Our agreement lasted exactly one day. By 11 o'clock yesterday my boys were still in their pajamas, had not yet brushed teeth and hadn't done anything but play/ watch screens all morning long. I was furious and reminded them that they only got screens back on two conditions-- both of which they failed at and so I had to take their screens away again. By 1 o'clock they had all finished up their school work, gotten dressed, brushed teeth, and had lunch. They were all pretty grumpy and gave me lots of attitude but I didn't really care. I was pretty livid. I can't stand that I feel like I can't turn my back on them or else nothing will ever get done. I reminded them all the I expect them to get at least some work done whether I'm standing over them or not.
Once Evan was dressed he told me he wanted to work in his Star Wars Workbooks again but this time he wanted to do two phonics/ alphabet pages and one math page. We reviewed the letters B & C and the sounds they make. He then circled all the pictures that started with those sounds. For math he had to count up the Ewoks, write the numbers underneath them and then say them out loud. Since there were 2,4 ,6, 8, 10 & 12 Ewoks on the page we ended up counting by two's. He was done in no time and happily went to play in the next room.
Alec had already finished reading a Greek mythology book and started reading The Sassafras Science Adventures book: Zoology. I stumbled upon this book through one of the many homeschooling groups I follow since it is a Charlotte Mason living book & science series. You can purchase an activity book, lapbook, and guide book to go with the series but when I read the synopsis of the book I thought Alec would enjoy it just as a reading book. This twin brother and sister end up spending a summer trotting around the globe learning about all different animals. Since Alec just LOVES animal books I thought he'd really enjoy this book too & so far he does. He also chose to work on a Draw Right Now page and learned how to draw a bison. We got a new book in the series from our local library & he's working on copying those pages that are about animals our of it before it's due back.
Ian chose to work on another 4th grade math worksheet. He pulled out a sheet about shapes, parallel lines, and right angles. He thought it would be easy since it was basic shapes and only had 6 questions but it really wasn't! He struggled to understand what they were asking him and kept asking me what right angles, parallel lines and pairs of sides meant. When he finally finished his worksheet he decided to go up to his room and read another picture book. Today he chose to read The Hidden Forest about a boy who fishes and gets pulled into a kelp forest. He said it was a good story and he enjoyed reading it. He then added that to his summer reading list log. I offered to read him a chapter in the book we've been reading together; Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable. We were reading a chapter or so a night but our nights have been busy and we haven't read in a while so I felt like we've been neglecting that story. Evan and Alec both ended up coming to sit in the living room and listening in on Ian's story too. Alec had already read this book (and all the others in the series!) but he wanted to listen anyway and Evan has been listening to most chapters so he has a decent idea of what is going on in the story. Since all the boys were already gathered around me I offered to read another chapter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when I finished with Ian's chapter. We paused mid-way through the Harry Potter to get lunch ready and I finished reading it while we ate.
After lunch Ian went to his room to work on his Lego double decker RV he's been working on these past few days and Alec and Evan went to play outside. Ian finished the first floor and the staircase up to the second level. He added a bump out dining room area and it's coming out really nicely!
Ian was getting bored so he wanted to play a game. He ended up pulling out The Scrambled States of America game. Alec wanted to join in and we played two rounds. Evan decided to watch us all play and kept reminding us that Tennessee has the most neighboring states of any of the states. Alec won the first game and Ian won the second game so they were both happy. I'm amazed at how much they've learned playing this game. They can quickly find states on the map and know a few of the neighbors of most states without even looking. They've also learned random facts like California and it's capital Sacramento both have 10 letters. It's such a fun game.
The boys went outside for a silly string fight. And then we came inside and read another chapter in Harry Potter.
We got ready for karate and listened to Percy Jackson in the car. Evan brought a lot of books with him that he wanted me to read to him to help keep him occupied. I made him read as often as I could too. We read Dangerous!, Again!, This is a Moose, Fox Forgets, Just How Long Can a Long String Be? , Galapagos George, About Hummingbirds, and Moo! We really enjoyed all the books but Moo! was by far his favorite. He read it three times and giggled through the whole thing. The only words are Moo and Baa but he was able to read it with lots of expression. He also read many of the labels found in the book Dangerous! It's a story about a mole who likes to label everything he sees and encounters an alligator that eventually becomes his friend. I also had Evan read the word Fox in the title of Fox Forgets and he read the word Again! each times it showed up in the book Again! (which was a LOT of times). I pointed out to him all the reading he was doing and told him I was proud of him; he just shrugged. We both had lots of fun sharing all these stories together. We learned all about the Galapagos islands, looked at them on the map, read about turtles, evolution, Charles Darwin, and hummingbirds.
We finished our books just in time to watch the two older boys take turns using blowguns. Alec had wanted to try the throwing stars again since he really loves to master any skill he's introduced to but blue and green belts were asked to stay inside today and so he contented himself with trying to master a new skill. His first few blow darts were a bit off target, but by the last few he was just tenths of an inch off of hitting the tickets they could win if they hit a bull's-eye. He was aiming quite carefully and taking his time. He was so bummed he got so close and ultimately ended up missing but he was stills smiling and quite proud of himself!
Ian was at the end of the line so he only got one turn (whereas Alec had two turns) and didn't have an opportunity to earn any extra tickets with accuracy but he still was trying really hard to hit the bull's-eye. He came pretty close a few times but tended to overcompensate when trying to correct his aim. Their teacher talked to them about trajectory, gravity and the fact that the air is pushing against the dart making it slow down the further away the target is. Who knew you could learn and apply science to a karate class? It was great.
We hurried home after karate to make dinner. The boys aunt and uncle were coming over tonight and we were having a cook out. I offered to let the boys go swimming since we FINALLY had another sunny day. I can't really complain since we've had such nice weather but I guess I've been spoiled. Three whole days of gloominess felt like so much longer. I warned the boys the water might be cold since it had rained a few times over the past few days but they didn't care. They swam, had water gun fights, played chicken, jumped off their uncle's back and had a ball, only coming out of the water long enough to eat dinner. They swam right up until bedtime! Once everyone was ready for bed, Evan asked if everyone could gather in Ian's room and listen to him read Moo! He warned his brothers that HE was reading it and NO ONE could help him or try to read it over him or else he's start again. Evan did a great job and all the boys were giggling at the story by the end. Evan was quite proud of himself and wanted to read it again. He just loves that story!