Sunday, 29 May 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Gardening, Sad Nature Study, and Mind Maps

Another week with a day off! Monday was Victoria Day in Canada. We took the day off and planned our vegetable and flower garden. On Tuesday morning, we went to the garden centre. We were only able to find tomatoes and basil this time, but we will add more to our vegetable garden soon. In our flower garden, I chose mostly perennials this year.

We completed our regular school work during the rest of the week. We all can't wait to be finished! We will be taking one month off during the summer, but June will be a much lighter month.

In Science, we studied colour: the visible light spectrum, dispersion, prism and more. We followed many of the internet links from the Usborne Encyclopedia of Science. One of Adrienne's favourite this time was an activity where you were the light designer for a concert.

We started working with the Mind Maps for Kids book this week. I chose this book to do together, including Celeste. We really enjoyed this introduction and first activity. Mind mapping will be hopefully be a helpful option for the writing process. I read aloud from the book and we each completed a mind map about our likes. You can see Adrienne's at the bottom of the photo.

A little nature study happened right in our driveway. On Wednesday morning, Celeste was looking outside and told me that one black bird (maybe a Common Grackle, not as big as a crow)attacked a smaller bird on its head (you can see on the first photo where it was hurt). The smaller bird, a House Sparrow we think, was hurt and not moving. I went to check it out and it was still breathing. We decided to move it to a safer spot and monitor it. Adrienne gave it some bird seeds and water. There was a big rain storm that day and we gave the bird a little shelter. Sadly, the bird didn't make it.

Another bit of nature study that happens right around our house is the rabbit that lives nearby. We always need to protect our vegetable garden and our strawberry plant from it! Our dog loves to watch it from our windows and when he goes outside, he is always looking for it. We think it lives in our neigbour's yard. Here are some recent photos:

If you would like to read more wrap-up posts, you can visit Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ A Short Week with a Birthday and a Musical!

We had a light week with Celeste's 7th birthday and a morning at the theatre on Friday to see Peter Pan the Musical. We weren't allowed to take photos during the play, but I took this quick one before it started. We went with our homeschool group and were all seated in the balcony, which was a great spot! The musical was really well done and we all enjoyed it. Celeste (in the pigtails on the photo) loves the story of Peter Pan, especially this version.

We managed to complete our regular lessons over the 3 days left in the week. Celeste's mind was more on her birthday for the whole week, but she did practice her reading and we are now on lesson 5 in Saxon Math 2.

Andre and Adrienne also completed their work in Math, Spelling, and Writing.

We learned about light in Science this week and are continuing our study of Australia in World Geography. 

Next week should be a bit more quiet and a bit more productive for school work!

If you would like to read more wrap-up posts, you can visit Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers blog.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Fun at the Public Pool

Not a real public pool, but still lots of fun!
We have been "collecting" Playmobil toys for years now. This is one toy that I am happy to recommend to other families. They have many historical sets that are a great addition for homeschooling. My kids have played for hours with these German-made toys. Age doesn't seem to matter, my teenager still plays with her siblings with these toys. They use their imagination and come up with many stories to use with these characters and sets.

Celeste had many pieces on her birthday wish list. 
She received the pool with water slide and they played right away, with water of course!

I think they are over capactiy for that pool, and where is the lifeguard?!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Birthday Girl!

Celeste celebrated her 7th birthday today! She had the whole day planned out including the food for each meal. We have a little tradition that whenever it is someone's birthday in our family, we all take the day off, from school and for Daddy, from work. Today was a perfect day, she told me she loved it!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Three Weeks Worth!

We have been busy! I will try to condense three weeks worth of wrap-ups in one post, without putting hundreds of photos!

Starting with our regular subjects, we are finished with some and took an inventory of what still needed to be done with a count of lessons for each subject. Here are some highlights:

Andre is now finished his Math Teaching Textbooks 6 and after a two week break, he started Teaching Textbooks 7. Celeste also started Saxon Math 2! I thought I would never go back to Saxon but I decided to give it a try with her. Miquon Math and its discovery-based style worked out nicely, but I felt that she now needs a bit more in this subject. We'll see how it goes, we are giving it a try since we already had it (from Andre). Adrienne has about 50 lessons left in her Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra.

Andre is also finished with his Growing with Grammar 6 and is now taking a break, since I don't have the next one yet. He has been working on his writing for the last couple of months with the help of Write Source 2000. Adrienne is also well on her way with Growing with Grammar 8 and with her writing. She has been using Format Writing and I can see a big improvement since last year in her essays.

One subject that we are definitely behind in is spelling! We are using Sequential Spelling but have missed many days. We will work through the summer on it. It only takes a few minutes a day.

Now, for what happened in the last three weeks...

We finished our study of Canadian History too! This took us all the way to our current time and we wrapped it up with a brief study of our government and politics, since Voting Day was on May 2. We also learned about the Census which is happening this month in Canada. I had requested teachers materials from the government (free), which are also available for download here.  These materials are for various ages and we were able to all work together. My kids enjoyed the activity where they were acting as town planner and had to study the census data given to decide the best locations for a playground, a seniors centre, and a health care centre. They also liked the colouring pages!

In World Geography, we finished our study of Asia and are now learning about Australia. Adrienne has always been interested in Australia, so we'll make sure to spend a little extra time studying it! We are adding some library books, more are coming, especially on Dreamtime! The next unit in our geography study is the last one, Antarctica.

We also did some Art and Music Appreciation over the last three weeks. We listened to Richard Wagner and admired John James Audubon's work.

In Science, we are wrapping up our study of Physics. We now have 3 topics left to cover (lights, optics, and electronics). We covered sound and electricity over these last two weeks. I had picked up a documentary at the library to add to our study. We really enjoyed it, it was a nice change from reading. I will be looking for more from this series at our library. The series is from Disney, called the Science of Disney Imagineering. It is geared to grades 5 to 8, but Celeste enjoyed watching it too. We watched the Electricity one. You can see a little video about the series below:

We also had a lot of fun these last couple of weeks, the weather has been better..even hot! We enjoyed our time outside, going for walks, playing in the driveway, having popsicles and much more!

We attended the Science Rendezvous at the local University (see previous post). We celebrated my birthday by visiting Point Pelee National Park and so, I will leave you with a few of my favourite photos from that day:

This post is part of the Weekly Wrap-Up hosted by Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Visit her blog to read more posts by other homeschool families!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Science Rendezvous 2011 ~ University of Windsor

We participated in the Science Rendezvous for the second year on Saturday. Science Rendezvous is a free science festival for all ages that started in Ontario in 2008. You can read more about this fun and educational event here: Science Rendezvous 2011.
Here are a few photos from our day:

Using a metal detector at the Archaeological booth

Digging using archeological tools


CSI booth, identifying hair samples and dusting fingerprints

the stacking cups game (always fun!)

more stacking cups fun

the community garden at the university
we helped by planting cucumber seeds and zucchini seeds

the community garden at the university

Monday, 9 May 2011

Short Nature Walk

We took advantage of the beautiful sunny day today and took a break from our studies to spend time in the nature area near our house. We have gone for walks in this spot since we moved here. Unfortunately, it might not happen as often now because they are building more houses and tearing apart what used to be a farmer's field.

We did make a point of looking for signs of new plants growing. We saw many dandelions and a few other wild plants. We played in the little stream, making small leaves float down the slow current.

Our time spent in nature is important to us, the fresh air, the sunshine and our time together. We love it!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Back to Posting...

I am back to posting a little. I find it funny that whenever I decide to take a break, I find ideas for posting and sharing!!

I have made a difficult decision but one that I hope you will understand. I decided to close the Book Sharing Monday posts. You can access all the archives of these book loving posts in the tabs, right below the main blog title. There is over 125 book sharing posts I wrote! I will continue to share with you our favourite books, but it won't be a regular Monday feature. I hope you will continue to talk about your favourite children books on your own blogs, I have discovered many interesting books from you! Thank you to all that participated over the last two years (actually more, since December 2008!).

Finally, I wanted to share a little bit about our day today. We took some time today to learn about the Elections in Canada. Adrienne and I researched information about each political party and each leader and local representative for each party. I have voted in the past, and my husband and I voted again today. I do feel that I learned more about Canadian politics today and I know that Adrienne learned a lot too. She had strong opinions about how she would vote if she could! We will be studying the results together as well and what they mean for our country.

2011 Journey North Mystery Class ~ Our Guesses!

Last week, Adrienne and I finished working through the 10 Mystery Class clues and submitted our findings to Journey North. The results will be revealed this Friday here. This was our 4th year participating and we had 100% for all previous three years. We both hope we are correct again and can't wait to read more about each locations!

Here are our 10 guesses:

1. Perth, Australia 31

2. Guatemala City, Guatemala

3. Sanae IV, Antarctica

4. Hong Kong, People's Republic of China

5. Mafi Keng, South Africa

6. Jerusalem, Israel

7. Buenos Aires, Argentina

8. Sarnia, Canada

9. Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo

10. Daejeon, South Korea.


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