Josiah wanted to do geometry today so I gave him a presentation on inscribed and circumscribed figures. As we finished, Josiah started drawing a lattice of equilateral triangles using a stencil. Once he had half a page full, he challenged Tessa and me to find all the possible hexagons on the page. (We both missed one; Josiah had to show it to us.)
It just so happened that the next presentation in the geometry manual was about making shapes with different numbers of equilateral triangles and comparing their surface areas. So I told Josiah off for giving me the presentation when I'd been planning to give it to him next week ;) and suggested that I show him the rest of the presentation. He was keen so we went ahead and compared the surface areas of a rhombus (two equilateral triangles), a trapezium (three equilateral triangles), a larger equilateral triangle (four equilateral triangles) and a hexagon (six equilateral triangles). Josiah enjoyed the work but it took a while.
I probably should have taken a break at that point but I was conscious that Tessa had been left to her own devices for a significant period and it seemed important to get her working as soon as possible. Maybe yesterday's high productivity had got me overly focused on getting things done. After I finished the geometry with Josiah, my thoughts were about what Tessa and I “needed to get done”.
Tessa requested a language presentation. Over recent weeks, Tessa has revised all the parts of speech; for today I had prepared the first presentation on sentence analysis (verb, subject, direct object). The work is not challenging so there was always the risk that Tessa would be bored but the novelty added some excitement. Unfortunately I was focused on just getting it done and was also hungry and kind of distracted after the long geometry session with Josiah. Tessa was unfocused which got me annoyed. Somehow we got through the work with Tessa still smiling at the end but I could have done better.
I'm not sure what to do when Tessa is unfocused like that. She requested a language presentation but then didn't give it her attention. Frustrating. I don't know what the best response is.
Anyway, after that I realised my mistake in carrying on when I needed a break and we all stopped for a snack.
Tessa had also requested a drawing presentation so later she and I did that. She's really enjoying the drawing activities but is discouraged by how much better my work is than hers. I remind her that I've had 35 years to develop my hand control and hers is improving all the time – to try not to compare her work to mine. She seems to accept that. The activities are designed to be demonstrated by an adult so I can't see any other way around this problem for now. True to his intentions, Josiah did not take part in the drawing lesson but lay on the couch reading Arthur and the Invisibles while we drew.
Tonight I'm determined to be in bed at a reasonable hour. And for tomorrow I'm determined to observe the children and respond to them rather than focusing on what I think we should achieve. This is supposed to be fun!