|potential teaching tools|
Thanks to signing up for a Thinkwell math class, I feel the first goal of more focus on math is being met. For the first time in our homeschooling history, JT is taking control of his own math learning, setting goals, working to meet them, getting excellent scores on quizzes and unit tests because he works until he knows the material. In previous years I would feel nothing but stress about his math studies. Planning was difficult, getting him to do the work was torture, and I hated grading the work because when I found mistakes I knew it meant I had to help him through corrections and try to get him to understand the importance of getting it right. Now I write, 'Thinkwell math', on his daily list and he does it. This week he told me he was having a little trouble with one of the exercises so he planned to do more practice worksheets and re-watch the instruction videos until he understood the concept. That kind of self-motivation would have been impossible to imagine a couple months ago.
With the math learning now taking shape, I need to develop the plan to reach our goals for writing. JT has always been a prolific writer, when it's something HE wants to write. The writing assignments I make are often approached with an apathetic attitude. He will do the least amount of work possible and act reproachfully when I insist that he edit his work. After our talk about the need to improve his writing skills in order to go to college and study biology, he started trying a little harder.
|EM begins a report|
Something else that is influencing the writing in our house has been a little project my husband has been working on for the last five weeks. During a visit, one of our friends and my husband were discussing some writing advice given by Brent Weeks, author of the Night Angel Trilogy. He says that if you just write 250 words a day, in a year, you'll have a novel. So my husband and his friend agreed to write 250 words a day and email them to each other. A few weeks in, another friend joined. Now all three of them have 11,000 words written. They are not critiquing the work yet, just sharing. A few days ago, JT who has been following the process, decided to join the fun. He has been very dedicated. I have not read any of what he has written so far, so I asked my husband how it was going. When I asked about JT's grammar and writing mechanics, my husband said he hadn't thought about it before I asked, but once he did, he knew that JT was doing a great job since he hadn't noticed any obvious issues.
My husband's dedication to this writing activity has brought about an awakening of a passion in JT that he would not have found through a typical writing curriculum.
Once again, life wins out as the greatest teacher of all.