Wednesday, February 25, 2015

One Moment at A Time

Some of our best school days take place when we're just quietly working and plugging away at our schoolwork.  I try to take each day one moment at a time and follow the boys leads as much as possible.


Our days have a nice slow flow and rhythm to them that has taken us a long time to find.

We started our day by starting another chapter book together over breakfast.  We try to start each day with a read aloud.  It helps settle us into a nice day of schoolwork and gives us all a slow ease into our day.  We enjoy starting the day altogether.

 To continue on in our World War II unit we've started reading Danger in the Darkest Hour.  It's a new book in the Magic Tree House series.  We're really enjoying another book with Jack and Annie; we really missed them!

We ended up reading two chapters and the boys were concerned that Jack and Annie are going to be parachuting behind enemy lies; "won't that make them better targets for the bad guys?"  We can't wait to hear what will happen next!

   

I sent the boys to get ready and we all worked together to get some vacuuming and dusting done.  each boy pitched in and did a few rooms.  While none of us enjoy cleaning we find that tackling the job together and just each focusing on one room a day makes it manageable. 

They finished up at different times and then came to see what was set out and set up at the kitchen table.

 Now, rather than give a moment by moment summary it will just be easier for me to break them into subjects since the boys tend to all work on different subjects at different times and we were all over the place today.

My boys know that thy are free to come and go from the table working on subjects as they want to; knowing I can only help one boy at a time this more relaxed method works well for us.
 
  Math-- All three boys spent 20 minutes on Khan academy.  At some point throughout the day all the boys also worked on one page in their math workbooks.  Alec worked on reading a chart and comparing speeds and times.  He loves charts and bar graphs so it was a good page for him.

 Evan did some more practice with greater than & less than and counting.  I almost found his page laughably easy compared to what he can do on Khan.  Comparing 2 to 15 when he was comparing numbers up into the 900's seems pretty basic, but he loves it and he was happy to complete it on his own so I let him be.

Ian completed another page in his measurement book.
 
Spelling/ Reading--  Alec completed his spelling list last week and went onto the long I sound.  We had a new list of twenty words and I asked him if he just wanted to write them once each first before playing games with them or if he wanted to go right to Spelling City.

Ian was already on our other computer playing Spelling City games with his spelling words but Alec surprised me and asked if I could quiz him on the new words.  

He barely even glanced at them but not one to discourage them I said sure and cautioned him that he might have a hard time.  He got 15 correct.  He then asked if he could just practice the 5 he got wrong and of course I agreed!  He wrote those 5 words and then played Hang Mouse on spelling city (after I modified the list to only have his 5 new words).  Pretty sure we'll be moving on to the next list next week!

Evan worked on a page in his Star Wars reading book and filled missing words in the blanks.  Evan also read Biscuit in the Garden to me.

 
 Writing-- Alec wrote four sentences using the writing prompt:  If you were forced to spend the rest of your life in a zoo, a museum, or a library which would you choose and why?  He, of course, picked the zoo claiming that the library wouldn't have nearly enough books to last him a lifetime! I loved knowing that he was probably right.  He had some great reasons why he'd love to live in a zoo.

Ian was uninspired by the prompt and so we started looking through books and the internet for inspiration.  Alec posed the question "If you could only buy one piece of heavy equipment for life what would it be and why?"  Ian asked if he could change that to two pieces and started writing furiously.  He too used both sides of the paper.

 I explained to the boys that it must mean they are writing with more details and that's a good thing.
    
History-- On top of reading the two chapter in the Magic Tree House we did a bit of work on our history/ geography fair projects today.

Alec worked with me and with his dictation we typed up a page for his history fair report.  He's decided on a way to approach his topic of comparing Greek and Roman Gods and I think he has a good idea of what still needs to be done.

Evan and I read two more books about South Korea.  These two books took place in ancient Korea and we learned a lot about the "old" ways.  We read The Firekeeper's Son and The Royal Bee.


 
We finally paused for lunch and read another half chapter in Harry Potter (which we finished during an early dinner for the boys).

We headed out to run some errands together.

We're listening to a new story on CD called Inkheart.  It's by the same author as Dragon Rider and we're hoping to love it just as much.  We were even more excited when we learned that there is a movie out about the book.  We'll have to follow up the book with the movie!

We love adding books on CD to our car rides.  It gives us something to look forward to as we're driving around and we always have something to talk about together.  Besides, we've found some  of the best books by listening to them.
 
We stopped briefly at Target, where Evan asked me to buy him a stuffed animal with the promise he'd pay be back at home later.  I asked him how much money he had and he told me he had a 5 and 9 ones so that was $14.  It was all said so quickly and added up so fast I just had to marvel.  The animal was only $10 and so he knew he'd have $4 left for something else.  Once home he counted the money out of his bank by himself and came to me with his $10.

I love those little moments when they show me that what we're learning is being applied to their lives! 

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