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A Shift In Homeschooling

Lately, B and I have both gotten tired of the homeschooling routine. Especially math. I thought it had been going well, but then I would go back and review something I thought he had mastered, and it would be like I was speaking Martian to him.

Then I found out that he has “poor working memory,” a common affliction for right-brained children. In other words, unless he is genuinely interested in something, he won’t retain learning unless he goes over it five times more, and five times longer, than someone with a healthy working memory.

So I stopped short at introducing the basic multiplication facts, and went back to place value, addition, and subtraction. I’ve been trying to make it fun, but…well, if the student doesn’t think it’s fun, it’s not fun. It’s more like trying to pull a tooth that isn’t loose.

I have been sorely tempted just to take a break from doing any math until I finish my book about multiplication. Except that I don’t want to go back there, until B is doing better with memorizing addition and subtraction facts. What to do?

Remember the educational software we purchased last year, that’s what! For a while, the math games on the software was all B did for homeschool math. Then, he got tired of it. But it’s been a long time since he’s played those games, so I thought, might as well ask. Nothing to lose.

“Would you rather,” I therefore asked, “play the math games on the computer or play the games we’ve been playing?”

“Computer! Computer!” B practically jumped up and down.

Maybe he did. I’m not sure, because I was too busy feeling relieved. I do not like being in a rut, and was thrilled to have an alternative for him to practice his math facts.

Which just goes to show: when homeschooling starts to feel like a drag, it’s perfectly acceptable – maybe necessary, even – to take a step back and re-evaluate, consider your options.

You could always choose the “keep pulling your hair out” option, of course, but I don’t really care for that look.

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