Our No School Adventure

Homeschooling our children in Ontario


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And our school year begins. …

I have a lot of things to post from this summer but right now I’m posting from my phone. It might make it easier for me to keep up with the blog thi year. It may also mean a lot more typos because my phone doesn’t like me to spelll correctly!!!!! I alpologize in advance for that.
We took an extra week off so that we could celebrate tessa’s birthday before starting school. We are also planning to follow a little more of a school at home approach this year. I found last year that she didn’t really want to do much learning without suggestions and the learning she wanted to do were worksheets. Most of the time she just wanted to watch cartoons and play on the computer. I don’t have a problem with the computer time because most of the games were educational but this year she has to earn tv time by doing some work. I have a plan set up and we will see how it works. For now the plan is this….

Worksheets (6 pages) earn 30 mins tv
Reading for 30 mins (or 1 chapter) earns 30 mins on the computer
Copywork from the book we read earns 3 0 mins tv
30 mins playing the games I created earns 30 mins computer
And daily session of extramath.org earns 30 mins computer

Other than that she can play outside, with toys, on her mobigo2 video game (they are educational games) or on the wii. And her tv time is restricted to 1 tv show and one netflix show or movie. We will be getting rid of satelite soon so I can restrict what she is watching. There are a TON of really stupid cartoons on tv lately that I do not approve of.

So that is rhe plan (as of right now) for this school year. I also plan that our school year will probably end or drastically slow down in April with the arrival of the newest member of our family. But we will see how that works out when the time comes.

Ok well our morning break is over now. Time to move on to reading….have a good day everyone!

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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.

 


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A lot has been happening

So again I have not posted in a long time. Between crocheting and searching for things on Pinterest I can not seem to find/make the time to keep up with this blog. How do all these people find the time to keep up with a blog? Seriously…..if you have any tips on finding time to blog please share in the comments.

 

***WARNING***

This post will be LONG and PICTURE HEAVY. You have been warned! 🙂

 

As the title states there has been a lot going on lately.

Quinn has been obsessed with my iPhone. I have a few toddler and little kid apps and he has been playing them almost non stop. And he is really good at them for only being 2 years old. His favourite games (not proper names for the apps) are:

Tthe Matching Zoo- Its a memory game where he has to match up 10 different zoo animal pictures. Im not sure how many different animals their are but he is a whiz at this game from the first time he played it. I was AMAZED at how quickly he caught on and how quickly he can match all the animals. Even my friends are shocked that he can do this game.

Toddler Teasers Shapes Version (my husband has the paid version on his phone which includes SOOOOO much more than shapes…well worth the $3-$4 to upgrade)- In the quizing section he is asked to touch a certain shape (he knows all these shapes because of this game <circle, square, triangle, heart, crescent, rectangle, diamond, hexagon, oval). The flashcard section shows flashcards of all the things he can learn/recognize with the game (thousands of them on my husbands version) Toy Box Section- he has to pop balloons to have the shapes drop, then the he has to drag the shapes to a cannon and shoot them back in the group, then their is a train track you put the shapes on (each time it says what the shape is) and then the train =drives and repeats the shapes again. Puzzle section-they have cut out shapes in the background and you have to match 1 shape at a time in the puzzle.

Fisher Price Lets Count- Counting and learning different animals.

Fisher Price Where’s Puppy- Level 1: he has to touch the dog and it list different body parts (nose, ears, eyes, mouth, tummy, arms, legs   Level 2: They ask you to find the body parts.

Fisher Price Animals- The game shows pictures of animals with the written name under it. When you touch the screen the animals make their sounds and it says the name of the animal

I really have to watch him with my phone now because he likes to move the apps around and once last week he set a passcode on the darn thing and it wouldn’t open with out it. Luckily he is only 2 and the passcode, which is 4 digits, only took me 2 minutes to figure out. “0000” LOL next time im sure I will not be so lucky!!!!!!!

 

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Like Father, Like Son!!!!

FEB 18TH

Our black swallowtail butterfly emerged from it’s chrysalis. This was our first time trying to raise a butterfly from catterpillar. We learned alot from this experience!

# 1- Do not keep the butterfly house indoors over the winter!!!!!! The consistent temperature and artificial lighting will trick the butterfly into thinking spring has come and the days are getting longer. Our butterfly emerged roughly 2-3 MONTHS early!!!!!

# 2- Butterflies do not eat. They drink nectar from flowers. You can make a solution of 1/2 tsp sugar in 2 TBLSP water and feed the butterfly.

#3- Butterflies taste from their feet. We had to get the butterfly to step into the VERY shallow tupperware lid with “food” in it so that it would “eat”

#4- Butterflies do not have a mouth. They have a proboscis that unrolls. As Tessa explained it….they drink from a straw that is attatched to its face.

#5- Butterflies do not Pee or Poop. Apparently they absorb all the nectar they drink because I never seen anything in the butterfly house that needed to be cleaned up.

#6- Our butterfly didn’t seem to ever remember where the food dish was. I would use a medicine syringe (one of the baby ones used to give tylenol- it has no needle on the end) to squirt the sugar water into the dish but it never seemed to go near the dish after the first day when we started to feed it. I ACTUALLY had to hand feed this damn thing by getting some of the water on its feet and watching for the Proboscis to unroll and hold the syringe close so the proboscis could reach it and find the opening to get the food. It would only drink for about 3-5 minutes. I tried to feed it 3 times a day but it only actually drank anything probably once a day to every other day. It was a pain.

#7- After a while a butterflies wings start to deteriorate around the edges. Either due to age or possibly getting wet with sugar water when it would land in the dish.

#8- Butterflies only live for around 3 weeks. I warned Tessa about this everyday so that she was prepared for its death. Around March 12 th it warmed up a lot outside but I was sick so I decided that if it was still nice out the next day we would release it….fully knowing that it would get cold again and the butterfly would die. I was just hoping for a nice enough day out so taht the butterfly could fly out of eye sight before it died. Hoping to spare my 4 year old the pain of learning aobut death so young. It was not nice out the next day. In fact it snowed. So I told Tessa that it would probably die before we get to release it into the wild. David told her if it died we could press it in a book and get a picture frame for her to put it in and keep it forever. Well it lived for about 3 weeks and I was so sad for Tessa…….but honestly she was alittle sad and then remembered that Daddy said we could squish it in a book and keep it. So we pressed it and its still sitting in the book between 2 [pieces of wax paper. I have not gotten a picture frame yet. I have also not looked at the butterfly since to see if its getting mouldy or anything and TEssa has not asked about it since it died. I hope we can still keep it.

#9- Our butterfly was a female. It is my understanding that Male Swallowtails have more vibrant colours and the yellow colour dominates and is in larger patches than the blue. The Female Swallowtails have smaller patches of a dull yellow and larger patches of a dull blue.

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Feb 21st- Homeschool Group Field Trip to Stones and Bones Museum, Sarnia Ontario.

 

There was sooo much to look at in the Museum and it was information overload…to the point that even with all the pictures I took I still can not remember what was so interesting/important about the things in most of the pictures that made me think to take the picture in the first place….with a few exceptions

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The deer antlers are solid and will grow back. I think he told us they loose their antlers each year, but dont quote me on that. The other are horns, im not sure from which animal but they are hollow and do not grow back.

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This is an actual real shrunken head. Tessa wouldn’t look at it because she said it was disgusting!

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It was freezing in the Museum and Tessa was shivering. So I froze for the rest of the trip! LOL

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This is a version of a Morpho butterfly. Only one side of the wings has the pattern on it and the other is see-through and looks purple/blue (opal) when the light hits it.

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I believe this was a Morpho didius butterfly. The Museum guy told me he would hold it up to the light and he wanted me to take a picture of it with the flash off.

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This is the same Morpho didius butterfly. The Museum guy did not move the frame or turn or tilt it at all. The only difference is this picture was taken with a flash.

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Tessa wanted to go through all the stones in the bin and find a match for each type listed on the right side of the box.

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She matched them all!

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Then she wanted to group all the star by colour.

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Feb 26th

Tessa finished her second session of gymnastics. We are not sure if we will sign up for another session because she seems to play around quite a bit compared to the other kids in her group (including the 3 year olds) Ive actually been wondering if we are going to do some of the upcoming field trips that are planned with the homeschool group. During the last trip Tessa had trouble sitting still and listening to the information the Museum guy was telling us. She kept bothering the other kids who were all paying attention. I think shes just not ready for a trip where she has to sit still and focus on a lot of information like that. She is more hands on and likes to look around. She had the same problem with the Honey farm trip. She said it was boring. She was not interested at all in the presentation/workshop that was going on. She wanted to look at and touch all the things they had on display instead. I have no problem with this but I do not want her to be disrupting the other kids who are interested and learning and listening. So we will take a break from the trips until I think it will interest her more.

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She was so proud

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Class picture (I blurred all the other kids faces for privacy reasons)

After this session we all took a month long break. During that time I had a few discussions with Tessa about what is expected if we do sign up again. I told her she needs to stay with her class and teachers. She needs to pay attention to what she is to be doing in each area. She needs to not wander off and explore things on her own. She MUST do all the stretches and warm ups so she doesnt get hurt. I told her if she doesn’t think she can do this we will not sign up again for a while.

We did sign up and this session is giong MUCH better. To be completly honest I dont think all the messing around previously was entirely Tessas fault. The teacher(s) <im not going to lie here….i never really payed attention to which teachers were working with the younger kids each time….i did however notice ona few occasions that the teachers seemed to think it was social time and didn’t pay a lot of attention to the kids. Kids would wander off and they didn’t notice. Kids were playing around and they didn’t notice, Kids would kick, hit, bump into other kids (not on purpose but while doing the routines without much supervision) and again the teachers would not notice. A few of the other parents were not impresseed with this either. One parent even said that you get what you pay for (we get a pretty good discount because we have a whole group attending at the same time “homeschool gymnastics”) Well I dont care how much we do or do not pay!!!!!! I did not sign up for my child to get hurt, play around, or be unsupervised. There was one time where the teachers and all the kids left the foam pit area to go somewhere else and they left Tessa in the pit alone for 5 minutes. I dont think she was playing around. It looked like she was having trouble getting from the middle of the pit to the edge so she could climb out.

But either way I told Tessa that if she was not participating and paying attention we would not return.

Im happy to post that she has done remarkably well so far this session. She also seems to have really connected with one of the teachers.  After the second class she even ran over and gave her a hug. Then I asked her what her teachers name was and she ran over to ask and told me her teacher friend was Emily. this week (week 3) she even reemmbered her name. I dont think either of the teachers this session are the same as the last session.

Im not sure if our talks during the month off have impacted her behaviour or if Emily has. But either way im happy and she is enjoying gymnastics.

 

 

Ok Im not nearly caught up with all the things that have been happening but its 1 AM and I should go to bed now. I will really try to post the rest soon and im trying to figure out a way to post more often.


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Ok so I’m not so good with keeping up on the blog. Sorry :-)

I know i really suck at keeping up with this blog thing. Sorry everyone! Lets see..whats new around here?

Tessa has apparently forgotten a lot her letters lately. I think she is just getting bored with the way we have been working on them so I have been busy trying to find new an dexciting ways for her to learn.

All this week I have been busy with pinterest trying to find fun games that I can make at home for cheap to get her excited about learning. I have found a bunch and have spent the last 3 days creating peices for what Im going to call our “GAME BOX”. Almost all of the games I have decided to put into the box can incorporate numbers, letters, colours, shapes and sight words. Oh I forgot to mention that Tessa informed me last weekend that she wants to learn to read, NOW! So off I went to find a list of sight words and games/activities to go with them.

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If you are following me on Pinterest all these pins for games can be found in my games board or my reading board.

http://pinterest.com/noschoolmom/games/

http://pinterest.com/noschoolmom/reading/

Here is a list of the games Im going to be putting into the box once i finsh making or purchaseing supplies for them:

Go Fish- I have made 2 decks of “cards” for the alphabet on these foam sheets found at the dollar store (one deck in capitals and one deck in lower case letters) and im going to make 2 decks of  numbered cards 1-30 but im going to do numbers on 1 deck and either dots (like dice) or the written number on the other deck. I also think im going to use the sight words flash cards and make another set.

Memory- 2 decks of cards. ABCs, #s, sight words, etc

Bingo- Im giong to make blank cards and laminate them so we can keep re-using them for either ABCs, sight words, #s, etc

Fiddle Sticks- Craft sticks in a cup with things written on them (ABCs, #s, words, etc). I have to find the larger/wider popsicle sticks.

Parking Wars- Must make and laminate a parking lot picture and get some stickers large enough to write on but small enough to fit on a dinky car.

Drag Racing with ABCs, #s, words, etc- I will add this game later once Quinn gets a racing set as a gift (maybe for easter)

Draw an Alien- I haven’t really had a chance to check out this game in detail but its on my board and im going to check it out later

Twister- Again giong to add to the box once we purchase the twister game

Board games- I have found 2 blank templates for board games and im going to laminate them

Yahtzee Junior- I have to find dice with numbers on them instead of dots (im going to add the dotted dice as well)

Odd/Even- dice game

10’s Go Fish (harder game for older kids)- Like go fish but you must ask for a numbered card that when matched to your card will make the sum of 10.

Shape Fill-in- Take a basic picture (say a circle) and draw a grid inside. Kids roll dice and colour the amount of squares they roll, taking turns. Player with the most squares coloured wins!

Clear the board- I have to get some small cube blocks for this game

Train Race- again needing the cube blocks and some yarn/string

More or Less- I will wait until she is a little better with numbers before we add this game

Coin Exchange- Again I will wait unti she is a little older for this one

Make Zero- Again for when she is older

A Few of the games are for when she is a little older and learning to add/subtract, learning about odd/even but I’m adding the instructions and supply list now so that I dont forget about them. Im also thinking of setting up a math game day with the homeschool group and I wanted to have some games for the older kids in the group.

So far I have made the alphabet cards on the foam sheets and written out all 220 sight words on flash cards, and written out the supplies/instruction list for all the games on recipe cards. Tessa and I have already played alphabet go fish once and she had fun and there was only 1-2 letters she needed a little help with (mostly because they were lower case letters and we have been working on mostly uppper case letters, which i know was totally the wrong way to start off! LOL I will do lower case when Quinn is learning!)

Today is Valentines day and we missed out on our homeschool groups valentines party 😦 But we spent the morning making some valentines cards for family and friends. Tessa had a blast but then got sad when she said she wanted to make her grandma and grandpa a card and send it to London. They are on vacation in Florida and wont be home for a few weeks. So she decided it would be too late for them to get it! I was thinking of finding out where they were and sending them to Florida but as far as I know they are only staying in 1 place for a few weeks before they move on to a new destination. i woulld hate for them to have to leave before getting the card and I do not have a clue how long it would take to reach them so sadly they are not getting Valentines.

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After making the valentines Tessa surprised me and said she wanted to do some “homework” (worksheets done at the kitchen table!) Tessa HATES to write. She will actually start to whine and say that her arms hurt and she is tired if I try to make her do more than 1 page.  I actually had to bribe her to finish writting everyones names on the valentines. So I was quite shocked that she wanted to continue writting on the worksheets. She chose to do sheets from one of the numbers books. I think she did 5 sheets (front and back) today. Daddy will be happy to come home and actually SEE the work she did today.

I know I am kinda all over the place with this post today and I appologize but I have a lot I want to write down and no time to edit this post and put things into the right paragraph and what not. So here is some more jumbled stuff that I want to make sure to write about….

There are 2 main reasons I am creating the Game Box. #1 Tessa seems to need some new fun ways to learn as she seems bored with the worksheets and hates to write anything out anyways. And #2……. she has been spending WAY too much time watching tv and playing Wii games. I think if I make learning into more of a game she wont mind turning off the tv for a large chunk of the day (I am also taking some notes from a homescfhool mom friend of mine who swears her style of homeschooling now a days is just playing games with her kids! Thanks Mel!) Also to help out with the addiction to the Wii I am looking into buying some educational Wii games instead of the crap games we have right now.

The 3 games we have that Tessa plays are Dora and the enchanted crystal, Disney Princess’s (whichshe beat yesterday) and the new game my neighbour got for her 2 weeks ago, Tangled. I am looking into getting some Reader Rabbit games for the Wii. Really I wish she would go back to playing on the computer instead of watching tv or the Wii. I have many educational games bookmarked for her but she is not interested in them right now.

I have still benn slowly working on colours and numbers with Quinn but he seems to think everything is pink or red right now (not related to valentines day at all) He just seems to not care so I have been taking it slow with him.

Quinn and I did have some fun last week together while Tessa was having a sleep over at Grandmas. We brought some snow into the house for him to play with (I am allergic to the cold and break out in hives if I get too cold so the kids have been suffering lately with no outside time. Well actually Tessa still goes outside with her 9 year friend but Quinn has been stuck in the house with me. So a bowl of snow a little food colouring and a spoon was all we needed to have some cold fun indoors. it was fresh clean snow so no worries there and I stayed nice and warm. Mind you I did have a huge wet mess to clean up but it was worth it. This also gave Quinn some more practice with eating using a spoon. He really is still very messy with a spoon. He now insists on having a fork while eating dinner because he sees all of us with one. He is a little better with a fork than he is with a spoon….unless we are having rice then it just gets everywhere no matter what!!!!! LOL

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Oh…..looks like my time on the computer is up, kids are acting up and I have to go. I know this post didnt make  whole lot of sence but hopefully someone can understand it…LOL


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Wow 2 posts in 2 days!!!! LOL

So I know I said I was re-addicted to crocheting a while back and that is the reason for my lack of posts.

I was busy making some homemade gifts for christmas. I made some facial scrubbies for all the women in my life. They are the softest things anyone will wash their face with!!!! I cant even remember the brand/type of yarn I used but it was seriously soft. Sorry I do not have pictures of these.

I also made some gifts for my children. I wasn’t entirely sure if I was giong to get them finished in time, but I made it with 2 days to spare….Whew!!!!

I found this pattern to make crochet dolls on ravelry (OMG im soo addicted to ravelry. It’s like pinterest for knitting and crocheting. If you have ever been on pinterest then you know how easy it is to lose yourself for 2, 4, 6, or even 8 hours. But i love it!!!!!). Once I made the first one I realized the doll turned out much smaller than I expected so I doubled the pattern and made a second one. I decided that the small doll would be a “Quinn” doll and the larger one is a “Tessa” doll. I think they turned out fantastic for being my first attempt at amigurumi.

Once I finished these i decided to make Quinn a dinosaur. I had a lot of trouble trying to find a pattern for a dinosaur I liked (let alone a free pattern for one I liked) but after a few days of searching pinterest and ravelry and trying google searches I cam across one that I thought was perfect. Again I made one and it turned out smaller than expected so I doubled the pattern and made a second one. I’m not entirely sure what happened but the larger one seems to be way more than double the size of the first one!!!!!! LOL. I was really worried that I wasn’t going to finish it in time. My hands were cramped up and soooo sore from working on it every chance I had while Quinn was sleeping but I managed to get it all done 2 days before christmas. It was ALOT of hard work and my hands hurt for a good week afterwards.

I dont think I will be working on any more amigrumi for quite some time (even though I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to all the patterns i want to make)

Anyways here are some pictures of the dolls and dinosaurs.

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My re-established addiction with crocheting was not satisfied with these projects. I actually recieved a bunch of pink and purple yarns as a christmas  gift from my hubby and I have begun to make a blanket for Tessa for her birthday (no Quinn is not getting one for his birthday but I do have plans to make him a similar one to Tessa’s)

I am making Tessa a blanket using the african flower hexagon pattern on ravelry. I have 3 colours of pink and 3 colours of purple to make the flowers with and white for the egding. Quinns blanket will also be hexagons using the 5 pointed star pattern and blue and brown yarn…possibly orange as well. Not sure what colour the edging will be yet for his.

While I have been busy crocheting away Tessa keeps telling me she wants to make things for people too. I have not tried to teach her with a crochet hook yet but I may try (although I dont think she is quite ready yet)

Wow look at me totally taking over my homeschool blog to show off my craftiness!!!!!!! I guess I should try to post a picture or something realated to my kids…lol

Here is tessa making her “winter sand castle”. She absolutly refused to call it a snow castle.

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She was sooo proud of herself!!!!

Now she was showing off her winter sand castle to the world!!!

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