Old 05-18-2020, 05:29 PM
jebert is offline
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 764

Help me with "home" schooling

Since my grandkids weren't getting much from their school during the pandemic, I have volunteered to work with them by video on Kids Messenger or something like it.

The first-grader says he wants to work on multiplication, which I don't believe is covered in 1st grade. I'd like to make it more interesting than telling him to memorize the "times tables." What do you recommend for getting started on this?

The sixth-grader wants to look into career choices. I sure wasn't expecting that. Anyway, I found some Meyers-Briggs stuff, but I think it's more applicable to adults. Any suggestions for leading a discussion on careers with a sixth-grader?
Old 05-18-2020, 09:01 PM
Kimstu is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 23,429
IMO, elementary multiplication is most clearly explained with little manipulatives (not the students, the objects ). That is, you and your grandkid collect some pennies or jellybeans or whatever and practice the idea that 2x3 is what you get by laying out 2 rows of 3 objects, which is the same number that you get by laying out 3 rows of 2 objects or 3x2. It really illustrates the notion of multiplication as just repeated addition.

You can see all sorts of cool properties of multiplication this way, such as the fact that an odd number times an odd number always equals an odd number, while an odd number times an even number is always an even number. (Which is different from the corresponding results in the case of addition, btw!) It also gives a good intuitive concept of the idea of rectangular area as a product of two side lengths.

Originally Posted by jebert
Anyway, I found some Meyers-Briggs stuff, but I think it's more applicable to adults.
Nah, Myers-Briggs isn't even applicable to adults, if by "applicable" you mean "produces any scientifically valid results" rather than "can be a fun and subjectively enlightening artificial framework for some individuals to use in thinking about their own personality traits".

I'd start out by just talking to your sixth-grader about what careers they're interested in, and why. I think that what kids that age need most is not aptitude testing to direct them towards their most "suitable" career, but just more information about how careers work in general and what different ones are like. With a reasonable basis of information, their own preferences will end up guiding them to the careers they'll like best.
Old 05-19-2020, 01:10 AM
chappachula is offline
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 5,932
As for the career thing: that seems like a pretty heavy topic for an 11 year old.
I'd suggest taking it easy, and being very general.
No need for the fancy testing stuff like Myers-briggs.

So just chat with him about the concept of working for a living.
Start with the very,very basics: does the kid have any grasp of what "work" is?
Ask him where his parents work, and where his friends parents work.
Then ask him and what they actually do while they are at work for 8 hours..
I think the main answer you'll get will be: "I don't know".

So start with his parent's jobs. Explain to him what they do, and how they do it. An engineer makes computations and draws precise drawings. A salesman calls clients, schedules delivery times and quotes prices.A tradesman works with tools, and sometimes his muscles hurt.A truck driver,well drives..(he probably knows that!)--so tell him that the driver sits for a long,long time and sometimes gets bored, and is often away from home.

Keep the conversation short, each day on a different topic, and see if the kid is grasping the general idea.
Then see if he seems to be interested in something specific,
Old 05-19-2020, 03:48 PM
msmith537 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 28,144
Originally Posted by jebert View Post
Any suggestions for leading a discussion on careers with a sixth-grader?
Sixth grade is a bit early to discuss career specifics IMHO. At best I would try to instill a sense of finding things that interest them and pursuing those interests through hard work, education and practice.

Try and give them a sense of do they like working with people? With machines? Numbers and charts?

Do they like working alone or with teams? Or both?

Are they interested in more intellectual or working class pursuits?

What kind of lifestyle do they think they might like?

Are they interested in travel?

Do they like helping people?

Are there specific jobs, industries or companies they find interesting now?

Nothing is written in stone at this point. But it doesn't hurt to start thinking about the sorts of things they MIGHT want to do. Hell, when I was in sixth grade, most of the work I do hadn't been invented yet (or it was very different). From 11th grade through college, I thought I wanted to be an architect/civil engineer.

I'm sure my five year old son will change his mind about being a NYWaterway ferryboat captain at some point.
Old 05-19-2020, 03:52 PM
SmartAleq's Avatar
SmartAleq is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: PDXLNT
Posts: 5,843
For the multiplication thing, use Legos. They're all handily equipped with variable numbers of bumps and hooking them up to show how many you end up with when you multiply is basically everything that Legos are.


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