Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In an ideal world...

Chana's been blitzing through the fractions on mathtv.com.  Yesterday, when she was doing some of the mechanics I realized that she doesn't quite grasp some of the concepts.  She doesn't intuitively realize that when reducing fractions, the larger number fraction is the exact same amount as the fraction with the smaller numbers.  When simplifying improper fractions, she doesn't realize intuitively (or even explicitly) that she is dealing with the same amount in two different forms.  In an ideal world, she would understand this...

Then I realized that in many ways, Chana is in an ideal world.

She has one-on-one instruction exactly geared to her level and her understanding.

She goes as slowly or quickly as necessary.

When things were too complex for her brain, she had the luxury of taking a break for a while until her brain could comprehend the concepts.  And she now has the extravagance of efficiently and speedily working through it after years of a more relaxed approach.

She participates in her learning and is given the space to think things through and figure things out, instead of doing it the way it's "supposed" to be taught.

She has the freedom to stay longer on concepts and problems that are difficult, and to go more quickly through topics that are easier for her.

"Don't be a chazer!" I said to myself.  In so many ways, homeschooling has given us the remarkable luxury of an ideal educational world.

But then I think to myself that in homeschool, I can be a "chazer."  If I want something different, then it is in my power to do something about it.

Truthfully, though, like Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, sometimes it's best to just have the student practice the moves until they are fluid, and then understanding comes later.

1 comment:

  1. that's how I've been taught multiplication tables: just memorize them and drill, and understanding came afterwards. None of those fancy area charts, none of those counting groups of objects, just lots and lots of practice, and lots and lots of modeled word problems. Funnily, I always felt smug about my math compared to americans, that fluidity was there, but also the confidence that I know how to do it.