Wednesday, September 28, 2016

lessons learned

G is at the point in his math lesson where he is learning things that I have forgotten.  Yay!  So now he gets to teach me, and that will help both of us learn.  G gets to do math on the computer after all of the other children are supposed to be in bed.  He loves this arrangement.  He has also gotten the idea that this is "computer time" rather than "math time".  Two nights ago he took no notes and got a 50% on the assignment.  So we worked through notes, and told him he had to review the material with dad before resetting the assignment.  Last night he got a 75% on his work and then read some sports news.  Tonight he spent 15 minutes on the lesson, took no notes, got a 75% on the assignment and proceeded to lay video games.  Oh no.  He did not...  but he did.

So tonight we re-affirmed that notes are required and that 75% is not acceptable.  Tomorrow I'll sit with him and make sure the notes are done before he does the assignment and that he has checked his work before he submits it. 

These are huge life skills that he's learning.  Do the work, check the work, take notes! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Do the notes!

 G is doing great in his math course.  P has his math courses mapped out to achieve maximum points on the PSAT when G is that age.  I grew up in a family that was very fixed mind set.  We were smart and if we had to study, that meant we weren't actually smart.  Oh, so terrible!  My older siblings loved to tease one another and vie for rank in intelligence. 

I know now that hard work and effort make a huge impact on ability.  My children are learning that they can do hard things.  Their brains are muscles and they need exercise. 

G is taking this math course and doing a module every night.  There are notes for most of the modules.  G thinks that if he can get 100% without taking the notes that is proof that he didn't need to take the notes.  What he doesn't know is that learning to take notes is more important than the math he is learning.  When he takes the tests he will be able to use the notes to remind himself of things that were obvious while he was doing each module, but that he may have forgotten by the time of the test.  And more importantly, when you write something down, your brain makes more connections.  I read that students who type their notes have lower retention of the information than students who take notes by hand.  The brain is amazing!

"The notes are just a suggestion!"  cries G.  Sorry G.  The notes are not optional.  They are critical.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Hate to say it but he's awesome

How cool would it be if school pictures were like this?  Yeah!

G is going into 6th grade!  At his school that means middle school.  We've had G in school part time ever since he started the deaf program at the age of 3.  He hasn't had a consistent continuum of curriculum because we didn't provide him one.  He has taken all of the state assessments and done well.  We usually get the packet from the school and cram for 2 weeks before the exam.  It is teaching for the test, but only for 2 weeks before the test. 

This year G is taking math through the online program.  He took math in 3rd grade for a semester and then all of 5th grade.  He does a section each night and since we started requiring him to fill out the notes guide, he aces the tests.  I'm grateful for the chance to teach him these study habits.

What else is new with G?  He has a cell phone and loves to listen to music from it.  It's just a tracfone with a full keyboard.  He doesn't use it for anything but a music player so far and that's fine with me. 

Tonight he told me "That blanket is really strong.  When I hung on it, it didn't break." 
"You mean my favorite blanket?"  I asked.
"Yeah!  It's really strong."  Thanks G.

G loves to eat german pancakes now.  It's awesome.  And he ate 2 chimichangas tonight.  Weird.  And awesome.

G takes good care of all his siblings.  He lets the girls pester him more, but he is always playing games with M and going along with her schemes.  They play this game where one sits at the table and the other sneaks through the house trying to get as close as they can without being caught by the person at the table.  He is kind and patient with his little brothers. 

I love G.  He doesn't demand much attention and I often feel like I missed opportunities to be with him.  The night comes so fast.  He's a great kid with a great attitude.


I wanted to make jam, and like always, I realized I didn't have quite enough sugar.  Rather than go to the store I asked G to calculate ...