Friday, September 14, 2012

Late Day Learning

            My nephew showed up late this morning to spend the day with us.  He brought a bunch of toys and the four boys played together wonderfully for the next 4 hours.  It was wonderful to see how well they all played together.  And it's always funny to overhear bits and pieces of their conversations.   They battled with beyblades, went out in the woods to collect sticks, used the bow and arrow (complete with homemade target), rode bikes, and everything else boys do together.  While they played I wrapped birthday gifts.  I had a rather large stack of Pokemon cards left over after putting and offered to divvy them up among the boys if they cleaned up the living room and playroom.  After a few hours of playing our house looked like a tornado hit it.  Well, you would've thought I offered to pay them tons of money!  Within 10 minutes my house was spotless.  We laid all the cards out on the table and discovered we had 6 rows with 10 in each row.  Ian immediately knew it was 60.  However, trying to divide 60 into 4 equal groups was another matter entirely.  He knew 20 was too much and 10 was not enough when I suggested 15 and then walked him through it.  How much is 15 + 15, when he came up with 30 I pointed to him and his cousin and I said so 30 plus, then I pointed to his 2 brothers, 30 is??  He came up with 60 and knew that each of them could pick 15 cards.  They were great about taking turns and picking cards.  Then they spent the next 30 minutes to an hour spreading out ALL their Pokemon cards and negotiating trades with each other.  It was a wonderful day but I couldn't help thinking it was 2:30/3:00 and we hadn't done anything for school all day. 
            Little did I know all the learning we'd be doing so late in the day!  We went to the library and picked up another book that we had requested.  They also picked out new books on Cd and they spend the next 30- 40 min. reading in the car while I ran errands.  I talked to them about the fact we hadn't done any school work yet today and we decided to do a bit of it when we got home.  So once we got everything put away we made a dessert (kitchen science!).  Ian read the instructions to us and we used math to figure out some measurements.  They all took turns mixing and watching things bake, melt and firm back up again.  We also read the next chapter in our Dragon book and it's getting so good they didn't want me to stop.  It was real cute to hear them repeating parts of the story in high pitched baby dragon voices later on when we put it away.  It was reaffirming to know they were really listening intently! 
       Ian and I played a game of Yahtzee after this brothers went to bed and Alec and I played a game of addition war once Evan was in bed.  They older boys had played Words With Friends throughout the day (and pretty much every day) so I figured they got a little bit of spelling practice in as well.   It was pretty amazing to me to that in just a few short evening hours starting around dinnertime and ending around bedtime that we were able to cover reading, math, and science!  It always amazes me that even when I'm not trying so hard to cover each subject so in depth they still learn and learn with such joy.  Days like this reaffirm my decision to unschool.  I can't keep worrying about the topics all the other homeschool kids are learning about and what we aren't covering and focus on what we do cover.  Days like this work the best for me, my boys and our family and I really need to try and remember that.  We don't have to cover every subject every day or even try and cover every subject every week.  We have time.  I have their whole lives to teach them and just a few minutes here and there really add up. 

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