## Back to Reality

After all the wonderful holidays, we are back in reality. I really felt it on Shabbos even though Yom Tov went directly into Shabbos, when Simchas Torah was gone, so was that special feeling. This week we are back in the real world. It has been quite busy this week, with popcorn selling, popcorn selling and more popcorn selling. I have two boys who are taking Amateur Radio classes; one boy is going for his license, and a second boy is going for an upgrade to be able to use more radio bands.

Even though we have not had that many real school days so far because of the Yomim Tovim, I finally figured out why we always seemed to be missing 15 minutes in the morning, right at the beginning of the day. I am not sure what I was thinking, for I really did give only 15 minutes to something that should take 30. I was able to rearrange the schedules to include that extra 15 minutes, as well as fix some of the other issues that arose as well. That’s the nice thing about being the boss of the schedule. J This week went a lot smoother than previous attempts.

I was thinking about my right-brained son last night. I am sure there are readers that are wondering how things are going, and what I am doing differently in teaching him. The truth is, I have been so pre-occupied with the wonderful Yomim Tovim that I have done nothing. Though I have felt so much more at ease just knowing he is right-brained. I know that there are resources out there that can help me teach him the way he learns best and that knowledge in itself has been quite comforting. What I have done this week is give him a… calculator. (Yikes!) The questions they were asking were using rather large numbers and to do them in my head would take some time, let alone this boy.  The questions were about finding the lowest common multiple of two numbers. For those who do not know what that means, it entails doing the multiplication tables for two different numbers until you find a common multiple. The lcm(8,16) is an easy one – 16, but the lcm(25,35) is not as inherent. He understood what was expected of him and instead of having him just guess the correct answer for he felt it was impossible for him to do, I gave him the calculator and off he went. It took a subject that he was not excited about and changed it to one that he actually seemed to enjoy. This was hard for me to do for there is a stigma that giving a calculator is liken to cheating. But, I am not asking him what 6×6 is, I am asking him to go a step further. If one does not know what it means to find the lcm(25,35), using a calculator will not help. The next time math came up in the schedule, he went to grab the calculator, paper and pen and just went about his business. Needless to say, he got many more questions right in such a short time.

We were forced to try another change in different area. I had been having all three boys listening to their Rambam videos together, but unless I am in the room it does not work out very well. I went out Motzei Shabbos to listen to a speaker and my husband and 3 boys were home, all learning with DH learning something different than the boys. I took one boy and gave him a computer and headphones and sat him beside his father in one room, and the other two boys were on another computer in another room. The boy who learned by himself liked it so much that he asked for it again. It worked out really well.

On Friday, our library next door was having one of its quarterly book sales. I usually let each boy choose one book a piece and then I go and find potential school books (i.e. the classics) as well as other free reads they might be interested in and ones that I would approve of (historical fiction usually.)  I needed Shakespeare books for two of the boys and noticed several complete books of Shakespeare.  I decided to choose 3 of the books – one for each boy. For \$1a piece, they were a great used book bargain at the library. I inscribed a short message to each boy and handed them a book. They were all very excited. Yup, they are homeschooled boys. Love my job!

My house is a mess; I was selling popcorn all day with my boys. I keep telling myself that it is almost done – this part of it anyways, though the next part is the easy part. We are pre-selling the popcorn and collecting all the money so all we have to do is go and deliver it and not have to worry about the hassle of trying to collect the money afterwards.  However, I did get ALL my dishes washed up after Shabbos last night. Need to remember to look for the good.

I am off to LaLa Land, and as I remember that this past Shabbos my oldest wore his new Shabbos hat, and oh, looked so spiffy in it, I am going to be dreaming of Bar Mitzvah invitations that I have to come up with now. All for the good. J