Evan has really been surprising my lately. Yesterday at the science fair he was eating those Scrabble Cheez- it's and he told me the name of every letter he ate plus a word that started with that letter! All I kept thinking was with unschooling you never know what they're going to learn (or when!); here we were at a science fair and he's learning English. Well, this morning when we started school he told me "mom, I want to do a dot- to- dot, a maze (he paused), no two mazes, and a find the hidden picture page. Can I do that?" As if I'd say no! So I happily got out his supplies and they must have looked really fun because the next thing I knew Alec was doing a few mazes and a find the hidden picture page too (and Evan was "helping" him out over his shoulder). It was cute. I then found Alec a dot- to- dot that was more his level (it was a deer that went from 0- 160 by 2's) and he was so excited. Go figure, here I'm trying to rid of us worksheets and they're asking for them. Even Ian asked if he could try a math minute with the 5's times table after he read his Curious George story. Alec choose to read his new Zoobooks magazine all about Koala bears and Australian animals. Ian looked up some words in the dictionary when writing up his thankful leaf. I was pretty impressed that he knew how to use a dictionary and didn't complain when I suggested he look up the words he wanted to spell.
We headed to our library (again!) to pick up some books we had requested and they spent the next 20 minutes in the car reading and looking at books. We stopped by the nursing home to see my grandmother. It's something I'd love to do more often and feel like I just never do enough. It's funny, but I thought when we started homeschooling we'd have more time for visiting with relatives. I'm always amazed when Friday turns up and another week has passed that we didn't get around to visiting. The boys are so fortunate to still have so many of their great grandparents in their lives and I know our time with them is fleeting. Today I was determined to visit, at least for a little while. It's hard for the boys to constantly repeat themselves when asked the same questions over and over again because they don't really understand why their answers aren't being remembered. It's something they're beginning to understand more and more though as most of mine and my husband's grandparents are dealing with some form of Alzheimer's but it's still very tough on them. Today they were given the royal treatment as a wonderful nurse set them up in the lounge with the TV, some ice cream and a box of markers and paper so they could color. I think they were actually sad to have to leave but we had planned on meeting some other homeschoolers for an activity and I didn't want to be late.
We met up with a bunch of other homeschoolers again today for story time at another library. It's the first time we made it to story hour and I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was fun and the boys seemed to enjoy it. They listened to a few Thanksgiving stories and then all the kids got to do a fun craft. They made hand print turkey's complete with colorful feathers they glued on. I'm sure we'll be back again for more story hour fun and it's nice that we're starting to recognize some of the local homeschooling families.
The boys begged to go see their other great- grandmother after story hour and I honestly just wanted to come home. They were having great difficulty keeping their hands/ bodies to themselves today and I wasn't sure I could handle much more bickering but then I thought of my grandmother and how infrequently we get to visit and I didn't want to pass this opportunity by. We had a wonderful visit and they spent the day teaching her about various things they have learned about. Alec taught her about kangaroos and koala bears and Ian and my grandmother got into a lengthy discussion about Alaska. Ian is very interested in Alaska and my grandmother has been there so she was telling him about some of the things she remembered about her trip while he was telling her all about the shows he watches on TV that are about Alaska and what they're doing there.
We ended our day by taking her to the nursing home where my grandfather is so we could all visit. Unfortunately, he no longer knows who any of us are and he doesn't really talk either so the boys don't know what to do. Alec got my grandmother to play a game of Chinese checkers with him (though he got frustrated when she couldn't remember the rules she had told him as they were playing), while Ian and I worked on putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Amazingly enough we almost got the whole thing done in the hour or so that we were there. The movie Gone With the Wind was playing in the background and occasionally the boys would watch bits and pieces and asked a few questions about the war. It was a great impromptu history lesson that was aided quite a bit by my grandmother. She also started asking them about the different states and if they had learned anything about them or knew the names of the different states so the boys started naming off all the different states that they could remember. There were a few mistakes, like when Ian thought Quebec was a state or when they mistakenly said Chicago. In time, they'll get it right and in the meantime I'm just glad they're willing to try.