Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Making new friends

  Before heading to karate this morning I asked the boys to help re-clean the kitchen since it was pretty messy between Alec spilling his breakfast cereal everywhere and making the apple pies last night it looked like we hadn't cleaned it at all after dinner.  They hardly grumbled and set to work getting the job done rather quickly.  I showed them each the little bit of work I had pulled out for them to do today.  I knew we were going to be in the car a lot and figured they'd work on everything in the car but they surprised me and got all their work done before we had to leave the house!
   The two older boys took their division test for the 5's facts and Alec happily passed today.  Ian came pretty close with only two not filled in.  He was pretty disappointed but I reminded him that there is always tomorrow.  I had gone through all the boys math books and flagged "easy" pages for them to work on.  I know which skills the boys have been working on and which skills we haven't yet introduced and since Ian is famous for finding pages we've never worked on and overwhelming himself I decided to pick a few pages I thought he could easily do on his own.  While I was marking Ian's book I decided to do the same for the other two boys too.  They grumbled a bit but I told them they just had to do the one math page and that seemed to help.  Both Ian and Alec ended up working on multiplying and dividing by 10's and 100's.  They did awesome!  Evan worked in his Star Wars math book and added up numbers to 15 with writing in the answers.  We talked about adding on from the bigger number and used counters/ fingers for the few equations he needed them on. 
   Since Evan was done so quickly I asked him to work on a page in his phonics books with me too.  I chose the short O page.  This is a vowel we have come across time and time again in his reading lesson book and he struggles with the sounds it makes.  Today's lesson had various pictures and he had to circle them if he heard the short o sound.  He did great! 
   We headed to karate and listened to our book on CD in the car.  They seemed to have a ball at karate class and Evan told me that he had just needed a break last time.  They got to do some light sparring and their teacher remarked on how she could see their eyes light up with sparring.  She assured them they'd get to spar "for real" very soon.  They're starting to adapt to this new form of martial arts and as they get to know more and more of the kids in the class they seem to get more eager to participate. 
   After karate we headed home, changed, and packed some lunches and then headed out to Target (again!).  We chose to drive to a different Target in hopes that they'd have what we were looking for.  After a long family discussion it was decided that we'd buy the boys the new WiiU as their joint early Christmas gift.  They all agreed that it was the only thing they wanted anyway and with their new games from yesterday sitting unused on the table we decided to take time out to get that today. 
    The boys were eager to finish at Target and head back home.  Their karate teacher was hosting a play day at her house and the boys were eager to go.  We were supposed to learn how to play the game Gaga but the weather was not participating so the kids mostly hung out inside and played games.  The boys knew a few familiar faces from karate but mostly it was a room full of new people.  We met tons of new families and within minutes I could hear the boys laughter travelling to the kitchen where us moms were hanging out.  It was so nice to hear!  They had a ball and did not want to leave 3 1/2 hours later when I asked them to pack up.  This group had a lot of older kids and I think Ian in particular loved that.  I loved that I met a lot of veteran moms who had all been there/ done that kind of thing.  Everyone was so very nice and we all left talking about what a great afternoon we had. 
   We got home in time to clean up the house and get Alec ready for soccer.  Since it was raining I was staying home with the other two boys and my husband was going to take Alec to the field.  I offered to try and hook up the new WiiU so the boys could play but was pretty skeptical that I would be able to manage that.  Luckily, they write the manuals for non- tech people like myself and I had it up and working in no time.  It was the perfect way to pass a rainy evening.   They then settled in to watch a movie before bed and I found them snuggled on the couch together. 

    I was feeling bad that we only got around to doing math work today.  I didn't even have time to read Harry Potter!  But then I remembered all the reading they do on their own.  Even Evan has really started to read quite a bit.  I can't get over how much environmental print he has been reading lately.  Our reading lessons and books that we read together can either go really well or really slowly but I'm seeing evidence of a reading explosion whenever we're out and about doing our errands.  At the store he's pointing out signs left and right.  "That says Halloween shop right?"  "I know what that says it says frozen food!"  "Mom, does this balloon say Happy Birthday to you?" and he's not the only one reading up a storm.  I went to collect the books the older boys had read at bedtime in order to return them to the library and found that Alec not only finished his chapter book but read three more books!  He read Chu's First Day of School, Turtle Island, and Sparky!   Ian wanted to finish all his hunting/fishing books that he had picked out and managed to read all four of them last night.  He read Bowhunting, Duck Hunting, Deer Hunting, and Pheasant Hunting.  I was so glad to see how much they've gotten back into reading at night because I felt like it had been a real long time since they had really been reading. 

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