Sunday, November 7, 2010

Moments of GRRR...

I love teaching my boys.  I have no regrets about our decision to homeschool and I don't long for the day I get to put them back in public school.

Having said that, it's not the easiest thing I have ever done.

It's hard to break down how to teach a wee one to read when reading is something I honestly take for granted.  I feel like I've been reading since birth and can't remember far enough back in my life to a period where I couldn't read.

Science and history are not my areas of expertise.  I love watching shows like Mythbusters and How It's Made, but that's as far into science-y stuff as I go. History is certainly important for any child.  For that matter, any adult.  But still...I struggle with those subjects.  Even though I completely understand their importance, it's hard to retain information and be excited about something that, simply put, bores me.  I know, I know.  I should be ashamed.

Our homeschool curriculum works wonderfully for us and because it's online, it prevents me from going crazy trying to plan out lessons. There have been a few times we need to supplement it, for something specific, but overall I am fairly burden free.

The hubs is professionally a writer and an editor, so he is an excellent resource for the boys and I when it comes to literature and grammar.  His most favorite subjects are science and history (depending on the time period) so he helps out (ok..pretty much manages) those subjects when needed.

So why do I say it's not always easy and why am I GRRR-ing?


Generally, if I'm growling at something school related, it's because of math.

Walter is flat out prohibited from helping the boys with math.  He's one of those mathematicians where 2+2=5.

Think "Rainman" more than "Einstein."

You don't have to feel like I'm talking bad about him...he admits this fact quite readily.  And don't feel bad for him.  I can comfortably say he is one of the smartest individuals I know.  Except for math.

How do I feel about math?  I'm fine with it.


I don't struggle with it the same way the hubs did, and still does.  I'm quick to pick up a calculator,  but that doesn't mean I can't do it in my head if need be.

My issues with math come in the form of what I think are useless concepts.  I fully realize it's not my place to judge whether concepts are useless.  Even if I feel that way about them, I don't skip over them in the course of a math lesson... but it frustrates me to see my kids frustrated over things that seem pointless.

Venn diagrams.

Did you have to go google that?  Most of you probably did, lol.  I did.  Tell me something...when was the last time, as adult, you used a venn diagram for something?  Those of you who work in the math field, or in a lab somewhere, you are excluded from answering.

What if someone asked you what a multiplicative identity was?  Could you answer? math majors and lab just sit back in your genius-ness and shush, lol.

We had a rough week with math this week, and not even harder math like that which Bailey is doing.  Braeden is doing first grade math and we were struggling.  Why?

Here is a sample question: "What is the fewest number of coins needed to make 23 cents?"

Should my 6 year old be able to identify coins? Absolutely.  Should my 6 year old be able to count out 23 cents in one way or another? I would certainly hope so. Should it matter if he used 2 dimes and 3 pennies versus a dime, 2 nickels and 3 pennies?  This is where the math gods somewhere say yes and I say emphatically NO.   I just want him to give me my 23 cents.  I don't care how he does it.

Then we have what he called the "trick questions."

Sample: "Which of the following makes 43 cents using the least number of coins?"
a.   1 quarter, 1 dime, 1 nickel, 3 pennies
b.   4 dimes, 3 pennies
c.   1 quarter, 2 dimes
(these were pictures of coins, not the words)

Braeden is sitting there answering "c" because that's the fewest number of coins.  Of course he doesn't stop to think that "c" doesn't even equal 43 cents. His response?  "Well if it doesn't equal 43 cents then WHY is it in a question asking me to make 43 cents????

His logic isn't wrong.  Not to me. :D

When I first started homeschooling, I wish I'd had a magic homeschooling guide.  One that assured me I was doing the right thing and one that pointed me in the right directions.  We had a whole lot of trial and error moments.  It would have been nice to skip those.

Now I wish I had a different that told me it was perfectly acceptable to tell my kids the answers to those stupid questions on those stupid quizzes about those stupid concepts.



Anonymous said...

It is perfectly acceptable.

FairyLover said...

We had that money question this week. My son picked B. four dimes and three pennies. He is great at picking out the coins for the correct amount of money. But not in the smallest number of coins.