Monday, February 1, 2016

Goodbye January

And Just like that January is over. How did our academics go for the first month of 2016?

First of all, I have been falsely admired for being patient because of this photo: 
Oh my goodness he really has to do it the hard way 😳 and I am just going to sit here and watch him carry on 🏽️😂😂
#math #multiplication #haohs

 As much as it made me smile the truth is, I am not a patient person. It is such an effort not to nag and get upset when things are not in place - it feels like I have to scale a a high wall and I am running out of breath and time when I know I have to exercise patience. The struggle is very real! 

There were so many times I wanted to pull clumps of my hair all at once while doing a project with my kids. For this month we are into science experiments and of course, Math, which has always been my Waterloo. 

For my high school daughter, I just can't help her. I don't get Algebra. I had medals in elementary and  high school and graduated college but I don't get Algebra. Some things are familiar but that's it. 

My grade 6 daughter does not ask for help so far. 

For my grade 1 son, he likes to do it himself and there are days this month when he starts out whining/ talking to himself while trying to figure our a very simple problem like 8 + 7 or 5 x 3. Listening to him feels seems like an eternity. When I offer to help him he rejects my help and says he will do it himself. However, he also wants feedback right after doing a problem. I can't really leave him on his own. So, how do I survive or manage to tolerate this? I came up with 4 strategies:

1. At the start of our Math time, which for the month of January, starts after lunch from 1:30 to 3:00, I tell myself, I love this person with all my heart, mind and body. We don't use up all that time okay. But we work with Math within that time frame.

2. I remind myself, whatever is happening with their Math work is not my problem to solve and we don't have a deadline. For my son, it's of no consequence if he does not get 3x8 today. Maybe tomorrow he will, maybe next year, maybe when he is 12. 

For my daughter who does Algebra, she can't speed up just to finish the book. So it's okay if she does not finish algebra in a year. She can linger.  I can sit with her and try solving the problems, but chances are, I'm not going to get it right! So it's important that she understands the concept because I don't. I can't really teach her. I can just be with her. I think it would be so corny if there is another member in our family who is Algebra illiterate like me.

3. I busy myself as a form of diversion. Thanks to: a line a day (a latest addition), my calendar, brush pens, water color, my phone (I delete photos or take photos), and this blog.

4. I try to think like a monk and I remind myself that the I have the time to do some caligraphy/ painting/ writing, because of my kids academic time. Sometimes, I think that maybe my hand writing or painting would have been better if my son wasn't so loud or didn't nudge my arm.  But then, I have decided that if monks can discard their intricate mandala why should I be upset with my wrong stroke or accidental line, right? 

This is how our space looks like today:
Majority of the things are mine :D
Those are my 4 strategies towards looking/ acting patient. I don't think I am a patient mom/ person. I think I am coping better, compared to how it was 8 years ago, but I would still go gaga and I still have the impulse to pull my hair out when challenged and I do nag when things go missing! 

As for science, We (my 6th grade daughter and 1st grade son) plan to finish all 11 experiments from My First Mind Blowing Science Experiment Kit.  I enjoy doing this and my 6th grade is actually into it but my son asked me, what is this all for? What's the point? Why are we doing this?

I also read  this excellent article. I hope you like it as much as I have. And hello February.

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