Optional

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. 🙂

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