Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Will She Let Me Try?

G asked me today how I could teach two children at home. I gave an example of a typical math class. The first 20 minutes (after children are settled down and attentive) are spent on the mini-lesson, introducing, reviewing or reinforcing the concept being learned. Then about 15 to 20 minutes are spent on classwork and then the homework is introduced and the directions reviewed. During this time the teacher has to meet the needs of approximately 20 children who are all at different stages of understanding. Some “get it” some don’t and some just “get” enough to “get by”.

The beauty of learning at home is that there is no need for a mini-lesson that meets so many different learning styles and needs. I can focus only on G and when she is working independently, shift my focus to L. They would both do math at the same time. Perhaps it would be the same concept with very different independent work or it may be totally different concepts. I know that L needs to review math. Not only does she profess to hate it, she does not have enough of a working knowledge of place value and money to apply the algorithm of subtraction. During the money unit, she was taught adding money at the same time as making change. The teacher moved on to the next unit before she had solidified her understanding.

I can take as much time as necessary to ensure sure she has a base knowledge since there are no other children, no distractions that are not of our making, and no time constraints to move through a prescribed set of units per making period. That is how I can teach two children at the same time. I wonder if she will let me try?

1 comment:

Jason & Theresa said...

I, too, am finding that the teachers go over things quickly (probably to cover everything on the state tests) and sometimes my girls have not fully understood the concept before they move on. I end up spending hours at home trying to supplement what they learned in school so that they do understand it. BUT, when you add in that my daughters really WANT to do WELL, it creates a lot of anxiety and little time for them to explore and have fun and relax.

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