Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Child's First Teacher

"The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher inspires."  ~ William A. Ward

My oldest son has been having difficulties with second grade math.  In class they are beginning to learn multiplication through counting multiples.  For my son, this is a struggle.  He can do his 2's, 5's and 10's but everything else he needs his fingers.  No matter how I try to pull him away, he continues to use them. 

I was on the phone with a dear friend the other day and I was sharing with her my son's struggles and she sent me a link to Robinsunne's Multiplication Clock which was created to use with the Waldorf curriculum.  So tonight, while Mikey was busy doing homework; I sat beside him and got started on the clock.  It was very easy to make using the Robinsunne's directions.  I didn't need all the tools she suggested but then again, I thought it would be a trial run and didn't expect it to come out as nicely as it did. 

I posted it on my refrigerator, a prime spot for my boys to access it.  This amazing tool will be beneficial for all my boys.  Not only can it help my oldest with Multiplication, but it can help my middle son with his number recognition and my youngest with his colors.  This is a tool that even I can use, instead of pulling out a calculator (or using my fingers...ssshhh don't tell my son.)

Tomorrow I plan on getting it laminated since I think it will be getting a lot of use over the upcoming years.   I also plan on sharing it with his teachers in case they want to try it in class or forward directions to the parents.

For my son, visual cues are a necessity for his learning.  His desk  at school has them posted,  I create visuals for him here as well.  His spelling words are always posted next to his bed (for when he can't sleep) and on the refrigerator.  When he had trouble with sight words, they were displayed throughout the house.  When he had difficulties telling time, I made him a clock.  These visuals aide our children's development.   I also have affirmations posted around the house to encourage them as well.  Above the multiplication clock, is my oldest's favorite: "Mistakes are Necessary for Learning and Growing."  This reminds him that he does not always have to get the answers all right, all that matters is that he understands the work, and he tries his best.

Learning begins at home. A parent will always be a child's favorite teacher.  When we work together we offer our children a stronger foundation. There is no right way to teach.  There is no proper curriculum to explore.  What we need to do is what works for our own children.  Whether our children are homeschooled, unschooled, go to public or private school; we owe it to our children to be involved, be active, and give our children all the assistance they need to grow. 

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Lisa said...

What a fantastic idea! I hope his teacher uses this as well; there are never too many ways to try to reach every student.

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