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    Originally Posted by Iucounu
    I felt so much like "that parent", but I'd had enough. I told DS to always be careful to get the right answer, and not to ever change his answer when a teacher at his school told him differently. I finally told him that the way they approach math learning at his school and in the district is deeply flawed, though he's not to repeat that to anyone there, and that I'm doing my best to solve that problem for him.

    Every person, and therefore every teacher, has his quirks. One reason I would be reluctant to homeschool is that being exposed to a variety of adults, each with different expectations, is good preparation for college and the workplace, where the quirks of professors and bosses will need to be handled. If the teacher wants "20 miles" when she asks "how many miles", I'd tell him to answer "20 miles".

    Schooling is not just about learning but about credentialing (and day care/warehousing). Having an interesting and well-paying job in the future may require some conformism during the school years.




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    Originally Posted by Bostonian
    Originally Posted by Iucounu
    I felt so much like "that parent", but I'd had enough. I told DS to always be careful to get the right answer, and not to ever change his answer when a teacher at his school told him differently. I finally told him that the way they approach math learning at his school and in the district is deeply flawed, though he's not to repeat that to anyone there, and that I'm doing my best to solve that problem for him.
    Every person, and therefore every teacher, has his quirks. One reason I would be reluctant to homeschool is that being exposed to a variety of adults, each with different expectations, is good preparation for college and the workplace, where the quirks of professors and bosses will need to be handled. If the teacher wants "20 miles" when she asks "how many miles", I'd tell him to answer "20 miles".

    Schooling is not just about learning but about credentialing (and day care/warehousing). Having an interesting and well-paying job in the future may require some conformism during the school years.
    I disagree. That sort of conformism, to the quirks of a teacher who demands wrong answers and is stubborn when shown to be wrong, isn't necessary in order to get an interesting and well-paying job. It may be necessary to safeguard a perfect grade point average at all times, but I'd still rather at this stage that my son prize correctness and attention to detail over that sort of thing. He can decide later how he wants to address the situation when points actually matter to his long-term GPA. I can't teach him to bow to the petty whims of people who should know better, just because of some small measure of power they hold to harm one, but I can teach him to be polite but assertive and to follow up on all opportunities to demonstrate that he's right.

    The way I solved that problem in the workplace is by finding positions where my skills and attention to detail were prized. I wouldn't put up for long with a boss insisting on being indisputably wrong, and demanding that I buy into it, just like I wouldn't put up with being undervalued in general.

    I did get a B instead of a deserved A in one class in law school because of this insistence on correctness. My first evidence professor was just the sort of person who shouldn't be teaching anything to anyone: who can't admit when he or she is wrong, yet is wrong a lot of the time. Proving beyond dispute that I'd been incorrectly docked points on a major question on one exam finally resulted in a curt statement that my job was "not to learn the law, but to learn what he wanted in an answer, just like in real life". That's garbage, of course-- it might apply to salespeople, but not to a field where rightness fundamentally matters, and where some things are not debatable.

    All that said, I tend to agree with you that learning to deal with teachers and the rules of a school is beneficial, and is a lack in homeschooling. I just don't agree with easily conforming to unreasonable behavior. Sometimes right is just right, and teachers especially ought to realize that.

    At the university where my wife teaches, there's an appeals process that a student can invoke who feels that an incorrect grade has been given. Maybe I'd better shop around for such a feature when school hunting with DS. He's as much of a stickler as me.


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    Normally I agree with Bostonian's POV, but I would be really torqued about my child getting that problem wrong in that scenario. That's nuts.

    It would especially be worth my time because Iucounu is trying to get his son advanced.

    That said, DD has been marked wrong when clearly right a few times, and I have never contested it. It's third grade, and she has straight As; stakes are low. However, I do tell DD that she was right.

    I thought of another one, btw; DD was recently marked wrong on a grammar sheet ("Correct the errors in the sentence") for using the serial comma.

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    This thread caught my eye today. My grade 3 son came home with a study sheet for an oral exam in his second language class. He is supposed to practice asking questions, and the sheet has 12 pictograms (with no text) representing the questions he is meant to practice. They all show a child with his/her hand raised, and a "thought bubble" to represent what they want to ask.

    Well, a few are obvious (child with raised hand holding a pencil and thinking about a pencil sharpener), but most are a complete mystery to me (and DS).

    Why is a boy thinking about a woman (head only, no distinguishing features) talking on the phone? The best we could come up with is maybe he wants to call his mom.

    A girl is thinking about someone mopping the floor -- does she want to see the janitor, does she want to mop the floor, has she spilled something that needs to be cleaned up?

    Or another boy is thinking about a woman (or possibly a girl) in front of a computer. Perhaps the school secretary, or perhaps not . . . perhaps he wants a turn at the computer?

    I am sure there is supposed to be one right answer for each image - I just don't know what it is!

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    These were not homework problems, but DS caught these teacher mistakes last year, while in 4th grade:

    * Teaching science: The sun doesn't move or rotate.
    * Teaching math:
    => Teacher: A circle is made up of a lot of points
    => DS: Isn't it made up of an infinite number of points?
    => Teacher: It depends how big the circle is
    => DS: Stood there with his mouth open not knowing what to say


    Last edited by mithawk; 10/20/12 06:16 PM. Reason: Simplified first sentence to make less wordy
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    Originally Posted by mithawk
    * Teaching science: The sun doesn't move

    DD is still fuming 3 years later about how her 2nd grade teacher blew her off when she asked if constellations change over time.

    DD is doing a new math curriculum this year with so many markers of being version 1. Everything's scored by computer, so you can't even write out your assumptions to clarify an ambigious problem. She encounters 2-3 a week, at least one of which she asks us to arbitrate.

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    In 3rd grade math, my DS6 had to estimate which weighs more: a full water bottle or a sleeping bag. Ok, terrible unanswerable question right?

    Anyway, DS knew that my sleeping bag is lighter than a full nalgene (yes, per my name I'm an ultralight hiker) so that was his answer. He was marked wrong!


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    Originally Posted by Bostonian
    Originally Posted by Iucounu
    I felt so much like "that parent", but I'd had enough. I told DS to always be careful to get the right answer, and not to ever change his answer when a teacher at his school told him differently. I finally told him that the way they approach math learning at his school and in the district is deeply flawed, though he's not to repeat that to anyone there, and that I'm doing my best to solve that problem for him.

    Every person, and therefore every teacher, has his quirks. One reason I would be reluctant to homeschool is that being exposed to a variety of adults, each with different expectations, is good preparation for college and the workplace, where the quirks of professors and bosses will need to be handled. If the teacher wants "20 miles" when she asks "how many miles", I'd tell him to answer "20 miles".

    Schooling is not just about learning but about credentialing (and day care/warehousing). Having an interesting and well-paying job in the future may require some conformism during the school years.

    I never really "got" how beneficial following directions like this can be until a college course. The teacher had very specific expectations and she "fixed" grammar on our essay drafts by adding in many commas. So I learned to add in many commas, met her very strict deadlines, memorized everything she asked us to and did the work exactly as she wanted. I got an A in that class. She was actually an amazing teacher and I really loved that she had high standards and expectations. It was refreshing. At least one other girl fought against all the rules and failed the course. (I did something like that in 11th grade when I refused to do all the prep work and note cards for a big research paper. I failed.)

    Learning that lesson about doing things the way someone wants them has helped me in other areas of my life. I'm not too proud to do it their way, even if they might have it wrong.


    Edit to add:
    I'm actually worried that if I homeschool my daughter she'll be deprived of learning how to handle the system. How to manage a stupid multiple choice test to get the best grade, how to interpret what a higher up wants from you and do it that way, and how to navigate the political stuff.

    But letting her have more say in her own education is probably worth it...

    Last edited by islandofapples; 10/20/12 07:38 PM.
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    W t h
    I just read The Hare and the Pineapple. Everyone was on drugs when that was written and added to the test.

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    Just stumbled on this one again (I changed a few things very slightly so as to make the text this came from less identifiable--eg, it wasn't a library, but something else):

    "Decide whether you need an exact amount or an estimate. 1) Distance from a library to a school. 2) Number of weekly visitors to the baseball stadium. 3) Temperature of a deep freezer."

    Weeeeelll, that DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO WITH THE INFORMATION, doesn't it???

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