Hunter and I have head to head combat occasionally. Oh, not in any violent way, but in a Mother/Teacher to Son/Pupil type of way. There are those times when he will decide on his own that something is just too hard to do and all of a sudden, he "can't do it." I really don't like those words and usually won't let them fly too far out of his mouth before "yes, you can," leaves mine.
The math curriculum we have this year is Singapore Math, which moves very quickly and is more advanced on grade level than what we would be doing in public school this year. I'm trying to make up ground from what he forgot/didn't get last year in school. So to really drill in addition math facts, I found a worksheet that has 100 boxes on it with all the math fact equations (you know, 0+1 through 9+9). The worksheet goes on top of a blank paper and the student then fills in the answers in the boxes.
When we started this worksheet on September 11th, I decided to time Hunter to see how long it would take him to do this sheet. I clocked him at 26:49. This time was atrocious! So, I set a goal for him. If he could get the time down to 8 minutes, I'd take him to Bono's Race Shop so he could pick out a new NASCAR car. We did the worksheet 3-4 times a week and charted and graphed his progress. Each time we did the sheet, his time would get better, then go back up, then progress down, on and on. Finally, on this past Monday, Hunter hit 8:30. The goal was 8 minutes so we were super close. Tuesday morning we sat down with the worksheet and talked over some problem problems and discussed how we "skip" answers we don't know immediately then come back to them later. I started the stop watch and watched my little boy blitz through these addition math facts. He hit the end and went back to the top to skim for skipped questions, answered all of them, and I hit "stop". The time on the watch was amazing to us... 6 minutes and 45 seconds!!!
We sang and danced all over the kitchen. So, yes, we went to Bono's on Wednesday and Hunter got to combine his two loves: Jeff Gordon and Speed Racer with a new 1/64th diecast car.
What a fantastic accomplishment for him (and for me). I told him that I knew he could do it and that I will continue to push him when I know he needs it, so just get used to it. I love seeing him happy with himself.
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