Saturday, April 26, 2008

Alpaca Farm

Our Around the World Expo is fast approaching. We've been doing little bits of study here and there. Nothing too ovewhelming. I thought it might be fun to visit a local alpaca farm (since they are from Peru) as part of our study. We went with another family and although we were only there for an hour it was great. The kids got to ask LOTS of questions and were able to get quite close to the animals and learned very quickly that they are quite shy. Mickey had a hard time with this. She expects every animal to love her! They were even allowed to take them for a walk. What a thrill. One of the highlights was when the owner brought out three kittens for us to hold. I must say that I was quite tempted to bring one home. We came home with some fleece and literature and lots to tell Daddy.

After the farm visit we had a quick lunch in the car (since it was raining) and then we decided to brave a hike at a local provincial park that I had never been to before. Everyone knows that I love to hike....well, this one was something else! Thank goodness I didn't have one of the dogs along. I've never been on a trail before where you walk along a cliff (sheer drop off to a raging river below) and there's absolutely no type of fencing or guard rail in place. Perhaps my uneasiness had something to do with my fear of heights, but really, could they not put a fence in?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Art in the Park - Session 1

One of the moms in our larger homeschool group started an informal group for Art in the Park. Every Thursday we meet at a pre-planned location for some outdoor art fun! This week we met in the sculpture garden at our local art gallery. There were at least 20 kids there this week. Each family brought a sculpting material to share so the kids had a variety to choose from. We experimented with plastercine, bees wax, and plaster strips. There was lots of running around too and a good game of tag. Next week we're meeting at the Arboretum for some sketching.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Insects and Gardens

Fabulous co-op day today. Our session was on insects. Mickey's attention span has really improved. She did a great job listening to the discussion today, although she was intent on opening up the bug cages! The kids and moms learned a lot about insects. I never would have picked this as a topic to do with my kids so I'm grateful for the co-op. We really benefit from everyone else's interests and expertise! For our craft today, one mom had them make firefly necklaces that even light up. The kids were thrilled.

We missed our sessions on plants last week because of illness so I brought along our supplies and we did a little bit of planting. The planting system I picked up for convenience didn't work as well as I had hoped - actually it was a bit of a disaster! I should have gone with simple pots and dirt. Why does everything have to be so complicated these days! We'll be very lucky if any of the plants grow!

Anyhow, it was a great day. We spent almost 7 hours out in the sun. Fantastic!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Week of Sunshine! - Yippee!

What a fantastic week!

- Visit to local Township library and made a connection with the librarian!
- Play date with non-HS friends at park!
- French club
- Mickey started her dance lessons - oh brother, what are we in for?
- Outdoor play, more outdoor play and even more outdoor play. Can't get enough!
- Day with Grannie.
- Mason had music
- special friends came over; we baked shortbread, played and did a meandering hike along the river. Mickey was so dirty at the end that we had to strip her down before she could sit in her car seat!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Great Read!

I usually don't fall for Oprah's book suggestions because when I have in the past I haven't always enjoyed them. I couldn't resist this one. Before I purchased it, I asked for an opinion from the sales clerk at my downtown book store and he could only say good things about the book and the author. It is definitely one for a home library. I have highlighted so much of this book and I'm sure that I will refer to it often. Here are some of my favourite quotes.

"When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life."

" The quicker you are in attaching verbal or mental labels to things, people, or situations, the more shallow and lifeless your reality becomes, and the more deadened you become to reality, the miracle of life that continuously unfolds within and around you."

"Life isn't as serious as my mind makes it out to be."

"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness."

"No thing ever had anything to do with who they are."

Just a few....
Eckhart Tolle - "A New Earth"

Sunday, April 6, 2008


We really wanted to get out today and enjoy the sunshine. We wanted to go for a hike and after hearing about letterboxing thought that we would follow some clues. Our destination was Orangeville and we found two treasures. It's a really neat idea and I think it's something that we will definitely do a lot of in the future. Eventually though I want to get a GPS so we can go geocaching. It seems to be a little more challenging!

Conference Time!

I have been so looking forward to going to the homschooling conference this year. After reading Susan Wise Bauer's book, "The Well Trained Mind" I've been feeling really revved up about next year! She does a fantastic job of planning out the years and planning across the curriculum. My weakness is History but with her Story of the World I'm feeling a little more confident. She also does an amazing job of listing all of the resources that will be needed to make the home program successful. I'm also considering her science plan as well. Seems to work very well with the history. I think we'll hold off on the history though for another year!

Anyhow, the conference was good. Lots of friends to see. I ended up only going to two of the workshops; Brain Gym and Jim Weiss. I wanted to spend the rest of my time going around the trade fair and checking out resources. So you can see by the picture what I purchased (colouring book of cars not included). I purchased the first three books of Explode the Code for Mason. That will take him through next year and will complement his phonics program. I was going back and forth between Math U See and Bob Jones math. I wasn't even going to pick up any math because I like to pull from a variety of resources, but it is nice to have everything in one book. I went with Bob Jones for this year because it is colourful and will be attractive to a five year old. Got lots of opinions from different people so we'll see how it works. I also picked up some math manipulatives, a fun knitting tool for Mickey which I've been looking for and a children's book of bible stories. I figured that it was time I introduced them to the stories. Mom will be happy!

For those of you who read my blog. People blog for different reasons. I've only opened up my blog to a few people and it isn't searchable. My original intention was to create the blog as a record of our homeschooling (plus the other record keeping I do). I also wanted family to be able to see what we are doing. I don't spend a lot of time on what I write, I am using this as a journal and as a way to record our homeschooling progress and plans. Thank you for visiting!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Is It Spring Yet?

Today was our field trip co-op day. When I started planning this a month ago I had visions of warm tempertures, buds on the trees, and puddles to jump into. Low and behold, it snowed AGAIN today! Our plan was to go to Rockwood but after all the rain I changed the location to Preservation Park. 30 people showed up and off we went. Although we got a little lost and weren't where we thought we were we still managed to make it back to the car in one piece. It was nice to be together, make new friends and enjoy the great outdoors. We even saw some deer poop along the way!

Well this week completed the winter session of gymnastics. Mickey completed her first session without Mommy. She loved being in a class with Mason. He really looked after her well. Gymnastics has been a great experience for both. Mickey's listening skills have really improved and she's getting the opportunity to just go and jump, run, climb ....whatever her little heart desires. Mason has been doing gymnastics for two years and has really improved in flexibility, strength and coordination. We'll continue with this sport for as long as they're intereseted.

We've had a great week. It started off with our co-op session on recycling. Tuesday, after gymnastics we had a really good learning day! Lots of reading progress. Wednesday, while I was at work the kids had a great time with Grannie. Lots of play and lots of learning. On Thursday Mason went to music and then we had friends over for lunch and then a visit to the local library.

Tomorrow is the homeschool conference which I am really looking forward to. Lots of great speakers and hopefully some good shopping!!