Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's a Not so Bad

I thought I'd catch you all up on the math drama.  Although, it's not actually that dramatic.  What I posted was a moment, a slice, of our homeschooling life - a not perfect slice.  I think those are perhaps more valuable than the Christmas Letter posts that talk about how wonderful everything is.  Don't get me wrong, I love having those days.  But reading about them nonstop can make me feel inadequate, so I tend to post nearly as often about the not-so-perfect days, just so you know you're not alone.  :-)   You're welcome.

It all sorted itself out in time.  We put the work aside for that day and came back to it later.  With more rest, and a change of attitude, Bit Boy regained his memory and not only finished his work, but had some nice insights about it.  I realized that we need more review.  While he has a good theoretical understanding of what he's done, he hasn't practiced enough for it to become second nature.

Actually this has been an ongoing theme in my kids learning math.  They're very good at mental math and math concepts.  They're not so good at showing their work and other "drudgery".   While they were young I let them off the hook with regards to doing much written work.  They're getting older though, so now it's time to face the music.  As Lego Kid is learning, some problems are too big to hold in your head.  With Bit-Boy prepping for college now, being able to show his work has become much more important.  I'm realizing that they both need practice not only with showing their work, but with the resilience and skills needed to face a tough problem, break it down into it's parts, be willing to make mistakes and come back to try again. This is good for all of us to practice, yes?

Also, many friends have called or emailed to let me know that at 14, many boys seem to loose their minds.  Their focus shifts, their hormones rage, and they are working hard to separate even while they still need the love and support of their parents and family.  I'm trying to remember that as my teen turns into a push-me-pull-you.

I have found that in parenting, and homeschooling, there are times when we just hit a wall.  It can be with behavior, skills, academics, just about anything.  That wall can seem insurmountable in the moment.  It can be infuriating.  I often feel like the child is putting up this wall just to Piss.Me.Off.  and it worked.

But really?  It's just as frustrating to the child as it is to the parent.  Sometimes to the child it's even frightening, they have so much less control and experience than adults, they don't realize that this too shall pass.

I'm trying to get better at seeing those moments as an opportunity to explore what's really happening and to model how we deal with challenges and conflict.  I'm not always succeeding, but I'm still trying.  I'm also telling myself that that in itself is good modeling.:-)

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