Today we have had an absolutely amazing day. I think this is mostly due to you, and the amazing things you have introduced our family to.
I’ve noticed some amazing changes in E over the last few weeks. I’d noticed that when we’ve been baking recently, she’s figured out how to use our digital scales. Up until now, I’ve had to stand close by checking she doesn’t go over the required amount. Suddenly she’s able to do it all herself.
Today, after a couple of false starts, she requested worksheets to do! Unheard of in our house! I’ve stopped keeping workbooks, they take up space, can only be used once, and never seem to have the kind of exercises that grab their attention. Attempts at this kind of structured work invariably ends in tears for both of us, so I was treading carefully. Yesterday we had tried out this one which was a free download, and involved doing some simple addition to discover the colour it needed to be coloured, which E enjoyed,but wanted something more interesting, with less colouring!
While perusing Pinterest recently, I followed a couple of links to Teachers Notebook so together we had a look to see what they had to grab her attention. We found this pack. It contained some fun things, some ideas I knew I hadn’t introduced before, and practised some things we’ve done before that we could maybe extend. It wasn’t free, but was about $3, and I could pay using paypal. Bonus!
We started off doing skip counting in 10s, then 5’s, then 2’s. Filling in missing numbers, and using a hundred chart to work things out. I took a deep breath, and started to explain about place value, Tens and Units. I’ve tried before, but she wasn’t interested. This time was different 🙂 We played the game in the pack, and we moved Cheerios around our kebab sticks! Then I thought I’d push my luck and introduce Hundreds. The game was to identify the number of hundreds in a series of numbers. We did a couple with a puzzled look on her face. Suddenly she said “ooooh! Do you mean the first number of the hundred, like three hundred and fifty two has 3 hundreds in it. I know this, I can do it in thousands too”. My jaw was on the floor! She then read the whole page of numbers perfectly. Concepts I’d tried, and failed to introduce had all clicked together in her head. My wonderful friend, Marnie, who had played some games with her with maths cubes had cemented her understanding, while I built parachutes for eggs downstairs with her boys!
It all suddenly clicked. How she was so comfortable with new concepts, eager to learn new ones, and being able to translate these skills into everyday life with reading digital scales. I can’t thank you, Marnie, enough!
Not only that, we then went on to talk about odd and even numbers, comparing numbers using <. > and =, and then a game with cards that had a number to find eg three hundreds four tens and five ones. Then you search in your cards for 345 after working out what you’re searching for! Reading AND maths. The written number 8 was an interesting stumbling block!
Then H wandered in, and wanted a piece of the action!
If that wasn’t enough, I took E to a new club this evening. She has recently given up all clubs and groups, which I was happy with, she had always made the most of things until they’ve come to a point where she is not enjoying them anymore. She stopped doing gymnastics class and swimming lessons a few months ago. They just weren’t working for her, even though she loves gymnastics and swimming! She is hard to understand sometimes 🙂 At the time she was thinking about stopping swimming lessons we looked into other extensions of swimming that might be more fun.
We regularly go swimming at a local pool with several other home ed families, and have a fantastic time, each and every time. Diving has become a brilliant fun skill that they’ve all learned during these sessions thanks to Marnie who has taken the time to show them how to do it, and then given them the encouragement to try out the dive pool, and the scarily high boards (I don’t think I could even attempt the 1m!!). We found that there is a club that meets at the pool that trains kids in waterpolo, synchronised swimming and diving. I approached them about synchronised swimming all those months ago, and they were full 😦 Last week I received an email out of the blue, saying they had a space for E 🙂 The thinking was it combined swimming, diving and gymnastics. It was worth a go!
So I kept my fingers firmly crossed and hoped for the best. Thankfully she absolutely loved it, and can’t wait until the next session in a week’s time! I can’t believe the stuff they just expected her to do, sink or swim (literally!).
Thank you for our awesome day. I hope I can repay the favour very soon 🙂