to each other." Could a child write:
No a child instead must, or thinks he must, stare at the paper a long while to figure out what to write in column one to describe what the problem is and finally squashes a ton of stuff like (1,1) (2,2) etc in there. in column 2 he shows his work by writing a bunch more stuff. Finally in column 3 he writes C then circles it, making it illegible, and writes X =Y next to it.
Hello... so unnecessary.
I think he might be freaked out if i do this but i woudl like to sit with him and the teacher and get the teacher to say that yes, please use your common sense, and just write C. if that is the obvious answer.
Part of why this all pisses me off is that he is great at math, he sees through instantly to the answers a lot of the time. He had a problem in the book today that was,
Sam is twice Perry's age. Sam and Perry's ages together add up to 21. How old are they?
First off he went "Oh, now THIS is algebra." Then he said that Sam was S and Perry was P, and S = 2P. And S+P=21. Then he wrote it out and got the answer and he was so lightning fast. Showing his work in this case, i thought was very sensible and I said so and praised him highly. He was clearly so satisfied in figuring it out. Like, he had a smug little smile. For someone who just turned 9, I think it's beyond awesome. I feel like the crappy rote homework approach sucks the fun and joy out of math and that is really too bad!
I explained about converting hours to minutes to seconds and back and watched him have a sort of epiphany as he divided 18440 by 60 a couple of times. It was a reverse question so, "60 x 60 seconds is an hour. The answer is 18440. what is the question?" We pointed out to him that the smartass answer would be 18441 - 1 is the question.
After everyone left we worked on a rubber band shoebox guitar. I realized that despite 2 years of waking up early for choir practice he does not know what a scale is or how to sing 1 2 3 4 5. That is just cheesy and sad. a little music theory, too much to ask!? Knowing what an octave is? A third? Hello!!! Argh!
It's a good school anyway, and I think that 2 years ago he was not ready for music lessons but he likely is now.
We read the Mr. Toad chapter of Wind in the Willows and discussed Star Wars some more.
I am exhausted. I have to keep in mind I'm doing an okay job at all this. And not pressure myself too much on the creative front. I had pictured long relaxed evenings of reading and writing poetry with no BOOK or TALKS hovering over my conscience and no giant work project without end that I have to learn a week's worth of a new programming language to figure out how to even begin. Instead I am watching hip hop videos on youtube, whining about my child's math homework not being fun enough, and getting up every 15 minutes to clean up more of the house. OMG! What if I become a boring person? More than I already am, I mean? (I don't mean that seriously- am making fun of myself)