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Robin Hobb's Infrequent and Off Topic Blog

At The End of July

I feel like I side-slipped into a different reality this year.  Perhaps you all went with me?

 

I have returned to first grade.  That is, my 7 year old grandson and I began by trying to keep up with his online school work.  It was such a disorganized experience that I was relieved when the school year was over.  I think that someone in first grade should have a 'one click' experience to acquire and complete school work.  I won't go into details about my frustration with that.  Suffice it to say that we thought we were submitting his homework, but it wasn't going anywhere.  And I consider myself computer savvy.

 

Now, for the summer, we are reading together daily.  He reads out loud to me from a book on his reading level.  Then I read to him from something that I feel has beauty of language and excellent story telling.  My theory is that if he needs to hear a wide vocabulary, and the lovely rhythms of English (yes, poetry, too) in order to develop his ear and his own way of speaking.

 

In math, I am tired of bundling numbers into tens and ones, but I know this is the system he will be using if/when we have school again.  So on we go with that.  But it did lead to an interesting discussion of other systems beside base 10. He refused to believe that binary existed until we looked it up!

 

Outside the house, there are the correct names of plants, flowers and birds to be learned.  An explanation of why the wind switches direction in the evening.  He has cared for ducklings and chicks.  There have been a lot of board games, which are good for learning to take turns, and also learning how to lose as well as how to win.

 

I hope he will be ready for second grade, when and if it convenes.  I am many years away from my elementary school experiences and it's hard to guess what levels of expertise the school will expect.  

 

I have only sympathy for parents with multiple children in different grades.  Some school systems seem to be dealing much better than others. What do parents do when they have no wifi, no tablets or computers?  In my state, the Everett schools issue each student a computer.  No such luck in Tacoma.  Let alone in the little towns.  

 

I think this school year will be a turning point in education. Which direction it will turn in, I do not know.

 

So as far as the writing goes, my time has been vacuumed away. Megan Lindholm has been using the keyboard more than I have.  She just had a very short story published in the July-August issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine.  "Generations.'  

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