Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ah, Normalcy

I've finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so life can get back to normal around here and on my blog. All I'll say is that it didn't end up being burned. Heh.

Yes, all you non-HP-fans can now breathe a sigh of relief (until the release-night recap).

Everything's pretty standard this evening. Shorter kidlet's in bed, and taller kidlet's grumping over his homework. So am I, for that matter. I remember word problems back when I was in school and how they boggled my mind. Apparently, it's genetic... the mind-boggling-ness of word problems, that is.

I don't know what it is about word problems. In early elementary we got used to 1 + 1 = 2, and even worked our way up to 345 + 987 = 1,332. But toss those numbers into a paragraph? Oy gevalt.

My elder son is painfully bright. I hear rumors that I, too, was bright, before I reproduced and my brains leaked out with the afterbirth. But one problem with bright kids is that they can be so freaking accustomed to getting everything in a snap, that when they encounter a hurdle? Zero coping skills. And I mean NONE.

I remember sitting with my father at the kitchen counter as he'd try and try to help me understand the problems. I'd grit my teeth and squinch my face up, "But I don't get it!!!!" He'd keep on explaining it to me patiently.

It's a wonder the poor man isn't bald.

Tonight? It's my turn to rip my hair out. Homework went something like this:

"Okay honey, if Bob gives Josh 6 red marbles and 3 green marbles, how many marbles does Josh have?"

Huffy breath, exasperated sigh, "I don't kkknnnnoooowwwww!!!!!!!"

"Honey, let's look at the problem. Okay, what is the main idea of what this is saying?"

Leg flail, wiggle, roll eyes back in head, tooth grindage (that last one was me), "I don't knnnoooowwwww!!!!!"

"Okay, stop. Look at the paper. Look at it. Now. Read. The. Problem. To. Me."

"Uh!!!" After another leg flail and mumble, finally he grits out the sentence.

"So, what do you need to find out?"


"I'm sorry, I couldn't understand you."

"How many marbles does Josh have!!!!"

"Son you will use your polite voice with me or I will let you finish this by yourself." Enter the Mom Look of Impending Doom. "Are we clear?"


"Good. And you're right. The problem asks how many marbles Josh has. Now, how would you figure that out?"

Huff, puff, "I don't knowwwwww!!!!!"



Angel said...

Word problems are EVIL. ::making sign of the cross with my fingers::

Yeah, we've had similar meltdowns with Drama Queen. She's so used to everything being easy that when it's not....LOOK. OUT. Yeah that's why her nickname is DQ LOL.

I've been wiped, hoping to do the HP recap soon. Been busy trying to dodge spoilers (too bad that doesn't count as exercise!) ;)

Amanda said...

Heh... yeah, they are, Angel.

That said, the "language" can be learned. It's just freaking painful... for the teacher and the student, regardless of just which "teacher" it is (the home/parent one or the school/parent one).

You must do the recap soon. If we wait until I get up pictures off my camera, it could be 2009, by which time JKR could well have started a new series ;)

Judy said...

My all-time favorite tantrum inducing word problem was:

If Joey has some candy and he eats 1/3 of the candy, what fraction of the candy does he have left.

Took 2 days before the light bulb came on.

Amanda said...

Judy, fractions... ouch! And those mixed with word problems...

I feel another *headdesk* moment coming on. Ouch.