Spring break is upon us and when I was a child my family always went down to St Pete’s Beach in Florida at this time of year. From the age of seven on, it was a highlight of the year. My Mom still goes down every year, but because of money and time, I have not been down there in many years.
My son Caidin will be eight this year, grandma is now 80. As the break approached I felt strongly that Caidin should experience St Pete’s Beach with grandma this year. Only problem is that his break and when she is down there weren’t syncing. So I talked to Caidin’s teacher, who firmly believes in the importance of family travel and she green-lit Caidin missing 4 days of school.
I asked her what they would be working on while he was away and she said ‘Well, I plan on introducing fractions that week.’
‘Fractions’, I thought, ‘will that be easy or hard to explain?’ During one of our many conversations I mentioned to Caidin that his class would be learning fractions while he was a way and I ask him what he knew about them already, thinking, well, maybe he might already have an understanding. Nope.
In the car, while we were driving around doing errands I started exploring the concept with Caidin. I stopped as soon as we both got frustrated.
This morning I turned to Google and I typed in ‘how do I teach my child fractions?’ I didn’t get any further than the first sponsored post by a site called AdaptedMind.com, a site created by graduates of Stanford, Berkeley and Harvard to improve the way children learn math.
Sounded good. I checked it out and there is a 30 day free trail and then a membership fee of $9.95 per month if we continue. That might be worth it, if it helps Caidin and it support me in teaching him. Mind you, anything computer based is really exciting for Caidin. He loves the process of using the computer. Turns out AdpatedMind.com has married a number of things Caidin loves – it approaches math as a self-competition awarding badges for accomplishments. I signed up and Caidin and I sat down and started to ‘play’ with fractions.
There were 3 basic question structures: 1) which fraction is larger using the same denominator? For example which is larger ¼ or ¾ ? 2) Which fraction is larger using different denominators? For example which is larger ½ or ¾ ? 3) What is a fraction of a number? For example what is ½ of 10.
Caidin understood the third question structure and was able to figure out what ½ of 10 was and what 1/3 of 6 was, but he was having a difficult time understanding the first and second question structures. We tried drawing pictures and he got it sometimes, but not always. I could see he was getting frustrated.
Then it hit me. This kid is a true Taurus, he loves food. The question at hand was ‘Which is larger ¼ or ¾?’ So I said to him, ‘Imagine you have a big fresh, warm loaf of bread and I break it into fourths or four pieces and you can have …’ And without finishing he said ‘ ¾ is larger.’ I continued to reinforce the concept ‘Yes, if you break the bread into four pieces you will have more with ¾ because you will get 3 of the 4 pieces.’ As we moved forward, this image of the piece of bread worked for both question structures and I could see him thinking about how much of the bread he would get in any given situation.
I find astrology to offer a wonderful look into the nature of our children. If you don’t know the astrological chart of your child go to Astro.com. You can create a free account and then create a chart for your child. It’s important to not only know their Sun sign, but also their Moon and their Rising signs and you can get this at Astro.com. The Sun sign informs who we are intrinsically; the Moon sign is connected to our emotions and to our relationship with Mom and the Rising sign is who we show to the world.
Caidin is a Taurus Sun, Cancer Moon and Leo Rising. As a Taurus he is intrinsically a home body, loves food, texture is beyond important, he can be stubborn and it takes him a while to think through options and make a choice; as a Cancer Moon he is incredibly sensitive, super social and the earth revolves around his Mom; as a Leo Rising he is dramatic and he is a leader.
So when he comes to me with a tiny thread that’s irritating his skin, I can remind myself that where it wouldn’t even faze me, texture is so relevant for him that this string might actually feel like sandpaper to him.
As a Conscious Parent it’s helpful to know and understand your child from as many angles as you possibly can. Know what they respond to, what motivates them, what interests them. Know how they respond to challenge, how they respond to competition, and explore less traditional, more esoteric ways of understanding who they are (read – in the end it all helps you to parent consciously.
© 2012 Christine Agro
Christine Agro is a clairvoyant, naturopath, Master Herbalist, conscious mom and author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her.