We took a couple of days off of school work because the boys were really complaining and throwing fits about it and, of course, that is not how I want it to be. After giving it some thought, I have cut way back on how much we do so that their lessons are very quick.
Now we will do a lesson in OPGTR on one day and then practice reading the next day. And we will learn how to properly write a new letter one day and then practice writing it more the next day. We will move through things more slowly overall but I think it will work out better for them. Eventually they will build up more tolerance and then we can start extending lessons a bit more. We started this today and it went very well.
Another thing I started doing was typing up the OPGTR lessons so I could leave out all of the instructions to me. This makes the lesson seem much shorter to them. When they would look at the page in the book with the instructions to me, it would be a bit overwhelming to them. It made them think the lesson was much bigger/longer than it really was. So I did this today and I printed out a page for each of us to hold, which they loved. Then I had a highlighter and I would highlight some words/sentences for Ben to read and some for Nick to read. They really liked this. Of course, for children their age, novelty is fun and exciting so everything is great the first time we do it. We'll see how they are doing with it a week from now.
They love doing our Bible devotional so that is not an issue. They love being read to so that is not an issue either. Today we started re-reading My Father's Dragon. It's been quite a while since we read it and I think they had forgotten parts of it. They really enjoyed it today and kept wanting me to read more.
We are still listening to the unabridged version of Peter Pan when we are riding in the car. We have all really enjoyed this so much. I think we have probably listened to it 10 times by now and I think I have enjoyed it as much as they have, most of the time. I really enjoy the accent of the guy who reads it and the way he does the voices. It sure makes for quiet car rides. I just ordered two more audio books, Little House in the Big Woods and Treasure Island. I hope we will enjoy these as much as we have Peter Pan. We also listen to Just So stories and a CD of poems by various authors. The poems are ones that boys in particular would enjoy and we have all enjoyed those too. We listen to Peter and the Wolf, various classical composers and scripture verses that have been put to music while we are in the house, usually while we are preparing, eating and cleaning up after meals, while I am doing chores and the boys are playing, etc. We all enjoy that a lot too.
I was also thinking about how to give them incentive to read aloud more to us and to also strive for better behavior. So today I introduced the marble jar and a large bowl of marbles. They get to put a marble in the jar when they read a book (Bob books and some other readers I ordered from Modern Curriculum Press). This is great because they immediately wanted to read more books to us. They ended up reading two or three books to me and then another two or three to their daddy. I am amazed at how well they are both reading. I have ordered some more difficult books that have the more recent ending blends we have already studied.
In other news, they are really into this children's charades game that they picked up at a garage sale recently. It is really fun for everyone and it is funny to watch them try to act things out.
And, in still other news, we are hoping to receive estimates from three different builders this week. We have actually already received one but need some clarification about it. Another one has said he is ready to meet to go over his numbers and we are trying to coordinate a time. The third one I happened to see out at a burger place on Sunday afternoon and he said they are hoping to have their numbers ready this week too. Who knows, maybe we will actually be ready to make this decision within the next week. I hope! It is very interesting to see how this has evolved and where we have ended up. I have no doubts that God is in control and is leading this effort. I am at peace knowing His timing is perfect and He knows what is best for us.
Odds and Ends: The boys and I have colds. We went to the church near our old house for the last time yesterday. We plan to start visiting churches in the town where we will be building our new house now. The boys are doing well in both swimming and soccer and are enjoying both. Both are once a week now. When it cools down a bit, we are planning to move our piano from my sister's house to our rental house. Hopefully by then I will have found someone who gives piano lessons.
Here are a few more pictures of the boys. I really need to start taking more pictures. I have not been as good about that lately. Must do better.
These pics were taken just before we moved. I think this was their last bath in our old house. I told them to show me their muscles and these were the poses I got.
This was when Ben was totally into shooting his bow and arrows. He is actually quite good at it. Their cousin gave them this shirt and they use it for dressing up like a hunter.
I need to get some things done while the boys are out running through the sprinklers. Until later.