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    Checking and correcting work

    Hello everyone. I hope your holiday has been wonderful.

    I have been meaning to post on the Status Update thread for some time, but I get busy and lose what I started to say. I think it's a sign I need to say less!

    My son is ten and somewhat immature compared to his peers. I'm generally okay with that because I know he'll get there when he gets there. However, when it comes to our school day, it can be very hard for me to adjust my expectations. There are two major rabbit holes that derail our days. The first is that I still have to sit practically next to him most days for the entirety of every subject. If I don't he will stare out the window, pick his fingers, or read ahead. He will not work diligently outside adult presence. We do offer incentives to help him want to stay on task, and that is improving.

    The second rabbit hole that is really beginning to wear on our relationship has to do with corrections. It has always been my habit to check his work as soon as it's done, discuss mistakes, and have him complete corrections. First, he hates having made a mistake. Second, he hates fixing the mistake. Third, often his bad attitude about fixing the original mistake leads to sloppy or incomplete corrections. Thus, he gets to correct the "corrections." This back and forth can steal hours of our day.

    So my question really is this: What would be the harm in discussing the mistakes, and marking the correction on his paper for him? It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but I'm worried about his work ethic. Will he miss an academically important opportunity by not correcting his own mistakes? Will I be contributing to his complacency?

    Thanks for listening!
    Rae

    DS12- SFL, Elem Greek II, CC III

    #2
    Re: Checking and correcting work

    Originally posted by Rae View Post
    Hello everyone. I hope your holiday has been wonderful.

    I have been meaning to post on the Status Update thread for some time, but I get busy and lose what I started to say. I think it's a sign I need to say less!

    My son is ten and somewhat immature compared to his peers. I'm generally okay with that because I know he'll get there when he gets there. However, when it comes to our school day, it can be very hard for me to adjust my expectations. There are two major rabbit holes that derail our days. The first is that I still have to sit practically next to him most days for the entirety of every subject. If I don't he will stare out the window, pick his fingers, or read ahead. He will not work diligently outside adult presence. We do offer incentives to help him want to stay on task, and that is improving.

    The second rabbit hole that is really beginning to wear on our relationship has to do with corrections. It has always been my habit to check his work as soon as it's done, discuss mistakes, and have him complete corrections. First, he hates having made a mistake. Second, he hates fixing the mistake. Third, often his bad attitude about fixing the original mistake leads to sloppy or incomplete corrections. Thus, he gets to correct the "corrections." This back and forth can steal hours of our day.

    So my question really is this: What would be the harm in discussing the mistakes, and marking the correction on his paper for him? It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but I'm worried about his work ethic. Will he miss an academically important opportunity by not correcting his own mistakes? Will I be contributing to his complacency?

    Thanks for listening!
    Howdy Rae! I'm sure you will get some responses that will be great and helpful, I can just commiserate that you are not alone with a kid who hates correcting his mistakes. My ds gets hurt, upset, and very anxious at having his mistakes corrected, plus he knows it will make his day longer to correct them, so he gets *very* upset about that.

    Do you think it is a character issue that needs correcting, just a "boy thing", or is it more of an anxiety problem?

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Checking and correcting work

      A corrected answer is remembered better than one that is only discussed. Also by correcting mistakes another lesson should be to take your time not only for correctness but neatness as well. I will always encourage written corrections when at all possible. Maybe before accepting his work you ask “Have you checked this paper for neatness and correctness?” This will help him to associate the fact that it must be his personal best work.

      Blessings,
      Michelle T

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Checking and correcting work

        This may just be temperament. How did we correct our own mistakes in public school? We didn’t. We just got our papers returned with checks, x’s and a grade. You could try that. But what I sometimes do is grade their paper, pass it back and we go over corrections together QUICKLY. My kids give me the correct answer (if they know it) and I fill it in for them. If they don’t know it, I explain the answer and fill it in. Then we move on. I don’t dwell, I don’t lecture, I don’t freak out (not saying you do!). We just correct and move along. Very simple, almost painless. Give it very little attention. Just make it matter of fact and go on to the next task.
        “If I should fall even a thousand times a day, a thousand times, with peaceful repentance, I will say immediately, Nunc Coepi, ‘Now, I begin.’.”

        ~Venerable Bruno Lanteri
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Boy Wonder 13 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
        Joy Bubble 11 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
        Cuddly Cowboy 9 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 3/4/5 + Seton 4
        Sassafras 5 ...MPK + Seton K

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Checking and correcting work

          Originally posted by Michelle T View Post
          A corrected answer is remembered better than one that is only discussed. Also by correcting mistakes another lesson should be to take your time not only for correctness but neatness as well. I will always encourage written corrections when at all possible. Maybe before accepting his work you ask “Have you checked this paper for neatness and correctness?” This will help him to associate the fact that it must be his personal best work.

          Blessings,
          Michelle T
          But most of the time, I do this.

          Seriously, though: if my kids are tired, at the end of their rope, or just fried intellectually, we do the “sometimes” corrections I described in the previous response. However, Michelle’s process is our typical correction process if we are firing on all 12.
          “If I should fall even a thousand times a day, a thousand times, with peaceful repentance, I will say immediately, Nunc Coepi, ‘Now, I begin.’.”

          ~Venerable Bruno Lanteri
          ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
          Boy Wonder 13 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
          Joy Bubble 11 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 4/5 + Seton 5
          Cuddly Cowboy 9 ...SC7/8 + MP4 + Rod & Staff 3/4/5 + Seton 4
          Sassafras 5 ...MPK + Seton K

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Checking and correcting work

            When we discuss the answer he nearly always has the right oral answer, he sees his error, and things click. He doesn't love writing so he often rushes through the written work. I ALWAYS ask if he double checked before I mark mistakes. Sometimes I even tell him that I see mistakes so he should look again. He just doesn't care to look again.

            I think there is too much written work for him at this point. Again, he is one child, and I have always required every answer to every assignment. This is something I;m woring on since doing full core. Now I understand that in larger families and in the classroom a lot of discussion takes place and sometimes the teacher helps mold the children's suggestions into a best answer.

            Our problem is two-fold. On one hand it IS a character issue. As parents we have struggled with this aspect of his personality a lot. On the other hand, I think maybe the years of correcting corrections has led to a loss of motivation on his part. I think once he sees that there is a mistake, he feels defeated to the point of giving up. That's why I'm considering discussion and marking corrections with him and for him. Maybe if he sees that we can work together and overcome the mistake it will minimize his frustration over it.

            I'm afraid at this point that I have created a little boy who will become a man who feels like he can never measure up. This is obviously not my goal!

            I appreciate the feedback. We are about to take our winter break, and it will give me time to re-evaluate correction time.
            Rae

            DS12- SFL, Elem Greek II, CC III

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Checking and correcting work

              You are correct in that you don’t want to completely frustrate your child. Like Anita said, my answers are what we do in the classrooms at HLS. You need to adapt for your unique situation! There is quite a bit of writing within our program but within many of those guides only select answers are written, maybe 1 to 2 per lesson. One thing our teachers do is to use the highlighter! Have students highlight hr numbers of the comprehension questions they are going to be responsible for copying an answer. ALL are discussed orally but just those few must be written. But, those answers need to be correct for study purposes.

              Sometimes students can be very hard on themselves and we, as educators, need to learn the balance between encouraging and correcting. It is a daily struggle. Too much one way or the other could be detrimental. Many students need to be reminded that school is the place we learn and many times we learn by making mistakes. If we already knew everything, and were able to do it correctly the first time, we wouldn’t need school. I made it a point to show my class my mistakes and how important it was to try again. Thomas Edison and the light bulb is one of my favorite stories! As the mother/teacher, you know best the balance needed for your student.

              Blessings,
              Michelle T

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Checking and correcting work

                Originally posted by Rae View Post
                When we discuss the answer he nearly always has the right oral answer, he sees his error, and things click. He doesn't love writing so he often rushes through the written work. I ALWAYS ask if he double checked before I mark mistakes. Sometimes I even tell him that I see mistakes so he should look again. He just doesn't care to look again.

                I think there is too much written work for him at this point. Again, he is one child, and I have always required every answer to every assignment. This is something I;m woring on since doing full core. Now I understand that in larger families and in the classroom a lot of discussion takes place and sometimes the teacher helps mold the children's suggestions into a best answer.

                Our problem is two-fold. On one hand it IS a character issue. As parents we have struggled with this aspect of his personality a lot. On the other hand, I think maybe the years of correcting corrections has led to a loss of motivation on his part. I think once he sees that there is a mistake, he feels defeated to the point of giving up. That's why I'm considering discussion and marking corrections with him and for him. Maybe if he sees that we can work together and overcome the mistake it will minimize his frustration over it.

                I'm afraid at this point that I have created a little boy who will become a man who feels like he can never measure up. This is obviously not my goal!

                I appreciate the feedback. We are about to take our winter break, and it will give me time to re-evaluate correction time.
                One of my sons was this way and still is occasionally. I'm thinking it's not so much a character issue as a temperament one. My son is is very smart but tends to be melancholic, is an idealist, hates anything that takes time away from what he would rather be doing, gets anxious about time in general, and gets depressed/zoned out when "there isn't anything to do" (or nothing he wants to do).

                The above may or may not describe your son, but we have found that he's dealing with a mixture of a melancholic/idealist/perfectionist temperament and some inherited add (inattentive type). Rushing through his work, making careless mistakes, etc. is from the add while his bristling (and tears) about corrections were from both the add ("this is going to take even more time!") and his melancholic perfectionism.

                This does not mean that he could get a free pass and say "this is just the way I am". We had to work on it, but in a different way then for kids who were going through normal "I'd rather not be doing this" phases. A key here is that many children in my son's situation do not connect the dots on behavior/consequences. So making him correct everything didn't necessarily mean that he would remember to be more careful/take his time next time. In the meantime, he just kept feeling worse and worse.

                Does this sound like your son? If so, I'll go into what you can do to help make things better (for both of you!).
                Last edited by jen1134; 11-25-2017, 01:16 PM.
                Jennifer
                Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                2021-2022
                DS18: Almost done!
                DS17: MP, MPOA
                DS15: MP, MPOA
                DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
                DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
                DD9: SC3
                DD6: MPK

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Checking and correcting work

                  Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                  One of my sons was this way and still is occasionally. I'm thinking it's not so much a character issue as a temperament one. My son is is very smart but tends to be melancholic, is an idealist, hates anything that takes time away from what he would rather be doing, gets anxious about time in general, and gets depressed/zoned out when "there isn't anything to do" (or nothing he wants to do).... Rushing through his work, making careless mistakes, etc. is from the add while his bristling (and tears) about corrections were from both the add ("this is going to take even more time!") and his melancholic perfectionism.

                  ... A key here is that many children in my son's situation do not connect the dots on behavior/consequences. So making him correct everything didn't necessarily mean that he would remember to be more careful/take his time next time. In the meantime, he just kept feeling worse and worse.

                  Does this sound like your son? If so, I'll go into what you can do to help make things better (for both of you!).
                  Yes, this does sound like my son. He is very bright, very personable, and an all or nothing type perfectionist. He is not melancholy, though. He is super cheerful except when confronted with criticism. As soon as we are finished with negative feedback, he is back to his cheerful self. The carelessness and bristling about corrections are spot on. He is willing to do work he doesn't like so long as I am physically present. He is very upbeat during the part of school where we are discussing and fully engaged with each other. (I might add, he is adopted and maybe has some separation anxiety.) When I step away he doesn't leave his work physically, he just doesn't necesarily do it.

                  I'm just not convinced that making him correct his corrections is helping solidify the correct information in his mind. I think he gets so caught up in winning the battle that after a certain point he loses sight of the original mistake and corrected information.

                  Michelle had a point that I hadn't thought of before. Besides over assigning independent work, I may not be discussing the questions with him enough before asking him to do written assignments.

                  I am willing to try new approaches.
                  Rae

                  DS12- SFL, Elem Greek II, CC III

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Checking and correcting work

                    Originally posted by Rae View Post
                    Yes, this does sound like my son. He is very bright, very personable, and an all or nothing type perfectionist. He is not melancholy, though. He is super cheerful except when confronted with criticism. As soon as we are finished with negative feedback, he is back to his cheerful self. The carelessness and bristling about corrections are spot on. He is willing to do work he doesn't like so long as I am physically present. He is very upbeat during the part of school where we are discussing and fully engaged with each other. (I might add, he is adopted and maybe has some separation anxiety.) When I step away he doesn't leave his work physically, he just doesn't necesarily do it.

                    I'm just not convinced that making him correct his corrections is helping solidify the correct information in his mind. I think he gets so caught up in winning the battle that after a certain point he loses sight of the original mistake and corrected information.

                    Michelle had a point that I hadn't thought of before. Besides over assigning independent work, I may not be discussing the questions with him enough before asking him to do written assignments.

                    I am willing to try new approaches.

                    Got it.

                    I think it might be wise to try a two-pronged "scaffolding" approach:

                    1. Scale back to only writing the vocabulary/questions that will be on upcoming quizzes/tests and the final exam. Tell him that, rather than having him do lots of things, you want to focus on doing a few things well. At this stage, stay with him as he works, help him form the answers if needed, etc.

                    2. When he is consistently doing well with step 1, continue only writing the quiz/test questions/vocabulary but start having him write one of the answers himself while you watch silently.

                    3. When he is consistently doing well with step 2, discuss the lesson with him then explain that you're going to get a drink of water (or something else that is close by and only takes one minute) while he starts his independent answer (only leave during the question you know he will do well on independently). Get your water and return with it (reinforces trust) and stay with him while he finishes.

                    4. When he is consistently doing well with step 3, continue in the same manner but when you return, have him write his next answer independently while you stay by him silently.

                    5. Look for readiness as above and then gradually (as in every few weeks) increase the number of minutes that you're gone, instructing him to work on his questions. At first, you will be there silently while he finishes, eventually you will be gone the whole time he is working on his answers.

                    Eventually you'll be able to discuss a lesson with him and have him complete the quiz/test questions/vocabulary independently. Once he's confident in that, you can increase to more questions/vocabulary. Just remember that this can be a very long process; you are building towards independence.

                    On corrections:

                    Make sure you're not expecting him to answer comprehension questions to the same level of detail that is in the teacher's manuals. Those answers are NOT what a normal 10 year old (or 13-14 year old!) would write -- even MP says this. They're there to give you more to go on when having discussions. As long as he has the core of the answer, he doesn't need to correct anything.

                    For math, only have him make corrections if he gets below an 85% for the day's assignment or if he misses the majority of problems for a particular concept. Also do what was suggested above and say "Before you start, remember to work carefully." Covering up all of the problems except the row he's working on can also help keep him from rushing. Rushing is often a result of feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work they have; so they try to hurry to make the anxious feeling go away.

                    Last, but most importantly: talk to your son about this new approach. Tell him that you know he wants to do his work well. Let him know that you see his anxiety and that you understand those feelings of overwhelm/anxiety are the main reason he's having trouble with his work. He needs to know that this is not a character issue; it's a legitimate challenge. Tell him it doesn't mean he can have a free pass, but that knowing what his challenge is makes it possible for him to meet it. For you and your husband, it's important to know that he may never fully overcome this tendency; it may be his life-long challenge. But that doesn't mean he isn't trying. There will be times when you will see him give in to his tendencies rather than trying to meet them. At those times you can point it out. But first you have to build his trust in the fact that you're on the same team. Together, you're facing something that he struggles with but he has to know that it doesn't define him.

                    I hope this helps!

                    ETA: needed to add some steps above
                    Last edited by jen1134; 11-25-2017, 04:09 PM.
                    Jennifer
                    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                    2021-2022
                    DS18: Almost done!
                    DS17: MP, MPOA
                    DS15: MP, MPOA
                    DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
                    DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
                    DD9: SC3
                    DD6: MPK

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Checking and correcting work


                      Make sure you're not expecting him to answer comprehension questions to the same level of detail that is in the teacher's manuals. Those answers are NOT what a normal 10 year old (or 13-14 year old!) would write -- even MP says this. They're there to give you more to go on when having discussions. As long as he has the core of the answer, he doesn't need to correct anything
                      .


                      HMMMMM. I seem to have thoroughly missed this idea! It appears that this is a tremendous part of our problem. I really need it to be in bold letters at the top of each manual page that the answers are ideals and possibly not reality. I cannot tell you how much we dreaded reading Lassie because the comprehension questions killed our enthusiasm.

                      Scaling back, and keeping this in the forefront of my mind ought to help! All this time, I've been wondering why we are so slow to "get it" if all the other kids seem to be working at this level! He definitely gets it! He just isn't as succinct and articulate as the manuals would have me believe he ought to be!

                      Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. They will really help me during my re-evaluation period.
                      Rae

                      DS12- SFL, Elem Greek II, CC III

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Checking and correcting work

                        Originally posted by Rae View Post

                        Make sure you're not expecting him to answer comprehension questions to the same level of detail that is in the teacher's manuals. Those answers are NOT what a normal 10 year old (or 13-14 year old!) would write -- even MP says this. They're there to give you more to go on when having discussions. As long as he has the core of the answer, he doesn't need to correct anything
                        .


                        HMMMMM. I seem to have thoroughly missed this idea! It appears that this is a tremendous part of our problem. I really need it to be in bold letters at the top of each manual page that the answers are ideals and possibly not reality. I cannot tell you how much we dreaded reading Lassie because the comprehension questions killed our enthusiasm.

                        Scaling back, and keeping this in the forefront of my mind ought to help! All this time, I've been wondering why we are so slow to "get it" if all the other kids seem to be working at this level! He definitely gets it! He just isn't as succinct and articulate as the manuals would have me believe he ought to be!

                        Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. They will really help me during my re-evaluation period.
                        Ha-! Oh, if I was tech-saavy mama, I would so take a picture of our manuals to show you how gloppy they can look! (Plus my kids love to write weird little notes to me, or draw strange things in the margins... Last year, ds drew a minion pig at the end of every.single. page of his Latina Christiana review book. Sometimes I think the pigs were saying weird mis-translated things in Latin. It really helped him get through those lessons. I admire and wish for the idea of lovely, neat, well-crafted, and diligent work, but the reality is that it is gonna be far from perfect. They are learning. Let yourself go somewhat easier- better one or two nicely done answers, and a great discussion together, then a full workbook and a crying child. We do lots of questions orally together. lots and lots. Sometimes we even do the tests and quizzes orally. I find that is why the guides are so nice- because they let you either use them in a Charlotte-Mason style narration kind of way, or, as a way to learn writing skills when and where needed. (Now, I sound like I know what I'm talking about, but just don't read my other threads where I am completely melting down! )
                        Last edited by Girlnumber20; 11-25-2017, 09:38 PM.

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