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Exothermic and Endothermic Reactions

January 3, 2017

My daughter having her Science class virtually at the lunch table at home:

Papa, sometimes I am so embarrassed when you are here hearing my Science teacher explaining, she sounds so cheesy.

I asked her if she understood the meaning of those words.  And then I asked her if her virtual classmates also understood.  She then gave it a long thought.

As a matter of fact, I have high respect for her acting that way.  Your teacher sounded cheesy, because she knew some of the students needed this act so that it will get into their brains, their consciousness, more easily.

She understood everything within seconds after the teacher explained. She is the “举一反三”-- kind of student, and I am sure she is not just stuck on those two jargons (“exothermic” and “endothermic”), because her language and Latin knowledge skills is far beyond mine, even though she jumped one grade and is the youngest in her class.

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I said that because I tested her later.    This is only 7th grade Science. She could explain why there is a need to “bond” between sodium (Na) and the other atoms, Cl, she could give me another example by picking “Mg” and “S”.  And of course the words “exo” and “endo” are just mere words to describe what is happening in this chemical reactions.

I think I have little or no worries in her studies and I am so sure, I think this will go on forever.  When she was younger, and it was time to for me to teach her Math, I would suggest closing all the books and go for a walk in the park or around the neighbourhood.  This walk usually lasted 30 mins to an hour.  Knowing that she is strong in words and language, we would verbally engaged in the topic of the day, until, she would re-discover the Math topic for that day, or upon me telling her the answer, she would bombard me with 20 more; either to clarify or to straighten up some new questions that arises in her.

I would not say her Math is good, I do not see her as good as I was when I was in Primary six or secondary school.  But this method of teaching her, forced her not to use short cut in learning– that is, through understanding and through asking more questions.  So far, she has never had to memorize anything, because remembering everything after the end of discussion, is a mere by-product of all these intense discussion.

Again, I always tell her uncles/aunts and cousins in Indonesia that she is far from “smart” and the only thing we should avoid in learning is ” 不要在文字上转牛角尖了,要真懂,要觉悟”, (“quit memorizing and getting caught up in jargons and words, work on real understanding and real construct of the actual thing you are learning”).

The trade-off is:  learning is very slow (and for some painful and tedious), but I always ended up with a diligent daughter who continued with her curiosity and learning way after class is over.

 

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