Cramming All the Subjects In -- At Their Request!

I couldn't believe how early we started school today!  I had pulled out a few supplies for our school day last night but I wasn't sure if we'd get to them all or what else we might end up adding in.

I really wasn't even sure the boys would WANT to do school today but before breakfast Alec was asking if I wanted to play the Scrambled States of America game with him.

We played a quick game; just the two of us and I managed to beat Alec-- by 1 card!  He's such a good player and I have to continually remind myself not to sit back and give him time to answer first or else he completely beats the pants off of me.  It's the first time Alec has lost playing the game but he was such a good sport about it.

I'm always amazed by all the boys' geography knowledge; they're so interested in travel, other states, and geographical facts that they just love this game.

Ian wanted to make waffles this morning and I told him he could make then with some M & M's in them since I had a bag of M & M's on hand to go with our math lesson today.

I found this Fun Fractions with M & M's worksheet and thought the boys would enjoy learning about fractions while snacking on some candy.  I copied three sets of worksheets but warned Evan it might be a bit too hard for him to do but he was welcome to try.

Instead of giving each boy their own snack size bag of M & M's, I used a regular size bag and gave them all a 1/3 cup scoop.

All the boys guessed that 10-30 M & M's would fit in a third cup measure but they all ended up with 70-90!

Evan was having a hard time even counting his so I helped him by moving the pieces for him while he counted aloud by two's.  Once we got beyond 20 I helped him count by two's until 75 (which is how many M & M's he had).

We separated the colors and I started helping write his fractions but by the time we got half-way through the colors he told me he wanted to be done with it.

practicing writing his numbers
 He went and got his Star Wars math book and I found a page working with halves of shapes and he completed that instead while munching a few M & M's.  He also pulled out his language arts book and completed the O page and the P page.

The older boys finished up their two pages and Ian set to work on making waffles.

While he was making waffles and while the boys all ate breakfast (once the waffles were completed) I read another chapter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  I did have to stop once or twice while Ian asked me about adding and reducing fractions.  It's been a while since we've made a double batch of waffles and he wanted to make sure that two 1/4 tsp. equaled 1/2 tsp. and that if he doubled 1 3/4 cups he'd end up with 3 1/2 cups-- what great math and reading practice for him having fun baking in the kitchen.

The boys all went to get dressed and ready for the day and then asked if they could work out in our exercise room rather than go for a walk outside since it was cloudy out.  I set the alarm for 5 min. intervals and they took turns on the elliptical, the treadmill, and working on push ups, sits ups and jumping jacks on the floor.  They had so much fun together and they all thought the 15 min. went by really fast. 

We came back upstairs and Evan and I went to sit on the couch to read Ted in a Red Bed together.  There were a lot of words in this book that I didn't think Evan would know but he actually did a great job reading quite a bit of the story.  I was amazed and excited.


He just laughed at me when I started shaking him and shouting with joy "wow! Look at you read!  Evan, you're reading!"  Again I got a laughing "I just made a good guess."  But it was fun and I think his confidence is gaining.

Alec came to join us and wanted to read Owl Babies to us.  He tried to read both the Vietnamese version of the book as well as the English.  I was really hoping to find a video of someone reading the book in Vietnamese because I thought he was doing a pretty decent job of it using all the knowledge of the Korean words from karate.  He finally tired of trying to muddle through the Vietnamese and finished the story in English for us.

We then watched a YouTube of the story (not in Vietnamese, but the boys saw me proofing the video and really wanted to watch.-- it's adorable!). 

Alec went to complete a page in his Draw Write Now book and learned how to draw a leopard.  Ian was just finishing up his Draw Write Now page on Pueblos and so we went to finish reading the last two chapters of The Genius Files book.

I was surprised when he told me he wanted to get book 2 out of the library.  I wasn't sure he was really enjoying this story series.  He did warn me though that he doesn't want to be the one to read the book; he just wants to listen to me read it to him. 

We finished our morning with a fun science kit.

We had gotten this potato clock kit and had never gotten around to checking it out.  It was super easy to put together and all three boys took turns attaching the wires to the copper and zinc plates.  They then put the pieces into the potatoes and we watched the clock turn on.

We set the time, read about how and why the potato clock works and saw that we could experiment with different liquids too to see what would power out potato clock.

Alec decided to try mango juice, water (which made the clock keep fading in and out and turning off-- so we added salt and tried salt water), milk, and rubbing alcohol.

I honestly think Alec and Evan would have kept trying everything in the fridge and pantry if I had let them but it was getting late and I suggested we wrap up and get some lunch on the table. 

assembling our pieces

attaching the potatoes

Looking at our clock to make sure it's working

Trying the clock with mango juice

trying it with milk

Checking to see if water worked

Adding salt to our water

Rubbing alcohol
During lunch they requested to watch an episode of Wild Kratts and we learned about birds of paradise birds.   It's an episode they've watched  before but we had lost this DVD for quite some time and they all agreed that they wanted to watch this particular episode again-- I love it when they can all agree on something!

After lunch we took a picture walk through the book 13 Buildings Children Should Know.  I quizzed them as to the name of the buildings and where they were located.  We talked about each building, why the author thought they were important and when/ why they were built.

They knew most of the buildings so I was pretty impressed.  When we were done I asked them if they wanted to go swimming or if they wanted to head to the library and they chose the library.  We had a huge bagful of books to return and so I said OK.

We piled into the car and the older boys played Hangman on the Kindle, passing it back and forth to one another.

Evan used our second Kindle to play Free Flow and Stack the States (though how he plays without reading I'll never understand-- especially because he seemed to be getting quite a few of them right!).

We decided to listen to our book on CD for a bit.

While we were out and about Ian played Stack the States while listening and challenged me to duel at the library to see which one of us could put all 50 states in the right place with the fewest amount of mistakes (he beat me by 1).

The two older boys picked out some more books and I helped Evan download Word Monkey onto his Kindle.  He started playing and continued playing the whole way home practicing how to spell egg, web, and other short vowel three letter words, he practiced writing f, e, q, and a few other letters too.

Alec used the Kindle to play Chess, Nine Men's Morris, and Stack the States as well.

Ian read an entire book on the way home called Raising the Roof; A Habitat for Humanity book.

I could not get over all the learning my boys were doing today.

I seriously had only planned on the M& M math activity, some reading and some writing; everything else was just thrown in as the day went along-- most of it by the boys!!

Once home, Ian went to his room to build using his Structures blocks while Alec and Evan tried to play Hangman together.  It was made pretty tricky by the fact that Evan can't spell, but they seemed to be having fun.

I suggested to Evan that he pull a book off the shelf and look up words to use to try and stump Alec while playing.  He happily chose a book about rocks and pulled random words out to try and stump his brother. 

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  1. I have that same M&M fraction sheet pinned for our first day of school (which I think is going to be 8/21 Eclipse Day) - looks like it'll be fun! #HSBAT

    1. It was a lot of fun! My kids love any schooling that involves candy.


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