Friday, 30 July 2010

{this moment: rare lego creations by Andre}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Lego Quest # 23 :: Cityscape

Adrienne created this small cityscape for the Lego Quest. She told me that the white building is a hospital, the rest are various city buildings that she enjoyed making.
The Lego Quest is a weekly lego challenge for homeschoolers and unschoolers. Check it out here!

Monday, 26 July 2010

In the kitchen today...

We did a little baking today. Andre made some ginger cookies. During our last grocery trip, we had picked up a cookie box mix from President's Choice. When I read the ingredients on the box, I could pronounce and recognize all of them! They were easy to make and they taste really good, very gingery. Andre loves them. 
Celeste didn't want to be left out, she wanted to bake something too so Adrienne brought us one of her baking books, Sweet Treats (I did a Book Sharing post about it here) .
We made the thumbprint cookies with apricot, strawberry, and blackberry jam. Celeste loved doing the thumbprint part. She needed to put her thumb in a little bit of flour first, then press on the cookie and was telling me how much she loves the texture of flour. She ended up playing with a bowl of flour after the baking was done!

These cookies were delicious too!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

An Early Start for Celeste

Celeste has been asking to work on her math (Miquon) for the last two mornings, first thing in the morning when she wakes up, so we have, with a little help from Clara and Orion!

It's Learn Nothing Day today, July 24! We obviously failed, but I wanted to pass the word around!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Planning for 2010-11 :: Canadian History

Here is a proof that I am not perfect!

In all my planning, I completely forgot that the kids and I had talked about covering Canadian History this coming year, or at least for part of the year.
I adjusted our plan now. We have about 10 lessons left in our History Odyssey Middle Ages, the section on Europe in the Renaissance from this past year and we'll finish that in August.

As soon as those are done, we will be doing a unit study on New World Explorers from Homeschooling in the Woods (that has been collecting dust and waiting to be used). This should be a lot of fun!

We will then start our study of Canadian History. We had studied a little bit of Canadian history three years ago, learning up to the Vikings. I think it will be best to do a review and then continue on from there.

We are using The Story of Canada by Janet Lunn as our spine, along with the Spirit of Canada by Barbara Hehner. I found a school textbook a while ago, at a thrift store, called Canada The Story of Our Heritage Grade 7 and I might use this as an extra reference, for some of the discussion questions, or illustrations.
To keep myself organized and for activities and extra reading suggestions, I have the Modern History Through Canadian Eyes by Heather Penner .
We will follow a simple plan. I will be reading aloud from the Story of Canada and the Spirit of Canada to all 3 kids, then we might do some map work, activity, or some research (internet quest or other). Celeste won't be expected to do any written work for this, it will be a light introduction for her. Adrienne and Andre will be expected to do a bit more.

I am still working out how far in history we will do until we resume our world history. I haven't decided yet if we will try to cover both world and our country's history at the same time or do them seperate. If you have suggestions/opinions, please leave me a comment. I appreciate it!

We are planning on doing history three times a week. In the past, we have followed (loosely sometimes) a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. I think this year we might change and do our history from Monday to Thursday, along with our science in the afternoons, leaving Fridays for Art and Music Appreciation and Nature Study.

Monday, 19 July 2010

A Little Summer Nature Study :: Tomato Hornworm with Parasites

While we were taking care of our vegetable garden, we found this little caterpillar. We didn't know at the time what type it was, but thought best to bring him to the field, in a home that would suit us better. I was curious to know what kind it was though, so last night Adrienne and I did a bit of googling.
We found out that the caterpillar is the Tomato Hornworm and by itself is actually quite a threat to the garden. It likes to eat the leaves of tomato plants as well as pepper plants and others. I found our orange sweet peppers had big holes in them a few days ago. Now I am pretty sure it was from this guy, as there were black droppings all around the pepper plants too.
The little white things you see all over the hornworm are parasites. They are the eggs of a small species of wasps. Once the eggs hatch, they feed on the caterpillar and also on any other hornworm catterpillars that might be around, which turns this into a helpful critter for the garden!

How interesting that a parasite can be a good thing!
You can read more about the Tomato Hornworm here and the type with the wasp eggs here. and here.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

A Blog with Substance Award x2!

I was pleasantly surprised a few days ago to receive an award by Barb at Handbook of Nature Study blog. She is giving me an award? I thought it should be the other way around! But I gladly accept it and pass it on. Then, a couple of days after, I received the same award from Makita from Academia Celestia! Again, I felt the same way, Makita's blog is great and I think of her as a friend, even though we have never met in real life.
So now it is my turn to pass this award along.

Here are the Award Rules, if you find yourself the recipient of this award. I hope you will pass it along!

•Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.

•Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using ten (10) words.

•Pass it on to 10 other blogs which you feel have real substance.

My philosophy, motivation, and experience on blogging....

Blogging is good for my creativity and hopefully is helpful. 

Here are my 10 choices, in no particular order:

Kris from At Home Science  keeps an excellent blog for anything related to science, books, websites, reviews and more. I have learned a lot by visiting this blog.

Leslie at Home-Grown Love is a homeschool mom of 3 who participates regularly in my Book Sharing Monday. She hosts the 100 books a month challenge!

Our Pace is a regular participant of Book Sharing Monday and a real life homeschool friend. I really enjoy reading her posts, even when we have matching photos sometimes!

LegoQuest Kids is an awesome site for homeschoolers/unschoolers to participate in weekly lego challenges. If your kids like building with legos, make sure to check it out!

Rockhound Place is another great homeschooling blog that participates in Book Sharing Monday too! I like reading her posts, it feels like chatting with another homeschool mom.

Carol at You're Not Lost, You're Here is real life friend and actually got me started in the world of blogging (thanks Carol!). Check out her "Eating Our Way Around the World" posts!

Freeplaylife is a new-to-me blog, but it looks excellent so far. I am a visual person and love photography and this blog is a great combination of great photos with interesting posts. 

School for Us is a pleasure to read. I like reading her posts about homeschooling and all their travels. Great pictures too!

Jimmie's Collage  is, I think, well known with homeschool moms, but I have to pass the reward to her as well because she truly deserves it. She has given me many ideas over the years. Thank you Jimmie!

Practical Pages is like a treasure chest for homeschool moms. A ton of free resources, printable and ideas in various subjects.  

My 10 picks for the Blog with Substance reward. It took me almost a week to get this post together! There are so many wonderful blogs out there kept by awesome homeschool moms, it made it very difficult to choose. You can see more blogs in my links on the left side of this blog, under homeschooling and unschooling families.

I hope you will visit these blogs and enjoy them!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Field Trip :: Recycling Sorting Plant

We took a field trip to the recycling sorting plant today. We were given a guided tour and it was very interesting to find out how they sort all the stuff that we put in our blue boxes every two weeks. We were able to tour the facilities, see the conveyor belts, how they made the bales, watch a truck drop off a new load and more. The first building we visited took care of all the fiber products, the newspaper, office paper, cardboard and boxes. The other was where they seperated all the metals and plastics.

Monday, 12 July 2010

♪♫ 13 ♪♫ a few words:

animal lover

and a few of her favourites:

books (Vampirates, Series of Unfortunate Events, Artemis Fowl, Sisters Grimm, the Boy Sherlock  Holmes)
brain teasers and puzzles

what she wants to be when she grows up:

a police officer in the Canadian Army
a K9 officer
owning her own bakery with Cambrie

We love you Adrienne!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Book Sharing Monday :: On vacation

We are on vacation this month.
We'll be back to Book Sharing Monday on August 2nd.
Happy Reading!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Oh Canada!

What an awesome Canada Day we had!
Adrienne and I decided to go visit Fort Malden yesterday for Canada Day. Admission was free and there were extra exhibits, along with an Ice Cream Festival right next door!

Fort Malden is a national historic site by the Detroit River. You can see remnants of the second fort built, the first one was Fort Amherstburg, by the British to defend the Canadian border from American attack in the first half of the 19th century. There are four buildings, including a restored and furnished 1819 brick barrack, as well as part of the deep ditches that were around the fort.

The brick barracks (circa 1819 - restored):

inside the barracks (which reminded us so much of our homeschool sleepover at Fort York a few years ago!):

Fort Malden is right on the Detroit River:

Fort Malden became an asylum for the insane in 1859 and this gorgeous brick building was the laundry and bakery for it. After the asylum closed, it was a mill until 1918 when it became a private residence. 
Since 1946, it has been the home of Fort Malden's artifacts. 

There were many interesting things to see, weapons, replicas of boats, and more. Here are a couple of our favourites.
This telescope was handcrafted and made in 1760, it was owned by Alexander McKee.

This exhibit explained that the ropes used for rigging ships and weighing anchors were made of hemp. Local farmers were encouraged by the government to grow hemp for this purpose, with cash incentives. In the photo, you can see a reproduction of the tree and the various sizes of rope that were made.  

Adrienne is holding the very thick and heavy, but surprisingly soft,  rope sample:

There were various types of cannons on the grounds too:

And a few other exhibitors. The canoe is called the North Canoe Water Panther:

You might remember seeing these at the Vancouver Olympic Games?
Adrienne is standing at the foot of the mountie one:

And here is a real mountie!

In the evening, the girls and I went to a little town close by to watch fireworks. It was a perfect evening, no clouds, and not too hot or humid.
I didn't take photos of the fireworks, but here is a quick little video:

Hope all my Canadian readers had an excellent Canada Day!


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