Wednesday, November 19, 2008



Homeschooling Mom Flummoxed!

Ziad and Maya have a tendency to be sloppy with their schoolwork. I've tried talking to them about it. I reminded them about the solar-powered space probe that failed when its solar panels unfolded facing AWAY from the sun, all because of a small programming error. I've pointed out that if architects took this casual attitude towards arithmetic, their buildings would never be able to stand up. All to no avail.

So finally, I took Ziad's math homework and calculated the percentage he got correct.

"Oh, look!" I said, "That's a C. You're really not a C student, Ziad."

Then I explained how the grades work -- 100 to 90 percent is an A, 80 to 89 is a B, and so on. No grading on a curve here. (Although, of course, the problem of how you would generate a curve with a class of 1 is an interesting exercise. Kind of a koan.) To my surprise, he displayed an unexpected enthusiasm for this concept. And now, guess what? It's all As, all the time. Goodbye, silly copying errors. So long, writing 2 times 3 equals 5 when you know perfectly well it's 6. And now Maya wants letter grades, too.

What an eye-opener.



Blogger Vivian said...

Whatever works!

9:14 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Sadly, the novelty has worn off. I knew it would, but I can't help wishing it could have lasted longer.

5:17 PM  

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