It is good to have days like today

Got off to a slow start this morning. Not sure why. The boys pretty much played game cube and watched tv until I got breakfast. I have been trying to find time in our days to start reading The Story of US (a US History series) that my in-laws had gotten for us awhile ago without much success. Today I decided to try reading it during breakfast. Went over really well! They were asking a lot of questions and we have a few things that we want to follow up on. Generated some good discussion so I think that we will keep this up. :o)

We then got moving for Jason's OT at 11am. It was our first day back since before Christmas and Jason really enjoyed it and did well. He really liked the game that they played where Torrey traced letters on his back and he wrote them down. He played it a bit with Kyle while he was waiting for us to leave and he wants to play it with me as well. This is a good thing as Jason does really well with writing if he copies the words, but if he does not see the letters (mostly lower case) he has a harder time remembering what they look like. So this is great for helping him visualize the letters and he enjoys it. A great combination!

Then it was on to swimming. Had a lot of fun…lots more kids in the class this time around. One of my friends, Linda, has signed up her daughter so we will get to see them each week! Yea! Jason and Aurelie really get along well…they have very similar personalities. Jason unfortunately was not happy (an understatement) because the water was very cold (the Rec center is fixing their heating system so hopefully it will be better next time). He wanted to skip the class and go home. After talking a bit, he agreed to try the class for 10 minutes and if he was absolutely miserable, he could come out. He stayed in for the whole class and enjoyed it. Although he did say he was still cold.

Came home and the boys asked how many more days until their new Gamecube game would come in. They ordered it on and it is being shipped from Texas. While we were talking, Kyle wanted to know what country it was coming from. I told him it was coming from the state of Texas. Then Kyle wanted to know what the difference between a state and a country was and Jason was trying to remember where Texas was. I went and got the US and World Atlases that we have (yes, I was actually able to find them when I needed them! Always a good thing…) The boys were full of questions…we looked at where Virginia was and then where Texas was. Jason commented on how big Texas was and counted the states between there and Virginia. We looked at the Virginia page and found where Grandma and Grandpa were in Virginia Beach. They really liked reading a bit about the Chesapeake Bay bridge/tunnel and how it is the longest such structure in the country. We then found where Ocean City was and how part of Assateague Island is part of Virginia and part of Maryland. We then looked at Texas and found that it is the 2nd largest state by area but not by population, which led us on a search for the largest state in the US (Alaska). There we noted that Alaska was actually ranked 48th for population and Jason wanted to know which state was the least populous. Spent a lot of time looking at a US population map (Jason was really interested in analyzing this) and narrowed it down to a western state and then found out it was Wyoming (almost 50% of which is owned by the US government). Spent some time looking at the World Atlas and looking for countries that have shown up in several of the books that we are reading. Kyle enjoyed this as he likes playing with the globe that we have and kept going back and forth between the two. It is times like this that I wish that I had a tape recorder to catch the conversation.

Kyle started asking me if it was day or night in the different countries which reminded me of this awesome website It shows a satellite image of the earth in real-time…so you can see where it is day and night and you can see where the more populous areas of the earth are based on the light pollution. If you check out that website, be sure to play around with the different views…you can see the earth from the where the sun is, from where the moon is, the dark side and the whole world view. And you can zoom in on any part of the world for a closer look. And if you come back after a couple of hours and refresh, you can see the daylight move across the world!

So after we played around a little bit with that website, the boys wrote some more Christmas thank you notes. I never know how that is going to go…sometimes Jason has an awful time and drags it out, other times he does it happily and quickly…this was a happily and quickly time. Kyle had a bit more trouble…he was doing fine, but getting frustrated with himself.

We finished up with reading the last part of their Moo Cow Fan Club magazine on Egypt. This magazine is awesome…it is a smaller magazine, only published 4 times a year and both boys love it. It is wonderfully written and has no advertising. It has a great voice and is really a lot of fun to read. Great characters, good columns and articles and always looks at the subject from different, interesting angles.

All in all a relaxed, learning packed, fun day. And the best thing is that it was driven by their own curiosity. What more could you ask for? You need days like these every now and then and I am finding that we seem to be having more and more of them lately.