We're Cuckoo for GaGa

  I love that homeschooling allows us to be so flexible with our schedule.  We were supposed to head out on a field trip today after karate but I found the idea of packing lunches, covering some school subjects, getting ready for karate and running right from karate to our field tip was just to daunting so we discussed it and decided to just see how our day unfolded.  We had a rough start to our day anyway since Evan and Alec were bickering, fighting and crying over everything.  I felt like our decision to skip this field trip was reinforced since I believed all the fighting was due to having run the kids ragged with activities for the past few weeks.  I vowed to stay home and let them rest. 
   We sat down and wrote out our finalized postcards for this month's postcard swap and the older two boys took their division math minute test.  I then gave them each their math workbook and asked them to select a page to work on in the car on the way to karate.  Ian chose to work on reading a graph and answering questions while Evan worked on counting up 10's and 1's and writing the number.  Alec actually did two pages and worked on ordered pairs and adding/subtracting 100. 
   They LOVED their karate class and I often saw them giggling and laughing during today's class.  Don't get me wrong, they were working hard they were just having fun with what they were working on.  They're also getting comfortable enough with the class that they can laugh at their mistakes and try again without getting upset and flustered.  They have told me that they really like their class now and they're so glad I made them stick with it and give it a real shot before quitting.
   We listened to some more of our Heroes of Olympus book on the way home and we talked about our afternoon.  After canceling our field trip for the day we had tried inviting another homeschool family over to play for the day.  Not sure if they were going to make it, my boys were already coming up with a back up plan.  Their karate teacher was inviting a bunch of kids over to play Gaga ball; something we've been curious about for awhile now.  I told the boys we might be able to make it but only if they could all finish up the rest of their schoolwork and not fight until it was time to go.   So much for our plan to take it easy and rest! 
    Once home everyone decided they were starving and wanted an early lunch so we sat down to eat and I read another chapter in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  As soon as lunch was done Ian asked if he could go watch Pearl Harbor as part of a history lesson.  We'd actually talked quite a bit about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima on our morning drive and I've talked about how even historical fiction books and movies teach us about that time in history using some fictional characters and a few fictional events.  I was fine with his choice. 
  While Ian watched his movie, Evan and I worked on his reading lesson book and then he read It Looked Like Spilt Milk to me.  He did AMAZING!  I have seen huge strides in his reading skills lately and I asked him if he had noticed this as well and he says he has.  I hope that in showing him he CAN read he'll be more likely to try and read new things instead of declaring that he doesn't know how to read.  While Evan and I were working on his reading Alec was also reading. He read one book about river otters and another about sea otters.  He was ready to start dictating facts to me about both kinds of otters but I just wasn't ready for that yet.  I think tomorrow I'll have him start writing up a Venn Diagram on the two types of otters for his science fair project. 
    We headed out to a fellow homeschoolers house for a fun afternoon of playing.  The boys were finally learning how to play gaga ball and they LOVED it!  My two older boys especially loved the game.  If you've never played gaga ball the best way I can describe it is that it's a cross between volleyball and dodge ball.  The kids played for well over 2 hours.  They played gaga, jumped on the trampoline, had Nerf gun fights, pool noodle fights and ran around the yard.  They made tons of new friends and I met even more "new" moms (I say "new" because I'm pretty sure they've all been homeschooling longer than I have but they're all new to me!).  It was such a beautiful day out and it was great to see my kids making new friends and learning a new sport.  They were hot, sweaty, red in the face, dirty, and smiling.  Not one of them was ready to leave when it was time to come home. 

Playing gaga

One excited boy told us what types of jets were flying overhead

Pool noodle battles


Making up fun games on the trampoline

    Alec took a quick shower and Ian vacuumed out my car (from his muddy bike being in there) then all the boys settled down with some screens until dinnertime.  Ian watched some more of Pearl Harbor while the other two boys linked Kindles and played Minecraft.  They ate a quick dinner and then we headed out-- Alec had soccer and my other two boys were helping my husband stack and transport wood from a local building site to our wood splitting pile.  We came home, had the boys take some quick showers and ended our day with some reading in their rooms.  I've been trying really hard to get back into the habit of reading with & to them individually at night so that they're reading something even on those nights they're too tired to stay up late reading after we put them to bed. 


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