Play and theme-based learning with our children

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Messy Fractions

We had a quick lesson in fractions this morning as I cut my 4 year-old son's pancakes in eighths. "Eight is enough!" he belted, ready to start chowing.

 Before we could continue our lesson, I went to the kitchen to get milk. When I came back I saw my son had hammered his blueberries with his fork, splattering blueberry juice all over the table. Geez. I made him clean up his mess and asked him to apologize. He cleaned up, fake crying the whole time, but he wouldn't apologize. So I gave him a choice between apologizing or going to his room. Guess where he is right now?


  1. That's one of the toughest things to do--teach accountability and the necessity to apologize. Good for you to start now and not put it off.

    At the same time, I wonder if his food-centered aggression was a way of expressing frustration that he's not ready to discuss fractions yet? At least not on an empty stomach?


  2. redwhiteandgrew, love your point. A reason I posted is because I sensed a lot going on here. And it only occurred to me afterwards to try talking it through with my son, instead of jumping straight to my adult agenda that he only make sanctioned messes and must apologize for this one. My expectations can get pretty high without my noticing...

  3. Quite honestly I think its quite simple. Keep work and other time separate. When analysing a 4 year old child I do truly believe it can be quite easy to over-read some signs, this is one of those occasions. Really a real apology should be saved for something more serious, a bit of blueberry juice is something you should voice seriously but not make a whole ordeal out of. Something like blueberry juice shouldn't really need a sit down and talk session...

    The more worrying topic is that your son, sensing your distress, was not willing to apologise readily - which when I was younger I naturally did - so it may indicate that he too did not take the matter seriously. If you use words too often and send him to his room too often these tools of life become less and less meaningful.

    Just be weary of what you emphasise.