Today was all about memory in this household. Ian decided he wanted to jump in with schooling by playing multiplication memory. I helped him fold and cut up some construction paper and then he sat there and wrote out a bunch of multiplication sentences and answers. Once he had them all written up we put them face down on the table and played memory. He won! He's getting real good at his facts too. He then tried to pass his math minute for the 10's times tables but was still a few shy. He didn't seem discouraged though so that was good. He then went on to read while Evan asked me to play his Cars memory game.
We played a few rounds and by that time Ian was done reading, so he asked Evan if he could play. They played a round together using good sportsmanship too. It was cute to see Ian encouraging Evan and it ended up being a very close game. Evan then decided he'd had enough memory for a while and asked to do some mazes and dot- to- dots. We also worked together on finding the hidden pictures in a book he has. I used to love those when I was a kid, it was my favorite part of getting my Highlights magazine. We read a few books together and then we was off playing with his superheros.
Once Ian realized he had finished his math, reading and writing for the day he asked to head outside and play while he still could. We're expecting a Nor' Easter today so I completely understood but wanted him to bundle up. It's cold out there! And windy too! I asked Ian if he only plans to do reading and math everyday since he was the one who asked to have science all the time but he told me that he'll get to see and do tons of science stuff at the science fair this week and he's right. These past few days of letting them lead and plan their own learning has been great. It's reminding me that we don't need to go whole hog, all day long, every day towards every subject. They're still learning and they're much happier (which in turn makes me happier). Once school work is done they fill their days with puzzles, board games, etch- a- sketch, magic 8 ball, 20?'s and all sorts of other activities. They've had a tough time finding thing to keep themselves occupied but it seems to get easier as time goes on.
By 10 o'clock or so, I realized I hadn't seen Alec all morning since he left the table after breakfast. He'd been up in his room so I went to check on him and it turns out he's been reading all of his old back issues of Zoobooks, Zootles, Big Backyard, and Ranger Rick magazines! He's read 5 of them already and had a huge pile of others he still wants to read so I let him be. Far be it from me to interrupt such wonderful reading and science pursuits!
Ian, Evan and I played a game of Life. It's a huge family favorite and I love all the math and "life" skills they learn while playing. Once Evan beat us all, they wanted to look through their scrapbooks and kept saying "hey, mom remember when.. or remember this?!" It was great. And it made me remember our homeschooling roots of just a few shorts months ago and the joy and discovery that I felt too watching and truly paying attention to my boys. It's so easy to get caught up in looking for things for us to do and ways to learn that it's easy to forget to watch, listen, and follow their lead. I felt like I was so busy and missing out on what they were doing these past few weeks I've been miserable too. By not searching sites and printing off worksheets and activity ideas I've been there, in the moment, enjoying, playing with, and teaching my children! Phew! We're back on track and we couldn't be happier!