I’m not that bad at math!

While I was growing up, math wasn’t my best subject. Well… that’s putting it lightly. I sucked at math. In middle school, I just didn’t “get it,” and in high school, I managed to pass, but math and I still weren’t very good friends. If it weren’t for that pesky “C” in math, I’d have had a 4.0 average – and I’m not exaggerating, either. I made straight A’s in everything else. I got an A in Junior English after learning English 2 years prior (man, could I BS my way through an essay). But math just wasn’t my strong suit.

Now that I’m homeschooling my kids, I sometimes wonder if I really was that bad at math, or whether it was the teaching method that was bad at helping me. I’m a kinesthetic learner. I learn by doing, and I have a hard time with abstract concepts. I still struggle with spatial skills—puzzles are extremely difficult, and if I didn’t have a GPS and didn’t lived in a small city, I’d probably get lost all the time. But I’m getting better, and oddly enough, my 6-year-old is helping me.

The beautiful thing (well, one of the beautiful things) about homeschooling is that you end up learning along with your child. On the recommendation of several people, and after some research of my own, I decided to purchase RightStart Mathematics for my daughter, and we started working with it last school year.

The curriculum is skill-based rather than age-based, which is wonderful. It’s easy to move at our own pace, and my daughter has math skills at 6 that I wouldn’t dream of having at 8. As I teach my daughter with this curriculum, I often find myself thinking, “if I had been taught math this way, I would have been so much better at it!” This curriculum includes many “manipulatives” as well as games, and it makes math truly fun—even for me, who never thought I’d enjoy math.My nice thing for today was spending a good part of the afternoon playing the Math Corners game with my oldest daughter during “special time.”

While the younger two napped, K-girl and I had special time. We do this every day, and it’s great to spend a little time together, just the two of us. She always wants to watch “My Froggy Stuff” videos, so we started our special time with that. If you enjoy crafts, do check out her stuff. This woman can create some insane stuff out of cardboard boxes and scrapbook paper. Jaw-dropping awesome. But I digress.

After watching the videos, K-girl and I played the “Corners game.” This game is part of the RightStart Math curriculum.  K-girl and I sat down on the floor and played the corners game and had a tonne of fun this afternoon. It’s wonderful to see how her skills improve over the course of just one game. The other cool thing about doing this kind of thing one-on-one, is that it’s easy to see where she might be having trouble (for example, with hundreds placement, it was very easy to see why she thought that 2205 meant 225, because I was watching her as she was writing it down and trying to figure it out. Understanding her thought process made it easy to show her how to do proper placement. The curriculum includes manipulatives for place value, so it was easy to explain the concept right away, and once she got to 300 in her score, she was already on top of it when it came to writing down the numbers. We had a good time today.

K-girl is also reading above grade level, and she loves to read. She’s working on her writing, but of course, because she learned to read phonetically, she also spells that way. We’re working on it and she’s making amazing progress each day. She also constantly amazes me with her creativity and love for crafts. I am pretty impressed with the stuff she comes up with. For example, she made “fries” for her dolls the other day. I’ll add a picture later on – after I finish purging the school room.

G-boy is making great progress with his speech. The last “thing to work on” from the speech therapist was working on rhymes. The therapist advised us to drop the individual speech sounds for the time being, and to start talking about rhyming and alliteration. It took him a couple of days, but now he understands rhyming and has fun noticing rhymes in his books. G-boy didn’t really get interested in books ’till he was about 3.5, but now he enjoys sitting down and listening to all kinds of stories. And I love to read with voices 🙂 It’s the best. We’ll be working on alliteration soon, and we’ll have help from K-girl, who loves to come up with sentences with alliteration.

M-girl is our singer. She loves to sing all. day. long. As a matter of fact, she was my inspiration for my karaoke shenanigans. Today we laid down in bed to snuggle for a little bit, and we sang “Let it go” together. She did all the actions. It was adorable. She’s a pretty determined little one. Although that determination now comes in the form of screaming when she doesn’t get exactly what she wants, we’re working on it, and I hope she never loses that will to get her way. I just hope I can teach her to do it while being kind to others. At 2, that’s not really top of mind for her, but I think she’ll have no problem learning as she gets older and Daddy and I guide her.

So it’s safe to say that the nice thing for today is that I have pretty awesome kids, and that while I feel like a failure as a mom a lot of the time, I must be doing an OK job, because my kids are pretty amazing. And I’m working on becoming a better mom everyday. Barbara Coloroso and A Fine Parent are helping me out, and so is a lot of prayer and reflection.

So the nice things for today are that I have awesome kids, we made some pretty great memories today, and also, that I’m well on my way to an organized 2017. I’m continuing to purge my house, and I’ve decided to have a clothing and small items exchange in February (seems appropriate, since that’s when Second Hand Wardrobe Week happens to be). That gives me motivation to keep working at it, and a bunch of people have already confirmed they want to come. These events are always fun, and most people walk away with good items that they can use. I live right behind a thrift store, so anything that gets left behind, I’ll just donate to the thrift store the next day. Everyone wins.

It’s been a good day.

What nice thing happened for you today?

Thank you to Dream Big Printables for this post’s beautiful image. Check out their great art.

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