Friday, 29 February 2008

Sled Dogs!

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race starts this weekend and we have been working on our sled dog lapbook this past week. We have also picked each a musher (even Dad did!) and watched a beautiful video on the Iditarod . If you visit the Iditarod site I have linked, look for the Free 18 minute "2008 Iditarod Preview". We are planning on following the race on the internet, and we will use a Daily Race Statistics chart (found here) to keep track of each musher's progress.

Here are some pictures of our lapbook so far...I will post more pictures when we are finished as well.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Birthday Boy!

Dragon is 9 today! Every birthday is the same thing, I can't believe how fast the time goes...

I thought I would share a few of my favourite pictures of him as a baby and toddler! With his big brown eyes, he was just the cutest little baby boy around...

Happy Birthday Dragon!

Friday, 22 February 2008

Mystery Class Continues...

Fairy and I have been continuing on with the Mystery Class project. Every Monday we record our local sunrise and sunset times, calculate the photoperiod and input it on our location's graph. On Fridays, we do the same for all the 10 mystery locations.

Today was our fourth time, and we were able to answer some questions about these mystery locations. We could guess if they were in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, and if they were closer or farther away from the equator.

We were also excited to see one of our locations finally getting some daylight, the last 3 times they were in complete darkness!
If you'd like to find out more about this interesting free project, visit this link:

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Last night, Dragon stayed up with us to watch the Lunar Eclipse. It was difficult to see because we had a cloudy night, but we ended up having a bit of clear sky at the right time!

Here are my pictures from last night...

To learn more about the lunar eclipse, visit the NASA Total Lunar Eclipse page.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Today's History Lesson with Fairy

I have to be honest...this past school year, history with Fairy hasn't been regular. We started in September with the intention of reading through Kingfisher History Encyclopedia . Even though it is a good encyclopedia, it was just not "interesting" enough for her.
I decided that in January we would follow Ambleside Online's suggestions and read through biographies. I have read aloud last month Michelangelo by Diane Stanley. Fairy liked this book, I read a couple of pages twice a week, sometimes three times,and then she would narrate to me.

Today, we started Good Queen Bess also by Diane Stanley. She loved this one! I ended up reading the whole book to her in one sitting since she just kept on asking for more.

I think covering history through biographies or history tales is a lot more interesting to Fairy. She received a free book a few weeks ago from our local library, To Be a Princess, The Fascinating Lives of Real Princesses by Hugh Brewster. It covers the stories of twelve real princesses from Mary Tudor to Elizabeth II, from England, Austria, Hawaii, Russia, and India. I am planning on using this book as our spine. Whenever a particular princess' story appeals to Fairy, we will read extra books and research a little more.

I find that, for subjects like history, geography or science, when I try to follow a curriculum or a more textbook approach, it just doesn't seem to work for us. When I make up our own studies, then we enjoy them and learn so much more!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I surprised the kids this morning with a really nice Valentine's Day treat....a day off school! We attended a fun party this afternoon with our homeschool friends, exchanging valentines, eating treats, playing games and doing a few crafts. The hearts in the picture were painted with watercolour paints by Adrienne, Celeste and myself. We found the idea in the Usborne's Valentine Things to Make and Do .
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Fairy's Clay Art

Fairy attended her second clay art workshop with our homeschool friends and made a circus theme picture this time. Last year's theme was under the sea. I really like both!

Our Ballet Girl!

Princess is now half way through her ballet lessons. She is taking a 9 week class through our community centre. It has been a perfect introduction to dance for her, she absolutely loves it!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Clin d'oeuil pour Rachel!

J'espere que tu as le son sur ton ordinateur...Je n'arrive toujours pas a croire que j'ai trouve cette chanson...

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Handicraft Saturdays

After taking off last Saturday for the Winterfest, we worked on our rag quilts this morning.
Fairy sewed all her rows together. She did end up needing a bit of help from me because the fabric was a bit thicker than what she has worked with so far. The quilt is now put together. Next is the cutting. I explained to Fairy that this will take longer, but she can do little bit at a time whenever she would like. All that is needed is the quilt and a pair of scissors to make the little cuts at all the seams, without cutting the seam...a bit tricky but I know she can do it!

Dragon also worked on his rag quilt. We finished cutting all the squares needed. We will work on sewing them next Saturday.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Keeping our bodies active during the winter...

I have been on the lookout for new ways to be active during the long winter months, with the kids and also for myself.
I found this fun little alphabet workout on YouTube and we tried it this morning. We used a water bottle for weight. It seems simple but you end up doing a few squats and stretching your arms too.
We also have been doing this DVD workout by Scott Cole called Get Fit America for Kids . It is a mix of Tai Chi and Yoga, with lots of fun moves for the kids (I enjoy it too!).

Saturday, 2 February 2008

More pictures of Winterfest

Here are a few more pictures of Winterfest...

The first 2 are from the snow/ice slide, the sculptures at the back were beautiful.

The local museum had a booth too, the kids were able to try snowshoeing and Fairy practiced carrying buckets on her shoulders, the way settlers would have done. Princess learned how to use a tool to pick up ice blocks!

The Wildlife Centre brought along a skunk (descented) that we were allowed to touch...and we all did! Skunks have very soft fur...Her name was Aroma!

Winterfest 2008

The kids and I went to Winterfest this morning. We all had so much fun! Great way to beat the winter blahs! I will have to add more pictures later on, but the highlight was the dog sled rides, especially since we have been reading about the Iditarod. Fairy and Princess went on one, and Dragon and I on an other. What a great experience!

Friday, 1 February 2008

Studying Space with Dragon

Last week was the beginning of our Space Study for science with Dragon. He has been asking to do this for a while now, so I finally woke up and decided to put our regular "textbook" science curriculum aside! I am already enjoying learning about space along with him.
I am using the Usborne First Encyclopedia of Space as a spine, and he uses this great little colouring/activity/sticker book that has lots of facts for him to read aloud.
Today's topic was the solar system and through the Usborne book links, we found a great site, an interactive virtual model of the solar sytem. Check it out here and click on "launch planet 10".


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