Friday, 29 April 2011

Weekly Wrap up

I haven't done a weekly week up in ages and since we have begun some new studies I thought it was time to let you know what the kids and I are studying.

History: We have begun our WWII unit. We had a great field trip to Eden Camp which was a POW camp in York England. We are also working on creating our own Victory garden in our back yard. We have been reading lots of books such as Usbourne WWII, Hilter, Holocaust and Fiona Reynoldson's What families were like and The Home Front. We are focusing on the European campaign this time around. We are planning a trip to Normandy early June which we are all excited about.

Science: We are working on a Ocean unit. Again to kick off our studies we went on a field trip to the Deep. Right now I am having the kids use the Learning Pages Ocean unit. I have also downloaded several units from school express to aid us in this unit. I have promised the kids that we will be doing a fish dissection during this unit which they can't wait to do:) I am just waiting for the weather to warm up so it can be done outside:)

Writing and English: Little man has completed his writing spectrum book for 1st grade. We are continuing to work on letter formation to improve his printing. He is also working on identifying nouns and verbs. Princess is continuing to work on her writing spectrum book for 3rd grade. She is also working on learning cursive writing and doing very well. She has grasp the concept of subjects and predicts for her language arts program.

Math: Princes is continuing to learn her multiplication and division tables up to 12, she is doing very well. Little Man is continuing to work on adding and subtraction up to 20. He is struggling a bit and I need to work on making it more fun for him.

Music: We have really loved the Pianimals piano program and have gotten to book 4 in less than 6 months for both children. I have contacted a piano teacher and have decided to give this a try. I am so pleased that teacher was very impressed with the skills the children have demonstrated and reports my 6 year old is already about a year ahead of all her other 6 year old students. There are a few bad habits we need to work on in order to advance their piano skills even further. Needless to say my husband and I are very pleased. I will have no problem going back to this program should the piano lesson not work out.

Spanish: I am trying out a new program called Olivata Oink Barnyard. We have completed 4 lesson so far and I am pleased with the program. It includes 40 DVD lesson as well as follow up worksheets to reinforce the lesson. Since I don't speak any spanish I am learning along with the children which is always a plus!

Spelling: We are continuing with this program and love it. We however are not very consistent with it so not as far along as we should be but this is my fault.

Reading: My husband and I have gotten out of the habit of reading to the kids, however the kids are doing their own reading. Princess is reading the Narnia chronicles series. Little Man is reading short chapter books that I pick out for him. I am hoping to get him started on the Magic school bus chapter books soon. Right now his current favorite is Flat Stanley. I am hoping to get back into the habit of reading to the children at bedtime soon.

Physical Education: Both children are continuing their horse riding lessons as well as their swimming lessons.

Extra Curriculum activities: The kids are participating in Boy and Girl scouts weekly.

Art: I am afraid this has fallen behind recently, something I need to work on.

I am looking for suggestions for books for a 6 yo boy who is reading at a second grade level. If you have any suggestions please share.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Watching our Garden Grow

We are continuing to participate in the Garden Challenge and it has been a month since I last posted on this subject, so it is time for a update. Since the children and I are studying WWII we are learning a about life during the War and food rationing. We decided to named our Gardens

First we got some scrap plywood out and painted it to better weather proof the wood. We used what paint we had on hand

Little Man decided to named our vegetable garden "Victory Garden" just like in the books we are reading on WWII

Princess decided she wanted to name the flower garden the "Dragon Garden"

Last Month the only thing we planted was our potato plants and they are doing so well

We should have a bumper crop if I can keep the bugs away.

Next we decided to try planting a few other items

We have planted broccoli, pumpkins, radishes, spring onions, carrots and lettuce.

For flowers we planted poppies, foxglove, Mexican Hats and Sweet Williams.

We put all our seeds into our mini hot house. I found this at a garden shop and am trying it out for the first time this year. I am noticing more seeds have made it to little sprouts than last year.

We going to try growing indoor mushrooms this year.

The plot where our vegetables will go once the seedlings are big enough!

Princess really wanted a Flower garden this year so she took on the responsibility for planting the flower garden with a little guidance. She did a great job.

We planted a few flower seeds in trays and are hoping to expand the flower garden this spring!

Join in the challenge, link up begin April 28th go here for more details!

Join Tracy, Lynda and I at the NOBH for the month of April. We have over 350 posts and are meeting lots of new bloggers. Hope to see you there!!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Eden Camp a WWII museum

On our second day in York we took the children to Eden Camp, which was a WWII prisoner of war camp during the 1940's. It had been converted to a museum in 1985. This was a fabulous exhibit on the history of the war.
Originally the camp had 40 cinder blocked buildings and each could hold up to 65 prisoners. Currently there are 29 buildings in use with each building exhibiting a specific aspect on the conflict. We learned so much while we were there. Here is just a few pictures of what we saw.

This was the typical food ration for an adult for the week.

Looking inside a home and seeing a Morrison shelter.

What the building looked like when Prisoners lived there. I was very surprised how much freedom they had, many agreed to be sent out to work for farmers locally. there were many stories on prisoners returning after the war and a documentation of their memories. One prisoner even married a local girl while at the prison.

What a street might look like after a bomb attack

During the black out everything including doors, windows, lamp posts, even cows were painted with reflector paint.

There was an very interesting building explaining the history and service of the the Bevin's boys. I had never heard of them before

Practicing using a Bren Gun, which was a British light machine gun used during the war. This was a very heavy weapon, can't imagine carrying it around during combat.

An interesting tidbit we found out was during the war all road signs were removed and stored the reason being that if there was a spy in the country they would have a harder time getting around:)

Interesting victory poster that I have never seen before.

We spent over 4 hours in this museum and we learned so much. It is a great place to learn more about the British war efforts. After the museum we decided to drive thru the Yorkshire Moors National Park. We saw amazing scenery just from the car that I thought I would share.

Natural site we found along the road. This occurred during the last ice age and is described as the Grand Canyon of England.

We were surprised to see this amazing castle from the road. Castle Howard, I will be checking it out the next time I am in York.

Two different stone gates we passed under along the road. I believe they are connected to the Castle but can't be sure.

Another stone wall leading to nowhere but I loved how the sun was hitting the stones.

Typical countryside picture. Looks so peaceful, doesn't it.

Please join Tracy, Lynda and myself at the NOBH.

Friday, 22 April 2011

The Deep

My husband hasn't had any time off work for 6 months so when he came home on Friday and said he had gotten Monday and Tuesday off we packed up the car and headed out of town! We, my husband and I, being the home schooling parents that we are, decided to head somewhere where a bit of learning can be done but also allow for some relaxing time. Right now the children are studying the oceans so we thought a trip to The Deep in the town of Hull would be a great first stop!

The Deep is a large aquarium and had great exhibits starting back to the beginning of oceans and the first ocean animals all the way to conservation and research exhibits. The kids and my husband and I found many many useful tidbits of information. The exhibit on slime and its importance to living creatures (including humans) was fascinating:)

Of course there is a picture of Nemo and Marlin

My kids loved the riding glass elevator thru the aquarium. My daughter was fascinated with the saw fish which is what she is pointing at but the camera just missed it:)

Nautilus fascinated my son. We must have stood still for 5 minutes (record for my son) waiting to see if we could catch one swimming. Didn't happen but he went back to this exhibit several times hoping to catch one swimming.

Who doesn't love watching Jellyfish when they are behind glass!

The children's favorite fish. Little man loved the cow fish (I think that is what it was called) and Princess loved the Hawaii state fish called Humuhumunukunukuapua`a and she quickly learned how to pronounce it (I still can't) and loves saying the name of the fish every chance she gets. It is a bit annoying:)

During the conservation part of the exhibit they had these art works hanging. I was amazed by what this artist found and what he did with it.

At first glance you think this is seaweed or straw but it is actually a small skeleton of a fish.

Sad but amazing at the same time.

After spending the morning exploring the deep and getting a little bit of knowledge we headed off to visit the City of York. I have to say it is one of my favorite cities in England so far. We have been 3 or 4 times. I love how the old and new seems to merge together throughout the town. It is just beautiful.
I love driving into York, this is one of the many gated entrances to the city.

Driving along the road outside the city wall. The hill side was covered with yellow daffodils. So pretty.

City park amongst the ruins of a monastery. Just breathtaking. A favorite picnic spot it appears.

One of the staircases to take you on top of the Roman walls along the the city. This one is very near a large traffic intersection so cars are whizzing by.

I believe there is over two miles of Roman wall you can walk on, we only did a fraction of it this day as it was late and the kids were getting tired.

On our way back to the car we found this sign which we had not seen before.

I haven't heard of this before so I need to look it up.

Please join Tracy, Lynda and I at the No Ordinary Blog hop this month. We enjoy reading your post and getting to know you:)