Monday, 31 August 2009

Book Sharing Monday

"Alien Invaders: Species that Threaten our World" by Jane Drake & Ann Love is a very interesting book about animals and plants that are taking over areas after being introduced, on purpose or by accident, to that area.

Every section includes at the end of the text information about the invader, its size, homeland, invading, and line of attack.

"Starlings are alien invaders in North America - alien because they come from another region, and invaders because they are taking over."

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Our turtles

Celeste and I did some turtle line drawings, based on this lesson from Deep Space Sparkle. We had a lot of fun, even though she was finished a lot earlier than me! I will be trying a few more lessons from the Deep Space Sparkle site over this coming school year.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

BBC 100 Book List

I read this list on The Orchard blog. I always like seeing lists of books for ideas on what I might want to read next! Tricia at The Orchard counted how many she had read from the list, and mentioned that most people, according to the BBC, would have only read 6 out of the list! I highlighted the ones I read in blue. I counted 24, some of these I read a long time ago..most of the french titles, they would have been required reading while I was in school in France. I would love to read those again, as an adult, and so many other titles that I haven't read!!
How about you? How many have you read?

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (in french)
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola (in french)
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (in french)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (in french)
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (in french)

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

September 13 is Roald Dahl Day!

We really enjoy reading his stories. Adrienne and I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory during our first year of homeschooling, and we did a study on it as well. I remembered reading it as a child and enjoyed discovering it again with her.
Lately, we have picked up a few more of his titles at the library. We listened to The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar on cd during our last road trip. Andre also has been picking up a few titles and reading them on his own.
I found out by going to Roald Dahl website that September 13 is Roald Dahl Day, and there is a whole website for it, full of free activities to download, printables, etc... Many of these seem to apply more to a classroom, but could be adapted for homeschoolers.
Another discovery, from the website, was the release of the movie version of Fantastic Mr. Fox. Andre was really curious since he had just finished that book!

We will be away on September 13, on vacation, but I am planning on doing some of these activities and reading aloud on September 2, next week. I will try to post about it, and maybe you could share your stories if you do a Roald Dahl Day as well by leaving a comment.

Wordless Wednesday

he's kind of cute..

Monday, 24 August 2009

Book Sharing Monday

We are continuing our study on the oceans and I wanted to share this particular book with you today. "The Voyager's Stone: The Adventures of a Message-Carrying Bottle Adrift on the Ocean Sea" is written by Robert Kraske and illustrated by Brian Floca. It is a work of fiction, but has so many pockets of information about the ocean, that it was perfect for our study. This is a long picture book, so it appealed more to my 2 older children (10 & 12 yr old) than to my 5 yr old.

The story is of the message-carrying bottle making its voyage from the Caribbean where it first started its journey, sent by a young boy while on his vacation.

If you enjoyed reading Paddle-to-the-Sea, you will appreciate this one I think too.

"All that afternoon, the bottle called Voyager drifted in shallow water near the island. A small squid came to investigate. It extended a fifteen-inch-long arm and touched the bottle's neck. The bottle slid down a wave, and the startled squid jetted away, its arms trailing behind."

We have so many participants now to Book Sharing Monday! Welcome everyone! I am so glad to see my little idea grow every week!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

podcasts and music

Orion - ready for his walk

I just discovered podcasts a few days ago.

You might be wondering why I added a photo of Orion with this post, but it is related to the podcasts!
I walk our puppy every morning and every evening, for close to one hour each time. Most of the time I am by myself with him, and so I have gotten into the habit of bringing Adrienne's ipod with me and listening to music.

I noticed a few days ago a series of podcasts on Harmony Fine Arts blog, downloaded it and listened during one of our walks. I also found out about Creative Mom Podcasts. I enjoyed both, but I thought, there has to be a lot more to choose from out there!

I am curious and interested in finding out what your favourite podcasts are and if you can share some links for podcasts about home schooling, teaching our children, or being creative...anything that is interesting really! Maybe there is a podcast about history or science that you would recommend..

About music..I haven't really thought much about music for myself over the last few years. I have given more focus to the music that my children listen to and to music connected to our homeschooling (classical music for example).

I have tried the free selections from Starbucks, those little cards with a code for a free download on itunes. Some of them have been nice surprises. I have never been too picky with music, even growing up, I enjoyed a wide variety of music, but I just haven't given much thought about it over the last decade!

Again, I am curious to know what is on your mp3 player? What do you enjoy listening to, just for yourself?

Monday, 17 August 2009

Book Sharing Monday

"Approaching thirty-three hundred feet..."

"Exploring the Deep, Dark Sea" by Gail Gibbons was a great addition for our ocean unit study that we have been doing.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

We're so happy to announce...

...that we will all be homeschooling again !

My letter notifying our local school board is now in the mail, and I have almost finished planning out our school year (I will post about that soon).

We are all looking forward to learning together again. While the kids spent the last school year in public school, each of us know for sure now that homeschooling is the best fit for every member of our family.

Monday, 10 August 2009

keeping cool

keeping cool in the pool

We were lucky to be invited to a pool nice to keep cool in the heat!

Book Sharing Monday

"William The Curious: Knight of the Water Lilies" written and illustrated by Charles Santore is a wonderful fairy tale with a modern twist. I chose this book because of the illustrations but we all ended up loving the story.

The summary on the book jacket explains the story perfectly, so I am going to share it with you instead of trying to put it in my words..I am blaming the high humidity for my lack of inspiration! It's only 9 AM and the temperature is 24 degrees Celsius, but with the humidity it
is 32!

"Absolute perfection. That's what the Queen of the Land of Far and Wide insists on. Why, she even orders her minions to move mountains and change the colours of the forest. But she is never satisfied. When she decrees that all imperfect things in her castle must be thrown out the window, it's not long before the lovely lily-blanketed moat below becomes a slimy junk pile. However, the Queen doesn't realize what her quest for perfection has done, and no one dares tell her...except for one very small, very brave frog named William. This is his story."

Here is a quote from the story:

"When everyone was assembled, she announced: "I have decided that everything in the castle must be absolutely perfect! You must find each thing that is worn or broken or faded. When you find a cloth with even one broken thread, or a jewel that doesn't glitter enough, or a vase or statue with even the tiniest chip on it, throw it out of the nearest window at once! This is the new castle law."

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

new beginning

I have created a new blog to host all my creative experiments.
Serendipity will keep going, for all homeschooling and family "stuff", and of course Book Sharing Monday, but if you are interested in following my adventures in sewing, quilting, photography, art in general, then come and visit, bookmark or add to your google reader my new blog:

Monday, 3 August 2009

Book Sharing Monday

This week's book is a cookbook! I gave this one as a present for Adrienne's 12th birthday and it's filled with fun and delicious treats to make.

"Sweet Treats" by Williams-Sonoma has "25 delicious recipes that kids can cook". You can try lemon bars, chocolate truffles, and peanut butter bars. We made the rocky road fudge..yummy!

There is a "frozen wonders" section that has strawberry ice cream recipe, truffle-mint ice cream cake, and watermelon ice pops.

Andre's favourite section is the "favourite beverages" one. He has made the ice cream soda, root beer float and sherbet float!

A fun and delicious cookbook for the young cook!!


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