Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Just keepin' it real, folks

Yesterday was an off day. It was a Monday, first off, and secondly Sean was home from a weekend with his dad. That Monday after being at his dad's is always a little difficult. The schedule is different and he really doesn't do well transitioning back and forth with a different schedule, but he's doing better than he used to.

He woke up late. We ate breakfast late, and the chickens got fed late, and then he was slow to get started on any kind of school work. He wouldn't participate in Read to Self, and said he hates reading. I let it go, and encouraged him to come do some handwork while I read to him, but he didn't want to do that either.

I decided that instead of forcing something, I'd just let it be an off day. If I force it he isn't going to absorb it anyway. We all have off days, and I know that all kids have those in regular school as well. Some days we just can't focus on formal learning.

We had an appointment at 1 p.m., and the only thing we got accomplished was a timed math sheet. But that only served to create anxiety and frustration for him. I don't like timed tests either, and he seems to be very negatively affected by them.

So, I mentioned that to the math tutor and I loved his response. He said it's fine to just do it without timing it. Sean can choose whether he wants to do it timed during the week, or if he'd rather practice all week and then do it together with him on Monday. Ahh. Much better.

And really, when I looked back on the day we packed in a lot of educational stuff.

During our outing at 1 p.m. Sean found several spiders that he identified and observed in their webs. He engaged in friendly conversation with the ladies we were with, and explained to them how to construct a costume out of foam. That was an exercise in how to be sociable and use grace and courtesy. He said, "nice to meet you," and was very pleasant once he got acquainted with them.

He accomplished a lot with the math teacher when we were back from our event, doing algebra, fractions, place value and multiplication.
And later in the evening we watched a nature show about grizzly bears. (I gave in and said on Mondays, after he completes school, he can use electronics. He was stoked, because the new episode of his favorite cartoon show on Mondays.)

And after dinner he sat down in the living room and finished a book he had started last week. So he didn't get Read to Self done in the morning, so what. He did it without me saying a word. Much better than forcing it to happen and leaving a negative feeling about reading. He was quite proud that he finished the book. (He already started on a new one today.)

Much later in the evening we had an intense and very long discussion about religion. It was still going when I put him to bed, and we ended on a good note, but we were really late getting settled.

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