Why Are You Teaching Him THAT?

The list of people  who asked me at some point or another, “Why Are You Teaching Him That?” is much too long to ignore this question, and attitudes behind it.  The truth is I attempted to teach Robert everything I believed I could.  Teaching something is better than teaching nothing.  Teaching what you know how to teach  is better than teaching something you don’t know how to teach.

Bethany, a nice clinical supervisor of one of my son’s program asked me ” Why are you teaching him to count by five?” The question seemed proper. At that time, my son couldn’t memorize any other addition fact than those of the form a+1. But he could count by 10. Moreover, he was able to complete simple patterns of the form ABABA.  So I started to teach him counting by five by simply squeezing 15, 25, 35  between 10, 20, 30, 40.. It was all written on paper.  He could see it.  He could notice the pattern. He could extend the pattern.   Then he could count aloud without visual support. Later, he applied this skill to tell time  and count coins.  The fact that he could utilize the skill in practical ways would satisfy Bethany.  But I credit this skill which much more. Counting by five helped Robert  to master counting by any other number up to 12.  That lead to  memorizing multiplication facts, dividing, and finding common denominator of fractions.

Every new skill opens a path which allows to learn something else.  That is why teaching something is better than teaching nothing.  And that is why you should teach what you know how to teach.



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