Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer studying, Day 2

Another what-we-did-yesterday report on the progress of our summer homework. Running a day late with reports feels about par for the course.

So, yesterday: My son's Spanish worksheet involved translating phrases, and I was really impressed with how conscientiously he finished it, flipping back and forth to different lists of words to find the information he needed to translate a group of sentences from English to Spanish. I did talk him through it a little, but in past years he would have lost interest and attention even for listening to my instructions long before he got to the end. This time, though he yawned frequently -- that's what happens when a kid who moves to stay alert tries to sit still and pay attention -- he finished it all without protest. Ditto his geometry, which was a fun exercise using the concepts of "parallel," "perpendicular," and "intersecting" to find different things on a map. I'm starting to feel really hopeful about his ability to take on the challenging class placements we've got going for him this fall. Remaining patient through a long task is a big and necessary leap.

He was a little more antsy with our reading of another chapter of Bridge to Terabithia. Part of the problem was his sinuses, which were making his voice come out all nasal and through his nose. Hard to understand him, hard to speak clearly. A couple of spritzes of salt water up the nose every day may help with that. The other thing I remembered later is that he hasn't been wearing his glasses while we're reading. Funny how quickly we've forgotten those things in our nonacademic summer routine. Gonna have to dig 'em out.

My daughter and I spent half the day at an orientation for her college, but I still made her do worksheets when we got home. Mean mom. Order of operations was still the order of the day, since she'd done badly on them the day before. We sort of belatedly realized that, though PEMDAS accurately explains the order, the MD (multiplication/division) part has to be done in the same step from left to right, and ditto the AS (addition/subtraction). Once she got that in her head, her accuracy on the problems improved. I tell you, I need to study up on this stuff before I give it to her, not after she's screwed up. After the math, we read another chapter of The Color of Water, which alternates between short chapters in the mother's voice and long chapters in the son's. Yesterday was a son chapter. Much eye-rolling over the length ensued. It's OK, I'm used to it.

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