Monday, June 29, 2009

Used Curriculum Sale

Locally there was a Used Curriculum Sale.

For about $8, I found a German program with songs, and a few books that will be used, like "Watership Down", and "The Yearling"

It always feels good when I find some resources I need inexpensively!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Yankee has arrived!


My granddaughter (online name is Yankee) was born this morning around 10:00, weighing 6lbs, 10 oz. Mother and child are doing fine.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Worms and Ants

The whole family got to go to the park for a while today - and there was little tiny canker worms on the picnic table near where we were - the kids watched the worms for a good 30 to 40 minutes.... and tried giving them leaves to eat when their dad told them that was what they ate.

Later in the evening they were in the front yard, and took out the magnifying glasses, and spent a bunch of time watching the ants that we have.

Wish they didn't freak out at flies!

Garage Sale Find!

Well, I lucked out the other day at a Garage Sale!

In a box of books at 10 cents each, I found

"Charlotte's Web"
"Heidi"
"The Cricket in Times Square"
and
"Little House in the Big Woods"

I'm thrilled that I got 4 books on our list for a whole 40 cents!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Provincial Capitals

So, Delta and Echo know the Provincial Capitals..... well, could probably tell you 7 or 8 if asked - maybe would get all 10.... (plus the Capital of Canada)

How do they know them?

Well, we have a song that teaches them in with all our music.... it is on a CD of mixed stuff. I think it is Stompin Tom - but would have to check.....

Words go something like

Here's to Ottawa and the land we love, can anyone here name the capital of......
British Columbia ?! Victoria!

Victoria is a great little town, they never turn the Maple Leaf upside down
Here's to Victoria and the land we love, can anyone here name the capital of......
Alberta ?!

etc

Most of the time, the kids get them all right!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Park Day!

The other day was a beautiful day out! The whole family, (Mike, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Zulu, and I) went for a campfire at a nearby provincial park. Of course, it being the weekend and the first really, really nice day, it was very busy. All our good choices for picnic spots were gone, but we did eventually find one that worked out ok - except it was right beside the campground with a lot of traffic coming in and out. The actual campfire spot was far enough away from the road that we didn't have to worry too much though, as the children are good at following the boundaries.

Because of the traffic, the proximity to the campground, and our unfamiliarity of this specific site we didn't let the children explore out of the clearing, however.

I had bought a few little launch-airplanes from the dollar store, and those, plus a few soccor type balls kept the children pretty happy. We brought an old sleeping bag to put on the ground for Foxtrot so that she could explore without getting too dirty. She did wander off it a bit to experience some nature, but it made a nice base for her.

The children loved their hotdogs - Mike enjoyed his smokies.... and I had one of the meals I prefer on a campfire - a tinfoil dinner. I had 2 hamburger patties, some cut potatoes, and various cut vegetables, with some seasoning and a touch of BBQ sauce. It ended up cooked just right on the fire, and was a luxury.

We were outside for a few hours - although the son was VERY hot, and our site had no shade until the late afternoon. We ran out of water, but we did have enough with the other beverages.

Although it was after 6:30 when we were done, and Zulu had school in the morning - we still decided that the children (Except Foxtrot), and I would have a quick swim at the man-made lake at the park. It was quite cold, but very refreshing after the hot day. The children would have stayed there for hours I'm sure, but I kept it fairly short. It was still almost an hour I think before we were back in the car. We just put shirts back on over the swimsuits, and drove home.

I love "wild" days!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Found a Nest!

It would appear that a little bird nest has fallen out of one of our trees. I'm assuming it is an older nest - there is certainly no sign of any eggs. I noticed what looked like a ball of grass on our yard yesterday. Today, after a longer glance, I had a good look, and I'm sure it is a nest.

Tomorrow, if the weather is good, I'm going to have the kids examine it, and will probably draw it in my nature notebook.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Coming together

It is starting to feel like things are coming together! I have a good idea what I want to cover in most of the subjects, and although I may not know the exact resources for everything, I feel a lot better about it being my families program instead of someone elses.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stein Suppe

So today I told the kids the story of "Stone Soup" - a folk tale of a soldier who is hungry, makes it to a village where no-one has enough food to share, so he makes Stone Soup.... and everyone ends up contributing some food to make it just a bit better....

Anyway - my son said "So they made Stein Suppe"? (not sure of the spelling....)

It took me a moment to remember that Stein in German is Stone..... and that Suppe is Soup. I haven't been doing a LOT of German with the kids - but apparently some of the words are sinking in!

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Blog!

I am starting a new blog.

This blog will continue to be my day-to-day frustrations, revelations, and just how things are going blog, plus the suzuki info.

http://maplehillacademy.blogspot.com/  Will be a blog with recommendations for homeschooling.  It will be more formal.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Go Tell Aunt Rhody

It is so hard to believe, but Delta has already learned "Song of the Wind" - and at the lesson a couple of weeks ago, he started learning "Go Tell Aunt Rhody".     Definitely none of the songs are polished yet - but it is so much more satisfying to be learning songs - and working on getting the technique better while playing the songs than trying to get the technique perfect before learning the song.

Mrs. J does have him work on an exercise for a week or two that will make learning the song easier...  but pretty much as soon as Delta is taught the first line or so, he starts trying to play more and more of the song.

Also - although not every practice is done totally joyfully, they mostly are!  Delta did get upset about doing the twinkles the other day - I don't remember exactly what he was upset about - but he was playing them all mad, so his technique wasn't good - so I took the violin away and told him that he couldn't play it mad, and that I would do Echo's practice with her.  If he was calmed down after her practice, he could finish his practice - but he wasn't going to play it mad.   It worked - he played the other songs (after Echo was done) happily.

He is also sometimes getting out the violin and playing at other times - when his dad is getting ready for work (his dad works nights), or increasingly when he is supposed to get ready for bed....    I am happy about it, although not when bedtime is already very late!

Also - I have started playing with him most days during practice (except during tonalizations, and the new exercises) - he really enjoys it, and has really made him enjoy doing review songs.  Echo is a bit upset that I can't really play with her as much - but I have to help her a lot more.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

White Black Bear....?



Ok, I've seen it before - but what a good title! Read on....

Well, even though it was raining, I decided that I wanted to take the kids to the zoo for a short trip. We just got a yearly membership (again) and haven't been since last fall. We arrived about an hour before closing, so we just saw a few things.

The zoo's polar bear (who had been the oldest known polar bear in the world) died last winter, so that exhibit was empty - which was a bit of a shame. However, our zoo's White Black Bear was out. Yes - it is a black bear, that is entirely white. (W
ell, in summer it is a creamy colour, but it was pretty white today). I know it is confusing to have a White Black Bear - but it is the easiest thing to call it.... it is an albino black bear. A cou
ple of years ago, there was a report of the white black bear in the wild, when it was a cub. Unfortunately, people started driving to the area hoping to get a glimpse.... and some fed the bears. Enevitably, the mother bear got hit by a truck or a car because they stayed near the highway hoping to be fed. To save the cub's life, they trapped it, and brought it to the zoo.



Our zoo also has an albino Bison (Buffalo).... I don't think there is any history to the white buffalo though.

The kids enjoyed it - they LOVE watching the prairie dogs.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Family Presentations

From a challenge on another Blog  (http://milestonesacademy.blogspot.com/), we held a Family Homeschooling Presentation.   It was a small affair, with the family, but it was very enjoyable.  Unfortunately, the camera lost the video taken from it, so I have put up some similar pieces....

Delta played "Lightly Row"on the violin.  Echo did "Lift and Land" on the violin, and Echo also sang "I am the Greatest".

I am looking forward to presentations in future years, when there will be more items to present, but I thought it was pretty good for Kindergarten and Preschool!


Echo singing ABC's and "playing" on Guitar

video


Echo doing "Lift and Land"

video


Delta playing "Lightly Row"

video

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Decisions Decisions

So, sometimes I think I am the worst person in the world at trying to make up my mind on stuff.  It didn't used to be that way - but it has been for ages.    I can easily decide between things that, at least in my mind, are easily a good or bad choice.   Even if good and bad would be extreme words to describe the choices.

But, what I have a really hard time deciding is between 2 very good choices.  (or 3....)    

What is really frustrating right now, is that I thought I had made the decision.  Actually, I thought I had made the decision twice already!   And, now I don't know.

As mentioned on here, I have decided that I like the Charlotte Mason homeschooling method.  That is a pretty firm decision. 

So, at first I thought that Ambleside Online looked really good - it was my first intro - but wasn't sure yet.... and so I looked around.  Then I found Milestones Academy, and it looked good - and I decided that that was the way I was going to go.

Then, a few months later, I had a few doubts about Milestones Academy.  Oh, it does really look good - I had some concerns about the potential cost (as money is tight) - and I went into the big debate again in my head, looked around a lot - then decided I would do Ambleside Online.

So, decision made - so I went and gathered up all the free materials I could find, and turned my worrying to how to handle Canadian History.....

And then - from a post on the Milestones Academy Yahoo group, I went and looked at the program again.

So - I'm down again to a nice simple - I don't know!  They both look good!   There are things I like about both.   I did some looking on some other sites as well, like Simply Charlotte Mason.

Eventually, I went and talked to my husband.    After a bunch of talking, he told me that I know what to do - take what I like from both groups, and figure out my own list, using them as a guide.

So, I've bought a planning book from Simply Charlotte Mason that I've been eyeing, to try to figure out exactly what I want.   

Strangely, I do feel a bit better about it (although I see a lot of worrying about all the details....  I'm a typical new homeschooling mom, wanting to find the perfect resources....)