Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday Night Thunderstorms

         I had great plans for today and all the fun projects we were going to tackle.  Ian was the first one up and couldn't wait to watch his Popular Mechanics for Kids videos he got from the library yesterday.  I had planned to have them watch the one on severe weather for science and follow up with some fun experiments so I asked him to watch the one on firefighters instead.  He happily agreed and made himself some lunch.  Next thing I knew all three boys were up, eating and watching the weather video.  It didn't seem to hold their attention all that well, probably because it was the second video and they get antsy after a bit.  I looked around at them all and decided today was a true unschooling day.  I set aside my plans and let our day unfold. 
      Ian chose to go outside and rake, dig and play in the water an on the beach.  The younger two boys played with toys in the playroom, in their bedrooms and all around the house for hours on end.  I heard no fighting and had a relatively small mess to contend with.  They played with toys animals (I'm still finding poison dart frogs hidden around the house from one of the games they played), Lego's, stuffed animals, Pokemon toys and used their imagination to create all sorts of wonderful games.  They pretended they were Beyblades, actual Pokemon/ Pokeballs and trainers, they locked themselves in one room after the other not wishing to be disturbed.  I had to coerce them into coming downstairs for lunch! 
       During lunch they chose to watch some of Liberty's Kids and during our thunderstorm tonight Alec asked me all sorts of questions about Benjamin Franklin and his inventions that were covered in the show.  Evan is in this new phase where he pretends to be at least one character from every show we watch and we've all gotten used to his refrain of "who are you from this show?  I'm ____."  I think it helps build his understanding, imagination and vocabulary as he reenacts what he remembers from the show and adds new dimensions to the characters.
      After lunch the boys all meandered outside and ended up in the lake.  They played lifeguard, had water gun fights, practiced swimming.  They continued working on the turtle lodge and kept an eye out for "Painty" as they call our resident baby turtle.  Ian tried to make a better anchor for his kayak and tube by tying a large rock up in rope and trying to tie it different ways so it would stay secure.  Evan experimented with buckling and unbuckling his life vest; "can I still float if I untie the top closure and swim?  .... What about the middle buckle?"  I think he's a good enough swimmer that he doesn't need the vest (but he thinks he does) so I was more than happy to let him experiment.  He tried using the backstroke, floating and swimming without the use of his hands.  They observed and talked about the pollen and ragweed and you can see floating on the water and the various types of weeds and dead fish that wash up on shore. 
     During tonight's severe thunderstorm we talked about storm safety, lightening, hail, tornadoes and what ways people try to stay safe during them.  They asked about damage caused, talked about the importance of weather men and their predictions, and observed the wrath of nature from the relative safety of our living room.  We heard zapping in the basement, watched the lights dim and brighten repeatedly and huddled together reading and playing video games on the DS's.  In short they had a wonderful day being boys, exploring the world around them and their place in it. 

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