Monday, October 8, 2007
Back to Normal-- Sort Of: Floors, Chores, Math, and SET!
Yesterday, after a full lunar month of fitting life in around the holidays, we felt we had finally got back to normal.
Since Bruce is working on the living room floor now--or is that again?--anyway, my living room is partially in our bedroom sitting room. So I set up in there, sitting in the recliner, working on my presentation for NAGC, reading a paper for Psychology, and another for Neurophysiology.
Aren't the roses pretty?
Bruce splurged on them for Shabbat.
But of course, the whole day I had planned of normality--that is enjoying getting some needed work done was not to be. The phone rang. Seems that Bruce had promised to pick up beds for the Interfaith Hospitality Network--Congregation Albert is hosting this week--and then we had completely forgotten it.
So it was grab the keys, run the brush through my hair, and we were off to the synagogue, in Henry, of course. It was not us they wanted--it was Henry, the Big Red Truck. We were just along to drive.
Two trips from Montgomery Church of Christ to Congregation Albert, and we had delivered all the beds but one. Seems a new family was starting the IHN program that day, and we needed one more bed. So another trip was in order--this time to the network office, to get the extra bed. It was pleasant--a cool but sunny fall day, nice conversation with the volunteers at Montgomery Church and at CA and at IHN office down at the First Congregational Church. N. came along, too, and he was a big help loading and unloading with Bruce. All I had to do was drive.
After a stop at the store, where Bruce ran into an old colleague, it was home again, home again, jiggety jig!
On the way into the house, we saw this amazing Orb Web Spider on the porch. She moved as I snapped this picture. I'll post another shot later. N. moved her off into the bushes so that no one would step on her.
Three hours had passed from the time we left, so I went to the kitchen to start dinner. Bruce finished closing up the cooler for our side of the house, and then did a little floor work in the living room.
He's got a bit laid out--almost half--but he did not get to gluing this weekend. It may be next weekend before that gets done!
Here he is, deciding on how to lay out the boards. He has a spread sheet to make sure that he doesn't end up with too many boards of one size at the end of the room. The Geek!
While I made a salad, N. relaxed on the couch--that part of the living room is currently in the dining room. He is reading Peterson's Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. He has become quite a reader in the past year--it is no longer a scheduled chore, but something to do at every opportunity. I consider it part of our homeschooling time--even on Sunday.
This morning, I got up just before sunrise, and was out with the dogs as the first light turned south mountain a wonderful pink. We had our first freeze last night--it was 31.7 F when I left the house. I enjoyed my breakfast with the newspaper and got some housework done before it was time to wake and feed N.
N. has arranged with me to work on Math on Monday and Wednesday mornings--and now that the holidays are passed, we finally got back to our regular schedule. I am afraid math has taken a back seat to other learning during most of the past month!
N. is up to Introductory Fractions with his Teaching Company Course--Basic Math. The DVD segment goes over several concepts for fractions very quickly, and N. felt he wasn't getting it. He was frustrated with himself. When asked, I suggested that we go over each concept separately, watching only that part of the video, and then work on the problems for that concept in the workbook. So today, we worked on finding the unknown in equivalent proportions. (That's where you have something like 7/8 = X/24 and you have to figure out that X=21). I showed him the quick and dirty way to cross-multiply--the DVD does not teach that, but it is so much easier! He liked that. Then, at his request, we went on to work on resolving improper fractions to mixed numbers.
After the math, we had agreed that we would work on some reasoning together, which we did by hauling out my old SET! game. I last used it two years ago when I taught an elementary school gifted program. In SET! there are cards that are combinations of three different shapes, three different numbers of the shape on a card, three different shading patterns and three different colors. The object is to pick out a set of three cards in which three of the four parameters are either the same or different. N. beat me hands down, of course! But the cool thing about this game is that he has to hold all of the parameters in his working memory while he decides whether a particular combination is a set or not.
Here he is with a set: same shape, same color, same number, different shading.
Warning: This game is addictive! We kept saying to each other; "Just a few more rounds and then we'll stop!" We played for over an hour. N. has a much greater tolerance for this kind of learning than he does for slogging through math problems.
However, I was proud of him. He chose the math course because he set a goal for himself. When he got frustrated, he sought out help. And today he worked on two different math concepts before he was ready to call it a day and play SET!
Back to normal. Yeah!