In addition to some craziness that's been going on behind the scenes at the Mrs. C house, Woodjie must "test" in order to "qualify" for the local special-needs preschool. Um, non-verbal kid? Unable to follow directions? Unable to get a bedtime routine down, let alone start working on the letters of the alphabet and potty thing? That kiddo? We have to "test" him to see "if" he qualifies??
Bleh. We all know he qualifies. Whatever. So my schedule next week is a real bear with four appointments for "testing," six therapy sessions for other children and several doctor appointments for G (bloodwork and stuff. Nothing serious). Throw in a little homeschooling and a couple toddlers and you have...
Me, wondering why I get headaches every night. Why, just when everything is critical, I find the YoVille sweets factory calling me to check the ovens, make a little virtual money, and buy a big-screen TV for my virtual self. Not that I'm escaping or anything, but my place looks reallllly nice on YoVille. :P
We're about done with our Singapore Maths 4B book. We had our last "teaching" lesson yesterday. The rest is review. I'm stretching it out because I want to be sure the concepts we haven't covered in a while are reviewed and clear before we move onto fifth grade. It's hard to believe my just-turned-eight kid is going to go into fifth grade math soon. Well, we'll probably slow it down a bit and start Thanksgivingish. He doesn't need to go to college at twelve.
You know, Emperor is very bright. The odd thing that homeschooling does is develop talents in a child that might be a little uneven. Emperor cannot, for the very life of him, write perfectly neatly. If it became some sort of requirement... he'd fail. Sorry! I'm about ready to just ask him to print everything. If I drag out schoolwork from a few weeks ago, even he cannot read his own writing.
So, it's tough. I've been printing up some interesting little math tests, and they often ask you to show your work when you do the math. Emperor doesn't. There the answer is, almost always correct, written on the line with no work showing whatsoever. And some of these are multistep problems requiring remembering to add, then subtract, then add, then do this or that...
But there is the answer. In fact, it messes him up if he has to write and show his work. He's done before Elf, and there's no answer key to my knowledge. He knows math. Maybe I should start believing the AOL commenters who know kids at the age of nine months who could recite the entire Bible and do Calculus and stuff. Oh, and they coulda entered Yale at three, but there wasn't enough scholarship money so Mom held him back a year.
LOL... ok. I see all kinds of comments like that. And I have to admit I don't really buy 'em. Though I DO think we can have uneven talents and abilities. And I DO think homeschooling can help bring those out. Remember that someday when Woodjie can multiply plenty of things on paper if he still hasn't said "Mama" when he's nine. Maybe he will write me an equation for Mothers' Day or something. You never know.
I'm VERY happy with Singapore Math, though I think Teaching Textbooks might be something to seriously consider as the children get a bit older. (It IS worth your time to click this link and look at some of the Teaching Textbooks samples.) Every now and then, though, I think it's good to expose the children to other curriculum or tests, to get a feel for how other people ask for the same sorts of math from their students. It wouldn't do for my kids to grow up and ONLY understand the question when it's worded as it would be in Singapore Math.
Sometimes the tests are a little problematic. I swore to myself that I would hand the tests over to my children without comment except for laying out the ground rules. No talking. You may use the bathroom without permission but otherwise, please stay in your seats. When you hand in your test, that's it. No corrections once it's in my hand.
Here's a question for you: If Jeremy wrote down the numbers 3, 9, 15, 21, 27... what is the next number in the sequence?
"33" written on the answer line. Good job, Emperor. Next question: On the lines below, describe Jeremy's pattern.
"Jeremy's pattern is easy and not quite tricky." I had to laugh. He DID "describe" the pattern, didn't he? And in the next question, he correctly wrote another set of numbers using the same rule (obviously, "add six"). He knows the math. He knows how to "describe." But somehow I think that the NY State people would mark that one wrong. :]