Reading and Math For All

    I couldn't believe how much we got done last night.  Ian and my husband were hard at work on another drawing.  This time Ian had to figure out how to add circles to his drawing.  They discussed diameter and radius of a circle, how to add, subtract and divide fractions.  They turned mixed numbers into improper fractions and talked about how to use a drawing compass.  It was a great, engaging lesson for Ian and great practice for the bird house plans they'll be drawing up next. 
   When it was time for bed I offered to read with all the boys.  Ian read an entire chapter in his book to me.  He did awesome!  He's really enjoying the story and was laughing a lot.  We were at the part when Roscoe super glued all the kids antennas onto their heads and glued everyone's pants to the chairs.  It was really funny!  Evan came up with a new elephant and piggy book in his hand.  He really wanted to read it to us.  Normally we reserve new books for daytime since he's pretty tired and unfocused by bedtime but I wasn't going to say no so we settled in to read.  He tried reading to my husband and he got all upset and frustrated with the speed at which Evan reads and the fact that Evan can go a page or two without making mistakes, even reading really long words like sunglasses, and then get stuck on simple words like an, a, our.  I'm well used to this so I offered to take over and explained to my husband that typically Evan is re-reading a book at night that we've read before and this was a brand new book.  I took over and I thought he did amazing!  His fluency is showing marked improvement and like always he read with lots of expression.  Once he gets a few more sight words down he should be all set.  Alec read quite a bit more in his Warriors book and he's almost finished with book 3 and hoping that the other books come in at our library real soon.  I had to take his book away at bedtime though, the last few nights he was staying up past 10 to "just finish this chapter" and he had such dark circles under his eyes that I really wanted him to get to bed early and get a good night's sleep.  My kids have never mastered that whole sleeping in thing after staying up late.  It's unusual for them to even sleep until 7.  Alec was upset and disappointed that he couldn't read but I promised we were only taking his book away for one night. 
     The boys have been taking care of their cousins' cats this week going over to feed them in the morning and checking to see if they're all in for the night.  They're having lots of fun with this and it's a good responsibility lesson for them.  I have reminded them a time or two to feed them but they're eager to help out while their cousins are on vacation.  The younger two boys headed over this morning to feed and play with the cats for a while after having played Warrior games on the computer. 

    Ian told me he wanted to play the fraction/ dice game again with Alec, play The Scrambled States of America game, play Yahtzee!, read his book and finish working on his drafting assignment from his father.  I thought that sounded like an excellent day of school.  Alec wanted to play the dice game and The Scrambled States of America too.  In between games Alec read his book, both of Evan's remaining elephant and piggy books, and played a bit more of the Warrior computer game-- another fairly full day of school!

   Evan and I played sight word bingo, read That Big Guy Took My Ball!, and played a new game for math.  We played a game called Odds and Evens.  We took all the dice from the Yahtzee game (along with the cup) and predicted whether we'd roll more odd or even numbers.  We played until someone correctly predicted 11 guesses.  Evan won and had so much fun playing.  He knows his odds and evens but this was a fun way to practice and reinforce that skill and also squeeze in some practice with greater than and less than. 

Counting up odds and evens

     While Evan and I were playing our math game Alec came over and thought we were adding them up.  He reminded me that two evens added together make even and two odds added together make evens too.  We talked about which groupings of dice added up to odds or evens then based on what we rolled. 
    Ian needed some helping finding the half way point from 3 1/16 so we worked together to make an improper fraction.  We then talked about doubling the denominator to divide the fraction in half.  We worked together to reduce the fraction... and then realized we had forgotten to add in the 1/16!  So we started the whole process over again, came up with the right answer and realized the fractions don't get that small with his ruler anyway.  I showed him where the approximate half- way point would be on his ruler and talked about why that was.  He's learning so much math through drafting and he's just loving it!
His completed drawing

Figuring out measurements


    After lunch we headed out to run a few errands and went to the boys gym class.  They had such fun playing gaga ball and sparring in the boxing rink with Paul.  The kids are starting to request games and make up new rules to their old favorite games.  As adults, we tend to sit back and let them decide on rules and regulations and how to handle it.  We try not to take over too much or intervene unless necessary because that's a huge part of growing up.  I know Evan was not happy with how the last few games were going and he blamed his brother but really it was a rule decided on by the majority of kids.  The boys practiced their karate form a few times with their teacher while we were there; Ian in particular is really trying to apply himself and move up in belt rank. 
   After gym class I went to get my hair cut and the boys came with me.  They each brought along Kindles and books to keep themselves busy.  They were well behaved and patient while I was busy getting my hair done and afterwards I promised them we could stop by the apple orchard quickly and pick up some more apples.  We ended up buying some cider too since the woman told us it was made fresh today.  YUM! 
    After the apple orchard we went to the library.  It was a long afternoon in the car and we passed much of the time listening to our book on CD.  We did have to take occasional breaks as Alec started reading his book off and on if we didn't turn the book on CD on in time.  Evan picked out at least another half dozen piggy books at the library and all the boys unanimously agreed to keep the book on CD off for the final ride home.  Evan took a picture walk through the book My New Best Friend.  He read a sentence or two here and there as well.   Alec was trying to finish up his Warriors book and Ian had a huge used equipment catalog he was looking through. 


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