Parents teaching their children

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teaching Grace, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Jun 8, 2011

    My husband and I were walking through the mall the other day. We overheard a mom who was helping her son pick out a shirt (I'm guessing) for his dad for Father's day. This is pretty much the conversation:

    Mom: Which color do you like?

    Son: I like the black one best, I think.

    Mom: Alright, yeah, that will work. Except black isn't a color. It's a shade.

    ..... My husband and I just looked at each other........:eek:
     
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  3. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Jun 8, 2011

    Mumbo-jumbo

    I guess that's short for.......

    "Black is the absence of reflected light".........

    Just sayin'
    :2cents:
    TechnoMage
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Yeah, I wouldn't go too quickly bashing the parent. Look up the different types of information you will find on "is black a color". It really isn't a simple topic.
     
  5. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    When I took art in college they taught that black, white and grey are shades not colors.

    But I'm curious - were you impressed that she took the moment to point that out, or did you disapprove?
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    My oldest dd had a rough day in daycare one day when she corrected the teacher when she was just two. The teacher was teaching shapes. Dd insisted on calling the squished-looking circle an ellipse and the teacher told that she was wrong, it wasn't "lips."

    Flash forward a few years and dd is laughed at for saying a square is a rectangle.

    I got quite a few weird looks from the teachers because I had taught her things on my own. Especially odd when the teachers did not know the things my daughter did. I don't understand why it is a big deal if parents actually teach their children. Isn't that their job?
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    This goes right back to the discussion of teachers needing to know way more than the courses they teach.
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I actually had to go into a parent/teacher conference over the square/rectangle thing. My son was quite livid that he got a test question marked wrong when he was most definitely NOT wrong.

    As to the OP, color is the reflection of light. Since what we see as "black" is the absence of such reflection (or the absence of light), it is not, technically a color. The mother was absolutely correct. Black is not, technically, a color. In the art world, it's known as a shade.
     
  9. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    MM.. I was going to say about the same thing...we say black is absence of color. Hubby loves black & he will say it's not really a color it's the absence of... LOL!!
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

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    My dd was given some vocabulary work one night. She had one word, I can't remember which one, that is almost always used as a verb. But in technical/industrial circles it is also used as a noun. Few people use it as a noun but I happened to be in a very technical/industrial job at the time and used it regularly when talking about work. DD made a sentence using it as her mother would have. She received no credit for it.

    I saw the paper a couple of days later and insisted dd look up the word in the dictionary and copy down the definition and give it back to the teacher. DD was understandably scared and wanted to just take the low grade. But she did what I told her to do.

    The teacher wrote a long note on the paper. She gave her full credit for the work, apologized for marking her incorrect and thanked her for teaching her a variation of the word that she did not know. Now THAT is a great teacher!
     
  11. dibba

    dibba Rookie

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    Jun 8, 2011

    When referring to black as a color of an object (shirt, wall, shoes, etc), it IS a color.

    Black is only the "absence of light" when referring to it as light, as in a color on the light spectrum.

    For example, if you mix all the colors of light together, you get pure white, where if you mixed all the colors of a pigment together you'd get black.

    You cannot compare, at all, colors when referring to them as light vs a pigment.

    So you could argue, I guess, that looking at the night sky and seeing "black" is not a color.

    But to go to the OP, if the parent was going to tell the kid black isn't a color, they need to go into detail as why they said that.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Maybe it was an inside joke?

    I'd be willing to bet that mom would be SHOCKED to know that her offhand comment sparked a debate over light and pigment and colors!
     
  13. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Jun 9, 2011

    One of mine and DW's favorite bits of parental teaching was when we were on a fishing trip, on one of those boats that carries a hundred or so people. A father was there with his pre-teen daughter, and she was being resistant about eating a pretzel with mustard on it, wanting to pick around the mustard.

    He scolded her, "Eat your mustard, it's good for you."

    We found the nutritional advice rather laughable. :lol:


    I know, somone will come and say mustard can be good for you. But this was standard yellow mustard, not some whole-grain organic mustard.
     
  14. webmistress

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    I agree with dibba. Depending on the age of the child, getting so technical so soon can certainly confuse the child. Some things take time to grasp. Unless it's something really crucial I don't care to 'correct' the little ones about everything every time. But maybe the mom was a serious artist or vision scientist or something. :D Saying it's a shade is not a good explanation, but maybe she explained it better at a later time.

    I took extensive visual science courses (post grad) and I wouldn't even bother to 'correct' my child in that particular situation because in the actual/everyday world, black will always be referred to as a color. My professors and classmates during casual convos about clothing etc would refer to black and white as colors just like anyone else would. It's just really silly to be so technical about it IMO.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    It sounds as though the mom was at least close enough to correct to spark a debate among professional educators. And as though she was interested enough in her son's education to take advantage of a "teachable moment" when one came along.
     
  16. bros

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    Jun 9, 2011

    When I was in the waiting room for my therapist on tuesday, there is always the younger sister (like in second grade) of another patient. This tuesday, she said her favorite color was black. Then I asked her if she knew that black was the absence of color. She said she learned from her teacher that white was the absence of color.

    So her mom and I both looked it up on our phones and we found we were both right :p
     
  17. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    How old was the kid? I'm guessing pretty young if mom was helping him pick out a shirt. IMO, that's just really sad! I feel bad for this kid. Does she really have to be so anal about black being a shade? I assume she's nitpicking the kid on other pointless things as well. I could MAYBE understand if it was an older kid who was really interested in art or something. Any normal person would refer to a black object as being the color black. Even an adult who pointed out something like this (black is technically a shade) in a social conversation would probably be considered rude.

    I don't have a problem with parents teaching their kids about things they're interested in, but this doesn't sound like teaching to me. To be totally honest, I think it's kind of ridiculous when parents sit at home and teach their kid EVERYTHING and then send them to school as well, and then complain that they're bored. Teaching about an interesting hobby or going more in depth on something the kid is really interested in is great. But if you're that set on teaching your kid everything, why not just homeschool? When does that kid get to play or do something fun if they're doing double school?

    Since Alice brought it up, I take the total opposite approach with this situation and teachers knowing more than their content. In a scenario like this, I think it totally proves my point from the other thread that teaching is a whole lot more than basic knowledge, no matter how much knowledge you have. This parent obviously has no idea what is developmentally or socially appropriate here. I'm guessing she's a really smart woman, but I bet she'd stink at teaching!
     
  18. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    Jun 9, 2011

    I could totally see myself doing something like that. :eek:

    I spent a little too much time studying as a kid and missed a lot of leeson on social graces. :lol:
     
  19. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Um, isn't it possible that we're making a lot of judgments about an anonymous parent without any real knowledge of the situation? Maybe the mom was taking a college art class, and after a lot of studying just had an automatic response? Maybe she had been helping her kid study for art class? Maybe she's an artist? Whatever the case, I don't think we can label the situation sad based on the minuscule amount of information we have!
     
  20. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    To be totally honest, I find it ridiculous when all parents do is send their kids to school, and then are surprised when they need remedial math and English classes in high school/college.

    A parent has to be teaching their child. One of the reasons kids in affluent areas do better is because their parents can spend so much on enrichment/tutoring services/etc.
     
  21. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    Jun 9, 2011

    exactly
     
  22. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    There is a HUGE difference between helping kids with homework, teaching them about hobbies/things they're interested in, going to museums etc. and trying to teach them the entire 6th grade curriculum before they're in 1st grade.
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My point was that the mom wasn't as off base as the original poster suggested.

    As someone else pointed out, we know nothing about the mom or the child. Perhaps he's an art prodigy, or perhaps last night at dinner he asked a question about the difference between a color and a shade. Perhaps he's color blind, and she was making an important point to him. Perhaps she does teach art, and this is an important distinction to her.

    Oops, one more point-- this is a quote from the preceding page: "Since Alice brought it up, I take the total opposite approach with this situation and teachers knowing more than their content."
    You'll never convince me that it's beneficial for teachers to limit what they know about their material.
     
  24. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'm sorry. Parents shouldn't have to teach or tutor their children in academics. Children go to school for a huge number of hours. That is what the school says they are going to do.

    My grandparents didn't tutor my parents, and they can read, write, and do math better than the majority of kids graduating today.
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think it needs to be healthy mix.

    There can't be a total disconnect between school and home. We talk about current events at the dinner table. We read, particularly over the summer. We do museums and aquariums.

    But it's the teacher's responsibility to teach. So my kids shouldn't come home over February break with a 24 page "optional" test prep booklet for the upcoming standardized tests. How they do on those tests is NOT my concern-- it's the teacher's and the school's.
     
  26. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Yes, well, I was talking about the reality, rather than what should be. Many parents do not feel secure relying on the public school system as it is today. I don't think this lack of security is entirely unjustified.

    Yes, and there's a HUGE difference between teaching kids a few facts about light and color, and teaching them the entire 6th grade curriculum, also.
     
  27. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Parents shouldn't need to spend money on tutoring or enrichment services, but education should certainly be part of everyday home life.

    My parents read to me as a child, and always took me to museums, botanical gardens, or sought out resources for things that I was interested in. Many of those were free, though I was fortunate that my parents were always able to make time for me.

    Nobody knows their child better than parents, so who better to take advantages of all the transparent teachable moments?

    Reading, specifically, I feel shouldn't be left solely up to the school. Schools do a generally lousy job of fostering a love for books and reading, but parents can achieve that very easily.
     
  28. dibba

    dibba Rookie

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    If parents have the resources (money and time) to better enhance their child's education, they should. Little Johnny will be better off than (in theory) his classmate if he gets extra help (tutoring, education materials, etc) so why not hopefully give your child a chance at a better life?
     
  29. 2ndTimeAround

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    I get upset when people try to pigeon hole lessons that parents teach based on a child's age. My oldest daughter could tell you the names of elements on a periodic table when she was two years old. She could tell you that she got 23 chromosomes from her daddy and 23 from me. She couldn't tell you why carbon is placed where it is or why it is different than nitrogen, but she knew the names of the common elements and their symbols. She couldn't tell you about meiosis or gamete production but she could sing a song about 46 chromosomes that I made up.

    Teaching her those things kept my brain interested and helped me study for tests when I returned to college. I didn't damage her in any way and I don't see how it is any different than when she became obsessed with dinosaurs a few months later and had their names all memorized.
     
  30. Mrs. Q

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    Yeah, this. I would much rather my child be smart and educated (and no, I don't necessarily think they're the same) and maybe even know something his teacher doesn't know -- than to depend on school to learn everything. A parent's job IS to teach their children the things they need to be successful.

    No, I don't necessarily try to teach my son (who's 3yo) everything that he might learn in elementary school. But we take him to the library, museums, zoos, historical places, anywhere we can -- and when he was 18 months old, he could tell you that a steogosaurus was a herbivore, which meant he ate plans and that a T-rex was a carnivore, which means he ate meat. I teach him as much as he can understand for his age and will always think he's better off for it.
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I completely agree with you. I'm really surprised by this conversation.

    As far as parental involvement in teaching children, if one is unwilling to be partner in the education process they should be unwilling to have children.

    So often I feel that as teachers we're darned if do and darned if don't, but now I believe some parents must feel much the same...
     
  32. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I think like all teacher's parent's have different strengths & maybe more knowledgeable in some areas that a teacher may not be.

    I always though I heard somewhere when you are a parent you are your child'd first teacher.

    I agree with most it needs to be a mix of both school and parents. Hopefully both are smart enought to know where their strength/weaknesses lie. I hope that if a teacher doesn't know something that was asked they do a little research & if the parent doesn't they do the same. I think this is a huge lesson that we all don't know EVERYTHING!!!
     
  33. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    We're criticizing a parent for teaching her child.....correctly, really???? I mean the whole point is that it seems like she probably has conversations with her child. Isn't that what we want???

    This is why I mind my own business.
     
  34. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Oh my. So much based on what was probably a little snippet of conversation, between a parent and child that we know nothing about!

    This is how rumors get started.
     
  35. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    IMHO

    In my most humble opinion.

    Good parenting, not enrichment/tutoring services/etc..

    Is going to help children succeed...

    A willing parent, with just the tools at hand, can help a child's curiosity about the world outside, grow. Or not!

    In many cases, its just a lack-of-wanna. IMHO

    :2cents:TechnoMage
     
  36. teacherheath

    teacherheath Companion

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    My son is an absolute SPONGE. I cannot imagine not ever teaching him anything. I always tells his teachers that I promise we don't sit around playing school all day, but this kid BEGS me for workbooks and he doesn't stop talking, mostly because he's asking questions or trying to figure something out. I can totally see myself saying something like the mom in the store, simply for the discussion it would prompt. Oh, and as a side note, I do make him play outside and do things outside of his comfort zone as well.
     
  37. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I believe that my job as PARENT is to TEACH my child...my job as a TEACHER is to TEACH other's children.
     
  38. old_School

    old_School Rookie

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    Right on!!!!!!!

    Raising children Ive discovered is a team effort. Parents and teachers should work together to provide the chilld with a collection of information in order for him/her to make good decsions later on in life.
     
  39. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Really? I love it when kids come in with background knowledge of things because their parents have taught it. That is what a responsible parent does. I teach my own children all the time, and usually through situations that the OP described. I don't look down on parents who aren't able to teach their child. But I believe that, especially knowing what teachers deal with daily and the expanse of material we are expected to teach, that teaching and learning begin at home. I wouldn't wait for Home Ec classes to teach my child about cleaning and cooking, so why not teach them about art, history, math, etc. I correct my children's vocabulary when they say something inappropriate,
    "I don't got any...". I wish more of my students' parents had the time, energy, and knowledge to teach them more things at home.

    IN my opinion, it was a teachable moment, from what has been described. Since we really don't know the relationship between the two, it's hard to say if she was being derogatrory toward the child, if it was an inside joke, or simply a teachable moment. The mom could be an art teacher, the child could have just learned about colors and shades in class, or could be taking an art class.
     
  40. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Ooops--sorry, I read page 1, and wondered why the only response was "exactly". I was surprised that there hadn't been a discussion on the comments made. LOL! I didn't even look for page two until I posted and then thought--where did all of these come from?! Sorry!
     
  41. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Sorry, I shouldn't have brought the focus onto the financial aspect. The fact is, most parents can do exactly what affluent parents do -- it just takes time, and many conversations with the child. Money does make it much easier to provide support.

    I disagree that it's just lack-of-wanna -- at least to an extent. Many parents just don't know how much desire is actually required.
     

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