Saturday, 10 December 2011

Weekly Wrap Up :: Week 17 and H.S. Unschool Week 5

This past week was filled with goodness! If you read our blog regularly, you might have read all about Andre's dinner and Adrienne's African dinner. They both cooked delicious meals for us. You can read more about them by clicking on the following links:
Dinner by Andre    
African Dinner by Adrienne.

The rest of the week was quite productive for Andre and Celeste. They  completed all their Math and Language Arts lessons. 

We completed our Mysteries of the Great Lakes study by visiting the teacher site , completed a couple of their worksheets, and reading several of the suggested books. 

I found a series of books at the library by Anne Ylviskaker. They are geared to elementary students, but we enjoyed them anyway as a brief introduction to all five Great Lakes. 

The girls visited the Island of Blue Dolphins site and completed the online activity and the quizz that followed. 

Adrienne's experiment is coming to a close. We talked about her unschooling experiment and both agreed that it was a good experience but that we couldn't go on in the same way. Adrienne decided to get back to her regular schedule right away, adding a few subjects at a time instead of all at once. I thought she might ask to take the rest of December off, but no, she started back this week by adding Literature Study again to her schedule. Next week, she will add more.

This week, she completed her Math every day besides Wednesday and Spanish on Monday only. She exercised every day, and worked on my Christmas present a few days too. She read a lot, watched a few movies, spent time painting and drawing. She wrote Christmas cards for Canadian soldiers overseas (Air Cadets were sending them). She also participated with us in the Great Lakes study and our history lessons. 

Celeste started doing some embroidery while she watched My Fair Lady, her new favourite musical! 

I will be taking some time off from the online world until the new year. At this time of the year, I enjoy spending even more time with my little family and feel the need to unplug. I wish you a Merry Christmas and will see you very soon! 

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

Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, 8 December 2011

African Dinner by Adrienne

One of Adrienne's projects for her unschooling experiment was to research and learn more about Africa and Australia. She also wanted to try some food from these two continents. She chose a couple of books from the library and selected three different recipes. Last night, she cooked everything for us for dinner. I helped her only a tiny bit, she did amazing! 

She made a Moroccan Carrot Salad as an appetizer. She found this recipe in "Cool African Cooking" by Lisa Wagner. I really don't like coriander, but I could handle it in this recipe. She boiled the sliced carrots for about 10 minutes until just tender and then let them cool. The dressing was made with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of paprika, 2 cloves of garlic minced, 1 tsp ground cumin. The dressing was whisked then mixed with the cooled carrots. Then she added the chopped cilantro, mixed everything and put in the fridge to chill for about 1 hour. 

The main dish was Palaver Chicken. The cookbook she used, The Complete Illustrated Food and Cooking of Africa and the Middle East, explained that there are many variations of this dish existing in Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Adrienne made hers with chicken, tomatoes, and spinach. She served it over brown rice. This stew had peanut butter in it, but we couldn't really taste it, it was delicious though and Celeste (my picky eater!) ate it and even said it was good!

Adrienne made a dessert too! I told my kids last night that if they wanted to be competitive with dinner, that was fine with me! Andre was already talking about what dessert he will be making next Tuesday to go with his dinner....

For dessert Adrienne made a Tropical Fruit Salad. The recipe is super simple and came from the little Cool African Cookbook. It was very refreshing and tasty. She mixed 3 sliced bananas, 2 cubed mangoes, and 2 cups of cubed pineapple (she used canned pineapple tidbits) with the juice from 1 lime. She made this salad first and put it in the fridge to cool. It was in there for a little over 1 hour. She took it out when we were eating the chicken and just before serving added unsweetened shredded coconut on top. Delicious! 

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Dinner by Andre

A couple of weeks ago, Andre received a book he had been asking for a long time: The Usborne Cookbook for Boys. {That title seems to be out of stock/out of print through Usborne but I noticed it in a Scholastic Book Club flyer}. I think it's funny and so fitting that on the Usborne site, the review from Bookfest for that cookbook says "An excellent book for budding Jamie Olivers. We're big fans of his cooking! 

He spent a long time reading through the cookbook then announced that he would like to have one evening a week to cook dinner for all of us! I quickly agreed to this arrangement! We agreed that Tuesdays would work for us, then he planned out the two meals he would start with and I made sure he had the ingredients. 

Tonight was his first night cooking. He made pizza, including the pizza sauce and dough. He also made a green salad with a delicious French jam jar dressing from Jamie Oliver. There was a lot of chopping involved, mixing, measuring, etc...

Dinner was delicious and he was very pleased that everyone loved it. All my kids enjoy cooking, but it has been mostly baking in the past. In my opinion, cooking dinner is an important life skill! I think it's wonderful that he took the initiative and is learning about planning meals as well as cooking them. We are looking forward to more dinners by Andre! 

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Weekly Wrap Up :: Week 16 and H.S. Unschool Week 4

December is here! Celeste has been waiting for this time to come! We wait until December 1st to decorate our house for Christmas and she was counting down the days since Thanksgiving (our Canadian Thanksgiving!). We spent most of Thursday decorating our house and tree. This year, I had three very helpful elves! I think they did a great job on our tree. Clara agrees and is really happy to have the tree skirt as her personal blanket again!

The rest of our week was quite productive. We completed our Math and Language Arts lessons.

We also did Ancient History, learning about Ancient India and reading Buddha stories. We are continuing with the Classical House Learning Literature curriculum (free here) . It uses Story of the World as a spine and since I still have the Activity Book from SOTW, I also use it.

Celeste and I finished the dolphin lapbook we had been working on for the last few weeks. We used homeschool share for the mini books. We read many books about dolphins! We all enjoyed the Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. There is a great resource page for that novel here. Be sure to visit the Teacher's Page (link at the bottom of that page) for further instructions and resources. We haven't used this one yet, but we will on Monday.

On Wednesday evening, the kids and I attended a free presentation of the Mysteries of the Great Lakes documentary. This was an interesting documentary and even Celeste enjoyed it. We learned a lot about the Great Lakes, the lake sturgeon fish, and bald eagles. We were also shown how pollution and men affected the lakes. There are educational resources available at the Mysteries of the Great Lakes Educator Guide site. The guides are divided into primary, junior, and intermediate. They are available in English and French. All have printable worksheets, power point style presentations and suggested book lists. Next week, we will be doing a mini unit study on this subject with those guides. Our local library had most of the books suggested, what they didn't have I was able to find similar titles. I chose titles from all 3 levels since we will be doing this together. You can see a few of the books we will be reading in the photo below the video.

Adrienne's fourth week of her unschooling experiment went well. She is continuing to record her daily activities which really helps show her (and me!) what she spends her time doing. She completed three math and spanish lessons again this week, and continued with her makeup study. She started reading "Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry" by Stacy Malkan. She also found out about making her own makeup, in particular lip balm. We'll need to find the ingredients so she can try making some.

We worked together on her career counselling course with "What Colour is Your Parachute for Teens".  This week, we worked on identifying her transferable skills. She had to make an inventory, with the help of three charts as well as thinking back on five projects she has done, of her skills with things, with information, and with people.

She exerciced every day and also read every day. She spent time drawing for Sketch Tuesday. She also researched recipes for her Africa and Australia culture and food project.

I think she is doing well with her unschooling experiment, but I am not sure if we could do this all the time. I would be concerned about what she is not doing. I do love how she is taking initiative about what she does want to learn though, and she is very independent learner so I don't need to remind her or encourage to do things. My hope is to come to a nice balance for her when the experiment is done.

How was your week? Did you start decorating for Christmas as well? Are you taking a long break in December?

You can visit Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to read more weekly wrap-up posts.


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