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Instilling a love of maths

May 28, 2017

About a week into our journey I decided to make up some subject cards so that within each given day Z could decide what subject he would like us to cover next. I thought this would both give him a greater sense of control and also give me an indication of what he is enjoying.  After doing this I quickly noticed that everyday he would chose to start with maths and it was becoming apparent that he was really enjoying it.  So I asked him one day, “Have you always enjoyed maths this much?”  He responded “No, only since we started homeschooling.”  These moments make it so much easier to keep going.  I hope his love of maths continues to grow.

 

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Revision for 5,10,15 and 20 number facts using corner cards.  

Deciding to homeschool

May 26, 2017

Earlier this year I bit the bullet and made the decision to homeschool my six year old son. I have always loved the idea of homeschooling but my previous attempts occurred when my life was upside down for various reasons, and so despite being a qualified teacher I was terrified of the idea.

This wasn’t something I sought out, I was happy sending my kids to school and looking forward to the day that my youngest goes off and I have peace at last . And although I haven’t made any firm decisions I don’t think that I will find that kind of peace for many, many years to come. But the peace I have found in its place is irreplaceable – the crazy peace, the no time to tidy peace, the desperately trying to amuse my 2 year old while teaching my 6 year old peace. The peace that feels like anything but peace. But the peace that nonetheless gives me more joy and warms my heart more than I had ever imagined. Through homeschooling I have found a facet of motherhood that was missing in my life and I have felt a stronger bond with my son than I have ever experienced in his 6 years of life.

However, its not all smooth sailing, there is frustration at time wasting, the occasional refusal to cooperate and the early attempts to push the boundaries.  I also have the same doubts that most homeschoolers have when they begin. Am I doing enough? What about socialisation? Am I too controlling? Not controlling enough? But to be honest I don’t mind the doubts, they are healthy. How can we improve ourselves and hold ourselves accountable if we don’t constantly question our approach?

At the end of the day I know that, at least for my son, I have made the right decision. The amount of time wasting that occurred during the first week assured me of this. Remembering how he was when we started, there is no way that a teacher with another 25 odd students in her class would have the time and patience required to get my son on task all the time. She could be the best teacher in the world, with the purest intentions – it’s just not humanly possible.  Even for me, his mother, with just one student to deal with, it was (and still is some days) a challenge. The more he pushed the boundaries, the more determined it made me to see this through. There is no alternative.

We still have our good and bad days, but our bond is stronger than it’s ever been. He is doing much more work than he did at school, and is developing a love of mathematics that is truly gratifying to see. I don’t know if I will be doing this forever, for now we are just taking it one day at a time and enjoying the journey.

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Z using his math balance.  

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