Thursday, September 22, 2011

Homework Help

Edina teachers are exploring innovative ways to help students (and parents!) with their homework: see examples of screencasting here and here.
Ric Dressen @EdinaSuper

Helping our kids with homework can sometimes be very stressful. Have you ever found yourself spending a lot of time arguing with your child over a certain homework problem, only to arrive at the conclusion you were both either arguing the same point, but with different words, or seeing the original question in entirely different ways?

This is definitely more of a problem when the kids get older, but, here are two great moments where I learned a couple of important lessons while helping my then first-grader with her homework. I still smile at the memory, and of the laughter we shared. A good reminder to really pay attention to how you and your child may be looking at the same homework problem, but seeing entirely different things!

Lesson One
As adults, we may read the question with our full focus on the delivering the “right” answer from a whole different viewpoint or set of values. For example, a bigger half is better than a smaller half, right?

Our children, on the other hand, may be focusing on the real question being asked, which to my first-grader was, “Do you like fruit bars?”  If not, the right answer is definitely “B.”

Lesson Two
Sometimes the questions contain references that seem so obvious to those of us of a certain age, but they are not so obvious to someone born in, say, 2004!

Digital clocks? Not so much help in solving fractions. I love it.

Take aways for me? Keep it light, really listen, and check in often to see if you and your child are even looking at the same homework problem!

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