Monday, June 26, 2006

Finishing up

Today we started on the second last lesson in math which is on subtraction. E picked it up right away and did her math pages so fast!! She's really good at telling time too (that is, as long as she remembers to put on her glasses in the morning so she can actually *see* the clock!).

We also did some more spelling out of our SWR book. We started on list B and she learned words like: good, so, no, last... She's learning 20 new spelling words a week with this program, and is doing great! Hopefully she'll be a much better speller than her mother.

We also did some painting (actually we did that yesterday, but hey, homeschooling can happen on sundays too can't it?). E and I painted together and had lots of fun playing with the crayon resist technique where you color with crayon first and then paint over it. (the paint doesn't stick to the crayon).
No pictures for your viewing pleasure today unfortuantely, because super blogger mom has to make dinner.

Nature Walk

The weather was so hot and uninspiring this afternoon that we decided to brave the sun and go for a walk through our community. We piled H into the stroller, sprayed on our sunscreen and wandered off up the sidewalk.

We saw so many dragonflies, although the kids swear they were the same two that were following us (Z told me they were a brother and a sister). We also saw:

-a hawk flying high overhead with two crows flying around it's head like little brothers would to an older sister.

-a beautiful black bird with red on it's wings who was singing the prettiest song.

-some pretty alberta roses in full bloom

-some brown-eyed susans (beautiful!)

-an airplane (z's favorite)

-three ponds, full of the sounds of birds, frogs and insects

-a duck sitting on a big rock

We had a nice time, and as a bonus, all four of us were so tired when we got home, we all slept for two and a half hours. (my favorite)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Art show!!

Well the big day finally came, and our little Artist went to the opening of the art show her piece was featured in. All day, she was waiting with great anticipation for the big event. She was especially happy that her siblings, parents, grandparents, and great grandma, and great auntie were there to celebrate with her.

They had all the children's artwork framed and hung on the walls of the building with nice ambient lighting, soft background music, and of course ants-on-a-log, juice boxes and twizzlers for snacks. All the children looked so proud... and none were more proud then our little girl who got to cut the ribbon to open the show. She was very grownup about the whole thing and enjoyed talking to the director of the school. Now she is very excited to take another art class next year.

The photo is of her painting with the ribbon before she cut it. It will be on display for the whole month of July if you want to go see it. (One amusing highlight of the evening was her little sister H who kept trying to grab the scissors off the table beside the painting... I guess she wanted to cut the ribbon too? ) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Getting organized (again)

Not a lot of formal schoolwork here today.. the kids are too excited that we get to go to the airport to pick up Auntie Val. Instead, I spent the morning reorganizing all of our school books. We have acquired quite a lot of history and science and art books... not to mention all my scrapbooking supplies.

This armoir from a dear friend is going to serve us just right for the year. I think I need some more bookshelves if I want to buy any new books for grade 2 up. :-)

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

We've been in quite a nice rhythm over the past few weeks. I've recently started a new house cleaning schedule (isn't it fun to keep searching for the perfect system that will transform you into this amazing domestic goddess??). Anyways, I got it from and I have been enjoying the short list of daily chores I am supposed to do each day. I have found it much more manageable than flylady. If you go here you can download her 2002 schedule for free, or you can pay a small amount to get her current year's lists.
We have also been making it to daily mass again each morning at 8am. An early hour to be sure, but such a grace-filled way to start the day. When we get home, we're already in the right frame of mind to focus on school work for a few hours.

We've been busy learning how to tell time in math, and how to find the area of a rectangle or square through skip counting. In our Language Arts program (SWR), we've been busy practicing cursive (she's getting so good!), spelling, and reading through our weekly lists. I have really fallen in love with this program!! The author suggests that instead of frustrating a child by presenting them with an entire page full of words they have to slowly decode and understand (i.e. a book), why not start with mastering individual words first so they become easy and almost automatic before embarking on reading in books. That way, 'reading' doesn't become a battleground. She doesn't actually think she's reading when she's only reading me a word at a time.

Father's day this weekend was lovely for us. All of the father's in our family were out of town, except my darling husband, so we had a nice quiet day together. First the kids and I got up early to make daddy breakfast in bed (waffles... what fun to make!!), and then we went off to mass as usual. After that, we packed a picnic lunch and went for a nice afternoon at Bowness Park, and finished off the day with an ice cream cone.

Friday, June 16, 2006

new blinds

Everyone is very excited around here about our new blinds that were just installed. What a treat to be able to wander around the house without feeling like you are in a fish bowl in the pet store!!

Sean and I were especially excited about the room darkening ones that will enable us to have a wonderful deep sleep (no street lights shining in our eyes, and no kids getting up at 5 am with the sun).

It was wonderful indeed... the first morning, I woke up in a cozy dark room... to a flashflight shining in my eyes. hmmm... I guess the kids liked the dark rooms too. Much more fun to play camping in. (and it was only 6:15 -- not 5am.. pretty good.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

so what have we been up to?

Batteries are dead in my camera again.. sigh. So, I haven't felt like blogging, because I have no cute pictures to share. I suppose I could walk over to the shelf and get new ones, but sometimes even 7 extra steps in a day can be too much :-) Especially when you are expecting child number 4 and baby number 3 has been up to no good all day.

So what have we been up to? Tummy flu, baby kisses, square-foot gardening, planting rose-bushes and willows, spelling, playing math games, going to daily mass, getting new blinds for the house (hopefully they will keep the kids in bed a little longer in the morning), train rides, bird watching, painting, drawing, and lots of other stuff.

Currently the kids are upstairs playing 'funeral'. Don't ask LOL. They have developed this fascination with ancient Egypt, and are very interested in mummys, and funerals for them.

Never a dull moment around here.

Tomorrow we will begin our math chapter on telling time, and in Language Arts we will continue with our new program Spell to Write and Read. E has learned all of the cursive letters and is very proud.

Blessings to you all!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Science for the summer?

Here's a wonderful resource on the web I just found:

The website is called 'Hands-on Science ' and they have many resources- one of which is a free butterfly unit study that is very comprehensive and looks like a fun way to spend the summer.

I also went back to that amazing on-line museum where you can watch an online dissection of a cow's eye and learn more about how eyes work. cool! I don't have any of those lying around here, so it's great to be able to see it virtually.

One more stop if you have time after all that fun: A live ant-cam. No, it's not watching Aunt Val as she roams through her house dancing to opera music while she dusts... it's real live bugs in their home. Pretty interesting! (they do have anther nature-cam, but it's flesh-eating beetles, and since it's breakfast time around here, I figured you didn't want to see that one)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


This morning before I even came downstairs the kids had pulled out the playdough and all the playdough toys and were busy creating things. Here is E's mouse that she crafted.. I have been directed to dry it in the oven for her :-) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

spring fun

We've been so busy these last few days... gardening, painting pictures, visiting with grandparents, doing math and writing and phonics. Now that it's springtime, I can see another wonderful benefit to homeschooling: you don't have to be inside all day in school! The kids have been playing outside each day for hours at a time, loving the water, the dirt, the grass, and even the bugs. Z has been having fun picking up worms. E is still warming up to them :-)

On the weekend, we were digging up garden beds in our front yard. This is a picture of him and Z getting ready to plant the rose bush that my dad gave us. It's a climber, and we're thinking of putting up a nice cedar arbour over the gate for it to climb up. Z had a great time digging with dad. For the rest of the evening, him and E played in the other big hole daddy dug (for a willow), making their own little play fort with sticks, a skipping rope and some little bulldozers. I'm constantly amazed by how much fun they can have with a few simple things.

Today, we visited my parents, and the kids had a wonderful time playing in the dirt 'helping' grandpa mix up his soil. Even H joined in this time. When I looked at her hands a while later, She had four very dirty fingers and one perfectly clean thumb!! (Good thing... since she sucks her thumb all the time LOL.. I guess a little dirt won't hurt her.

After that, we went to visit my grandma, and that is always a treat. E did her writing lesson there and finished up the last of the lowercase cursive letters (x, y, z). (did you know they call them 'lowercase' because when the printers would do everything by hand, they would keep the more frequently used letters on the bottome shelf for easy access so they were 'lower' and the big ones were the 'upper' ones).

Below is a few pictures that E has painted in the last little while. She was inspired to paint after she went with her other grandparents downtown to an art fair where different kinds of artists were demonstrating their work. The first picture is of 3 nuns walking towards their church at nighttime, and the other two are just 'artistic'.

 Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 05, 2006

So sweet!

My father in law is a great amateur photographer, and he took this picture of H a few weekends ago when they were babysitting the kids. Isn't she the cutest thing ever?? One of her favorite things to do is sit and play with rocks... big ones, small ones, dirty ones... she just loves to pick them up and throw them. The other morning I was trying to sleep in a bit, and I was startled awake by a loud sound I couldn't quite place... it almost sounded like someone throwing hard objects onto the floor. Not being entirely sure that this should go uninvestigated, I followed the noise until I found H in her crib throwing a big rock onto the floor that she had somehow smuggled inside. E was picking it up and giving it back to her each time, so she could throw it again. Bang... bang... bang...

Kids can have fun with just about anything! Posted by Picasa