Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I hope everyone has been having a lovely holiday. We sure have. I won't get into all the details of Christmas except to say that Cassia got her stitches out on Christmas Eve morning with no incident and that the two most played with gifts, so far, are a $2 balloon pump and a $5 bag of dinosaurs, lol. Well, that's not entirely true. The Star Wars LEGOs have seen a good deal of play (like ALL of Christmas day) and Dance, Dance Revolution has been played for at least an hour every single day. But I can't help noticing how much they play with the little stuff when I see how much some other people spend on Christmas.

I was looking at some old pictures of my mom's the other night, from when I was two and three, and I could not believe the huge pile of presents under the tree. I mean, I remember Christmas always being a huge gift frenzy and filled with excess, but to actually see it as an adult and as a mother... well, it just surprises me. And it makes it worse to know that she really put herself into debt to do that. It always amazes me when people think that giving their children everything - to excess and to the detriment of themselves - is good parenting. I don't know. I guess I shouldn't judge but it just seems to me that so many evils of the world could be alleviated by practicing a little control. There is such a trend now toward excess and towards waste and.... ok, I'll step back off the soap box now. ;)

Anyway, DH has had the week off so we haven't done much of anything but hang out. Wednesday he did go in for a few hours and as soon as he left Cassia started asking to do school. So we learned the letter "P" and I told her she had earned her Dance Revolution time, lol. She looks so cute when she tries to play. She doesn't concern herself with hitting the right steps in the slightest; she just dances like crazy. Later Cameron did a couple pages of science (two on identifying plant parts and half of a review (about 4 pages) from the mammal, bird, fish, and insect chapters that I had skipped because it was too long and boring looking) and a math exercise on adding tens and ones to make a number between 20 and 40 (30 + 7 = 37; 20 + 3 = 23). He never really *got* that concept with the teens, but it came easily this time.

One thing I've been wondering about his math is when to start drills. The Well-Trained Mind suggests starting addition drills right away. John Holt suggests avoiding them altogether. I think I'll most likely take a middle ground there, but I still wonder when they will be of greatest benefit. I mean, John Holt seems to be right. If I just introduce the knowledge and let it soak, he plays around with the numbers and concepts himself and eventually wraps his mind around the concept. He *knows* that 5 and 5 make 10 because he sees it on his hands every day. He *knows* that one more than a number is the next counting number because he's played around with these concepts in so many ways. But he doesn't *know* that 5 plus 3 is 8 unless he counts it. He doesn't know all those pairs that add up to ten, which are so very important in mental math. Singapore Math doesn't really provide any drills. Most people who use Singapore, it seems, supplement with something more "drilly" - even in Singapore, they supplement their math program. I doubt he could handle more repetition on paper, but I could try introducing some drill games at some point. I'm just not sure when the benefit will outweigh the headache, you know? Also, I'm pretty sure he will just *get it* at some point. But is it more beneficial to just wait for it or gently ease him into it?

So there are my two deeps thoughts for the day. ;)

1 comment:

~Mary~ 4boys4me said...

We used a card game to teach pairs that equal ten. It's a version of Pyramid but I remove all the face cards so they are just adding to get 10 instead of 13. We just play with regular cards but here's a link to an online version so you can get the layout and rules.