This is our 5th week of homeschooling! I can’t believe it. We’ve learned so much, had so much fun, strengthened our mother-daughter bonds and I’ve had one tiny break-down. I’d call that a success. We’re following Susan Wise Bauer’s book “The Well-Trained Mind” which is a classical method for homeschooling. Our curriculum is centered around history and literature, which both happen to be my favorite subjects. Take last week for example: we’re studying ancient Egypt and learned all about Cheops and the great pyramid at Giza. We also studied Joseph and how he was sold into slavery in Egypt. These studies lend themselves to cool and exciting projects. We made pyramids and a coat of many colors which we all thoroughly enjoyed.
We decided to make the ‘coats-of-many-colors’ doll size, so that our American girl dolls could wear them….
Anything painting or crafty goes over so well….my girls love art and are both talented with their hands…..
Their dolls, Kit and Emily, even made guest appearances at school while we made the ‘coats’. They sat in their own little desks and did their own little spelling sheets. They were quite well behaved except for the fact that Emily (the doll) kept falling out of her seat! We had to spread her legs really wide to keep her from falling. We all though it hysterical! Then there’s the latin, grammar, writing, spanish, spelling, art, music, memory work……all of which I love…to learn about and teach. I hope my enthusiasm is contagious. It seems to be. Then there’s math…….
So, why is it that I can’t manage to make math exciting enough for them to get those blasted math facts in their heads? It has to be the most frustrating half hour of the day for me. I seems to always pray that someone will visit or the fire alarm will go off or something during math. I sometimes use that time to switch out the laundry or water the plants. I just don’t like math and I don’t know how to make it fun. I’ve tried the manipulatives but we end up making some fun art project out of those usually.
Secretly, inside my head, I am frustrated, feeling like the worst mother ever to embark on the monstrous task of teaching her own children, and yelling at the top of my lungs (all to myself remember) WHY CAN’T YOU JUST REMEMBER THAT NINE PLUS EIGHT EQUALS SEVENTEEN? WHY? JUST MEMORIZE IT. OKAY. AND DON’T ASK ME TO ANOTHER ART PROJECT UNTIL YOU’VE GOT. GOT IT? Hence, my tiny breakdown. All to myself. So, how do I handle tiny breakdowns? I bake chocolate chip cookies and eat them warm….with milk. And I solicit the help of two darling little girls who are creative and love to bake and paint and craft and memorize……and who may never be mathmeticians. God help us when we get to multiplication.
then we bake and enjoy. This recipe happens to be Kimmie’s and I’m gonna go out on a limb and say I’ve made it a good 150 times in the last few years. It’s the best recipe ever. Ever. For chocolate chip cookies. Ever, I tell you. You must try it.
“So, if mom ate nine chocolate chip cookies and Elea ate four and Emme ate four, then how many did they eat total?” See how I make math fun? At least they’ll be able to do the word problems where cookies are involved.