I had some fun planned for our homeschool day. First we’d get a little math out of the way. ALEKS – Esmé doesn’t like computation practice, but she can do her review and master a topic in under 10 minutes when she has her game on.
Her topic choice of the day, however, left much to be desired in her mind. Round two or three numbers and add the rounded numbers to come up with an estimated sum. I explain how I use this little trick all the time in evaluating financials, working budgets in a group setting, etc. It’s perfectly handy and good to know when you need approximate numbers on the fly.
But WHY would you calculate an estimated sum when you can calculate the actual sum?! Absolutely ludicrous to Miss 5yo Esmé, who can calculate actual sums perfectly fine, thank you very much….
So she didn’t get her game on. Refused to do it. Insisted she didn’t know how.
I tried various motivators. I gave her a time limit. Started taking the fun plans away one by one. Sent her to her room for some serious time out.
She was fine. No worries – she popped in a read-aloud CD and read along in her Bible storybooks, curled up on her bed.
These are the times her intrinsic motivators kick in. She couldn’t care less about the motivators I attempt to use on her, even less about my feelings on the matter.
Me – I’m miserable. All these plans for naught – there is so much cool stuff we could be exploring together.
I wonder if I’m ludicrous to “discipline” my 5yo over her refusal to do 3rd grade math on a non-school day.
I wonder if I’m ludicrous for expecting my 5yo to do math that makes no sense to her. Should I just let her lead the way? I’m the one who believes she’s an autonomous learner. Maybe I should back off.
My issue is not so much the math – I know she CAN do it. It’s the refusal to follow directions. To do what is asked even when it doesn’t make sense in her mind. That is the biggest behavior issue her teachers have with her at school, and the biggest issue we have with her at home.