Sunday, August 21, 2011

Abacus

I am not sure what is easier. Working 8 hours at your job or getting the little one to do abacus homework. One is obviously about self motivation and the second is motivating someone else. We have tried different methods - Saam, Daam, Dand and Bhed! But one thing that is not mentioned in the above 4 is - Competition.

What is working now is that me and the little one have a race. I calculate on the calculator and he on the abacus. And both of us are supposed to get the same answer - that is my objective. His objective is more about racing the calculator and me. And is it working? Yes, in limited doses it does work. Empathetic teaching - where he is allowed to take breaks when he wants to and play alongside the competition seems to help more than fervent appeals or telling him about future benefits which he has no clue about.

This is the current trick which is working - many other tricks have long outlived their utility. And therein lies an important learning - you can fool the mind for some time with the same trick or can you fool the mind for a long time with a bag of tricks, but unless the mind is convinced from within - there is no way long term learning and sustained learning will happen! (Actually this is debatable - but there is a tipping point which makes it happen -more on that later).

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