How do you handle correction with younger kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-03-2014, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been trying to figure out the best way to handle it when DD gets an answer that is incorrect.  She is five so it's not like she is doing things and handing them in.  I am with her doing things.  For instance, today we were doing some addition with dominos  (count the dots on each side of the domino to make an equation, then count all the dots to find the answer) and when she counted the dots all together she missed one.  Would you have finished the activity and then gone back?  It was 4+7 and she counted 10.  I just asked her to count them again and she got it but I keep wondering if I am not allowing her to make enough mistakes BECAUSE I am right there.  


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#2 of 8 Old 02-03-2014, 08:54 PM
 
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It sounds like she's making mistakes just fine. She added 4+7 and got 10. Then she tried again and got 11 and you probably told her that was correct, right? So she would have realized her previous answer was incorrect.

 

What she's "missing out on" is feeling judged for being incorrect, and being robbed of the chance to try again because her answer is already down on paper and marked with an 'x.' I wouldn't worry about that! I think what she's experiencing instead is far preferable.

 

As she gets older you'll find yourself saying "Oops, one of these isn't right -- can you figure out which?" or "Here, I circled two that you need to check over and fix," and it'll be no big deal, because you've set this wonderful foundation where mistakes are ways to learn, not personal shortcomings. 

 

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#3 of 8 Old 02-04-2014, 06:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

 

What she's "missing out on" is feeling judged for being incorrect, and being robbed of the chance to try again because her answer is already down on paper and marked with an 'x.' I wouldn't worry about that! I think what she's experiencing instead is far preferable.

 

:yeah

 

As she gets older you'll find yourself saying "Oops, one of these isn't right -- can you figure out which?" or "Here, I circled two that you need to check over and fix," and it'll be no big deal, because you've set this wonderful foundation where mistakes are ways to learn, not personal shortcomings. 

 

Miranda

Two other options are "Almost!" (maybe with "I think you missed that dot there, so that makes _______") and "5+5 is 10, so that means 5+6 is ____?"  I use both in my home when the need arises.  So far they've kept positive about it because there has been no judgment and, yes, they always get a chance to correct their answers* (and now they are old enough to correct me at times!)  

 

*(Unless we are playing Trivial Pursuit, LOTR edition and the person in question is me or my 9yo--we aren't cut any slack in that game!)

 

It's nice when kids get to make mistakes and figure that out for themselves, but not everything lends itself to that kind of automatic feedback, and I think that the negativity associated with being corrected comes from the judgment and the admonitions and the red pens we grew up with.  We don't have that in homeschooling, and if the mistakes made are not confused with the behavioral mistakes kids make, then correction or not correction (or how to correct) simply becomes a question of what's best in the moment.


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#4 of 8 Old 02-04-2014, 06:35 AM
 
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I love this about homeschooling. Too often modern education is just about sorting and grading the children. My goal of course is to help them get everything right and understand it. I help them do things over again until the work is 100% right. Sometimes the curricula do have evaluations, weekly spelling tests, stuff like that, so on those when he's done it's final and we check for mistakes and areas he needs to work on. This fall my oldest has to take his first real test so we'll practice this summer for that.

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#5 of 8 Old 02-04-2014, 09:47 AM
 
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Two other options are "Almost!" (maybe with "I think you missed that dot there, so that makes _______") and "5+5 is 10, so that means 5+6 is ____?"  

 

Those are great options for young kids who might be sensitive to correction. At that age I did a lot of saying "Not quite! Think it through again." Or "Hmm, I'm not sure about that." I guess my point was that as time goes on it'll become less of an issue to identify an incorrect answer as actually being wrong. Your child will show you what she's ready for. You don't want to go to ridiculous lengths your child's whole life to avoid telling her she's made a mistake: that would give her the impression that there's something awful or frightening or embarrassing about actual mistakes. If you build a solid foundation where mistakes aren't laden with negative judgement, where they're opportunities to correct and learn, they won't be humiliating. Eventually your child will present you with a page of answers and ask "Can you check which ones are wrong?" and you'll realize it's fine to just say "This one here, it's wrong." And your child will know exactly how to take that feedback and cheerfully and optimistically move on to learn from it.

 

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#6 of 8 Old 02-04-2014, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the feedback ladies!  I appreciate it.  I probably question myself too much.  She is QUITE sensitive and is VERY easily discouraged so I feel like I am trying to find the balance between making sure we get to the write answer and knowing that making mistakes are normal. 


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#7 of 8 Old 02-05-2014, 08:22 PM
 
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Good advice.

I can definitely relate cobaby. My big guy is the same way.
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#8 of 8 Old 02-05-2014, 09:02 PM
 
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I think it can change, a child's reaction.  I came from a point not of obvious sensitivity, but a refusal to admit something was wrong (which might be a way of expressing sensitivity).  So, being gentle and circumventing the big "WRONG" definitely smoothed the rough spots and made them willing to hear me.  This is where I think sometimes I have found homeschooling to be a little tricky.  Academics don't really have a special "slot" in my house, so anything that could be construed as criticism was from MOM and risked being lumped with abandoning shoes right in everyone's path, or "playing" with kitty roughly enough to hurt him, both of which might bring some correction from MOM.

 

I think what has removed WRONG answers from being associated with WRONG action once and for all was actually being able to work and be corrected without me--looking at the answers in the back of the puzzle book, getting a wrong answer on bbccitesize (thanks for the rec, fillyjonk) accidentally *and* on purpose (it can be so *fun* getting it wrong, just to see what happens).  They've been able to discover on their own what it means to get the answer wrong that it's made it easier to point out "that's wrong" with a similar disinterest and they don't build fortifications around their incorrect answer anymore (....mostly, they can be incredibly stubborn at times.)   


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