Thursday, April 25, 2013

Colin Surprises Me

Most days of homeschooling are mediocre at best. Colin makes apparently slow, but steady, progress. Some days are not as good and Colin make it clear he has no interest in reading, writing, or math. Today was fantastic. I was pleasantly surprised with him.

Colin applied himself today and showed that he reads far better than what he showed me yesterday. In fact he tells me he is ready for the fourth lesson of the McGuffy Eclectic Primer and I'm inclined to believe him.

Practicing addition didn't go very far today. He seems to understand the concept of adding 1, but he likes to guess at the answer without thinking it through, and usually gets it wrong. 1 + 1 does not necessarily equal 2 yet in Colin's mind. It's a little disappointing, but he is five after all, and there is plenty of time. In the meanwhile, perhaps I could try teaching with a number line and see how he takes that... or I could just make some flash cards and give him a rote memorization base to rely on while he learns the pattern.

What Colin does very well, math-wise, is understanding relative amounts. This came as a big surprise to me.

Just to see how he would answer, I wrote down two numbers, 1 and 2 and asked him which represented more or which one was bigger. Without hesitation, Colin answered "2", and I had him circle it. Then I wrote down 5 and 3, and asked the same question. He answered "5" and circled it. He got correct for 6 and 16, and especially surprising was that he understood that 31 is bigger than 27 (I only introduced those numbers just this week). He didn't need to pull out manipulatives or, or visuals, or require an explanation from me; he just understood intuitively which one was bigger.

I guess my teaching methods are working, either that or Colin is further above average than I previously thought. I have no reason to believe that Colin has genius level intellect...
 but he does surprise me from time to time.

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