Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Goofing off

         They started their day with a nice hot breakfast that they all made themselves then they played toys for hours together.  They spent the whole morning together.  They all got a along and we had toys spread from one end of the house to the other.  As soon as the sun came out Ian was outside digging and playing.
        I looked up and realized it was almost lunch time and we still hadn't done one single thing for school today.  Wednesday is science day and while I really love and miss doing experiments I just didn't have it in me at 11:30 to tackle something that I hadn't even planned yet.  I tried to convince the boys to go for  a nature hike and enjoy the great outdoors but they really didn't want to.  I finally pulled a few books out of the library bin and started looking through them halfheartedly when Ian reminded me that we still hadn't made the Windbag shown in our Steve Spangler Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste.  So we had our science experiment!
        We cut a 5 ft. length off of a roll of diaper genie refills and tied a knot in one end.  Ian, who read the experiment, handed our long tube to Alec to blow up.  Alec puts his mouth up to the opening,  cinches it shut and starts to blow it up.  We count how many breaths it takes and realize it will take a lot when Alec is still only halfway through blowing it up.  They worked together to squeeze all the air out and Ian holds the bag open an arms length away from him and in one breath blows up the windbag.  I read how it works aloud to the kids and explained that the air from Ian's mouth combines with air from the atmosphere and creates a current.  By the time I finished reading the boys realized if they held the end shut they could use it to bop each other over the head.  We worked together to make another tube, tied all the ends shut and the boys chased one another around the house.  They battled each other and we listened to the neat sounds the windbags make when they hit one another.  I was about to suggest trying to make a sculpture out of them like they did in the book when Ian popped a hole in his.  They figured how to shorten the tubes once they both popped holes in them and continued to chase one another around.  I took that as my cue that school was done and hoped they learned something in doing this science experiment, but really I'm sure they're just going to remember hitting one another and chasing each other around. 

    

















      I tried not to feel to bad about what I viewed as a failed school day since they reminded me that we're almost unschoolers.  Of course it didn't hurt that last night before bed the boys asked us to play a game and they chose The Scrambled States of America game.  Alec took his five states that we each start the game with and decided to put them in alphabetical order.  I have never taught Alec about alphabetical order nor have I ever shown him how to arrange things in alphabetical order, he just did it.  When asked how he knew what to do he told me he just picked it up somewhere.  Not to be out done Ian decided to alphabetize his states as well.  I went to grab my camera and came back to find Alec trading one of his states with Evan.  He now had two states that started with A and when he told me he'd put both A states together, before I could even tell him to use the second letter, he decided that must be how it works.  This might seem like fairly slim evidence but all these little moments show me how much unschooling works.  My kids seem to pick up things all day long everyday when I'm not even realizing it. 

          Since school and science were over I decided to eat lunch and the boys followed my example.  While eating lunch they asked to watch some TV and settled on a show of Cyberchase.  They learned all about parallel lines and right angles. After lunch the older boys convinced me to play several rounds of Clue and Evan played a few learning games on the Kindle.  We ended our afternoon playing baseball outside and getting some fresh air. 
      I joked with the boys that they were having a substitute teacher since I was leaving for a hair appointment.  My husband came home early and took over as pitcher.  He then took the boys out to use Ian's metal detector and they found a bunch of old nails.  Alec decided to collect rocks instead of helping but I guess Ian and Evan were happy to help hunt and dig.  It's always exciting when you don't really know why the metal detector is beeping.  They headed inside to exercise and Alec practiced his Karate. 
       We've gotten back into our habit of reading to the boys each night before bed and we've all been reading up a storm.  Tonight while reading to Evan, I kept pausing and waiting for him to predict or fill in words of the story.  He did a great job and I hope it will build his confidence in learning to read.   I'm also hopeful that he'll start recognizing and memorizing words without really realizing it.  I honestly felt like we hadn't accomplished anything at all today but looking back, it was another great almost unschooling day.  We're really on a roll here. 
       

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