This week the Old Schoolhouse Review members are discussing online what subject they struggle the most with in homeschool.
Is it Math?
Or maybe Science brings on some trying times.
What if you have a reluctant reader?
Or maybe the Handwriting looks as if your child has already become a doctor!!
In our homeschool we have at one time or another struggled with one or more of these areas and our daughter is only 8!!!
Alas homeschool is a learning process and the kids aren’t the only ones learning.
But let me back up to one example…
Round about the 1st grade I noticed that the Sweet Peanut wasn’t doing so well in Math. She quickly fell behind when the numbers started getting bigger and the addition problems longer. Then summer came along and by the next school year she seemed to have caught up again…only until falling behind yet again mid year in the second grade. And then catching back up in the summer. Third grade…etc, etc.
Was the Math too hard? I didn’t think so then and I know so now.
If my dear daughter was working through a problem with me or her father she could do it because we talked out the steps together. But I detected a pattern. When she was working on problems on her own, if she couldn’t get the answer quickly she started taking short cuts and guessing. And that doesn’t work in Math. When she worked with either of us there was a lot of discussion going on with each problem (especially dear hubby) we would analyze and discuss and just go on and on and turn one problem into a verbal lesson on it’s own.
But watching my daughter closely I discovered through this that if it (and “it” could mean anything) didn’t come easy and required too much work or thought she gave up!
Ugh! What is a momma to do? Besides call her own parents and apologize for her youthful years.
Well browsing the internet one day I landed upon an article about Math Drills. I wasn’t looking for them in particular but found the article nevertheless. Yes they can be boring and repetitious and we certainly slacked off on doing them in our homeschool day. My complete fault. But I guess I didn’t realize how much they could help.
By doing Math Drills each day your child can become more adept at Math and succeed where they once struggled.
I thought this made sense. When I was in the 3rd Grade we had weekly Math Drills for the whole class. You had one minute to work through a whole sheet of problems starting at addition and moving up steadily to division. I think I made it to multiplication before moving on to high school.
So I thought, “why not?” and found a Math Drills site.
The first day I gave the Sweet Peanut a load of time to do her quiz/drill. I mean like 10 minutes to do a one minute drill. I knew that we were starting from scratch and needed to go slow so that was okay. The key was just to start. I explained to her this will help her in Math so she grudgingly agreed.
Well she actually enjoyed the challenge (hmmm why didn’t I think to do this earlier?) and wanted to do a few more.
Then her dad noticed the forms and asked if this could be their own father/daughter project. Sure, I said. That will make it a bit more fun for her. Daddy makes everything fun.
So each night they’ve been doing 1 to 2 Math Drills starting with single digit multiplication.
Yeah, yeah, yeah! That’s great about Math Drills but..
Well the effect was noticeable pretty quickly. Now during Math class she gets the answers much more quickly. Her Math homework is done much quicker and she’s much happier about Math.
So when we had our sit down and discuss how things are going I reminded her of what Mrs. Cox says (her BJU Handwriting teacher).
This concept applies to everything.
You see my dear daughter suffers from a bit of perfectionist and that can lead to procrastination.
If she can’t master something immediately she sulks and doesn’t want to continue.
She really struggles to run before she can walk and this is the area we struggle with the most in school.
In fact we struggle with it in many areas. It’s a learning process and one she has to learn day by day. And one I have to learn to have patience with and reminder her of her baby steps.
With constant reminders and examples of areas she has worked on in the past that are now easy for her I hope to calm her sweet little mind so we can enjoy this homeschool journey and celebrate each success together.