Friday, January 26, 2007

Games Called on Account of Rain

Well, we were supposed to go to the park today (to infect half a dozen more kids with our virus, lol) but Mother Nature was against us. It started raining about a half an hour before we were supposed to be leaving, much to our collective disappointment. Cameron, especially, was really bummed so I promised him that we would do something fun at home.

We started by making and mailing a couple get well cards to a Great Uncle who took a spill in the kitchen the other day and landed himself in the hospital. Next we played several games of Wild Animal Dominoes. I keep forgetting how much fun that is to play with the kids. It's just this wooden dominoes set with native North American animals instead of numbers on it that we picked up in Yosemite last summer. It's a great game because it's so simple that even Cassia can play easily, yet it's still fun for everyone.

Next I started doing some cleaning in the master bedroom (Greyson was taking a nice long nap for a change!) and one or the other of the kids kept coming into the bedroom and bouncing around on the bed for a minute or two and then running off again. I finally realized that they were playing Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (If you don't remember me blogging about that, it was a silly book that we got from the library a while back.) One person would be the pigeon and the reader and act out the book in the living room while the other would be the bus driver, away on an errand. The bus driver's only part was to say "Remember, don't let the pigeon drive the bus!" at the beginning and then "You didn't let the pigeon drive the bus did you? Thanks!" at the end. LOL. Silly kids. But you know what? A book came very alive for them. A very silly book, mind you, but a book nonetheless.

Eventually they both ended up bouncing around on the bed since it was stripped and had a big mound of pillows piled on it. They played King of the Pillows and that led to playing King Cameron and Queen Cassia which led to me telling them that the current Queen of England is named Elizabeth II and that when she dies her son, Charles, will be King. Well then the game changed and Cassia was suddenly Queen Elizabeth and Cameron was Prince Charles. Rather, Cassia was Queen Elizabeth the 3-1/2. ROFL! And that game somehow morphed into the ever popular Robin Hood and sometime around then Greyson finally woke up and I lost track of all the cute little imaginings going on in their world.

Around 4:00 we finally got around to schoolwork. Yes, I know I said I was going to try and get to it earlier but everyone is always so self-amusing early in the day! It seems a shame to break their stride and interrupt such good play for boring old book work. Besides, that's when I get my best web surfing in! ;) I'm going to be in big trouble next year when I have all these subjects that I'm telling myself that we have to do. Anyway they both wanted to do work so I got Cameron started on his math. It was a drill page of addition problems with sums 15 to 20. I thought Cameron would be able to easily do that on his own, but he couldn't. Every single problem he had to hold up X fingers while I held up Y and then he would take fingers from me to make his equal 10 to get the answer. Every. Single. Time.

Meanwhile, Cassia started on Earlybird 1B. In total, she did almost three whole lessons - that's NINE pages! She was really into it and I felt really bad because I wasn't able to spend the one-on-one time with her to do it that I did when Cameron did that book. I didn't even notice, until now when I went to count how many pages she did, that she skipped a couple pages in the middle. I didn't do the cute little lesson demos that are suggested. I didn't help her form her 3s the right way so most of them ended up looking like s'es. I didn't encourage her to color the farm animal page something other than all red. And I didn't let her go as far as she wanted to because I couldn't keep going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth between the two of them. There has GOT to be an easier way. The problem is that she insists on doing her school work at the same time that he does but they're both so young that they both need 100% attention. Even if I can convince her to do it another time, she'll then get distracted and want to play with him instead. It's all about doing what big brother does.

Speaking of Big Brother Cameron again, after he finished his math I pulled out the science workbook. There was a really simple worksheet on classifying different materials on whether they came from plant, animal, earth, or man-made sources. It was easy stuff. Cameron and DH totally went over all that information the other day and he had it down pat. He did not get it at all today. Actually, he did really well on the one section where you were identifying which objects were made of which materials but seemed to have no concept of what came from where. He was just guessing and I was getting super frustrated with him. Cassia was clamoring for attention because she wanted to keep going in her math book but I couldn't help her because I was helping Cameron. Greyson was screeching over something. I was stressing... finally, I realized that I was going nuts over nothing. The science program that we're using was intended for 3rd graders! Why do I keep forgetting that? Oh, I felt so bad for being so hard on him once I remembered that. I've got to stop treating the workbook as a test as start treating it as a teaching tool. Just something to read and fill in the blanks. It doesn't matter who gives the answer as long as the answer gets out there.

Anyway, I apologized to him and told him that I had forgotten that the workbook was written for much older kids. You could see the relief on his face that it wasn't just him. I hope I didn't make him feel stupid. Bad Mommy. I love workbooks. I love following directions and doing things just the way you are supposed to. I forget that life doesn't really work that way sometimes. Not everyone fits in the blanks and they shouldn't be made to either. I think the kids learned more today with all their creative games than they did from their workbooks. I should probably just quit buying workbooks. School-at-Home was never what I was after anyway - they're just so darn convenient!


G said...

Aaarggghhh. I SHOULD have called you! I did think about it, halfway there. It was totally spur of the moment. Next time I will though! Sounds like you guys had a pretty fun afternoon though. I do the same thing with C.O. It's like I forget that it's a grade or two above his age level, and maybe he won't get it right away. Then I get frustrated, he gets frustrated. I need to work more on remembering that he's 5.

Yes, we're still planning on Wednesday! The kids have been talking about it for the last couple of weeks - they're both very excited!

I'm "running" off to Peace Hill Press now!

G said...

Got the activity book - THANK YOU for the heads up!