Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brewing Up Some Fun With Homemade Butterbeer

We have been having so much fun with our Harry Potter Unit!  I knew we' d have to try making our own butterbeer at home since we just loved it so much at Universal Studios.  Today was finally the day and the boys could not wait!

The boys  and I watched a movie about the planets today as part of our Harry Potter astronomy unit.  The movie we watched was simply called Planets.  The boys were pretty interested in it; especially Alec who often asked us to rewind or go back to a certain part so he could listen again.

Eyewitness: Planets

We all learned a little something about our planets and the solar system.

Evan speculated that there must be other galaxies out there and when I assured him that we at least knew there were other solar systems beyond our own he speculated that there must be some sort of other life out there somewhere.

We then made up our own brew of Butterbeer this afternoon. 

We bought the ingredients we needed at the store yesterday and brewed up a batch after lunch today.  It was pretty easy and we followed the recipe found on Design Dazzle's webpage.  Ian and Alec loved our recipe but Evan didn't think it tasted anything like the one he had at Universal Studios.

We unscrewed the cap from our 2 liter bottle of cream soda and added 2 Tablespoons of butter extract and 2 tsp. rum extract.  We gently mixed that together.

In a separate bowl we used our immersion blender to mix together 1 cup of whipping cream, 1 tsp rum extract, and a cup or so of marshmallow Fluff.

It's serious! 

They all had lots of fun making it though and worked together.  We were surprised to see how much the whipped cream topping began to foam as we added it to the soda mixture.  The boys happily dug right in and all said it reminded them a bit of a float.

They then filled their glasses part way with soda and added a heavy dollop of the cream mixture to the top.

We also read two more chapters in The Deathly Hallows book while we ate lunch and drank our Buterbeer; fitting, I know.  

It was the perfect way to end our school day.

Linking Up With:
Tots and Me

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Bit Of Magic: A Harry Potter Homeschooling Unit

We finally were able to get started on our last Harry Potter book today and after scouring the web last week we decided to turn it into a whole fun unit!

We have science experiments, writing assignments, and lots of yummy recipes to try out.  I also printed out quite a few worksheets, word searches, and trivia sheets off of the Scholastic Harry Potter page since I know the boys do enjoy worksheets too.

At first I toyed with setting each boys up with an entire curriculum and base their days on Harry Potter's classes but in reality I don't want all three of them taking a month off from math and Evan can not afford to stop reading and working with sight words so I finally decided to treat our Harry Potter unit much like I treated our World War II study; as a little bit of extra fun, magic, and excitement sprinkled into our normal school days.

Today we made golden snitch candies and started learning some Astronomy (like Harry)

We had, what I hoped, was a fun trivia sheet about Harry Potter.

  • Evan wasn't able to complete the page on his own since he couldn't read all the quotes himself.  The worksheet, which I found on Scholastic's Harry Potter page , dealt with the book the Chamber of Secrets.  
  • There were 10 quotes from the book on the page and the boys had to remember/ determine who was speaking.  
  • Once I started reading them out loud, Evan had no trouble with identifying the speaker and the boys had fun remembering the book and the movie.

We made golden snitch snacks today too.  had some white chocolate Lindt truffles and they just happened to be wrapped in gold paper.  Looking at all the different snitch crafts I was inspired; the boys loves truffles, they're gold balls, so all we had to do was glue some gold/ yellow wings on them and we had our very own golden snitches for snack today!

To make Snitch Snacks You will Need:

  1. Lindt White Chocolate Truffles
  2. low temp glue gun and glue sticks
  3. yellow or gold feathers
I had each boy pick out two feathers they liked and gave them the option of trimming the feathers with scissors  if they so desired.  I then walked them each through the craft individually, teaching them how to safely use the glue gun without getting burned.

They each glued a yellow feather to the tufts of candy wrapper on either side of the Lindt truffle.  A super quick and easy craft!

They loved their snitches and Alec kept jumping off the furniture pretending that he was catching it.

And boy oh boy, they sure were yummy!

Golden snitch snacks 
We read chapter one at lunch and covered a bit of vocabulary.  It's the third time today I was aware that I was teaching vocabulary.  Usually the boys are content to figure out the meaning of the words in the context of the story.  Often one might ask what a word means but the others are quick to answer.  Today I had been asked by a few different boys to explain various words we've found in a variety of stories; of course I obliged!

 As our final Harry Potter type project we took a look at a book about constellations called Find the Constellations.  I told them we'd be doing a bit of astronomy this week since Harry learns about astronomy too and we were starting with the stars today.

My kids aren't that interested in space, the stars, and the planets so I'm always looking for ways to sneak to a bit of that into our studies.  They all smiled when I mentioned that Harry learns astronomy and just like that they were all interested in what we were doing.

We didn't read the whole book cover to cover but we went through a few of the constellations and talked about the grades of the stars, the names of the "biggies" in our solar system, and the fact that the stars are always moving around in our sky so they aren't always found in the same place throughout the year.

We learned that light-year is a measure of distance and talked about the speed of light, the speed of sound, and the distance of the stars to us & our planet.

 We talked a lot about perspective and why our sun seems so much bigger than all the other stars in our solar system. We compared our sun and the stars to a book we put on the table (near us) and the size that book would be if we put it down the road, past our neighbors house and tried to see it from our kitchen table.

We took a look at the different sky views shown in the back of the book and I asked the boys if they noticed that while the stars positions changed in the sky throughout the season did they also notice that they don't change much in position to one another?

I told them if they studied how all the constellations were laid out based on the north star and the big dipper they only ever had to find the big dipper and then they could follow their way out and find all the other constellations.

They thought that was pretty neat.

They reminded me of the night we went camping in our backyard and spent time really looking at the stars and constellations.  We were all stunned to realize that it was three years ago!

Linking Up With:
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Science on Saturday: Common Mergansers

We had a mini science lesson this morning.  Living on the lake we often see a black and white diving duck (as we've nicknamed them) through the years.  We see these black and white ducks every year around this time and usually they are out in the open water that's is not close enough to our home to really see any details, even with our binoculars.

Today, however, the ducks were right off the shore and using the binoculars we were able to see such amazing details.  

After looking them up in Alec's National Audubon Society Field Guide to North America we discovered that they are called the Common Mergansers.

We have a few males and females and we learned that they are the only mergansers where the females have the crested heads.

  • We learned that they dive for fish and we've noticed that they can disappear under water for quite some time and for long distances; just like the cormorant we had here over the summer.  
  • We learned that they usually live in Canada and Eastern Alaska but they will migrate south for the winters down to New England, the Great Lakes, and even into northern New Mexico. 
  •  We learned that they pair off for mating in late winter and that is why we're seeing sets of males and females together out in the water. 
 Not bad for a Saturday morning!
Common Merganser Photo
Photo courtesy of Cornell University All About Birds Site;
you can read more about the Common Merganser there too. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Finally Friday! Tying Up Loose Ends

We were so happy it was Friday today.  The boys were all excited about going to gym and seeing their friends.  Our Fridays are usually pretty light on schoolwork and heavy on fun.

We finally settled down to work and we had a few loose ends we wanted to tie up. 

This is something we try to do each Friday.  

I find that we all go into our weekend in much better moods if we can get everything we're working on tied up and in a good place to take a break.   

It's no fun having unfinished work hanging over our heads all weekend long and it also makes us feel like we're starting our week behind trying to play catch up.  It makes for a stressful time and we all end up dreading starting school on Monday.  

I wanted to make sure we had our loose ends tied up today and this week it meant we needed to make sure everyone had their geography fair reports and activities all planned out and ready to go. 

We always start with the work we need to wrap up before diving into our everyday work on Fridays.

Since we often don't work in our workbooks on Fridays anyway I don't mind if we don't get around to them... but I would mind if we still had lots of work to do on those reports come Monday. 

Geography Fair Reports: 
Alec and I sat together at the computer and finished typing up his information for his Greek & Roman god report.  We settled on his snack, his hands on project, and all of their "stamps" for the kids' passports.  I finally feel like we've got a real good handle on everything now.  For a while there I thought we'd be finishing up Alec's report on the morning of the fair.  He's such a procrastinator!  I told him that we would attach everything to the board on Monday and we'll pick up the ingredients for all of the boys' snacks over the next week or so.

 Alec and Ian worked on their spelling lists again this morning and when they were done I gave them each a little quiz.  They did great and will both move onto the next list next week.  I'm amazed at how much their spelling has improved just by using a spelling list once or twice a week.  I'd like to think it's because each of their lists are always based on a rule but I think it's probably just that focusing, even a little on spelling, has made them more aware of their own spelling.  I'm still looking for ways to make their words fun and am often surprised when they'd rather just fill in a worksheet!
Alec writing RAINBOW spelling words using his markers 
The older boys both read this morning and Ian finished almost all of his books that we picked up last week.

Evan and I read the last four Dick and Jane stories and I told him that if I put the book up in his room he could read them to himself at night since he never got stuck on any of the stories.  He was disappointed that we didn't own the book and he wouldn't be able to keep it forever.  Luckily, I had already ordered another one from our library as well as some other books for him to try.

Each of the boys worked in their math workbooks today.  Ian completed his first measurement book and he's going to start book two next week.

Alec worked on subtracting fractions and ordering decimals on a number line.  I find it so funny that he prefers to work on the worksheets at the back of the fourth grade book and he tends to skip over all the ones in the front.  I would think that they would be ordered from easiest to more difficult but I guess he just loves a challenge.

Evan worked on subtracting two digit numbers today and did awesome!  I had no idea he knew how to do that without asking for my help.  Each of the boys also worked with me for a little while and completed one more page in their verbal math books.

Sight Words:
I had pulled out a sight word bingo game to play with Evan, but after noticing how many "new" sight words he seemed to know yesterday I asked him if he'd want to just read through a few sight word lists with me and highlight those words he already knew so I'd know which words we still needed to work on.

I gave him the highlighter and told him to just read me the words he knew and he could skip any he didn't know.  He did want me to read him the words he missed and he'd usually mark them with a small dot; mainly because he thought using the highlighter was so much fun.  We went through two full lists before he got bored and I assured him that was plenty for today (I had only planned on working with one anyway!).

Using highlighters is serious business!  
Free Play:
The boys still had plenty of time to play once their schoolwork was completed.  Alec wanted to work some more on his color by number paper.  Ian chose to go up in his room and play around with his Lego bricks some more.  He ended up making a plow that attached to one of his toy loaders.  He then worked on making a folding plow to attach to another vehicle.

We went to the library, finished up our book on CD, and had a great time meeting up with friends at gym day.  All three boys also spent some time playing video game today too.  It was a nice, relaxing Friday for us all.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Making Learning Personalized

We had a jammed pack and busy day of school today.

 I hadn't planned on covering quite so much but one thing sort of led into another and when I looked back over our day I realized we had covered ALL of the subjects; and some of them more than once!

 Everyone was engaged and it seemed like everywhere I looked I saw each one hard at work on all sorts of wonderful and engaging activities.

When I'm teaching my boys I try very hard to make everything we're learning about personal.  

Being able to make a personal connection to what we're learning about makes it much easier for them to remember the materials.  
  • I remind them of field trips we've been on.
  • I remind them of activities we've done together.
  • I use their passions and interests to guide me in what we'll learn about.
  • I encourage them to put themselves in the main characters place when we're reading.
  • We try to make connections to anything and everything we can.  
  • I make sure what they are learning about is relevant to them. 
  • I try to make sure lessons are followed up with hands on activities. 
  • I try to give them choices whenever possible. 
  • I try to make learning fun and engaging; using games whenever I can.
  • I ask the boys about their opinions on what we've done, what they'd like to see us do and I always ask them if they have suggestions about what we can and should be doing.  
  • I encourage them to teach and use their skills to help one another.  
  • I make our lessons relevant to the seasons and what's happening in our lives. 
When Evan insisted that reading was stupid and he didn't need to know how to read, I made sure I was too busy to help him make his supper and had him read all the instructions on the bag of chicken nuggets so he could make them himself.  Three days later and he remembers each and every word!  He learned first hand that reading was important.  It was personal to him that he know how to prepare his dinner and he made the connection that reading had real- life value.

Today, I noticed them making connections on their own.  

For history, we started our day by finishing off the I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor book.  We finished up the story and read through the facts in the back of the book.  The boys were able to relate most of what we had read in other books to this story as well.  They also put themselves in Danny's place and imagined how scary it would be to find themselves in the middle of a war.

After talking for quite a while we decided we were done with World War II for now and we'll take a small break with history before diving into another topic.

Ian has already asked if we could learn about the Vietnam War so I told him I'd look into it.  We were fortunate to find so many amazing books about World War II to study and I'm not sure what I'll find for Vietnam but I promised to try.

I always try to follow their lead and support their interests.

For science, we decided to watch the Science of Disney Imagineering; Electricity movie next & in re-watching this movie the boys were excited to see the Tesla coil; they remembered watching The Sorcerer's Apprentice and watching the Tesla coils perform to music.  I reminded the younger two boys about when we saw the demonstration at Touch Tomorrow with the same coils and we talked about the various things we had witnessed at that demonstration.

We then decided to pull out the Snap Circuit kits and they spent some time playing with them.   Following the directions in the kit they made circuits and we related what we were doing to what we had just learned in the movie.  After the movie they all scattered and spent the rest of the day working at their own pace on their own assignments or interests.

We try to follow up many of our lessons with hands on activities which make the lessons more meaningful and memorable. 

The older boys worked on some writing today.  Ian tried to convince me to let him do spelling again today instead of writing but I explained that writing isn't the same as spelling.  We only do writing one day a week, usually, and I told him I didn't think that was to much to ask of him.  Alec piped up that a little bit of writing each week was very reasonable.

I reminded Ian that he doesn't have to write his own stories each week either.  I then reminded him about copy work and told him he could do a Draw Write Now page too.

They both ended up working on one; Alec drew the raccoon and wrote all about them while Ian chose to write about the arctic wolf.  I was glad to see our books getting some use again and I was thrilled to watch Alec hard at work on some drawings again.  It's been too long since we've seen any art from any of the boys.

Alec's completed page; he told me it was real hard to
draw the back leg that was mostly hidden.  
 I try to give the boys choices and let them pick how they'd like to tackle any given subject. 

Evan is not yet ready for writing but we're working on reading and spelling.  I try to find fun activities to bring reading and spelling to life.  Today, I handed Evan another sheet very similar to yesterday's egg hunt sheet except today's paper had the letters scrambled up alongside each picture.  He quickly decoded each word and wrote them out, double checking his spelling with me on each word.

We also practiced some new sight words today using Reading Power Towers.  I stumbled upon this idea through Pinterest and found Teacher Tipster YouTube videos-- this man has AMAZING ideas for fun sight word, spelling and math games and I've been slowly incorporating them into our day.

We only had one empty Pringles can so I made up the sight word game for today and promised the older boys I'd work on some math ones for next week.  Alec thought it looked like so much fun he wanted a turn stacking the cups when Evan was done.

Since it was Evan's first day with these new sight words I worked with Evan reading him each of the words once through and then watching him as he went through the cups reading them aloud and stacking them.  He surprised me by knowing many of the words already the first time we went through them.  He had a great time reading and stacking and was sad when we ran out of cups and the activity was over.  I guess I'll have to look for some taller cans to use next time!  Alec quickly counted up the cups used on one tower, multiplied that by three and told Evan he had used 30 cups to build his tower.  Alec then challenged him to build a taller tower next time.

All 30 cups! 
Working on our spelling 
Making lessons so fun that they beg to do them again lets me know that I succeeded in making lessons personalized.

All of the boys did some reading today.  Ian chose to read two Curious George stories while Evan read two more Dick and Jane stories to me.  He had a sleepover in his room last night with Alec and this time EVAN read out loud to Alec at bedtime.  Alec is great at praising Evan too and his confidence is just soaring.  I always let them choose their own stories.

I was busy working with Alec on something when Evan was ready to read and he told me he had quietly went through and read the entire first Dick and Jane story in his head while waiting for me.  I could tell he had too; he was trying to read so fast his brain and his fingers could barely keep up with his mouth.  He informed me that he's reading two new stories tonight too at bedtime.

Alec wanted to read the Minecraft book that Evan had checked out of the library so he offered to read another chapter out loud to Evan this afternoon.  Evan often benefits from listening to other stories that his brothers offer to read.  I love watching them connect with one another and discuss stories they've read.  Evan and Alec swapped predictions about the story and then tried out plot line ideas for other Minecraft stories on one another.

I love when the boys want to work together on an activity because then THEY are personalizing it for themselves and each other!

 All of the boys did two different activities for math today too.  They each worked independently in their workbooks on two pages.  Ian only has two pages left in his measurement book so he'll finish it up tomorrow, while Evan went on to learn about 1/4's and 1/6's today in his math book.  Alec and I worked on adding fractions with like denominators and reducing the fractions.  We also worked on ordering groups of fractions from least to greatest; both concepts he had no problems with at all.  It's always amazing to me how quickly he catches onto things.

With all of our Easter stuff getting pulled out, I made up a fun math activity for each of the boys today.  Using some extra containers I pulled a good dozen to a dozen and a half of the plastic eggs out of our big bucket for each of the three boys.  Most of our eggs are attached, top and bottom, by a thin line of plastic but I broke them apart and used a permanent marker to write equations on the top side and answers on the bottom.

Evan's eggs all worked with adding up to 12.

Ian had the multiplication fact eggs today and worked with the 6-12 times tables

Alec had the division facts; also working with 6-12's.

They liked that they could narrow down the answer field by matching the egg colors but I liked they had to figure out if the answers were right or not anyway since very few eggs had an obvious match.

It was a fun way to get some additional practice in and they all seemed to enjoy it enough that we'll use it a few more times until Easter comes and all the eggs get packed away again until next year.

Ian matching his eggs 

Evan used strategy and reasoning when making his matches

some of Evan's completed matches 
Alec had giant eggs for division facts 
Making lessons fun and personalized for the season makes them that much more likely to be remembered later. 
Alec was heading out to lunch with his great aunt and so the other two boys and I decided to use the time he was gone to finish up their geography and history reports.  We finished off all the crafts, picked out the snack recipes, wrote up a shopping list and a list of things to pack to bring with us that day.

Each boy took a turn in my craft room and used my Cricut to cut out the letters for the title on the boards.  We glued down the letters and went through a checklist of what we need for the day to make sure we were all set.

Each boy typed in his own letters so they got in a bit of spelling practice as well; not that they noticed all they cared about was getting to run my machine for me.  Evan and I also made up a practice fan for his hands on craft project and talked about what we'd like to differently to make it easier for the kids at the fair.

The boys are proud of their projects and they're getting so excited that the big day is near.  I'm glad to have two boys that are completely done (except for the snacks which we can't do until a day or two before) because I know it's going to take some work to get Alec to complete his on time.

Typing in "South Korea" 

I encourage my boys to take ownership of their learning, their projects, and their activities; including them in as many aspects as I can. 

Ian had disappeared to his room a time or two today.  He's, by far, my most independent and my fastest worker.  He often is the first one to ask what we're going to do and he likes to see all of his work laid out before him.  He then systematically finishes it all up and heads off to play long before his brothers are ever even close to finishing.

Today I could hear him sifting through all the Lego bins in his room.  It was pouring out most of the day and he knew he wasn't going to be able to play outside so he occupied himself making a plow truck.  He showed me his truck after lunch and I was impressed to see all the work he put into it.  He showed me how the plow moved side to side and was already brainstorming up an idea to get the plow blade to move up and down too.

View of the truck with the plow off to the side 
I encourage them to pursue their own interests and applaud their creativity. 

We ended our day decorating Easter eggs.  This year we elected to use liquid watercolors.  I saw a few dripped watercolor eggs on Pinterest and loved how vibrant the colors were.  I set up the table while Alec was at lunch so we were all set to start when he got back.  After trying the first egg with dripping the colors the boys asked for brushes so they could paint their eggs.

They experimented with mixing colors, dripping colors, making pictures on the egg.  They had a lot of fun and were very creative.  Ian told me he was hoping for spring and so he painted a row of flowers on one of his eggs. He also made a whole scene complete with sun, house, grass and sky on another egg.  Another egg prompted a whole story explaining the scenes he was making and what all the symbols stood for.  Alec pulled out his Pokemon book for his final few eggs and tried to draw up a few of his favorite Pokemon to put on the eggs.

They had fun and it was great to get messy and artsy again.

All set up and ready to go 

Trying the drip method

He may not look like it; but Alec loved this!

Moving onto using a brush 

Ian's house, sun, bush and grass scene 

Pretty spring flowers 

The basket of completed eggs 

Throughout the day the boys always work on various life skills; so often in fact that I rarely notice.

Today, however I couldn't help but notice as Ian and Alec worked to help me clean out Alec's fish tank.  Ian and Alec have also been doing their own laundry regularly over the past few weeks; today included.  When it came time to make lunches both Evan and Ian took care of it themselves.  Ian even needed to wash out the pan he needed to make his macaroni and cheese and packed up the left overs all on his own.

I didn't have to lift a single finger the entire time he was in the kitchen.  

I encourage their independence and take any opportunity I can to show them how important the various skills are in real life. 

Linking Up With: Social Butterfly Sunday,  Busy Monday at Pinch of Joy

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Mommy A to Z Manic Mondays Blog Hop

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why We Cover the Basics EVERY Day!

Today we just had time to cover the basics in our schoolwork.  We have days where we try to cover many different subjects and other days when I'm thrilled to just cover some reading, spelling, and math.

Today we had a busy morning and I was just hoping to the basic math, spelling, and reading assignments done.

In covering the basics everyday the boys retain more, gain skills faster, and we make sure that they're prepared for life.  

If they can read well, they can pick up any book and learn about whatever interests them.

If they are good at problem solving and figuring out math problems, they can tackle new areas of learning with confidence, solve problems, and make good financial decisions as adults.

If we practice language arts skills, they will be able to communicate more effectively through the written word.

I try to cover reading and math every day and throw in some sort of writing, spelling or language arts assignment.  I feel these subjects are too important not to cover each day.  

Ian had started watching The Hunger Games movie with my husband last night and really enjoyed it. Since my husband and I had both read the book series we kept pausing the movie to give Ian more background information.  He immediately started watching the rest of it this morning and we requested the book from the library.  I promised to help him read it and I love that he's just as excited about a book and movie series as I am.

So excited that I ignored my own "no screens before school" edict that I just decreed earlier this week!  Some days I feel so wishy- washy about all my rules and today was one of them.  It didn't hurt that we had early morning dentist appointments and we weren't planning on tackling any school work until afterwards anyway.

We had a great check up at the dentist and Evan even went back with the hygienist on his own.  He was perfectly happy and content and I could hear him talking her ear off most of the time he was back there.  It amazes to see how much he's grown in confidence and how much more social he is now that he's getting older.   Ian, not all that surprising, wanted me to sit with him.  He started telling the hygienist about how to tell the difference between white and red pine trees and she commented that we're always talking about nature or the environment and that the boys were lucky to spend so much time outside.

It's funny how it always takes someone else noticing and commenting before I realize it too.  We do spend a lot of time outside and we talk about nature so much; even when we're not outside

We arrived home and the boys were disappointed that I expected them to do any schoolwork today.

They soon got over it though and the two older boys headed up to their rooms to read.  Alec read a few more chapters in The First Collier while Ian read two more of his digger books.

Evan and I read two more Dick and Jane stories.   He's enjoying them and I know that it's giving him confidence.  He's certainly reading faster, tracking his fingers under the words and self- correcting when he reads so fast he gets ahead of himself.  He even told me today that he thinks he'll read aloud to himself in his room tonight after we put him to bed!  I thought it was a big step in the right direction if he's feeling confident enough to try reading on his own.

Right before we had left for the dentist, while the boys were waiting in the car, I ran through the house and hid eggs for Evan to find.

I had found a fun short vowel word game on-line that I printed out last night and prepared for school today.  He scoured the downstairs looking for the 20 hidden eggs.  I then explained that he had to open them one at a time and spell the word using the scrambled letters.  He had fun cracking the eggs open and willingly wrote the words down on the paper.  By the time he was half-way through he was getting tired of writing and the "fun" part of the activity seemed to have warn off; I told him next time I'd make sure to only hide 10 eggs and complete one worksheet page.  He loved it and had no problem at all spelling each and every one of the words.

The older boys finished reading and Alec went on to practice his spelling words.  He was having difficulty remembering how to spell any of them and so I quickly went onto Spelling City and added his word list.  He then played a word unscramble game.  He struggled with even remembering what words he was working with though and was happy to finish up with only three wrong in the end. Ian completed another page in his spelling book working with -ble words.

Ian completed two more pages in his measurement book and worked on converting measurements back and forth from inches to feet to yards and every combination in between.  He did a great job but hated this math work today.  He had to multiply and divide by 3, 12, & 36 and the 36 really threw him.  Mostly I just sat near him so he could check each answer with me as he figured them out.

Evan and I sat down to complete two pages in his math book.  I quickly showed him how to add two digit numbers without regrouping and then left him to complete the rest on his own.  He did amazing!  Each page did have 19 problems on them and he got sick of writing down his answers so he asked me if I could take turns writing with him.  Of course I agreed and we were finished in just a few minutes.

 Alec had been sitting on my other side and was working in his math book as well.  He was turning fractions into decimals and decimals into fractions; working only with tenths and halves.  He ended up just telling me all the answers and didn't write any of it down either.  

They really hate writing and I try to remember that the importance of their math work is to learn the math; not focus on writing.

Read Aloud:
We all ate lunch together and I read three or four more chapters in I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor (squeezing in some history to our day).  These chapters all had our main character in the midst of the battle with bombs and bullets raining down.  It was very action packed and I'm sure they would have willingly sat for even longer but I knew the boys wanted to head to the park to meet up with some friends this afternoon
Getting Outside and Socializing:
We packed up the car with helmets and scooters and headed for the park.  We listened to our book on Cd and finally put in the last disk.  The boys are anxious to see how this ends and kept making me turn off the book for a minute as they compared it to the movie.  They're finding that it's nothing like the book and as Evan put it "isn't that always the way?"   We've even discussed why movies are often so different from the books.  Evan told me he likes that in the books you can hear what the characters are thinking and feeling and hates that it all gets lost in the movie.  I couldn't agree more.

At some point all of the boys were running, swinging and playing and we all enjoyed being out in the sun and fresh air.  It was beautiful out and we met a few more homeschooling moms and children, which is always nice.

Linking Up With: 
Small Victories Sunday Linkup