Oct 15, 2013

My Old School Ways

Helping Emily with her homework tonight, I totally understand why God did not put teaching kids in my heart - because I am very easily frustrated when what seems obvious to me is not so to the poor girl, and I can't explain it to her because my "old school ways" are not how the kids are taught today - leading to more confusion and frustration.

At least I am smart enough to reach out to her teacher for help. :-)

Tonight was about fractions, but let me use a different example...

I will never understand why the methods of teaching certain subjects and/or concepts change. Let's take math, for instance. When I was in school, we memorized multiplication tables. Now, when I need to multiply numbers to 12, I visualize the table in my head and easily pull the answer. Today, kids are taught some random multiplication facts with no rhyme or reason.  My daughter has to count on her fingers because she has no frame of reference other than a bunch of random numbers floating in her head.

Basic math facts haven't changed in, what, 1000 years? 2000 years? 9000 years? Yeah, I know, there is a shift away from committing things to rote memory. Why? What is wrong with having a solid base of facts that one "just knows?"

I have always admired teachers, even when I was a smart-mouthed student. The more homework I have to try and help my children complete, the more admiration I have. There is no way I could do that each and every day without tossing the book out the window and doing it my "old school" way - whether the topic covers math facts, the periodic chart of the elements, the parts of a cell, proper use of "they're, their, and there," or the myriad of other things students have to learn.

We'll get it figured out eventually. I just hope we do before the test.

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