I feel stoopid 2day.

GeekBoy.  Subtraction.  The two do not mix.  After this mornings round, I decided maybe there is a better way to reach him with this then what I’m trying.  It suddenly dawned on me that he tested for being 61% right brained, and I tested as being a left brained. What’s the difference?  Left side of the brain is more logical, uses facts, & very detail oriented.  Right side is more feelings, big picture, symbols and images, imaginative types.  Essentially, I think in words, he thinks in pictures – that kind of thing.

So I asked the Homeschool group, knowing there are several moms in there with right-brained kids, what do I do???  How do I get this kid to do his subtraction???  The answers I got – well…  I didn’t get anything I didn’t already know.

  • Don’t push him.
  • Skip it! Right brainers will fill in the gaps as needed.
  • Let him pick and chose where to go in the book.
  • Real life/living math examples.
  • Work with money.

All things that I knew!!!  So why on earth aren’t I doing any of it?

So of course, my confidence is shaken.  It was just a few days ago I mentioned to my husband that for some reason I felt better abt this year, more prepared, etc?  Yea.  I still feel better then I have in the past, I’m not wistfully thinking about that big yellow bus as an answer to my problem.  But my confidence has taken a hit.  I’m not going to throw in the towel, just need to fall back and regroup, you know?

So, I’ve made a deal with him – Pass the test for Chapter 1, and we will skip it all.  Now, there is a page on order of operations (add first left-right, then subtract IE: 70-40-8+5) that we need to go over, so tomorrow we will do that, Friday the test.  And looking at the test for chapter two (multiplying 0-5), if we skip to the order of operations (Multiply first! Then ad & subtract!) I think he can breeze through chapt 2 in a day or so. I’m printing up Book B, so if he wants to skip to Division we can.

Oh, and by the way, on my brain test, I tested as 70% left brained, and the teaching was listed among the occupations I’d probably enjoy most.  Go figure!

Ditch the plan & go with the flow

So today started out bad. I think we all have a case of the Mondays, hardcore. I had a plan. I had Math, Language, History, & Science all laid out. We wound up cutting the Math lessons in half, they just couldn’t concentrate this morning. Forget Reading, no one wants to do that right now. Talk to the Geek, find out he is currently obsessed with Wookiepedia right now. So, we’re flexible, instead of reading more of our Magic Treehouse book, how about blogging about Asajj Ventress instead? (I’d link it, but he hasn’t actually done this yet.)  Ok, compromise reached, lets move on – History.  We started off by looking at the globe to find the area where the fertile crescent is, but got sidetracked by questions about China, the great wall, and why the time there is so different.  A quick lesson on geography & some science abt the Earth’s rotation – complete with flashlight experiment example – and we got back on track with our reading about Ancient Egypt and Sumerians and the first writings.  Except, the whole time I’m trying to read, the little 2 are too busy chasing each other under the table and giggling.  Then, half way through the reading for today, GeekBoy looks up and says, “You know what Mom?  If I was in Episode 1…”  I’d had it.  No one was listening!  I sent them all out back till I could calm down.

Then a friend called.  And we found a Cicada on the hood of the car (it’s dead), so we checked it out and listened to the sounds the ones in the trees were making.  We spent some time watering the Japanese Holly which are quickly dying, and they played with the hose, watered the grass & each other, then rinsed off the cars.  GeekBoy caught a cricket.  Then we checked out our Nile River Model and discovered the grass was already growing!  Indiana Jones came out to take a ride down the Nile.

We came back inside, and sent thePinkDiva to her room to cool off in front of her fan.  (she overheats easy!)  As the boys ran out back to play light sabre fights, and Diva was cooling off, I looked at our board and the little lightbulb over my head suddenly clicked on.

Ok, so we didn’t talk about Ancient Egypt or make tablets.  But we did talk about geography and Ancient China.  And we talked about the continents and Ancient Rome (because they used to rule all of Europe) and Persia, and lots of other stuff.  I’d say we did a fairly good job covering history for today.

Ok, so we didn’t open a book and read about the moon (Geekboy’s book) or muscles(Diva & Bigboy’s book).  But we learned about cicadas.  We observed crickets, we did some gardening, and used those aforementioned muscles to run all over the yard!  Look, that was science and PE all wrapped up in one nice package.

GeekBoy wanted a boat to float down the Nile river, so we made one out of grass – look!  Arts and crafts!  But!  While looking for suitable blades of grass, we noticed the ones full of seeds. Don’t look now, but I think that might qualify as more science.

By then, PinkDiva was ready to exit her room, so I struck a deal.  Read a few words from your Hooked on Phonics book, and we will call it a day.  After demonstrating that she really knows way more then she lets on by blowing through two pages of -it, -ig, & -id words, she moved on to critical thinking (played a game on the Wii).  Meanwhile the boys, who were back inside, started a wrestling match in the living room that would rival most WWE appearances.  They called it play-fighting, I called it PE.

So, I changed the board to reflect what we had done, then checked it all off & called it a day.  Although, GeekBoy does still owe me a blog post about Asajj Ventress.

First week of school ’08

First official week of school is over.  GeekBoy needs to work on his comprehension.  He’s got the mechanics of math down, he can read really really big words, but has no clue what it all means.  We’re working on it, and I think the light is dawning.  He is doing book reports this year, and since he wants a grade, doing quizzes and such too.  He did well this first week.  thePinkDiva did great too.  She aced her math quiz, and proved that she can read more then she lets on.  I’m trying some new strategies to get her to cooperate.  Big Boy is just having a blast.  They all love the history program – Story of the World is great.  We talked about nomads, did cave paintings, and sewed “game bags.”  Game as in hunting game, not game as in scrabble, although you could probably carry a game in one of these bags.

Mom & Diva Sewing

Cave paintings
The biggest change around here is the rule – no Wii/computer/video until school work is done.  It’s been the only motivating factor to get them to work.  My biggest challenge is to stay firm on that and not bend the rule, esp when DH is gone and I have to do something like mow the lawn.  But you know, they actually played outside while I mowed the lawn?  Wow!  My kids are like me, a Melman (Ahh! Nature!  Get it off me!), and usually prefer the indoors.  This has been great for us.

GeekBoy decided he wants to play soccer.  So, after much discussion, and making it clear that he would follow this through to the end no matter what, there will be no changing of the mind in 3 weeks, we went ahead and contacted the local homeschool sports co-op.  He’s still jazzed about it.  We got him registered and got him a ball, and shin guards.  He’s so excited.  Practice doesn’t start until Aug 30.  He’s on the Junior team – 5-7 yr olds.  Practice is once a week.  Games will be every Saturday.  I’m excited because this it the first time any of my spawn have shown an interest in organized sports!  I loved Volleyball and Basketball (the only sports available to me in my small school), so I’m thrilled to see my son finally take an interest in sports.

Gettin' his kicks

BigBoy got a bike on Friday, and yes, he’s already figured out how to ride.  He obviously needs practice, but more importantly, he’s already figured out the brake!  We spent about an hour out front on the street riding up and down.  He caught on really quickly.  Personally, I think riding a bike must seem like a mental cake walk compared to some of the video games he plays.  His biggest challenge seems to be that his body can’t seem to keep up with his brain.  Oh yea, he’s going to play soccer too.  The Sports Co-op has a “tots” team for the little ones ages 2-4.  No practices, nothing serious, just pretty much the kids get to kick a ball around while big brother (or sister) is playing.  He’s excited.

I wanna play too!

Gramma, Nani, and AnnoyingPenguin came over this weekend.  The kids camped out in GeekBoy’s room.  The tent and everything. With the Geek’s ceiling full of glow stars, it was like sleeping under the stars, only better because they had air conditioning and no bugs.  Since our history lesson this week was all about nomads, we talked about how the nomads slept in tents everyday.  Diva mentioned that she was very glad for her cotton/polyester sleeping bag, because if she had to sleep on an animal skin, she wouldn’t want to sleep there.  All week she has tripped out over nomads using animal skins for everything.

the best kind of camping

New graphics and everything!

So, yesterday I tried to upgrade my Word press, and wound up blowing up the blog.  Don’t worry, I scrapped it all, restarted, and managed to salvage the previous posts.  All is once again right with the world.

Except I lost the theme!  The one I’d spent so much time modifying to fit my needs!  Ahh!  Whatever.  I’ve been meaning to update the look here on the school blog for sometime, this just forced me into it.  So…  Whatcha think?

The theme is a modified version of Corporate ID by Voidx. Graphics in the header came from my Digital Scrapbook supply stash.  the background papers are mine, from a kit I created specifically for the school.  The bow comes from Birgit Kerr‘s Ribbons with a Punch.  The label is a Misty Cato, but I recolored the star to match.  The word art quote about Imagination (said by Albert Einstein btw) comes from Katie Pertiet.

This kinda explains so much.

The Geek is a Right brained learner according to the test I found at MindMedia via someone, I forget who. Sorry!

Your Brain Usage Profile:

Auditory : 50%
Visual : 50%
Left : 38%
Right : 61%

Geek, you are moderately right-hemisphere dominant and have even preferences between auditory and visual processing, traits that might make people perceive you as “slightly off balance.”

You are most likely to be slightly disorganized, a “dreamer” and a person who focuses more on the end result than the immediate task at hand. You are creative and spontaneous if somewhat lacking in direction and focus. You are a learner who is generally patient and a person for whom time is an ally, not an enemy.

You are more passionate than most people with regard to life and learning and recognize your own intuitive abilities. You have sufficient goal-direction to satisfy yourself and guarantee success without being or feeling driven. You are willing to be reflective about yourself and others without getting lost in rumination.

The balance of your sensory modes allows for both learning and expressive capabilities achieved by few. You are active and “seeing” while retaining an equally strong propensity for being reflective which slows you down a little but allows for a more comprehensive perception and analysis of situations and problems. You do not spend excessive time analyzing since you mostly trust your perceptions.

In all likelihood, you have a tendency to over commit and cannot understand why others get upset since you operate on a different “time table” than they do. Your organizational abilities are frequently overwhelmed by the stimulation seeking and active nature of your mind as well as by the tendency to create new categories and gloss over details, making categorization and classification almost impossible at times.

To the extent that your career path allows for creativity and abstraction as well as a bit of disorganization, you should find yourself equipped to handle any learning that is required. Your own personal adjustment to your style should come naturally although you are likely to feel frustrated by your own limited discipline and often wonder “Why?”

So, with that in mind, here are some resources I’ve found online for Right-brained learners:

Throwing Marshmallows.

Homeschooling a right-brained visual learner.

Understanding the Creative Learner.

Left Brain/Right Brain.

Tried a right-brained learning strategy for Spelling.

Right Brained learners in a left brained world. I’ve seen this book recommended many times just this morning. Haven’t read it though.

Right Brained Learner.

The Right Brained Learner.

Right Brain Math.

Smart Kids who hate to write.