January 13

Posted on: January 14, 2013

“Well, if he doesn’t want to do his homework, then we take away his numbers and letters until he’s does, and today it’s his math,” Jason knew his son well.  Jacob is really smart, but like any eight year old, was always looking for a way out of school work.  As an eight year old autistic, he can be very stubborn.

“Maybe we can try a different approach,” I offered.  I got my Sprouter out of the cold pantry and washed it.  Then I got a jar of mixed salad seeds, mung beans and the bucket of wheat berries.  Once everything was set up, I called a pouting Jacob into the kitchen.

“We’re going to grow something today, Jacob, and I need your help.” He wasn’t interested until I told him he could have back one letter for every 25 seeds he helped me with.  That boy just loves to count.  He counted out fifty, then one hundred, then two hundred mung beans and put them in the sprouter.  When it came to the wheat berries, he protested.

“Nahna, these are too small to count!”

“Then we need to count them a different way,” I explained, and got out my measuring spoons.  I instructed Jacob to take the two hundred mung beans out of the sprouter and measure them with one of the spoons, then put them back.  Next he used the same measuring spoon to measure the small seeds.

“Nahna, we have one big T of the big seeds, and one big T of the small seeds!”

“That’s right, Jacob.  Sometimes we don’t have to count, we can measure,” he seemed pretty pleased with himself.  “But you will still have to count small seeds so I know how many letters to give you.”  He frowned, but waited. Then I explained the other spoons.  He caught on to what I was getting at real quick.  Jacob was doing double digit multiplication in his head, long before his classmates were introduced to the concept on paper.  He took the 1/8 teaspoon and carefully counted the small amount of seeds he scooped out.  Then did the math in his head and gave me a number.  I have no idea if it was right, but the figure wasn’t the point.  I gave Jacob his baggie of letters back.

“We’re not done, Jacob.” And I brought out a packet of very tiny seeds.  He took one look and picked up the tablespoon measure and put a spoonful in the last sprouter unit.  And I gave him his baggie of numbers.

Jason just beamed.  John looked astounded.

“We’re still not done yet!  Now comes the fun part.”  With the seeds in the different layers of the sprouter, Jacob watered them and I explained that in a few days this would be food and he had to water them every day.  He then carefully walked the unit to the table where it was close to some sunlight, and took his letters to the other room to play.

Home-school lesson done for today.

5 thoughts on “January 13

  1. My daughter is thinking of home schooling her kids (after what happened at the elementary school up north, who can blame her!) and that little lesson might come in handy for her, I will be passing it along, if that is ok with you??

  2. great job grandma home school math can be done so many ways and make it fun

    when kaitlynn was little we read books on nature stuff aka science then when on nature walks to find what we could art lessons came out of many of those walks too. and extra math can be snuck in with questions how many acorns how many with hats etc kaitlynn is now in 8th grade second year in public school all AP classes and in the STEM program ( science, technology,engineering, and math) next year at the local high school she will start her EMT classes too she headed for nursing school and wants to be a nurse practiconer for a peds doctor

  3. L O L !!! so the lad took the SMALLEST measuring spoon available for the smaller seeds — knowing that way all he’d need to do is multiply in his head rather than count out by hand a whole “big T ” of tiny seeds. I expect he will find the most efficient way to do other things, too. 🙂

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