Little A brought home an “optional” math packet today. I completely dislike the word “optional”, which puts the burden on the parents to give that extra nudge. Not a place that I like to operate from (but don’t shy away from either). So. When little A started working on her homework, and set aside the optional packet for “later”, I told her that that was homework as well, and she needed to finish all the problems there. “Ask your sister”, I told her for emphasis. To which little N (who was just starting on her never-ending homework pile) responded with “Bubby, we are Indians, nothing is optional.” Hmmmm…. and here I thought I was chilled out and easy-going.
Anyway. Little A started on her optional math packet after finishing homework, with me hovering behind her. Hard to remember not to hover. I observed, with parental satisfaction, that little A was working methodically and accurately through problems that did indeed seem more challenging than usual. Until I caught a mistake. It was a picture of multiple triangles within a large triangle and the question was to provide a tally of all possible triangles in the picture. I counted and got an answer different from little A’s. I stopped her in her tracks, and asked her to recount. We both got different answers again. And I was not that sure anymore that I was indeed correct. I showed her how I was doing the tallying, and asked her to show me just one more time how she was counting the triangles. Little A took charge. She put her pencil down, looked me straight in the eye (oh, soooo cute!), and said, “Mommy, Mrs. Y gave me the challenge math packet to see what I can do independently, not what you can fix.”
Ouch! Do you think I backed off on that high note?
I did. I did. 🙂