Monday, December 17, 2012

watch date

As I was woken up this morning by a cranky 2 yo, I was greeted by this sight in the living room: 6 yo is sitting on the couch, reading "It's Not the Stork!" 8 yo is sitting nearby, reading a chapter of American History highschool textbook. I guess I could check science and social studies off the list for today.

My kids had a watch date this morning. That's like a playdate, except that you plan to watch movies together. For this, we got together with another homeschooling family. Everyone pulled out their favorite DVD or show. There was Ultraman, Pokemon, Aquaman and Barney. There was freedom of choice both what to watch, whom to watch it with, and whether to watch it.

There was also peace and quiet and semi-civilized tea-drinking for two mommies.

Afterwards, we did do some schoolwork. No, the kids did not gladly grab their pencils and eagerly cracked the books. There was whining and moping (quite a bit) about the two items on the agenda. Both boys did math. 8 yo came up to multiplication of 12s. Those he got quite quickly. Now the challenge is to get the rest of the table down pat so that Bruster's sundae will happen. He was convinced that he was getting it today, but he is still shaky in 7s and 8s. Part of me says: drill it now, and he will thank you later, even if he is not seeing the benefits. Another part says: it will come with necessity and then the motivation will kick in. The reality seems so be somewhere in between. After we finished math, we moved on to Chumash. He finished the second perek of Chayei Sarah, the really long one. Today we just had to review the last pesukim and then I asked him to do a review project. As I was tucking in 2 yo for her nap, he calculated that there are 67 pesukim, and if each pasuk had 4 words, that means that he read 268 words in this perek. I grinned and said that he knew that many pesukim were longer than that, so he has quite an accomplishment on his hands. I did not dare breathe about successful application of multiplication.

6 yo finished reviewing addition facts to 10. He knows them cold now. He also has been listening in to the multiplication practice, and he memorized quite a few of the facts. Sometimes I have to stop him from blurting out the answer before his brother had a chance to think. There are definite advantages to one-room schoolhouse/Montessori multiple grades approach.

8 yo decided to type up a short summary of the perek in Word. This involved fancy fonts and clip-art. Also this involves computer skills and typing. Two birds with one stone...

Fortuitously, I came across this article today. So my kids are learning, but not in a linear, easily assessible fashion. I guess they are getting a modern education.

Postscript: It is 9 pm. I tucked the kids in at 8 pm. At around 8:40, 8 yo wandered out of his room. Highly uncharacteristic, usually when this kid hits the pillow, all you hear is the sweet sound of snoring. He said that he is on edge about something and cannot sleep. When we spoke about it a bit, it turned out to be monsters, with griffin bodies and snouts and claws, watching him. After a bit more talk, he said that it's a scary part from SciQ, and some other movie watching that he did earlier today. No talk about saying Shema again and talking about Hashem's protection seemed to soothe him. I suggested drawing the scary monster tomorrow, and he seemed horrified at the thought.

What have I done? I forgot that this is the same kid who was afraid of dragon in Baby Einstein and of the falling cow in Sesame Street. This is the kid who does not want a movie night because all movies are too scary. Basically, even though he was excited to watch unlimited movies in the company of his friends, his psyche was not ready to process what he saw. When the kids were watching, my friend commented how cartoon violence is removed from people violence. Beneath all the tough big-boy exterior, here is a kid who is not ready for people cruelty and violence.

Big mistake on mommy's part here. We are going back to nature documentaries.

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