Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Befriend Your Librarian

It has been a busy couple of days, completing a week of school in only 3 and half days as we are heading out on holiday tomorrow for about 10 days. I can't wait to head out on the road tomorrow as we all need a break from school and are ready to travel somewhere new and exciting. I will post pictures of our trip when we get home and let you know what adventures we had!

In order to get ready for our trip, I had a few errands to run today and one of those stops was to our local base library. I couldn't have pick a better day as today they were cleaning out and getting ready to throw away BOOKS! As my husband can attest I find that horrible:) I have yet to give away my children's baby books as I can't relinquish them as each time I try the book will bring back a memory that makes it impossible to give away. Such as the first book I receive as a gift while pregnant with my first child (Pat the Bunny), the book my daughter made me read a millions times (My first A book), the first book my son read independently (Quack Quack)...the list goes on and on. Hence the reason I have 6 bookcases filled with books. I am proud to say my love of books have been passed on to my children as every once in a while I might mention thinning out their bookcases (each has one in their rooms) and move their books to the bookcases in the hallway when my son or daughter will scream in protest that they are still reading that book!:) Fortunately my husband is patient although he does threaten to go thru the books one day when we are all out of the house...but I think he is just kidding...I hope!

Anyway I digress. Stopping in the library to return some books and pick up books that we had requested I came across the librarian getting ready to toss some old books. The minute he saw me he said I should have a look through. I Couldn't believe my luck! I scored over 2 dozen free books. All were in great condition. Although several will need to wait until my children are older there are several classic retold books like Huck Finn, King Arthur, Heidi, Swiss Family Robinson, Alice in Wonderland. Several were Newberry award winners such as The Midwif'e Apprentice, Bridge to Terabithia, Elijah of Buxton and Crispin the Cross of Lead. I was so excited and thrilled with my book finds and I was in cloud nine.

But that wasn't the end of my fabulous library visit. Paul the Librarian asked to speak with me after I loaded up on books. He had noticed that I had been requesting books recently on worms. Our current science unit study. Well guess what! Paul the librarian keeps a wormery and compost container at his home and he offered up a free fieldtrip to his home to see his worms!!! I quickly accepted and have schedule a trip after we get back from holiday. Although we have a mini worm nursery at home seeing Paul's larger version should really bring home the message of the importance of worms.

My whole point is Befriend your Librarian as they can be a valuable resource in so many ways especially if they know you homeschool!!!

Lastly, when I return home there was a care package from my parents for the kids. They send one every month or two and inside was this comic strip, with a note attached saying this is how they imagine home schooling to be. It made me laugh as it is pretty much true in my house!
(Click on the picture and it should enlarge)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Cupcake decorating

Today we went to a cupcake Decorating class. The kids were able to make their cakes with a chef and learn various cooking terms such as the difference between stir and fold. After the cupcakes were done each child was able to decorate 4 cupcakes to take home. Wonder if Mommy and Daddy will get any.

Princess folding in the eggs.

Little Man spreading the chocolate frosting on top of the cupcakes...YUM YUM

The finished masterpieces. I predict a sugar high later this evening. Wonder if they will share?....

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Summer Science Lessons

We do all year round schooling. Our school work is lighter in the summer months, of course. This summer we decided to study life cycles and construct lap books. A newly discovered teaching technique that I love doing with the kiddos. So far we have learned about butterflies, frogs, ants, chickens and bees. With each project we have had the opportunity to do some hands on studies except with the frogs. I missed the opportunity to find frog eggs much to my daughter's disappointment. Our neighbor have 2 backyard chickens that we had the opportunity to pet sit while they were away on holiday. We kept a daily journal and ate fresh eggs for a week. We had a Butterfly habitat and watched painted lady butterflies form chrysalis, hatch and then released them into the wild. We have a ant farm that we have been observing all summer and had the opportunity to visit a bee hive at a zoo. It has been a fun adventure. Next we are learning about worms. I ordered a mini Wormery kit from insect lore. Along with it came a coupon for free worm eggs wrapped in clay cocoons. They sent us 30 cocoons/eggs in the mail and slowly over the past 2 months we find a small worm has hatched. So far 20 or so worms have hatched. The kids and I have been keeping a observation log and have recorded what we have seen. First of all I never knew worms laid eggs and we even observed one escaping thru it's shell. Today, we observed the worm nursery and noticed that the soil is starting to change. Must be all the worms that are now in the soil. We also removed the soil and started to look for the worms to see how much larger they have grown since hatching. We were able to find 6 or 7 and they have definitely gotten larger since we first hatched them. We will only keep the worms til the end of August and then will release them into our vegetable garden. This has been a fun project and we are learning lots. Enjoy the pictures (the one with the worm hatching from it's egg is a bit blurry but it is a baby worm:)

Friday, 23 July 2010


Finally our sunflowers have bloomed. At least 2 of them have. The kids and I received the seeds in a package from my mother in April. We planted them and kept a journal on their growing progress. It is now July and 2 of the flowers have bloomed. We are still waiting for the third flower to bloom. Although we planted 8 seeds only these 3 have made it to the flowering stage. Our neighbors get the full benefits of the bloom as the flowers seem to turn towards their yard due to the sun. Today we measured the tallest sunflower and it is now 78 inches tall. Aren't they pretty!

Thursday, 22 July 2010


Today I took the kids to the movie Shrek Forever After in 3 D. I have to say I liked the movie and the overall message. This is the first 3D full length movie that I have taken the kids to. My youngest spent more than half the movie with his glasses off because they were bothering him. I tried to remove mine but got a headache instantly. I don't know how he got thru it without a headache, but he never once complained that the picture was blurry. Both kids enjoyed the movie and my 2 grader even got the message, which was in her words "Shrek didn't know what he had until he lost it all". I was please to see that she understood it and I tried to discuss it with her in the car, but only got a sigh and a complaint that she was reading her book. She always has a book in her hand while in the car. Will have to look for another opportunity to discuss the movie theme. I am always so shock to hear other home schoolers say they can have great discussions in the car with their kids and it is their best time to share information. My kids want to be left alone to read. I find our best time to review some information is a day or two later in my bed cuddling in the morning. There is nothing better than both your kids showing up wanting to lay next to you, cuddle, and just talk. That said, mine are only interested in a short conversation and then want to be tickled by the mommy tickle monster:)!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Adding photos to my blog

Yesterday I wrote about our trip to Duxford Air Museum, but only added one photo. The reason was, I couldn't figure out how to add more:(. So today I am sitting down at the computer trying to figure out how to add more photos to the blogs I write. I can't rely too much on my hubby as he has never written a blog before and doesn't know this site well, so I am on my own. But in a way I guess that could be a good thing as I can't depend on him to fix things for me as I will then get lazy and never learn. The best way to learn is to figure it out yourself, right? So today I am scanning in a couple of pages from the children's instructional manual and adding the pictures to the blog. I took several pictures of the class the children attended on assembling an airplane. Today the activity was to cut out those pictures and start to put a instructional manual together. Each child has the same pictures but it is their own words that describe what is going on. My youngest (age 6) tells me what he would like to say and I write it down. He then copies the words onto his paper. I do occasionally simplify his wording to make writing easier. My goal for him is to practice forming his letters and putting spaces between his words. My oldest (age 8) comes up with her own sentences (I do help with spelling) and composes her own sentences her way. I am not allowed to interfere. My goal for her is to write complete sentences, remembering to capitalize and punctuate properly. This is still sometimes a struggle. Today both children completed 4 pages before we moved on to other activities. Here are today's results.. Although the pictures uploaded they are not in the order I wanted. Will have to work on this another day:).

Monday, 19 July 2010

Duxford Air Museum Fieldtrip

Today the kids and I joined a large group of home schoolers at the Duxford Air Museum for a class on airplane assembly. We have visited this musuem before and always have lots fun. The instructor for the class was excellent with the children, very animated and engaging. I made sure I took pictures (and notes) of every step of the assembly. My goal this week for the kid's school work is to have them (with help) write up a mini airplane assembly manual. I am going to see if the kids can remember the sequence (based on the photos I took) as well as the new vocabulary words we learned regarding aviation, such as pitch, yaw, fuselage and plane. As with all our field trips when we got home the kids wrote about their day in their journals. My kindergartner is expected to write 3 sentences and draw a picture. I think he finds drawing a picture the harder of the two. My 2nd grader is expected to draw a picture and write half a page (large spaces) about her experience.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Starting my new adventure

Today, I am starting a new adventure...Blogging. Never done it before so here is hoping I can figure it out. There are several reasons why I decided to start a blog and they are...
1. Keep in touch with my family and let them know how we are doing (this is very important as we now live across the Atlantic from them)
2. To learn how to use the computer...yep I am a novice at this. It is a joke in this house that I just have to look at the computer and it will malfunction. In fact, in just starting this journey I have created 2 blogs when I only want husband will have to help me delete the "extra blog" :0
3. To document my family's traveling adventures, since we now live overseas we are doing lots of traveling to new, interesting, and exciting places.
4. To document our home schooling journey. We started homeschooling just over a year ago and it is going so well that I thought I could share some of our successes and what we have learned along the way.

So today is the first step and I am proud to say I set this up all on my own and typed in my first post, with only one slight glitch (remember the extra blog). My adventure begins...