Daniel and I have had more than a few tear-y math lessons since the new year began.
After quelling the not-so-friendly competition with a fellow mathlete at the table...
(It should be noted that this competition is completely one-sided. Example of statements made at the table during math by one particular child: "I'm done! I'm done before you! I did all my math and it looks like you have three problems left!!" Other child's response: "Huh...?")
and continuing to encourage a more diligent and cheerful attitude...
(Question for other moms teaching their kids at home: How do you encourage your child to do excellent work when it comes to the math test? This is our first year with actual tests... So far, one particular child seems to think that the test is a race. Get it done before your brother finishes his school work and you win! Oh. And it doesn't matter if you don't do a whole row of addition problems. I'm done before you!! is all that seems to count at this point.)
we finally have a happy math day for Daniel.
All joking and sarcasm aside, we really are getting the hang of this math thing. Because it's really not just a math thing. Slowly, I'm learning that teaching these kids has so very little to do with the right curriculum or method and so very much to do with a cheerful and joyful and patient attitude on my part.
Our daily forays into academia tend to flesh out obedience issues. There they are. Right there on the table with the math blocks. And what do you know? Those issues aren't just Daniel's or Michael's.
Parenting is quite the crucible for coming to terms with your own faults.