Friday, August 15, 2014

Another day, Another lesson

   The boys spent their morning yesterday watching an episode of Duck Dynasty and going to their grandmother's to feed her cats.  They like to bike over, pet the cats and hang around her house for a bit and relax; after all it's Grammy's house and that's always more fun! They wandered back home and I got them all ready in record time.  We were out the door by 8 and headed grocery shopping.  I couldn't believe it!  I can't remember the last time we were out the door that early in the morning.    We had a pretty short list and finished groceries in record time too.  We listened to our book on CD and all three boys played with the Kindles and DS's while we were in the car. 
   Once home I warned them that I would be busy putting groceries away and preparing food for the weekend so they were on their own as far as schooling goes.  Evan asked me if I could find him the frog game on the computer where the frog has to jump through fractions and things.  It took us quite a bit of back and forth before I finally realized he was talking about Treefrog Treasure.    I pulled up the game and left him to play it.  He told me he also wanted to work in both his Star Wars books when he was done too.   Good thing he did too.  When I want to check on Treehouse Treasure later in the day I realized they had completely changed the game and instead of jumping across a fraction number line they were only asking the kids to match shapes; what a disappointment! 
    While Evan was using the computer, his two older brothers headed to their rooms for some reading.  Ian read A fishing Surprise! and Alec started Better Nate Than Never (a new series he found to check out at our library).  As Alec wandered back downstairs he asked Evan if he could play Treefrog Treasure  for a bit.  Evan agreed and worked on the letters S & T today.  I was almost done in the kitchen by the time he got around to working in his math book and it was a good thing too.  He worked with word problems today and  I had to read the stories to him.  We worked on writing number sentences to go along with each problem as well as solving them.  He did AMAZING! 
   Ian really wanted to continue working on the Verbal Fractions we started yesterday so he brought me the Kindle and I read him the questions as I cooked and baked.  He seemed to be struggling a bit more today; not so much because the problems were harder but he looked like he was having a harder time focusing on his work. I'm not sure what distracted him but he could tell me one minute that 1/3 of 30 was 10 and then the next minute he'd look at me all cross eyed and confused about finding 1/3 of some other number.  It was kind of weird but I just remained patient and kept repeating the question.  Occasionally I'd help him draw a picture out on our white board or I'd word a question another way.  We made it through the next 25 problems and finished lesson one.  Since it's recommended that you take a few days with each lesson I thought that was pretty good and as much as he seemed confused at times there were other times when he was solving some pretty complicated multi- step problems quite easily (like I said, it was kind of weird).  I did warn him that he still has to work in his math workbook or on multiplication and division at times too.  I reminded him that there is a lot more to math than just fractions and we need to be practicing many different functions.  He saw the logic in that and agreed.  I did order the verbal math books 1 & 2 from our library and depending on the level of math in those books we may just skip around in them all.  If he's still really enjoying math this way in a few weeks I'll probably just pay to download book 3 on the Kindle as well and then we'll have them all. 
     Alec also played Pearl Diver and worked with fractions, negative numbers and number lines.  He got frustrated that Treefrog Treasure was no longer about fractions no matter what level he started at   He also got frustrated that Pearl Diver kept starting him over with a plain old regular number line anytime he died (and usually because he hit the electric eel and not because he chose the wrong number) so he asked if he could work on Verbal Fractions too.  We made it through about 10 problems and decided he'd be better off working his workbook for the day.  We chose a page on fractions (his choice) and he found 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/8, and 1/10th of various numbers listed in the book. 
     The boys declared themselves done with school since they all worked on reading and math and know that is my only required thing for each day.  They asked me to read a chapter in Harry Potter and I agreed to read part of the next chapter once we had our lunches and bags all packed-- we were finally making it to a homeschool play date and I didn't want to be late!  I'm not sure who was more anxious; me or the boys.  They couldn't wait to see some of their homeschooling friends and I was chomping at the bit to see some other moms.  The boys worked together to get everything packed and ready with little to no help (which was a HUGE help!).
      The older boys rode their bikes to the park while Evan and I walked together.  We stopped to look at caterpillars and grasshoppers along the way.  I reminded the older boys of some rules of the road and made sure they were riding safely.  We had a wonderful afternoon (even though it fell like a nice crisp fall day instead of summer) at the lake.  The boys swam, built a castle, dug a damn and had fun playing with the other family that showed up for our park day.  It's been so long since we've seen our homeschool friends.  It seems like every park day this summer has either rained or else we were busy; though mostly it rained.  The hours flew by and we found ourselves headed home.
    The boys played Legos and stuff upstairs until almost dinnertime when they headed out to play with their cousins.  Ian remembered he had his own tools and toolbox and found some wrenches to fix his loose bike pedal-- all by himself!  Alec worked with this cousin on making some more loom band bracelets.    They ran, yelled, jumped, swung, and had a ball soaking in the fresh air and sunshine.  They came in for a quick dinner and could not finish their chores fast enough.  They immediately headed back outside and played until dark.  They played in the field, in the woods, and all around the house too.  Ian came over and offered to help me weed the garden (as if I'd say no!), and it was a perfect evening. 

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