Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mean Mom

   I'm such a mean mom.  At least that's what my kids kept telling me yesterday.  I made them do some household chores and some schoolwork-- *GASP*!  I know, I know, I'm so mean.  What was I thinking making them do schoolwork and having them help out around the house when all their friends don't have to?  Oh, I know, I was thinking we've really been slacking off lately and need to get back to some sort of structure.  I was thinking we had company coming over that we needed to prepare for.  I was thinking 20 minutes out of our day was no big deal.  I guess I thought wrong.

    They had all woken up late again and I was well on my way to making a ton of food for the day.  I asked the boys to help out by doing a load of laundry, washing the kitchen table and sweeping the kitchen floor.  I'm not sure where the problems started but after having spent the whole day with them I'm chalking it all up to the monster full moon.  Please, let it all be due to the full moon.  They really drove me nutty almost all day with lots of extra energy, extra attitude, and extra sibling squabbling.  Once we FINALLY managed to get our chores done I asked them each to pick two school things to work on for the day.  They grumbled a bit but finally settled down to get some work done. 
    Ian chose to work with his snap circuits and made three or four different energy loops.  He launched the propeller, lit up his light, made his siren sound and tried launching his propeller while lighting up the light.  We talked about how the light diverts energy away from the propeller so it doesn't build up as much momentum.  He's getting better at consulting the directions when something isn't working right and has definitely made improvements in making sure the electricity is flowing the correct way.  After playing around with his circuits for 15-20 minutes, he headed up to his room and read a book for 15-20 minutes.  He read Tale of a Great White Fish: A Sturgeon Story.  He came down telling me all about the story.  He remembered the fish had been around for 177 years and that the species  has been around since the time of the dinosaurs.  He really seemed to like it a lot and I like that the story brought some history into it too.

     Evan decided to work on a page in his math book.  He chose another geometry page and had to cross out all the shapes that were not a pyramid.  He actually chose to circle all the pyramids instead.  I think it's so funny that he feels the need to change the directions on every page we work on.  My knee jerk reaction is to make him follow the directions but I typically make myself take a step back and think about what the lesson is trying to teach him.  Most often his way of doing the work still shows me he knows what he needs to know and that's really all that matters.  After finishing his math page he chose to play a game of sight word bang with me instead of reading a book.  I was happy to see that he knew all the sight words he pulled out of the jug; a few he was even able to read when he was holding them upside down.  Since we have more words in our jug now it takes us a bit longer to play and at times he had 8 or 10 sight words in front of him. 

    Alec pulled out his Draw Write Now book and drew a picture of a bat and copied the sentences in the book.  He then watched Evan and I play sight word bang and asked to play a game too.  Evan and I had just finished our game so I  played a game with Alec.  Our game was over very quickly since I got the Bang card three times in a row!  By the time we had finished his aunts, cousins and grandmother had arrived.  The kids took of playing and before long the kids were running around, jumping, yelling and getting loud.  So I suggested we all head outside. 

    Alec was very upset that I was being so mean and making them stay outside.  He grumbled and looked at me with dagger in his eyes all afternoon but I didn't care.  It was such a beautiful day out that I just couldn't understand why they wanted to be inside.  The sun was shining, there was a light breeze and the temperatures had cooled off a  bit from earlier in the week.  It was just another perfect summer day.  The boys finally ended up in the lake and they all swam, played and used Ian's net to catch fish; both big and small ones. 

   Once everyone had left and we had everything cleaned up, I offered to read another chapter in Harry Potter with the boys and we ended up reading two chapters before their dad came home.  After dinner Ian did a bit of fishing and Alec went upstairs to his room to read several chapters in his Secret Zoo book.  Ian and my husband sat down to play Call of Duty together and I went upstairs with the other two boys and read books.  Alec, Evan and I read Turtles in My Sandbox and learned all about baby diamondback terrapin turtles,  we then read Big Night for Salamanders and learned all about salamanders and vernal pools, and lastly we read Near One Cattail: Turtles, Logs and  Leaping Frogs.  We all loved these books; with gorgeous illustrations, interesting stories and lots of facts about animals they were entertaining and informative.  When we finished reading it was time for bed and I put the books in Ian's room in case he wanted to read them on his own another day.  He seemed very excited to find out we had a book about salamanders!

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