Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to work; or should I say play?

          We had a great week off from school with lots of family time.  Our whole family came for Thanksgiving day and we had a wonderful feast.  The cousins all played together so nicely and had a great time.  The day after Thanksgiving we always put up our tree and all of our Christmas decorations.  The boys helped a bit, they each have a small table top tree in their own rooms and once those were done they decided they had had enough.  We watched some holiday movies, played a few board games, and just enjoyed not having a "to do" list.   Already our calendar looks so full for the rest of the year, I'm wondering how much schooling we'll manage to squeeze in.  We have tons of holiday baking and craft projects planned as well as many day trips so it should be a fun time.

           I had some ideas for several new traditions I wanted to start with the boys this year that I had found on Pinterest.  For one of them, I went through all our bookshelves, pulled off all the Christmas books we have and wrapped them each individually.  Each night they unwrap a book and we read a Christmas story.  This has made them so excited about reading!  We ended up reading three books last night because we had forgotten the other few days and they were all ready to tear open a new book this morning.  I had to explain it's really only one book per NIGHT.  We're going to save them for bedtime.  They all grumbled and begged to open one this morning but I explained we'd run out before Christmas ever got here if we open them now. 
            Ian has been creating elaborate houses out of dominoes.  He lays out floor plans and his last house had three bedrooms, each with their own closet, a game room, a huge family room/ kitchen, and honestly it looked a lot like the floor plans you buy except instead of drawn they were laid out with dominoes.  It's very creative and he put another one together this morning for our resident elf on the shelf.  Our elf was found taking a bubble bath in a tub of mini marshmallows this morning and the boys have steadily been eating away at his bath so it's probably a good thing he has a house now as a back up.  I finally had to interrupt Ian and remind him that we had to get going on school work since we have trampoline again today.  He wanted to play multiplication Bingo on my Kindle so that was part of his math lesson today. He also played another Sudoku game on my kindle.  While he was on it he checked out word jumble & words with friends to work on some of his spelling.   He filled in a Christmas Mad lib that I found at classroom jr.com and looked up how to spell some of the words in the dictionary. 
            Alec wanted to do another add and color page and I found one with Santa Clause here (for free!) on Teachers pay Teachers.  He read part of his book called Bird Atlas, it's a new book he just got in.  He had found this book at our library and was so upset to realize it was a reference book and he couldn't check it out.  He had been reading a page or two every time we went but it was so hard to get him to leave the library when it was time to go.  He asked me a week or so ago if we could see about buying our own copy and once I found it on Amazon I couldn't resist getting it for him.  He has been reading a few pages a day ever since it came in.  Today's page was all about birds of the Mediterranean Sea; which he found on our large map of the world. 
           Evan, once again, wanted to do a dot- to- dot.  He actually did two of them.  I found a bunch of Christmas ones at busy bee kids.  We also brought our Add A Bug game to trampoline to play while the older two boys were at class.  He not only added the dice each time he rolled but he read me all the squares he landed on!   He's been doing lots of counting since hide and seek has become the kids new favorite game and we always pick a random number they have to count to until they can go seek.   While at trampoline he asked to use my Kindle and we read Beaver Has a Fever.  He also pulled up a drawing app I have and he practiced writing his letters on it; upper and lower case.  We made up a counting game and tried to practice writing numbers as well. 
          We all did tons of reading today, we read a few chapters in our Hugo book and then for history/ geography we read Over in Australia (we have family members who just went there on a trip and are going to tell us all about it while showing us their pictures!), Apples to Oregon (about westward expansion), and A is for Aloha to finally finish up our Hawaii lesson.  We also listened to five books on CD today on the way to and from trampoline; Caps for Sale, Too Many Tamales, Green Eggs and Ham, Where the Wild Things Are, and Splat the Cat.  Some are new and many are old favorites.  We listened to a few of them more than once.   I think I'll need to start requesting books on CDs from other libraries since we've just about exhausted our libraries resources on those. 
          On our way home we stopped at the post office to mail out our Christmas cards that I had the boys put return addresses and stamps on while we talked about the format of an envelope for mailing.  We also stopped at the library and dropped of some of our books that we've read during the past week since we'd last been there and picked up a few more that we had requested.  I think we have about 10 chapter books around here now so we'll be busy reading for quite some time.  It was such a fun, hectic day with tons of emphasis on reading and stories. 
         

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