Monday, March 8, 2010

Math Worksheets - the bane of my existence

I love my octagon.
I love my octagon.
I love my octagon.
Say it until you feel it.  

The little dude is bright.  He could do math equations in his head, craft fact families out of legos, toys, boxes, etc. until the cows come home.  But will he WILLINGLY do a math worksheet?  Absolutely not.  

All I ask is one a day, so he can practice actually writing the numbers.  
Right now he's up in his room for 5 minutes because he put up a fight on today's worksheet.  He zipped through the most recent math "tricks" in Two Plus Two Is Not Five by Susan R. Greenwald, but self-determined he was not prepared for the test (I use one of the review sheets at the end of each tier).  So, we're doing one review sheet each day this week to get ready for the test. 

Reasoning with him doesn't work.  Wheedling and cajoling SURE doesn't work.  Forcing him to sit at the table until it's done doesn't work (I've got a life too; he's along for the ride.  He knows this and will hold out until it's time to leave the house.  Problem solved).  So, he's in his room for 5 minutes or until he's ready to buckle down and get to work.  My guess?  5 minutes will come sooner.

Everything I hear says he needs to be writing his math answers out to be at the right level for first grade.  His tutor and my mother-in-law, my go-to-gal for first grade standards and development, and the esteemed math professor at Lander, my go-to gal for out-of-the-box math thinking, both say "the boy needs to be writing down his math."
I don't know if it's a reaction to being forced to write out answers in a timed environment in the traditional school setting, or just a natural aversion to the way his brain works.
He loves math.  Am I making him hate it by forcing him to do math worksheets?
Oh wait ... I hear footsteps on the stairs.  With a hug from mom and an "I believe in you," my little octagon is ready to work. 

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