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wundayatta's avatar

Is it trying not to do your homework, or is it brain freeze, or what?

Asked by wundayatta (58568points) September 18th, 2010

This is not about doing homework help on fluther. It’s about our own children.

Sometimes my son acts like he doesn’t know the simplest things. I know that sometimes he thinks that if he acts really dumb, we might just about give him the answer via socratic questioning. However, sometimes I wonder if he really does have brain freeze and just can’t wrap his mind around it.

If you have kids, what do they act like when they do this, and what do you think is going on in their heads? Is it different at different times? Why do you think they behave that way?

If you are not so far from being a kid, do you remember acting that way? What was going through your mind at the time?

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6 Answers

Gamrz360's avatar

As I was student teaching, I watched, actually learned, that childern don’t want to learn all they want is the answer and they don’t care how they get the answer.

Seek's avatar

My mother never helped with homework, and my dad was a firm “I’m not giving you the answers” type.

Sometimes it took me hours to do a page of math homework. We’re talking second and third grade – maybe a little long division, but never anything worse than that. I was a straight-A student, with a middle-school reading level, and just couldn’t put 4+15 together sometimes. That same issue followed me all the way through school. I ended up giving up on college-level maths in high school (yay for Prob and Stats! Boo on Calculus! what’s a “cosine” anyway?), even though I was in advanced classes across the board otherwise.

It wasn’t until a few years after I graduated high school that I learned what Dyscalculia is. Everyone just assumed that I was a smart kid, so how could I possibly have these problems?

It was really hurtful when people just assumed I didn’t want to do my work. And even today it drives my husband crazy when I have to ask him whether one product at 40% off is cheaper than the product I have a coupon for, or when I mix up my rights and lefts. I can’t help it. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

</rant>

Seaofclouds's avatar

When my son doesn’t want to do his homework, he’ll sometimes say he can’t instead of he doesn’t want to. Whenever he says he can’t do it, I sit and talk to him about it. Sometimes it turns out that he doesn’t really want to do it, but other times it will be that he’s stuck for some reason or another. When he doesn’t want to do it, we talk about why he needs to do his homework and we discuss when the best time is for him to do it after school. Right now, homework gets done after dinner so that he can enjoy the nice weather outside and play right after school. When he has had difficulty doing homework, it seems like he gets stuck on math word problems. He seems to forget where to start with them, so I will sit down and get him to talk me through it. That seems to do the trick for him at this point. He’s still young, so I’m sure things will change as he gets older.

@Seek_Kolinahr I never heard of dyscalculia before. Thanks for sharing your story and the information about it

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

When I was a kid, about 90% of the time it was kinda brain freeze. Often, it wasn’t true brain freeze, but that I was really confused. Maybe the teacher worded the question in a new way that threw me off, maybe I was having trouble accessing what I learned because my brain hadn’t been properly filed (like with office papers…), maybe they were trying to teach a new technique for doing it that I just couldn’t get. Think of it as trying to get to the grocery store. You know how to do it, you’ve done it tons of times. But if you had to take a different route, especially if the town was new and you just new a few set routes, you’d probably spend a bunch of time lost trying to get to a familiar place. Now imagine that you don’t realize you’ve taken a different route. That’s what it felt like as a kid.

YARNLADY's avatar

A little bit of both, depending on the circumstances. Children need a lot of variety in their learning careers, and what works now might not work the next time.

veritas's avatar

this is a tough question as there are so many factors involved – the age, maturity, intellect of the child, how the child perceives and processes information, whether there are subtle learning difficulties. To oversimplify – it’s like a string of lights – sometimes they work fine, but sometimes they dont and it can take a long time to figure out which light is responsible. If you are concerned specifically about your child – start keeping notes – when does this seem to happen most – time of day, subject matter; how does your child accept your help ( I have always been a firm believer in help through grammar school years – once the child develops a pattern of failure, it might make him think he is deficient (rather than the parental goal of him realizing that he has to work harder), Study with your child, help him break down bigger assignments into smaller steps – many young children can not do this until high school.

Save copies of tests in which your child did poorly and try to analyze why – lack of studying, misunderstanding the question, etc. Then you may want to have a meeting with the teacher. You keep working your way up and finally do testing for disabilities, tutoring if necessary. Sometimes children are wired differently neurologically – they can be quite smart, but they have a different style of learning. In the end, stick with it, try to find a different approach, help keep the child focused, and dont give up on the child. In all likelihood, as the child matures, problems will starft to resolve because you provided early intervention and patientce.

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