Saturday, 24 July 2010

Math and Reading

I've not talked about Math-U-See for a while, so above are two examples of tama 1's work. Whaiāipo taught the children how to work out the area of a trapezoid some months ago, so tama 1's sailing through these exercises which is fantastic. In saying that, Lesson 23 was spread over the week because we mixed in some Mathletics practice to give him a break. As I said, he has no difficulty with the lessons, but to do one page is quite taxing, ie there are so many steps involved with long division never mind the checking of answers by multiplying it back out that he was frustrated it was taking so long to get through. So, I suggested we complete just one page and try some Mathletics for practice/fun as well.

Tamāhine 1 completed Lesson 22 in her Gamma textbook. She's hit the same stumbling block as her older brother did at this stage. Double multiplication. But, I used the same whiteboard explanation for her, as I did tama 1. So far, so good. Again, we jazzed up the lessons by working on one page and then practicing/playing Mathletics also.

Tama 2 has surprised the living daylights out of me with not only math, but reading also. I can't really explain it in words ... the closest I can explain it, is to say he's figured it all out on his own. It was very much a case of trial and error. I kept thinking he was being stubborn and simply wouldn't listen to me, or perhaps he had listened to me, but wasn't understanding what I was saying. It was very frustrating, so I would spend less than 10 minutes a day trying to get things through to him. My final strategy was to flag his math altogether and simply talk in general about math with him. A couple of weeks ago he surprised me with correctly answering the most basic of basic questions. Then last week it was like "boom" it all clicked!

I didn't let my excitement get the better of me, however, by putting him under pressure and start quizzing him. In fact, it wasn't until Friday just gone that I disguised a quiz as a general chat. Tama 1 listened on and watched as suddenly tama 2 was (quickly) answering questions. Tama 1 and I both encouraged him and tama 2 just excelled with his responses. What an awesome, AWESOME moment. I feel very proud. ... Relieved! ... But proud!!!

I mentioned his reading just above, also. Well, again it feels like he's just picked it up without me really being a part of it. Whatever the miraculous reason is, I am absolutely thrilled to bits. His reading has gone from zilch, nada, nothing to frustratingly in limbo and then suddenly WHAM! guess what mum, I woke up and I can read!! Not only is he reading, but I'm quite surprised at how well he can spell too!!! (I'm not speaking phonetically either!)

It is through tama 2's miraculous learning that I feel confident our little tamāhine 2 will be okay too. No, I'm not comparing the two (per se), and I'm not saying that what worked for one will necessarily work for another. I am simply stating I have experienced first-hand the ability of a child learning whether in the "traditional" sense of the word schooling and otherwise.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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