Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Great Math Stand-Off

Pictured to the right, you will see K., sweetly working on letters with her Daddy, and T., looking pathetic and put-upon. They were taken fairly early today, when T.'s disinclination to do his math work was just turning into the great math seige. There wasn't anything new or unusual about today's assignment, but, for some reason, T. just did Not want to do math today. He drove Ed to despair with passive resistance, and then, after his disgusted daddy told him that That was It -- he could have an extra lesson on Sunday (which we all knew wouldn't happen), his meanie of a mommy printed out a page of simple math problems for him to do on his own.
After 20 minutes, during which time the problems mysteriously failed to work themselves, I (meanie mommy) offered him another page of problems if he didn't get cracking. He still didn't crack, I provided more problems. This went on for quite a while (with a break for lunch), until I finally posted the problem on my favorite internet home school board. I got lots of responses, ranging from sympathetic and helpful to astonished horror at my cruelty in expecting so much of my little muffin. After Ed and I got a good chuckle from the "astonished horror" responses, T. and I settled in to working through the problems together, which was one of the more useful suggestions. After a break for gymnastics/grocery store/dinner, we are getting ready to finish them up (and we will still have to make up the rest of today's subjects on Saturday).
I've certainly learned that assigning extra pages is not effective with this kid, but I still don't understand Why. If someone told me that, if I shilly-shallied over an appraisal report, they would add on an operating income statement, followed by a rent schedule, you can bet your britches that I would Hop to It and get that puppy Done! Further proof that T. is not a mini-me after all, I guess.


Andie said...

I can relate to your little muffin's reaction. When faced with *Consequences* or *Large Challenge* my very first, deep down, little kid instinct is "YIKES! HIDE! FREEZE! DIG IN! QUIT! RUUUUN!"


I hope the rest of your school day was better.


Dy said...

LOL @ horror.

What I really hate is when I set a consequence and it doesn't work... and the kid just gets in deeper and deeper. And at some point I realize that if I can't change gears, he's going to fall into the failure pit and never emerge. James is like that. Well, come to think of it, so is John. The whole idea of "just do it now, and do it without whining" hasn't quite penetrated with them on some issues.

Anyway, I'm glad that suggestion was helpful - it's helped bail my overly-enthusiastic rear out more than once.

You might enjoy MUS if Saxon isn't working for him - the boys actually enjoy math and the scary thing is *I* am learning a lot along the way! LOL!

Here's to a MUCH better Friday, and a fresh start!

Melora said...

I definitely learned a lesson from this. Now all I need to do is figure out what Does work to motivate my sweet boy!

Celena said...

oh jeez, that's the saddest, most pathetic looking kid EVER! You're such a MEANIE!! (just joking, of course!)

Melora said...

Yup. He does pitiful Really well. I had another picture, taken 2 seconds later, of him laughing, 'cause he thought he was being so funny. He is a performer.

Sarah said...

"Astonished Horror"--*giggle*