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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day Sixty Four

I have edited my post today, I crossed out that which is bull**** and italicized that which is relevant further down in the story.

The banker worked really hard yesterday.  **

I forgot to mention that we had one of those spontaneous evenings the other night.  FriendA came over to see the chicks then we drove over to their house so Banker could see her lizard on a leash then everyone decided to go to the movies so we hopped in cars and drove up to a lovely theatre no one ever goes to and saw the 7:45 show of Mirror, Mirror.  We were the only ones in the the theater which was super and Banker and I talked about how great it was we could just go.  When he was in public school, we never went out in the evening.  Too much driving, too much gas money, too few hours between finishing dinner, homework and bed to go and do anything fun.  Daytimes, straight after school (with at least a day lead time for travel plans) or weekends were fine.  We both agreed this being able to just go and do whatever we want, any evening we want to do it in, is one of the biggest perks of how we've altered our live and academics.  Life gets to happen without planning 2-3 days in advance and the time of day doesn't matter anymore.  I love not watching a clock (although I still do) it's lovely that it's not mandatory anymore.

For math day, he moved his laptop into the living room, I was making bread and banging around in the kitchen, and stuck to it for hours.  He watched and re-watched the video lessons he was doing.  He went slowly and was actually challenged for a while until he got it.  He moaned a bit that it was different from what he'd been taught, I told him that he can and should use the methods in the video because it'll set him up for all the years of subsequent videos from the same organization.  We did some work together (thank you teacher manual that shows the progress to the answer not just the answer {whew}).  I think he got it.

He also finally figured out he can use the video lessons as primers when he's actually doing his lesson review sheets.  It's not a test, kiddo, use whatever you need to use to get the information in a comfortable spot in your head.  He thought he had to watch the video then turn it off and sit and do the worksheets, I told him that's how we do the tests, these are lesson work sheets... use the videos!  work through problems with the video running, it'll help you wrap your head around it.  There is no human to answer your question so you want to review again how he worked a problem... go for it baby!  

He's such a serious, hardworking kid.  I'll be honest though, I was surprised at the length of time it took him to work through some of the lesson practices.  I thought he should take mind wander breaks but he said no.   It's my biggest fear, that he loses his initiative and drive.  I don't really have any indications that's happening or will happen.  He's been driven and a self starter, academically, since long before he even went to school.  It's just one of the many things that nag at me in the wee hours.  That and the fact the whole chicken, reuse, recycle, environmental friendly, let Banker build a reclaimed coop with his own hands, his own hammer and nails...{he's been so excited about being able to build something}... but no, it's going high tech, high pvc (what's wrong with a chicken pecking on rope? or sitting on a stick?) and it's just been hijacked away from him.  That and the fact I am apparently the most stupid person on earth, chicken-ly speaking.  I've been researching this for 6 months but I digress. 

I like that he's entering the land of new information and is having to think hard.  He said a few times that he was sorry ?!?!?!?! for taking so long.  I told him that's WHY we do he can take as long as he wants or needs.  He still can't quite wrap his head around the fact he can be as fast or as slow as he wants to be, as he needs to be. 

I like that he has to think with this math, that he has to work and that he takes his time.  He's learning, he's loving it, he's working hard, he's free to take breaks when he needs them, we talk about what he's learning, how it's going and he gets to play with chicks when he takes breaks.

I might throw a surprise field trip on him later, I wouldn't mind hitting some of the natural gardener places in town and may hit the road with him.  Depends on how he does today with social studies, it's his easy day because we tossed a workbook to the curb, so we'll see. 

**Well well well...    my mother radar went off, didn't it?  I'd written this post and then had a nagging feeling.  My committee wasn't content, wasn't happy with the words before me as I read them back. You know when you just know something isn't quite right and your entire committee tells you that you simply have to look into it more deeply?  I checked the history on Banker's computer.  Good grief, child, are you kidding me?  *sigh*  {yes, he was present...and duly horrified}

Children don't see the big picture, like the one where the mother sits at the computer and becomes increasingly furious at the number of ventures to various 'net sites while math was happening.  Or rather, supposed to be happening.  

Before I went "off", I did a quick mental review.  Did he do his work?  sure.  Did he finish what he set out to do? almost.  Did I tell him a number of times during the day to take a break? yep.  Did he? secretly apparently.  THAT is what has done me in.  I feel lied to.  I feel disappointed.  I feel taken advantage of.  I feel "had".  I feel as though I dropped the ball by not supervising to the degree I obviously should have been.  I am not a happy camper.  NOT happy...and it's really bad to be the Banker.

New rules that instantly were put into place:
Laptops stay in the kitchen, facing the wall so I can see the screen at all times.  
ALL work will be completed downstairs, where I can observe. 
ALL work will be completed on assigned day.
ALL work will be reviewed upon completion (not put into check work for later review)
NO headphones.  
NO surfing of any kind.  
NO "off site" research without prior authorization from me.  
NO phone.  
NO Xbox360.  

We are not going down that road.  OH and there won't be any surprise field trips or kudos on hard work or dedication today.  Get it done, get it done right and sit the hell up straight.

It's military here today. 


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