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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Push ahead or hold back?

Running our home and teaching our children is a constant exercise of evaluation and adjustment. This could be anything from shifting a meal time by 15 minutes, or changing round the chores that I give the children, or (rarely) ditching a curriculum or activity completely as it clearly isn't working for us.

This is also true for each individual child. Making sure that I am stretching them where they need to be stretched, or holding them back where they need more practice, is a key part of my job.

In the past, I have had a term where the older children really focussed on times tables for half an hour every day, as I realised that I hadn't spent enough time on this. It made a huge difference, and makes it much easier to do, for example, all the work on fractions that they have both hit recently in their maths.

Just this term, I have also asked my 8 year old to sit in on his younger brother's spelling lessons in order to go over some of the basics again. I am using a different curriculum with my 6 year old too, so this is particularly helpful. It's not that my son's spelling is dire - it's generally pretty good - but he sometimes struggles and I think it would be helpful for him to be more confident. He's actually quite enjoying the extra sessions.

On the other hand, my 6 year old has clearly been finding his maths very easy for some time. My husband has been suggesting for a while that we try to race him on a bit, but I have been reluctant. They are all working about a year ahead of the suggested Grade levels in their maths curriculum anyway, and I am not convinced that being miles ahead is necessary. However, in this case it was clear that the extra challenge might be good for him. So, I asked him if he'd like to do two maths lessons a day.

He cheered with joy.

The way ahead, in this case, was pretty obvious really. Sometimes, I even let him do three lessons in a day now.

Intent on his maths book.



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