Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today with Master J

So I found a really cool website for kids that's put together by the BBC and Master J and I spent an hour working on it tonight after dinner. He asked how big a molecule was so I went searching. Never did find one because we both got distracted with the science experiments they had on this site. We learned about the difference between reversible and irreversible materials (such as the fact that ice can be melted and then made back into ice) and what things dissolve in water and what things don't. We also learned a little bit about story writing. They give you a middle to a story and you have to chose the beginning and the ending. Then they tell you why what you chose worked or didn't work. Really cool site though all around and he loved it. We didn't get to the math part yet and there is still quite a bit we didn't get to in the science and English parts. He probably learned more in that hour than he did all day in school. He also probably learned more in the hour he spent in his sand box creating a river & lake system with a waterfall where he put the hose in. He had it in there so you couldn't see the hose because it was hidden behind a small log but he had angled it such that the water seemed to bubble up over the log and cascade down into the first pool, go down the river to a secondary (and larger lake) and then down river further to a third lake. He had tunnels and bridges. He was an absolute mess but he had a blast and he was able to concentrate for a solid hour with no problems. But, you know, he's special needs and all, so he can't do that. Obviously I don't know what I'm talking about.

I also found a new way to avoid the fight with homework. I read this on a website last night and I'll be honest, I was skeptical. But I figure, what the heck it can't hurt to try. So when he came home I said "I'm going to set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer rings, you have to stop doing your homework and go play for 15 minutes. I will set the timer for the 15 minutes you have to play. When it goes off, you need to come back and work on your homework for 15 minutes." So we start. He got through his spelling & grammar and 2/3 through his math. Timer goes off. I take his math paper and tell him to go play. The child starts crying, saying he wants to finish his math. Please can't he just finish his homework?. I tell him to go play and when the timer goes off he can come back and finish. He reluctantly leaves the table to go play but comes back down after 10 minutes to see when he can come back and finish his homework. He spends the next 5 minutes pacing in the kitchen counting down the minutes until he can finish his homework. Timer goes off, he says "Alright! Now I can finish my homework!" and he does. How awesome is that?