Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today is Wednesday - Park Day

Oh my. That means something will happen to upset my plans to go to the homeschooler's park day meeting. Last time (two weeks ago) it was my employees' sick husband. I have a feeling it will be that again today, as he has to see a doctor at one in the afternoon. She thinks he hasn't been feeling well again. Just once, I want a Wednesday to go smoothly. Pweeeeze?

On a bright note, we have been plugging away nicely on our school work and trying to catch up on the lost days. We are almost done with Merchant of Venice, since Missy loves it so much. The other book we went through on double time was Karen Hesse's 'Out of the Dust', a magnificent historical novel written  in first person, free-verse poems, that was very hard to put down. This 1998 Newbery Medal winner, is a great homeschool resource. It led us to discuss so many things, and I have no doubt that Missy will pick this book up again and again to read on her own.

Bear has made amazing progress in reading and math. We don't do much with him at a time, and the days he doesn't want to do school, that's alright with me too. He has understood the relationship between multiplication and division. His favorite tasks are the word problems I write for him where he has to decide what is being asked, and what mathematical formula will give him the answer. Actually I never expected him to 'get it' so fast. I always introduced mathematical concepts to him well ahead of the 'normal' timeline because I always wanted him to feel comfortable around numbers and slowly grow into understanding concepts. A recent worksheet I gave him showed me that he is comfortable enough with it to have used logic to answer the questions rather than calculations. The worksheet asked the child to enter in the symbols of operation. All four of them, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. He answered twenty questions in under 10 minutes and when I asked him how he explained his methodology. He used reasoning and a clear understanding of the relationship numbers have with each other depending on the symbol of operation.  What a thrill.

The fear I have when, these kids go back to (if they go back) to public school, is 'will they still enjoy learning as much as they do now?' I am afraid I know the answer. But I also have to admit, as hard as it is, that I cannot and should not continue to teach my daughter past this year (sixth grade) in order to do right by her. And I know Bear's personality demands a bigger setting with more children. He would be devastated to be alone at home with me while his Sissy isn't here.

One little step at a time. One little step...