Thursday, August 14, 2014

A litle bit of everything

  We woke to pouring rain yesterday and I knew I better start planning some fun things to do and help keep the kids occupied while we were stuck inside.  Evan was the first one up (even before me!) and he happily played Wii for a bit, built with the Trio blocks, and sung along with some songs on his MP3 player.  He was waiting rather impatiently for Alec to wake up and I offered to work with him on some reading or school work.  We sat together on the couch and completed two pages in his Star Wars math book on estimating.  He estimated that there were 25 x-wing fighter planes on the page but there were 21.  He told me he was close and was only off by 4.  He then went on to estimate that there were 21 Chewbaccas on the second page and counted to find that there were only 18.   He  worked in his phonics book on the letters L and V (L for Luke and V for Vader-- "get it mom? Luke and Vader?! I've got to do those pages together!").  We then read the book Green.  He did awesome!  I think he was so eager to read since there were only two words on each page and one of them was always "green." We finished all his work and his brothers still weren't up so he asked me to read this Lego Movie book called Awesome Adventures. 
   By the time we finished his Lego book, Alec had gotten up and joined us.  They then went to play DS games and listen to Evan's MP3 player for a bit.  I got lost/ sidetracked in cleaning out our filing cabinet and our super early start found myself once again wondering where the day went at 11 when I realized I hadn't accomplished anything I set out to do!  Luckily, the boys had fed themselves breakfast by working together; one set the table, one heated up the waffles, and the last one heated up the bacon.  I love when they work together without asking for my help or bickering too much for me to ignore. 
     I tried a new math curriculum with Ian yesterday.  I found some e-books on Amazon called Verbal Math Lessons and downloaded the fraction booklet for us to work on today.  I'm hopeful that Ian's grumble over the math is the actual writing of the worksheets.  He doesn't jump for joy when we play games and he has to do math but he doesn't complain and grumble and cry either so perhaps this will be a good compromise.  We completed half of  lesson one and while some of the questions were quite difficult (like 2/3 of 27) he did manage to complete the first 25 questions with little help and prompting from me.  He told me it was much better than using a workbook.  We'll see if he keeps up with it but so far so good!
    Alec had pulled out his math workbook and had picked out two pages he wanted to do for today while I was working with Ian but as I finished up with Ian, Alec asked what we were doing and I told him I found a Verbal (or Mental) Math book for Ian and Alec asked if he could try that too.  He also did the first 25 problems and while he got stuck on a few problems he didn't have too much difficulty with these either. 
   Alec and Evan grabbed sweatshirts and towels and went to play outside in the pouring rain.  While I'll never understand the appeal of playing in the rain I've stopped giving my knee jerk reaction of "NO, you can't play in the rain!"  I figure if they don't mind getting wet and it's not too cold to be wet outside what's the difference?  If it wasn't raining they'd probably be outside swimming anyway. 
   While the younger two were outside playing, Ian and I went up to his room and read the first two chapters in the second Genius Files book.  We were joined by Evan and Alec about half- way through the reading.  They had changed into dry clothes and told me it was actually quite chilly out so they hadn't wanted to stay out in the rain all that long. 
   We settled down to have lunch and watched The Storyteller: Greek Myths movie.  Alec was riveted by the show and while the other two boys claimed not to enjoy it they didn't leave when they were all done lunch either even when I reminded them they didn't have to watch the movie if they weren't enjoying it.  Ian chose to sit on the floor and build with the Trio blocks while setting up all his trucks for a construction site. 

     Once the movie was over my younger two went upstairs and started setting up for another Lego Chima battle. They lined up all their characters & vehicles and  determined what the rules of battle would be.  Evan ended up calling for reinforcements and asked Ian for his help since he was loosing the war.  It's great watching them use their imaginations and play nicely together. 




      Our afternoon flew by and before I knew it, it was time for us to leave for karate.  We left the house a bit early so we could swing by the library.  I'm gearing up for a fun Harry Potter themed unit and ordered some books on astronomy as well as owls to go along with it.  We also had some books and movies that were due today.  We listened to our book on CD in the car.
  While at karate the boys got a mini history lesson.  They were taught about the history of the nun chucks and how it was never really meant to be a weapon but started out as a farming tool that the farmers used to thresh the rice.  It was pretty interesting and their teacher reminded them to always use whatever weapons are at their disposal if they get into trouble and have to defend their selves. 
   We ended our night with another chapter in Harry Potter and our family workout of sit- ups, push- ups and jumping jacks with an added challenge of doing 50 each.  The boys are really showing quite a bit of improvement on how well they can do these exercises now.  They aren't perfect but we're definitely working with them to push themselves and try to do them as best they can. 

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