Sunday, March 16, 2008

A day of 3's.

This post has nothing to do with homeschooling nor Montessori!

Dh has been looking through puppy ads for a few weeks, sending me things here and there. This week, he sent me some ads, with 2 he really was interested in. He never really made any noise about follow through on this one ad, and we never talked about which puppy picture we liked the best, but I decided to email the lady. With the other ad, we had no idea what the puppies looked like.

The lady from the one ad emailed me back on Thursday--she was coming up to where I live for the weekend and could bring the puppy I was interested in with her. My first thought: amazing timing! After talking with her rescue partner on the phone, I just could not stop thinking about this puppy. Didn't get enough sleep Thurs. night partly due to it. Then Fri., I showed all the kids the puppy we were to see on the weekend and just could not stop thinking about her. I decided I had to push aside my obsession--we might prefer the other puppies we were going to see and then I'd feel guilty, or I'd be the only one who felt this way about this puppy. Protecting myself, I guess. :)

Yesterday, we went to see the other puppies first. Absolutely adorable and sweet. Husky/lab/shepherd crosses that looked like light tan labs (rather than the full yellow). If we didn't have this other puppy to see, we would have taken one then and there. We went back home, had lunch and went to see the other puppy. I momentarily misplaced the address and could only remember the street name. Both dd and dh were convinced the house number was 3. But that was the house number for the first puppy place we'd seen (that had 3 puppies for us to see). Sure enough, found the paper: both house numbers were 3. What were the odds?

Dh (who seemed pretty bent on taking one of the other puppies and like he was reluctantly going to see this one, yet now says that he knew inside she was the one) loved her right away. Ds initially was very sad we weren't getting one of the other puppies, but seeing this puppy more and more, he was quite happy about the idea of bringing her home. We spent 3 hours (maybe 3 hours 30 minutes) at this lady's son's place, talking, getting to know the dog, etc. And the price for a rescue puppy? $300.

We left there and went to my mother's house--the 3rd house we'd gone to that day--to get a dog crate from her. Puppy was fantastic at my mom's place and the dog she has took to the puppy right away, no problems. Which is great to see because we will be at my mom's for Easter.

In any case, lots of 3's yesterday! Let's continue the theme by sharing 3 pictures we have of our new puppy:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What a kid!

Ds (7) was reading times facts out loud from a chart we have (why was he doing this? don't know) and ended with 12 x 7, 12 x 8 and 12 x 9. I asked him, "What about 12 x 10?"

"Oh, okay. 12 x 10 is..." Pause. Then with pleasant surprise in his voice, "It's 2 minutes!" He can't remember consistently that 6+6 is 12, but he can tell you that 2 minutes is 120 seconds.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Progress, not perfection

"Progress, not perfection" is FlyLady's motto. It's become mine, as well.

I'm still having issues with Bob, but he did progress a small bit this week, so I guess I need to focus on that. Monday went fairly well--more work done than usual. Tuesday... He was resisting doing pre-algebra work, basically feeling like he was entitled to say he would never learn it because he didn't want to--he didn't like working with the x's. I told him his sister spends about 90% of her math time working with those x's and that it sounds like the real problem is he doesn't feel capable, but to be capable means doing the work. He just kind of sat there. I got fed up and said, "You know, if you don't learn this stuff, you won't get a diploma. And if this resistance, which you've been giving a lot of lately, is what you're going to do for high school, I can't keep you here." He begrudgingly gave in. But did well and even asked to do some on Wed., but it didn't end up happening because I was feeling off and not concentrated enough. Yesterday, he had a really bad headache, finally managed to fall asleep and woke up just before lunch!

Dd watched a multiplication section of a Math Tutor DVD that I took out from the library. She really liked his explanation of 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication and asked to do some yesterday. She got all hung up on one mistake and let it sour her mood. :( They all have a tendency to treat mistakes as though they are evils, or confusion as being the same as stupid. Not sure where they get this from! The two oldest came to me that way, the one girl I used to homeschool was sooooo bad about it, you could say she had eraser-phobia until enough of me saying, "They put erasers on just about every pencil because everybody makes mistakes." I need to maybe have 2 posters up:

Progress, not perfection.


Confusion does not mean stupidity.

Having a conversation about why we get confused might be a good thing!

The 16yo (she's almost 17! omg! I feel old! lol) has made some nice progress this week. She's struggling with some health stuff at the moment but still managed to get a fair amount done and has had a more positive attitude. It's great to see!

Ds has spent probably a couple of hours each day playing his guitar, enjoys the Geomags and has started playing "basketball" in the house with a bus-tent and just a regular ball (like the big beach balls, but small size). We've only read once this week. But he told me yesterday he wanted to read and do math with me this morning (we were talking about how work needed to get done before we go off to the rec. centre this afternoon). Sounds good to me!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Almost a full week at home!

This coming week, we have nothing set in stone. There is park day tomorrow afternoon, if we choose to go, and we talked about going to a rec. centre Friday afternoon (work isn't usually done then anyhow), but other than that, we are home! Well, okay, except for library and small errands taking up an hour on Tuesday.

I kind of changed things Friday morning. It's been bugging me for a while about how to get dd and "Bob" back on track. I try to work with them, and they don't follow through. I couldn't figure out what my follow-through should be. So, I just started having them come to me for little lessons. "Okay, we're doing this now." It worked. :) Next step is to clearly lay out what has to be done (well, Bob has stuff that MUST be done because it's part remedial stuff) and then give them choices for lessons, but have continual lessons/activities all morning long.

For the oldest... She's still struggling to develop motivation. She left ALL of her books at my place this weekend. Despite being behind in math, bio and physics. I did up an example of weekly notes review, just for physics, with some tips on remembering some information, emailed it to her yesterday and asked her to copy it out. It was 2 pages, but lots of white space--would only take 10 minutes to copy. I just got an email from her, asking me if she "had to" do the work because she really doesn't want to do it (even though she knows she should). We've had this discussion many times--she doesn't "have to" do anything--but she'll have to live with the consequences of it. I hope I wasn't harsh in my response: I told her that she didn't "have to" do anything, but she had to choose if she wanted to do better than 50% on her exams (which is what she got on her most recent exams), better than 50-60% in the course, and if she wanted to stop freaking out at any mention of a quiz or test. (I also said that if she chooses to not do work on the weekends, she is choosing to only get 50-60% in the courses.) She freaks out because she doesn't really have the material learned well and she knows it. So much gets left to the last minute to "learn" because she resists doing the work so much. But instead of learning from that, she just sees herself as incapable of doing exams, because she figures that she's "learned" all the stuff and just can't remember it. I'm absolutely determined to have that change this semester. Which is why I sent her the work to do. :)

This week, I'm letting her know that I expect her to be caught up completely by spring break. Perhaps not math--that's a whole other issue--but there's no reason for her bio and physics to not be caught up, although, admittedly, she may need to work on it Thursday evenings and on the weekends. We've got 5 days (more or less) this week, 4 next week (one day off for snowboarding), 3 the week after (Good Friday, plus the 20th off for her bday), then 3 the week after that (Easter Monday plus a snowboarding day). I was going to give them the Friday off, but perhaps they should have to work for it. :D Not as a reward, but as "you get things done ahead of time and you are left with some free time". Hmm.... I kind of like that idea. It puts it in their hands. Of course, that wouldn't work quite as well with dd since she doesn't have as much structure as Bob and his sister, but perhaps something can be worked out, like certain learning goals to achieve by that point. Like large multiplication. :D

Although ds and I haven't gotten our routine down quite yet--he wakes up at different times, experiences different levels of grogginess in the morning--he's still doing not too badly. I'm still working at incorporating more into our daily life for his learning. Every time I get him to read, I can see the little bit of improvement. If we could be more consistent--and I could provide some fun phonics activities to do with him--he would take off.