I remember wayyy back in school, my teacher use to give us this mini math quiz called 'congak'. She would quickly rattle off 10 multiplication questions and we had to quickly write down the answer. Although it was a source of stress for my young soul, I admit it quickly embossed the multiplication tables into my brain.
Well, I want to give my children that kind of strong foundation in math. I don't want to be satisfied with their finger counting ways. I want them to look at a sum and immediately know the answer. At this point, I'm not talking about multiplication sums but simple addition. So, I've been giving K one page of sums to practice everyday. I'd write the time she start and the time she ends so we can monitor if she is getting faster.
Anyway, she was working next to me one night while I was busy click-clacking on the computer. After a while I paused as I heard this tap-tapping sound next to me. Whaddaya know... this little girl is quietly working away on her sums WITH A CALCULATOR.
Look at her cheeky laugh when I told her that that was not allowed. Although I reprimanded her for not using her brains to the sums, deep down I applauded her because:
1. She is ingenious enough to find something to make her work easier
2. She knows how to make technology work to her advantage
Sigh! This is one of those times you want to discourage but also encourage. So how? So do both lah:
"Hey, cannot cheat. You are doing this to train your brain. But clever-ah, you know how to take the calculator to help you. BUT cannot okay?"
Talk about a confused parent (shaking head).