Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Finding time to learn.

Today we headed out to see some friends of ours that live on the shoreline.  I knew we wouldn't have much time at home in the morning to get our school work done so I focused on those things that couldn't be learned on the go. 

I find that so often on this homeschooling journey that our busy life gets in the way of homeschooling.  Now I know I can cut back on activities and "fun" in order to find more time to sit with the boys and do schoolwork, but I find that if I just tweak our schedule we can usually find a way to do both! That makes for a much more fun and enriched life.



The two older boys did their math lessons.  Now that we're getting into the lessons they are getting much harder.  It's amazing what the flip of one page did for Alec's lessons.  He learned so many new things today (many of which would be review for a typical second grader), I'm not sure if he'll be able to retain it all so I'm thinking we'll supplement his lessons at this point with lessons on place value and writing numbers over 100.  The book is also reviewing all addition facts and Alec really only knows up to +3's.  He can figure out the rest but it's not as rapid a recall as I'd like so we'll focus on those through some games. 

While the older two boys were working on math I got Evan to agree to do one worksheet; front and back!  The front side was a maze and the back side was an A-Z dot to dot.  He needed a bit of help but not much.  I was just happy to have him agree to try for once instead of saying "no I don't want to" and walking away. 

The older two boys moved on to some cursive practice and then we got ready to leave. 

We listened to all three books on Cd we got at the library yesterday as we drove.  We started with Ian's book since we hadn't listened to it yet.  I asked them to predict what they thought the title meant.  I also asked them where they thought the book took place and what nationality was being represented.  By the end of the first page Ian and Alec shouted it's Mexico!  In between each Cd, Alec and Ian took turns reading chapters from our Magic Tree House Tonight on the Titanic book we had started last week and by the time we reached our destination we had finished that book too.  We did pause and review what we had read and made new predictions for most of the chapters as we went along. 

The boys also spotted new licence plates along the way; we added Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Washington, DC to our growing list of states we've spotted.  They're getting to be such professionals at spotting out of state plates.  

Alec also read to us from his Animal Kingdom book and we learned that Capybara's are great swimmers, they will hide from predators in the river and hold their breath for 5 minutes.   We learned that black footed ferrets eat prairie dogs but are dying since farmers are killing the prairie dogs in order to save their grass.   Even with all that he knows about animal facts he always manages to learn one or two new facts here and there.
     
Once we arrived at our friend's house the boys rode bikes.  Alec learned how to ride a two wheeler last summer at their house but rarely rides at home and usually needs a push to get him started but today he just took off on his own and rode up and down the driveway.  They had water gun fights and just played.  It was a fun final summer day with our friends who are starting school on Monday. 
     


On the ride home we once again listened to the books on Cd and then we played another alphabet game.  This time we went through the alphabet and had to think of foods we eat that start with each letter.  I let Evan have first guess of every letter since he's the youngest and even at that he needed many hints to  participate.

Once home Ian went to help with yard work and raking.  As Alec put it "Ian has a connection to the sand." I was amazed at how astute his observation really was.  Ian does have a connection with the sand.  He loves to dig, build, rake , and truck dirt all around.  It's definitely in his blood.
     
After dinner while I read a book to Evan before bed I asked Ian to find something having to do with science to do for today.  We ended up choosing a make your own remote control machines kit like the one found here!  I told him to read the directions and try to figure them out on his own.  So we'll see how that goes.  It looks very complicated and I'm sure it will take him a while and a bit of help to get it done but I'm proud of him for trying it on his own.  Amazingly enough Alec pitched right in to help him out and so far they're working together quite well.

It's amazing to me all the ways that we can find time to learn even when we feel like we're taking the day off to spend with friends and play! 

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