Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving treats

    At dinner last night my husband expressed his concerns that I've done away with most worksheets since he feels the boys need more instruction on writing and math.  While I can't argue that they don't need more work I still don't love the idea of lots of worksheets.  I did tell my husband that we had started using worksheets this past week and that I planned to rely on them a lot again this week since I'm so buys trying to get the boys to all their activities while also cleaning the house, going grocery shopping and getting ready for our big family thanksgiving day meal here.  I am very behind this year on all my holiday prep work and don't feel like I can teach and get everything done.  Luckily, the older boys especially, can always use some review and that will allow them to work independently.
    Evan was the first one up today and I asked him if he'd like to read to me.  He picked out four Bob books for us to read together!  I was stunned that he wanted to read that many to me.  I was also glad to see the "new" book for today was called Who; a word we just started talking about this weekend.  The boys play a game called What.  If you say (or spell) the word What they chant "you're stuck with the word!"  Well once Evan knew how to spell What I jokingly told the boys we should change the  word to W- H -O and then maybe Evan would learn how to spell who just like he did the word what.  Evan did a great job reading to me and I pointed out to him how much his reading skills are developing every day. 
    By the time we finished reading Alec had joined us and I let the boys play for a bit then sent them all to eat breakfast.  We had about an hour until we needed to get ready for trampoline and I showed them what work I wanted them to do for the day (though we had some last minute changes since I ran out of computer paper this morning!).  I had Ian and Alec work on two answer and color by number papers (here's the link for the second sheet).  Ian tried to grumble about it but I pointed out that they were all pretty easy addition and subtraction equations that should be a very easy review for them at this point.  Evan had one last color by number paper to finish up.  This time I added a 2 before every number on the page so we could practice our twenties.  He read all the color words quite quickly without any help! 
    Once I described their work to them and they were all settled with their breakfast food I read aloud  a cute little book called The Littlest Pilgrim.  I can't say it was the best book we read about Thanksgiving since it was mostly about a little pilgrim girl trying to find a way to help her family and ends up making a new friend instead.  After breakfast they quickly got ready for the day and settled down to start working on their math sheets.  After just a few minutes we had to pack them up and head to the car. 
    The boys took their sheets with them in the car to work on while driving to and from trampoline.  We also listened to The Hobbit and now that we're about half- way through the book the boys are quite enraptured with it.  They groaned when we stopped to get computer paper and when we stopped to get eggs since they just wanted to keep listening to the story.  They're already looking forward to listening to The Lord Of The Rings series. 
   We had a substitute teacher at trampoline today and the boys had even more fun than usual.  I'm glad because Alec and Evan were thinking of quitting before today's class and they've already told me that they're re-thinking that decision.  Today the boys worked on flips, jumping really high with control, and trying to finish up their book of tricks. 
    Once home we ate a quick lunch and watched an episode of How It's Made.  I printed out our writing assignment for the day.  I found a cute printable How To Cook a Turkey worksheet that I asked the boys to fill in (I wrote the words for Evan while he dictated them to me).  The boys answers were pretty uniform.. First you buy the turkey, then you put it in a big pot and then you cook it.  I loved that they had to tell what temperature and for how long to cook the turkey though since that was super funny.  I think the best was Evan's response:  Cook it at 50 degrees for about 30 seconds.  I could sleep in on Thanksgiving if I could find a way to cook turkey that quickly! 

    Once everyone finished their work for the day we worked on making some yummy Thanksgiving treats.  We always have lots of pies and my kids are not big fans of pie.  They like cookies.  When I saw these adorable pilgrim hat and acorn cookies on Pinterest that only required a bit of assembly I thought they were perfect.  We started by unwrapping lots of Hershey Kisses and Reece's Peanut butter Cup Miniatures.  While the boys were unwrapping I prepared three pastry bags of frosting (though you could use a sandwich bag with the corner cut off or even a knife with the frosting).  Once they were ready I quickly demonstrated how to make one of the Pilgrim hats.  We took a fudge stripe cookie and a peanut butter cup and "glued" the peanut butter cup onto the backside of the fudge stripe cookie using  a dot or two of frosting.  They were easy and adorable and all the boys had fun making them.  For the Acorns we took Bite Size Nilla Wafers, Hershey kisses and Tollhouse morsels.  Using the frosting as "glue" once again we put a dab of frosting on the kiss, adhered it to the bottom of the Nilla wafer and then put a dab of frosting on the top to hold the morsel in place.  Evan was super excited about these cookies since he LOVES Nilla wafers!  Of course, we all tried at least one of each just to make sure they were OK to serve to our guests. 
Hard at work... so serious! 

Acorn cookies
Pilgrim hat cookies

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