Give them the Answer

Tutoring is one of my labors of love for my kids.  Ironically,  it is also the time Bantay Bata has to be hovering around us when the lessons get tough or when they refuse to cooperate.

I start with a gentle prodding, moving on to a firm request escalating to a shouting declamation and tears from the object of my fury!

Sometimes the problem will be their truly, truly unbearable slowness in answering.  As in 10 minutes for one question – and it’s language – C’mon!  During that 10 minute time they have talked, drank water, drew a mansion, peed and talked some more -- anything to drag the time.

Sometimes they really don’t know how to do the problem (usually math word problems).    I usually go through the textbook first before the workbook so I get annoyed that after all the explanation it’s as if I talked to the wall.    Enter my husband – no matter how your eyes roll or pop or how many decibels your voice changes – if they don’t know, they don’t know.  So he taught me that it is ok to answer several items until they finally understand it.  This supposedly simple solution to my tutoring problems has so far made for happy tutoring for the past week.  And has hopefully made them understand the lesson better.  For instance,  the circuitous Singapore Math word problems,  I answered several with them until they get the hang of assigning units to each item.   There are problems however that are simply too complex even for me and I don’t have to beat the stick (ok this is exag I don’t do the rod thing) if they still don’t get it.   Now, only if I can remember, have the patience to stick to this approach and of course know how to solve the problem, all would be well.


  1. mojarri_clairjen says

    sometimes, i also give them “deal” like, finish these answer sheets and you can go on a 10 min break, wherein he can do either walk around, play with toys around and if the task is so difficult like a 20-item practice sheet i have prepared, he can go out and play in the playground ( in a period we have pre-agreed upon..) right after he is done. With these techniques we can get easily finish because he is so excited about the deal…:D
    raising voice with them frustrates us and them as experienced it myself and i don’t want to go to there again…please..especially when my kid told me “mommy, are you gonna eat me? you are so scary…” we both laughed and i swore not let my temper slip again..he is right we will really look scary. He is now awarded both on academic and non-academic..cheers!

    • Hi mojarri! Thanks for the tip:-) I usually cut them some deals too but on school days it seems there simply is not enough time to accommodate breaks. My kids kasi come home from school around 530 already (they have Chinese tutor after school). So what I do instead is I let them play outside first when they get home from school then we start studying. But once its study time hehe no more breaks!:-)

  2. Janee Standke says

    The blog help me solve my problem. Thank you very much. May you happy everyday!buy zhe way,I like Canada Goose.

  3. I can totally relate to this! I have learned (several years ago) to just say “let’s take a 5 minute break” when the voice start rising.

    Good luck to us! LOL!

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