From Playing Farm to Seeing One!

September 13-19

Sometimes you need a bit of a quiet weekend, especially after the last month or so of go go go. The twins are still set on playing and collecting Pokemon cards. They have quite the personal stash going and are doing amazing at keeping their cards in their boxes and actually trying to play the game properly. I do believe they have even stopped the copious amounts of cheating! Which means soon we should be able to head to the local comic book store (The Source, though it is so much more than a comic book store) when they have gaming table set up. Emanuel cannot wait to read well enough to be able to start his own collection.101_9616

Miss Echo has resurrected her love of her Little People sets… it is quite the sight to see her drag all her sets and toys and the bucket they go into out into the living room to play. Always this must be done ALL BY HERSELF.101_9617

All too soon it was back to the daily grind. But first we had to have a discussion about what we wanted to be for Halloween. After all costume creation is never overnight. I do love hearing their crazy and not so crazy ideas, though Zander has opted to recycle last year’s costume and be a ninja two years running.101_9619

We have thrown ourselves into our new curriculum books with Echo the ever diligent supervisor.101_9621

We have begun our series of volcano learning. The goal for the twins now is to have them cherry pick their own special facts and information from tv while they watch it and record it themselves. The idea of sifting through something to find the important bits. Volcanoes is definitely a SLOOOOW unit, potentially structured over two months. We started with Magic School Bus and their visit to a volcano.101_9622 101_9623

Even Echo got a turn at the worksheets. She uses her pencil with gusto!101_9624

Art for Kids (link on right) have changed things up and now are doing a once a week email out to those who subscribe where you get a few of their art instructions in a printable format. The link is good for a week and then gone. I would totally recommend you sign up. These instructions are great for any age!101_9625

We are having a bit of a teacher assistant situation going on lately. The twins have become amazing helpers!101_9627

This week we also saw off our scout for his second year of scouting!! How exciting. Note the badges sewn on AND the new neckerchief!101_9629

The boys got brand new tshirts in the mail from Gammie! They had to strike a pose and take a photo!101_9631

On Friday Renee and Jeffrey collected us (minus Echo) and we headed over to the Speltz family home. A hobby farm! We were spoiled rotten with a puppy to play with and vegetables to pick… Thank you so much to Mr. and Mrs. Speltz for the veggies, especially the hand chosen pumpkins! And Renee for the trip!20140919_110847 20140919_112915 20140919_112923 20140919_113613 20140919_115100 20140919_110847

We got a few green pumpkins that Trinity has guessed with take TWENTY days to turn orange (I am rather certain it will be more than that but what a fun experiment!).101_9633

Copious amounts of carrots has us ready to make freezer carrots and enjoy the fresh veg on an everyday basis.

Later in the day Trinity and I walked down the street to a local garage sale. I love it when they are in the neighbourhood.101_9635 20140919_144603

We ended our week with a birthday cheesecake for Baba and a group of worn out dirty kids. Showers all round and bed! What a week!101_9637

 Enjoy the extra images!101_9630 101_9632 20140919_113149 20140919_114153 20140919_113735

The Boxcar Children… a Book Review

Now I have read a lot of the classics, some of the obscure and many Canadian children’s stories… I don’t know about you but I ate up Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins (although I am pretty sure the latter has been heavily edited to suit current times). I had seen in passing The Boxcar Children books  by Gertrude Chandler Warner, and even picked up a couple later in the series for the kids this summer, but I had not read them myself. So for October when the twins requested the first in the series before they read 12 and 13 that we purchased at a garage sale I figured I should read too.

I honestly can say I enjoyed the story. We lucked out and got our hands on an older copy with amazing pictures of the kids always without definite features and colour.

The basic back story is relatively simple and rather vague. These 4 siblings (as we come upon them) are on the run from a “mean grandfather” who did not approve of their mother after the death (from unknown circumstances) of their parents. Henry and Jessie with Violet and Benny are creative and strong children who are determined to stand on their own two feet and keep each other safe.

The story is not long (though there are many in the series) and while for me it was a short read the kids took a week or so to read it each. The language is not too complex and the characters engaging. But let’s let the boys give their own opinion in their own words!! WARNING POTENTIAL FOR SPOILERS!! (spelling has been corrected)

GAVIN:

The story is good, there are 4 children. It is not a very long book. I have only seen the first one. I like reading the Boxcar Children. I think my favorite parts were the water fall fridge and the time one of the kids ran in a race and won 25 dollars. I want to read the whole series.

ZANDER:

It is a super altra awesome book. my favorite part is that they are living in the boxcar. It could have some more drama in it. They could add color into the pictures. I want to read every book (in the series).

And there you have it… a children’s book that not only the children but the teacher/mom enjoyed! Do check it out!boxcar_children_4055

Welcome to Our New School Year

September 8-12

Our Canadian guests have come and gone as has much of the summer. So our first company free Monday of September was officially our beginning to a whole new year of schooling. Quite the move up… this is actually the ONLY time we state our grade for the year. Otherwise it is a constant working towards progress. So here is how we start up: the twins are grade 4 and 10, Emanuel 2 and 8, Trinity 1 and 6 and Miss Echo… pre school rambunctious. All posters were decorated by those holding them.101_9583 101_9584 101_9585 101_9586 101_9587 101_9588

This is the beginning of our trays and binders system. We shall see how it pans out. It is hard to keep tabs on all the papers each child uses.101_9592

We had our special lunches in our lunch boxes. The other 4 already had one from last year but Miss Echo got her very own brand new HELLO KITTY lunch box for herself. She was so proud!101_9593

We did a special craft for the day – using Sharpie markers to create stained glass style pictures using photo printer paper. Very simple an a lot of fun. We got a bunch of the photo paper a year ago when purchasing toner refills that were saved and never used.101_9594 101_9595

We had a special visit on our week of the new year… Renee brought the boys over for an afternoon visit. Who doesn’t love a gaming and baby break?101_9596 101_9598

Echo and I had fun doing sticker craft… a little early on the winter season stickers but they were what we had on hand. We are trying out different ways to keep her occupied. Daily to do boxes have not worked… she buzzes through them too quickly. But stickers, if only we could keep enough on hand, seem to work a treat. She did these without any assistance whatsoever.101_9599

One thing we did keep from the previous year was the clipboard with our daily tally on what we did and completed. I got the print out from the Back to School section on Activity Village (link on right).101_9600

We played magnets…101_9602 101_9603

Dressed up for pretend fun…101_9608

Created art for our pen pals (of which we have a few new ones!!)… I think we are all looking forward to getting to know our new long distance friends.101_9604 101_9609

We made a new wreath of our handprints to hang up. Those twins are getting quite the reach!101_9611

We got some amazing scarves from Gammie in the mail for the girls to model.101_9612

Made a few garage finds…101_9614

101_9613And finally picked up stuff for the new year of Scouts! Where has the time gone? And that is a quick overview of our first week of the new 2014-2015 year!101_9615