Monday, September 17, 2007

Monday Evening

What a day. We both overslept and didn't get school started until 9:30. We finished at 4:30.

Everything went smoothly until we got to Wordly Wise. Last year Thomas loved Wordly Wise. This year he hates it. We're finishing last year's book, so it's not like it's a more difficult level yet. This is an area that I'm struggling. We could easily pass on WW because he learns lots of vocab in other areas. I'm just such a stickler for him learning a good vocab because I don't have one.

So I got a little moaning and whining. Then I brought out our writing book for the year, Write! Write! Write!. I may blog someday why I chose that, but not now. He whined at the size of the book. "I hate writing, mom." Well, it shows. He really needs to learn to write this year.

Luckily, he was happy when we opened the book. The first several pages are fill in the blanks, similar to Mad Libs, and he had a ball. He even finished the story in a spiral notebook. Okay, this wouldn't fly in public school, but there were mentions of Beavis and Butthead in his story. (His dad allows him to watch that, not me. And his dad allows him to watch it because his dad loves Beavis and Butthead.) There were also mentions of poop, vomit, and farts.

I'm okay with that. For now. He's writing. I told him that he will gain class as time goes on because I will expect it. But for now he's writing.

He's still loving logic. And his favorite workbook is Nonfiction Reading Grade 6.

Then we came to math. We're using Lial's this year. I still have reservations, and we're only on day 8 here. He wants it, doesn't want to go back to Rod and Staff. So I'll plug away. The thing is, we kind of hit a brick wall this morning when he had to divide 55,897 by 32 -- or whatever the numbers were. So we practiced several problems together. I taught him to take small bits, break it down and make it easier. It was a struggle and took a long time. At this point he lost all concentration. This has happened with math every single year of our homeschool experience.

Why is it that a kid can score the same as an 11th grader on a standardized test in math concepts, above grade-level on computation, but struggles so with day-to-day math. I don't get it. However, this afternoon I thought back to when we started fractions. We had started Lial's in 4th grade and we got off track. I bought Painless Fractions and we just went at our own pace learning fractions. I made worksheets from the internet. And it worked. He knows fractions amazingly well. So I'm going to go off on a tangent yet again.

I just printed a bunch of worksheets off a generator site. Tomorrow he's going to do 10 really-hard-to-him problems, and 10 double and triple digit multiplication problems. We'll probably do this until it becomes easier for him. I'll know when the whining and frustration stops.

I get caught up in the school mindset: Forge ahead, we have to finish the book, we have to stay on schedule. I really have to scream NO--we have to learn and learn well.

So hopefully tomorrow will be smooth sailing. I'll work one or two problems with him and sit by him as he works the rest. We'll also do this first thing in the morning so he's fresh.

Wish us luck!

In other areas I'm still tweaking--which is my style. We're still enjoying United Streaming VERY, VERY much. Science is going great. World history is fantastic. He's learning, he's remembering, and he's using his new-found knowledge in conversations with his father. What more could we want?

So hoping tomorrow is better without a meltdown.


Mother Crone's Homeschool said...

That is it in a nutshell-to learn and learn well. I find that whenever I slow down and allow the kids to truly understand a concept, our future in that subject is so much better!
BTW, NatureGirl did the same thing with WorldyWise at the end of last year. I think it had more to do with being bored with the format, and feeling it was juvenile busy work. We switched to "Words on teh Vine" for a simple intro to Latin roots, and she is enjoying it. Plus, only three pages per root, and I make up a quiz every two root sets. Pretty simple!

audrey said...

I hear you! T is a major whiner when it comes to math. He gets the concepts well, but cannot seem to execute even the simplest problems sometimes.

We practise, practise, practise. Eventually, he'll have that "aha!" moment.

mull-berry said...

The football moms were saying just last night that the 6th graders are allowed to use a calculator to "help" solve math problems. For instance, with long division, they can use it to quickly figure out how many times one number goes into another but not to get the final answer. Maybe that would help.

Happy Anniversary, btw. Love the pic!