Nothing to do days

It is really nice to have a nothing to do day…no classes, doctor’s appointments, no places to be. It has worked out that Fridays are our only totally “free” day. And people worry about my kids being stuck in the house all day with no interaction with kids or people. Sometimes I wish that we had less interaction! But they do really enjoy their classes and activities and it helps me appreciate our “home” days even more.

Yesterday was a fun day…I guess that it was not a totally “nothing to do day” because we did get our hair cut (and man did we need it!). Jason and Kyle have both decided to let their hair grow long, so they just got a trim around the ears. I got a couple of inches off and it feels great. I love Stefano, the guy who has been cutting my hair for probably close to 12 years now. He gave both the boys their first haircuts and even Jeff has been going to him for quite some time now.

After haircuts, we stopped to pick up food for the guinea pigs (we have 4 - I think they go through more veggies then we do) and came home. The boys found a book on marbles that Kyle had gotten for his birthday last year that had been lying around the bookcase unnoticed. I caught Jason reading it to Kyle. ;o) So then they wanted me to dig out the marbles sets we had. They played together with those for quite some time while I tried to clean up a bit. After that, Kyle wanted to work on his reading (yes, this kid begs me to do his reading. And math. Try not to feel too jealous.) I gave Jason the choice of doing some math or writing another thank you note (he only had one more to do from Halloween). He choose the thank you note. Kyle and I did about 3 lessons until he started getting goofy…he did not want to stop, but I told him that he needed to take a break and let what he learned sink in.

So then I had Kyle write his thank you note while Jason and I worked on some math. I mentioned in an earlier entry that things had just recently clicked in math for him and it is nice to see that he definitely still gets it. This stuff is easy for him now and I think that surprises him. What surprised me today was that he also now gets how to add things in columns! I have tried many times over the past year to explain how you could add the ones column and 10s column but it just did not click for him. Well, we were working on 3-digit addition in his workbook and it once again showed how to line up the numbers and it clicked! He got it. No problems at all. My theory again is that he needs to understand in his own way how the big concept works then he can more easily fit the details in. So he had to understand first how to break numbers down into their components (245 being 200+40+5 etc) before he could understand column adding (completely backwards to the way I remember learning this stuff). The great thing is that once Jason gets something, he owns it. We were flying through things today, no struggles, no arguments.

The boys also went through some catalogs today to get some ideas for their Christmas lists. They seemed to be circling most everything, so I asked them to put a star next to the things that they really wanted! I have some ideas for them, but it is always interesting to see what jumps out at them. I had some phone calls to make, so they ran off to play Mario Party 7 on the gamecube. It just came out on Tuesday and they had saved and combined their money so they could get it. It is great that Jason can read his games without any help (and that is where a lot of his reading practice comes from..shhhh…don’t tell him!) New games are also a source of frustration for my perfectionist and we have had to have several talks about taking breaks when the frustration gets too much. But for the most part the boys are having fun with it and have been learning lots from playing.

We had dinner (Jeff is out of town until Sunday) and then watched a Wallace and Grommit dvd we got from Netflix. I really am glad that we have kids…there is a lot (books and movies) that I probably would have missed out on including Wallace and Grommit! After that it was reading and bedtime and I got to watch my own movie, Oceans 12.

All in all a busy, filled day. These are the days that I enjoy. We had a really good balance…some “school”, some free time play, some gamecube and lots of time together. I need to make sure that we get plenty of these “nothing to do days”….