Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Homework Hell, Part 2

2 - (-3) = 5

Of course this makes perfect sense.

Can you see the sparks and smell the smoke and hear the gears grinding to a halt as I try to explain this to the dynamic duo?

"Well you see children, when you subtract a negative you are actually adding a positive.
It makes perfect sense.
No really.
It does.
No, I'm serious, that's how it works.
The rule is: Two negatives make a positive.
Yes, I know I've said that two wrongs don't make a right, but this is different.
I don't know WHY OK?
Just accept it as fact and finish your homework."

I think I hate homework more than they do.

Probably because I thought I was all finished with school and now here I am spending an hour or more a day on solving Algebra problems, making Neolithic tools, coloring maps of Mesopotamia  and looking up who were the axis and allies of WW2.

Yes, they are doing most of the work but I need to supervise because half the time neither are headed in the right direction and it's easier to cut them off at the pass and send them back 5 or 10 minutes instead of having them redo an hours worth of work done incorrectly.

And that wouldn't be quite so bad if I didn't have to argue with Katherine every 15 minutes about how I am right and she is wrong.

Oh wait...

I got that backwards.... SHE is right and I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

"MOM, you CANNOT subtract 13 from 3."

My eye begins to twitch.

I try (gently and without irritation) to explain to her that Yes, actually you CAN take 13 from 3. That she has done it for the last 4 problems. Nothing has changed. The number line has not suddenly stopped at zero. She rolled off her chair in frustration, hands on head in a simulated faint. "I don't get it!"


So next I try to explain an easier way to figure out certain problems. A way I was taught when I was kid. A way that makes perfect sense to me and seems ridiculously easy compared to how she was trying to work it out. I am greeted with a raised eyebrow even Spock would be proud of.

Sarah wandered through and whispered "Don't worry Katherine, Mom is Old School.... it's OK if you don't understand what she's saying."

Katherine nods in understanding. "They taught them different back in the day, didn't they?"

Yeah, way back when, when we were learning by firelight and writing on cave walls.
At least then we didn't have to do this crap like charting points on a graph to make a picture.
That even after the 4th attempt the damn thing still looks like a butterfly who was injured in an unfortunate netting accident.
And no matter how we both try we can't seem to figure out what was done wrong.

I'm done.
And so are they.
No one cares that they will not get an A on the graph.
They are just happy that the rest of the work is done and they can each have a homemade cupcake and fall into bed so they can do it all over again tomorrow.


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