Friday, September 28, 2012

Phys-Ed

Please excuse the poor quality camera pics, but you get the idea. Austin has come so far with his skating that he's become Cameron's (self-appointed) coach. He spent a whole session teaching him how to get up. Just like his coaches did with him only a month ago.
 




Bryanna isn't as interested in playing hockey and just skates around, but she looks forward to going more than anyone.
 

We're so fortunate to be able to skate every week for our gym class.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

School update

Now that we have a few weeks of school under our belts I feel like we're getting into a decent schedule. We start every morning by 9am with phonics, reading, spelling and math. I decided to try something new this year and pack their snacks and lunches - I know it sounds silly, but it's a treat for them to use their lunch boxes and it allows me to teach one of them while the other has a break and vice versa. We're using a curriculum called Expedition Earth in the afternoons. Basically it's a trip around the world, learning about different cultures, animals, and basic geography as you go. There are even passports to be stamped with each country's flag! We're following it pretty loosely since the kids are still pretty young. We'll probably come back to it in a few years when we can go into more details. Since we stared we've baked apple pies (and saw the world), and made our own paper-mache earth.




Cameron is even more interested this year. He still has his colouring books for while the other two work in their workbooks, but when we do activities together he has to be right in there. I finally broke down and bought him duo tangs for his work- just like the big kids. There's no tricking him either. I learned quickly to print three maps/flags etc because a regular colouring page won't do when the other kids have maps! What a stinker.

We also started attending Co-op one morning a week. It's a school for homeschoolers in grades K-12, run by parent volunteers. There are three periods, including snack time and gym class for the younger ones. Since every mother has to volunteer, I chose to work in as a helper in the JK/SK room with Bryanna, Cameron, Gracie and Hanna (and about a dozen other kids). Austin is in a 1/2 split and both classes come together for third period gym. Jenn is working in the nursery so she can stay with Hailey, and we're fortunate to have our coffee break together. I couldn't have planned it better - Austin is on his own with bigger kids, Bryanna is happy to be with the other girls, and Cameron is exactly where he'd choose to be (technically he's not old enough for JK but would not be happy with the babies in the nursery). I'm also thankful to be just a "helper" and I didn't have to co-ordinate the activities or lead circle time. The kids all did really well- they all had participated well, listened to the teacher, didn't speak out of turn and made a few friends. I was really impressed with how Gracie looked out for Hanna and made sure she was paying attention and doing what she was supposed to. Judging by the number of facts Austin has told me about his skeletal system, he paid attention too. This is definitely something we'll look forward to week after week.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Sleep where you fall....

Literally. These pictures were taken at the same time, from the same spot.
 


They must have been tired!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bedtime Stories



Andy

The kids have been asking begging for a pet for a long time. Our response has been that maybe we'll get a puppy when we move to a bigger house. (Our current house and yard really are too small to accommodate a dog.)
Anyway, after lunch on Tuesday (also the first day of school) we began hearing a kitten hollering outside. We had heard it in the back yard for a few days now, but hadn't found it and figured the mother would find it soon enough. This time, however, we could hear its mews above the pouring rain despite the fact that all our windows were closed. I went outside and had to rescue this little drowned rat kitty that was stuck in the weeds and fence next door. All I could think was "Oh, crap!". I am totally anti-cat not a cat person, but I knew if I brought it inside we'd have to keep it. I brought it in anyway.
 

Once it was dried off and warm, we put it in a cardboard box with some old towels and I asked the kids what they thought we should call it. Austin suggested "Andy", and we all agreed it was perfect. It was a cute name that would work for a girl or boy kitten. I was pretty impressed that he picked a name from Cameron's favourite movie, Toy Story. Turns out, he got the idea from the box we put it in!


Andy Boy! Ha! Except Andy is a girl....oh well. It's still a cute name, even if she is named after romaine lettuce.

Austin was so excited to finally have a pet, he almost cried. Every morning they get up and rush to make sure she's still here.

It took a few days of coaxing, but I finally got her to eat a good amount from a bottle. Hopefully she'll be eating from a bowl and using the litter box soon. Until then, she's my baby - complete with round-the-clock feedings - whether I like it or not.

 
 




Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of School 2012

I saw a few versions of this idea online last year, and decided to do it with my kids every year on the first day of school and see how it changes over the years.
 



Of course, Cameron wanted his picture taken too, and he HAD to use a sign just like the big kids.


We're still homeschooling, and are excited to add more activities to our school schedule. In addition to the (many) field trips we have access to, we will attend co-op with a group of other homeschooling families. The kids are divided into classes according to age and will attend 3 classes taught by the parent volunteers. I like the idea of letting the kids experience a classroom setting without having to go full time. Oh, and one of their classes is phy ed. Bonus!

 Okay, back to the first official day of school:
We did our lessons in the morning, then met Jenn and her kids, my Mom, Nanny and Aunt Patti-Lynn for ice cream.



What better way to start the school year?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

One last hurrah...

Sniff, sniff. Summer is almost over. So we decided to take one last summer day trip, and visit a flea market a few hrs away. We ended up hitting up a second flea market then headed to a nearby children's museum.
 
The first exhibit was dinosaurs. Bryanna & Cameron were quite serious about digging up their fossils, Austin & Daddy were, well....not.
 




Next we visited an old fashioned school room. Check out the evil eyes!


 
The favourite room by far was a mini city. There was a fire truck, McDonald's, bank, grocery store, post office and construction area.
 






We finished the day with dinner (and heaps of crab legs!) at the Mandorin.
Good-bye summer!