Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Blog Bleg about Math

Bleh, right?

My general question is this, Is it important that your child/student correct all his errors in schoolwork? I know in school you are given a grade and the assignment is finished, but is it an advantage to homeschoolers that they have the opportunity to correct their mistakes? Has this process helped your children make fewer future mistakes? I offer the following as an elaboration on one way this impacts our school day.

Banana has really amazed me in her ability to grasp Math concepts, something clicked with her last year and her Math skills have blossomed. She almost always completes her preliminary work and her Lesson Practice (5-7 questions making sure she grasped the current lesson) with no mistakes. Occasionally I might have to re-explain a topic in a different way, but she always seems to get it.

That said, almost everyday she misses several Mixed Practice questions. Mixed Practice is around 30 questions reviewing all of the concepts she has learned. She misses these not because she is having any real problems. She makes simple calculation errors, or she copies the problem incorrectly, on occasion she even misreads her own handwriting (mistakes a 0 for a 6 kind of thing). In earlier grades Saxon had a front worksheet and a backside that mirrors it so we had a deal, if you get it right on the front you don't have to do it on the back. This system worked wonders for her. Now, though, there is no mirrored problem sheet and I think she needs to complete each problem because they cover different concepts.

So, do you make your children/students correct all of their mistakes? Is it important to take the time to make the corrections and recheck them? Math takes a long time for Banana as it is, and it would be an understatement to say that I have a full plate. As it stands now, I do (mostly because of my perfectionist tendencies), for the most part, require her to take the time to fix each mistake which means she has to redo the whole problem even if it was a simple mistake. I then check each correction which means extra paperwork I have to keep straight.

Am I making too much trouble for myself, is it better to point out the mistake and then move on? I will always require her to fix problems that I think may indicate she is struggling with a concept, but should I require her to fix all the silly errors? If I don't have her correct each problem on her own, how do I encourage her to be neat and precise in her work?


kim said...

well i don't know but i do remember when they made us do that in grade school and thats when I really learned it, when I went back and fixed it. i think its better certainly. but I don't think my kids teachers make them do that. math gets harder and harder every year though so its better if they build on their kowledge.

On the previous post, oh my I wish my dd liked to read. My dd hates to read anything and my eldest son too does not like reading. I wonder if the kindle would make them more interested though. we might get that next year.

Shannon said...

For silly, careless errors, I don't make my oldest do the whole problem over, but I do point it out to him. My big thing on that is trying to train him to "double check" his work because in real life those errors can mean a lot. If he makes an error and obviously he hasn't mastered a concept, then he does the whole problem over again sometimes with me help. You are doing a great job Nikki!!