Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Thursday (or Friday?)!

I can't keep my days straight this week!!!

In any case, it's Thursday. Pretty sure about that now. We finished our basic Christmas shopping yesterday, we started wrapping gifts and the kids did their Christmas candy molds. I didn't do any schooling stuff with ds yesterday, but Tuesday night I did. He LOVES the Reading Reflex/Montessori-style word building with images. I have to make some new ones. He flew through them and was disappointed there weren't more. I'll have to come up with some new stuff. I've also had him read the same book with me twice this week. He's getting better and better at recognizing some of the words and we also look at some of it phonetically. He thought it was SOOOOOO cool to do the first two letters of his name in cursive--connected. That was just so big to him. And I add in a few math questions. I gave him a double-digit plus a single-digit for the first time, I think. No problem. I'll have to show him regrouping with beads and then give him some questions that require regrouping. So, although we're only doing about 20 minutes of schooling, it's going well.

Dd is feeling better and better each day, which is good. She hasn't done any math this week, but I don't really mind. Oh! But I found my materials for a quilted Multpilication Checkerboard that I had started with the oldest... 2 years ago?? Maybe not that long ago. In any case, it had disappeared and I had looked everywhere I could think of. Turned out it was in an end table that turned into a tv stand in the basement. I had forgotten that I had stored some sewing stuff in there. In any case (geez, I feel so ADD!) I'll be able to finish it and work with dd on it. I did show her the old cardboard, ripped version (Maria Montessori would not have been impressed!) on Monday and did one question (okay, so she did do some math), but it was almost embarrassing.

What else? I'm figuring out what the 16yo has left to do and putting together some sheets so she can set up a schedule for herself for January. She will be doing 2 exams the third week, but still has a bunch of work to finish up. And lots of chem equation practice to do. Part of what I've done up is a little "quiz" for her to see what her current habits are as a student compared to what she needs to be doing, or how she needs to see school work, to get the grades she wants. Things like, "How often do you study? Never. Just before a test/exam. Review here and there plus before an exam. Regularly." "How well do you usually know the material before going into an exam? Not very well. Kind of/I understand it/I think I know it fairly well. Fairly well. Really well--I could teach someone else all about it." The options sort of correspond to levels of learning, which are tied with, roughly, grades obtained. This actually fits in very well with her CALM course.

Another thing I have set up for her is to really figure out what she wants in terms of her learning level this year and how important it is to her compared to her diving, friends, job (which she wants to do again), spare time, etc. There's no point in setting a goal of no mark under 75% if it's not something that you really want and will work for. She has beaten herself up in the past over her marks (which were the result of her not really doing what a typical student does when they want to obtain certain marks), but somehow she hasn't connected it with her own activities--it's all tied with a low self-image as a learner. Hence, the quiz above, to discuss with her afterwards how the different habits and attitudes are often tied to the marks a student gets so she can look at her final preparation for her upcoming exams in a different light.

I still, despite how many times I have said it, have not successfully gotten into her head that much of learning we need to do--especially for tests--comes as the result of repeatedly going over the information. She bemoans her "horrible memory" when something she looked at for 5 minutes 2 weeks ago she can no longer remember how to do. Where did she get this idea that because she looked at it once, if she can't remember it, she must have a horrible memory? I guess it's really self-image. She has a far more positive self-image now than she did when she started with me, but there's still work that needs to be done. I really need to get through to her what it means to learn, the work required to learn for school. I even made some comment about weekly reviewing everything in each subject and she said, "You can do that?" But then she flipped it around and convinced herself that it would just mess her up to do that. She has GOT to change her self-image and her understanding of learning if she wants to be a doctor. She can definitely become a doctor IF these changes can be made. I've got a year and a half left with her full-time. I need to brainwash her. Ah, Marva Collins has come back into my head--it's exactly what she did. Brainwashed (okay, bad word) the kids into believing in themselves and knowing that it takes a lot of effort and work to obtain the really big goals. I wonder if I could structure her ELA 20-1 work around that theme...

Wow, I had no idea I was going to write all that when I first started today's post!! I ought to go get some cleaning done.

No comments: