Sunday, 26 February 2012

Book Sharing Monday :: Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Welcome back to Book Sharing Monday!

This week, we are doing a little Dr. Seuss author study so I chose one of his titles to share. "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" is a wonderful book for all ages. I read on Wikipedia that this is a title often gifted to new graduates. It is a great story about life and all its ups and downs.

Here is Celeste's favourite part:

"The Waiting Place...
for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a place to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting."

My favourite is:

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
in any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

I found a youtube video that is interesting to me because a friend attends this event regularly. I would recommend that you view the video on your own first, before watching it with your children. Burning Man is a week-long creative yearly event in Nevada, USA and this video was made with Burners reciting the Dr. Seuss story.

To participate in Book Sharing Monday, you can write your post on your own blog then come here and use the linky tool to share your post. You can also leave me a comment.
The idea of Book Sharing Monday is to share your current favourite children's book by posting some photos and a quote from the book. You can keep your post as simple as you wish or write more if you like! We have found Book Sharing Monday wonderful in the past for discovering new-to-us authors and books.

Happy reading!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Book Sharing Monday is COMING BACK!

I have decided to start Book Sharing Monday again. I have missed sharing our favourite children books with you all!!

Please stay tuned, I will post more details again on Sunday. I am hoping to find a free linky tool for all of you to share your posts here. If anyone knows of any reliable free tools, please leave me a comment!

Until then, you can go and read all the archives here from my past posts, which include links to other families' book sharing posts.

Here is a description of Book Sharing Monday, if you are not familiar with it:

I created Book Sharing Monday in December 2008 and put out an open invitation. The idea was to share our favourite children books, with a quote from the book and photos if desired. You could share as much or as little as you wanted. I saw it as a sharing of our favourite books of the moment. We shared a lot of picture books, and also novels, non-fiction books, or even books related to children (parenting or other).

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

JN Mystery Class Update :: Week 3

This past Friday, we were able to position the 10 mystery class locations compared to our home location. We hope to have them in the right order. We will be able to verify once we receive more data. We now have 4 locations in the Southern Hemisphere and 6 in the Northern Hemisphere, our home is also in the Northern Hemisphere.

Journey North helped us place that unknown location that was so close to the Equator by leaving us this clue:

Where Do I Roam?I'm Ursus maritumus. I have a clue for you. More than half of the Mystery classes are located in the same hemisphere where I roam. Can you figure out which ones, using the photoperiod data?

Photo from Journey North.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Great Backyard Bird Count ~ February 19

We decided to go to a local park which is close to a marina, since there was a couple of showings at our house this afternoon. We brought the camera and observed the birds there for about fifteen minutes. It was windy and cold!

We reported seeing:

Canada Goose - 15
Mallard - 11
Ring-billed Gull - 7
Herring Gull - 12.

We think there was probably more, but we counted at least that many before heading back to our car for some warmth!

You can still participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count tomorrow. 

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Celebrate Dr. Seuss

March 2nd is Dr. Seuss' birthday. We will be celebrating this author by doing several fun activities and an author study. I started collecting ideas with links on a Pinterest board: Celebrate Dr. Seuss!

If you are not on Pinterest and would like an invitation, leave me a comment and I can send you one. I have found this site very useful for organizing all my bookmarks.

Will you be celebrating Dr. Seuss? What activities do you have planned?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Wordless Wednesday :: Keeping it real

Lunch dishes will be dinner time.
When fun and learning is happening, these don't take priority.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Lego Quest :: Micro-Scale

Adrienne's city for the micro-scale lego quest.
Note the penny leaning against the house at the bottom of the photo for scale.

Close-up detail. This is the prison for the city, complete with water tower.  

Adrienne first gave me this creation when I told her of the new quest, then she continued adding to it!
"Lego Quest is a monthly challenge for LEGO loving kids. It is non-competitive, creative fun. There are no winners and there are no commitments. Play along only when you are inspired by the challenge. New challenges come out the first monday of every month." Check it out: Lego Quest.

PS: ♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥

Monday, 13 February 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up :: Week 22

We had a short week last week, choosing to take two days off school work to spend extra time with my husband as he is now away working in PEI.

The beginning of the week was filled with our regular work, Math and Language Arts, and with Science, History, and Geography.

We learned about butterflies and bees in Science. Adrienne had found a Monarch butterfly wing a few years ago and took it out to check under the microscope. We were all able to see the scales on the wing. I wish I could show you all what we saw! (I googled and found a good photo here.)  

Lately, I have noticed that it feels like we have just been going through the motion with most of our school work. It might be because we are more concerned about selling our house and the upcoming move, or just a case of the  "winter blahs".

Whatever the reason, I thought about mixing things up a bit. I noticed that since late fall,  we haven't been as consistent with Music and Art Appreciation or Nature Study. Friday, I organized myself and planned out our next week or two. We are putting on hold Math and Language Arts. My kids love to practice with World Maths Day, so that will continue. We will also continue with our Geography and Science studies. I am aiming to do about nine weeks worth of Art and Music Appreciation in one week or two. I think it's achievable because of the curriculum we are using.  

I don't think we will be focusing on Nature Study at this time, but I might re-assess that in the middle of the week. We'll see how much time we have left during the day and how we feel about it. I know that once we move, we will want to discover our new environment and either formal or informal nature study will happen then.

I believe that school work needs to be completed, but I have also witnessed enough times that learning should be enjoyed to be retained. If we are just "going through the motions", chances are we are not really enjoying ourselves or retaining much.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

JN Mystery Class Update :: Week 2

Week 2 of Journey North Mystery Class and we are able to sort our data between Southern and Northern Hemisphere. We are able to do this by checking which locations are gaining increasing their photoperiod (Northern) and which ones are loosing daylight hours (Southern). One location (at the bottom) hasn't changed its photoperiod. This one must be very close to the Equator, we'll be keeping an eye on this one over the next few weeks!

Check out the link from my good friend Carol at You're Not Lost, You're Here, it will take you to a list of the Equatorial monuments around the world.

photo from Journey North Mystery Class

Here is a recap of our findings this week:

MC # 1 - Northern Hemisphere
MC # 2 - Southern Hemisphere
MC # 3 - Northern Hemisphere
MC # 4 - Southern Hemisphere
MC # 5 - Northern Hemisphere
MC # 6 - Southern Hemisphere
MC # 7 - ??? - very close to Equator
MC # 8 - Southern Hemisphere
MC # 9 - Northern Hemisphere
MC #10 - Northern Hemisphere

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Winter Wonderland (a little)

This was from Sunday, January 29, last snow storm.
We visited a local conservation area in Windsor.
The snow is gone now. Not much of a winter this year!
(all photos taken with our ipod touch).

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Weekly Wrap Up :: Week 21

This past week was another productive week. It's a great feeling when the routine flows well like this! We haven't sold our house yet, but we are hoping to soon. I am glad we are being productive now, because we will need some time off when we move.

This week, we continued with the main subjects of Math and Language Arts. One curriculum that I haven't mentioned a lot so far, but that we are all enjoying is  Lightning Literature. Andre and Adrienne are both using it, Adrienne is using the Grade 8 and Andre Grade 7. They have both done well with it and it has been interesting. Currently, Andre is studying a variety of poems and Adrienne is just finished her study of "A Day of Pleasure" by Isaac Bashevis Singer. The writing activities have been relevant and interesting enough to not feel like busy work. We do the discussion and comprehension together orally and they complete the worksheets on their own. The reading schedule is easy to keep up with as well. So far (we are about half way through the program), I would recommend this curiculum for junior high homeschool students.

In geography this week, we studied Australia!

This is one of Adrienne's favourite countries and we might spend next week studying it too. We didn't make any dish yet, but, along with our regular reading, we read about some local delicacies in Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects by Peter Menzel.

We also watched and listened to Aboriginal music on youtube, in particular this one:

In science, we moved on to arthropods and focused on ants this past week. We found two books at the library that were interesting to us, especially Ants by Sophie Lockwood. We explored the page on National Geographic about weaver ants and from there followed our own bunny trail watching and listening to Dr. Bugs. The library had Magic School Bus Bugs Bugs Bugs, Celeste really enjoyed watching the episode on ants! We'll watch the other 2 next week.

This week marked the start of Journey North Mystery Class. Adrienne and I completed the first week's data and graphs of photoperiods for the 10 mystery classes. We absolutely love this activity and recommend it to everyone! It's not too late to participate, go check out the website!

How was your week? Are you participating in Mystery Class? Let me know by leaving a comment!

This post is part of the Weekly Wrap Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Visit her blog to read other families wrap-up posts.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Educational and Fun Events in February

February is full of fun and educational activities that you can do with your children at home! 

{photo from Mystery Class site}

Journey North Mystery Class started this past Monday, but it's not too late to register and take part. "Mystery Class is a global game of hide-and-seek. Follow photoperiod clues to search for ten secret sites around the world. Track sunlight to solve a mystery! Discover the reasons for seasons along the way".

(photo from World Education Games)

World Maths Day, World Spelling Day, and World Science Day will held again this year in March.  "The World Education Games is the exciting event for ALL schools and students around the world. It runs from 6-8 March, involving 5.5million students from over 200 countries and territories. Practice opens on 1 February. This is the global challenge to get ALL students (4-18 years of age) excited about learning, and to give the top students in each school an opportunity to see how they measure up against the best". Homeschoolers are welcomed! We have participated for the last two years and enjoyed these free events. Practice starts today!

(photo from GBBC)

The Great Backyard Bird Count is held February 17 to 20 this year. "The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds".   

Tower of Freedom statue in Windsor

Black History Month is in February as well. Black History Canada has an interesting website with teacher resources. Family Education also has excellent resources with many links: Celebrate Black History Month. I have a few reading suggestions from my past Book Sharing Monday posts here including related links.

Homemade Valentines 2011

Valentine's Day is February 14 and so many sweet ideas are floating around, especially on Pinterest! We liked making these valentines in 2010. 

Groundhog Day is tomorrow, February 2nd! Kaboose has a nice page of the history, activities, and crafts to do.,

So much to do this month! I hope you have a wonderful time with your children learning and discovering together! 


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