Monday, October 27, 2014

Back on Schedule

  With a goal of "getting back on track" in my head for this week, I was much more conscious of our time today.  I spent less time on the computer this morning and all the boys were ready for our day to begin by 9 o'clock or so.  Ian was up and ready early, making himself his own eggs and toast.  When we were finally all dressed and fed we worked on cleaning a bit of the house.   With all of our field trips for the past month our housework and chores had been really slipping and I missed having a clean house with us all working together.  Surprisingly, no one complained and we all pitched in for 30 minutes or less to clean a little.  
    While I was waiting for the boys to finish cleaning I went through and pulled out some ideas for school today.  I tired to hit upon a variety of subjects and knew that these would just be suggestions for our day.  The boys typically either take an idea I have and run with it or ask to change it completely.  As long as we accomplish something worthwhile by the end of the day I'm usually happy.  And today I was very happy!
   Just to give you a quick summary of our day here's the subjects we touched upon:

1.  Life skills-- the boys vacuumed, cleaned sinks, put away laundry, cleaned their rooms, and made their own breakfasts and lunches (with Ian actually cooking eggs).  Later in the afternoon when we were outside, Ian turned on the leaf blower and gave his younger brothers turns using it, explaining how to properly hold it, angle the blower so the leaves go in the direction that they wanted, and they cleared the whole yard
2.  Math-- The older boys took their math minutes with the 8 facts and while neither passed they felt good about their scores.  The younger two did Verbal Math with me while Ian chose to work on a review page in his workbook dealing with ordered pairs. 
3.  Science-- we went on a short nature walk/ bike ride this afternoon plus Evan and I started and FINISHED his Sea Turtle display board for the science fair.  We looked up & printed out pictures of the 7 types of sea turtles and glued them onto his board, labeling them with the papers he's been writing up this week.  We also printed out two pages of facts he compiled about sea turtles and worked together to glue everything onto his board as neatly as we could. 
The older boys wanted to bike


4.  Spelling-- The older boys used the Spill and Spell game letters to "spell" out their spelling words.  They each asked me to quiz them when they were done and got most of their words right.  Alec received an 80 and Ian got an 85; they both asked me if that was an A, a B or a B+ (where do they get this obsession with grades?  Seriously I try not to grade ANYTHING they do but they ask and beg).  Evan read his spelling words to me and we added a few sight words he's supposed to be memorizing from his spelling lesson book.  After he read the words he wrote/ copied them.  It may not sound it, but we made it fun by doing push ups or jumping jacks as he chanted the words and spelled them out.  He just loves that kind of thing and was smiling and giggling.  Alec asked me to play a few rounds of the actual game of Spill and Spell with him and so we did.  I showed him how I get such long words by looking for consonant blends and word endings. 



5.  Reading-- Alec finished up his last Sprit Animal book and we all listened to another chapter in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix today.   Instead of doing another reading lesson today Evan and I played sight word bingo.  He was the caller so he had to tell me all the words and I was pleasantly surprised by how many he knew right away.  Alec thought it looked like fun and he asked if he could play a round too so we played with the three of us and then Alec and Evan each took two boards and played against each other to see who could fill up both boards first. 

6.  Writing-- the two older boys wrote letters to Santa today.  Alec didn't finish his yet but he has a real good start.  Ian made so many mistakes on his first draft he asked if he could have another sheet of paper to start over.  I was stunned that he was willingly writing and he did an amazing job too!  He misspelled some words like excavator but as long as he got the smaller words right I let it pass and left him alone.  I see huge improvements in his sentence structure and spelling so I'm happy. 

7.  Art-- Ian worked on some drawings of trucks and loaders today and Alec was drawing a tree with all the different varieties of fruits in it.  He asked me If grapes grew on a tree or a bush or how they grow.  I explained that they grew on a vine, like poison Ivy, and so he decided to draw a grapevine growing around the trunk of his tree.  He worked really hard to find a way to incorporate all colors in his drawing.
8.  Geography-- We got another postcard in today.  We learned about California by studying the front of the postcard and the pictures of the state and it's many natural wonders.  We learned about the wildlife people there can see, the earthquakes they experience, and other interesting facts that our postcard exchange family wanted to share with us.  This has been such a great experience for us and has boosted not just their geography skills but their writing skills too!

   There were a few other parts to the day that I had a hard time categorizing.  Ian worked in his room for a while with his Lego pieces.  He's trying to design a model of a raking system for a hydroelectric plant that his dad owns.  He was challenged to come up with something that would work and then my husband will build it out of metal and machine parts.  Ian worked really hard to brainstorm different ideas and came down to show the boys and explain how it would work.  All three boys have been occupying their time building with our magna blocks lately.  Alec made a few really neat designs over the weekend and built a two- story building this morning.  The boys all played outside today too. Ian was digging on his hill and working on making a house for his cousin too.  The younger boys were playing with Evan's double sided sword and hanging out together, talking and cuddling on our hammock.  Their cousins came over in the afternoon and all the kids played together.  It was a really nice day. 

 


















     Putting it all into writing and it's no wonder we didn't finish school until 2:00 today!  It was a super busy day and most of it was due to the boys and their eagerness to work.  We even managed to get some portraits in today.  It was a beautiful day and I wanted to capture their smiles. 

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