My second grader requested help with her homework recently. That usually just means she wants someone to listen to her talk through it. I was happy to do that.
Then she told me she wanted to do each of the four math story problems using a different strategy so that she would get a good grade. I couldn't hear her read the first story problem to me because I was so distracted by that comment.
After talking through all of the problems she ended up using two different strategies, one of them three times. I tried to explain to her that the reason her teacher has taught them a variety of strategies is so that they have options and can use whatever works best for them. I'm not sure she believed me.
We see all of her tests and talk with her about homework and school. I try to ensure that our conversations focus on what she has learned and the process rather than the grade but she's clearly getting another message somewhere. It causes me pain that my seven-year-old is losing the joy of learning. She's still got ten years before she graduates from high school. What will those years do to her?