Monday, March 31, 2008


with Ditz.

As part of Education week Principled Discovery wants to know what homeschooling looks like in our house. This is really embarrassing. I do not have a child with a learning disability; quite the contrary. I do not have a child with any sort of disorder; I have Ditz; she just has attitude. Plenty of attitude.

Take today for example. Today was fairly typical. Ditz knows she has reading & math always, her grammar & bible or science or history. She has stopped fussing about the reading. The books must have improved in her opinion. Math is a whole other kettle of fish. I have been saying for a week, 'Are you sure you understand? There's a lot of mistakes in here.' Yeah, yeah, yeah ~ get a life, mum. I believe in letting the big ones sort it out for themselves so I backed off but today I handed her her test paper & said less than 90% & she would have to redo it because 90% is 20% carelessness on Ditz's part.

Ditz is doing fractions. I can't do fractions but that's what Dearest ~ or Liddy or Dino ~ is for. It was on. Obviously the child had no idea how to add two fractions together. (OK, nor do I but I don't have too anymore.) I sent child to her father with her bottom lip dragging so far along the floor she was in danger of putting her foot through it & we began. Ditz is a visual /spatial learner. I know we are going nowhere until she gets the picture & I know that this is sequential learning unless Ditz has one of her blinding flashes of 'whole picture' intuition. Obviously today was not my lucky day. Frankly, as a visual learner myself, this is just confusing so I do empathise with my small daughter but daughter has been blessed with more brains than I've got & a far better grasp of mathamatical concepts.

Round & round the mulberry bush we went with me coaxing Ditz through each step. Three sums = 1 hour. Then I saw the word problems hadn't been done either!!! This is even worse because it looks like English, it sounds like English & it makes no sense whatever! Four sums - another hour. Ditz was dragging her feet, whinging & whining about how she was being tortured in the name of an education & it was as if we'd never done any of it. I had to coax her through each step for three problems. Just as I was starting to get really antsy she barely glanced at the last problem & said airily, 'Oh, that's 2.5.' OK, she needed to write it as 2/5 but she was right! At that point I burst into tears. I hate math; I really do.

I was exhausted but we still had grammar to do. Ditz polished off two worksheets in 15 minutes. I have never used a textbook for grammar. We'd never done much grammar at all until we started with Sonlight but grammar has never fazed Ditz. Maybe it works like a jig~saw for her. We broke for lunch, both Ditz & I with a raging headache, so Ditz cut her flute practise short & violin just wasn't on at all.

OK, today was really bad. Normally though Ditz fusses (she enjoys fussing) she works without reducing both of us to tears & tantrums. On a good day her math is done in 1/2 an hour & it's all right. We get heaps done with science & history. We have time for the art & craft projects that delight Ditz's arty little heart. And she does her solid hour on both flute & violin.
In other words a typical day here never finds that illusionary happy medium. Days are either really, really good or really, really bad. There is no middle ground. My prima donna drama queen likes them that way. I think I'm getting old.


Celly B said...

Oooh! I hate math, too! Thanks for the glimpse into your homeschooling world.

Marbel said...

Oh my, sounds a bit like our house, math is not well-loved here. At least, the math at the level we're working right now. I keep promising that math gets more interesting when the basics are mastered (Daddy says so, I don't know this from personal experience), but... :-)

Stacy said...

Sounds like she keeps you on your toes!

Thanks for sharing a little of your life with us,

Mrs. Darling said...

Glad you're joining this! Tink hates fractions but fortunately she caught on to adding them after about three tries. Thats short for her!

Sounds like you have days a lot like mine! :)

Dana said...

Oh, I think I know about attitude. I see that look and I may as well ask her climb Everest as expect her to add two and two. She will get confused on a problem but rather than ask for help, she stands her ground, trying to prove that either the book is wrong, it is a stupid problem, or no one every taught her. And this always comes after doing it correctly for a week or more.

She actually is quite good at math, and I think that is part of why she gets so frustrated when she can't figure something out. Asking for help isn't really in her personality, so it looks more like thrusting a book at me and saying, "I can't do this."

Sassy Mama Bear said...

Another math hating Mama....and Saxon lied it does not help me understand ;)
We deal with attitude on all fronts here with 2 teenage boys and a tweenage girl. So I know your pain.
Adding you to my reader to keep in touch.

acceptancewithjoy said...

Math is always our worse subject too. I was going to save the math post of April Fool's Day ~

Ganeida said...

Thank you, ladies, for not judging. Ditz has plenty of wonderful qualities but math does not bring out the best in her. Mrs D I often read what you & Tink are up to & think, oh Tink's doing a Ditz again ~ only Ditz doesn't have any of Tink's problems so none of her excuses. I just try to make sure one of us stays sane.

Sassy Mama Bear ~ I love readers who love me ;P. You are welcome any time.

molytail said...

Thank you for writing this. Seriously. It does a person good to know that they're not the only one with a drama queen who can collapse in a pile of wails over math. (Or sometimes other stuff - but most often, it's math).... I've got one as well. Yep. >^..^<