Stepping Back & Evaluating Progress

 After feeling mildly panicked last night when neither of the older boys could tell me what 40-35 equaled or what 50-49 was I decided it was time to go back and review basic subtraction.  I assumed their lack of answers and miss- answers had been due to the lateness of the hour and the lack of interest because I know they can subtract equations like those above in their heads most days.

These subtraction problems were part of a larger long division problem since I had asked them if they could determine the price per cookie for our girl scout cookies.  We haven't done a whole lot of work with long division and as I walked them through the steps their math seemed to get worse and worse.

So, today I did whatever I do when I start to question what the boys really know.. I give them a chance to practice their skills.

I printed out one of our quilted coloring math pages that dealt with two and tree digit subtraction with re-grouping (a skill I've been wanting to cover with Alec anyway).

 I was quite nervous handing them their pages before getting in the car this morning and realized as we were driving to karate I never explained to Alec how to handle problems like 801- 645 where you have to borrow from the hundreds place to carry all the way to the one's place.  

I looked over the papers at karate and was relieved to find that Ian got them all right on the first try.  Alec had half of the problems done and had most of his right too so he's definitely catching on.

 It was a relief to see in print that I'm not a total failure at this whole homeschooling thing.  

Alec and I finished going over the rest of the problems together once we were home and I think with just another day or two of practice he'll have it down pat.

The boys did almost all of their work in the car on the way to karate.  

Evan chose to work on a math page counting by fours instead of adding 100 and then went on to work on a phonics page I had printed off of the teachers pay teacher site last night.  He hasn't been enjoying his first grade Star Wars book nearly as much and I thought he'd like this quick sheet better.  He just had to read the words and circle the one that matched the picture.   He thought it was pretty easy and had all of his morning work done first.

Alec and Ian also wanted to be quizzed on their current spelling lists and both will move onto the next set of words.  

The older boys also read today.  Alec finished up his Guardian's of Ga' Hoole book and Ian read a couple of Tonka truck books.

 Evan and I sat and started reading through some of the Storybook Treasury of Dick and Jane.  After yesterday's difficulty reading even the simplest of words I thought it would be nice to have a very easy reading day.  Evan thought these stories were so simple that we ended up reading three of them!

During lunch I read two more chapters in Danger in the Darkest Hour and we'll finish that up tomorrow.  With math, reading and spelling out of the way I gave the boys free reign for the rest of the day.

Evan chose to watch another Science of Disney Imagineering movie.  We learned all about Newton's Laws of Motion together and enjoyed watching some of them in effect on all our favorite Disney rides.

Without ever testing my boys today I was able to see where they stand in math spelling, reading, and language arts.  I observed, talked to them, and allowed them to show me their skills.  

I love that they can put my fears to rest so easily.  


  1. I see by the picture that you have a leftie! My son and grandson are also left-handed. I was a school teacher for 30+ years. For some reason southpaws always had a special place in my heart! :)

  2. I so love the way that you look at things! It always helps me to take a step back and re-evaluate what is going on with us. Remembering that it does not have to look like any one thing. It can be whatever we need it to be. Thank you for all that you do!

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!




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