Journal, Page 17. Back to Writing

January 12, 2017

One month has passed since my last post on this blog. We are still learning. We do a lot of ,so-called, “maintenance” by going over the same old topics that Robert encountered in the past. We review them through new worksheets or through the same ones we did years ago.  Meantime, Robert and I completed all the lessons from Saxon Math 4 and from Horizon Reading to Learn C-D Fast Track. I won’t claim that Robert mastered those curricula, but he grasped a lot and became familiar with the rest.

We started with Saxon Math 5, but after a few lessons and multiple exercises I decided to review fourth grade topics by using Singapore Math 4B.  US Edition which is a little simpler that the original one.  Many topics in Singapore Math are presented in a clear format allowing for better grasp of concepts.  For instance, the topic of rounding decimals was introduced by drawing  appropriate number lines.  Thus. to round 4.28 to the whole number Robert had in front of himself a line segment with 4 and 5 at the end and 4.5 (or 4.50 ) in the middle.  Number 4.28 was clearly between 4 and 4.5 so it was easy to choose the right answer.

To round the same number to the tenth decimal place, Robert could use a segment with 4.2 and 4.3 at the ends which he improved by adding zeros at the end and thus having 4.20 and 4.30.   There was already 4.25 in the middle of the segment so Robert didn’t have any difficulties noticing that and 4.28 was closer to 4.30.

That was exactly as we practiced before when Robert had to  round large whole numbers.  Except, it was Robert’s job to draw a line segment, write numbers in the middle and at the ends of the segment and place the given number in the correct half.  This process was never easy.  For Robert, the exercises which placed all important number cues on the line segments seemed not just easy but also helpful in understanding better the concept behind rounding.

I am not sure, however, if the fact that we started with more difficult, but “hands on” approach  that forced Robert to do all the steps by himself was not beneficial to his learning even if hr didn’t grasp completely the idea behind the method.

We continue doing speech and language  exercises using worksheets from  Speech Improvement Reproducible Master and the  Fun Deck 4.  I don’t mind that they are easy because what is easy helps with fluency and reduces the stress Robert feels every time he has to speak.

While I was cleaning drawers I found old worksheets related to time telling so we did many exercises on finding elapsed time. This topic is still difficult.  However, I also found many exercises that seemed to be easy enough for Robert to do on his own.  Some of them required doing math operations, some matching synonyms or antonyms.  Leaving Robert alone for 15-20 minutes to do that work independently was very gratifying.



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