Day 41: Schooling on the road

by renee

This morning, while Andrew got some work done at the coffee shop, I took the kids down to the river bank to play in the sand. We had finished scripture study and had a really great time of discussion. The kids were so interested and eager to learn. While we were outside immediately after, they still had that eagerness so decided to take advantage. “Okay, everyone! Time for math! Everyone grab ten stones and line them up!” I spent time with each child individually, using the rocks to do some math problems, while the others were content playing the sand. I used the Ray’s arithmetic with Reayah, using the rocks to practice addition, subtraction and the beginning understandings of multiplication and division. Bennah is a visual person and using rocks to represent groups, he was able to practice his multiplication very easily. He has learned to count by 2s,3s,4, and 5s and is now learning to count by 6s and 7s. Zach and Jaiden did simple counting and threw the rocks into the river when they were done. As I taught them, I was rejoicing at how easy this was, and prayed that I would have many more days like these :).

After lunch, the kids had some play time and then came in to do journal writing. The kids had been making up their own worship song and so I asked them to write it down as a poem. Reayah loves to write and had no trouble concentrating and filling up 3 pages in half an hour. Bennah on the hand struggles when there are many distractions around him. While we started to write, a short thunder storm started so we were all in the trailer! Including a baby who wanted attention, a tired toddler and a provocative 4 year old, who drove his truck over Bennah’s journal.  So, Bennah had a rough time and after some frustration on both our parts, he completed his assignment. I want to accommodate him so he can concentrate and do school joyously, without frustration, but I also need him to practice concentrating with distractions. He won’t always be do his work alone, away from everything. I think it’s a good skill to learn. I do want him to see that I am supportive of his struggle though, and encourage him to overcome. Writing is the hardest subject for Bennah. Not because he’s not good at it, but because it requires a different form of concentration. And sitting still!

It was a good day. We did school, we did our chores and got the trailer clean and prepared for Shabbat (Sabbath). We love Shabbat. The one day we Andrew and I can sleep in while the kids fend for themselves and run amuck!

3 Responses to “Day 41: Schooling on the road”

  • Shawn Says:

    As wonder rises from deep within,
    We wander over to a beach – real thin,
    Small stones we gather for then teaching,
    These children’s minds always reaching.

    Some to multiply and some to add,
    Either way the lesson is not bad,
    We laugh and play on this beach,
    Watching this lazy river within reach!

    Our classroom not really conventional,
    But that is so we fulfill the call,
    We search in wonder for our path,
    Along the way in the spirit we bath.

    Our Father showing us his kingdom now,
    Moving us along – no need for the plow,
    Our journey followed by many a friend,
    Unsure as Abraham when it will end!

    But I sit here now – children at hand,
    And enjoy the moment no need to understand!

    – Shawn Wiggins (May 24th, 2009)

    Yeah that is a little cheesy, sorry – I was inspired by the posting. I find I do not let the poetic side out enough. Love you guys!!

  • Esther Haverluck Says:

    Wow, Shawn that is an awesome poem. Let that out more often. Renee this is such a neat journal of your day. Can I paste it on our family website?

  • Jonathan Says:

    What a beautiful day, Renee! What a cool story about teaching math with rocks. It reminds me of a CD I was listening to this week in which Brad Scott contrasts Hebrew and Greek language and thinking, e.g. how Hebrew is tied to very concrete things (I’m thinking of rocks now) while Greek uses more abstract ideas.

    (Also, beautiful poem, Shawn. Thanks for sharing and as Esther encouraged, keep it up!)

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