Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fit Kids and Kids Having Fits

    We were up and out of our house in record time today.  The boys were all up early for once and we really needed to go to the grocery store so we piled into the car.  The boys brought along their Kindles and played Minecraft.  We listened to our book on CD and ran some small errands too.  Once home Ian went up to his room to finish watching Pearl Harbor and then everyone settled down for a late breakfast.  It was 10 and I was starting to panic.  We hadn't done any schoolwork and we were heading out for a kids physical fitness class in the afternoon.  I wondered how we could possibly do more than just math and reading and still be ready to go on time. 
   I worked with each boy individually-- on their Verbal Math books, on their spelling words/ lists, with Evan's reading lesson.... somehow we managed to get in a full mornings worth of work.  Both older boys took their math minute test and Alec has moved on to his 9's facts.  Both older boys asked to be quizzed with their list of spelling words and moved onto the next lists.  Evan ASKED to write his spelling words and then read them all back to me.  We also sat and read Frogs in Clogs together and worked on sounding out words and the sounds vowels make.  He does awesome reading now but still gets all the vowel sounds jumbled up by the end of the story.  I'm sure repetition is my best weapon but I decided to try and look up ways to teach the vowel sounds through a game or something later in the day.  We read another chapter in Harry Potter and Alec and I started working on his science fair project.  I asked him if he wanted to draw a large Venn diagram on his display board and if he even knew what that was.  He told me that he thought he knew what it was and that he remembered it was two overlapping circles and we put information about one type in one side of the circle, information about another type in the second circle and information about them both in the middle section-- so yeah, I guess he knows what a Venn diagram is!  We worked together to draw two large circles on his display board and I offered to trace the pencil lines over with a thick, black, permanent marker. 
   While I was working with each of the boys they took turns playing all around the house.  We had trucks out, blocks out, our Ninja play set, and even some dragons and dinosaurs out.  The boys played individually, in pairs and even altogether to have air hockey battles.  Our house looked like a tornado went through it but they were having a blast.  In order to draw two circles large enough on Alec's display board I pulled out some string, a few rulers, a pencil and some scissors.  I showed Alec how to make what was essentially a large drawing compass with string and a pencil; next thing I knew I heard him and Evan pretending they were the three fates and they were measuring string and cutting it off at various lengths depicting the lifeline of demigods and heroes.  They were having so much fun!
Playing "the three fates"

    We had a quick snack and headed out for our fit kids class.  We arrived at a local gym and the owner set all the kids up with boxing gloves and punching bags.  He taught them some basic boxing moves and after a bit offered to have an older (designated) helper suit up and box with the kids in the ring.  They had so much fun throwing punches and sparring.  They started playing ball afterwards and we had a great game of soccer going with a huge multitude of ages involved.  You could tell the kids were having a ball and the owner was just wonderful with them.  We LOVED it!! 
"one, two, punch!"


A nice full gym

Alec in the ring

Ian was complimented on his technique!

Evan had a ball and went in with fists flying

a rowdy game of soccer

   We came home for a very late lunch and the boys helped clean up the kitchen and all of their toys from the morning.  They played monkey in the middle for a bit and then we all played air hockey.  It was a turning out to be a pretty good day with my boys even I feel like we, once again, did not get to accomplish all I had hoped for our schooling.  Then just like that, it all turned.  My boys had spent a  portion of the day bickering, fighting and baiting one another into fighting; I'm used to this and think of it as normal sibling stuff.  They're active boys and have a hard time keeping their hands to themselves.  They enjoy wrestling and look for way to start a wrestling match.  I tend to sigh, roll my eyes, and ignore 90% of it.  It's usually nothing major and they seem to enjoy the bantering most of time but by late afternoon the bickering and fighting started taking a sinister turn.   I had kids screaming at one another, crying and ganging up on each other.  Despite my multiple warnings that our "fun" night of haircuts, eating grinders by the TV and staying up late was in jeopardy of getting taken away-- their behavior did not get any better.  Their cousins came over after school and I had hopes that the boys would capitalize on having playmates over but that didn't happen either.  By the time my husband came home I had decided we were staying home and had to send their cousins home because my boys could not get along at all.  I told the boys we were not getting take out and unless attitudes changed dramatically by the time I had dinner ready they were going to bed early; not late!   I had hoped the gym class would tire them out but I suppose if karate, gaga, and soccer didn't do it yesterday nothing will, but then of course I thought perhaps we're doing to much and they're overtired!  I'm not really sure but I often find I struggle to keep my upbeat attitude about our day when it ends so poorly.  I often find it just takes a few moments of stress or attitudes and I suddenly loose my positivity about any day.  I try to focus on the fun, love and unity that homeschooling has brought to our family but the reality is that it isn't always like that.  We're a family and sometimes we fight, sometimes I have unrealistic expectations, sometimes I have to enforce our rules and take away things that matter in order to teach the boys that I do mean what I say.  I know that even though tonight's lessons that accompanied by tears, begging, and pleading it is one they won't forget soon and hopefully we'll have a day of love, fun and unity tomorrow. 

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