Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Homescholing Around Minor Illnesses

With Alec down and out feeling pretty blah we had the TV on all day.  He definitely wasn't feeling like himself so Evan and Alec planned an entire day of TV watching.  Somehow we still managed to squeeze in some learning... just like we always do when someone is just a tad under the weather.



 Ian watched Axe Men, Highway Thru Hell, and a non- fiction movie about construction trucks. 

Alec and Evan watched a marathon of Ninjago videos learning all about Samurai warriors, ninjas. prophecies, and more. 

I think it's amazing how much factual material can be snuck in through completely non- educational shows (though, I guess that then makes them educational?).  I often talk with the boys as they're watching and we talk about what is based on facts and what is pure fiction.
     
With the younger boys occupied, I turned my attention to Ian.  We finished up the other half of Friday's math page and since he did a second page on Friday that is all he had to do for today in his workbook.  We reviewed making equivalent fractions and he did most of the bottom section by himself, easily recognizing patterns in the numbers. He made notes as needed and a few mistakes but overall he did really well with this assignment.  He attempted his first 9 times table minute and managed to get 12 of the 21 problems right so I was pretty happy.  He wasn't but I find the boys are often hard on themselves and expect more than I do.
 

Ian played on the computer for a bit.  He worked on some spelling skills on Spellingcity.com using another school's 4th grade spelling word list.

We finished putting his Guyana Report together and typed up the final two pages on Guyana's mining industry.  We used the index in each of his books to find sections about mining and read all that we could about Guyana's mining industry.  I had him dictate facts to me, in his own words, while I typed them up for him in a bulleted list.  He printed out a few mining pictures (I showed him what to do with the first picture and then left him to find the rest).
   
Once school was done Ian went to play in his room and I offered to watch the National Treasure movies with him.  He hadn't seen them yet and I thought they'd be very fun for him to watch.  I also like that these movies pack a lot of history into them along with the great story line of looking for treasure with all the adventure that entails. 

Movies that are both entertaining, engaging and educational are the best!
    
Alec was feeling better and wanted to play a few games on the computer.  I let him play whatever he wanted; educational or not. 

Evan also wanted a turn but since we only have one computer he had to wait.  While waiting I had him read me today's book and we counted to 100 by 10's and by 5's.  He had no trouble counting by 10's at all but he still stumbles a bit when counting by 5's so we'll keep working on that. 

He still had some time to wait and he watched me work on the jigsaw puzzle for a bit and then he pitched in and helped out. He put in several pieces while working upside down!  It was a 750 piece puzzle so the pieces were small and the detailed images made it pretty difficult.  He constantly told me how hard it was but he kept working at it and he was so proud of himself every time he found a piece that fit. 
   
Evan played on the computer while Alec decided to lay back down on the couch while playing his DS.  He was playing his Pokémon game and unlocked a secret mystery language.  He got a piece of paper and a pencil and wrote down the code so he wouldn't forget. 

I love when something that I really can't stand-- like Pokémon video games prompt my kids to work on skills they can't stand-- like handwriting!  Writing and reading coded languages is one of Alec's favorite things to do and the fact that it helped him in his Pokémon game made it all the better. 


   

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