Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Can I Even Call This School?


   I'm feeling a bit guilty even calling today a school day... but I will!  It was such a day of flurry and activity and knowing it would be that way we hit the books early this morning.  Evan and I read another piggy and elephant book called Elephants Cannot Dance and other than pronouncing cannot as can't every single time he did really well.  He was having giggling fits by the end of the book as I mockingly roared "cannot, cannot, cannot!"  We have so much fun reading these book together and I think keeping it light and fun has helped him a lot.  He looks forward to reading and tries his best.  When he was done reading we also completed a page on short "I" sounds in his phonics book and then he chose to work on a dot to dot instead of using his math book.  Using numbers and letters he made a sea turtle.  When I asked him what it was a picture of he told me it was the Hawksbill sea turtle because the nose was pointy like a hawk.  I was only looking for the answer "sea turtle" so I was thrilled with his answer.  I guess those books we've been reading for his science fair project are really sinking in. 
  The older two boys took their math minutes today and Ian passed his 7's!  He was so proud. Perhaps a bit overly proud as he made Alec feel pretty bad that he still has a long way to go before passing this set.  I told them each to pick out two subjects to bring in the car for school.  They each chose to bring a book to read and their extreme dot to dot books for math.  Perhaps it wasn't the most challenging assignment but they enjoyed it and I figured they were reviewing numbers up into the thousands. 
  Evan brought his Kindle in the car with the agreement that he'd only play educational games.  He chose to play Free Flow and Word Monkey.  We're really missing our book on CD in the car and I'm thinking of just breaking down and buying the last book in the series since it seems like it's taking forever through interlibrary loan.  We're all so anxious to learn what happens next! 
    We left the house to go to karate.  The boys had so much fun in today's class; the teacher even joked with Evan that there was no giggling in karate.  He was laughing at his mistakes.  Laughing!  My boy who usually gets so mad and frustrated with himself found humor in mistakes.  It was priceless.  Each of the boys got pulled aside individually and worked with one of the masters on the form that they need to know for the upcoming belt evaluations.  Alec was trying to help one of the boys remember the moves after class in the parking lot.  Then all my boys reviewed it.  They were invited to play gaga and since I would have been dropping them off we spent our time in the car on the way to the store reviewing our house phone number and teaching them my cell phone number. 
   We stopped at Michaels' real quick and picked up stuff for Evan's science fair project.  Once home, Ian helped me fix the garage door opener (turns out it just needed a new battery! But he's the one who figured out how to get to the battery for me).  He also switched the laundry around for me while all the boys changed out of their karate uniforms and into regular clothes.
  We headed to the grocery store along the way we had a mini lesson about politics.  I told them it was election day and that I needed to go vote.  We talked about who we vote for when it's not a presidential year.  We talked about local government and a rough chain of command of the local, state, and federal governments.  Ian asked how we are able to educate ourselves about who the people are that are running for office; especially the local ones if they don't have TV shows and things.  I thought that was a great question and one I was eager to answer.  We talked about the importance of an educated vote and what types of things we can expect our leaders to help with.  Totally unplanned but I think we had a great mini lesson that they were all interested in.
  Once at the store Alec and Ian picked out and pushed my carriages around for me. All three boys helped me pick items off the shelf, read my grocery list and make sure we weren't forgetting anything.  We did the usual price checking, meal planning, and nutrition lessons that seem to crop up naturally as we shop.  Ian was standing near a display of nuts that were still in the shell and started examining them asking me what all the different kinds were.  He laughed to see that Hazelnuts look a awful lot like acorns.  Perhaps we'll buy those next time as our "new" thing to try but this week the boys each picked a new flavor of hot cocoa to try. 
    They all helped me unload the car when we arrived home and Alec was dismayed to see that gaga had already started and I still had to unpack all the bags before we could even make and eat lunch.  I felt bad that we were going to miss out on gaga too.  I was looking forward to the idea of letting the boys gain a bit of independence and getting a bit of time to myself but I just kept reminding the boys that sometimes we have to miss out on fun stuff in order to get our jobs done.  If we hadn't done groceries we wouldn't have been able to eat!  They understood but were still disappointed. 
   We settled down to a late lunch and I read the next chapter in Harry Potter.  The boys headed outside to play after lunch and Alec and Evan made up a ninja coin game.  I love listening to them use their imaginations.  Ian does too, I know, but Alec and Evan often play together and have to talk out loud so I can hear them.  Ian typically plans out and plays out things in his head so it's not as noticeable.  Thought Ian did have a friend over this weekend and they worked really hard to develop and make a whole zoo out of our toy animals, blocks, K'nex pieces, and more.  They called me up to see it and explained each area of the zoo.  It was a great, inventive, collaborative effort.  They also worked together to truck sand into my basement (since it was raw and rainy and we wouldn't let them play outside).  They brought in a few wheelbarrows full of sand into our basement and set up a whole quarry/ mine with all of their trucks.  It was great; and best of all they cleaned it all up without complaint!  I love watching what the boys come up with on their own.  I find they often come up with the best ideas when I'm hardly paying any attention to them and they're forced to entertain themselves. 
The completed zoo
The polar bear habitat

A basement sandbox


    The boys ended up coming inside after a bit and watched a few more Magic School Bus episodes.  They learned about planes, lift, and drag while watching Taking Flight.  They also learned about energy when they watched Getting Energized and then they finished up the afternoon watching one last episode called Out of This World and learning about our planets.     Hmm... once again putting it all into words makes me see just how much we really did cover today!  Here I was feeling guilty calling today a "school" day but we really did hit upon many different subjects.  

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