Thursday, May 9, 2013

Deja Vu!

        Yet again this morning my kids slept in and when they finally woke they asked to watch Wild Kratts during breakfast.  I'm feeling very tired and lazy today so I said "sure!"  I had been trying to pull together some work for today and it wasn't going real well so I figured that was one less lesson to plan.  I love watching them snuggle up together like best friends to watch TV too.  It doesn't always happen but it definitely happens more often now that we're home together all the time.  For science, we also had to move our caterpillars from the cups they came in into the habitats we had.  I was so extremely nervous to damage them as both instructions cautioned that they are very fragile.  With the boys watching anxiously we got them moved and I hope and pray that they're OK.  The boys are going to be so upset if they don't hatch.  They observed that a piece of each tail of the caterpillar was left behind when each one went into it's chrysalis.  They told me that they actually got to see one spin it's chrysalis last night while I was at the grocery store.  It's neat how much they're able to see, observe, and learn from having these cups in our house. 
      With that done for the day we went on to math.  I know they don't like their workbooks and after having used them yesterday I wanted some fun game to play.  After being asked 50 times yesterday, during the 30 minutes or so that we were swimming, "what time is it?" (with a giant wall clock right in sight) I decided this was one skill I wanted to tackle with them soon.  So telling time and fractions are two big areas I want to focus on for a bit.  With that in mind I remembered that I wanted to play a great fraction game I found on Pinterest with them but once I pulled up the instructions I realized I didn't have fraction dice, so I searched for a clock memory game.  I found these free printable flashcards but instead of printing them back to back I printed them "regular" and will affix each clock and time sheet to card stock for a home made memory game.  But that means we can't play today.  After two failed attempts to find a math game we're hitting the books.  I pulled out McRuffy and Evan's dot to dot book and they'll each do another lesson in there for today.  Alec used a ruler to measure lines in centimeters and Ian added multiple numbers as well as worked on some multiplication.  Evan made it all the way to 84 before he needed any help (well, he did ask a few times for help finding the number he was looking for, but every time he could tell me "mom I need a 4 and a 5" I'd say "and what number is that?"  and he'd be able to tell me 45!).  He's getting so good at counting and knowing his numbers up to 100.
      Today for writing I had them fill out another Grandmother's Mother's Day interview questionnaire (again just like yesterday!).  They didn't think these sheets were as much fun today and I feel bad since they'll have to all fill out one more sheet tomorrow.  If they had each chosen a different grandmother to begin with I might have just tossed the rest out but with all that their grandmothers do for them I think they can take a few minutes to fill one out for each.  When Ian asked why grandma's get a mother's day gift too I had to explain that their grandma's were either my mom, or dad's mom, or one of our stepmothers.  We honor all moms on Mother's day; especially our own. 
     We headed out to watch a play today.  It was called Martha Speaks.  I was bummed I hadn't thought ahead to check out a book from the library and read it to them for our reading this morning, but they've all read a few Martha Speaks books before and have watched the TV show on PBS so they knew what it would be about and they were excited to go.  I love when I can introduce a little culture to them as well.  My boys are getting very familiar with watching live performances and, like me, they get excited to go.  They're quiet and respectful and well behaved.  Today's trip was made even better because their old school was also at today's performance and the kids got to see their old teachers, their cousins and some friends.  Ian even got to sit next to his cousin.  It was a huge added bonus.  While waiting for the play to start the boys all brought learning toys to play with.  Ian and Alec worked on their extreme dot to dot books and Evan brought in his magnetic tangram book.  They were proudly showing off all their work.  It was cute. 
        By the time the show ended and all the kids were emptied out of the theatre and put onto their buses it was pretty late and the boys and I were starving.  We headed home for lunch and Ian asked if they could watch an episode of Mythbusters that he had recorded last night since it was like science and they run experiments and stuff.  I agreed since it is science and the boys always enjoy it so much.
        After lunch we piled back into the car so we could go to the library (I had planned to stop in on our way home from the play but we hadn't managed to eat before the play and really needed to eat after it).  Ian finished reading his book Mrs. Roopy is Loopy and wanted to see if any of the ones he requested came in yet so he'd have something else to read.  He's already started on another re-read of Diary of a Wimpy Kid while waiting for a book to read but I think we'd both like to see him reading something new and fun.  Alec had a few books to return too and, of course, found more he wanted to bring home.  I try to keep a running list of the books they've read in a notebook for each of them but sometimes I forget to write them down so it's just an approximate list.  Yet, I'm still impressed by how many books all the boys have read and/or listened to in the past 11 months since we've been homeschooling (265 books for Ian, 281 for Evan, and a whopping 313 for Alec!).  Funny, because I often feel like we forget to read, but I guess they don't!  I know our books on CD help too and it's great that they request & listen to them all the time.  We hardly ever listen to the radio anymore.  Sometimes I miss the music but the books keep them so quiet and enthused I'm not going to say no! 
     Today we listened to a few more Magic Treehouse books; Vacation Under the Volcano, Day of the Dragon- King and we started Viking Ships at Sunrise.  While listening to the Day of the Dragon- King Alec got all excited.  He started telling me all about how he had heard the tale of the silk weaver and the farmer before through one of the Karate Kid movies.  He remembered that they were separated into different parts of the heavens and brought together once a year when all the birds came together to make a bridge for them.  He has this uncanny ability to make connections between all the things he hears, sees and reads that makes him such a wonderfully smart boy.  At the library he picked out a bunch of books on the giant panda since he really loves animals and enjoyed the book Perfect Time for Pandas.  He was doubly thrilled (as were his brothers) when we read the flap of the book and found out that it was all about the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda at the Wolong Nature Preserve-- the same center Jack and Annie visited during the book!  They can't wait to read it!
       Once home they asked to watch the non- fiction movie they picked out.  It's a Popular Mechanics For Kids movie about gators, Dragons, and other Wild Beasts.  It has 4 episodes and it's all about zoos, talking to animals, swamps and gators, and  killer creatures.  I know that they were watching an awful lot of TV and movies today, but it is pouring rain out and I figured at least they picked out educational things to watch all day. 

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