01 February 2011

Algebra is easy!

So sayeth the SCSon!

MArooned bragged about his son pwning the boards at his local league.  Good on ya.   Ain't it great to be a dad!  But I didn't expect I'd get to follow on anytime soon.

The SCSon has struggled in math, mostly because he wants to take short cuts and gets lazy.  He loses carrys & borrows.  Been there, done that.  I check his homework every night and most of the time the first pass is about 50% and it takes 4-5 passes to get it right.  I won't do his work for him but I'll have him explain his process and ask where he went wrong.  If he doesn't see it, I keep asking questions until he discovers the error.  It's a long and tedious process, frequently involving tears and tantums (IOW, "JUST FIX IT DAD!")  But I won't.  Your work, your score.  You're the one that has the test on Friday, not me.

I asked about his homework tonight.  He said "it's over there and it's all correct."  They are doing simple algebra (x-15 = 27, solve for x) and somehow it clicked in his mind.  He only missed one (a picture problem where he didn't write the initial equation correctly) and he inadvertantly skipped a problem.  So one to "do" and one to "redo".

Dang! Who are you and what have you done with my son!  What a quantum leap from the usual math struggles.

He started to get cocky. "I got this Dad"

"Ok, lets look ahead a little bit." I said and wrote out a couple more equations:
X + 15 = 7.  He said "Impossible".  "Bzzzt, wrong answer!  Apply the same rules you've learned."  He did and came up with the correct -8.
7x = 21   He correctly applied the inverse divide by 7 and got the right answer
x/4 = 20  Same here.
7x+3 = 24  It didn't immediately click but we talked about strategy (you are trying to Isolate 'x').  But he quickly got it.

It's really good to see him with confidence in the class where he's struggled in the past.  I just hope he doesn't get complacent and continues to pay attention in class.   (um, that would be a lesson from the school of been-there-done-that-'cuz-I-thought-I-knew-everything-and-had-to-work-really-hard-to-catch-up-when-I-found-out-I-didn't.  It's a hard but important lesson to learn).

But Daaaang!  Right now I think I could teach him trig!

1 comment:

Wilson said...

Great story! You sound excited and proud and you’ve every right to be!