Advice on a child's attitude towards Math problem solving

Advice on a child's attitude towards Math problem solving

I would like to seek advices of parents who probably shared the same experience as me.

My P5 son has not been doing very well for his Math. From the past PTM, his teacher always tells me that he understand the concept well and should not be a problem for him, just that he is very careless. I have also engaged a Math tutor for him since June holidays and his Math tutor also says the same thing to me that he has no problem passing his paper. He just need to make an effort to reduce careless mistakes and try harder to solve the problem.

So, the end problem is his attitude. He is careless, he jumps conclusion, when he sees a problem which he thinks it's hard or needs more brain power, he will 'anyhow' do. This shows in his recent paper and I was very 'furious'.

Can I ask you parents, what can I do to improve on his 'attitude'? How can I help him to change? I've talked to him, his tutor also talked to him. We tried all the gentle approach. He seems to understand where we come from but I don't see much improvement in his effort.

mom72
GreenBelt

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Re: Advice on a child's attitude towards Math problem solvin

mom72 wrote:
So, the end problem is his attitude. He is careless, he jumps conclusion, when he sees a problem which he thinks it's hard or needs more brain power, he will 'anyhow' do. This shows in his recent paper and I was very 'furious'.

I too get upset when I see that my DS 'donating' marks due to carelessness. I made it clear to him that I can accept genuine mistakes (i.e. really don't know kind) but not careless mistakes.

Since the 'talking' approach is not working with your DS, perhaps you could 'up your game' a little by removing some privileges (e.g. computer time, tv time) based on the number of careless mistakes he makes in a piece of work. Rope in the Maths tutor on this approach if you like to.

Start with something achievable. For example, if he used to make 5 careless mistakes in a paper, then remove the privilege if he makes the same number of mistakes. If he is able to make only 3 mistakes for 3 times in a row, then reward him with 'additional' privilege (e.g. extra 10 min of computer time). If he is able to complete his work without any careless mistakes, then give him a bigger reward (e.g. favourite food).

This example may seems unfair that it takes more to earn the 'additional' privilege but we are trying to instil 'positive behaviour' here.

You would have to agree with him on the 'game rules' first before implementing this approach. Be fair in your reward and removal of privileges. Sign an 'agreement' if you think it is necessary (since he is P5, he should know the meaning of 'commitment'). Then you must stick to the agreed game rules strictly so that your DS will eventually get the message.

It will be a gradual process to reduce careless mistakes. Hopefully it will yield the results you desire.

AppleCrumble
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Re: Advice on a child's attitude towards Math problem solvin

my ds always says,"the maths test is very easy,i think i'll score full mark"

then i answer,"did u chk? u always lose ur marks due to carelessness"

"yes, i did.I finished it early n checked few times."

received his test paper yesterday,indeed,he lost marks due to carelessness.

i think it is like a "boy" thingie...once they see lengthy problem sum,they sianz oredi n anyhow do...

vinegar
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Re: Advice on a child's attitude towards Math problem solvin

Ok... I am going to share our "extreme" measures to let the kids understand the impact of carelessness. Pls don't me.

We did this when kids were in P3 - P4 stage. Sort of at seeing marks loss due to careless mistake. Given that the kids are \$ conscious, we started a fine system. For every careless mistakes that they make, they will have to pay \$0.50 - \$1 fine. (depends on how critical the exams is). For those that they genuinely don't know, we are fine.

So in the intial period, they learnt that while every mark counts, every careless mistakes cost (It is not free!). With the "fines" that we collected from them, we gave the entire family a treat saying that it is with compliments from the child who paid the fine.... Think they didn't enjoy that so it "forces" them to be careful. It made them conscious of checking their work thoroughly during exams. We see significant reduction in their careless mistakes. Now at P5 and p6, I would occassionally talk about it but I stop fining them. Now we drive them using different rewards system. Eg. if you hit the target score, you are entitled to something.

We emphasize that checking is not about flipping pages, or "closing your eyes" to check. It's about doing the questions as though you are doing it for the first time and see if you can derive the same answer. Also, putting the answers back to the equation to see if your answer is right.

But the "fine" method only work for kids who are \$ conscious. My dd2 (P2) is not the \$ conscious type so even if she becomes bankrupt through fining, it probably don't bother her as much. For that, we are still using the reminding approach... She came back claiming that she checked her work thoroughly and was the last to hand in.... I was Her results proved me right but she was "conscious" enough to tell me that she made careless mistakes. That itself is considered a "improvement"? No choice got to be patient and wait for her to bloom.

MMM
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Re: Advice on a child's attitude towards Math problem solvin

MMM,
i tried to implement the fine system a few years back.
didnt work because son refused to be drawn into such an agreement.
he knows we cant force him to cooperate and sulked big time and the whole time the atmosphere at home was tense. this is how much he didnt want to part with his \$\$!

mom72,
how many marks did you boy lost due to carelessness?
mine lost about 8 marks this round.
this is an improvement from CA1, where marks lost due to carelessness were >10.

jedamum
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