Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dealing with the Distractions

It seems impossible that the summer is coming to a close and one of our last nice days is occurring. I found it difficult to keep the kids focused on their studies today. The wind is actually whistling, the sun is bright in the windows and the Jared...he can't think.

Jared is my ADD child. I use that term lightly because I have never had him tested. Actually, I never had to because it was SO VERY OBVIOUS. That kid struggles everyday with trying to keep his mind on his studies. Then add in a little sister, new concept or fatigue and I have lost him. The good news is that I can call in my external motivators and he figures it out. For example, if he misses more than 4 total in math, he gets no screen time. He does not like the rule but it appears to motivate him to overcome his natural weaknesses.

The youngest continues the journey toward reading. It is actually an interesting thing to teach because she does not say all of her sounds correctly. ESL has its challenges. I find it difficult to know how hard to push her. She is slowly working through the concepts of telling time and counting money. Those are tow very difficult things to master. She gets it some days and has no idea on other days. It amazes me how different children are.

The oldest is fairly self motivated. He is doing very well in school and continues to progress with a decent amount of understanding. I respect it in him and often find myself relying on him to complete his work without my input. That is not always good either. I think that he feels left out sometimes with the other kids needing so much supervision and assistance. The balancing act comes in meeting all of the kids' needs with relative grace and efficiency. I do not always succeed in this realm.

On the whole, the year is going well. We have a lot of curriculum things that are working well and bringing the kids one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals. I like that.

~Camo Pants

Friday, October 19, 2012

Full Force

It is interesting to began this blog again as the summer has wrapped up for us and school is in full force. As much as I love the summer months, they are busy, busy,busy. I covet the slower fall/winter months when we can focus on our education. I know that the kids would shake their heads at that but they actually enjoy learning at home as well.

I am in a dilemma when it comes to Jared's grade. He is what I would call a solid B student- except in math. He is currently in 8th grade (ish) and uses a 5th grade curriculum for math. The hardest part is that he is doing some 9th grade work, some 8th grade work and well, some 5th....

So where do I place him categorically? So far I have maintained him in 8th grade except for extracurricular things- then I list him in 9th like his brother. I figure that if Jared has to do an extra semester at the end of his senior year- so be it.

The kids picked most of their curriculum and I believe that has helped them to own it. I love it when they come running up the stairs with their newest 'nugget' of information. They are really in tune to what they are studying and it makes me think that maybe we are on the right track.

Jacie continues to learn about our culture and is still trying to learn to read. I have never taught a non-English speaking child to read and have found that it has its one set of difficulties. The good news is that she now desires to read- that will speed the process. I know that she would have learn by necessity earlier in the public school situation but really desire for her to love to read. That is why we are just starting to focus in that direction though she has been here just over two years. I want to make lovers of learning- not just someone who can read.

~Camo Pants