September 24, 2009

My Fourth Time in Fifth Grade

The flu medication is making my son sicker than the flu. Tonight will be his last dose. Good grief.

Bones is struggling in 5th grade because... it's 5th grade and because... he's Bones. As my reader Webb commented, this may not have been the best year to go no meds. I expect we'll be back on meds before the end of the year.

Until then, the family is fully immersed in getting him through. They called that show 'Are you smarter than a 5th grader' for a reason. There is a lot of information covered in 5th grade.

As of now, we have some topography project on the dining room table, on the back porch are flowers growing to different types of music from The Beach Boys to Andrew Bucellli, and we're all in the process of learning the states and capitals.

I've printed out some lyrics to a song on capitals and states and have taken to singing it around the house, which is making Ringo NUTS. I don't have a high pitched voice and the song is to the tune of Turkey in the Straw.

By the time this year is over, we'll all be stellar 5th graders and we're dragging Bones with us... whether he likes it or not.

This has the markings to be a very long year. Fortunately he has excellent teachers...


Math... Bones does not live on my same planet.

I got up the other morning and my husband asked me to quickly go over Bones' math homework before they left for school. He'd not had a chance to review it.

I read throught it, and it was nothing difficult. It was adding and subtracting big numbers with decimals.


(This was lined up in preview... you catch my drift.)

He missed EVERY subtraction problem. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.

I looked over it and finally said, 'Dude... you didn't borrow... on any of these. Every one of them..."

His reply? "I hate borrowing, so I decided not to."


Decided not to? As if the rules in math are... OPTIONAL?

That is the frickin' BEAUTY of math. Black and white. The answer is the same. The rules always apply. And they get you the RIGHT ANSWER!

I continued, "Borrowing is not an optional gig. Math has rules and you MUST follow them. There's none of this, "Oh, well, la de dah, I don't feel like 7x3 should be 21, today I'll make it 10." NO. The rules are the rules. Always."

He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Fine."

I had him do the problems for me and he KNEW what he was doing. He KNEW how to borrow.

He just didn't feel like it.

As he was packing up his work to go to school I said, "What do you think you were going to do on your test today? Boycott borrowing? And Mrs. P was going to say, 'Oh, it's Bones. He hates borrowing so today, I'll let him do Math his way?'"


He shrugged and left.

I picked him up from school and said, "How did your math test go?"

He said, "Fine. Mom, don't worry. I even borrowed."

Thank God.

I am so dreading Algebra with him. If he thinks he can bend the math rules at his whim in 5th grade, what in the hell am I going to be contending with when there are SCADS of rules.

Holy crap.

Posted by Boudicca at September 24, 2009 08:54 PM

"I hate borrowing, so I decided not to."

Oh, that made me laugh! I have not heard that one before! He's a caution, Bou!

Maybe he'd like to do it like this:

23.51 - 19.87 = (20 - 10) + (3 - 9) + (.5 - .8) + (.01 -.07) = 10 - 6 -.3 - .06 then crunch it left to right.

I know it's a little weird, but it's how I do it when I don't have a calculator and I have to do it in my head.

Posted by: PeggyU at September 24, 2009 09:34 PM

He hasn't learned parens yet!!

BTW, I am sending that site you gave me to my student. She and I are going to go on Safari around her house looking for slopes. She just doesn't know it yet. We're going to be calculating slopes of everything I can find.

Posted by: Bou at September 24, 2009 09:50 PM

Oh, oh, oh...that states song was also done by the Animaniacs! I miss them so much.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at September 24, 2009 10:16 PM

LOL, Bou! Take her to the park and make her go down the slide :)

Posted by: PeggyU at September 24, 2009 10:57 PM

Memorizing the state capitals has to be the most extreme waste of time in the entire school experience. What are they thinking?

Posted by: Carl Brannen at September 25, 2009 05:04 PM

Carl- Thank you. We were just wondering that.

Meanwhile, this frickin' song, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Columbus is the capital of Ohio...

Seriously, he has so much homework and we're memorizing something that will get him NOWHERE in life.

Posted by: bou at September 25, 2009 06:39 PM

Borrowing is optional? Answers like that would make me tear my hair out and go on an extended rant that would make Jack Nicholson proud. Unfortunately my kids tended to give such lame excuses when they were younger as well.

Memorizing state capitols? I remember doing it as extra credit back in third grade. The only use I have for it these days is something to brag about. Otherwise useless trivia rattling in my head.

Posted by: diamond dave at September 26, 2009 05:12 AM

So the blonde bragged about knowing all the state capitols. "Go ahead", she dared, "Ask me."

"What's the capital of Oregon?"

"That's easy", she said. "It's O."

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Sometimes I don't borrow when I subtract. I pay back. That's how my parents were taught. I'd link to the appropriate Tom Lehrer video but MuNu doesn't like YouTube.

Posted by: Denny at September 28, 2009 03:58 PM