Tuesday, December 13, 2011

5 days

5 days until we move.
I have lost the camera somewhere amid the boxes, but did manage to take a photo of this before I lost it;

Elias has been struggling to learn long division.  Yesterday he forgot his homework, but still wanted to do math, his "favorite subject".  So, he asked me to go over long division.  We tried this at the beginning of the  school year, and he struggled.  Last night, he got it.
And he wanted me to make up a lot of challenging problems.
When he woke up this morning, he started immediately, and did the problems all by himself.
Then Dash wanted to do some, and he is learning long multiplication.
So there they sat, in the dark, writing on the chalkboard doing long math problems, because they love it.
That's what's cool, they want to do it.  This is not worksheets and tests that they dread doing, but the challenging of figuring out problems.  Its like they felt their brains grow.

Now, as far as getting them to do their actual homework, the worksheets, that's not so easy.   This is when I see alternative education working for kids, the kind that lets them explore what they are excited and passionate about at that moment.  When you are not ready for a subject, but it says you are supposed to learn it on the schedule set by the department of Education, or the school administrator or even the teacher, it does not work.  No matter how hard you push, you just cant get a kid to understand a subject if they are not ready.   And if you miss that golden moment when kids are ready to learn the subject, then they may never get it.  You have to pay attention to the child.  Observe them, their interests.  This is what a Montessori teacher is supposed to do.  As long as the teacher can follow the child, this works.  Problem is, sometimes you get parents and administrators that want to push the child, they want to brag about how smart the child is, how advanced they are.  (If you are a Waldorf grades teacher, tell me, how does it work?)

Oh, should I be going on about education right now?  Am I using my blog to procrastinate? I guess maybe.  I guess I should clean up the breakfast dishes and take a nap, then get started.  There is a lot to do...

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