Friday, April 11, 2014

What We Sent Our Compassion Kids (April)

With Mother's Day coming up next month we wanted to send a little something to our Compassion Kid's mothers.

So Hudson folded an origami tulip for each mother... I wrote out a card with a (hopefully) encouraging message...

Then we sent a letter to our kids... an origami frog and an ocean themed coloring page since we had recently been to the Vancouver aquarium.

(not pictured) Meadow drew a picture of herself looking at the fish at the aquarium...

I won't go into any details here... but please be in prayer for one of our Compassion Kids.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ecosystem in a Bottle Science Project...

I discovered this ecosystem in a bottle  probably at the beginning of the school year... and I have been patiently waiting for the right time to take on such a large project as this (it really wasn't as complicated as it seemed)... Well today was the day!

Off to the pet store we headed to gather the supplies for our model pond guests...
Two little fish named Swishy and Fin...
And a snail named Sticky...
We also picked up some aquarium gravel and a couple of aquatic plants.

Our top floor holds some gravel... two worms...soil... some dead leaves and a wee bit of grass seed... 
I am so very interested to see how this all turns out... I will update you with our various ecosystem changes...


Monday, March 17, 2014

What We're Reading...

We love books around here... And since at times I find it challenging to figure out what to give my kiddos to read I though I would share a few books we have on the go right now.

Hudson pretty much devours Magic Treehouse books...
Right now he is working on a lapbook project that goes with Vacation Under The Volcano.


He has also been enjoying The Magic School Bus chapter books... On our recent trip to the aquarium he read up on sharks and penguins with Ms. Frizzle and her class.

Meadow has been burying her nose in Eloise...

And she confidently reads Dick and Jane aloud to anyone who will listen...

And together we are reading Because of Winn Dixie... which is a first for everyone... and I must admit I pretty much love that mutt.

What books are being read at your house?

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Nature Journal :Garden Observing

This could be potentially embarrassing... but I used to fantasize about being a Charlotte Mason homeschool mom...
Picture it... frolicking in a meadow of soft wildflowers and tall grasses...  wearing a straw hat and long sundress no less...sitting on bear size, sun warmed rocks watching your children paint the scenery with water colors.
Then heading home to read interesting books... and gather fascinating tidbits about the nature you were just submersed it... Everybody excited to learn.

Experience has fortunately burst that bubble for me... crying children on a trail in a near by provincial park with a disobedient dog and a stroller can knock the serene right out of you.

I have held on to a love for nature journals though... they are just so pretty... and the idea makes me think of calm... so we march on with nature journals...

I'm going to share a few printables that are working well for us right now as we observe the seedlings we are starting on the window sill.

1. A calendar

This allows us to record so many things:

  • how long it has taken each plant to sprout.
  • which plant sprouted first.
  • how old each plant is
  • when second leaves began to grow
My children are experimenting with some kitchen seeds... so they ave decided to pay especially close attention to the apple seeds planted in the peet pucks.

I love this page... Space to draw and write observations... reminds us to date our work (I'm quite bad at remembering that) and each square is small enough to not be intimidating.

Do you have any favorite nature journal printables or resources? 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chiming in about Writing...

Meadows Journal

Writing is something I want my children to love...  there is nothing quite like the perfectly written message in a card... or creating an outrageous and adventurous new land in a story.

Alas it is rare that my fantasy life and my real life actually line up... in our home writing was one of those subjects that was met with groans and occasionally tears... but it has gotten better... Here's how:

1. We stopped using a writing/ spelling program...

2. We started daily journaling with prompts (I hope to phase out the need for prompts in the future).
Here are a few ideas:
Write about a book character you would like to meet. What is something you love about yourself? Write about something that drives you crazy. If you could be in a cartoon which cartoon would you be in? Choose one of your toys and pretend it can talk. What would it say?
Do you think a monkey would make a good pet? Why? Write about a dream you remember? Write about the best birthday you've ever had. If you made supper what would you make? Write about how to be a good friend.

3. I only allow myself to correct 2 things in a writing piece... usually a misplaced capital or period.

4. We do Mad Libs which is a super fun way to practice parts of speech.

5. I am choosing to believe that an avid reader will become a capable speller.

6. Hudson has a pen pal and that has been a super fun non threatening way to get him to write.

7. We play classical music... it's calming and it gets the creative juices flowing.

As the weather warms up I hope to take our writing outdoors and introduce more poetry...

What do you do to encourage your children to love writing?


Saturday, March 8, 2014

van Gogh 2 Sunflowers

Once again inspired by For the Love of Art, which has so many ideas for art projects with famous artists in mind... we created Sunflowers.

First we drew the vase and flowers with pencil on watercolor paper... and then traced the pencil lines with black Sharpie markers.

Then we busted out the watercolor pucks and watercolor pencils... the results are breath taking...
 Meadow's Sunflowers

Hudson's Sunflowers

Friday, March 7, 2014

Itching for Spring...

While I understand that I live up mountain... in an ahem snowier part of the area... and I'm not complaining... really I'm not... but my heart soars at the thought of spring... New beginnings... birds... plants... baby chicks.

 We have taken some initiative... we will not sit idle and wait for this snow to melt... Oh no not us...
Because surely a dozen or so paper butterflies on the window will lure the sunshine to come...

But just in case that doesn't work... sprouting plants on the window sill will right?  I mean we have sunberry seeds in there!  This will work to bring Spring...

By the way stay tuned... we are experimenting with some seeds right from our own kitchen... lemon seeds and apple seeds... should be fun!  And if they grow we have a special project planned for the lemon plants!

What are you doing to bring a little Spring into your home?


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