Friday, November 22, 2013

What can we learn when mom's on the couch?

     Laid up with a bum foot and a horrible night of sleep I spent the day on the couch.... well, for the most part anyway.  I think it's just about impossible to spend the whole day on the couch when you're home with three boys by yourself.  I wasn't planning on doing much in the way of school today but was feeling like we should do something when all three boys asked if they could build another fort in the middle of the living room.  I agreed and they soon set to work dragging in kitchen chairs, blankets galore and clothespins.  They worked together and had a wonderful fort set up in no time.  They soon applied lots of problem solving skills when the fort caved in or the blankets couldn't stretch far enough apart.  They figured out how to make the most of the space inside the fort and keep all the blankets in place.  They brought down most of their stuffed animals, lots of pillows and blankets to put in the fort and started playing.  It wasn't long before they asked to play with the Kindle, DS's and watch TV/Movies.  I said sure.  Pretty much anything that allowed me to stay on the couch in my PJ's with a blanket on my lap sounded wonderful today! 

     Ian came out after a while and asked if he could do an art project today.  He really wanted to paint so I helped him get out some supplies to make some fun Q- tip trees.  He saw this idea on Pinterest, and even though the original page had all the instructions in Spanish it was quite easy to figure out.  As soon as I set out the supplies, I let him be.  He completed the project himself in no time and then was off to watch another episode of Axe Men. 

      I did muster up enough strength to make lunches for everyone today and while we ate I read a few books to them.  We read our last few books about insects and bugs in winter called Not A Buzz to be Found and Winter Lullaby.  We loved the illustrations in both of these stories! I can't say we learned much more about bugs in winter since we've already read a few other books but we did enjoy these stories just the same.  Our last story was called The Very First Thanksgiving Day.  It was another beautifully illustrated story with lots of rhythm and rhyme.  We enjoyed comparing this book to the one we read yesterday and applying our knowledge of the Pilgrims to what we were reading today.  Evan took a mini break from his screens, after lunch, and read a few more Bob Books to me.  I keep hoping that one of these days it will all just click and he'll take of with his reading.  He's definitely making progress but he's still a long way from being an independent reader.  I'm just so happy he's finally trying. 
      Alec played Chess and Nine Men's Morris on the Kindle.  Ian was learning all sorts of geography and "real" world skills in watching Axe Men, Yukon Men, Alaska the Last Frontier and so on.   I did spend a good portion of the day, with the help of my laptop, looking up new teaching ideas, worksheets and lessons.  I mostly searched Pinterest and the Teachers Pay Teachers sight looking for some new and fun ideas.  I found so many ideas to print and try out with the boys.  Our homeschooling always looks more traditional through the winter since we're stuck indoors and need more to do then we gravitate toward unschooling and field trips in the spring and summer.
    I was feeling much better after a late afternoon shower and so I asked the boys to complete their day with a math worksheet/activity each.  Ian and Alec chose to do a pumpkin coordinates paper.  This one was a bit trickier but it was still great practice for them with using a coordinate plane to grid points and connect the dots.   Ian got pretty frustrated at times but I coached him through it and pretty soon he was cruising along on his own.  Alec had no problem with it all.  Ian chose to color his, Alec did not.  That was kind of a bizarre twist in our house where Alec loves to do art and Ian usually does not, but I guess that's changing.   Evan did another Thanksgiving color by number sheet.  I found this great pack of free ones through Frugal Homeschool Family.  To make it just a tad bit more challenging for him I changed all the single digit numbers to double digit numbers (I just used a black pen to draw a 1 in front of all the numbers on the page).  He was able to sound out pretty much all of the color words this time and with a couple of tries was able to tell me all the numbers, especially once he discovered that they were in order.  All in all it was a pretty productive day!   

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