Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fresh air and exercise.

    I got up early this morning and packed both a lunch and a dinner for all of the boys today.  I knew it was going to be a busy day of running around.  It's funny how much we're not at home when we're called homeschoolers.  Our plans for today included visiting the boys great grandmother in the nursing home, heading to a local park to play with their cousins and ride bikes, then we were heading to our trampoline class, then Alec was headed to soccer while Ian and Evan went to get haircuts.  It was a busy day! 
     When I looked into homeschooling I loved how flexible it was.  No two homeschoolers are a like; we all keep different schedules of when we teach, how often we teach certain subjects, how long we teach, etc.  I liked the idea of schooling year round.  If we work for three weeks and then take a week off we cover just as many school days as a public school system and continually have some fun "down" time.  I loved the idea that we could always vacation in the off season while everyone was in school.  It was pointed out to me yesterday that I haven't been doing that.  We've been going pretty much non- stop since we started schooling.  So today I decided we needed a break.  We didn't do one single thing school related! 
      Well, OK maybe we did one thing.  We read.  We were once again trying to read up on some of the library books we checked out.  So this morning Ian read Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site to his brothers, Alec read The Smiley Snowman and then I read Capital (a great U. S. history book about how the capital came to be our capital).  We then headed to the library and returned a bunch of books and checked out three more books on tape/Cd.  We listened to Strega Nona in the car on the way to our next stop of the day. 
         We went to visit the boys great grandmother and we stayed for a bit.  Typically we visit with her in her room since she has difficulty moving around much, but today they wanted to rearrange her room and so we sat with her in a different room.  The boys were thrilled to find that the room had two small birds- a cockatiel and a parakeet.  They were more than happy to watch the birds playing around in their cages and shared some of their bird knowledge with my grandmother.  She kept remarking on how smart they were and, of course, how big they are getting.  She started getting nervous that it was getting close to lunch time and she might miss it so we said goodbye and dropped her off in her room. 
           Our next stop was a lovely park/ playground.  My sister and I planned to meet up with our kids and just let them play.  They enjoyed bike riding around the paved track, swinging, climbing all over the climbing structures and playing basketball.  We had a picnic and just relaxed for two whole hours.  It was a beautiful day for it and all the boys had so much fun playing together.  If we hadn't had trampoline class next, I don't think my boys would've wanted to leave at all!
         My oldest son LOVES trampolining.  He hasn't stopped talking about it since we left class last week.  He has repeatedly thanked me for signing them up and letting them try it.  Evan is the only one who really doesn't seem to like it, but today he too seemed to enjoy it.  They all learned a few new "moves" and got to try doing a few flips with a harness on, even Evan who struggled with this last week gave it a shot and managed to get himself all the way around!  Alec and Ian practiced flipping onto a mat and I observed my children.  It's amazing how much I learn about them just by watching.  Evan started counting his jumps and counted up to 45 all by himself (last I knew he could only count to 25)!  He took a break and started pointing to all the different flags asking me which was which (self- guided discovery!).  Alec pointed to a few flags and called out their names as well while jumping; mainly the Florida (which he recognized from our schooling), Great Britain, and Mexico (which he recognized from the Olympics). 
       After all that exercise I wasn't all that surprised when Alec and Evan fell asleep on the way to soccer practice.  I figured after four hours of running, biking, and jumping it was well deserved.  Alec woke up before we got to the field and then him and Ian played soccer for a while.  This is the first time I've stayed with Alec for his practice.  I usually drop him off with my husband and head home with the other two, but tonight my husband had them so I got to see first hand what Alec is learning.  They practiced ball- handling skills, had a mini scrimmage and worked on teamwork.  It was a wonderful day filled with tons of sunshine, smiles, and exercise. 

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