Thursday, May 2, 2013

A new playground

       Since yesterday went so well I pulled a few things out for the boys to work with today and put them on the kitchen table.  As I walked downstairs this morning Ian asked what we were doing today and immediately set to work on all the pattern block sheets with the blocks.  "This is so easy!" he said. But he sat there for 20-30 minutes and did every single sheet.  He really seemed to enjoy it a lot.  He showed me all the patterns and repetitions he was coming across and started counting up all the shapes he needed to make sure he had enough.  I'm sure it wasn't a real challenge for him but reinforcing math skills never hurts.  The other two played with pattern blocks for quite for a while too and it was pretty late before anyone had breakfast.  It took Evan the longest to fill in the sheets, but while he may have worked slowly he was very methodical, making sure every piece was just right.  He was so proud of himself and how they came out that I wasn't allowed to clean anything up until daddy came home and saw them. 
Evan's hard at work

      We tried watching some of the How The States Got Their Shapes video we had checked out of the library several weeks ago.  They would have rather watched Liberty's Kids, I'm sure, but while we had this movie checked out I at least wanted to see what it was all about.  I thought it was really neat!  It was a bit of history and geography all tied into one.  They seemed to enjoy it too but after the first episode ended they asked to watch some more Liberty's Kids instead. 
      We started reading Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary.  They all loved the mouse and the motorcycle so much that I offered to find books like it for them; I had no idea it was a three book series.  So we eagerly started reading a few chapters of this book and I had the boys make predictions about what they think will happen.  We already know, by the cover, that Ralph goes to school so they had all sorts of ideas of what it would be like for a mouse to be in a classroom.  But, our reading didn't end there.  Alec has a new favorite song by Train called 50 Ways to Say Goodbye.  It's not easy to understand all the lyrics so I offered to look them up.  We read them over today as part of our poetry study.  We read poetry often enough that the boys know what it is, but I wanted to show them that there's a practical application to poetry too.  My boys love to sing and make up lyrics so perhaps one day I'll hear them singing poetry. 
      I was feeling kind of bad that I haven't planned any art activities in a while, but I guess I needn't have worried.  As I was packing lunches and sent the boys upstairs to get dressed and ready for the day, Alec decided to start a craft project.  He pulled out his duct- tape crafts book and started making a heart pillow.  He needed a bit of help here and there finding materials or understanding the directions but for the most part he was on his own.  He got it half done and so far it looks great.  The other two boys started playing Lego's together and came up with some wonderful creations.  I knew Ian was great at making up things with his Lego's but I was really surprised by Evan's plane that he made up.  They had a ball! 

Evan's plane
Ian's carrier

Ian's double sided jet
Alec's 1/2 pillow



      We headed out to have a picnic lunch at a new park in a nearby town.  We were meeting up with our homechool group and the boys were excited about seeing their friends.  Another homeschool group was meeting there as well today and so we all met many more families and the boys made even more friends.  It was hot and very sunny but the boys happily played for over 2 hours.  I barely saw my kids; thank goodness I had drinks and food or I wouldn't have seen them at all. 

    After the park Ian headed home with one of his friends to play and I took the other two boys to the library.  I really just needed to return a few books and movie but they ended up picking out many more books and eagerly started reading them on the way home.  We quickly changed for soccer, packed dinner and got back in the car.  Since Alec and I were the first ones home I took a bit of time to go through all of our books.  Evan has started trying really hard to read us each night and I wanted to find some easy reading books for him.  It's been so long since he's read that he forgot most of what he had learned through the Bob's books.  I still think the attempt at reading is half- hearted and just a ploy to stay up a bit later but I'm totally game to play along as long as he wants to try.

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