Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Homeschool Musings

You know what? My Tinkerbell has SUCH a hard time with Math, and even after she finally grasps a concept, she doesn't really retain it. Here's the next day, same concept, it's like she's never heard of it before.

And I sit here and work hard to be patient. And I explain the concept to her 42 different ways, hoping that one of the ways will click with her. I use examples, I use manipulatives, I use stories. And she gets more and more frustrated, which makes it even more unlikely that she'll get it.

What's ironic is that if we close the lesson and move on, the next day it seems to be easier for her. I don't know if it just stews in her subconscious or what, but I approach the topic with dread, praying that God will give me the strength for another day of counting money or whatever it is. And she just BLOWS through it, like she's been doing it her whole life.

But here's the point I actually wanted to make. In those moments when I'm just not making sense to Tink, and she's certain that she's never gonna get it, I often wonder if I made the right choice in homeschooling her. And then I realize, there is NO WAY ON EARTH that a public school teacher would ever be able to spend the amount of time that I spend with one student, sticking with it as long as it takes.

What do they do over there in the public school, with a student who has this much trouble, IN SECOND GRADE? Well, she's actually doing 1st grade math, because she learned none of this in public school last year.

They would either send her to tutoring, or ask us to work with her at home. Which, HELLO, is what I'm doing right now. Okay, so I'm cool.

Please understand that I'm not knocking public schools in general, because while both of my girls had some HORRIBLE teachers over there, they also had a couple of wonderful teachers. And I went to public school and turned out just fabulous. As I'm sure you can tell.

I'm just thinking out loud over here.


binks said...

Someone once told me that when you are frustrated and can't figure something out to put it away and come back later. It has always helped me.

WendyDarling said...

Oh how I can relate! We have homeschooled for nine years, and I have experienced this exact same thing! I think sometimes they just need a little break from it. It does seem to help, but I totally understand your frustration.

Which curriculum do you use for math? We use Math u See, and it has been a GODSEND. ;-)

SmockLady said...

I totally love Math-U-See. It is really awesome for the advanced student to really grasp the deeper parts and move one to honors as well as grab those who struggle with math (even my very special needs daughter). I've got both extremes here at my house (the never forgets to the do it over and over and over again) and some days it is just. so. hard.

Lori In Wisconsin said...

Lori ~

I was reading a friend's blog who had a link to another blog who had a link ... who had a link ... and here I am. I don't know you but I've read your blog and love it.

I'd like to comment on your homeschool thoughts. I have two sons ages 17 and 13. We do what I call a perfect blend of homeschool and public school. Technically it's a public school. It's a virtual school so it is tuition-free and is done on-line at home. The curriculum is the same as public school, however, I'm there to reinforce the concepts. Teacher help is available via phone or e-mail. We have A LOT of REGULAR contact with the teachers. I know them all well. We get a lot of one-on-one support. We are governed by the same laws as public school. The school is called Connections Academy. There are several states that have it. Texas is in the process of implementing it. Just a thought from a mom who wanted to homeschool but wasn't confident I would come up with the appropriate curriculum.