Peeking at the answers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My oldest daughter does this a lot (not all the time, but enough.)  This drives me batty and while I am calm outside my inner schoolkid is screaming "That's cheating!  You're not supposed to!  Whine whine whine....."

 

She doesn't try to cheat in games, at least no more than a normal 7yo.  You know that look when they try to pull the wool over your eyes.  Almost as easy to spot as a dog who knows he's in trouble.  No, she's not a cheater.

 

I haven't thought of a reasonable comment.  What can I say to her?  Or do I just need to chill and work on deschooling myself some more?  Is this unimportant in the scheme of things?  

 

Excuse me now while I have a smackdown with that inner schoolkid.  She's having a tizzy and screaming so loud I can barely think.......

 


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#2 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 07:50 AM
 
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Why is she peeking?  It can be a way to work out how to do the problem-- start with the answer and work backwards....

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#3 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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Does she have perfectionist tendencies and want to confirm she's right before making the commitment of writing down the answer? Or is something you require her to do and she's peeking so she can finish faster? Nothing wrong with peeking if she understands why the right answers are the right answers. It's only a problem when it's used to hide a lack of understanding.


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#4 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 02:11 PM
 
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I agree that there can be very good reasons for peeking at answers.  My youngest did this a lot with his Hidden Pcitures magazine when he was 3 and 4.  Then I realized that for him, the puzzling/fun/challenging part was applying the stickers so they lined up perfectly with the pictures.  (He had, and still has, some fine motor development he's working on.)  Now that he is five and can line up the stickers fairly easily, he seems to care more about figuring out where the pictures are hidden.  And I can totally see working backward from the answer, as a previous poster suggested.

 

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#5 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 06:05 PM
 
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I was a public school kid and I peaked at the answers to work backwards. I used it as a means to gain understanding and it worked :) Maybe that's what she's doing too.


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#6 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 06:34 PM
 
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If she knows the correct answer, peeking won't change it, right? If she doesn't know the correct answer, writing the wrong one down won't actually help her learn the correct one, will it? What will help her learn will be discovering that the answer she had decided on was wrong, and comparing it to the correct one and then figuring out from the answer how to think correctly about the problem.  And that's something that can be done perfectly well without writing the wrong response down first. 

 

There's a type of mindless copying that won't help with learning at all. But assuming she's actually considering what her own thoughts are, and comparing them to the correct answer, and then writing that down, I don't see any problem with it. If she's an unschooler, I assume she's doing the work because she's motivated to do learn from it. So she will almost certainly be thinking her way to her answer and comparing, rather than mindlessly copying. 

 

Writing down a wrong answer is useful in evaluative situations, where a teacher/facilitator wants to discover what the learner doesn't yet know. That can help with attaching a grade to a learner's progress (which unschoolers wouldn't typically need to do), but it can help the teacher/facilitator target the student's gaps in learning more efficiently. Personally I've found my kids can almost always accurately assess their own mastery and tell me exactly what is easy for them and what needs more consolidation, so I haven't needed to do evaluations to tease that out, but I can see a possible role for very occasional evaluations of unschoolers in some situations. On a day-to-day basis, it would definitely not necessary, IMO.

 

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#7 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onatightrope View Post

Why is she peeking?  It can be a way to work out how to do the problem-- start with the answer and work backwards....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

Does she have perfectionist tendencies and want to confirm she's right before making the commitment of writing down the answer? Or is something you require her to do and she's peeking so she can finish faster? Nothing wrong with peeking if she understands why the right answers are the right answers. It's only a problem when it's used to hide a lack of understanding.

Sorry it took so long to get back to everyone.  I probably should have mentioned she does this in her puzzle books (she is doing Puzzlemania) and recently Castle Logix.  She hates writing down answers just to write them down unless you make another answer out of the letters.  No, she prefers to just answer and not write anything down in those situations.  

 

Sometimes she doesn't peek.  But  often she'll look at the solution without really giving the puzzle a go.  And for some reason this bugs me, and my feelings seem a bit silly to me.  Of course, we work backwards through mazes, and I let the girls know there really aren't rules about this.  (A lot of fun mind-boggling puzzles have out-of-the-box solutions.)  But when she commented on how she was working on the Master level in castle Logix by looking at the solutions, I said that there's no rule about looking at the solutions first, but that you couldn't say you've really mastered that level until you've worked it out without looking first.  If she tried harder before peeking, it wouldn't bug me so much I guess because I know the feeling of my brain imploding with a tricky puzzle.  

 

Oh, and this is rubbing off on her younger sister who is either more adept at puzzles or simply likes them more.

 

So, part of me wants to let this go entirely, part of me wants to say something to encourage her to give it a go before peeking.  Try a little harder.  Some of it is just my need to deschool my brain, but is there a lesson here that she is missing?  That's what I wonder.  

 


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#8 of 8 Old 04-19-2012, 07:52 PM
 
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My 10 1/2 yo ds, for years, has played computer games in "sandbox" mode (unlimited resources instead of earning them) or played games with cheat codes when possible. Just the other day, he told me he wanted to play a a certain game without cheating at all. He decided that would be really satisfying. My telling him that a year ago wouldn't have made an impression on him. And I'm a little pleased and impressed that he came to this conclusion on his own:-)


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