Thursday, 29 October 2009

Outdoor Hour Challenge ~ Seasonal Weather Study ~ Autumn

First a little update on our pumpkin study:

the pumpkin we selected was only 8 1/2 inches tall, with a circumference of 26 1/2 inches. It weighed 6 lbs and we counted 21 lines on the outside of it. There were 397 seeds in that little pumpkin!
We dried the seeds and will be roasting them along with the ones that will come out of the pumpkins we will be carving very soon.

Now, on to the Seasonal Weather Study:


morning fog


It was very warm yesterday afternoon, but our night was cold. This morning we woke up to a blanket of fog. I thought it would be fun to go for a walk in the fog. My oldest daughter has a cold, so she stayed back along with Celeste. Andre, Orion and I went around the block. He was the photographer most of the time and had a great time!

The fog was so thick at first, but by the time we headed back home, it was already lifting. We found some beautiful dew and couldn't help taking more photos!

autumn dew

Andre also took a little video of the fog, about half way through our walk:


video


Here is our journal page completed for the seasonal weather study (it was so hard to do the fog, lol).

nature study journal page


You can participate in the Outdoor Hour Challenge by visiting the wonderful Handbook of Nature Study blog hosted by Barb.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Outdoor Hour Challenge ~ Autumn Series ~ Pumpkins


For our study on pumpkins, we went to the pumpkin patch. We brought home a couple of pumpkins and a few gourds. The kids and I would like to try growing gourds in our garden next year, and maybe a pumpkin too! We're going to save a few pumpkin seeds for that purpose.









Once we had the pumpkins at home, we decided to guess a few things..

how tall was our pumpkin

how heavy it was

its circumference

how many lines it had on the outside

how many seeds were inside


We all guessed and recorded our findings on a pumpkin data sheet (part of the teacher's guide from author Gail Gibbons site), then we measured and also cut open our pumpkin to take all the seeds out for counting.


Monday, 26 October 2009

Book Sharing Monday





A special Halloween Book Sharing Monday! We have read a few books related to Halloween and most are listed below the main blog title. I am sharing one of Celeste's favourite. It's a counting book and she "reads" that one to herself several times every day!

"10 Trick-or-Treaters: A Halloween Counting Book" written by Janet Schulman and illustrated by Linda Davick. The trick-or-treaters are scared away one by one. Celeste really enjoys counting down and also counting all the candies at the last page.

"3 trick-or-treaters - why are there so few? A vampire crooned, "Good evening"...
and then tere were 2."

Friday, 23 October 2009

so proud of her..

Celeste has been working really hard these last few weeks, learning how to read. We are using the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and so far, it's working!
I make her these simple little books with the sentences of the lessons, so she can practice them. She is now on her 4th book (lesson 33). The one that she is reading in the video is the first one, the easiest one for her. She only wanted me to record her with that one, until she saw herself, then she said "you can record me reading the other books too now!..


video

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Outdoor Hour Challenge ~ Autumn Series ~ Oak and Acorns





What a great time we have had discovering oaks and acorns! Every week this challenge series at the blog Handbook of Nature Study helps us enjoy nature and the more time we spend in nature, the more we are in awe of it!

We live in a newer subdivision and sadly, trees are a rare thing..having been cut down to allow for the building of the houses. This is the negative part about where we live right now and I miss trees so much, but I am pleased to be able to find a few mature, tall trees not too far from our house. We can walk along the farmer's field near our home and find them. I had noticed acorns before on the ground on one of the paths we take, and Adrienne usually picks them up for her fairy friends.
We took a walk together one cold sunny day and explored the tree and its surroundings where the acorns are usually found. We brought leaves and acorns home and took out our tree guide to try to identify it. Which kind of oak was it? We are pretty sure that it is a Pin Oak.

our "nature tray"
nature tray


We completed the nature journal page (found here) and read a great book called "Oak Tree" by Gordon Morrison. We learned so much from that book. I think the picture below shows oak galls, which we found out where abnormal growths on the tree sometimes caused by parasites, insects, or bacteria.

oak galls?


I love taking pictures, so here are a few more from our nature study. I hope you will enjoy them too. Isn't that leaf amazing? Looks like lace to me!

acorns oak leafoak barklooking up the oakunderside of oak tree leafoak tree


That last photo shows how tall that beautiful oak tree is! I was in the farm field taking that one :)

Monday, 19 October 2009

Book Sharing Monday


I picked up this book to go along with our nature study on oaks and it is perfect for that.
"Oak Tree" by Gordon Morrison is beautifully illustrated and full of information. It covers facts about the tree, but also about its inhabitants and the changes that happen through the seasons and its life cycle.


"A woolly bear caterpillar wriggles across a colorful oak leaf. Oak bullet galls form on the twigs. And the old tree moves less and less sap as each passing day grows shorter and colder."

Thursday, 15 October 2009

November is coming soon...NaNoWriMo is on my mind!

NaNoWriMo is coming soon...I haven't decided if I will participate again this year or not.


Last year was such an adventure! I participated, wrote a 50,000 word novel in less than 30 days and won NaNoWriMo! I read my novel a couple of times after that month, and then filed it away.


I am wondering if I can fit in writing another novel and homeschooling at the same time. I am also playing around with the idea of getting Adrienne and Andre to participate in the Young Writers Program:

In the Young Writers Program, the children can set their own word count goal. A chart gives a rough idea of what to plan for..grade 5 has a word count of 5,000 to 10,000. There are workbooks to help the young writers too, that are free for download on the site (just click on the button above for the link).
Will you or your children be participating in NaNoWriMo 2009?

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Building a virtual carbon atom


The kids and I are on our second week of studying Chemistry. We all enjoyed building a virtual carbon atom, adding protons, neutrons, and electrons. We even had to build the protons and neutrons by adding up quarks and down quarks!

Book Sharing Monday

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in Canada. Adrienne and I were busy baking lots of cookies..



So here is my book to share, a little late..hope you won't mind!


We have been studying Canadian geography and really enjoyed reading "Canada's Natural Wonders" by Joanne Richter. This little book has beautiful photos, interesting texts and presents nine different Canadian natural landmarks.




Here are a few to give you an idea:

Mount Logan, Baffin Island Ice Caps, Athabasca Sand Dunes, the Bay of Fundy, and Manicouagan Crater. Here is a short quote from the chapter on the Manicouagan Crater:


"The Manicouagan Crater is know as the "eye of Quebec." It's one of the oldest and largest meteorite impact craters in the world."

Monday, 12 October 2009

Hands-on Homeschool Carnival @ Jimmie's Collage



What a great carnival Jimmie is hosting! It is divided into different categories, such as Imaginative Creations, Practical Hands-on Learning, Field Trips, and more. All linking to different homeschool blog posts. I still haven't read every single link, but thought of sharing it with you (just click on the button above).

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Wordless Wednesday (almost)..


This is a countdown calendar I printed from Family Fun. It is filled with activities to do while counting down to October 31.
I added Halloween links below the main title of this blog, under "seasonal links", below the books. There are many different links, some just plain fun like carving a virtual pumpkin, others a bit more educational.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Outdoor Hour Challenge ~ Autumn Series ~ Autumn Flowers ~ Goldenrods




goldenrod nature study challenge

Following Barb's Outdoor Hour Challenge, we searched for goldenrods flowers and found some last night during our walk with Orion. We brought a small branch home and today, we decided to look for more. I read part of the Handbook of Nature Study's page on goldenrod, especially the part about the cities!
The kids thought they had seen goldenrods near their "fort" by the farmer's field. We took a walk after lunch, taking Orion along.
We found many goldenrods cities! We didn't notice all the insects at first on the goldenrods, only when we stopped for a couple of minutes and looked at them, then we saw all the visitors!

During our nature walk, we found some other interesting things (we didn't touch any of these)..

A dead mouse

dead mouse

What we think might be owl pellets (can anyone tell us if we are correct or not?):


owl pellets?

and a fuzzy catterpillar:

fuzzy

We saw lots of wasps too:

waspapple + wasps

Here are a few more photos from our nature walk (with some asters too, even more asters around us than goldenrods!)

nature study


Monday, 5 October 2009

Book Sharing Monday


I am sharing a novel today, instead of a picture book. Artemis Fowl is the first book in the Artemis Fowl series, written by Eoin Colfer. Artemis Fowl is a 12 year old genius, but a criminal at the same time. He ends up kidnapping a fairy and steel something very valuable... I read this book to know what the series was all about and see if it would interest my children. I finished it in two days, and picked up the next two in the series at the library. It is a fun and magical adventure. The New York Post quote on the back of the book reads "A new thriller fairy tale that will grab your interest, no matter what your age" and that is how I felt about the book.


Adrienne is now reading it and enjoying it as well.


There is website you can visit : Artemis Fowl .


The fairy people have their own language and symbols that of course Artemis successfully decodes. The book has some of these symbols on the bottow of every single page with instructions on the copyright page that reads : "Can you crack the code? The code that runs along the bottom of the book has been specially created by the author. Readers can crack the code to reveal the secret message." (see photo below).



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