Sunday, 4 July 2010


Anyone who follows this blog will know that I have regular maths-related anxiety attacks. Don't know why its maths in particular that gets me this way, might be partly to do with A's own feelings about the subject, but anyway, I have been known to lie awake at night worrying myself half to death about whether I am failing my daughter, and will she turn around in ten years time and say "I never learnt my times tables properly because you didn't make me, and because of that my life is now ruined". Not sure why her life would be ruined by this, but my catastrophising generally doesn't need reason.

I decided to do a general review last week, just for myself really, and go through all the 'work' A has been doing this year (by work I mean any interests/activities, not just written stuff). Looking at it as objectively as possible I don't have any concerns - I think she's got a great, and full 'curriculum', which covers a broad range of 'subjects' (I know I'm putting all this in schoolish terminology, which doesn't really apply to the way we do things, but I suppose I do use what she would be doing at school as some kind of comparison when I'm assessing things). She's a bright girl, with clear strengths and weaknesses, but no particular problems with what she's learning (Oh God, this is starting to sound like a school report!)

But I knew all that anyway. What I was really pleased about - from an assessing point of view rather than being involved in the learning process - was how she's progressing with maths. Looking at what she's covered, through the online site we're using and the other material relevant to each theme that I've brought in, made me feel really positive about it all. Sometimes I just need to step back a bit and be a bit more objective, instead of getting all caught up in the parental fear/anxiety/guilt about what she should be doing, because actually she's doing fine. In fact, she's doing brilliantly, and she's happy.

Took a visiting friend to Cawdor yesterday, just for a walk around the gardens and the woods, here are some pictures:

In character

The walled garden

Sculpture made from flint
Bee on a thistle
View from a bridge
Had a lovely girly night last night - make-overs and chocolate facepacks; home made pizza; DVDs; painted toenails - a very late night and a lie-in this morning. Perfect.


me said...

wow what a fantastic place :-)

Hannah said...

Maths is a pesky subject isn't it? It seems to be something a lot of HEers worry about and school makes a huge deal about but happens so naturally when they're ready.
Lovely pictures - I love walled gardens.
Your girly night sounds like such fun!

K said...

I wish I could feel as convinced about unschooling (re maths) as many of the bloggers I read seem to be. I just always have this fear about the fact that at some point it is more than likely that A will have to sit a test or take an exam, to get into college or get a job - whatever, so she needs to be familiar with that format. I don't want her to be at a disadvantage later on. X

Michelle said...

Bit late here but I find maths is fretted about by my HE friends and school using friends equally. We really like the real life maths books as think the application of maths to different jobs/scenarios is really good but still don't actually sit down and do them.

I have bought loads of workbooks in the past that sit unused and yet when I do a clear out and go through them I realise C can do all of it anyway, just by getting older with the greater understanding that comes with that - she never needs to do the workbooks to learn.

But yes, they are normal jitters you are having.

K said...

Hi Michelle,

I kind of drift in and out of worrying about maths, feeling quite relaxed about it at the moment though :o)

I think there's still a part of me that just cant escape that idea of it being a subject you have to really work hard at to 'get', which isn't really true, at A's level anyway. Like you say - their understanding develops as they grow up in lots of ways.
Its all in the approach, I feel I just haven't quite found the right one yet! X