18 May 2012
Week 33 Little by Little
When I first cancelled school on Wednesdays, it was from desperation because I just could not make my super busy workday align with a proper school day for the girls. At first they watched a lot of "educational" shows on Wednesdays and treated it like vacation, now they look forward to it and make big plans for it. I would never have imagined how good skipping school in the middle of the week could be for them. This week CC was up at 8am, dressed and ready to use her brand new hoe to clear the weeds from her garden. The girls love the weekend because everyone is off, but Wednesday is something very different. It is a day just for them to use on what they think is important.
As we begin to wrap up the year, I see other parents starting to plan for next year already. Math is a subject that vexes many. I frequently see recommendations such as, "If your kid is mathy..." or "If your kid needs more practice...", or "If your kid needs more ..." Why do I need to assess my child's math abilities before I can pick a math program? Why can't I just pick a good, solid math program that will help me teach her the basics of arithmetic? LB has the advantage of being my third student. I already know that I am a poor math teacher and that knowing how to do math isn't the same as knowing how to teach it. I know that kids who are truly good at math will hate math programs that "teach" problem-solving strategies. I know that changing math programs without a good reason is a really bad idea. I know that slow progress in math compounded over the years will produce terrific results and let kids slowly build confidence that math is fun and challenging not hard or boring. Of course none of that stops me from second-guessing my plans for math.
We had a really good week. CC has finished everything I'd planned for the year and more. She took her CAT test this week for state reporting, so she's all done with planned schoolwork. Until we finish our 180 school days, she'll practice her cello, read non-fiction and work in her garden for schoolwork.
LB is still doing great with her work. Her new reading book this week is One Morning in Maine, and she is reading it beautifully although she says the font is too small. She still loves Life of Fred Butterflies. WWE1 and ETC5 are still perfect for her. When we first started reading the CLP Nature Reader 1, she had trouble with the reading, but now she can read an entry on her own. I'm really happy with the progress she's making. My main goal for this year was to get her reading fluently. I'm really happy with her progress. I'd still like to see her read more, but little by little, we're getting there.