Friday, October 24, 2014

Learning to Learn. And Teach.

The other day I read the comments Kia's teacher left on her September assignments.  None of them were particularly flattering.  It's true, we had a rocky start to the school year in terms of MY learning curve with the online school technology, and getting back into school routines.  But my small student also was not putting her heart into her studies.  Slap down the minimum and call it a day, kind of sums it up.  If I would push her harder, she would melt down or shut down and either way was not that productive.  So I left it at the minimum, resolved that we would make progress.

This month has been going a little better, though there is still resistance to working hard.  Because we will be taking next week off from most schoolwork, the pressure is on.  Sunday was a bonus day because Kia and I were not sick, while all the boys in the family were. So it was a good day to catch up on all our missed written science work on the Rocks and Minerals unit.  (We've been doing the activities, but not writing things down.)

To sweeten the deal a little bit, I tried to appeal to Kia's sense of drama and imagination.  We pulled her hair up in a messy topknot, put on one of Ry's too-big dress shirts (lab coat) and she donned a pair of fake glasses.  Voila!  Lady Geologist with a clipboard and a lot of work to do!

(Did I mention the jawbreaker?  Well, it is a jawbreaker, not a cheek tumor.)

Hey, whatever works.  

Another interesting discovery in the past month was that she works better with her favorite music playing.  Of course, that is not conducive to her big brother's learning well.  Enter headphones. Suddenly math and handwriting-type work gets done a whole lot faster and happier.  

On a slightly different note, the other day I received an email from an Aspergers newsletter I subscribe to.  I really liked the link about kids who have math learning disabilities. I'm putting the link here - Math Challenges - if you're interested. We'll be trying some of these strategies at our house.