June 18, 2012

A Quote from Bones

"You know Mom, when you understand Math, it is a lot of fun. But when you don't understand it... it just really really... sucks."

That was today after his first tutoring session at a place here in town. I was so relieved. Attitude can be 80% of the battle.

I started by taking him for pizza before hand. His session was at 6:00, and there is a pizza place next door. He ate an entire 12" pizza. I'm not sure where he put it. He actually inhaled it.

Over pizza he said, "You know... I was watching kids arrive last time. Nobody looked like they dreaded it. Some of them looked kind of excited. That's kinda crazy, doncha think? Maybe it won't be so bad..."

I dropped him off and then went back to my car. I had been offered a seat there, but I didn't want him thinking I was hovering, wondering how he was doing. He needs to figure this out without Dear old Mom sitting nearby.

I arrived to pick him up and he was sitting at the head of the table, back to me, sitting straight, focused and working hard. There wasn't any sign of frustration or sad sackiness.

When he was was finished, he practically strutted out.

This is what they're doing right. He is very task oriented. They work at their own pace and they have worksheets. With every worksheet you accomplish, your card gets punched. With every Mastery sheet, you get two punches. Completing three worksheets gets you to a Mastery sheet. Evidently he has 10 punches in his card, and with 20 he gets candy.

So he's a task motivated kid, who sees progress and gets a snack.

It's all about the snacks.

Some things don't change. I'm hopeful again...

And the woman who runs it said to me, "These kids need to feel good about themselves. All the studies I've done in education as I got my degrees, self confidence is such a big thing. If a kid leaves here feeling bad, we've done something wrong."

And I think she's right.

I'm hopeful.

Posted by Boudicca at June 18, 2012 09:44 PM

Sounds like the place to be... maybe I should sign up... ;)

Posted by: pam at June 19, 2012 08:42 AM

Perfect! You have found a place that is a treasure! That is just awesome and I am betting that once they get him on a roll, he'll pick up stuff so fast it will make your head spin... and you'll be wondering why in the world we ever send them to regular schools. LOL.

Now the real test will come when you find out how much he retains. Got everything crossed for you because I know it would be such a huge weight off your shoulders.

Posted by: Teresa at June 19, 2012 01:19 PM

It's really strange how genetic predisposition works, lurching through the generations. You and I have the "numbers" gene. Bones dodged it completely. I scored a 4.0 in my differential equations final, and I have an almost photographic memory for numbers. On the other hand, I can't remember names, and I usually can't put a face with a situation. Bones will do fine in life if he can just get through his math requirements.

Posted by: Angus of Falkirk at June 19, 2012 04:05 PM

What you have found, is someone whos gift is working with young people like Bones. Someone who knows how to relate math to his world view, and does not get (as) frustrated with the particulars of teaching a mind that does not inherently recognize rules or boundrys. Good on you, that you realize that even though you can toutor 99.9% of the other students in the ways of the Math with great success, you may not be able to with Bones. Somebody else, who is not his Mother, pumping him up and telling him they know he can do it (and holding him to account) will very helpfull in convincing him that, it indeed needs to be done, and he CAN do it. Sounds like you are on the right track.

Posted by: Web at June 20, 2012 09:49 AM

Ha - the wonderful woman who tutored my son through High School and was instrumental in getting him to graduation, told me she was completely unable to tutor her own son. This is not an unusual thing at all.

Posted by: Teresa at June 20, 2012 10:03 AM