Thursday, September 06, 2007

Learning to multi-task

"Tablework" just doesn't go over well here. Math worksheets, cursive practice, spelling words - ugh! Who wants to do that when there are great books to be read, experiments to perform (can we skip the lab sheets today puh-leeeeeze?) and life to enjoy?

But there are things we have to do. Though I am an unschooler at heart, I know there are things my kids can't or won't learn without just sitting down and working. I try not to exasperate them too much. I try to explain the value of learning these things. Usually they get it, even if they don't want to admit it.

But today, a small breakthrough. J has learned enough cursive that he can use it to copy out his spelling words. (He has "issues" with phonics and spelling and so we don't do traditional spelling tests. For now it's just copywork.) So I wrote out his word in manuscript and in cursive. It took a while because I had to do my best cursive, which is not great. (I still remember missing an A+ on a spelling test because of my inferior "r." I never did master that letter.)

He was thrilled to discover that if he wrote out the words in cursive, he would not have to do a cursive worksheet today. Either way, it's practice, isn't it? I told him he just saved himself about 15 minutes of schooltime. Which, he was quick to tell me, he already cancelled out by dawdling over his math. OK, another breakthrough! Could it be that he is finally grasping the concept of time and the passage thereof?

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