Monday, May 08, 2006

Moving on...

After a glorious weekend spent mainly in the garden - even catching the sun a little - mowing, pruning and trimming, today is thoroughly wet and dreary! Even so, I think my garden is beautiful and am so looking forward to tending it this summer. It is like a breath of fresh air - literally - after the grey concrete of our old 'school yard'. The rain has been good for Joel's rain gauge too - 30mls in the last 24 hours!

Joel started Singapore Maths 2B today and what I thought were basic fundamentals he seemed to struggle with - like two parts make a whole, therefore to find one part you have to subtract the other from the whole and to find the whole you have to add the two parts! Not quite sure what we've missed or where that basic stuff just didn't go in. He can often find the right answers, but I'm wondering how much is more by memorisation and luck than by actual calculation. Either that or he had a very off day,which might be the case as his weather project was a bit of a slog today too and that is supposed to be fun! It seems he really struggles to retain instructions from one session to the next, so often we have to revisit what to do each time.

His work on hurricanes today was a nightmare. I lost track of how many times he read the information and how many times I explained the concept to him, he simply could NOT tell me in his own words what a hurricane was or how it happened. He just couldn't remember anything. I'm hoping he was just having a tired, off-day and tomorrow will be better...

Abbie was ill last night. She is very susceptible to upset tummies and I'm not sure where this one has come from, but she has been asleep most of the day. Although I feel sorry for her it has given me chance to download and print off the miquon books ready for later in the week(thanks Katy for that website - fab - they even take PayPal!). It's a bit heavy on the old ink & paper printing off so many pages, but probably still cheaper than paying the postage from the US (especially as I refill my ink and buy my paper cheap in the works). The only pain is when the printer messes up the page numbers by pushing through two sheets at a time, so they are all out of order.


I'm really excited about doing Miquon. I think it's really going to 'freshen/lighten up' maths in our home. Maths has always seemed to be the 'heavy going' subject that causes the most battles (seconded only by any kind of writing!). I'm hoping that the explorative approach of Miquon might help a change in attitude towards maths and also cement the understanding of operations and formulas more fully. I'm not too bothered about rote learning (although I do see it has it's place for speed and ease), but to me the understanding of the 'how and why' is more important and the speed can come later as a product of the understanding. Singapore almost achieves that (it fully achieved it for Jacob), but somehow for Joel it hasn't quite hit the mark and I suspect Boo will be much the same. I think adding in Miquon will make the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place and the overall picture become much clearer (if you get my analogy). Who of you out there use Miquon (I know you do Jan) - how do you find it? Do you think it's going to do the trick for me and mine? Take a vote in my 'current poll' !

2 comments:

Jan said...

We've shelved Miquon at the moment. C didn't like it all that much and maths was a big battle round here. We talked quite a lot about which parts she enjoyed, and she was very keen not to do miquon any more. I might give it a go with M - they learn bery differently.

Katy said...

Becca likes it when she's in taht sort of frame of mind.... She does like playing with the rods though and I suspect that's more important than actually following the instructions at her age