Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Being blamed for teaching our children

My wife called last night to tell me how impressed she is that our 5-year-old girl could add up 99 cents worth of change. Usually she only calls me if she wants me to do something.

The girl can actually do a lot better, as I have taught her all of First Grade math. I used the Singapore math workbooks, which are a lot better than the math textbooks that the California schools use.

But I get no credit for teaching the kids. My wife submitted this complaint to the court psychologist:
W. Since separating from George, George has had the children, while they are at his home, do an extreme amount of workbook pages. He assigns the workbook pages as a method of baby sitting while he works in his office. He sometimes uses workbook work as a condition to being fed.
Now here is some seriously delusional thinking. I have taught our 5-year-old all of First Grade reading and math. It is just not possible to teach a child First Grade by just giving her some workbooks and ignoring her. Kids that age need a lot of attention, and teaching phonics requires one-on-one instruction.

If I were able to magically persuade the child to teach herself First Grade by herself, then why would anyone have a problem with that?

It does sometimes happen that one of the kids will want a between-meals snack, and I say something like, "Dinner will be ready in 20 minutes. Just finish 2 pages, and we'll all eat dinner." Again, I am baffled as to why she thinks that there is anything wrong with that. Surely she realizes that I cannot always give into the demands of a 5-year-old.

Another complaint is:
U. George allows Jenny to do Mary's school homework.
Jenny is in Kindergarten. Mary is in Third Grade. If a Kindergarten kid can really do Third Grade homework, then something is seriously wrong. Either the Third Grade homework is much too easy, or the Kindergarten is not sufficiently challenging. Probably both.

1 comment:

Kilyle said...

In one summer, I significantly improved my nephew's reading skills (albeit I had to bribe him because he wasn't pleased with all the work he had to do). More recently, we got him onto Khan Academy, where he's working on math, including geometry and algebra although he's only 9.

He does maybe three lessons in one day - each lesson less than five minutes - and yet his mom is incensed that I would dare to have him earn his computer privileges this way. This is a kid who can be on the computer for four or five hours straight if no one else wants it.

Given how often we babysit him, I feel I have a right to set some standards when he's at our house. There's no way I'm letting him scoot by on the minimal amount of teaching she gives him; I don't care how much he argues. I'd like to increase his load but I'm facing pressures from half the family over this, so half an hour is about all I can do right now.