A Child in Need of Diagraming and Proofs

I’m working hard here to get our upcoming school year teed up, and therefore, I’ve not had the time I want to tweak the second thyroid disease and breast cancer post. It is on my mind, and it will get finished.

But, as I was looking for a couple of books to round out my school plans for the year, I thought of something I’d like to throw out there for homeschoolers about geometry and grammar. It will be stream of consciousness to get there, so hang tight a minute.

I tend to be interested in many, many things and ideas. My head can get cluttered. I also tend to be a “feel-er” rather than a “fact-er.” (More interested in feelings than facts and arriving at solutions because I just know it’s right. Drives my husband, a stone-cold numbers guy, crazy–but after 30 years together, he knows I’m right. :-)) I’ve been this way since forever.

I looked back at my education, and I realized that learning to organize my thoughts in junior high and high school was invaluable for me, especially as I interacted and discussed ideas with others. (Maybe that’s the idea of “logic” from a classical curriculum? Dunno.)

With that in mind, my children will be diagraming sentences and doing proofs in geometry. Just now, I was looking for a diagraming book to supplement our usual grammar work. When it comes time for geometry, I will look for a program with proofs.

I don’t think that they’re necessary for mastery of grammar or geometry. I certainly won’t allow them to be thorns in our school year when the time arrives. But I will explain to my children that sometimes thoughts fill our head, and we need to be able to not let them overwhelm us. That we need to be able to organize them so we can see them better and make better decisions.

As a medical doctor, when I worked in the intensive care unit, my patients were really sick, in so many places. If I tried to make one organ better, it put a hard strain, sometimes a near-fatal strain, on another organ system. The kidneys LOVE fluids. The heart gets overwhelmed by it.

When I’d first look at a patient and their chart, I’d groan inwardly, thinking, “No way. This is impossible.” But then, I’d sit down with the chart, and I’d do what I’d trained my brain to do since junior high (thank you, teachers), thinking through each organ and weighing in my mind which organ was crashing fastest and how much I could push the other organs to get what was needed done.

Each day, each problem can be managed by stepping back, examining all the pieces of what’s going on, and then using what you know or going to get a piece of information or help you don’t have or know.

For children who are more verbal, more feelers, who are fascinated by everything around them and sometimes locked by indecisiveness, it just might be a good idea, if you have the opportunity, to help that child see that complex math problems and complex sentences aren’t all that intimidating when you break it down. That life isn’t all that intimidating when you use what you know.

I don’t like facts all that much. Seems like even the facts are ever-changing to me. On the other hand, facts can keep you from lying to yourself that there is no solution. From lying to yourself and saying there is no way out.

And that is why I plan to guide my kids through geometrical proofs and diagraming sentences, urging them not to see work, but to see the ability to think through stuff in life.

Thanks for letting me put that out there. Back to picking a diagraming book.


And HA! I see now maybe it’s diagraming! Not diagramming! Go figure. Or is it? I’ve seen both. Do you know? Is it a fact? Which one is it? If you know for sure, do let me know! I think it can be both?

6 thoughts on “A Child in Need of Diagraming and Proofs

  1. cheryl

    Wow, don’t know how I found you.

    I am a health care major, nutrition not medicine, and have never met a doc like you. Congratulations! LOL
    Your statement about driving your hubs nuts with your thinking style hit “our nail” on the head.
    My long time problem is I discovered I am an “intuitive” which is worse for him as well as the kids.
    I am a systems model kind of person, so you are headed in the right direction, as both of these in my mind are systems oriented methods.

    Only advice I can share is this..test your kids for learning styles, then adapt the methods to fit their natural needs.

    One may be very word oriented, the other very math (abstract conceptualization) oriented.
    We read all of Dr Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s books on homeschooling. Really changed my mind on home education.
    With my background in university and medical center education, I needed major readjustments.

    Homeschooling is a wonderful commitment that can never take from you as a mom, but give back to you 100 fold.
    We read so many books, explored so many different paths, and we ended up with “Learned” kids, not “Educated” beings.
    Would I do it again, yes, would I change some things, yes! But not much.
    And it does not have to cost an arm and a leg.

    We used KONOS for our base and flew high from there.

    Looking forward to your next post.
    Have you ventured into Integrative Functional Medicine?

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      LOL! Yes, I’ve read a lot about integrative functional medicine. Funny that you mention it. 🙂 I still think even that can go astray, but at least embraces much, much more than conventional medicine.

      We took our learning style assessments several years ago. It was lots of fun! I definitely encourage anyone to do that! I think we used Discover Your Child’s Learning Style, but I can’t remember now. But it was exciting and revealing!!! First time I encountered the idea that self-awareness was a trait/talent/whatever you want to call it. And encountered so many other fun, neat, useful ideas! Think I started a post on it. Every couple of years, I kind of bring it back out and see where we stand, as my kids were pretty young when I first did it!

      My husband and I used to occasionally study together. It always ended in frustration. I can laugh about it now. But when I’d explain pathways to him, he’d be like, well, that’s not quite right. And explain it again. And I’d be like, uh, that’s the same thing I just said… but we love each other to pieces, and finally accepting each other’s strengths and how wonderfully it plays out in our family has just been so fulfilling! Much better than criticizing the other for their “fault.”

      Glad to have interchanged with you! I’ve never checked out Konos. I agree homeschooling can cost VERY little!

      Next post had better be finishing the thyroid disease and breast cancer sequel. 🙂

      Take care.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      ” urging them not to see work, but to see the ability to think through stuff in life.”

      You sure can! Maybe they’ll do better than I do. I always look at the laundry and just sit there thinking it through. 🙂

      Nah. Joking. Even with all the laundry (I HATE laundry. HATE IT.), I try to figure out ways that I can make it not so overwhelming. More fun. Divided up. Etc. Yep! A life lesson!


  2. Meredith in Aus

    Great post!

    In US English it’s “diagraming,” whereas in British English we double the “m” because the stress falls on the last syllable and we want to keep the vowel short, so we double the final consonant before adding and ending beginning with a vowel. 😊 It seems the Americans rejected quite a few English spelling conventions. Probably to do with King George. 😄


    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Ah, Meredith! Thank you! I enjoy spelling, and I often spell incorrectly Brit/American discrepancy words. Traveling versus travelling. Orthopaedic versus orthopedic. Grey versus gray. And now this one. It makes much more sense to double that second letter. British sensibility. American fickleness (okay, defiance, yes George). Makes the world exciting. 🙂 Wonderful explanation, thank you. Have an absolutely phenomenal weekend!


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