Monday, November 05, 2007

How NOT to Help With Homework

It was homework time tonight, and it was my turn to help Amanda. She had some math to do, and it was mostly learning how to round numbers up or down to the nearest 10, 100 or 1000. It seems to me, once you understand the concept, it should not matter how many numbers there are. I guess it's not that simple to a third grader.

So I tried to help, but Amanda got stuck at one point. Made no sense to me...she had just worked all of these problems, tried something new, and then when we came back to the first kind of problems, she could not do it. I grew frustrated. She grew frustrated. I yelled. She cried. We finished that part and stopped for supper.

And then I had time to think.

Let's see...if I were a third grader and had homework to do, would I want to do it if I got yelled at for not understanding? NO.

Would I want to spend time with my Daddy doing homework if I got yelled at? NO.

Was this making school/math/homework a positive experience? NO.

Would I leave Amanda in a class if I heard the teacher yelling at her like I had done earlier? NO.

Was I proud of myself? NO

After supper, I encouraged Amanda's small steps in the right direction instead of getting frustrated with the ones in the wrong direction. Somehow we got through it, and we were both much happier than before supper.

Did Amanda forgive her Daddy? YES. (whew)

So tonight I learned how NOT to do homework. Hopefully it is a lesson I will remember.

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