Well, our newly organized schedule and days are going much better. Abigail really likes starting her school day right when she wakes up in the morning. She wastes no time in grabbing the schedule and seeing what she has to do for the day- most days completing a majority of her school day before I am ready on my end to begin the school day. She takes a pause from whatever she is doing at the time, and then we do our Bible and Handwriting together. After that, Zander and I are non-stop one-on-one, while Abigail finishes up any loose ends. If she finds herself with some spare time, she’s been working on an adventure on Oregon Trail, and is really enjoying that. Once Zander’s work is complete, my focus shifts to Abigail and her and we wrap up her day together. Our days are much smoother this way, and I also feel much more able to get something productive done myself.
We’re waiting rather impatiently for Abigail’s new math to get here. She has finished all the lessons in her math book, I had anticipated her Teaching Textbooks to be here by now. I guess when media mail says 7-14 days, they can mean it sometimes. There are still a few review pages for her to do, so she’ll do that while we’re waiting.
And then there’s the time to change… You know, when we started this homeschooling journey, there was no end to the unsolicited advice I would get. Much of it from well-meaning individuals, but a good deal of it I just accepted and then set aside to not think on it again. But before we even started schooling last year, someone had mentioned to me that I needed to be very careful with things like math, because it wasn’t good for kids to get too far ahead of their peers. I dismissed it at the time,( I thought) but apparently it stuck with me.
Because I made an error when choosing Zander’s math this year. He is in first grade, so I just automatically chose a first grade curriculum. I never really thought about the fact that he did first grade math last year, and since we were switching to a different curriculum anyway, doing first grade math again seemed okay. And in the back of my mind I thought that maybe I was doing him some good, reigning him in and maybe working on mastery of a few things.
Pish-posh. I have not had to teach Zander a math lesson yet this year. He opens his book, reads the directions and starts his math. Some days he does more than one lesson because he thinks the next page looks like fun. But most days, I get some kind of reply from him about how math is boring and too easy. He asks when he gets to work on multiplication again, and eyes Abigail working on her complex equations with something that almost looks like envy. I thought he was going to up and stab me with a pencil when we opened up the book and found a lesson on counting and writing tally marks.
Needless to say, my son loves math, and I have realized that I should not have listened to advice that was so poorly matched to my kids. Along with Abigail’s Teaching Textbooks, I ordered the complete second grade math curriculum from Singapore Math. He is very excited about going back to that math, and was so disappointed when each trip to the mailbox last week resulted in no package of math.
The thing is, one of the reasons that we are homeshooling is so that we can challenge our kids, and so that we can instill in them a love of learning. If Zander spent this entire school year doing review math, and learning to really loathe it, I’m being entirely counterproductive. So we will change, and I will silence those voices in my head that are trying to give me warnings. Abigail will love the sixth grade math that is coming, and Zander will love the second grade math. That’s just how they are. And should they finish that math before the school year is up, we will order the next levels and continue on.