Monday, October 15, 2012

Darth Vader math!

       Alec got a bunch of National Wildlife magazines over the weekend and spent the morning looking through them all.  He tried to read aloud to his brothers but they weren't as interested as he was so he eventually gave up and just read them to himself until breakfast.  The page he happened to be focused on was all about the Arctic Wildlife preserve in Alaska that we had read about during our Alaska study.  I did point that out to all the boys and asked them a few questions.  I love when things we've learned crop up in unexpected places! 
        During breakfast the boys all asked to watch yet another episode of Wild Kratts.  I was about to say no since I feel like we've been doing that a lot lately but then I remembered all the facts they've been telling everyone that they've learned through the show so I said sure.  This episode was all about lions.  We learned that lions can pee backwards to mark their territory, they also learned lions aren't the toughest animals in Africa, that other lions will try and steal baby lions form other prides, and that sometimes lions will gang up on other lions to try and take control of a pride.  It was another fun filled science lesson and they all loved it. 
          After breakfast I made everyone go get ready for the day and clean their rooms, including dusting and vacuuming them.   Evan turned to me with a smile while we were dusting and said "mom, we're working on skills, right?"  It's always so great to hear my boys "figure" out what is homeschooling.  The more we delve into this journey the more they realize it's all homeschooling!  My favorite part is when they try and persuade me what they'll learn by doing an activity they're interested in like when Ian wanted to watch The Karate Kid and tried to argue that he'd learn all about karate by watching it.
       Once the house was clean we watched a video on how glow sticks are made.  You can find the link here.  This lesson was definitely above their heads as it told us the scientific names of all the chemicals but they LOVED it!  Alec told me it was the best video we've ever watched on the computer.  He was saddened though to realize we couldn't then make our own glow sticks at home.  I was just happy they enjoyed it and told them we could buy some glow sticks.  I plan to ask them what the cracking noise is once we do since that was talked about in the video and to remind them it's hydrogen peroxide (just like we use on our cuts) that makes the solution glow. 
     They did a quick math lesson today before we headed out for a bunch of errands.  Ian chose to do a lesson in McRuffy while Alec wanted to work on a coloring/ addition dice worksheet I found on pinterest.  There were two worksheets to choose from; Spider man and Darth Vader.  He has to roll two dice; add them up and then color in that number.  It's a fun way to work on his addition facts.  You can find it here.  Ian thought it looked like fun too and asked if he could have on to work on after he finished his math.  As if I'd say no!  I wish I had thought to change the numbers ahead of time though and had him work on multiplication but, it's still good practice.  Evan didn't want to do anything but another dot- to- dot sheet.  I'm quickly running out and so he had to work on an alphabet one.  It was a bit tricky for him so I was glad to have him get the extra practice in without complaining since it was an activity he chose. 
     We headed to the library to return some of our books and checked out some new books on Cd.  One the way there Ian and Alec were finishing their Darth Vader pages and Evan says "hey mom, back/ black; they rhyme!"  I was thrilled because usually when he says two words and tell me they rhyme they have the same beginning sound not ending sound.  I replied "yeah, they both end with -ack, can you think of anything else that ends with -ack?"  That started a five minute round the car back and forth shouting match of rhyming words.. Jack, slack, sack, mack, knack, pack, etc.  It was a wonderful, child centered, impromptu lesson.  I just love it when that happens.
        We listened to the books we checked out on our way to the doctor (and again on the way home).  We found a few new books on Cd to check out.  The boys really seemed to enjoy Do Unto Otters and Henry Hikes to Fitchburg.  We also listened to two favorites; I Stink and Rikki Tikki Tavi again. We were planning to head home, have a quick lunch, and then head out for another Walktober hike after going to the doctors.  However, once in the house Ian complained he felt dizzy and sick.  I'm so bummed to have missed yet another hike.  We haven't made it to a single Walktober hike yet!  I was thinking it was a reaction to a vaccine but wanted to stay close to home just in case he started to run a fever or feel worse.  We watched part of  our Hawaii movie and then just took a walk around the neighborhood.
          We didn't see all that much but we talked about all the different sounds we heard, neighborhood sounds like the lawn mower, the crunching of the leaves and pine cones, Ian's pants swishing, birds twittering, leaves rustling on the trees.  I asked them what pine cones were and why the trees have them.  We saw a stink bug and I asked them why they think the bug stinks after we kill it and not before (though we did not kill the bug since we were out in nature).  We saw birds and talked about which birds are still around in winter.  We discussed the difference between migration and hibernation.  We saw caterpillars, ducks, and spent quite a lot of time petting one of the neighbors dog.  They then started their own comparison between the neighbor's dog and their grandfather's dog.  Really I just wanted to get out and walk.  I'm trying to incorporate exercise into our daily lives and yet it turned into a science and nature session, but really how could it not?  Anytime we walk we're outdoors and the rest just naturally following their own innate curiosity. 

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