Still Teaching, Still Learning

October 7, 2015

The last ten days were quite eventful. It is hard to write on such days.  Sometimes such days leave me in a state of exhaustion without energy to write. Sometimes such days leave me confused and not able to make sense of the events that took place. At the same time, they fill my mind with doubts, questions, half-baked analysis, and contradictory hypothesis as to whys and ifs.  why something happened and if it could be prevented or handle differently.

I suspect that writing about the different situations we were placed in or events we had to participate would be more interesting and in a way more informative than writing about our every day studying  together.

However, the hours during which Robert and I are teaching each other and learning from each other are priceless specially during the days with unexpected problems.  Those hours offer stability, bring calm and very needed feeling of accomplishment and moving forward.

So we have been studying together:

  1. Practicing all four operations on fractions. (6 th grade)
  2. Interpreting and making different graphs to display data.(6th grade)
  3. Using parallels and meridians (lines of latitude and longitude) to find different places on maps.(not sure 5-6 grade?
  4. Completing analogies. (4-5 grade)
  5. Reading Comprehension (3rd grade)
  6. Singing (Preschool)

The singing is the most important because it is something relatively new. I sang to Robert when he was one year old and three years old and maybe when he was even four years old. And then I stopped. I stopped because he never joined me in singing. I suspected that he lacked ability to change the pitch of his voice. I knew that all his utterances were extremely short as he clamped the sounds together, shorten or completely skipped some of them. I also noticed that he lacked the ability to space syllables. I tried to prevent that by teaching Robert to draw imaginary shapes in the air with each corner representing one syllable for three or more syllables words.  Segment or swing for two-syllable words  and all sort of movements to help Robert pronounce long sounds in one syllable words or two consonants in CVC words.

Sadly, those methods didn’t improve quality of Robert’s speech. Only when I prompted him, he would use one of the methods to say the words or phrase more clearly. Thus, I came back to singing as the tool to practice rhythm and lengthening of sounds.

For last 5 days, Robert and I, with the help of the piano, have been singing.  The same few songs every day. Hot Cross Ban;  Shoo, Fly, Don’t Bother Me; Hickory Dickory Duck; Are You Sleeping; Bingo; Mary Had a Little Lamb; Hey Diddle Diddle. 

Yes, we are definitely in preschool and it hasn’t been easy. Robert certainly can change the pitch of his voice and that is the great achievement and surprise. But he  does that only a few times per song, the rest he recites with many  omissions. 

Yes, preschool is very hard, that is why Robert would rather draw double bar graphs, or list all the US cities   between 40N and 43N parallel.


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