Teaching Money

Samantha has most of my attention this year since her sister and brother are more independent with their college and high school homeschool. She's doing well with her third grade curriculum for science and social studies. Language Arts is her favorite subject, so she's moved up to the fourth grade. She loves to read. So between all the reading she does on her own, and her Language Arts curriculum, her comprehension is improving considerably.  She's been practicing cursive on an app we purchased on her iPad.  Cursive Writing Wizard.  She likes it because it's colorful and engaging. We haven't transitioned to cursive writing on paper yet.  She's enjoying the practice on the iPad.

It really helps that I'm able to tailor her curriculum to her needs.  She's in third and fourth grade levels in most subjects, but we're still pedaling along with math at first grade level. We've been having to do quite a bit of review for math. I don't know about other kids with Down syndrome, but math is so hard for her. It's a struggle. This week she was learning money on her online math curriculum. To make it more concrete, I layed out some coins for her. She had coins on the screen, but I thought it would help if she could also physically see the coins and handle them as she counted out the change as outlined in her lesson. She was still struggling. So I brought out some manipulatives that I had used with my older children.  I showed her how 10 cents is the same as 10 pennies. And a nickel is the same as 5 pennies. Using the blocks, the '10' block is the same as 10 single blocks (also known as 1 units). I did the same with the nickels and quarters. This took some time, but it really helped!  I know it clicked for her.  That's the good news. The bad news is that I know that if we don't continue to practice this every day, she will lose it. She'll forget.
While a 'typical' child can do these problems or repeat this concept for a few lessons before it becomes concrete, it will take Sami weeks and maybe months of repetition to make it concrete because of her Down syndrome. And if we miss a few days, it could set us back to point one.  Though she doesn't really like worksheets and workbooks, I'll throw some of those in every now and then. But since she likes her online lessons and those are more engaging and fun, she'll be doing that every day. One way she's been practicing is at the grocery store. When we're at the store, I let her pay for something that she wants for herself. Before we get to the register, I tell her how much it costs. I give her some coins and have her count it out. It takes her a few minutes, and I usually have to help her a little, but I think the more we practice like this, the more she will be able to grasp the concept.

This is homeschooling. Tailoring lessons, playing with different methods, making it part of our life, incorporating our lessons into our daily activities. It's a way of life. People who don't homeschool sometimes say to me, "I don't know how you do it," to which I respond, "If I can do it, so can you." It really is the most natural thing. You don't think you have the patience?  Neither did I...let me rephrase that...Neither DO I.  Sometimes I have to walk away and rethink 'how' I can help her understand. We're both learning and growing. We teach our children the alphabet and how to count to ten before they even start 'school' officially. So why can't we just continue to teach them everything else they need to learn?  The one-on-one attention we can give our children as we teach them is invaluable. I remember being nervous when I started, but only because I was afraid of the unknown. Homeschooling was a new adventure. Did you feel like that when you were considering homeschooling? Looking back, what would you say to yourself knowing what you know now?

Thanks for visiting and reading my blog. I'd love to know you were here. Let me know your thoughts, your experiences, and I'd even welcome any suggestions or tips! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment