Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tryst with numbers

Teaching needs LOTs of patience! And apparently I don't have enough. I have written about it earlier and here I'm writing about my trysts in teaching some rudimentary stuff to Betu.

Yesterday I was trying to teach Anirudh the counting in tens - verbally as well written.

He could recite it upto 80s if he started from 1. It was kind of learnt by rote. However, when I asked him what does 3 and 0 or 6 and 0 read as? He would look at me blankly.

So that's how we started with the number practice session. Somehow I was able to make him understand how to figure out 60. I told him if its a 2 digit number, and 0 is in the 2nd position it makes the sound of "tee". He caught that concept after trying for 30 min. Then I stared to focus on the first digit and how to recognise and read the tens. If the first digit is 6, pronounce it usually way and add "tee" in the end. It works well for all but for twenty, thirty and fifty. Even though forty also doesn't work exactly the same way but it makes quite a similar sound.

Anyhow all went well except for these different sounding numbers in tens. This is how the rest 1 hour proceeded. I would say the number first and then he would repeat.

2 0 - twenty
3 0 - thirty
4 0 - forty
5 0 - fifty

After we did this for 5-6 times I asked him to recite it himself. But he would keep getting stuck at pronouncing 'thirty' and 'fifty'. I kept helping him but after trying for another 30 mins trying to make him remember to say "thirty" and "fifty" I had started to lose patience and was getting quite angry.

This is how it went
Me: 3 0 - thirty
Betu: 3 0 - thirty

Me: 4 0 ?
Betu: Fourty

Me: 5 0 - Fifty
Betu: 5 0 - Fifty

Me: 3 0?
Betu: *looks blankly"

Me: *after waiting for 1 min" 3 0 thirty
Betu: 3 0 - thirty

Me: 5 0?
Betu: *looks blankly*

Me: *again wait for 1 min" 5 0 - Fifty
Betu: 5 0 - Fifty

Me: 3 0?
Betu: *looks blankly*

Again I tell him and he repeats after me

Me: 5 0?
Betu: *looks blankly*

Again I tell him and he repeats after me

This went on for full 40 mins and I was at my wits end by this time. I ended up giving him a tight slap and sent him off to bed. He cried really hard for good 5-10 min. I don't know if I should have felt bad for slapping him but the truth is I didn't. I was way too angry then. Hubby tried to intervene but I told him to just go away and not interfere.

About 15 min later when I joined him in the bedroom to read my book, I could hear him talking to himself in whispers. I ignored it and went on with my reading. He was facing the opposite direction all this while. After about 5 mins he turned towards me and said -

Betu: *in a whisper like tone* 3 0 - thirty *paused for a while for my reaction*
Me: good!

Betu: 5 0 - fifty
Me: very good! *hugging him tight*

And at that point my tears started to flow because of happiness mixed with a bit of remorse. And we both dozed off hugging each other.

Next day morning while we sat drinking milk and tea, hubby asked him -
Hubby: 3 0?
Betu: *after thinking for 2 secs* thirty

Hubby: very good. 5 0?
Betu: fifty

Hubby: very good!!

The happiness, the jubilation we both felt that time is beyond words. It was actually a feeling of a battle won!

And now the situation is that since he has figured out how to read 2 digit numbers, he randomly asks me to practice counting with him all through the day :D

~~ Keep Smiling! ~~
Sent on my BlackBerry®.


Swati said...


Artnavy said...

good job- mom and beta

Mama - Mia said...

phew! i am not sending Cubby to school! he will get slapped in like 15mins!!

good job Mommy!



Monika said...

good job!!! amazing.. one requires so much patience

Monika,Ansh said...

& u say u do not have patience!! Girl, what will happen to me :(

Good going Betu & Mommy! Keep it up guys :)