Saturday, October 27, 2012
Tobin at 77 months
Tobin’s life these days is full of reading, math and sports. His “homework” each day is to read for 30 minutes and record that in a reading log provided by his teacher. I find myself a bit wary of homework entering our lives. Tobin reads regularly on his own so this reading log is an easy task to complete but it turns into a minor power struggle each day as we debate when he should do his reading. He would prefer to do it in the time right before bedtime when we’re usually cleaning up toys. We would prefer he do it in the time before dinner, when he’d rather be playing. On a more positive note, he is proud to have a responsibility like homework. I’m hoping we can strike a balance between supporting his enthusiasm for school and reading without it feeling like an obligation. Perhaps that balance entails something like encouraging him to read to Evan and Lauren.
The babies and I end up going to the public library every few weeks, often in the morning without Tobin with us so I try to pick out books I think he will like (while keeping tabs on two very active little ones who like to hide from me among the books and/or play with the computers and/or wander into offices and study rooms). This week I ventured into the children's nonfiction section and picked out a couple of math books for him. He's enjoyed one of them especially which is all about "big" numbers, using peas to illustrate quantity. Peas as objects might provide some continuity with the math lessons he is learning at school using beads. I've seen them in his class and done some Googling to gain a very rudimentary understanding that the beads are used to teach numbers as units and then buil from there. So the other day Matt was remarking on Tobin's Steve Smith Panthers jersey (seen above) about how he liked the number 89 because 8 was a cube, 9 was a square and if you added 8 plus 9 it was a prime number. When Matt said this he thought he was introducing the idea of cubes but Tobin said, "Oh, you mean like how 3 cubed is 27, 4 cubed is 64?" He then cubed every number up to 7 (343) but apologized that he couldn't remember 8 cubed. He was trying to explain to us how using the beads taught him this, which I'm not sure we quite get but we are impressed. And we need to learn more about these beads!
Ever the numbers guy, Tobin will tell you that his soccer team is 4-4 so far this season. Tobin plays in an under-8 league this year. Two years ago he played under-5 and last year, under-6 but for some reason, this year they have six and seven year olds playing together. Naturally, there can be quite a difference in size spanning those two years and Tobin remains on the smaller side. The fields are about twice as big this year too. All of this results in a slightly more organized "chaos" of a game and less scoring for everybody. We've encountered very few kids who can take over a game and seemingly score at will, like we did over the last two years. Tobin even had a breakout game last year in which he scored seven goals. This year he's yet to score a goal. But he's having fun nonetheless and is particularly excited that he's gotten to play goalie for at least part of the last few games. At home, Tobin is enjoying keeping up with American football, pulling for the Panthers in the NFL and UNC in college ball. He also maintains a fairly elaborate imaginary league, which he gives us updates on each and every morning. He shows us highlights using his set of 32 NFL helmets to illustrate.
Tobin recently told Matt, “I try to help Mom whenever I can. Like I help her by going to school, because when I’m at school she has less work to do at home.” As you might imagine, having my sweet, thoughtful boy home--like he was yesterday for a teacher workday--feels like less work for me.
Posted by allison at 9:56 PM