Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Flashcards and Listening Ears

It's amazing how asking our children simple questions can solve major issues! For several weeks now Olivia and I have been battling each other in math. She has been taking forever to complete her lessons, and nothing I said or did seemed to help. So, I had been praying. It's funny how God brings the answers in so many ways - a Scripture; a little comment from a friend; a paragraph in a book I'd already been reading; a comment from the child herself; a realization of what I would want if the roles were reversed. I remember so many times as a child just wanting my perspective to be understood! Not that my parents didn't care about what I thought or how I felt - I know they did! But, sometimes, it's hard for people with different personalities to grasp where someone else is coming from. I know that's how Olivia must feel some days.

So, yesterday before we even started math, I stopped and talked to her about it. I pointed out that math - a subject she used to love - had been a challenge lately for us both, and she wasn't working through it quickly no matter how many rewards were offered. I asked her what would make it easier for her, and I made my own commitment to have an open mind and a willingness to try her suggestions, no matter how strange they sounded. She said, "I think if you give me the flashcards that go with my math problems and I look at the flashcards and answer the problem and then write it in my book, I'll be able to do it quicker." To be honest, it sounded very ludicrous to me, especially considering that she has always hated flashcards! How is that any different?! How would that make it easier?! But, I said okay. It took me a good 10-15 mintues to sort through all of our flashcards and pull out the right ones, but I did it. And guess what? Instead of approaching lunchtime with only two or three problems completed and spending two hours after rest time finishing the rest of math and her writing, she had her entire math lesson and her writing lesson done before lunch!

I don't know if it was the flashcards or the fact that it was her idea, but either way it worked. Just pray with me that I'll have an open mind when teaching these precious children - not that I'll let them dictate how and what they're willing to learn, but that I will be ever mindful that sometimes they're not like me, and sometimes something a little different might be the key to keep school enjoyable - to keep it from being a fight and struggle! Pray that I'll have listening ears!

Livie reading her reader aloud to Angie today.

1 comment:

Choate Family said...

Our families are so much alike! Sarah and I struggle with math, too! So thankful the Lord gave you a solution and soft hearts to go with it!