Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Making a Change

Several years ago, I was looking at math curricula, and stumbled into Beast Academy. I was upset at the time that it didn't start until grade 3, and even then was only grades three and four.  But, I was determined to wait it out. So, we started Right Start, and went with it, then moved over to Math Mammoth. Now, Mad Natter is at a place where he could easily manage Beast Academy, but there's a problem.

Mad Natter is, in many ways, his mother's child. We are so very alike, we are oftentimes eerie. This isn't something that's foreign to me, as I am my father all over again, but the difference is that Mad Natter and I are missing the rough patch between us that had my father and I butting heads all the time. One of the things, amongst many, that Mad Natter has gotten from me is my dislike of change. I love new things, yes, but for the things I do often, I thoroughly dislike change. I don't like when Skeeve's work week changes, I don't like when our weekly game is cancelled, I don't like when we're not doing grocery shopping every other Tuesday. I love new things, I hate change. Weird.

Mad Natter seems to be much the same. He dislikes having his routines disrupted. He is able to handle it well, but that doesn't mean he likes it. He also deals significantly better if it turns out the change is for a reason he likes. Going to Hammie's? Loves it. Switching from one math program to another? No, wait, what?  You want us to what? No. I'm fine, thanks.

Today was the day. I introduced Mad Natter to the concept of changing math programs. He immediately declined the change, despite the more interesting format of Beast Academy.  So, I printed out some sample pages from Beast Academy, and set them with his Math Mammoth book on the arm of the couch... and we left for Taekwondo. When we came home, it was an interesting thing. He stopped on the way to the bathroom, before he took off his shoes, before he got his snack, before he got a drink... he stopped at the couch, and took in the pages. He read the three pages, then nodded, and took off to do his thing. He didn't freak out and tell me this was math and he didn't want to work on it, he just read it, nodded at it, and moved along. This, combined with his habit of underreaction, tells me that yes, a change would go over well. And so, I asked. He went right back to nope! I'm fine! I like our math! But he's not fine. He's not loving our current math (he understands it, and he's willing to work on it, but he doesn't love it), he likes the pages from Beast Academy, so what's the problem?  It's a change, and change is difficult.