Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Back To School

We've been easing into school here, slowly but surely, for the past 2 weeks.  David is full speed ahead on Algebra and English 8 and Biology.  Rachel happily does workbook pages, while Susie is assiduously learning to circle 3 of the ducks and 5 of the clowns in her little kindergarten book.  And Brian?  Well, I started him with just history reading the first week, a little grammar and geography added in the second.  So today, I rather trepidatiously brought out his math book, thinking that maybe - this year - he wouldn't find the arithmetic quite so onerous.

Reader, I was wrong.  The poor kid didn't even say anything - he just sat on the couch and wept big silent tears as I attempted to convince him that this year it would be FUN to do math.  EASY, also.  Just a little bit, OKAY?

A pox on all those how-to-homeschool books, I say - wouldn't you know they provide no guidance on how not to break your sweet 10-year-old's heart whilst teaching him basic arithmetic?

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11 comments:

  1. Oh my. I just started homeschooling my kids, and in my first week, my 10 year old boy was weeping over math. Which, in a larger sense, is why I took them out of school in the first place, so I basically STOPPED the math tears and tried again the next day with much, much lower expectations for him. That went well. But thanks for posting this...I know you are a veteran homeschool mom, so it's nice to see that maybe, just maybe, his tears are NOT due to actions of mine...maybe math just sucks for some people. Thanks!

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  2. It's not for basic math, but when you get to fractions (we only had addition, subtraction, and multiplication down pat---kinda---and we're learning division as we go) try The Life of Fred series. We LOVE Fred. Yo-Yo chortles with glee when I say it's time to do math. Quite different from last year...

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  3. Cheer up.

    Once they go to college you can't actually see the tears any more.

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  4. This is Brian? The one who loves legos? What grade is he in math?

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  5. No great wisdom here. We liked Singapore. But they don't like math except for the youngest, and he just has a math brain.
    Have you had him use this website? http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html
    or maybe there is a book out there that uses legos to teach math?

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  6. Mmmm...I feel his pain on the math. But yay for the ducks and clowns and GEOGRAPHY lessons! (see today's post for my thoughts on THAT.)

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  7. What grade is he in with math? Helping cook is good for learning fractions. :)

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  8. my heart goes out to brian ... math always reduced me to a puddle of tears. tell him to marry someone good in math and let them worry w/ balancing the checkbook, taxes, and paying the bills (that's what I did).

    blessings ... hope all is well.

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  9. I hope this doesn't sound wrong but it's so good to hear that even veteran homeschoolers have these issues. My oldest has hated math from day 1 (you even counseled me during one of our 'roadblocks') and I think we are on Math Program #4 (or is it 5?) to see what "works" for her.

    Surely Linda Dobson or Cathy Duffy have run into this before! Or that lady with 19 kids who homeschools! Severe Math Aversion must be a real condition!

    My heart goes out to both of you.

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  10. A Mom on Spin made me LOL with her comment!

    My oldest 3 are math brains, and I loved using Singapore Math for them. My youngest simply cannot "get" his basic math facts memorized. I may have to go back to playing card games to reinforce math facts (mine and his both). *sigh* I feel like crying with Brian, because I don't have the answers.

    I used to be a member of a yahoo group called "Lego Lovers, Pencil Haters." I don't know if they still exist.

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  11. I second the recommendation for Life of Fred. The Boy likes it -- it's a silly and gentle approach to math.

    We're almost on a homeschool schedule, but I can't get The Boy to do anything when I'm not watching. And it's not like I'm standing over him with a cattle prod -- apparently, it's just more fun when I'm along.

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