Our No School Adventure

Homeschooling our children in Ontario


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Garden Update and other exciting stuff…

May 15th

Tessa has this friend who is in Senior Kindergarden in school. She only goes to school Tuesdays and Thursdays and every other Friday so they get to hang out quite a bit. The school her friend goes to is French immersion. I honestly do not know the difference between regular school and French immersion. I thought they just incorporated more French into the day to day curriculum. I might be way off on this. Today I took sidewalk chalk and wrote out all the sight words Tessa knows on the sidewalk to our door. I thought it might be fun to make a game out of it for the girls. I had Tessa pick a colour and those were the words she needed to find. I asked her friend to pick a colour and she couldn’t find the first word so I tried one more and then let Tessa finish all the other words. After the girls played together for the afternoon I met up with Tessa’s friends babysitter who told me that she might know the words but in French. I have not verified this with the mother but I do plan to find out.

Tessa is now up to 20-ish words now. I posted the pictures in with the May 16th pictures but just in case you can not read it here is the list of words she has been working on:

THE      I     TO      IS       A     ON        IN        IT         AT         WAS       AND       INTO        ONTO         OF          TESSA       DADDY           QUINN            MOMMY          TORI      CAT         DOG…….   There may be others as I’ve not been keeping an ongoing list.

May 16th

Today was messy art day. Tessas friend did not have school again today (they go 2 days a week and every other Friday around here) So I set up some water colour paints for the girls. Then they decided to use sidewalk chalk but that turned into face painting….which didn’t work out too well. Next I pulled out a trick from pinterest that Quinn could enjoy as well. Shaving cream painting. It was horribly messy and sticky. The kids all LOVED IT!!!!!

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May 19th

We decided that even though we have not finished anything new for the fairy garden (except for the dollar store goodies we bought) we would start putting it all outside in the bin. First we filled the bin with 2 bags of dirt. I didn’t get pictures but we bought 2 varieties of plastic pink flowers and 2 varieties of purple. I cut them all apart and had Tessa and her friend “plant” them in a fake flower square thing we got at the dollar store. Sorry I don’t know what it was called.

Tessa decided where to put the house and all the flowers and irish moss that grandma had bought for her. Then we made the river and added some “beach rocks” as Tessa called them. AFter that was the finishing touches…..a solar light, a welcome friends sign and a butterfly sign. Tessa was tickled pink once it was finished!!!!! We left a bare spot for the second fairy house we plan to build. Im not sure now about all the other things we planned to make as our fairy garden seems pretty full already. Maybe we will save those ideas for when we have a larger yard and can use more space to create a permanent fairy garden.

There are more updated pictures of our garden. We now have a homemade trellis for our cucumbers. We have planted our red potatoes and carrots. We also got some herbs. Oregano, Thyme, Parsley, Rosemary and left over from last year we still have lavender and sage. We also found a strawberry plant for our garden. Everything seems to be doing well so far. And sadly we have still had more days we have had to bring our entire garden inside.

 

Don't worry.... Daddy took the saw away from Quinn and put it away! LOL

Don’t worry…. Daddy took the saw away from Quinn and put it away! LOL

 

 

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May 21st

Tessa has now finished her 3rd session of gymnastics. She has received her ribbon for Kindergym Level 3. The next session starts back in September but I think we are going to take a break from gymnastics for atleast 1 session. One of the moms from our homeschool group is a dance instructor and has been given permission from the dance club owner to set up and run a homeschool dance class. We are going to try this out instead of gymnastics to see which Tessa will be more interested in. We may end up doing both gymnastics and dance for the second session but I think it might be to much for Tessa to do both gymnastic and dance on the same day. Plus there is the whole childcare thing for Quinn. Right now my mom watches him for the hour of gymnastics but she spends half that hour at our playgroup and the second half at her house while Quinn eats lunch. im not sure if she will agree to watch him in the afternoon as well that day. Although he would be napping most likely for the duration of dance class Im not sure how she would feel about it.

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So that is the end of a crazy busy and educational week for us. I have more to post about but at the moment Im having issues with uploading pitcures. Apparently I cant access all the folders in the “My Pictures” folder and the ones I need for this post are hiding somewhere. I will be adding the pictures to this post in the next few days and then hopefully doing another post.

 


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Our summer no-school plans have begun

We have begun our summer learning projects already. Mostly the plan is to have fun, play, go on vacation, spend time with family, read some books and grow a garden.

This post will mostly be made up of pictures with captions to save me some time. I’m hoping doing things this way will make it quicker and easier to post more often.

She wanted to taste the baking powder. It did not taste good! Ha Ha Ha

She wanted to taste the baking powder. It did not taste good! Ha Ha Ha

stir it up good!

stir it up good!

Mixing the wet ingredients

Mixing the wet ingredients

setting the timer

setting the timer

Now we have to melt the butter.

Now we have to melt the butter.

Baking Strawberry Banana Muffins. Tessa was in charge of measuring the butter

Baking Strawberry Banana Muffins. Tessa was in charge of measuring the butter

Ok so all those pictures did not go in the correct order. They are backwards. Hmmm. Lets see if it works doing it this way…..

We did some gardening last year but this year we decided to try to grow more of our own food. We bought lots of dirt and organic compost. We got our  lettuces from the farmers market. Our tomatoes and basil are organic from a little shop in town. All our seeds are organic seeds from degroots nursery. The seeding plants, onion bulbs, and seed potatoes we bought at degroots nursery and are not organic. We still have to plant our carrot seeds (organic) and seed potatoes and we want to get a strawberry plant but didn’t find them when we went shopping so we will be looking this weekend.

We atarted early and the temperature did drop quite low this past week so we brought our garden inside overnight. Thankfully we are container growing htis year so we were able to bring it all inside. But I think the garden can stay outside for the rest of the season now.

 

We used our blue boxes for recycling to mix our soil and organic compost together before filling our containers

We used our blue boxes for recycling to mix our soil and organic compost together before filling our containers

Quinn wanted to hep

Quinn wanted to hep

He loved it!

He loved it!

We put coffee filter in the bottom of the pots to help keep the dirt from falling out and then put stones to help with drainage

We put coffee filter in the bottom of the pots to help keep the dirt from falling out and then put stones to help with drainage

Scooping in the dirt for her sunflowers

Scooping in the dirt for her sunflowers

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Our garden part 1

Our garden part 1

from left to right: 4 Cukes- cucumbers (back), 4 LETS- mixed lettuces (front), 2 containers with 1 S.F- sunflowers (back), 4 ROM- romaine lettuce (front), 4 G.P.- green peppers

from left to right: 4 Cukes- cucumbers (back), 4 LETS- mixed lettuces (front), 2 containers with 1 S.F- sunflowers (back), 4 ROM- romaine lettuce (front), 4 G.P.- green peppers

from left to right: 4 R.P-red peppers, 4 BROC- broccoli

from left to right: 4 R.P-red peppers, 4 BROC- broccoli

Our garden part 2. What a yummy sight!  2 containers on left are yellow and green beans. 5 seeds per container and the green rectangle planter is spinach.

Our garden part 2. What a yummy sight! 2 containers on left are yellow and green beans. 5 seeds per container and the green rectangle planter is spinach.

Quinn was sooo sad when I told him we were done and it was time to go inside.

Quinn was sooo sad when I told him we were done and it was time to go inside.

 

Tessa has been getting upset the last few days because her 9 year old best friend wants to go riding her bike around the complex instead of playing with her. Tessa doesn’t like to ride her bike for long so we are practicing so she might be able to join her friend sometime this summer

 

Practicing riding her bike in the parking lot

Practicing riding her bike in the parking lot

She was having fun

She was having fun

she has trouble keeping her feet on the pedles and this is why she has not been riding her bike much at all and why we are practicing in the parking lot while Quinn naps.

she has trouble keeping her feet on the pedles and this is why she has not been riding her bike much at all and why we are practicing in the parking lot while Quinn naps.

She says her legs get tired after about 7 minutes of riding around but the more she does it the easier it will get!

She says her legs get tired after about 7 minutes of riding around but the more she does it the easier it will get!

With all the veggies we got for our garden I had done a lot of research about growing them in containers, how often to water them, when to fertilize (with organic fertiizer ofcourse) and when and how to harvest them….I thought I would find something fun, quick and easy to grow with kids. I decided sunflowers would be perfect. Not only do they grow quickly and large, we can also enjoy seeds from them! This was great but I didnt think it would be enough fun for Tessa. I also dont know if it will keep her interested in gardening for the rest of the growing season so I had to think up something super fun. And along came Pinterest! Dont you just LOVE pinterest? I sure as heck do!!!!!

Our new project is a Fairy Garden. Tessa is obsessed with Fairies. She tells me almost daily that she is a real fairy and she is giong to fairy land. LOL

So here is the begining of our Fairy Garden…

 

Tessa wrote up the plan for all the things we need to make for her fairies. I helped her to sound out the letters for each word. She is soo excited to start this project!

Tessa wrote up the plan for all the things we need to make for her fairies. I helped her to sound out the letters for each word. She is soo excited to start this project!

incase you cant read it: Fairy Garden, Couch, Chairs, House, Table, Bridge (my mom gave us some blue shiny stones to make a river), swing.

Quinn was playing his matching game on my iPhone while Tessa and I were hard at work. It was fun for him and kept him busy so he wasnt mad that I wouldn't let him help us

Quinn was playing his matching game on my iPhone while Tessa and I were hard at work. It was fun for him and kept him busy so he wasnt mad that I wouldn’t let him help us

We decided the most important thing we need in the fairy garden is a house for the fairies incase it rains. They cant fly if their wings get wet.

We decided the most important thing we need in the fairy garden is a house for the fairies incase it rains. They cant fly if their wings get wet.

We copied a picture of a popsickle house I found on pinterest so Tessa was laying out the correct number of sticks we needed to make the wall

We copied a picture of a popsickle house I found on pinterest so Tessa was laying out the correct number of sticks we needed to make the wall

she used another popsickle stick to help line them up straight

she used another popsickle stick to help line them up straight

Then we glued the support stick on to hold the wall together

Then we glued the support stick on to hold the wall together

All our wall pieces are glued together and left to dry. Tessa then make a windmill but did not want to glue it and keep it for the fairy garden

All our wall pieces are glued together and left to dry. Tessa then make a windmill but did not want to glue it and keep it for the fairy garden

Day 2 of building the fairy house. I decided to use a hot glue gun to hold the house together. it would have been impossible to use white glue and get the corners to stick. I put the glue on and Tessa stuck the pieces together with a little help

Day 2 of building the fairy house. I decided to use a hot glue gun to hold the house together. it would have been impossible to use white glue and get the corners to stick. I put the glue on and Tessa stuck the pieces together with a little help

Here is the basic frame of the house all complete. Now to add the roof. There were no pictures or instructions for making the roof so I just winged it.

Here is the basic frame of the house all complete. Now to add the roof. There were no pictures or instructions for making the roof so I just winged it.

 

 

Before adding the roof Tessa decided she wanted to glue 3 popsickle sticks together to make a magic wand.

Before adding the roof Tessa decided she wanted to glue 3 popsickle sticks together to make a magic wand.

The roof is on. Now to fill in the front of the house and add the door

The roof is on. Now to fill in the front of the house and add the door

All done!!!! We decided to add posts to the bottom so we can stick it into the dirt and it wont blow away on windy days! Great idea Tessa!

All done!!!! We decided to add posts to the bottom so we can stick it into the dirt and it wont blow away on windy days! Great idea Tessa!

Due to the temperature outside at night dropping down to 5*C or lower we had to bring the garden inside for about 4 nights in a row. When i was bringing it back outside I noticed this..

Tessas first sunflower seed has sprouted. Its only been 9 days! I am going to have her measure its height daily adn keep track of it. Whoo....here comes some education in math.

Tessas first sunflower seed has sprouted. Its only been 9 days! I am going to have her measure its height daily adn keep track of it. Whoo….here comes some education in math.

Our spinach is starting to grow too.

Our spinach is starting to grow too.

Here are the tomato plants and the basil

Here are our 2 tomato plants and basil as well as the spinach. The tomatoes have not been re-potted yet due to the cold nights. I thought it would be easier to keep them in the smaller pots until this coming weekend. The tomatoes were left out the one night until almost midnight and have suffered. I sure hope they make it!

Here are our 2 tomato plants and basil as well as the spinach. The tomatoes have not been re-potted yet due to the cold nights. I thought it would be easier to keep them in the smaller pots until this coming weekend. The tomatoes were left out the one night until almost midnight and have suffered. I sure hope they make it!

 

And today, again while returning our garden outside, I noticed this…

Here is the 1 out of 7 bean seeds in the container that has sprouted overnight. Tessa was so excited to see that it pushed a clump of dirt over to make its way out to the sunlight. I couldnt remember whether this was green or yellow beans so i ran outside just now to check and it turns out this was the green beans. But since being outside all day today 3 of the yellow beans have now sprouted up. Yippie. But sadly I think the sunflower died. The stem is shriveled up laying on the dirt and brown and the head that was growing is still green. Oops!!!!!

Here is the 1 out of 7 bean seeds in the container that has sprouted overnight. Tessa was so excited to see that it pushed a clump of dirt over to make its way out to the sunlight. I couldnt remember whether this was green or yellow beans so i ran outside just now to check and it turns out this was the green beans. But since being outside all day today 3 of the yellow beans have now sprouted up. Yippie. But sadly I think the sunflower died. The stem is shriveled up laying on the dirt and brown and the head that was growing is still green. Oops!!!!!

 

 

 


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Well look at this….another post! LOL

Ok so I have some spare time tonight and thought I would try to finish (or atleast add to) the previous post about what has been happening these past few months.

 

I have still been working with reading sight words with Tessa. We have not been working a lot on this, just when we are reading at bedtime. She just doesn’t seem interested in wanting to read during the day…especially with the nicer weather we have been having. But she has been doing quite well. Every night while David or I are reading to her we stop and point to all the sight words she has learned so far and let her read them. I have not introduced many new words lately because she seems to be guessing on a few. The words she seems to have the most trouble with are: is, in, it and on. In her defence they are all very similar. She usually guesses the word is “it” or “in” first depending on which word she read most recently. Then i tell her to look at the word and sound it out if she needs to. she seems slightly embarrassed to sound them out and has to look away from me and whisper the sounds. Then she will look at me and tell me the word.  The words she knows (for the most part anyway) are:

The       I    A     and     in    it    to   was    is    on    into     onto

 

The last two (into and onto) she always gets correct but now she has started to try to put a lot of random words together to form one word. Last night she said “the and sky together makes thesky” LOL. Maybe I should have waited to introduce those two to her! But she was the one who pointed it out and said that she knows those two words so she can read them now.

I am still having trouble getting her to do any writting but now that she knows some words it seems to be improving a bit. In the following picture she had decided she wanted to draw on the chalk board. After a few minutes of drawing she asked me to help her spell Mommy, Daddy, and Quinn. She can reconize them by herself but she gets confused on whether mommy or daddy has the A and which one has the O. Quinns name she did not need help with. Then my neighbour was at the door so I went to answer it. When I came back Tessa had added more words to the chalk board without any help. By-golly she IS learning. LOL

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This is not school related but Quinn has recently been diagnosed by a dermatoligist with Eczema and Ichthyosis vulgaris (and since treating the Ichthyosis and diong further research about it I also believe he has Keratosis pilaris) If you want to learn about what these skin conditions are here are the wikipedia pages about them:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eczema

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthyosis_vulgaris

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keratosis_pilaris

My poor boy! Although it does not seem to bother him (yet!) I feel bad knowing that this could impact his self esteem in a very negative way. Let me explain the extent of Quinns conditions because wikipedia explains the broad ranges of each of these. he does not have an extreme case of any of the above.

The skin on his arms, back, face and upper legs are always dry. Like white flaky really dry skin. When I use lotions it helps for a few hours then he is flaky again. He does not seem to feel any itch but he is only 2 and might not realize what it is. The skin on his lower legs have small, light brown, thick, rough patches (like fish scales). His scalp is white and flaky but also has small, orangish scales on it. This thighs and back of his upper arms also have rough bumps on them that are slightly red coloured. But the DR did not look at his upper arms or thighs to be able to diagnose this.

Anyways we have been given a treatment plan that involves a lot of special creams and ointments. We can only use certain laundry soap, body soap and  shampoo. He is also (apparently) not to have baths anymore, Only quick showers and no swimming as this will all dry him out really quickly and really badly. How many 2 year olds do you know who like to take showers???? Well Quinn doesnt like getting rinsed off but he likes to play with the stream of water coming fromt he showerhead. As for no swimming! He is a kid!!!! and we love swimming as a family, especialy when we go visit the grandparents in London and get to swim almost non-stop the whole time we are there. So to be honest….im not going to stop him from swimming. We will just be sure to go heavy on the creams and ointments afterwards.

The reason for my mentioning this was that I wanted to show updated pictures of Quinns hair cuts. Yes I said hair cutS. I took him to get a hair cut a month before seeing the dermatoligist. Then the Dr officially diagnosed him with Ichthyosis and showed me that he has scales on his head too and that is why we have special shampoo and head lotion for him. BUT…I have to use this head lotion only on the affected areas and only use a tiny amount. So this is where haircut #2 came into play. Here is the before picture (man did he ever need a haircut) followed by haircut #1 and #2.

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Shaggy Boy

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Haircut #1

Haircut #2- My little Baldy

Haircut #2- My little Baldy

 

Poor Boo-Boo Bear! He’s a baldy. I miss his hair so much…although he is still adorable with almost no hair.

And as an added bonus here is a pic of both kids in their brainwaves beanies that I made for them. I have since made them each a newer one to better fit their heads and they are in different colours than these.

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Quinn has been doing great with his “school work” He knows all his colours now. He knows his shapes and has for a while. he can count to 13 by himself although 11, 12 and 13 do not sound like the numbers to strangers. I know what he is trying to say! LOL. He can recognize all the numbers 1-9 and gets them correct more often than not. We haven’t really been working on anything more than that except his gross motor skills (larger muscles) He is a boy afterall!!!!! he has been running like crazy and climbing up, on, into and around EVERYTHING. Which to the average person might not seem like a big deal…..he is 28 months and that is what 2 year olds do. I wasn’t so sure!!!! Quinn is what I like to call my “LAZY BOY”. That really isn’t nice….I know I know. And I shouldn’t *label* my child like that. I know I know. Hes not really lazy. I think he may actually end up being a perfectionist (or just lazy! LOL Only time will tell!!!!!!) Quinn first rolled over at 4 months old, Once. Just once. I thought maybe it was a fluke and I was seeing things or it was accidental but im sure it was not. He did not roll over again until he was 7 month. he did not sit up alone until he was 10 months old. He did not crawl until 17 days before his 1st birthday and he did not take his first steps alone until he was 21 months old (thats almost 2 years old and only 7 months ago!!!!)

I thought there might be something wrong with him when he was little. Tessa did everything right on track and was walking by 13 months. I know you are not suppose to compare your children to each other and I didn’t. I compared Quinn to the recomended milestone quidelines put out by health professionals.

Theory #1 is that Quinn is lazy. He just likes to take his sweet time to do everything. Which is true, he does take his time with a lot of things.

Theory #2 is that Quinn is a perfectionist and doesn’t even want to attempt things until he believes he can and will master it. So that is why, to me, it is a big deal that he is running and climbing all day- every day! I love it now that he is mobile. This also means that everything this spring/summer will be a first for him.

A couple weeks ago it was really mild outside after a few days of rain and Tessa has been bugging to go outside and play with the bubble machine the Easter bunny got her and Quinn. Quinn is also in LOVE with his Tonka Dump Truck he got for christmas. So outside we went for a lovely afternoon of pushing a dump truck, chasing and trying to eat bubbles and the smallest mud puddle I have ever seen that ofcourse my son found and had to spend almost an hour playing in. Most of the time he said he was cooking! It was amazing!!! His first time playing in the mud and he couldn’t get enough of it. Here are a bunch of pictures from that afternoon (which was followed by showers, lotion, a late dinner and shortly after…bedtime)

 

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Lately Tessa has been interested in lots of different things and comes jup with random questions out of the blue. A few weeks ago she asked me where electricity comes from and we went on the computer adn looked up a simple kids version to explain it. She did n’t want to go into much detail and research it further but I was fine with that. Today she was colouring with sidewalk chalk after we had our girly time and painted our nails and toes and there was an ant crawling on her picture she drew. So she asked me how many kinds of ants there were. I asked her to tell me how many she can think of. She said “red ants and black ants. I told her there were also brown ants and big black carpenter ants. Then she asked if there were yellow ants. I dont know if there are but tomorrow we are going to look up the different types of ants. she also found a potato bug and was scared of it until i told her if you touch it carefully it will turn into a ball and roll away. It does that so bigger bugs and annimals wont catch it and eat it. She also seen a ladybug today.

Pretty soon we are going to be diong our garden….with a twist this year. We will be moving mid-summer so we are going to be planting into 3 gallon ice cream buckets so that we can transport them to the new house and be able to harvest and enjoy all our hard work.

Gardening and reading will be our summer education plans as well as a a weekly (depending on the place planned for the week as it will change each week) park day with our homeschool group. We are also hoping to go camping. We go every year and LOVE IT!!!! And this year Quinn will enjoy it more because he is walking.

As you can see we have been doing and learning lots. As well as a ton of fun and playing!

I think Im all caught up now. And now Im off of to bed.