Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lazy days of Spring?

     I've heard of the lazy, hazy days of summer but today was definitely a lazy spring day.   Myself and my middle son are both still in our pajamas and it's already after lunch!  I went to bed early and slept late this morning but I'm still feeling very tired and unenergized for some reason.  Luckily, we had no pressing plans for today and so I decided to just go with it.   Evan woke up asking me to help him pack his bag for a sleepover he's having tonight so I helped him and then made breakfast for everyone while they watched The science of Disney Imagineering: Friction.  Once the movie was done they started playing and working on their geography fair projects.  The fair is next week so we're trying to finish up.  Ian's board is all done and we've packed up the Lincoln Logs and books to go with it.  He spent part of his morning reading Klondike Gold, since the book only came in yesterday and I thought it looked like a nice easy read all about the Klondike gold rush.  He argued his project was done but I argued that people may ask him questions about his area that he needs to be prepared to answer.  It didn't take much persuasion on my part anyway since Ian likes to read and he's obsessed with gold mining-- past and present.  Evan finished up writing the names of some animals found in Florida and helping me find pictures on the Internet of crops that are grown in Florida.  Alec finished typing up a list of plants from the rainforest and finding pictures to go with the list to attach to his board and moved onto making a 3- D model of the layers of the rainforest using a toy tree and toy animals from around the house. I love that he had this idea!  It will take a bit more work but what a great visual display.   It was a very productive morning!
       Once they were done working they pulled out tons of toys and built houses out of Lincoln logs, built using Evan's new Lego's, lined up all the trucks, boats and spaceships for some sort of elaborate play.  Alec worked on his color by number book and finished two pictures.  He asked me to help him and we had a fun time coloring and spending time together just us two while his brothers' played together upstairs.  Ian came down and helped us color for a bit too and then we cleaned up to get ready for lunch. 

        The boys put in a new Liberty's Kids DVD and were very excited to recognize several scenes, names, and places from the Magic Treehouse book we started yesterday.  I love that they watched three episodes and didn't seem to be at all bored that they were learning all about American history.  I finally convinced them to turn it off and Ian headed out to play. 
       Though it was a sunny day, it was pretty cold here and Ian didn't last all that long outside.  He was a bit disappointed that his great grandfather didn't pick him up for work but I explained that it just wasn't warm enough out for yard work.  Ian had tried to dig in our yard and found that it had frozen solid overnight so he understood but he was still disappointed.  Getting paid last Friday really motivated him to work that much harder and he's hoping for nice weather tomorrow.   
       I read a few more chapters of James and the Giant Peach. We left off where they're all fearing they'll be eaten by the sharks attacking the peach.  What a great cliff- hanger to stop reading and let them think overnight of their own solutions and predictions.  I put in a hold for this movie at our local library so we can watch it once we're done reading and then compare the two.  The boys really enjoy the comparisons of story to book and they're always a bit amazed at just how vastly different they always end up being.  I had actually forgotten that there even was a James and the Giant Peach movie but stumbled upon it while trying to find some more Disney Imagineering movies. 
       They ended up talking me into keeping screens on for the afternoon and spent some time watching some new Wild Kratts shows about leopards and spider monkeys.  I can't tell you how many times Alec quotes these shows to me when we're out and about.  I'm honest enough to admit that my kids know more about animals, their habitats and their prey than I do (or really ever did!).  So I no longer feel like they're wasting their time watching this show.  It certainly didn't hurt that this week is rainforest week either!  The battle against screens has died down a bit around here anyway.  I'm lax enough to allow "educational" shows on a case by case basis and the boys know this.  They often try to argue their case and if they're convincing enough they know I'll relent and let them watch.  Especially on a nice lazy day like this!
       I love having this blog; I was feeling like we accomplished nothing yet again today when I sat down to write this.  I was actually drawing a blank as to what we had done today and whether it was even worth writing about our day or not,  but looking back on our day I realize we worked on geography, history, science, and English. They applied real life logic, reasoning, problem solving and architectural design.   I'm sure there were other small moments of learning during our day like always;  like this morning when Alec came to me and asked "do you spell tooth like t- o-o-t-h?"  or when Evan looked at our list of crops from Florida and found "corn" and tried to read some of the other words on our list, or when Alec told me he got had $20 and received $5 more so he has $25 dollars he can spend so if the animals he wants are $7 each he can buy three of them.  Honestly, I live for those spontaneous little 3 minute lessons they initiate.  I think that's when real learning takes place.  Those questions or things that they point out to me are of dire importance to them at the moment and they're trying to make sure they understand the world around them in a way that has so much more meaning for them. 

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