Today was a good but long day. As you'll find out below we've had a break through.
Our devotion today was from the Boy Scouts motto “Be prepared!” Which coincidentally is also talked about in Matthew 24 verses 1-30 where Jesus is talking with the disciples about being prepared for his second coming. The signs are appearing today in greater frequency and intensity. So be prepared because Jesus could come back at any moment. As for me and my family, “We’re prepared.” (and we serve the Lord.)
The Purpose Drive Life reading was about “Cultivating Community.” To do it correctly we must be honest with our church family about our faults and sins. We should be humble and not prideful to serve one another. We should also be courteous to those “family members” who irritate us. I LOVE how Rick Warren says those people are EGR (Extra Grace Required) people. We should also have confidentiality with our church family. We must meet with our family frequently to build a relationship.
Math today was…you guessed it…FRACTIONS. Today we learned to round fractions to the nearest whole and half number. Then we moved to adding fractions. Jonathan mastered rounding extremely quickly. I’m somewhat embarrassed to type this but super proud of Mr. “I HATE math!” As I was scribbling out the list of three fractions to add them together he would break into my thoughts to state the answer out loud. I would look up and quickly look back down at my paper to finish the problem using “steps.” When I finally finished my answer I would ask for JD to state his answer again. We had the same answer, but he got it a lot faster. I buckled down for the dreaded question. “Ok, now how did you get that so quickly?” “First you add this to that to make it… and move this to that, and round this to that…(blah, blah, Charlie Brown’s teacher…)” (Of course that is exaggerating his answer.) I eventually just gave up trying to understand how and accepted his answer. He was so happy he got the answer first 80% of the time.
We had that Valentines Party at the co-op today. JD had to make a Valentine holder box so of course I “assisted” him in the design. We made a small cardboard locker equip with a flag and bible. The locker number is 316. As in John 3:16. Cute huh? The party was from 11:00 to 12:00. As we pulled up to the new church JD admitted he was scared to meet ALL these new people. I assured him I was feeling the same way. I told him at least we know each other. We put his box on the table with around 60 others. After we dropped a Valentine in each of the boxes we stood off to the side to watch the kids play games. One lady came to introduce herself and was off again. I kept trying to get JD to join in on the games but he really didn’t want to. Toward the end of the party I met a 10 year veteran home school mom. We instantly clicked. Probably the whole military thing and turns out we have mutual friends. We talked for about ½ hour and I really felt like I was doing all I needed to with JD and our home school voyage.
We dropped keyboarding and art today in order to accommodate time for the Valentine’s party. But we did do journal. I had him read Matthew 24:1-30 and write about the end of ages signs. This took MUCH longer than it really needed to. So I had him locate my clipboard and attach his journal to it. He then followed me around the house as I used a Magic Eraser to erase all the marks, fingerprints, smudges, and gross stuff off my walls. JD is still having difficultly understanding paragraph structure. It really doesn’t seem that difficult to me but he truly doesn’t understand the structure. I think some of that comes from frustrated teachers tired of teaching and re-teaching JD and they finally just let him sit there instead of write in his journal. Today JD mentioned the number of journal entries he has thus far. He proudly but somewhat confused said, “This is the most I’ve ever written.” I made sure to recognize his painstaking efforts and praised him for all the entries too. (Self esteem booster…score!)
JD got ten new spelling words today. They are all words that end with “Y.” Since we have adopted the acrostic way to memorize how to spell the words we were quickly running out of words that started with “Y.” One hour later, we finally formulated ten viable sentences. Of course I was moving around the kitchen like a mad woman. I’m trying to reorganize the pictures in the kitchen. They’re not symmetrical and it drives me nuts. I’m also toying with fabricating a bench nook type thing for our kitchen. (More to come on that.)
We finally received our much need math tutoring time tonight. I so wished you could have been there. **Changing subjects** When I met Jeff’s Tennessee relatives I felt like I needed an interpreter. I’m sure he felt the same way meeting my family. **Back to math** Tonight I thought I was receiving a special tutoring session by Jeff but it turns out I was getting a much needed interpreter. This whole math thing with JD and I is like day and night, or apples and oranges. I see it differently than JD and he sees it differently than me. When JD tries to tell me how he gets his answers he leaves me scratching my head wondering if he’s even speaking English. But when JD started telling Jeff how he got his answer Jeff was like, “Oh yeah buddy, but remember that doesn’t work on all fractions.” (Um what? You understood that? Who..what..how?) It was a liberating breakthrough. Jeff then translated to me what just transpired. Oh, okay, now I get it!
Knowing Jeff and JD “see the same pictures” was my open door to JD’s mind. I asked Jeff how he recalls information. I said, “When you see something in your mind is it on a white board, a black board, or like a computer screen.” It was none of these. He said he sees pictures. Take fractions for instance. He sees a hot baked apple pie with the tin, the crust, and…hey! who took two pieces of pie?” Then, he quickly became unfocused on the fraction/pie to “Hey, I want a piece of apple pie.” I found this baffling, but insightful. **Must find JD** I left Jeff in a cloud of dust on a mission to interrogate JD. I found JD on the exercise machine in our living room. I turned off the TV to maximize the small window of opportunity I would have to keep him focused on my trivial and senseless questions. I asked JD what his mind sees when I say, “1/4th.” He said I see a pie. (Get out!) I said, “Describe that pie to me.” He said, “A hot blueberry with apple pie, and…someone took two pieces of my pie!” (I’m not lying!) I was whirling. They have like a special twin-speak thing going or something.
So even though today was a long school day it was well worth every minute of it!