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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Picture this...

Another long blog for those of you with nothing better to do with your days.

The devotion today was about choices. We can’t choose the weather, our families, physical or mental characteristics. But we can choose to have a good attitude and bring honor to God with our good choices.

The Purpose Driven Life was about restoring broken fellowships. It gave seven steps to accomplish this. First, talk to God before talking to the person. Then, take the initiative to start the restoration. Then, sympathize with their feelings. This is a much overlooked step. Keep in mind to use your ears more than your mouth. Another step that’s difficult is confessing your part of the conflict. Next, attack the problem, not the person. Next, cooperate as much as possible. The last step is emphasizing reconciliation not resolution. Reconciliation focuses on the relationship while resolution focuses on the problem.

Math went quickly today because he “mastered” adding fractions yesterday. Today was subtracting fractions. I went straight to the quiz instead of having him do the 20 minute lesson. I opened the quiz and he stared at the first problem like I just asked him to build a stairway to heaven. I said, “What’s the first step son?” “I don’t know. I’ve haven’t been taught this. (What? No! What happened overnight? Does this mean go back to ground zero again? This was mastered yesterday as addition, why not subtraction?) Once I got him past multiplying the denominators he was okay. Then, he started in with that “math foreign language” again. Thank goodness I remembered what the “interpreter” told me yesterday and after two attempts of trying to understand him, I finally got what he was doing. I called Jeff at work because we both did the math “our” way and coincidentally both of our answers were possible choices. I told Jeff, “He’s doing that adding thing again.” Jeff talked to JD on the speaker phone and explained, “Buddy, remember that doesn’t work with all fractions. You have to multiply.” Then, JD started getting his answers faster than me AGAIN! I HAVE to write it out because I don’t see (or hold) pictures of missing pieces in my mind. I see them on the paper. One problem only took him like 30 seconds all in his head. He patiently waited for me while fiddling with the silly putty. I said, “Ok five minutes later I finally have my answer.” He looked up and yes we had the same answers. Then we quickly moved to the adding mixed numbered fractions quiz and sailed right through it.

Social studies was fairly short today. I had him find state facts for Iowa, Hawaii, and South Carolina. He also completed the states and capitals lesson. We’re still going to do three states a week until we’re finished but he knows what each state outline looks like and can identify them in flash cards. He also took two short quizzes and a chapter quiz. He scored a 90% on the chapter quiz.

Today was a good day and I really didn’t want to wreck it with writing. So I gave JD two choices today for email/snail mail. He could either hand write three letters or one email. (Hum … which one will he choose?) He quickly chose to compile one email today. It was short but he accomplished it without supervision. I only asked that he not send it without me looking at it first.

I started JD on the language arts lesson and went to take my shower. The lesson was on “The Theme and main idea on fictional stories.” Leaving him alone was a big step for both of us but I want him working more independently. JD was then forced to do all the reading in order to get through the lesson. I came out 20 minutes later and asked him how he was doing because he was so quiet. Guess where I found him. Right where he was suppose to be doing exactly what he was suppose to be doing. I found him reading his lesson. Together we conquered the quiz. We only scored a 30 out of 50 but each question is valued at 10 points each. (They were pretty tough themes to decipher.) The lesson also offers you a chance to go back and earn 5 additional points for each question missed. So he corrected two missed questions and scored a total of 40 out of 50 by the end of the lesson. (Yeah!)

We had a somewhat late lunch today and we watched “The History Channel.” They were talking about fossils found in the Colorado Rockies. Then they used “millions” and “billions of years ago”…and I tuned out and called Jeff. I asked if the Rockies were formed by God or Plate Tectonics. He said both. I told him what we were watching and he said he’ll explain it to JD. So we focused in on one fossil found called “Ammonites.” This too began a sticking point for me. The small amount of research said they are closely related to squids and other type shell animals that evolved. Ok, too much. I don’t believe in different species evolving like some scientists suggest. So I stopped the research and we moved onto looking at the coins in the glasses from two weeks ago. The water and vinegar didn’t look like much was changing, but the salt water one was gross. It was greenish blue and slimy.

All through school K-5th grade JD’s teachers kept saying he’s not consistent with his work and not working to his potential. I knew he was not consistent but yes he was working at or above HIS potential, not theirs. He always accomplished his homework, but he would start out by saying, “I don’t know how to do it.” I would say, “Didn’t they teach you today? “ “Yes, but I was here or there” or “Yes but I don’t remember how.” I see first hand now what the teachers’ struggles were. I know he’s not consistent with his work because he’s losing information. It’s not sticking with him. And until I find out why or where he loses this information I will have to struggle to teach and re-teach until he makes a permanent picture in his mind to remember. This is part of the reason we chose to home school. If I’m going to have to teach him everything he learned in school that day just to get through the homework, why not home school. Look at the below picture. That is so me and that is so JD and Jeff. (I've got my work cut out for me huh?)

This whole seeing in pictures (or visual spatial) seems to be working for JD. It didn’t work in school because 95% of the students are like me. I learn by writing and memorizing the steps and details. So far he does pictures for fractions, all spelling words, state flashcards that outline each state, and lecture type work like history lessons. I have also noticed he doesn’t recognize or understand multiplication as easily as we do. If I say, “5 times 3” JD says, “5 plus 5 plus 5.” Jeff said he’ll work with him on the “concept” of multiplication.

I emailed my co-op Point Of Contact (POC) and thanked her again for giving me time to ask home school questions. I also told her to let me know about any “mom” things to do, like bibles studies and such. I do treasure all the moments I get to spend with JD but my treasure box has filled up very quickly over the last month and a half. I also expressed this to Jeff. So to accommodate my request, Jeff took JD with him tonight. They went to men’s ministry together and it was just us girls left in the house tonight. It was a nice break, but I’m glad my men are back.
If you're ever wondering what can I do to help the Hyder's do in their home school adventures? It's simple...leave me a positive comment. I thrive on those comments to keep me going. (Thanks Lyndell...for your part in keeping Faith Christian Academy going.)

1 comment:

  1. I am still fascinated this morning. What a break through! So happy for Jonathan...so glad for the clarity for you. Love the glass half full, cause it is. 1/2 full!!!!!!!!!
    Love you