Search - Quix
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Easy Blog
Search - Tags

Should Homeschool Students Show their Work?

What are you fussing about today?  I remember having conflict specifically about "showing your work" in math.   Exactly how do you know when it is important?  And when is it not important at all?
I am wondering how to determine if my 13 yr old is showing her work well enough in math.  She's doing Saxon Algebra II and I've given up teaching it, but do correct it in that I look for the right final answer.  Is there any reason for her to be meticulous with showing steps?  Will it be to her advantage in any way to  improve?  How do I police this when there are many different paths to the answer and the key shows only one option?
Thank you for your help,
~ Rebecca in Washington

show-your-work



Ah yes.... showing your work.  I hated fighting with my kids about that.

Some will say "always show your work" and others will say "why show work, anyway?"  I think we should take a step back and think about it from a different perspective.  Your job is not to make her show her work or not. Your job is to make sure she LEARNS, right?  Some children will learn best by showing all their work, and others find the work too repetitive or boring, so giving an oral answer makes sense (like we did for elementary level math.)  So maybe our best strategy is to make her show as many answers as she needs to in order to learn.

That's all very well and good, but here is what you might do in concrete terms.  If she shows all of her work and gets a 90% or above on her homework, then she is learning her math and has learned how to show her work.  Perhaps for the rest of the week she can show her work on just two or three problems.  The other problems she can simply right the answer.  If she scores less than 90% on that homework, then the following day she has to  show all her work again.  That will give her an incentive to get the answers correct.  It will help her learn to show her work, but also show her that the learning is more important.

If answers don't match the answer key, don't assume your child got it wrong.  I've been proven wrong that way MANY times!  Math book answer keys are notorious for getting the answers wrong - in EVERY math curriculum, not just Saxon.  Try to track down the Saxon website for updates on their answer key, or corrections.  They may have a published list.  Make use of their 800 number, and call them if you have a concern.

Again, that's all very well and good, but how do you handle it in real life?  When my child's answer didn't match the answer in the answer key, I made *them* call the company and get the explanation (most of the time, anyway.)  I was so busy with everything else, I just didn't have time, so I told me kids it was going to be marked as wrong unless they called the textbook company and got their approval that the answer key was wrong.  The only  exceptions was when they talked my husband into helping them :-)

If her answer is right but she found a different path to get the answer, that's fine.  It's  important to know there are options to getting the answer.  I would only be concerned when the answer is wrong.

I hope that helps!

homeschool-high-school.gifIf you are curious about providing a great homeschool education for your gifted child, check out my audio training, “Gifted Education at Home.
Homeschool High School: Fine Arts vs. Technology C...
Official Homeschool Transcripts and Grades
 

Comments 4

Guest - Moe on Friday, 16 August 2013 23:28

LOL...Lee I can't tell you how many times I have marked a math problem wrong and my son would do it over again and get the same answer. I did the same as you (and still do), I would have him call the company and sure enough, he was correct...lol.
Moe

LOL...Lee I can't tell you how many times I have marked a math problem wrong and my son would do it over again and get the same answer. I did the same as you (and still do), I would have him call the company and sure enough, he was correct...lol. Moe
Guest - Heather S. on Friday, 16 August 2013 10:23

My sons do most of their math in their head (5th/6th grade lvls) so I don't require them to show a lot of their work. However, if they get an answer wrong they have to redo the problem and then orally tell me how they came to that answer. If they can do orally process how they came up with the answer, I know they understood 1.)what they did wrong and 2)how to correctly solve the problem.

My sons do most of their math in their head (5th/6th grade lvls) so I don't require them to show a lot of their work. However, if they get an answer wrong they have to redo the problem and then orally tell me how they came to that answer. If they can do orally process how they came up with the answer, I know they understood 1.)what they did wrong and 2)how to correctly solve the problem.
Guest - Nancy on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 13:06

My son is 12 and doing high school geometry. He didn't show much, if any, work throughout Algebra I. I think he sees the problems and steps in a differnet manner. But, as the work got more complex, he started showing some work. Proofs in geometry are killing him becasue he likes to skip the in-between steps. But, he's doing the proofs...slowly!

When his sister did Algebra II, she also did not show her work. But, like Lee suggested, good grades, or show it. She got the answers right so I let her do it her way. She just took the AP Calculus exam last week. Guess what...free response questions give you a point to show the equation, a point for substituting correctly and a point for the right answer...Ha, ha, ha, ha , ha! Guess who had to sloooow down and show the steps! It took a couple of months of practice for her to be able to show each of the steps.

My son is 12 and doing high school geometry. He didn't show much, if any, work throughout Algebra I. I think he sees the problems and steps in a differnet manner. But, as the work got more complex, he started showing some work. Proofs in geometry are killing him becasue he likes to skip the in-between steps. But, he's doing the proofs...slowly! When his sister did Algebra II, she also did not show her work. But, like Lee suggested, good grades, or show it. She got the answers right so I let her do it her way. She just took the AP Calculus exam last week. Guess what...free response questions give you a point to show the equation, a point for substituting correctly and a point for the right answer...Ha, ha, ha, ha , ha! Guess who had to sloooow down and show the steps! It took a couple of months of practice for her to be able to show each of the steps.
Guest - karen on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 05:43

My son never likes to show his work. He doesn't understand why he should have to and feels it is a waste of time. "I have the answer correct isn't that the point" he says. I watched him and he seems to figure most of it out in his head. I have him show me his process on how he came up with the answer whether on paper or verbally.

My son never likes to show his work. He doesn't understand why he should have to and feels it is a waste of time. "I have the answer correct isn't that the point" he says. I watched him and he seems to figure most of it out in his head. I have him show me his process on how he came up with the answer whether on paper or verbally.
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, 21 September 2020

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/

More Encouraging Posts

  • Many Ways to Say “I love you”

    My kids think I'm crazy, but I've always celebrated Valentine's Day with pink, red, and heart-shaped food. I'm not usually a very crafty person, but I love to create food

    Read More
  • What is a Good Score on the SAT?

    What is a good score on the SAT? Everybody asks me that!

    good score on the SAT


    There is no formula or calculation for what makes a good score.  A good SAT score is the

    Read More
  • The 12 Days of Christmas Teaching Tips

    Master my best teaching tips this Christmas!

    Holiday seasons, especially between November and January, are busy times. Celebrations like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Hanukkah, and more seem to tumble on

    Read More
  • Class Rank for Homeschoolers

    Class Rank for Homeschoolers

    Class rank is just one decision you will need to make on your homeschool records. Let me teach you how to make transcripts and records that open doors to college admission and

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53