Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Happy Day! Math is done for Dragon!

I know it might seem a bit silly to post about having finished our Math curriculum, but Dragon and I are both so happy we are done with Saxon Math Grade 3!
All 140 lessons are done, all 27 assessments and all 168 fact sheets completed.

The plan for the summer is to do only a little bit of Math using Mammoth Math. The first set we will do is about Canadian Money. The focus is on counting coins, counting and making change, dollar-amounts, mental math and solving simple money problems.

I also want to add some living math and will be using this link to find book titles. Video games are always appreciated around here...so I thought this Cyberchase site would be fun for them to try.
There are more suggestions for math games at the Living Math site .

Fairy only has 2 lessons left so she will be done very soon too! YEAH!

Space Study with Dragon

Dragon and I finished our space study that we started in February. It was a nice little study using the Usborne First Encyclopedia of Space and a workbook called Let's Discover Space.
We have both enjoyed learning more about space, planets, satellites, space missions, aliens....

Dragon enjoyed a few websites that were suggested from the Usborne book. Here are a few of his favourites:

*The ESA (European Space Agency) has a great kids website where you can learn more about space and print a Hipparcos globe or some satellites.

*The Tech Museum of Inovation has a Satellite Site where you can build your own satellite online. There are 3 different kinds and it also gives explanations as you are building.

*For fun, we also liked this Arthur site "Alien: Assembly Required" .

*Last is a BBC site "Your Travel Guide to the Solar System" where you can watch videos about each planet. I personally like this one because it is set up as a travel guide, with sections called "Reasons to Visit", "What to See", and "Local History".

Monday, 23 June 2008

Yummy Mini Banana and Chocolate Chip Loaves

Princess likes to cook with me, anything that I am making in the kitchen she wants to be part of it!
We made these mini banana loaves before, but this morning I thought I would add chocolate chips to the mix...very yummy!
Princess helped with the mashing and the mixing. She is getting quite good at it!

Zoo Maps

As mentioned in the post below, the kids created their own zoo maps, after looking over a couple of real zoo maps. Princess even did her own. Here are a few pictures:

First, Princess ... the 2 "people" on the bottom right corner of her map are visiting the zoo! She added stickers of animals in the different parts of the zoo. She did do paths and added water for the dolphin to swim in, and some icebergs (those little blue spots) for the penguins!

Dragon's Zoo includes a fun park with rides. He even added restaurants and a hotel! There is even a shuttle bus that takes you from the zoo part to the fun ride park...he thought this one through!

Fairy had fun working on this little project too. She divided her zoo into different habitats, the Savannah, the Forest and the Arctic. She also added a couple of rides. She drew animals in their enclosures.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Creating Our Own Zoo Map

Here is an idea that we will be trying out. I found it on The Crafty Crow, a great site with lots of craft activities contributed by creative people.
The Crafty Crow

We all enjoy maps here, and we have a collection of them. I have been collecting maps for a few years, finding National Geographic maps at thrift stores sometimes, or sending away for the free ones from tourist offices. I can relate to this post at Let's Explore blog, the part about keeping the maps as souvenirs! You can also find the post on Crafty Crow here. Dragon has always liked maps, and when we have gone to any place with a map, Disney World or a zoo, even a mall...he is the one holding the map the whole time!

Anyway, I thought the idea of creating our own zoo map is great. Click here if you'd like to do this little project too. I will post pictures of our finished work in a few days.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Author Fiesta - Mem Fox

We have been reading Mem Fox's books and enjoying them. Princess and I read quite a few last week, while Dragon and Fairy were away. Princess can now recite "Where is the Green Sheep?", she really likes that one. I can't remember how many times I have read it to her!

Fairy, Dragon and I are interested in all the Australian animals. Their favourite titles so far are "Koala Lou", "Possum Magic" and "Hunwick's Egg". I thought we would do a bit more reading about these animals this week. I personally had never heard of a bandicoot, so we will all be learning!

Here are a few sites I have found so far. My kids like to colour, so the list includes colouring pages too.

Koala Creature Feature (National Geographic site, it has facts, photos, videos (you can see it climb a tree, and map)

Koala colouring page (also from National Geographic)

Bandicoot information page

Another Bandicoot page (from Enchanted Learning)

Bandicoot Video from YouTube

Ringtail Possum page

Kids down under page - this great page has links to other sites to learn more about Australia, its famous places, animals, recipes, etc...

We will also be working on our Author Fiesta Research Sheet from Author Fiesta. We will be sure to visit Mem Fox's website to learn more about the stories behind some of her stories and to find more about this author.

I have been reading her book "Reading Magic" and I think it should be a must-read for every parent.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Day to Daddy. Unfortunately he is at work today, but we will be having dinner together tonight. "Daddy" is a wonderful dad, funny, hard-working, supportive and always there for all of us.
The girls and I baked a carrot cake this morning for dessert tonight, and to follow our Summer Kids Cooking Camp. We also read "Carrot Soup". Princess and I were not very successful at finding carrot books at our library!

Fairy also finished the cover of her Father's Day lapbook, drawing a picture of Daddy and herself riding their bikes together. You can see the rest of the lapbook here. She will be giving it to him tonight.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Drawing with Fairy

Fairy and I spent last night and part of this morning drawing together. It is so nice to have these moments together. We had found a "Manga Teen Characters Drawing Kit" on clearance at Zellers yesterday and just had to give it a try! The instructions were clear and simple to follow. We both did the Princess character. I really like the way the eyes and the outfit turned out on Fairy's picture. Fairy is the first picture, then mine. I am looking forward to trying other characters from this kit with Fairy!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Mayflies are Here

It has been many years since I have lived in this region and experienced the mayflies! They just cover everything, but don't do anything else. They don't last very long either.
I took a couple of pictures from inside the house, these were just sitting on our windows outside. I thought I would do a little search about these insects. It turns out they are a sign that the water is of good quality. You can read more about these on Wikipedia and on Nature .

Cooking and Reading.. We're IN!

I read over at "Ten Kids and a Dog" blog about a Kids Summer Cooking Camp and had to read more...It is a free online "camp" that lasts 7 weeks (this week is #1). Every week you receive by e-mail a new kids cooking lesson plan that includes both older and younger chef's activities. It looks like there is a weekly theme too, and we can tie that in with some reading! This week is carrots, so Princess and I will be off to the library soon to find some carrot books!
Here is the link for you : Kids Summer Cooking Camp.

Great Geography Link

I found this website while reading the new Green Guide magazine from National Geographic. It is called "My Wonderful World". It is a National Geographic-led campaign to give kids more global knowledge. I think it is a great resource. It has different sections for kids, parents and educators. Under the parents' section, there are tips on how to include more geography learning for the kids, a student checklist of what children "should" know by 4th grade, 8th grade and 12th grade. You can also print a poster size world map. There is a section for games and cool stuff like a Virtual Tourism link, where you can see satellite images of famous places. You can listen to world music, learn more about Geocaching (we're still saving for our GPS!), and a trivia section. The games section is quite big, I am sure Dragon and Fairy will enjoy them. I have tried the Africa Adventure so far, and it was great. My next stop will be to check out the GeoBee Challenge.

Here is the link for this great resource: My Wonderful World . Have fun!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

For Future Tea Parties with Princess

Princess and I have a few days alone while Fairy and Dragon are visiting family in the USA. We spent some time shopping at Value Village yesterday, after our park play date. Here is a picture of what we came home with! The teapot was $2 and the set of teacups/saucers $2 too. We also found four Madeline books for $1 each. We had a lot of fun looking around, while staying away from the hot afternoon temperatures.

This morning, she helped me with the new bread pudding recipe I tried. Click here for a link to go to Mom's Little Corner for the recipe and some pictures.

Father's Day Lapbook - Almost Finished!

Fairy worked on her Father's Day Lapbook last week. She only has to design a cover and add some "decorations" through out the lapbook. All the mini-books are completed, but we did leave out a few from the original instructions. You can see how to find this free resources in my last post "Father's Day Lapbook" . I will post pictures of the complete project soon.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Wow! It is HOT!

I thought we would beat the heat a bit today and go to our local splash pad...The kids had a blast with the water, until for some unknown reason, it stopped working. It was off for what seemed forever, but probably in reality about one hour. The kids took that time to play at the park and eat lunch.

The bike ride back home was a little difficult because of the heat. It was about 34 degrees Celsius today, feeling like 40! HOT!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The End is Near!

Dragon finished his Bob Jones English Grade 3 this morning. YEAH! Math is also almost done, with only 9 lessons left for him. Fairy is in the final stretch too! We will have some history and geography to finish during the summer.

I started organizing all their textbooks/workbooks last night to prepare myself for writing their report cards. I started using a Lesson Plan Book this past September and it really has been a great tool to keep ourselves organized and to see what has been accomplished. I also used different colour pens for each of the kids, Fairy is purple and Dragon is blue. It makes very easy to see who has done what.

I have noticed that the kids and I are focused on school for about five weeks at a time, then the sixth week we are able to do the basic but the focus is not as great. When I plan out next school year, we might take on a different schedule, maybe one that allows for a long 4 day weekend every 5 weeks? I would love to hear from other homeschoolers who follow a different schedule...please leave a comment on what is working for you!
In preparing the kids' report cards, I also gathered all our field trips information, lapbooks, extra-curricular activities and book lists.
I keep a main book list all year long, divided by months, of every book read. I include the title and author of the book and who read it. This year, I am counting how many books each child read and I will add that information to their report. Maybe that will start a "healthy competition" between Dragon and Fairy... They are both really good readers, but Fairy does read a lot more on her own time than him at this point.
I have been keeping book logs since we started homeschooling. I like using any of these book list forms from Donna Young's website. I also keep track of the books I read aloud to the kids, as a record. It can come in handy when we are trying to remember a particular book. We all enjoy reading here, and it shows from these book logs!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Author Fiesta for June and July - Mem Fox

Cay Gibson at Author Fiesta announced the new author today: Mem Fox.
Fairy and I are excited because, just as Patricia Polacco, we had never heard of this author! That is what I thought, until I looked at the books available by her at our local library and noticed a little book called "Time for Bed" that I used to read to Fairy and Dragon when they were babies!

Fairy has always had a special interest in Australia, so she was quite happy when she found out that Mem Fox is from there. We are all looking forward to discovering a new author! Dragon will participate this time as well, and Princess will enjoy listening to the stories too (as always!).
You can visit Author Fiesta to find out more about this great literature activity, and I will be posting more about our activities, so be sure to come and visit us again!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Last Day with Patricia Polacco - Author Fiesta

Tomorrow we find out who the June Author is for the Author Fiesta put on by Cay Gibson. Fairy and I finished reading our books today, and she also completed the suggested writing activity. Fairy decided to write and illustrate a story about Princess' last birthday.
One of the titles we read today was "The Bee Tree", and I just have to share a quote from it that we particularly liked. This quote was also chosen by Cay for copywork, which Fairy did last week.

"There is such sweetness inside that book too! he said thoughtfully. "Such things...adventure, knowledge and wisdom. But these things do not come easily. You have to pursue them. Just like we ran after the bees to find their tree, so you must also chase these things through the pages of a book!"
Patricia Polacco

We have all enjoyed discovering Patricia Polacco's books. When I asked which one was her favourite, Fairy had a difficult time choosing...but finally she said "The Butterfly" .

Red Bull Air Races

According to the local paper, the kids and I were part of a big crowd on the weekend watching the Red Bull Races. About 750,000 people attended on both sides of the border! We decided to go on Sunday, dropping Dad off at work and taking advantage of the free shuttle offered by the City of Windsor. We arrived early enough to find a good spot along the riverfront, setting up our picnic blanket down on the grass. It was quite cool at first, but that just gave us an excuse to cozy up!

Anyway, the show started for us when a huge ship went by (top left picture), then they had a parachutist holding an American flag, a very noisy American F-18, some war planes, helicopters and more parachutists. The most exciting part was of course the Red Bull Races, these little airplanes are very fast (up to 400 km/h) and turn and twist through those pylons so fast! It was difficult taking pictures (you can left-click to see my pictures bigger). We were all amazed!

Here is a link to read more about the races: Red Bull Races.


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