Self- Guided Learning and Games

Ian came into my room while I was exercising yesterday morning and placed a few books on my bed.  When I asked him what was up he told me he had already started his schoolwork and had finished reading.

He read a book called Near One Cattail: Turtles, Logs and Frogs.  I was impressed!  It was only 6:30 or so and here he was getting his schoolwork done!

I had reminded the boys the previous night that they had to get their schoolwork done early since their cousins were coming to play but I figured they would still eat breakfast, play for a bit and try to procrastinate at least a little.  Ian told me he enjoyed the book but it was hard to summarize since it was a book like The House that Jack Built that just kinds of builds on each page.

He walked downstairs with me with the intention of pulling out his math book again and I reminded him that he could work on writing using his Draw Write Now book or practice cursive or any other subjects too.  He excitedly told me he wanted to do a page in his Draw Write Now book as soon as he ate breakfast. 
I sat down at my computer and found Evan eyeing our United States and World Map puzzles.  Ian had played with them a few days ago and left them out of the bin.  Evan was studying the pictures that were on the puzzles and which state/ country they were near.  I reminded him that if he wanted to work on those puzzles that it is all part of school so he happily dumped them out and set to work. 

Ian must have been inspired by Evan because he hurried in and asked if we could play the Scrambled States of America game as part of his schoolwork and I said sure so he set it all up.  Evan wanted to play and asked if I would help him.  He's starting to recognize many of the states and there are several clues that he doesn't even need help with anymore.  Once he can read and spell on his own he's going to be a fierce contender for his brothers with the game.

We talked about letters & sounds, words, vowels vs consonants, and even what syllables are.  We also talked about lakes, oceans, borders, the compass rose, north, south, east, west, and proximity.  Evan spelled Mississippi for me and told me that's an easy state to spell and read since he knows it already by listening to his brothers spell it.  They had so much fun learning together!
Evan finished up his morning of schoolwork by completing two pages in his Star Wars Phonics book.  He asked if he could do any two pages and chose to work with the letters Q & R.  He told me that he wants to keep the book after he completes it so he can read it and read all the names of the Star Wars guys.

I can't get over how eager he is to work in these books just because they have characters in them.

The older two boys are so jealous too.  I really wish they made them for older grades too! 
Since the boys were done with school and Alec was still in bed they started helping me clean the house.  Evan dusted while Ian vacuumed and washed the floors using the Libman Wonder Mop.

I was starting to think Alec would never wake up when he came downstairs in his pajamas reading his Secret Zoo book.  He's on the 4th book in the series and even though he only had read a chapter or two previously he finished the entire book!

 In fact, he finished the book by 10:30 or 11 and went on to finish up reading his Greek Mythology book and all of his Greek Mythology fact cards too.  I did have to make him put the books a time or two so he could eat breakfast, get dressed and clean up his room before our company came over but he was content to keep his nose buried in his books until lunchtime.

He's just such an avid reader!

He read another 4 picture books before bed too after we said goodnight to him and he couldn't wait until morning to come downstairs and show me.

By lunchtime my sister and nephews were with us and the boys all had fun playing in the water, the sand, and on the swing set together.  We observed a "new" bird on our lake which we figured was a cormorant by the end of the day and also had fun watching the blue heron and the mamma duck with her little ducklings.

chicken fights
the cormorant found some food  
another picture; we were surprised that it could hold it's breath so long and swim so far so fast!
Once the boys tired of swimming, playing chicken and holding contests in the lake they spread out some blankets and all laid down to compare, trade, and examine each other's Pokémon cards.

I was happy to hear them doing math too as they battled with Pokémon cards.  Alec was easily subtracting three and two digit numbers in his head and surprised me when he told his cousin that you could not take 130 away form 50 unless you were using negative numbers; I didn't realize he knew what negative numbers were!

They had fun and they helped each other figure out points and scores each making sure the other's math was right.

I love when they learn naturally through play; that's the best!

Pokémon traders


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