Today has been an up and down day. As long as E has had something to do, its generally been ok! So far this has included playing with playdough (H’s idea), making safari animals from a craft kit I bought the other day (E’s idea), playing on the Wii (E’s idea), mixing up random concoctions in the kitchen from flour, water and anything else she could find (E’s idea again), reading books (H’s idea), doing maths (E’s idea – but didn’t go to plan…), filling the paddling pool (E’s idea), dressing up (H’s idea), making a picnic, which included getting the ancient picnic basket out of the garage which E had obviously spied on a recent garage excavation…and probably lots of other things that I’ve completely forgotten!
I’ve only recently come across the idea of strewing, and have found it a useful way to get E to find things on her own, not just stuff I think she’d enjoy, but that she can not only find on her own, choosing herself, but can also play/discover independently then either involve the rest of us, or just come and show us what she’s done afterwards. If she had to wait for me to find her, then work out something to do with her every time, she would be a very bored individual!
Today, E and I were talking about HE, as she generally considers herself to be a school girl who doesn’t go to school…which is quite frustrating! We’ve been talking about who to invite to her birthday party which is suddenly looming, and she just reels off a list of people she went to school with, who she hasn’t really seen for over a year, and if I mention any of her friends she sees weekly at HE meets, she says they’re not her friends. I think this is down to my social ineptitude, because they don’t physically come to our house, apparently they are not her friends, socially-speaking.
After talking about us, Home Education, and everything (apparently it was her idea to Home Ed, not ours), and her saying she would like to go to school, because our next door neighbour won a beautiful ring from her school fete. E then said that another neighbour had teased her for not being able to do some maths sum (he is at least 2 yrs older than her), and she should go to school!! Grrr…I hate school kids! It was adding up two 2-digit numbers, so we sat and added up some numbers using our fingers, then I wrote down two 2-digit numbers, one above the other, and was going to show E how to add them together, so she put her fingers in her ears, and closed her eyes…why is everything so hard?!! So…how do you ‘strew’ maths?! I got a book from the library a while ago, which had caught my eye in the children’s section…I can’t remember what it was called exactly, but it was something like ‘How to teach your child maths’. It turned out not to be as preachy as it sounds, and worked through what maths was from the earliest age, and how maths in everyday life changes, and how to introduce simple ideas and concepts while giving all the supporting information on why anyone would want or need to know it. I tested the first couple of chapters out on H, and she could do whatever it was e.g. if you have 2 apples on a table, then put them in a cup and ask how many there are now, below a certain age they will have to count them to check, but after a certain age, they will automatically know that the number of apples doesn’t change, just because you’ve moved them from the table to the cup, iyswim! I think I’m going to see if I can find it again, as it gave me a bit of confidence at least!! Its really annoying how small things can really knock your confidence. It took me sitting down and relaying all this to B, to realise that yes, in a couple of years E will be able to add up 2, 3 or 4 digit numbers. In the 18mths we have HE’d, E has changed so much, grown up so much, and learned so much, without stepping inside a school. I need to keep telling myself these things.