Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Forgot Myself

After I posted the link to my blog on Facebook, a friend commented on how much she enjoyed reading it and what interesting things I had to say about homeschooling and other subjects. I was a bit taken aback. I haven't blogged regularly in more than a year and a half, and lately I've felt that I don't know the first thing about homeschooling well. I went back to my blog and read the archives of older posts from 2007 and the first half of 2008, and was surprised to find that I had blogged pretty regularly for quite a while and I had some good ideas and interesting things to say. I particularly thought this post was interesting as it described how we were doing math at the time, and it addresses some of our current problems and frustrations. We were using the same math series that we are now, Math-U-See, but we weren't using it in the same way.
I do alter the lessons somewhat. After reading How Children Fail I have taken a lot of Holt's suggestions for the Cuisenaire rods and applied them to the Math-U-See blocks. This doesn't change the content of the lessons, just how I present them. I do a bit less instruction and a bit more guided exploration.
At the time we were exploring the blocks together and using the student book very little. In Math-U-See, the instruction is supposed to take place through watching the video then practicing with the blocks, and the student workbook is only supposed to be practice and reinforcement. That's not how we've been using it at all lately, and I think that's been a big part of the growing math resistence and frustration. My kids simply don't need that much repetition to understand the concepts, and if I'd been using the curriculum as it is intended to be used instead of feeling like we had to complete a certain percentage of the workbook to be doing it "right" then things would have been going better.

There were other posts covering my thoughts on homeschooling approach that reminded me of what I had thought and why I had thought it, and I'm glad I reread them. They've given me some inspiration for what I would like to do in the future.

On a more somber note, I realized as I reviewed the blog that the drop off in posting coincided with my descent into a bout of depression, anxiety and spiritual turmoil that I've only recently begun to emerge from. I hadn't really realized how long it had been since I had felt good.


  1. I am glad you are feeling better, Becky. I think you do a great job and sometimes we forget to see the forest for the trees, especially when it comes to our own parenting. Your blog is a great way to remind yourself that you rock. Welcome back.

  2. I'm so glad to see you are feeling better. I think you were on a board hiatus at the same time you were on a blog hiatus, and I missed you when you were gone from the boards. Course, now I'm gone from the boards, but there is always FB. It's good to see you thriving.


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