I cannot believe we have reached our first break of the year and have not totally fallen off track. Friday finished with forest school and youth club and a late night drive across to grandparents, hence the delay in catching up and reflecting on all that has gone on.
It was a gentle week as colds were hovering and lurking, impacting sleep and over all attitude and enthusiasm. We got there though, and we even began multiplication. That sneaked up on me as I had not been so organised in my weekly preparation and resting on the confidence of how well and on track we were doing i was confident maths would just carry on and then suddenly there it was 2 times 6. It has been interesting to watch the links being made in Bob’s mind as he gets his head around the difference between plus and times but I do think it may well be helping him with addition and anchoring 2+2 and so on. I have to admit because 2+2, 5+7 etc were not always concluding with the same answer, I was unsure that we were ready for times tables yet it seems to have been the piece that was needed to help cement the concept of addition. Has anyone else found this to be the case?
I was also reassured in talking with my maths teaching brother in law about number lines that he had been fascinated by research that someone he knew had done on the different ways people approached a number line. To me a number line seemed very simple and straightforward and yet whenever Bob uses it I have to look away. I will want to correct him but if left to his own devices he gets the right answer. Apparently this research indicated that people had many different approaches to using the oh so simple number line. So next week when we pick up lessons again I will take a deep breath and let him work it out himself and sit on my hands and bit my tongue and enjoy the mystery of the wiring of each of our minds.
Kanga was most bothered by her cold on Thursday so leaving her with Mark I took the boys to Pitville to catch up with friends and have fun out doors where the older ones started building a dam with great team work and passion. While it is the highlight of the week I still wrestle with managing all three children. Bob is self sufficient in many ways, just need to know where he is, Kanga when with us is not willing to be constrained to the stroller and has a passion to climb and explore every place out of sight and Zog has his limits for out doors but is also struggling to find his place because for lots of the time his playmate is Bob but on Thursdays he cannot quite keep up with all the older boys but has not connected with the younger ones in a group setting so goes deep inside his own world and fights everything that breaks into that world and interrupts it in order to move on/go home.
One of the activities we learnt about at the park was how to make leave bowls. So we gathered lots of bowls and on Friday morning Bob and I made ours. I was thankful that Mark had taken the other two to the new local farm shop as it was a lot more messy than I was anticipating. We have left it to dry and this afternoon I will see how it is getting on. If it all works out our plan will be to fill it with autumnal nuts we have also gathered and have it as a table decoration.
Spelling is progressing and I am pleased with our investment in both the All About Spelling and All About Reading material as progress is being made. I needed to adapt part of the spelling lesson this week. Bob was getting confused moving counters as he segmented sounds in words. So instead I got him to just give me the sounds in order and I wrote them down. This helped us both as I could check what he was saying and he could see if he was saying what he was thinking in his head. Again part of the mystery of the wiring or our brains and dyslexia. He is still to be tested but for me the sounds mean nothing and so I need to see the letters to know we are on the right page.
It is nice to be able to slow down this week and take a deep breath and allow all the things we have been learning to sink in and permeate. It also gives me time to stop and consider the next 5 weeks especially as we all adjust into a very new way of doing life with Mark in his first 9-5 office job since we started this road of parenting over 6 years ago. No longer will he be able to be flexible as he was, start later. Appointments will see me navigate all three children. I realise we have been extremely blessed to have had the past 6 years for the flexibility it has given us as a family and that for the majority of folk what we are stepping into is what parenting and homeschool family life looks like. We are grateful for this temporary contract Mark has got and continue to trust God as our provider for each step.