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Old 12-26-2011, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 9,700,861 times
Reputation: 19417

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
A good story:

When I was in elementary school I had to learn all the state capitals. And I just wasn't getting it. So I went to my dad who was a geography whiz. He quickly turned a very dull lesson into a game. We came up with rhymes and word clues for all the capitals so I could list them in class on the test.

Thirty years after that one of us would say, "Noisey, Boisey I-da-ho!" and we'd start laughing. Why does learning have to be dull and boring and come from a place of pain? (And yeah, I still know all fifty capitals.) Sac-ra-men-to has a doe-doe. (I aced that baby, lol And my dad was as proud of that A as I was.)
DEW! That's horrible!! Your father actually HELPED you with your lessons!?

Okay.... Seriously now...your father is great! Look how long that information has stuck with you, because your dad spent that time with you, helping you...making it interesting! Hmmm I wonder why your dad was a geography wiz? Could it have been that he found it FUN and interesting?

Some of us do understand the difference between doing our children's homework for them and reinforcing our children's education. No parent is helping their child by taking their work, correcting their mistakes for them, then having their child turn in the "improved" work. Parents who do that are only teaching their children to cheat!

If a child puts his/her name on an assignment, which was completed by another student, then gets busted for it, it would be considered cheating. The same should apply to an assignment done for a child by a parent. The difference between helping your child and doing their homework...is in the teaching. You teach your child so that they are able to do it themself. You reveal what is wrong and show them how to do it right. As your father did, you use whatever tools you need to use, in order to get that information to stick.

What you DON'T do....is make the experience so friggin' miserable, that your child never wants to come to you for help again!
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: TX
6,009 posts, read 4,967,766 times
Reputation: 2585
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmel View Post
If a child puts his/her name on an assignment, which was completed by another student, then gets busted for it, it would be considered cheating. The same should apply to an assignment done for a child by a parent. The difference between helping your child and doing their homework...is in the teaching. You teach your child so that they are able to do it themself. You reveal what is wrong and show them how to do it right...
Mostly agree. But, I do believe you should first simply tell your child that SOMETHING is wrong on their homework. You gradually get more specific if they're struggling, but you do want to give them the chance to hone their ability to check their own work. Something like this:

First, "I see an error on this page. Try and find it."
Second, "It's between questions 11 and 16."
Finally, "It's question 14. Now look in your book and find the correct answer."

That's for homework. You may need to actually tell them what's wrong if you're dealing with a book report. But NEVER physically correct anything for them. The mere act of erasing and writing/circling again is what helps them remember it.

It's also a good idea to REVIEW their homework's corrected answers, if not all of them. Students dread tests partly because of all the reviewing they suddenly take on at once, when they should be reviewing every day.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Asheville NC
1,414 posts, read 1,175,123 times
Reputation: 3284
Default This is so true

Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmel View Post
This is a really great post Vic! The whole point is to teach children! You don't do their work for them. What kind of an instructor simply tells a child, "This is bad!", but never tells the child anything other than, "It's wrong and you've made too many mistakes!"? A really bad instructor, that's who! It leaves far too many unanswered questions and simply tells a child that they're either worthless, stupid or lazy!

Okay....so it's WRONG. WHY is it wrong? HOW is it wrong! What do I need to do to make it right? A "teacher" who only criticizes is simply a critic. A "teacher" who instructs...is a REAL teacher!
A critic and sometimes a stumbling block to certain kids.

I read through some of my son's work, in elementary and middle school, made suggestions for where he should check his spelling, or grammar. Spelling was always a bone of contention, because he didn't think it was all that important. He was usually in a hurry to finish, and go on to something else. (He always said that he would have a secretary to do that stuff, and as it turned out he has an executive assistant that does that stuff.)

I did not push him on grammar or spelling in high school and only checked his work if he asked.

English was one of his favorite subjects, and he enjoyed creative writing--so much so that he has 2 certificates, from high school state writing tests, from the governor for excellence in creative writing. It is my theory, that if someone enjoys something they will do a better job of it.

If he had had a teachers who espoused the pain theory, knowing my son's personality, he would not have thrived.

Another example is the drown proofing/ swimming class that my son was in at 2. The month before he was to start, I took him to watch the instructor through several sessions with the babies--most of them were crying the whole time. (Because we had played with him in the pool and at the beach quite a bit he was not afraid of the water, and most importantly he was not afraid of putting his head under the water.) While we watched, I would say things like-"They must be crying because they don't know how much fun it is. I know that you love playing in the water." In other words making it sound like the lessons would be fun. And do you know what?? They were fun for him, and he never cried.

Before I get bombarded by teachers saying that learning doesn't have to be fun and games, I know there are lots of things in life that we have to do that are not fun, some things are going to be hard for us, some impossible, and many require long hours and hard work. Why start out telling our students that this "subject" is hard, and they are going to have to work hard to understand it?? Why not help them when they ask?? Spend a little extra time with them to explain the "hows and whys"?? To me not to do so, is just being negative and putting up unnecessary roadblocks.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: WI
2,828 posts, read 3,078,411 times
Reputation: 4833
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
A good story:

When I was in elementary school I had to learn all the state capitals. And I just wasn't getting it. So I went to my dad who was a geography whiz. He quickly turned a very dull lesson into a game. We came up with rhymes and word clues for all the capitals so I could list them in class on the test.

Thirty years after that one of us would say, "Noisey, Boisey I-da-ho!" and we'd start laughing. Why does learning have to be dull and boring and come from a place of pain? (And yeah, I still know all fifty capitals.) Sac-ra-men-to has a doe-doe. (I aced that baby, lol And my dad was as proud of that A as I was.)
I like your dad, Dew We had a similar experience with games/songs really helping my son- he had a hard time memorizing some of the circle formulas (area, circumference, etc.), so his teacher taught him some songs. His favorite went like this: "Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, area is pi r squared".

Learning can be fun! And often times, the more fun a kid is having, the better they are at that particular task, as the capital rhymes and circle songs illustrate.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 9,700,861 times
Reputation: 19417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
Mostly agree. But, I do believe you should first simply tell your child that SOMETHING is wrong on their homework. You gradually get more specific if they're struggling, but you do want to give them the chance to hone their ability to check their own work. Something like this:

First, "I see an error on this page. Try and find it."
Second, "It's between questions 11 and 16."
Finally, "It's question 14. Now look in your book and find the correct answer."

That's for homework. You may need to actually tell them what's wrong if you're dealing with a book report. But NEVER physically correct anything for them. The mere act of erasing and writing/circling again is what helps them remember it.

It's also a good idea to REVIEW their homework's corrected answers, if not all of them. Students dread tests partly because of all the reviewing they suddenly take on at once, when they should be reviewing every day.
Vic, I think this is where many people struggle. Getting your children to understand the difference between "studying" their materials vs doing their assignments can be difficult. Students dread tests, because they don't "study" the materials. So many of them simply do their assignments, then never go back over the materials again. If they're assigned odd numbered questions, they simply DO the odd numbered questions. If they went through and did ALL of the questions, then simply handed in the odd numbered ones, they'd have twice the practice in.

I always tried to get through to my kids that using those unassigned questions, on their own time, as a means of concreting that information into their brains, is a great way of building their confidence during test time. KNOW the material. Unless you've got a photographic memory, it can take a considerable amount of studying to really KNOW something.

You can talk 'til you're blue in the face, to your kids, unfortunately, unless THEY see the truth in your advice, it's just talk.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:08 AM
 
Location: WI
2,828 posts, read 3,078,411 times
Reputation: 4833
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
But your papers are not being graded. Who deserves the grade for proofing if the proofing is done by someone other than the student? AND students should be learning to proof their own work. A lower grade is the consequence of not doing so. Parents who proof their children's work remove the natural consequence of children not proofing it themselves. Children learn best through natural consequences. All you teach a child is it's someone elses job to proof their work when you proof it for them. The difference between you and the child in question is that child is still learning how to proof. You should already know how. Yes, you double check before publishing, but kids should get the grade they deserve not the grade mom deserves.
Oh lordy. No, I'm not getting a grade as in an "A", or a "B", but it's the real world. I'm getting a "this is great! What an interesting way to market this product!" or a "Straw, what the hell are you thinking?". If there were grammatical errors that went unnoticed by me and the proofreader changed them for me, they're not doing the work. I did the bulk of what was written, they fixed two or three things. I'm not sure why you think a parent pointing out a missed comma, for example, is them doing the work for the child. It's something that every writer in the professional world does

Last edited by strawflower; 12-26-2011 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 9,700,861 times
Reputation: 19417
Quote:
Originally Posted by funisart View Post
A critic and sometimes a stumbling block to certain kids.

I read through some of my son's work, in elementary and middle school, made suggestions for where he should check his spelling, or grammar. Spelling was always a bone of contention, because he didn't think it was all that important. He was usually in a hurry to finish, and go on to something else. That sounds eerily familiar. LOL (He always said that he would have a secretary to do that stuff, and as it turned out he has an executive assistant that does that stuff.)

I did not push him on grammar or spelling in high school and only checked his work if he asked.

English was one of his favorite subjects, and he enjoyed creative writing--so much so that he has 2 certificates, from high school state writing tests, from the governor for excellence in creative writing. It is my theory, that if someone enjoys something they will do a better job of it.

If he had had a teachers who espoused the pain theory, knowing my son's personality, he would not have thrived. Nor DO many thrive under that type of cold tyranny!

Another example is the drown proofing/ swimming class that my son was in at 2. The month before he was to start, I took him to watch the instructor through several sessions with the babies--most of them were crying the whole time. (Because we had played with him in the pool and at the beach quite a bit he was not afraid of the water, and most importantly he was not afraid of putting his head under the water.) While we watched, I would say things like-"They must be crying because they don't know how much fun it is. I know that you love playing in the water." In other words making it sound like the lessons would be fun. And do you know what?? They were fun for him, and he never cried.

Before I get bombarded by teachers saying that learning doesn't have to be fun and games, I know there are lots of things in life that we have to do that are not fun, some things are going to be hard for us, some impossible, and many require long hours and hard work. Why start out telling our students that this "subject" is hard, and they are going to have to work hard to understand it?? Why not help them when they ask?? Spend a little extra time with them to explain the "hows and whys"?? To me not to do so, is just being negative and putting up unnecessary roadblocks.
Funi, the thing of it is, so many of the kids who struggle in school need to hear that they're "making headway". When kids don't get a certain amount of constructive, positive instruction, many of them will give up completely. How many times have you heard people say, "I'm just not good at that!", "That has never been one of my strengths."? It makes me wonder just how many of those same people heard, as children, "You're just not trying!", "Clearly, math/reading/writing/art are just not your strong suits". Isn't it better to word things to children something more like, "This can be a bit more work for some than others. Here are a couple of ways that you might find helpful........"?
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:57 AM
 
15,811 posts, read 13,261,648 times
Reputation: 19712
I had a student get an 82 on her first lab report. Her mother came in and told me how wonderfully written it was because SHE was a professional writer. It eventually (after 3 meetings) came out that the mother would make the child change all of the corrections we made in class (we go over rough drafts for the first lab reports as a group) since she "was a professional writer". She made the child take it out of the passive voice (something most science papers are in), made her use direct quotes instead of paraphrase (another science no no) with in text cites, and put all of the the citations in MLA instead of CBE.

Meanwhile I had to miss three tutoring sessions to have these meetings and couldn't work with my students who actually were seeking out help. Ugh.
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,812,796 times
Reputation: 14503
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
You know, parents aren't always "fixing it". Sometimes parents are actually helping the child grasp the subject.

If my child came home from school and said, "I have homework on X but I still don't understand how X works" I am NOT going to say to him, "Do what you can and turn it in." I was going to sit down with him and say, "Let's go over it together and see if you can figure it out." Then I let him do his homework. If he had questions he was free to ask me, my DH or an older brother for help in understanding things.

I have NO problems with parents who help supplement classroom learning. None. Seriously.
Correcting their mistakes teaches them that it's your job to correct their mistakes when it's their job to do that. I've graded so many papers over the years that I know were not written by the student. They were, clearly, redacted by parents. These kids learned nothing.

I have no problem with parents supplementing classroom learning. I have a problem with them fixing mistakes so kids get better grades. Kids need to learn how to proof their own work.

There's nothing wrong with reteaching something to a child. I never said there was. My complaint is parents who fix their child's mistakes for them. If my kids come home and don't understand something, I make up a similar problem to the one they have to do and we work on that one together. THEY do the one they have to turn in. If they ask me if it's right, I'll tell them if it is or it isn't. I'll make up another problem if I need to but I will not tell them the answer to the one they are turning in to be graded. THAT has to be their work no matter what the grade. I do them no services if they turn in a correct problem and the teacher is unaware that they really have no idea how to get that answer.
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,812,796 times
Reputation: 14503
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmel View Post
Funi, the thing of it is, so many of the kids who struggle in school need to hear that they're "making headway". When kids don't get a certain amount of constructive, positive instruction, many of them will give up completely. How many times have you heard people say, "I'm just not good at that!", "That has never been one of my strengths."? It makes me wonder just how many of those same people heard, as children, "You're just not trying!", "Clearly, math/reading/writing/art are just not your strong suits". Isn't it better to word things to children something more like, "This can be a bit more work for some than others. Here are a couple of ways that you might find helpful........"?
For clarification. What I said is that I would not pat a child on the back for effort when results were dismal. That sends the message that good effort on their part yeilds dismal results. That's a put down. I will tell them, instead, that I know they are capable of better work. THAT is a positive reinforcement of their ability.
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