Plug and chug
…is a favorite expression of a teacher of mine. It’s also a description of how my kids just power through the workbooks. Back then it meant, fairly simply, to plug answers into an equation, and chug along until you get to the answer. That was his way of saying ‘just go do it’ and that we had all the answers we needed. That’s how I feel we’re working right now with the workbooks and the kids. Plug and chug. They GET what they’re doing, it’s just a bit unfamiliar so they’re having trouble getting started. For the life of me I will never understand the vast difference in the grade level workbooks that we have. They are easy ones that well meaning public school grandparents probably buy for their grandchildren, hoping that they’ll take an interest in their homework more. Not.
Several times we have had similar things handed down to us from other people. It gives the kids more practice on certain things and I’m fine with all of that. It’s that the one book set we have seems to give really good explanations and only a bit of practice. The other set has basically zero explanations and more problems. That’s why I teamed up the kids with both books for the grade level. One book really explains a topic and gives a sample or two. The other just assumes you’ve already been ‘taught’ how to do it. It’s finding the topics on both books at the same time that’s the trick.
Not an 80 year old
Were these problems written by 80 year olds? Does your 8 year old know the expression ‘sardines in a can’… I know mine didn’t. She relegated people packed into a subway car like she would ‘pile into her bed’… I laughed and asked who else was getting into her bed with her. Then I explained it. Olives make more sense to her than sardines. She has no idea what sardines look like in a can. Giant smiley face here. Neither do I. Plug and chug. English is a terrible, but beautiful language.
We started out the week by reading some fairy books and watch a fairy video on the weekend. The idea? Building fairy gardens using natural materials. We looked at several idea books as well, from across the country. It was like a tiny unit study. I can’t wait to see what they come up with this summer. I expect they will be very busy!
The kids have been making up tiny workbooks to take with them traveling, as if in a little over an hour they will be bored enough to want pages of math problems, but, whatever. Easter is coming and so they think they will be bored. *sigh* They didn’t get to play outside much this week due to the extremely wet weather. Most of the week they stayed in pj’s all day. They read a lot and had a lot of fun with an hour long dance party one night. Even mom and dad got in on the fun.
Older one is working on
This kid is less happy with plug and chug. She would much rather do the workbooks than have mom read out loud, but it annoys her when she is presented with a challenge. You’d think I wanted her to learn and grow, or something. A lot of the language was review. She did conjunctions, nouns, adjectives, etc. In math she focused on some 3 and 4 digit addition as well as more complicated story problems, multiplication and division. She put up so many temper tantrums one day that she went until 4:30 p.m. She finally did it all on her own. There was nothing stopping her but attitude. I don’t get it. We talked repeatedly about just focusing, but she still had trouble another day. We’ll see how next week goes.
Younger one is working on
Telling sentences, using a period, exclamation point or question mark. We went over long and short vowels. She did a bit of graphing review and started doing double digit addition as well. Wow! She did a great job, the workbooks use color by answer quilt blocks as encouragement. Seeing the pattern emerge was fun for her. At this point her books are out of addition and go on to other things. There’s a small amount of double digit subtraction so I’ll have to find some practice sheets for the end of the year. She wrote sight words on different topics daily. We reviewed spelling words from the beginning of the year. She logged weather for the week as well and did several weather related science pages. She worked hard every day and was the master of plug and chug. At the end of the week she read one million (gross overstatement) pig books. She was happy as a pig in slop with her pig books!
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