Thursday, September 30, 2010

Polar Opposites

Today it was made very clear to me that I will need to customize our school days to fit the learning needs of each of my boys.

JT and EM were each given work to do in various subjects. JT blew through his reading assignment about the life of Shakespeare. EM had a fit when I asked him to read a short selection from a reading text about park rangers. JT learns well when reading and thoroughly enjoys it. EM's favorite form of literature is LEGO catalogs.

Later, we worked on science together. We have been studying earth's atmosphere and weather in this unit. Today we were discussing precipitation. As I was reading aloud, EM was distracted by every little thing. I told him he would have to pay attention because there would be questions on what I read to him. He said, "Mom...I don't remember the things you read. I don't store them in my brain." Maybe mom should stop reading aloud to the hands-on learner, eh?

Due to EM's difficulties with background noise, I have been keeping the boys in separate rooms when they are doing independent work. I only bring them together for art, science and history. Since I've been focusing on keeping things quieter lately, it slipped my mind that JT seems to work best with some background music. This was today's downfall. JT was out in the library STARING into space for a good hour. He was supposed to be working on a set of only five questions based on the reading he had done. Why should this take over an hour? Because mom forgot that the secret ingredient to get him motivated is to turn on the stereo. As soon as the music started, he plowed through those questions and moved on to math.

So many days I feel like my teaching and therefore their learning is such a hit or miss process. My husband says I'll get better the longer I do it. I just need someone here to smack me over the head with something every time I forget that one of the main reasons we homeschool is so I can teach to their specific learning styles and needs. I imagine traditional classroom teachers deal with the frustration of lost days. I know not every day can be the day my child's eyes light up with joy when he finally grasps a concept he's been struggling with...but wouldn't it be nice if it could?

1 comment:

joelle said...

Hang on there. That is the joy (and hurdle) of homeschooling. We are all there right with you and feeling the same.