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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mental Arithmetics

Amber has completed her Mental Arithmetic Book 2. She's into double digit addition and subtraction. She's come a long way since April, when we first enrolled her for mental arithmetic and she could barely count past 10. Her pre-school had just started teaching the kids numbers and she can't even write 1 - 10 yet.

She enjoys the class but hates the weekly homework that follows. On good days, she gets a page or 2 but on most days, she gets 5 pages of homework. One page has 48 sums ! ! !  We lose our heads getting her to finish her homework. I try to get her to do a page each day but there's always the distraction of going out for dinners, weekend activities .. etc. etc. etc and by Sunday, I start to freak when she's lagging in her homework.

The deal on mental arithmetic is practise, practise and PRACTISE. Practise makes perfect and conditions the brain to think fast. Numbers comes in pairs of 10 like  3 is to 7 as 4 is to 6 and 5 is to5 and so forth.

Amber gets distracted very easily and whines ' I don't know how to do ', or she'll play with her eraser.. scraping shreds of rubber off with her fingernails or she'll deliberately drop her pencil and asks to sharpen. Self distraction, I call it.  I believe she knows how to do but wants us to accompany her and I was told not to seat by yr kid when doing homework, unless she really and honestly do not understand and needs coaching. Sit with her once, you'll have to sit with her thru her UPSR and PMR !

Her teacher has very good things to say about her. She's the youngest kid at her level and does well in class.
At home, she's entirely different, complaining and whining all the time.. However, on few occasions, I threatened her with abacus homework and once she made hubs very very angry for some reasons I cannot remember, I told her to quickly finish abacus homework, tell daddy you've been good and redeem yourself.
She quicly 'tik tik tak tak' the beads... so FAST  and in no time, finished one whole page of sums, with no mistakes too.  Hubs and I watched her over the cctv and had a good laugh, no dilly dallying but concentrating and on the beads.

We concluded - she likes abacus but hates homework but then, who likes homework ???

This is what she has to deal and even I, find it boring but as long as it improves her concentration, she has to go through the grind :

 Another trick to help her concentrate is to empty everything off her table or else, she'll get distracted. No papers, no color pencils, nothing. Just a pencil, eraser, abacus and book.

How about you ? Do you have difficulties coping with your kids abacus homework ?