Monday, October 29, 2007

I Gotta Think Simpler

Will today ever end? That's what I was thinking early this morning. And I was thinking it late this evening. It was one of those days when nobody understood anything. You say times or multiply and I'll be darned if they don't add. You say divide and they can only think of multiply. I don't get it! LOL That's the newest term around here. When the boys don't understand something, they say "I don't get it".

Well. You know what? I don't get it either. Why in the world when I say multiply, would you add? I gotta think simpler.

MJ did this problem like 4 times today and kept coming up with the same answer. Here's the problem...9+8=___
We all know the answer is 17. Right? Right. And MJ knows the answer is 17. Ok - most days he knows the answer is 17.
Today he added and added and added. He came up with 9 every time. We talked about it...over and over. I ask him, "MJ how can you have 9 and add 8 to it and come up with 9". Finally he looked up at me and held up 9 fingers, "I don't know why mom, but today it equals 9".
You gotta just shake your head sometimes and go on. I did - I shook my head a couple of times. I tried every way I knew to help him come up with the right answer. And when the light bulb comes on...It really comes on.

Tonight JD had some math to finish up. He and I were laying on the floor in the den, working on a couple of problems. Yes - it was division. Oh yeah, you guessed it. He wanted to multiply every time. While he was working on these math problems, his feet were just a swinging away. He kept picking up the cat cubicle with his feet. Me just about at my wits ends finally ask him to keep his feet still. He kept them still, for all of about 5 seconds. Somehow, someway the cat cubicle managed to reach over and hook itself on his foot. He started shaking his foot trying to get it off - finally he said "Get off me you foot snatcher". I lost it! I busted out laughing and I couldn't stop. I couldn't even explain what the heck I was laughing about. I would get calmed down enough to start explaining and I would just bust out laughing again. Side splitting, jaw cramping laughter. It took me well over 10 minutes to finally be able to explain what I was laughing about. Yeah they all giggled, but to me it was hilarious. Guess that just goes to show that I really lost it.


karisma said...

Well, Im glad that foot snatcher ended your day in laughter!

I refuse to let myself stress over math or any other subject these days. Its just not worth the frustration.

I taught DB to add by using counters, anything will do even buttons. Sometimes its hard for them to concentrate when something is not visual. If they can see and touch objects while learning. They learn much quicker.

It also works for the multiplication problems. Give him a bunch of buttons tell him to put them into groups.

EG. 3 x 6 = either 3 groups of six buttons or vice versa. Its easier to start with division. Give him the 18 buttons and have him divide them into 3 groups, one button at a time. Its so simple, but its brilliant and it really works. Back to Basics!

When we started homeschool DB was a whole year behind. So I started him on stuff a whole year back. He caught up really quickly. Its amazing how they learn things all of a sudden.

parisukat said...

yeah karisma has a point there.. kids learn faster if you associate numbers with stuff that they are interested in.

.. but AJ's answer was cute though..
I could imagine the headache you got.

Btw, I love country living too, nothing could be more relaxing and refreshing being away from the crowded city..

Sayre said...

Maybe some days 9+8 really does equal 9...

In fact, I'm having one of those days right now!

Melitsa said...

I love their little expressions like the answer when it involves number is negotiable. Today it can be whatever answer I want..... :) Common sense usually bangs them on the head a little later. :)

Thanks for sharing with the Carnival of Family Life- bonfire edition

JHS said...

I'm late getting around to visit all of the Carnival participants. (Crazy week . . . only excuse!)

THANK YOU for being part of Colloquium's inaugural edition. I appreciate your support.

Don't forget that this week's Carnival will be hosted at All Rileyed Up. If you haven't submitted a post yet, you can do so until midnight (Pacific Time) tonight!