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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Homework - Corrections for mistakes

It's 9.00pm which is past the children's bedtime. We are in the final lap of our homework run. (As you know if you have been reading my earlier post The Mad Homework Dash) sometimes homework extends after dinner despite working on it all day with hardly a stop in between.

The girl (who had returned from school at 4pm, had to eat her tea in the car and have a quick bath before starting  her homework dash) says...

"Mummy, what shall I do? I have these 4 mistakes in Maths. The answers were correct but I didn't write the working down. The other day teacher asked me to see her and when I did she said "Why didn't you...." then she stopped and sighed "Haih. Later!" and waved me away. She said "you better do your correction!" I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to do the corrections 10 times for each sum or 20 times. I'm not sure how teacher wants the workings or formula done. If I do it wrongly, then she'll ask me to erase them and do them all over again. If I go and ask her how she wants it done, she'll scold me for not knowing. If I don't do it, she'll scold me for not doing it. If I do it wrongly, she'll scold me. I'm scared! How?! I can't ask my friends. I'm so tired of asking my friends. None of them seem to know what to do all the time."

"Ok, I think, I'll write each sum down 10 times in this manner (which I'm not sure whether is correct) and then I won't give it to her unless she asks me because I'm scared that its wrong and she'll get mad and if she asks me at least I have done something ....."

Then she proceeded to write down the sums, 10 times for each sum. 4 sums = 40 sums while the clocked ticked on past her bedtime.....


  1. 10 times for each sum is too much, isn't it?
    Spelling is a different thing.. (but not 10 of course). Maths.. u need the working and all!

    And the teacher is not approachable.. :(

    1. Yeah. Once I had a talk to the teacher about how fierce she was and how frightened of her my girl was and she smiled and thanked us for the feedback. Then she said she will talk to my girl about it but she scolded her instead. Sigh.

  2. I think it's ridiculous to show the working for the maths problem 10 times as correction esp when she has gotten the answer right. At such a young age, the kid's mind is burdened with trying to figure out what's the best way to avoid scolding, being in a catch-22 situation all the time, feeling damned if she does, and damned if she doesn't. I wonder how healthy that is in the bigger picture for kids in such schools with such systems and such teachers. It's good your kid is mature enough to take all this nonsense and to have a good family environment at home to balance it out. Not all kids can or have, unfortunately :)

    1. Anna, it took up the time when she should have been in bed resting. In addition to that she worried about it before she went to sleep and she worried about it before she left for school and I could only come up with feeble unhelpful suggestions like, "ask your friends", "ask your teacher", "no need to do maybe your teacher will forget it." followed by "show your teacher since you've done it", "go to sleep." blah blah and a host of other ridiculous things which didn't help at all. :(

  3. Wow...poor kiddo. I really feel for her. Can her friends help?

    1. She's tired of asking her friends and I think they are tired of her asking too. Sigh.

  4. Math is not about memorizing but understanding. Sigh, teachers now a day are not longer an inspiration to students compare to many years back. If you don't do well in class, they won't bother to teach you so that your parents will send you off to tuition. They only see the extra money but what about parents that are not rich enough to afford those extra fees? Seriously, I feel bad for you girl on this :(

    P/S: you should make a complain about the teacher, you're being nice and giving feedback but your kid suffer from her ego problem. If she got no heart to teach, she might as well don't waste the students time by traumatizing them!

    1. Nath, Actually, the teacher is not that bad. She is under stress herself. Each time I see her, she is always rushing around looking harried and very stress. I guess she has her pressures to make sure her class of over 40 performs. When I mentioned to her previously to relax and not be so fierce with the students she explained to me that she can't because that way they will climb all over her head and she won't be able to control the class (I guess she is the old school type).

      My girl happens to be a child with anxious personality, so that sort of adds to the problem. She just told me that her friends told her maybe its just copy one time, and it depends on what the teacher asks them to do.

      I explained to my girl that by being strict with them on the workings, teacher actually wants to help them build a strong foundation for later on by helping them to get it right the first time.


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