Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Res to Ref Units 2-3

Were taking it slow but were still having "issues" or should I just say problems and be upfront and real about it... Most of the problems are with attitudes and complaining about the work load... and were going  half speed here folks... We are also doing Logic of English which is sucking up time! but teaching my kiddos things about words they really need to know. esp since they are ESL speakers. I'm learning neat things too  like the ay/ ai sounds isn't just for Fonzi...  and who knew that the "ay" is always at the end, in english words anyway.

Math Practice #3 in the textbook was our math today. I reviewed how to do each problem, and they did all these problems well for the past few days as we have been studying them. Yet when confronted with a whole page Sweet Potato lost it... I had made plans for her to be overwhelmed by the textbook approach... and had written them all down for her in a worksheet format with plenty of lines and spaces. So they were not to overwhelming... it was as if all I reviewed got mixed up. She treated division like multiplication, crossing off zeros where she should be retaining them, and  keeping zeros where she should be crossing them off because they are superfluous.  I think the crowning (ironic) glory is I'm typing this while Little Miss Sunshine  is scrambling to finish her math ( I gave her the same worksheet format) she's been waiting on her sister for a good 30 minutes. (Looking a wee bit smug too! ) the ol' I finished before you did "look."  When I went to grade the papers she had missed a whole page of problems. Part of me finds this highly amusing. We are now waiting for her to finish.  She's got that oopsie I fell from grace look and is in that mad scramble to finish quickly.  

I find it so odd that they got all mixed up on the easy problems and then did just fine on the 300-15/3x2 =?
doing all the operations in the correct order its just 15/3 followed by 1500/30 leading to 15000/3000 these types lead you down the garden path! yet they are having the most trouble with them. Oy vey! Hey Kids! just because it has a bunch of zeros doesn't mean you need to add extra.

The note books are looking good and I'm loving how were touching on Shakespeare not so much they are getting overwhelmed, just enough to get them interested.  The science has been fun and they seem pretty interested in Mercury.  I was dying laughing  reading Sweet Potatoes answer to why Mercury has craters, apparently she thought the sun burned holes in it.  The experiment corrected her thinking.

Discovering Music is really interesting although it does add about an hour to our day I like having a format to introduce music to my children.  My Knight in Shining Armor is a musician but like how the shoemaker's kids never having any shoes, Hubby too never seems to have time for lessons. I would love for him to discover a love for music in his children as well! It's fun to do the listening time and hear a cross section of 200 years worth of music in an hour or two.

They are now happily moving on to making music posters for our school room.

So far we have had school start on time, and finish on time!! and amazingly my dawdler has been finishing within the allotted time and working alone though the independant time.  *happy dance* I hope it lasts for a good long time.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Desperate Women

Dr. Desouza came and spoke at Tuesday night prayer meeting. He was pretty clear and concise about the plight of women in India and other surrounding countries. Ever since the sentencing of the men this past week tension has been high and all eyes in India are looking at the mindset of Asia toward women.
If you want more info we have some resources here and viewpoints of India here.

I came across this article on the ratio of men and women in India, (LINK) it is interesting to read that even the people of India can see the need for change. Infanticide of girl babies needs to stop.   When you consider the point of view of the family a girl baby is not going to care for her parents when she is older, Instead a dowry must be raised and that can be a crippling cost, (Dowry was outlawed in 1961 yet people are still asking for it and paying for it.) the culture overall places more value on boys than on girls.  

I recall a conversation I had with my Hindi teacher (high caste Hindu)  in New York over 12 years ago. We were discussing dowry and she mentioned bride burnings... What the heck is bride burning? I thought.  She went on to talk about this law that was put in place 1986 to stop the practice.  My mind was reeling as she explained how some families profit by repeated marriages.  So they had to put a law in place that says essentially if your wife dies under suspicious circumstances within the first 7 years her family can ask for the dowry back.  We discussed how it's ok for the husband to burn his bride and then remarry, get another dowry and improve his lifestyle.  My mind was boggling! Her view was it was better to have boys because they are safely under your eye.  

Heres what (with my western mindset) I do not get... Ok girl babies are being aborted, boy babies are better, men can murder their wife and its often ignored and can remarry but ladies who's husbands die are cast out and not allowed to remarry.  Talk about a double standard!  Am I the only one thinking this is going to lead to a shortage of females?  Yet the practices continue, Ladies in India are starting to speak up for themselves but in such a male dominated society, the only way to reach them is through other ladies.

I think this is one reason why when my husband first shared Revolution in World Missions with me and I jumped on the website I looked first to see if they had woman missionaries, and they did! That really mattered to me. You know Jesus elevates women, his treatment of the woman at the well, Mary sitting at his feet and how he handled the woman caught in prostitution (Where is the guy in that story anyway?) all point to a God who loves us and values us for ourselves.

I can see how Sweet Potato was listening to Dr. Desouza, It certainly did not look like she was at the time. She has been struggling all day with thoughts of her birth father. We know so little of her story and it's hers to tell so I can't share it here, but she thinks and thinks "What kind of a man was he who fathered me?"  When people share how tough it can sometimes be to be a woman in India. She spirals into the unknown.  I so wish I had answers for her and I so wish she would just be grateful to be in a safe loving home. eh we can't have everything... Someday I hope she gets answers to her questions, and until then I pray for the peace of God to fill all the lonely corners of her heart.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Doing Hard Things

Today I was reading Matthew chapter 7 13-14
Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. 14But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.  

It made me think about something Sweet Potato has been saying a lot lately.  You see whenever school, chores or relationships become difficult she proclaims them "to hard" and stops trying.  When I encourage her to work harder, step up or just care about her schooling. She just whines and moans "Its Toooo Hard I just want to do easy things." Where in the world did she get that from this is sooo not us. She has been having a poor attitude toward school for a while. We have turned a corner and it's getting better but it's been a rough couple of weeks.  I have found sticking the consequence of detention for being late (going to bed early) and suspension for 5 tardys (getting grounded all day Saturday or Wednesday and doing chores), requiring all her work to be turned in by 4pm or it was an automatic zero this was to stop the doing school from 9am -8pm daily dawdle , (a zero in the grade books means the itouch is now confiscated for 24 hours), got her attention.

Part of me did not want to dig out the consequential parenting tool from my tool box, but Time In's and talking reasonably about it were just not working. I wonder if this falls under the "high structure" requirement she needs as a sensory overloaded adopted child. Homeschooling can often be relaxed and loosey goosey. In one way it is helpful, as you can focus on the needs of the child, allow them to grow into the work if needed, but I think for Sweet Potato she needs more structure than I was providing. Once I started enforcing the detention missing prayer meeting OH MY! and re-explaining how her tardiness affects the entire school day for everyone. Then I restructured the school schedule, added disincentives to fail, and it seems to have pulled school back from frustrating to workable. Sad to say I can't say "joy" yet but my hope is in Christ :-)

I saw this  Fox News snippit on a new book that shows authoritative parenting produces higher grades made me remember all my training from the Monroe's at our church  and I felt better about my parenting goals in no way have I arrived :-) this is a journey... 

I have been training and turning over responsibility of remembering to take your medication to Sweet Potato. Were in the "Trust but Verify" stage of this process, in 3-4 years I hope to not have to worry about the verify part, because ultimately it's not my body, it's her body, and she needs to self care.  It's all part of my ultimate plan for my child to grow up and out. For her to be able to do that means I need to share power with her and allow her to fail, make mistakes and get messy. I think homeschoolers in general do the last 2 really well and the first one not so well.  So I'm trying a new approach; allowing failure to be an option. So now she can fail in a safe environment all the while knowing I still believe she can do it and I'm here to help all she needs.