Saturday, September 8, 2012
My oldest appears to have brain damage. Two days ago he knew x^1/2= sq.rt x, and now he doesn't. He knew this months ago - what's up with that?
(sorry, I need to figure out how to do math equations when blogging - suggestions anyone?)
Also, he will come to me with a blank sheet of paper saying "I need help with my math" before he has looked at his problems, or even dated his paper. He gets mad when I tell him that he should at least copy the original problem before he comes to me for help.
This morning he came to me to ask for help doing the review (REVIEW!) problems at the end of a chapter that in itself is supposed to be review. I was asking what I thought was a simple rhetorical question to talk him through the solution.
His answer? "I don't know"
Another simple question from me.
Not even pausing to think a moment, "I don't know".
Really? OK. "Have you read the chapter?"
My final response was "Go re-read the chapter. Find a similar problem. Work through it. Try the original problem again. Come to me if you still don't understand."
I am finally empathizing with all those irritating people who tell me "I could never do that" when they learn we homeschool. Usually I just smile and say, "It's not for everyone" when what I really mean is "If you wanted to homeschool you could, but it's fine that you don't want to." Yes. I'm that awful and pompous, but hopefully only in my head.
It's kind of like when I had only one child. He was a sweet quiet child. He had a mellow temperament and made friends easily. He never bit anyone (but me), didn't pick fights, didn't scratch his privates in public, you know... he appeared to be a near perfect child. I thought to myself, "If everyone parented like me, they too could have a child as lovely as this." (To all those who had to stand next to me when I was thinking these pretentious thoughts, I'm sorry. Really, really, sorry)
Then I had a second child. Oh. My. God. From the beginning this child was different. He was colicky. He was intense. He was not mellow. He was not easy. He hit and bit and cried - a lot. Nothing I did changed his temperament. I learned something I would have never known had I had only one child. My first child was easy. My second child was not. It was that simple.
Now they've both grown. My second child is 11. He is still intense, and the most intorverted person I know (and that's saying something). He is also sweet, kind, and sensitive. He is empathetic and insightful enough that, to the gullible, he seems psychic. He is now almost an "easy" child.
My oldest is 14. He is moody, withdrawn, and not all that interested in pleasing anyone who isn't a teen. Little I do pleases him. My existence is, honestly, an embarrassment. There are so many things wrong with his life right now. He is furious that we would take family holidays but not spend $300 to buy him a program he wants. (We have given him the option of working for pay to get it, but that's not appealing apparently.) His brothers breath near him. Right now, he's not an easy child, and I need bonus points for letting him live some days.
Sometimes you have an easy child, sometimes you don't. Sometimes homeschooling is easy, sometimes it isn't. It's that simple.
Also - we've created a new acronym - SYW.
Show Your Work.
I say this everyday. Everyday. But does he do it?
No...sigh.. no he doesn't. "I don't need to, the answer is obvious."
Riiight... how did you get the wrong answer then?
See me not strangling him? Good on me.