Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Science Discoveries

     While school did not go at all like I had planned today we had a pretty awesome day!  We got a late start on our schoolwork since we headed out to the grocery store first.  But first I need to brag a bit and tell you all that while I was eating breakfast and writing up our grocery list I heard all the boys upstairs getting dressed and ready for the day and my oldest started the washing machine!  He did all of his laundry today on his own without my asking! At that moment all I could think was "I must be doing something right!"  After all homeschooling is not just about the school work but about raising a well rounded child with plenty of life skills too. 
     Once home from the grocery store, the boys all settled down to eat a late breakfast and I put in the movie Turtle The Incredible Journey.  Evan is researching sea turtles for his science fair project and this movie was just perfect for him.  The other boys wanted to watch it too so I figured that was great.  We all learned about the loggerhead sea turtles and their long journey.  The next thing I knew our whole school day turned into science learning.
   I called Evan over to my computer after the movie and asked him to tell me a few facts he learned by watching the movie.  He has a page of facts now all about sea turtles.  We found a book that listed the different species of sea turtles and I encouraged Evan to copy them down for his report after he sounded them out and read them to me(we've all noticed him reading so much more on his own lately; we played a family round of The Scrambled States of America game last night and he read the name of all the states he accumulated and played with on his own!).  He copied three of the seven turtle names down today and decided that was enough for now.  His report is shaping up rather nicely so I let him be. 

   Meanwhile, Alec pulled out his otter books and his display board and worked on filling in some more facts about river and sea otters.  He asked if I'd take turns writing with him since he's working so hard to make it nice and neat and it's starting to hurt his hand.  I really wanted the older boys to do the reports on their own this year but I figure even 1/2 of the work is an improvement over previous years when they used to dictate everything to me and I typed it all up.  I just keep thinking baby steps; it will all add up over time.  He wrote at least 5 facts and I wrote up two.  I could tell his attention was wavering and I suggested to him that he might want to just pull out his board and write just 2 or 3 facts each day; enough to get his report done by the science fair but not so much that he'll start to hate it.  We'll see if he takes my advice. 
    Ian found an old VCR in our garage and wanted to take it apart to see how it works.  We called my husband to make sure he was OK with this and since he was Ian happily brought his toolbox down and started disassembling the thing.  He was really getting into it and excitedly showing his brothers all the pieces and parts he was finding.  He showed me that some of the pieces inside look like circuit boards my husband has at his work and I was telling Ian that his dad used to repair VCR's back in the day when that was all we had to watch movies on.  It was a great hands on science lesson and I couldn't help but think that I need to find more things like that for Ian to work on.  He may even be changing his science fair project at this point, but we'll see.


Look at the look of pure joy on that face! 
Evan was checking out the different way gears mesh


All the boys were intrigued with the inside of the VCR & all it's parts


Such a look of pure concentration

 
    We cleaned up and started getting ready for lunch.  The older boys quickly took their math minutes and Alec passed his 6 facts while Ian flip flopped two of his answers.  As soon as he realized that he asked if he could try and take the test again right away since he was confident he could pass but I reminded him that we had our gym class this afternoon and we were quickly running out of time.  I think he's just bummed that Alec is now moving onto his 8's and he's not. 
    After lunch we headed to the gym where the boys started out boxing again.  They had fun hitting the bags and even more fun beating up Henry in the ring (though I can assure you that Henry enjoys it too-- he's great with the kids!).  They played a game of soccer, a game of zombie tag, and a few other made up games.  They really enjoyed the game that was part kick ball/ part soccer; they had to try and kick the ball past the person rolling it to them.  They each took turns kicking and rolling.  They also played a fun listening game.  The teachers stood around the room and the kids had to listen for one person to make a sound then they'd all race over and tag whomever made the sound.  The last child to tag the adult was out and the game continued until only one child was left. The winner got to do push ups with Henry and then take a turn being the one to make noises.  They had so much fun and Ian insisted this was a game we had to play at home for exercise. 
Alec was first up in the ring today and he was raring to go


Playing a game of tag where they had to weave in and out of the circle

Kickball/ Soccer game

    Alec had finished up his second Spirit Animal book while we were at the grocery store and eagerly started on the third book while we were heading to the gym.  He pretty much kept that book in his hands all afternoon.   When he wasn't reading he was busy playing with Evan.  The whole house was so quiet this afternoon it was pretty eerie.  Ian was playing with Legos in his room and Alec and Evan just used their imaginations to make up their own games.  I felt like a monster taking away their Kindles and cutting back on video games, TV, and movies but I'm seeing such a remarkable improvement in their attitudes and behaviors towards one another that I know I did the right thing.  They're still asking to earn their Kindles back and begging to play but I'm holding firm.  It has caused Alec to pay extra close attention to the calendar and the dates.  He is keeping track of the 14 days of Kindle loss on his own calendar upstairs.  He counted out the 14 days, marked the day they will get them back and has been crossing off each day as it goes by.  This morning he was able to help Ian out at the grocery store when they were picking out milk; he knew what today's date was and therefor picked out the jugs with the farthest expiration date off the shelf calculating how many days we would be able to drink/ use the milk before it went bad.  Like I said, the day didn't go as planned but looking back on it, I don't think I could have planned it any better!
  

2 comments :

  1. I thought of you today when I was playing darts with Max. So much math involved, even he was picking up some basic adding and subtracting skills. I'm sure you've played with the boys but if not I highly recommend. You have to add, subtract, even multiply to figure out how many points you have and who has won the game. I felt like a lightbulb went on in my head.

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  2. Thanks for thinking of us, but no we've never played darts. We just may have to now!

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