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.

Terri

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?

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