Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Oooh, he's learning binary!"

MacTroll got home from Anaheim last night at around 9:30 p.m. Papa, X-man and I were all in bed and, boy, were we pooped. It had been an exciting Halloween.

This afternoon after MacTroll picked up JR and X-man and walked them home, JR invited X-man into play. So, MacTroll came home and brought in the mail while the boys had a play date. He dropped off some sobering paperwork. For the last three days, I've been spelling words with X-man for a test on Friday. The first time I created a worksheet where each of his spelling words was missing one or two letters, so he had to really listen for the sounds. He got all of the words right. The next day, I busted out the foam letters. I read the words to him and he found the letters and spelled them in front of him. He only had one upside down letter and forgot the "c" in duck. 

Then yesterday, after school, I asked him to verbally spell the words to me. He got them all right except duck, again. But today, in a spelling "check" he misspelled all the words. He inserted the short "o" rather than the "u" in everything. It was really, really strange. The test was on white paper, which is hard for him to write on. And I got frustrated. Why is what he showing me at home not translating to the writing? When he gets home from his play date, I'll have him write the words again, and see how he does. But it worries me. I've been in constant chatter with his teachers about the spelling issues. And they are very supportive and encouraging and tell me that I'm doing some great work with him, but it's not getting consistent results, especially for him in the classroom. I was changing the ways we did them (rather than just tracing words or verbal/writing tests) to keep things interesting and limit complaining. No one likes to feel stupid. And when he gets things wrong, it deeply affects his self-esteem. And in turn, seeing your child take a nose dive, doesn't do anything good for the Mom's esteem either. My little man is totally working his little butt off, and it sucks to see him have to work so hard for things that come so naturally to other children both in terms of the writing issue and the socialization issues. But he totally has a heart of gold. He keeps on trying and he pours everything he's got into it.

Then I showed MacTroll the math fun that X-man brought home from Mathman yesterday. To me, it was a math game that X-man took from Mr. Cohen's house in NW Champaign all the way back to our driveway to explain how to play to me (remind me that he probably won't grow up to be an instruction manual writer), but in the end, he got it. And we played. 

There are five grids of numbers in boxes labeled A through E. You have to pick a number in your head 1-31 and then tell the "quizzer" what lettered boxes it is in. Then the "quizzer" adds up the first number in the first row in the upper left hand corner of each box and -- surprise -- you get the number in the person's mind. 

I showed it to MacTroll and he sat down on my scooter and seemed impressed that X-man was working in binary. "What? I thought binary was just a bunch of 0s and 1s?" 

MacTroll got excited, because he likes it when he knows more about something than I do, so he sat down and explained binary to me. Now we're all in the know. 

And I guess I need to pay more attention when I do things because Christie Clinic had to send back my check to pay for my surgery because the number in the check box didn't match the one I wrote out.


** Update **
X-man gets home from his play date. I give him his spelling words. He misses the "l" in plum and the "c" in duck. But the other six words are perfect. I show him the sheet that came home.
Loosey: "Did you do this today?"
X-man: "No, that was from a long, long time ago." (Which probably means it was his pre-test on the spelling words on Monday. Now I feel all kinds of silly for being so frustrated.)
Lesson learned -- I just need to calm the heck down.

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