Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Just a typical homeschooling day

    We started our day with all the boys cleaning the bathrooms so they could finish their chores quickly and watch TV and play video games.  It has become our daily routine and one I'm not bothering to change since it is working out so well for us.  The boys are eager to get up, get dressed, and do all their chores so they can have some free time to play before we start school.  They ask me what they need to clean each morning-- seriously!   It allows me free time to clean and organize as well as exercise and wake up slowly on those days I need to.  It's working out great and I'm glad I was flexible enough to give I a try.  It sure is a far cry from my old rule of no screens until dinnertime!  Of course, it helps that they often choose to watch educational shows anyway.  This morning they all wanted to watch the new Wild Kratts episode.  It was nice that they all agreed on something to watch! 
     Once we settled down to start school I worked with the two older boys to completely finish their geography reports.  We cut out titles and letters using the Cricut, glued everything onto their boards and talked about what we have left work on in the next couple of weeks until our fair.  While I was working with the older boys Evan finished putting his 100's chart together from yesterday.  All the boys wanted to play with the eggs when he was done and they worked together to clean them all up when they were done.

     The older boys worked in their cursive books and took their math minutes an were so pleasantly surprised when I told them that was all I had planned for the day.  Evan and I worked on some fun spelling of sight words.  Using yesterday's bag of paint I handed Evan a q- tip and had him practice his sight words.  He still doesn't know how to spell most of these sight words that we're working on this time around but he gave it his best shot.  After he tried a time or two to spell the word I would give him and sight word card and allow him to copy it. 
Cursive workbook

writing sight words on a baggie full of paint


Alec read and wrote a few sentences in cursive today

  


















       Once Evan was done spelling he wanted to read me another book.  We worked our way through today's story and then worked on Evan's geography report.  While Evan and I were working on his report Alec was working on a painting of cherry blossoms for his Japan report.  He painted brown branches and pasted little tufts of pink tissue paper to the branches as blossoms.  Evan had already dictated two pages of information to me about Madagascar and I was trying to work with him on filling up his board.  I didn't feel it was fair to expect him to have as much information typed up for his board as his brothers have typed up for theirs.  After talking a bit, Evan and I decided to fill in the rest of his board with some pictures that he'll label.  We went onto the computer and found some pictures of various animals that are found on Madagascar.  Using my paper trimmer, Evan cut the pictures to fit his board and since I could tell he was loosing interest in the project we decided to quit for the day.

His completed painting

    Alec worked on some drawing and coloring once school was over.  I offered to print out some Easter egg coloring pages as well as other designs for him to color in.  While he worked on that his two brothers were working together to put together a whole garage and town using blocks, the Batcave, our trucks and Lincoln Logs.  They were all working very hard but with a lot of bickering.  So much so that I had to send the two older boys to their rooms to cool off a bit before lunch. 




    We watched a funny and engaging history movie today.  This is one area of homeschooling I think we often neglect; especially American History.  When I saw this series of videos put out by Disney about our presidents I thought perhaps this was a good way to cover American history with the boys.  Typically anything by Disney is a big hit in this house so I figured it was worth a shot.  We already know we love their science series and the boys sat through much of the music series so now we're trying their history series.   They seemed to enjoy it quite a bit and while it moved fairly quickly through the first 12 or so presidents of the United States and all the pertinent history of the time.  When the movie ended I asked if they enjoyed it and would like to watch the next movie in the series.  The older two boys readily agreed; only Evan said he'd rather not.  He's a bit young still and so I told him he doesn't have to watch the movie next time if he doesn't want to (but, if I know Evan, I'm sure he will anyway). 

    The boys all started playing together as soon as the movie was done.  They decided to move their entire town/ set up into the other room and worked together to do this.  They were back to getting along and playing quite nicely.  They got up periodically to check on our cup of caterpillars that we had gotten in yesterday afternoon.  The boys enjoyed this hands- on science project so much last spring that they begged me to get more this spring so we could do it again.  We're also toying with the idea of growing lady bugs, frogs and praying mantises too.  I'm not a huge fan of bugs and insects but the boys really do seem to learn a lot this way and it sure is more memorable than reading a book about it. 

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