Thursday, September 29, 2005

Math in the Evening

I've always wanted to make school plans that accomodated the children (especially the older ones) working with their Dad on Math in the evenings. It has happened here and there, but never really stuck... until now.

This year Ria (age 12) is studying Jacob's "A Human Endeavor" for 7th grade Math. There are three sets of problems for each lesson and the third set is tougher than the rest. I told her that she had to do the first two sets every day, but could do the third sets with her Dad at night whenever it worked out.

Well, lo and behold, she's been reminding her Dad at night (around 7:30 or 8:00) to work on it nearly every evening for this first week of school. It turns out that she also likes to do her math early (meaning, getting it done the night before it has to be done so she can sleep in a little later the next morning) This has been such a joy to watch them working on Math together.

Well, these things don't always last (and I've always found that I have to leave enough wiggle room in our schedule or it all falls apart). But this habit is growing in a most delightful direction. The second or third night of this routine, my 5 1/2 year old (who is doing 1st grade Math) pulled out her book and worked through a bunch of pages on Daddy's lap while he was helping Ria. Every night since then, all four school-age kids have participated in this night-time Math routine - voluntarily, and they seem to be enjoying it! Sometimes my favorite things about school are the ones that I never dreamed of planning. :)

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