Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Read, Read, Read!

  We had a lazy day around here since all the boys stayed up late last night and had such a busy day yesterday.  They slept in until pretty late and then watched some TV while eating breakfast.  After breakfast they all wanted to re- watch Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief.  The younger boys were already quoting the movie this morning and kept saying "remember the part where.." or "My favorite part was when..."  They all agreed that the movie was NOTHING like the book; we seriously found so many parts that were different it was easier to name the few parts that were the same.  But, the boys still loved the movie and want to listen to the next book before watching the next movie. 
    I asked them all to do a bit of reading today for school.   Alec was just a few chapters away from finishing up From Texas With Love, which was due back yesterday (whoops! Add to that, the fact that we're out of renewals and I knew he'd want to finish it BEFORE heading to the library).  While he sat and read that I had Evan re-read three of his old books.  I picked a level A, B and C for him, hoping he'd remember these books/ stories with little to no difficulty.  He was reluctant to read but did a really good job with the books I had picked out.  I would have let him pick them out but he really didn't seem to care one way or the other today.  I then picked a few books off his pile to read to him and so we took turns with him reading one book, then me, then him, etc.  We read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (AGAIN!), Penguin's Hidden Talent,& Lion Vs. Rabbit
    While waiting for me to available to read with him I had Ian work on a page in his math workbook.  I picked a page on decimal place value but told him he could pick something else if he preferred.  I did a mini lesson with him on what place value is, we reviwed all the place value names he already knows and then I showed him the decimal place values listed in his book.  We talked about the similarities and I went over each section of his workbook page with him so he would know what he had to do on his own while I worked with Evan. He did great and caught on quickly. 
    When Evan and I were done reading I read a chapter of Mission Unstoppable with Ian.  He still hates reading books with lots of words in them so we take turns reading pages in the chapters so that he still gets lots of practice but gets to take frequent brakes.  The more we read together and I get to hear him read out loud the more comfortable I get with him deciding to only read picture books.  I can't believe how much his reading has grown and developed these past few years of homeschooling!  I don't often see him reading and when I do it's typically a book I think is way beneath his level so I always wondered how/if he's working on reading skills but he had to have been.  He reads so much more fluently, goes back to re-read when things don't make sense, figures out longer, more complicated words much easier than he used to, and in general seems to have more confidence and fun with reading.  That makes me so happy! 
    While we were reading the mail truck came and we got a package in the mail.  Evan carried it in to me (with the help of Ian, who had jumped up excitedly shouting that he thought his new truck coloring book came in).  We opened the box together and I took out Ian's coloring book, Evan's new math workbook and a Draw Write Now Polar Regions book.  I told Evan that Ian and I were going to finish reading our chapter together and that he could look through his new math book but I wasn't going to make him do any pages today.  He happily listened and looked while Ian and I finished reading.
    Evan stopped to study many of the pages and I noticed all the pages on shapes and money really seemed to catch his attention.  I think I should pull out our piggy banks and let him start playing with coins next week.  He could sort, label, count, etc. and get the basics down before we dive into using his book.  He paused on one of the pages about pyramids and started pointing out the different shapes telling me which ones we had in block form and which ones we were missing.  I told him what the instructions were for the page and he sat right there and pointed out every pyramid-- I told him he had just done his first workbook page.  He looked at me in stunned silence and I pretty sure his look was saying "you mean it's that easy?" 
    Since we were done reading and math we headed to the library and picked up our box of books.  Along the way we stopped to vote on our town budget (again).  I love taking the boys along with me so they get a feel for how these things work and so that they'll see the importance of voting.  We've already talked about how we don't typically discuss our votes (though I do with my boys on certain topics so they can see how we reason things out in our family).  We also got to start our second Percy Jackson book and made it through the first few chapters on our way home. 
   Once home I quickly made lunches and we ate a late lunch.  It was gorgeous outside, but the boys insisted they wanted to eat inside and listen to me read Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban.  Ian was busy coloring in his book and finished an entire page.   I can't remember the last time I've seen Ian excited about coloring.  I love watching my kids color.  I think coloring develops important fine motor skills and works much like writing in developing control and movement.  I hope he keeps it up!  No one wanted to go outside at all today- not to swim, not to play, not for anything.  I felt a bit bad but figured we'd spent the last few days outside from morning 'til night and if they really wanted a break that was OK.

    After lunch and snack the boys begged to sit down and watch the third Harry Potter movie since we're more than half way done the book.  They've watched it before (more than once too, as far as I know) but I figured if they all wanted to watch it again it wouldn't hurt.  I've been working on putting together a whole Harry Potter school unit to work on with the boys but I'm just not ready to implement it yet.  They had to wait a bit to start the movie though since Alec was busy reading once again.  He had a whole new stack of picture books from the library all about animals.  We had noticed a bunch of beautiful books at the Audubon center last week and I had requested most of them through our library once we got home.  Look at that smile-- He just loves his books! 

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