Tutor Tales, Volume 26
I was thinking of that early this week, at Scrap Metal's house, as I organised the work he'd have to do during our hour together . . .
He likes it when all the books he needs are already on the study table, open to the pages that need to be answered, and stacked in a certain order. Maths always goes on top, then Language or Reading (separate subjects in his school), then Filipino, then Religion. That's because he likes Maths the best . . . and Religion the least. =P
While he was still dithering about, I began: "Scrappy, let's say I told you that you could have one marshmallow--"
"What kind of marshmallow?"
"A normal marshmallow."
"I don't like normal marshmallows. I only eat chocolate marshmallows."
"Okay. Let's say I told you that you could have one chocolate marshmallow now or two chocolate marshmallows at the end of our tutorial. Which one would you pick?"
He really thought about it, his little forehead scrunched up in concentration.
Then: "I'll take one marshmallow now."
It explained so much more than the order in which he does his homework.
The next day, I was with Angel Delight and thought I'd ask her the same question.
Her eyes sparkled at the thought of chocolate covered marshmallows, and she, too, gave her answer much thought.
"I think . . . I'll take the two marshmallows after our tutorial!"
That explained a lot, too.
Only at the end of the hour did I remember that she has already become used to saving her treats until all her work is done. For several weeks now, I've ended each tutorial but one by reading aloud one chapter from Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories from Wayside School.
And as much as I'd like to end it there and say we've been tutoring happily ever after . . .
The book was my choice--an "educated guess" because I didn't really know what Angel Delight would like to read. (Her collection is still dominated by picture books. The girl needs more MG love.) I soon noticed that she really liked the funny-but-realistic stories but wasn't too enthusiastic about the more surreal ones. Still, I didn't "get it" (as we say) until she brought out The English Roses: Friends for Life!--which isn't really a story book, but a slam book style guide to the five main characters in the English Roses series--and asked me to read it to her.
And just like that . . . I knew.
It's hard to explain this kind of knowledge with mere words, so I hope you get what I mean when I say that if Angel Delight came to a fork in the road with Roald Dahl's Matilda on one side and Beverly Cleary's Beezus and Ramona on the other . . . she'd take the second path.
Which is not to say that reading is "either-or" (because we all know that it's "both-and"), just that we all have our preferences, and that if you want to get children to love reading, you should hook them with books that appeal to theirs.
I don't think I'll ask my older girls, Rain Dancer and Star Shaker, about marshmallows. (LOL!) After a certain age, the question becomes too insulting. You know? =P
I'll write about them in a different post.
Image Source: Chocolate marshmallow