Seeing Signs of Progress

My kids surprised the heck out of me today.

For starters they got along great all morning long.

Then they willingly did all their schoolwork.

Then they showed me in so many different ways how all of our hard work at homeschooling is really starting to pay off!

I had recorded Rise of the Guardians last night once they were in bed and upon seeing that listed this morning they all wanted to watch.  When I finally begged them to eat breakfast and get the day going they willingly worked together to make breakfast.  Evan cracked and beat the eggs, Ian made the bagels and Alec cooked up the eggs.

We had gotten another post card in last night and we read all about Georgia.  Our postcard showed the city of Atlanta and before I could even ask they told me that was in Georgia and that we have family there.  Once all the food was cooked and they settled to eat, I finished up the last of the Harry Potter book; we're completely done with the entire series!  It was a lot of fun and I loved hearing Evan tell me that he's going to remember all the book series he's loved as a child and read them to his kids someday.

Evan wanted to sit with me and read two more stories in Dick and Jane.  He did awesome!

Evan settled down to a Star Wars measuring page and we worked together to read and use a ruler.   We reviewed how to write the fraction 1/2 and then he finished up the page on his own.  Meanwhile Ian did two pages on volume and Alec worked with word problems and adding money.

We've  been having fun watching our caterpillars grow and today we noticed that they're all hanging from the cup lid.  We've had caterpillars enough times to know that this means they will go into their chrysalis soon.  We also noted how big the lady bug larvae are getting and we're guessing that they too will soon be changing.  Ian has been checking on his replanted orange seeds and even asked me to look up information about grafting orange seeds.  We saw an oriole and a heron out the window this morning and we're talking about other ways to encourage birds into our yard.

our caterpillars 

One of our ladybug babies

Major Progress in Reading: 

When all the boys were done with their schoolwork they then packed their lunches and as we were getting ready to head to the car Ian told me that he still had not read.  He asked if he could read the next chapter to Catching Fire on his own, in his head, while we were driving.  He knew we had been reading the book together and he was afraid to get ahead of me but he really wanted to read.

Yep, you read that right-- WANTED TO READ!

 I told him I could read the chapter over the weekend and get caught back up to him.  I just warned him that I wanted him to make sure he was understanding what he was reading.  I reminded him that this was an upper middle/ high school level book and he may need help with some of the words and that he should not be afraid to ask.

The younger two boys brought their MP3 players in the car and they quietly listened to music while Ian read.  It took him the full hour drive but he read the WHOLE chapter; stopping to ask a few question here and there, stopping to read or even re-read sections out loud to me for clarification, and stopping to summarize his reading for me so I could keep abreast of what was happening in the story.

When we arrived at my sister's house  he had one back- to-back page left to read and he didn't want to get out of the car until he was finished!

I thought for sure he was going to close the book at any time during our drive and ask if he could be done or if I could take over and read it out loud to him later on in the day.  He amazed me with his perseverance!

For Ian, my reluctant reader-- this was HUGE!

Along the way, Evan read out some road signs to me.  "Mom that says do not enter!"  "That sign over there with the arrow says one way."

Evan has been able to read the names of his favorite songs off his MP3 for quite some time but today he also started reading out the names of the artists or asking me if he was reading them right.

 I've noticed that he's reading up a storm lately.  

Last night as he was heading to bed he convinced me to read the first chapter in Confronting the Dragon.  Before I could start reading he picked up Drop It, Rocket! and read the whole entire book cover to cover without making any mistakes!

It's so wonderful to see my late blooming reader finally flourishing and showing signs that all our hard work had not been in vain!!  

Socialization and Physical Education:  
The boys had a great afternoon playing with their cousins.  They ran all around, playing Beyblades, Cadoo, and using a sound app to make up scenarios.

We went to a local park and the kids played for a bit.  They were climbing, swinging, sliding, and having fun.  It was a bit of work trying to stay warm since it was pretty windy and a bit cool out but they didn't seem to mind.  The boys used a bit of the exercise equipment set up around the park and found some new and inventive ways to get a workout. We went back to my sister's house and all the kids were playing when I noticed Alec curled up on the couch reading DC Super- Pets Character Encyclopedia.

Pump it up! 

Off and running 
Self- Guided Learning:
On the way home we all listened to Alec's MP3 player and I noticed that as much as Evan has been picking up on reading with his MP3 he's also learning alphabetical order too!

Alec had us each take turns picking a song to listen to and once or twice Evan would tell him what letters the song started with and where they'd be listed; "That starts with n so it's after m."

He even tried spelling a few of the songs out beyond the first letter.  Evan never tries to sound out words or spell so this was big progress.

Days like this where I see so much obvious learning happening outside of school (or applying what they have been learning to real life) are just the best days.  

It allows me to breathe better, smile more, and stress less.  

They are learning!
They do like school!  

I am doing a good job!


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