Wednesday, June 26, 2013

When Teaching Math

Breathe in, breathe out and repeat to self  "I am patient, I am kind, my child will get it in time, even if it takes 10 years.."

 For as long as my child is trying and is not giving me bad attitude such as shouting, whining, not listening, etc then I have no reason to get upset. If he/she starts feeling upset, starts crying or shows that he/she is not interested, then its time to stop.

So here's Nh doing the same math problem he started with yesterday morning. The great news is he finished it. The first 3 numbers he did yesterday and the rest he answered today. He was cool and decided he had enough so we packed up! I did not get annoyed or raised my voice etc. I wish I was like this when my eldest was struggling with her Math work a few years ago. Instead, I was so worried and upset and I felt it might be the start of a Math disaster! - Whatever that means.  Math was, still is, my Waterloo. When I was a child I felt I could be anything but a Mathematician.

 Both L and Nh are doing Miquon Math. And why did I choose this? Because I like it a lot!!! If I could go back and be 9 again, I would want this for myself!!! I would much prefer if L worked separately from Nh so there will be less distraction for me, but this is wishful thinking. They seem to be in the mood to work side by side these days. I value my time teaching Math to L and Nh. I know that in a few years I won't be of much help to them. My older girls are doing math work that I can no longer help them. Most of the time, but not always, if they need explanations regarding some math problem, I need them too! So they have to search online or wait for their Dad to come home to get Math help. I am not on top of the situation when it comes to Math. I wish I am, but I am not. Thanks to the the answer key that goes with their workbooks I occassionally get to check their work. Most of the time they check it themselves.

As is now doing Saxon Math 6/7 and A is doing Teaching Textbook Algebra 1. She has been doing Algebra since she finished Saxon Math 7/8 about 3 years ago. She also did Key to Algebra, but she is not convinced she got it since she had such a hard time when she started doing Saxon Geometry. So she decided to go back to Algebra 1 again, then go back to Geometry maybe by September.

I tell my older girls, if you want to be good at Math, then you have to do the work with or with out me checking in on you. You do it because you have to, for the joy and discipline of it, you do it for yourself. And am I happy if they do their Math work and do it well? Yes I am. It makes me very happy to see them learn new stuff. To work honestly and ask and search for help, To trudge along with the work at hand and do it well, with out being bitter, whiny and annoyed is something I value deeply.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

There is Hope!

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month. I can not contain my joy with the recent X-ray result of As!!! When she returned from her therapy in Scoliosis SOS Clinic, her Cobb's Angle was measured at 30 degrees from 36 degrees. Now she is down to 27 degrees. She has been doing her daily exercises since, and decided not to wear her brace as recommended (23 out of 24 hours in a day) by her doctor here. She only wears her brace at night or whenever she feels like it during the day. I can feel her renewed enthusiasm because of the positive results.

I had doubts about sending her abroad for 1 month to try out something that I was not sure will work out. Plus the cost of the trip! Plus the specialist here said, he does not know of any physical therapy/ activity that can guarantee to reduce the curve. He said we can try to keep the curve where it is through physical therapy, swimming, yoga, etc etc. but he recommends a brace as the best shot. To be fair to the specialist we are seeing, he is a spine surgeon not a scoliosis specialist. Also, he is the only doctor who came up with a plan and the only doctor who recommended an intervention on an a.s.a.p tone.
So what made my husband and I decide to go for the therapy? The fact that our daughter's scoliosis is not life threatening although it is progressive, the solution available for her, which is surgery, is indeed life threatening. There is no such thing as risk free surgery and to have it at such a young age was not something we wanted to see happen to our daughter. Also, there is no such thing as 100% guarantee. So, we spent what we had in the hope of correcting a condition that seems to be going downhill for our 2nd child.
I tried to play down my doubts and encourage my girls to enjoy the vacation, and for my 2nd daughter to go and make friends while she is in therapy and meet friends and family while they are in London and watch shows etc. Here is a post I wrote last year on exactly the same day. And here is another post from last year about a week before they left for therapy.


The Scoliosis SOS Clinic and their therapists are doing a great job. And I am so thankful to them for their dedication, including follow ups and for connecting me to a mother from Brunei when I inquired about any person who has gone through their program. My email exchanges with this angel from Brunei has given me hope and became my source of strength.  Her openness meant the world to me when I felt trapped. Here was someone who understood. Though miles away from me, her emails made me feel like I had a hand to hold as I cried. I wonder if she will ever know what a blessing she is to me. Her daughter, like mine was diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis and had therapy ahead of As. She even gave me practical tips about London which my husband found most helpful. I pray for her and her daughter and the rest of her family. I hope to one day meet her.
There is hope for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis and I don't think its wait and see! I think its scoliosis specific therapy! Its far and it costs a lot, but so does a brace, and so does surgery. To say that my daughter has overcome her condition is premature and exaggerated. She still has a curved spine, and it might be something she has to deal for the rest of her life. She still has her brace and she still might need surgery, but as for now there is a ray of hope that she is working effectively away from it and towards a straighter spine.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Struggling Writer

My little boy can play with his Lego for the whole morning! Complete with building something, followed by conversations between his Lego Men, crashing sounds, explosion, flying etc.
Since I do not want to be an intruder but I so want him to start writing and counting. I sit on the floor with him and talk about what he is doing. For a few weeks now I am successful at getting him to count and write. And he is eager too. He likes to talk a lot!!!

At the very start of this he told me the names of his Lego men and I told him that he should write his name and then I will write the name of his Lego men. And he replied, "No , I do not want to write I am still playing. I will just say my name."
So I told him about the movie I saw when I was a child about a man who does not know how to read and write and this mean guy forces him to sell his horse by forcing his signature on a piece of paper. And since the whole place/ town knows that this guy does not know how to write, the mean guy just forced his hand to write an X and everybody in the place/ town believed the mean guy.
So we went on talking about the horse and the man who can not write and property and selling and stealing and his Lego horse. And from then on I have a willing, struggling writer. Not the book kind of writer but the ABC learning to write writer. My goal is he gets to write his name before the year ends.
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