Week 2 homeschooling reflection

The daily homeschooling activities this week:
Monday – Joke Math (writing decimals, comparing decimals, multiplying decimals), games (place value Yahtzee, place value card game, comparing decimals war card game)
TuesdayCurrent Events
WednesdaySimplifying Fractions (with candy!), Comparing Fractions Mystery Pictures (first 3)
ThursdayFraction Matching Game, Converting Fractions Decimals and Percents Math Wheel (I gave a lesson using this resource), Fractions Decimals and Percents Tarsia Puzzle
FridayMixed and Improper Fractions Worksheets, Comparing Fractions Mystery Pictures (last 4)
Some extra resources I put in the front of Steven’s book this week to help him – Changing a Mixed number to an Improper Fraction, Fraction Butterfly (how to find a common denominator), Decimal Place Value Chart

We’re still doing French, Music and Phys Ed every morning. This week we did some French worksheets that focus on the sounds letters in various French words make (beginning sounds, hear the sounds). I think they’re meant for a younger audience, but they get the point across without being boring. I had Steven google each word to find the French translation and then listen to the pronunciation and repeat it.

Our French Word Wall is starting to come together. I’m going to send more things off to Staples to print. I think it’s going to take up all the free wall space in our living room! I put all the resources I’ve gathered for it on the grade 6 resource page, and I’ll keep adding to that list.

This homeschooling week started with a long weekend. We still did school but I didn’t have to work, and I had another weekday off too. So there were two days this week when I was able to have some fun playing math-related games with Steven.

The best decimal game we played on Monday was Yahtzee. It challenged us to really think about place value and what numbers we put where which made the game more fun and also more educational.

Thursday’s games were a big hit too. It took some time for Steven to understand the matching game because he was still working on those skills, but it got really competitive by the end. The Tarsia puzzle was really challenging, I’m not sure he could have solved it by himself. He found most of the matches himself and together we managed to figure out how they all fit together.

Through homeschooling, I’m learning about more of Steven’s struggles. I discovered this week that he has an aversion to colouring that seems to be due to school-related anxiety. Like someone told him too many times that his colouring isn’t good or right or something. I had noticed that he had lost interest in colouring but hadn’t thought much of it until now. He just liked drawing better than colouring. But when I tell him to colour something for school, he starts having a panic attack.

So we talked about it. About how this isn’t school and I’m not judging his colouring skills. And how I just need to know he understands whatever it is we’re working on. It doesn’t need to be pretty. So instead of neatly colouring the fraction related colouring pages he scribbled or put messy lines through the boxes. Once he figured out that was ok he to be messy he was fine.

Another thing that’s been causing a lot of stress is “but I have to!” Some assignments make him really stressed out and anxious. If it’s hard or he doesn’t understand he gets worked up. When I try to give him help or suggest a break he screams at me. He feels like he has to do it now or he’ll fail and he has to do it all by himself or he won’t understand and if he gets help he’s not doing it right. This seems all backwards to me. I’m a little concerned that this is seemingly something that school has taught him. But we’re working on getting out of that mind space too, because it’s not healthy or productive.

As I sat down to plan next week, I decided I really need to get more organized. I need a long term plan in place if I’m going to cover everything in the Ontario curriculum while homeschooling this year. I ended up making my own “School Year By Week” printable for 2020-2021 because I just couldn’t find what I wanted online. It’s a simple numbered list of weeks that you can add notes to that goes from the first week of September to the third week of June. I also edited the vertical half year calendar from icalendars.net to cover the school year over 2 pages so I can jot down the daily plans and made a weekly planner so I can plan in more detail.

I’m hoping to have the weeks roughly planned in the next couple weeks, but I don’t know how long it will take to actually plan everything. I took some time off work the week after next, and Steven has some birthday plans next week, but hopefully I can get some work done for homeschooling.

I think that’s it for this week. Stay safe!
~Lauren