Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lightbulbs going on

I am thankful that, for the most part, our kids haven't struggled much with any subject. Ethan was a bit of a reluctant reader at first, but we put it away for awhile and took it out later when he was ready. Other than that, it's been pretty easy to teach them.

But I knew that the first place we would struggle would be math, because in teaching math I am like the blind leading the blind. Ok, maybe the legally blind leading the blind, but that doesn't up our odds much. Ethan is now doing long division - double digits into triple digits. And the thing is, the program we follow teaches it differently than how I learned. Try teaching a kid something you don't understand! In the teacher's defense, once I did figure it out, this makes more sense. The first two lessons this week were painful - working through each problem together, probably 5-10 minutes on each one. The key was that we pulled out the manipulative blocks and used those. Despite that help, I saw a long road ahead of us filled with numbers and tears.

Then day three, I noticed that Ethan was pulling the blocks out more quickly, and, if I wasn't mistaken, was enjoying the problems. I pointed this out to him and told him to stop, because math is not supposed to be FUN. If you don't know me, well, first of all I'm surprised you're reading this, but secondly, you should know that I am kidding. I kid like that.

Today, he grabbed the blocks, headed off for a corner, and did the whole page without complaining. It was such a "this is why I do this" moment.