Not the Best Father’s Day Weekend

June 19, 2016

We had a very difficult weekend.  I don’t even know how to write about what caused the problem as it was long in the making and it had many components.

Robert chooses what to wear every day.  Convincing him to wear something different is not easy but possible. Lately, however, he also wants to decide what his father wears.  And he can be very persistent.  If I look back, I could notice that the Robert’s attitudes developed over time and went unchecked with my husband passively accepting suggestions of what he should be wearing and what not.

I should also notice that this habit was connected to another one Robert acquired in the last few months.  Robert organizes not only clean clothes, but also the dirty ones which are already in the hamper.  He makes sure that all the clothes are spread on top of each other in a way they were worn: underwear, then white T-shirt than pants, then another shirt then socks.  Day after day the same order.  even worse, Robert organizes our dirty clothes in the hamper in the same way. That is why, he doesn’t accept the fact that sometimes we drop in the hamper two dirty shirts.  Then he takes one  and hangs it in the closet.

As I wrote in one of the previous posts, Robert believes that each day demands only one set of clothes.  Although he can make allowances for special occasion and change clothes for instance for a special banquet, whenever banquet is over and Robert returns home, he immediately returns to the clothes he wore before.

That is exactly what Robert did last Friday, after returning from a banquet.  That wouldn’t be a problem, but he also wanted his dad to wear his old dirty shirt from the morning.  Dad resisted telling Robert that it was dirty. Do Robert decided to wash that one shirt and he did.  He brought it back after washing cycle ended and demanded again that dad puts it on before going to bed. still dad resisted and Robert gave up.

Well, only until Saturday morning.  On Saturday, everything started again.  Moreover, I insisted that Robert (and his dad) wear short pants for a walk in Pleasure Bay.  It took a long time but I managed to convince both men to do so.  Then Robert insisted that despite hot weather dad still had to put on his jacket.  Another 20 minutes spent on convincing and Robert agreed to leave Jan’s jacket in the closet.

Still, all that convincing took so much energy yesterday, that today I didn’t even mention short pants and Jan didn’t dare to leave without his jacket even if it was much hotter than yesterday.

At least, we managed to salvage a few relaxing hours each day with pleasant walks, one along the Pleasure Bay and another one at World’s End park.

The More Things Stay the Same, the More They Change

June 8-11, 2016

Robert did all of that before.  He read texts from Horizon Reading to Learn C-D Fast Track.  He solved problems from all 140 lessons of Saxon Math level 4. He completed Daily Geography Practice –levels 1 through 5.  He performed operations on decimals. However, in the past he used Momentum Math to do so, while currently he follows Math U See Zeta level.  Moreover, we kept doing the same things every couple of years.

Usually a year or two pass before we redo the old curriculum.  During that time, we study using other sets of textbooks or workbooks. Those books might present similar topics in different contexts or might address new set of subjects and/or skills.

In the past, we read the same texts and completed the same worksheets dealing with science (human body, animals, habitats), social studies,  math.  We redid all three levels of Writing to Learn and repeated at least twice all the sections from grade 6 of Momentum Math.

Over and over. It looks as we got stuck in the same place.  But this is not the case.  We both learned.  We both perform on slightly higher levels.

I understand better, how to prepare Robert for reading a new (well relatively new) text in a way that would help him attend more closely to the story. Robert retains more facts  from the texts he read and increase his ability to find the information he somehow missed.

I learned to simplify my explanations.  Robert became more skillful in applying either my directions or his prior knowledge to answer questions from variety of subjects.

I learned to go ignore some topics as unnecessary ballast (For instance in Math U See I ignored hectograms into decagrams deciding that a familiarity with grams and kilograms should suffice.)  Robert became more flexible with switching among different kinds of tasks in Saxon Math.

Finally, there is this sly smile on Robert’s face when he solves the problem or comes with a correct answer. He knows that he knows.  And that is priceless.