Friday, November 30, 2012

Homeschooling away from home

         My oldest son was disappointed when I told his younger brother I'd make pancakes tomorrow instead of today.  So I said, " you can make them. Go find the cookbook, look up pancakes and follow the recipe."  I knew it wouldn't be quite that simple but he really tried (and did a great job!).  First off there was the "where's the cookbook?" question, since as mother, I know where EVERYTHING is at ALL times- right?!  He then opened to the table of contents and asked me if it would be under eggs since there are eggs in pancakes.  I asked him "where else can we look up things in a non- fiction book?"  "The index!"  We flipped the book over and he finally found pancakes, opened to the right page and started to read.  I told him it would probably work best if he got all the ingredients and measurements out first.  He had no problem with 1/2 and 1/3 but 3/4 threw him.  He asked if he would use two 1/3 cup measures.  So I said well we'd have to add 1/3 plus 1/3.  I knew he'd never added fractions before so I prompted him "what's 1 +1?"  He knew that was 2 so I said right, but in this case it would be 2/3.  It took him a while but he finally understood that he would need 3 1/4 measures to equal 3/4.   He set about making the whole breakfast, reading the recipe and doing the math for all the measurements.  I also noticed instead of saying "one and a half" like he usually does he was saying "one half" and learning the proper terminology too.  I was thrilled that he was doing math, kitchen science and reading at 7:30 in the morning without complaining, grumbling, or realizing it! 
          During and after breakfast we read two more chapters in Hugo and Bunnicula.  I really wanted to read two more chapters in our Magic Treehouse book too but we just ran out of time.  At least we arrived at our gym day on- time and had so much fun! Most days the mornings just fly right by.
          We met a group of homeschooling families at a local community center to use their gym for a fun gym day.  It cost only $3 per family to play for an hour.   We packed our basketball, soccer ball, and some other assorted athletic equipment and headed out.  There were three other families there and Ian spent most of the hour working on dribbling his basketball and shooting.  We play around the world, horse, and he set up an obstacle course to use with the basketball.  Evan and Alec played tag and soccer together.  Alec and I used milk jugs with the ends cut off as cup to catch some small balls.  It's super easy and fun.  We just cut off the bottom 1/2 inch of the milk jug and put duct tape around the ends (so we wouldn't get cut/ scratched by the plastic edges).  It would look even better with decorative duct tape but we used up what we had on- hand.  I've seen some real cute ones made up on- line and copied the idea.   We played pass using these and made a game out of it.  I played soccer with Evan and we worked on passing and trapping the ball.  The boys interacted really well with the other kids and played hide and seek, tag and just chased each other around.    It was wonderful and we can't wait to go back next month. 
Running so fast, they're just blurs!
Ian stops to play with some of the younger kids; it's so sweet to see him interact soothingly and sweetly!
Let's practice batting!
Our milk jug catchers! 

         On the way home from gym day, the boys asked if we could go visit their great- grandmother.  We called and she was thrilled to have the company for the day.  On the way to her house we stopped to drop off a box of new clothes, toys and baby formula at our local church.  I love including the boys in things like this so they understand the importance of helping those less fortunate; especially at this time of the year.  Once we got to my grandmother's she asked the boys if they'd like to go out to lunch, so we headed to our local Mc Donald's and the boys spent the afternoon playing on the play scape and we all played a few rounds of air hockey. 
         My grandfather is in a nursing home and my grandmother likes us all to visit occasionally.  She offered to take them shopping for a little something if they behaved while we visited and, honestly, they were the best they had been all day!  We visited for a while and we played a game of Chinese Checkers.   Then they went to the store and each picked out a little toy.  By this time it was dinnertime! 

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