Day 22: Math in our heads

Today is a Monday; home in the morning, ballet lessons and soccer in the afternoon/evening.

I tried to interest Boy and Girl in doing some sit down work today, letters for Girl, math for Boy. But they had other ideas.

Girl was still excited about her newly cleaned play area (which she pronounces like ‘aerie,’ an eagle’s nest) and asked to get out the bin of beans under her ‘day bed’ (the toddler bed she never slept in but loves to play on). She and boy got out the Schleich animals and set up a farm in the beans.

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Setting up a farmyard in the bean bin.

After that they played outside for an hour, ate lunch, then started playing with Boy’s Battleship game, making patterns with the red and white pegs. I asked again if Boy wanted to do some math sheets, and this time he asked if I could just give him problems to solve in his head. I obliged; he probably solved a hundred addition and subtraction problems before he said he’d done enough. I noticed that he was solving them very accurately and a lot faster than he was over the summer. I know he does math in his head a lot, and he likes to talk to me about how to solve problems. These days he’s talking about multiplication and division, but he hasn’t memorized any facts yet.

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Playing with Battleship pegs while we do math problems.

Similarly, Boy likes to talk about how to spell words. He’ll often pop into the kitchen while I’m washing dishes or something and say, “Mumma, do you spell ‘iron’ like i-r-o-n?” or “Mumma, do you spell ‘vacation’ like v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n?” I introduced ‘-ture’ words to him the other day, telling him how to spell ‘capture,’ and I might bring that up again tomorrow.

I feel like I need to work with Boy’s desire to do things orally these days, and his reluctance to sit down for any kind of lesson. The thing is, Boy likes lessons, so I think it will come back around when he’s less busy. (I could be wrong about that, of course.) But for now, I may look through his math and spelling program materials and just talk to him about things, while he’s doing other stuff.

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