May 22 2009

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!