Galatians 6:9

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

Colossians 1:10

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10

Wait, you're what?

We're in the business of raising autonomous adults NOT children here!


Monday, January 27, 2014

No need to slow down; plow right ahead

Today I was at a school in our town. I was waiting for a kid that I help with reading comprehension. While sitting in the hall, waiting, I was reading some of the New Year resolutions that kids had written and taped to the wall. I read a lot of: "I will read more" "I will be kind" and "I will do better at math" etc. However, there was one that caught my eye. I read it. I re-read it. I even got up and walked close to it to read it (just to make sure I was reading it correctly). What I read broke my heart. I mean, like literally, my heart sank in my chest. It said, "I will slow down in math."

I will SLOW down in MATH! WHAT?! I felt so bad for whoever had written that. That poor kid (who is only in second or third grade based on where the thing was posted on the wall) has been told, whether outright or implied through other words of choice, that he or she is too smart in math.

Now we can't have anyone being smarter that the rest of the kids in class, can we now? Oh no! We all have to be equal. So little Johnny who is a wee-bit "behind" his peers gets to have a lot of remedial help to bring him up to his peers and little Susie who is way ahead of her peers is told to slow down (and probably help teach her peers).

Now I do think everyone, kids included, can learn from each other. Kids can teach other kids. They can also teach adults. Adults can teach kids, as well as other adults. What I don't like is expecting a child, who is probably bored for lack of challenge, to play the role of a teacher and try to teach _____(fill in the blank), or to sit around and be bored for the lessons because it's already been mastered. Why not let kids work at their own pace? Those who are like, "get it, got it, good!": give them the opportunity to move on ahead. Those who are struggling through to own that knowledge: allow them to stay behind and master that skill. Don't leave them to their own defenses. That's not what I'm trying to say. Just sit back and see where they are, how they are processing things, how they are working things out, where they are struggling and then help them only when necessary. If you just tell little Johnny the answer to 2+2, he will only memorize the answer. If you give him the problem, explain to him how to find the answer and then let him work on it until he grasps the idea that if you have 2 candy bars and someone gives you 2 more, you now have 4. Once it "clicks", it's there:)

I digress, back to slowing down...

I was one of those kids who loved numbers. I loved math. I breathed math. I couldn't get enough of math. I was often bored up until high school (when I was able to take the advanced classes..and even more than 1 math class in a school year). I remember being told to help the "slower" kids, and not just give them the answers when we had to work with partners. I didn't understand peer teaching. I just understood that I loved to do math problems and Anastasia over here was just slowing me down if I waited for her to figure it all out. So I would whiz through the problems and then wait and give her the answers if she just couldn't figure it out.

My oldest is a math whiz too. She loves numbers. She loves to figure things out. If she was not homeschooled she would probably be told to slow down! She is already borrowing in large subtraction problems (like $35.98-$26.89). She is carrying over in addition (like 39+47). She is working on strengthening her multiplication skills. I wish all kids had the opportunities to say, "I want to learn ____" and that their teachers encouraged them instead of telling them, "slow down, we're not their yet. That's 3rd grade work instead of 1st grade" (whatever levels you want to throw in there).

NOW I KNOW! I KNOW! Not ALL teachers are like stated above. It's not the teachers I'm against. NO! It's the system that's broke, lame, mono-whatever would be the appropriate word (I'm not one for words). I know so many teachers do what they can to help encourage learning with all of their students. But there's only so much time that can be divided among an ever growing class size. Right?

She still gets things wrong, but then re-works them to find the correct answers.

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