Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Math in the morning

    It was 7:15 and two of the boys were awake and asking to get started on their schoolwork for the day.  I had not planned to get started quite so early but I certainly wasn't going to tell them no!  I set aside my broom and pretty much gave up on cleaning the house for a bit when I saw them already sitting at the table with their books out in front of them raring to go. 
   I had asked Evan if he wanted me to find him some word and math games or if he wanted to work in his Star Wars workbooks and he chose his books.  He just LOVES them!  He sat right down yesterday morning and completed two pages in his phonics book and two pages in his math book!  He practiced the letter D and the letter E, counting to 10, writing his numbers up to 100 while counting by 10's and as he was working he naturally did more math.  Once he realized the droid page showed all different groupings of 10 he started saying 5 +5 is 10, 5-1 is 4, 5+5-1 equals 9 because 10-1 is 9, and so forth.  We looked through the book Flotsam together using the pictures for telling the story aloud as we went.  He then read Goodnight, Gorilla to me and only needed help with the word "dear." He declared himself done for the day and I was fine with that.  I'm finding that getting actual books from the library that he can read with little to no help is helping him see himself as a reader much more effectively than any of the Bob's books or mini readers we've been using.  He now knows he can read some "real" books and that seems to have helped his confidence so I'm no longer arguing with him that he is in fact reading when he thinks he's just guessing. 
    While Evan was working on his schoolwork, Ian was working on his schoolwork too.  He picked a page in his math workbook that dealt with adding 3 and 4 rows of numbers that had a mixture of 2, 3, 4, or even 5 digits.  He was a bit intimidated by the size of the numbers but I assured him it was just adding and carrying; same as always.  The page was divided into two sections and I told him if he took his time and got all 8 right on the top that I wouldn't make him do the bottom half.  He worked hard and diligently and was happy to get away with only doing half the page.  Ian was going to read a book too but at the last minute decided to fill out a few pages in his Army Heritage Trail activity book that he picked up on vacation in Virginia; he did a maze and learned about the motor pool and then looked for words in a word search learning all about the command post and the supplies soldiers carried with them during the World Wars.  He then went to watch some Ice Road Truckers and played with his Lego's making a covered trailer with a hinged tailgate. 

    Alec never got out of bed until almost 9 and he's not nearly as fast a mover when he first gets out of bed.  It took him a while before he even got dressed or ate breakfast, never mind getting some schoolwork done.  Once he did get going he decided to read Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters.  He didn't end up doing any other schoolwork for the day since he read the whole entire book-- all 192 pages! 
    I had planned a full day of school for us.  I feel like it's been so long since we've had a real day of school.  I keep buying supplies for Kool-Aid experiments and art projects and have even worked on putting a whole Harry Potter unit together but it is summer and I find that the boys don't want to do much more than just play lip service to schoolwork at this time of the year.  Sometimes that really bothers me, but the boys reminded me that they do other subjects all the time.  They spent a good portion of their day on Friday watching many episodes of Wild Kratts and Mythbusters so they certainly had learned lots of science.  Ian had a friend come play over the weekend and after Ian taught him how, they played the Scrambled States of America game together.  The older two boys have also been playing Stack the States on the Kindle and with all our travelling last week we've pretty much lived geography, history and science through life anyway.   We had excellent discussions about the states, the symbolism on their license plates, the views we passed and even a mini lesson on times zones since Nashville was part of a different time zone.  We managed to fill in almost all of the 50 states and all thought it was odd that the three we were missing were in the continental United states and right near each other too!

Sorry it's such an awful picture but he map was pretty wrinkled by the time we made it home!

     Alec has completely immersed himself in learning all about the Greek Gods.  While on vacation in Tennessee he bought a deck of Greek Mythology trivia cards at the Athena Parthenon and has been quizzing himself reading the questions on the front and the answers on the back.  He has excitedly shared what he's learning with all of us and has proceeded to read through 3 more Greek Mythology books since coming home.  He finished Jason and the Argonauts, read Pandora, & Greek Myths; Stories of Sun, Stone, and Sea.  He brought a book with him to the grocery store on Friday and was sharing his stories with us and even sharing his knowledge with the bagger and cashier. 
    We had stopped at the library on Friday too and the boys wanted to check out The Lost Hero on Cd again to re-listen to the first Heroes of Olympus book now that we've ended the entire Percy Jackson series.  I thought it was a great idea since I was confused about two of the characters that died in the Percy Jackson series that we all thought were around in the Heroes of Olympus books.  I had originally wanted to listen to the Percy Jackson book series first anyway and think that we'll get many more references in this second series the second time around.  We brought home another huge pile of books and have read before bed each night since coming home from Tennessee.  We've also been reading a few more chapters in the Goblet of Fire and the boys can't get over how different the books and the movies are becoming. 

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