Thursday, September 6, 2012

Plans change

               This morning I got up all ready do do just a few quick projects and then planned on heading out to a nearby lake. We had a group homeschool get together called "the annual not going back to school picnic." We were hoping it will be a great opportunity to meet other homeschooling families and make new friends. I knew we needed to meet other families in the area to get together with during the week when the boys really start missing their school friends. I'm trying very hard to get us involved in many different playgroups and activities even when that tests my comfort zone.  But Evan wan't feeling well at all today and with him being so miserable and we decided to just stay home.  If he's miserable, we'll all end up not enjoying ourselves anyway.  So I scrambled around to come up with a plan B.
                We worked a bit more on our art projects.  We finished the Aurora Borealis by chalking the northern lights onto black paper, we then rubbed all the salt off to see how the mountains came out.  We attached the mountains to the black paper and we all just loved them.   I made them large enough that we'll matte them with an 11x 14 matte and we hope to have our own art show by springtime.  They came out really lovely.  While we were on an art kick we also made our black trees by blowing the paint around to make branches.  This was a bit more challenging than we had anticipated.  Evan ended up using a brush to make his branches but Ian and Alec were determined to make trees using the straws and the more they worked with it the better they seemed to get.  We set them aside to dry and had some breakfast. 
finished pictures-- Alec, Evan, and Ian's


      We watched another movie about Alaska and read a bit about it in our 50 states book.  Then we read a book called The Big Caribou Herd; Life in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.   It was beautifully illustrated and in the back they had a map of the seasons in the Arctic.  It was a great visual reminder of the short spring, summer, and fall seasons with the long cold winter.  We read some more of Wonderstruck and within the next two days we should finish.  We're starting to see the stories overlapping but the boys still have more questions than answers.  
          They played with puzzles for a while as a break from schooling (I say break lightly as they learn many skills through puzzle making and I know this, but they don't and they thought they were taking a break).  Then for math today we made hundreds, tens, and one columns using pipe cleaners, fruit loops and Styrofoam.  They make up a holder and then take turns rolling the dice three times each.  For each number rolled they put cereal on the ones column, then the tens, and then the hundreds.  The one with the largest number at the end of the round wins.  It was another lesson in our cereal math and the boys once again thought the best part was getting to eat all the fruit loops when they were done. I did keep the bases and figured next time we want to use them we could always use beads.  Evan skipped math today and chose to continue working on puzzles instead.  We read another math riddle book.  This book was called Math Potatoes.  I'm really enjoying these very short thought provoking books.  For now, I'm demonstrating how to group, multiply or add each picture, but I hope, in time, as we re- read these books they'll remember and apply the strategies shown. 

              I sent Evan to his room to take a nap, after lunch, since he still wasn't feeling all that well.  He fell asleep in no time and ended up sleeping for a few hours and then woke with a fever.  Alec asked if we could use some of nap time to make Evan a card for his birthday.  I have a craft room and it is one of the only things in this house I am reluctant to share (really reluctant to share.... my answer is almost always NO!).  Even today my first response was "no."  But seeing Alec's disappointed face I reluctantly said OK.  We used the Cricut and some stamps to make Evan a Batman card and his best friend a Super Mario Bros. card.  They came out really great and I was glad to get to spend some one on one time with Alec.  

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