I had very little on our agenda today because I had an appointment early this morning and the boys were going to stay with their grandmother. Right after breakfast Ian and Alec worked a little bit more on their penguin paintings from yesterday. The background was all dry so I had them lightly draw a large oval or two for the penguin bodies and then add wing flaps. For the fish they started with an "eye" shape and added a curved tail. We got the penguins and the fish painted with a bit of difficulty but once that dries we'll be putting all the details on tomorrow and finish it all up. Perhaps we'll even use some glitter on the ice part to make it sparkle a bit.
While they did that Evan and I read a few books; Turkey Trouble and Earthmovers and Diggers. Ian started reading a Tonka book about cranes. Alec had already read the book Over in Australia and The Blues Go Birding Across North America. I wasn't all that focused on reading today though since they all read so much yesterday! Once we went to the library yesterday afternoon they each read a good two or three books. Ian has found a new historical fiction series he just LOVES: it's called I Survived.. So far we've read I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 and we're starting I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906. We have a few more on order and I'm hoping they write many more of them. It's a great way to read about pieces of history from a point of view that he can really relate to. I am just amazed at how much my boys enjoying reading now. Letting them pick their own books and leaving them to approach reading on their own in their own way has completely changed everything! I'm convinced the best way to grow a reading is to read lots of great books to them, bring them to the library or book store often to expose them to books, and then let them try out a variety of books. They'll figure out on their own what they love.
For math Evan did a dot- to- dot again today and Alec and I played a game he made up using subtraction facts. I'd explain it but like most kids games it's complicated and the rules can change from time to time (to make sure that he wins). I don't mind since I know that, no matter what, he's still subtracting and working on his skills and that's the whole point of any math game. Ian wanted to play LIFE and be the banker but I just ran out of time. I wasn't too worried though because I knew we were heading out this afternoon and he'd probably be doing some math then.
We went to meet a group of homeschoolers for a game day. It was a fun- filled two hours in which the boys played many games; Madagascar Sorry, Pictureka, 123 Diego, Yahtzee, Star Wars Trouble, War, etc. and met many new (and a few familiar) friends. Ian did end up doing quite a bit of math when we played Yahtzee. He's getting really good a multiplying to find the top numbers when he rolls and I made him add up his own column of numbers. Then another mother asked him if he'd like to play a game of cards and she offered to teach him rummy next time. Her daughter joined in and soon they were all playing war and heckling each other about who was winning and by how much (which changed with almost every play since they had many a wars going on). Alec played 4 different games with a different group of kids for almost every game, he's so social and enjoys meeting people. Evan is a bit shy and can cling to my leg for quite a while but he eventually warmed up enough to play a game or two (with me by his side but at least he was talking to other people). We had so much fun. The families we meet are so nice and the kids always range in age from birth to 11, so there's a good variety and the older ones happily play with the younger ones and vice- versa. It's just great.
Our 2nd monthly grocery trip was planned for tomorrow morning but since the library we went to was right near the grocery store I decided to brave it and try to save on gas. The boys were wonderful and while it took us an hour to get through the store I was pleasantly surprised to find it only took us an hour! We had a huge list of groceries since we had pretty much eaten everything in the last two weeks and needed to stock up for the holidays. The parking lot was just about full and the store was crowded but we had a list and a plan and we stuck to them. We had two heaping carriages full of food and the boys were so helpful! Ian now pushes his own cart and the boys help read prices, Evan pointed out many numbers and at one point said "hey mom that says H- E- F- T-Y!" He was so proud he recognized the letters and kept randomly pointing out other letters and numbers to me. They even helped me unpack the car once we got home and then Ian did some laundry. It's wonderful to have kids who don't mind helping.