Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trial By Homeschooling

It doesn't matter how much I tried to prepare myself for this fact, I'm still a little thrown off because of it.


While I remain pleasantly surprised at how long Seth is willing to do school without his A.D.H.D. kicking in, I have been just as unpleasantly surprised at how much he does not retain. Just when I think he's "getting it", he promptly "forgets it".

He is still much better with numbers than letters. With his letters, he is still struggling with his vowels names and short vowel sounds, particularly with remembering the name of "i" and the sound of "e". The first two consonants introduced to him are "t" and "l" and from one day to the next he cannot remember the name of "t", only the sound.

Today I discovered two more problems, both of which almost reduced me to tears of frustration. I was asking Seth to trace his numbers first, and then write them in the spot beside where he traced them. I then got tied up with giving Hannah a speed drill in math and initially was not able to watch him. When I finally looked back at him, he was hung up writing the number 3 neatly (and not doing a very good job), and had not begun by tracing it. Now I do not expect him to write all of his numbers and letters perfectly or even that great. Yet. However, I do expect him to listen to my instructions. And that is what caused my frustration. It did not matter how many times I told him to TRACE the number 3, he would look at me in the face and promptly attempt to write a 3 correctly without tracing it. I had him look at me and repeat my instructions; he still did not carry them out. It was probably close to one dozen times of stopping him, erasing his attempt, and showing him myself (several times with me doing it myself) before he finally cooperated and/or understood.

Then I had him count to 20. He knows his numbers well and has on his own figured out the pattern of counting after 20. However, I had forgotten that for some reason he cannot retain the number 15. When he counts, he skips from 14 to 16, every time, and only does this at 15. Not 25 or 35 or 45, etc. So, I had him count over and over and over from 11 to 20. At least 20 times. He would miss the 15, so I would count with him. He would do it again himself, only to again miss 15. It took until the 19th time AT LEAST, for him to say 15 himself.

I'm sure a large part of it is that he is not really listening. I also know, however, that he will remember something one day, and forget it the next. He has also written his 2's and 3's backward on several occasions, so it's something I want to be cautious of and watch closely. One of the things I was told at a homeschool conference is that there are some studies that show that dyslexia can be caused by pushing a child to read TOO early, rather than letting them wait and read when they're ready. With this in mind, I realize I have to be careful with how much I push my son.

On a positive note, however, my daughter had a great attitude today, the first time since school started. I'm thankful that it all usually balances out. When one is having an off day, the other is having a good day.

Because God knows how much this mama can handle.


palmtreequeen1 said...

I appreciate your posts, Darla. I am reminded of when Myles was Kindergarten and grade 1. I homeschooled cause I was worried about him. He still has the same problem with on and off days. Some days he totally forgets everything we just did?? I'm not sure why this happens?? Dwain gets quite irrate, but I just keep meddling along with him and slowly but surely he's doing better. I am using Saxon Math, which now has a teacher teaching cd along with it. I know others use Math-u-see with the same concept. Saxon consistently plays over and over the same concepts by review in every lesson. I am finding this really great:) Cassidy on the other hand is quick as a whip, once she learns it, she's got it. VERY thankful taht is because Myles has always consummed most of my attentions!

Mrs. Wizzle said...

Try tracing in the air, in pudding, on sandpaper, make up a story about someone delivering papers and going in and out on the three, two bumps on a log, let him make it huge on poster paper. You are looking to see if he has the concept. Make it fun. First time he does 15 on his own, give him 15 jellybeans, or 15 minutes computer time, don't warn him and don't do it every time. Connect the T with a t intersection, a T square , plaster the place with t's have them on the toilet lid, the fridge, his bedroom door, his chair at the table, on his plate, make him a t pancake.

Darla said...

I am so very thankful that both of you ladies commented. I was hoping that another mother of a boy would encourage me, like you have done, Deanna. I haven't looked in depth at Saxon Math, but I have looked at Math U See and will likely start both of my kids on it next year - I already had their curriculum bought for this year and didn't want to waste it. Thank you for reminding me that sometimes boys just don't get it the same way as girls.

And Mrs. Wizzle, I secretly had you in mind when I wrote this post, hoping that your magical teaching ideas would come to my rescue. Thank you for not letting me down. When you give me all these ideas that I see the vast difference between a true called teacher and a mother-who-wants-to-teach. I get hung up on thinking of ways to creatively teach.

Thank you so much again both of you for lifting my spirits.

Laura said...

Dar, now you know who helped me so much when I was homeschooling the girls. Mrs. Wizzle was in fact the one who broke through the barrier to Jenna in reading and got her going after many frustrating, head-butting days. She truly is a called and gifted teacher!