Monday, October 27, 2014

Taking the Time

Monday is Math Day. Andy has announced he now hates Mondays. We got to my school office, and do our best to get some learning done the old-fashioned way. Math is really the only subject I have tried to do traditionally, because Virginia does expect me to test him at the end of the year, and have him show progress.

Our problem is that he seems to be struggling with math that is already below grade level. I am working on recording the issues, so that if I actually get him near grade level by the end of the grade year, it will be "progress."

Andy's processing issues are pervasive, and they affect his ability to understand many things in what might be seen as a typical way. This makes typical academic tasks harder to do in typical ways. With the added bonus of trauma from school, shutdown is the usual response to Math Monday.

Once again, I plan to cheat.

Andy loves Pokemon. So today, mid-shutdown, I noted how he needs to be able to do basic math to play the game. I started changing the problems to terms of either Pokemon or money. If Pikachu had 150 health, and now he has 81 health, how strong was Tepig's flame charge?

Yeah. I totally cheated.

He seems to be having trouble understanding the numbers. I'm trying to figure out exactly what the issue is, but its like he shuts down and they all go to mush. When we first arrived at my office, and I put up Khan Academy, he did ok... then shut down. I usually wait it out, and let him get himself together, but it wasn't happening. Time was not on our side this round.

Then came the miracle of homeschooling. We turned around, and walked away.

Instead of pushing it, I packed him up and went on to the rest of our day's errands. We got fabric for Halloween costumes (how much fabric did I buy? Hey, this is 40% off... I wonder how much it will be?), helped Grandma clean and take out trash, and took our walk to the corner store (oh, this drink is $1.09, and the candy you want is $1.29, do I have enough money here? How much should I get back in change from this $5?). Then we came back to math, but not on the computer- back to our workbook, where we looked at fractions and decimals, and then started on measuring. I think I'm going to be able to handle measuring. I have plenty of tape measures, I have lots of recipes, we are going to totally rock this.

We just need to take a little time to let him process it.

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