Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic

Reverse-engineering math problems

Little Fayoumis is still on his elevens. He was frustrated over it, and wants to get up to the twenties. I pointed out that he'd been getting less and less of them wrong, which meant more and more of them right. Furthermore, we could use the problems he'd gotten wrong as guidelines of which problems to have him recite until he got them memorized.

This cheered him up immeasureably. We did that. Some of them he got right. Some of them he did not get right on the first try. We went through the patterns with him. He went on to his homework. We had him do the patterns with the two-digit numbers (13-7, for example, starting from 13-0 = 13, 13-1 = 12, 13-2 = 11) and then when he started getting lost, we had him stop, and go back to the ones before, and repeat them until he could make his way through the pattern unerringly, and not make silly mistakes like 13-5 = 9, en route to 13-7.

I was terribly thrilled when he looked at 14-7 and immediately answered, 7! Because he'd just done 13-7, it was 6, so 14-7 had to be 7. That is the sort of thing we've been wanting him to get. And now he's getting it, so we're thrilled.

Did have to remind him that when he gets mad at himself and says "I'll never get it," that hurts him, not helps him. Want him to turn his frustration to helpful behaviours, not self-loathing. Helping him logic it out, not scold him for persisting in negative behaviors, is helping. Yay, us.

"When you say stuff like, 'I'll never learn it,' does that help you learn it or not help you learn it?"
"Help me learn it?"
"No. Actually, it doesn't. It makes it harder for you to learn it. And do you want to learn it?"
"So, say, 'I want to learn it!'"
"I want to learn it!"

Later today, he tied easalle's kid JD's shoe in the car, and reassured JD that once he'd thought that he could never tie his own shoes, but now he can, and Marxdarx showed him how! So, the "I thought I never could but now I can" lesson is sinking in. Yay for him being a good role model.

Also reminded him that he had to be a good role model for JD today. Who was hyper. Not surprising, given that he's 4. LF is 7.

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