I think that we have not had a relaxing and laid back February since 2004 and the birth of the twins… compound that with Emanuel being born in 2006 two days before their second birthday and we start our month off with activity already. Then it is Valentine’s Day and often Chinese New Year. 2015 was no different than years past. It helps that we absolutely LOVE Chinese New Year thanks to our adorable god daughters… Anna and Isabella and their families. There is so much culture and beauty we have yet to see and experience, sadly not in person… but through our learning. You can join us with our resource entry HERE for 2015’s year of the goat/sheep unit.
It was a rather unique birthday for the boys as we didn’t have the big old family and friends party. February was also the beginning of Nana and Baba’s vacation in the Dominican Republic.
We had MULTIPLE parties, really more suppers with friends. One of those was a totally fun and bad for you movie and snack night with the Schwartz family.
And the other dinner with the Novaks!
Of course we had the usual, Home Depot.. swimming.. life in fast forward it seems…
We also hit our 100 days of class mark! This was a fun challenge, I had each of the kids come up with some piece of art or even just something fun made out of 100 pieces. We had Legos, popsicle sticks, stickers… it was great! Trinity glued on sparkly confetti and yours truly made a special poster of heart stickers.
We babysat our favourite baby – Jeffrey… the girls absolutely eat him up!
Emanuel basically made his scout car all by himself with minimal help from Daddy. While he did not win he came home proud.
The girls showed off their princesses to go with my crocheted versions. You can actually purchase her wonderful patterns (Kristen’s Kords) HERE.
We had readers and rather good listeners. It is always a bit of a a buzz to see them reading to each other willingly.
It is hard to believe that we now have two 11 year olds AND a 9 year old! Who gave them permission to grow up?
We even had a completion of workbook… I swear Trinity is just busting through hers! I am so proud of all these kids and their drive to learn. It wanes at times but we all end up inhaling books and searching down facts.
Of course we ended up at the YMCA swimming pool, that is pretty normal, BUT we also had the twins BOTH get their pink wristbands. This gets them free reign of the pool! And with them old enough to be dropped off… this could be a GOOD summer for them. Pictured below in the lane pool (deepest area).Don’t forget about Valentine’s Day when we had our red, pink and white lunch and SPECIAL GUESTS for dinner – Aunty Shandai and Uncle Ravyn!
Dr. Seuss’ birthday was also in February so the girls went to Lakeshore to enjoy the festivities.
So February was a colourful month full of celebration and love… you can check the overflow of images with some events I did NOT cover in this entry HERE. Look forward to reflecting BACK at March next!
We really do enjoy celebrating Chinese New Year and this year was no exception. This is our first big unit in months as our work on Thanksgiving and Christmas was much more worksheets and stories than actual research. This is also our first unit trying a more Notebooking sort of theme. Though after working with the twins I definitely want to try and put more lapbook aspects into our notebooks – the folded little booklets and the like – to add to the look and the ease of use.
So in 2015 I am trying to over view a month which was working with the blog when I got behind instead of daily reflection. But with big units I still want to make these individual blog entries to share our resources and the like. Bear with me we LOVE covering China and Chinese New Year so there is a lot to share!!!
Links of Specific Interest:
We had Zander choose two famous Chinese people and write a few sentences… he used a general list HERE thanks to Buzzle, and then to further our knowledge about the more contemporary individual used Wiki to learn more about basketball player Yao Ming HERE.
10 Good Luck Foods thanks to Chow HERE. I admit it, we did do some Wiki peeking when we found things we were not totally familiar with but I am sure you can figure that out!
Something on the more traditional side I was assured by my experts… The Kitchen God HERE thanks to about.com. For a picture to include in our notebook we used Activity Village’s picture HERE.
Learn more about the Lion Dance (sometimes mistakenly… ok OFTEN… called the dragon dance) with HelloKids.com HERE, and on Wiki HERE.
We learned all about the meaning and history of the Chinese flag on the site A China Family Adventure HERE. With a little additional information HERE thanks to Facts.co.
We get TONS of information from Activity Village. Their printables are amazing… HERE.
For interesting landmarks we used the top 10 attractions listed on ChinaHighlights.com HERE.
China’s phyisical geography thanks to About.com HERE.
When you think of animals you inevitably come to the Giant Panda. Science Kids has a fact page HERE.
We discussed tea and China… totally Gavin’s idea on that one! You can find 10 interesting facts about tea at the Food Network HERE. For its history and cultural connotations in regards to China you can read China Highlights HERE.
Zander researched the couplets you put around doors during Chinese New Year. There is a great example (that we copied into our notebook) HERE thanks to China Page. And a bit more of a description and a way to purchase some for yourself HERE thanks to China Sprout.
Of course we did a page on goats… I basically looked up goat facts and let the twins at it. You can read up on what we found HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. Thanks to Lively Run Goat Dairy, Edelweiss Acres, One Kind and Animals by Pawnation.
Of course we had to cover some animals found in China. Each child chose an animal and wrote a few facts for us to include along with an illustration. Trinity chose the Chinese Pink Dolphin. We used the WWF page HERE for hers. Gavin chose the Golden Monkey (Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey) and while he just sort of wandered the zoo and such sites this is the one I found that I liked thanks to Konica Minolta HERE.
While watching Wild China I heard mention of an amazing bridge… so of course I had to find the way to spell it and look up some OTHER bridges. Check out 4 HERE on Vision Times.
Introduction to Buddhism for kids thanks to World Religions HERE.
A good topography map thanks to Ilibrarian.net HERE.
The Summer of Stanley by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock (a story about a family that is given a goat. Gorgeous pictures and good story)
We covered Origami this year. While commonly known as a Japanese art, it originated in China! You can check out our informational links HERE and HERE thanks to Origami with Rachel Katz and About.com and also check out the books we got to play around with:
Wild China Mini Series. We watched this series on Netflix. There are listings where you can purchase it. Though not new it is AMAZING in images and cultural history. A must watch if not for anything but the imagery.
Not so much because the kids needed it, but I decided to make dividers for each of the sections of sheets we had to go with our notebook project. I have confirmed these are the correct words… enjoy
Schoolwork HERE thanks to the same dictionary site
Drawing or picture HERE thanks to above dictionary site
Hopefully I have included most of the resources we used. It was a lot of fun to take our usual China and Chinese New Year study a little further than we have in the past! Here are some pictures of our Notebook! Enjoy!
Now for the BIG excitement for the week… a trip to the CALGARY ZOO!!! You read that correctly… Kathy, myself and my girls at one of the best zoos in Canada. The last time we went here was when Emanuel was a tiny baby! A LOT has changed!! First off, 5.00 fee for parking! We parked in the Tiger lot! Trinity thought that was cool.
At the zoo
One of the amazing entrance statues
It took a little pre planning and organizing but we managed to get to the zoo when it opened at 10, pay our admission (ouch! even with a coupon) and get going. Apparently quite a few schools figured it was a good day for a trip to the zoo as well so it was a little busy. BUT we managed to see everything we wanted to and really enjoy a rather perfect day.
Ready to see and do...
We started with the penguins. That is, the ones you could see from outside the main exhibit. The wait when we got there and when we were leaving was well over 30 min and the penguins that were visible from right past the entrance of the zoo were exciting enough for our two little ones.
Of course we had to take pictures in front of the exhibit sign too… it was just too cute.
Me, my girls and the nifty penguin statues
We decided to bypass the North American exhibit (umm can see most of that ANY time) and the dinosaurs (new exhibit but lots of walking AND we had the wrong “e” named child with us for it). Instead we headed right over the bridge (what a high water level there is right now!) and onto the African exhibit… we needed to get in our lion time (though really all we got to see was a VERY well groomed head)…
The tortoise on a walk was much more rewarding!
Though the renegade peacock was more exciting…
And the visiting sparrow… we figure he was there for the same reason we were… a little zoo culture!
Let’s see what else was there? Of course Trinity had to pore over that map and choose the animal shapes that interested her the most!
Master map readers
Oh and lots and lots of flamingos, an unexpected find! And pink to boot…
Trinity and the flamingos
We had to stop for a hot dog along the way… just a snack to tide the girls until we got our lunch break. Of course that was coupled with a potty break.
We HAD TO see the elephants, Trinity was emphatic about that.
There was also the last remaining dinosaur from the original dinosaur exhibit to check out. Trinity was quite interested in what seemed to be a hole in its neck. Apparently it is a historical landmark now.
Trinity was very intrigued by the train that was NOT a real train… a part of the children’s area it ran out on the walkways without a rail. She was certain that that was NOT the way it should be!
Train that is not a train according to Trinity
We also saw the red panda… a favourite of Karyn and mine!
And a goat with the neatest curly horns!
Oh and I got a close up of a second roving peacock…
Lunch was a bit of a rushed affair with two slightly cranky kids but it was totally yummy and gave us enough energy to see our last exhibit. My favourite exhibit was the butterflies. It is way bigger than when I went as a child and still a lovely place. Though with all the children in from school trips the butterflies were not landing very often. Trinity had to check out the pond in the middle of course.
On the way out we had to take a picture on the pink light… All in all I think we spent around 4 hours out and by the end of it we were ALL ready for a nap… so… we did!!!
I got the boys each a pencil and we got a special postcard to share… and then each of the girls got a little kitty teddy… so we did really good with our shopping as well.
Now post nap we had ANOTHER exciting activity planned – dinner with Esther! At HER place! This was our first visit there AND our first dinner cooked by the lovely Esther. Both were wonderful. We caught up, hung out and generally spent some wonderful girly time together. Trinity even had her nails done AGAIN! Spoiled!
Esther in the kitchen
So that was one of our best days in the city… not only did we see some of our favourite critters but managed to corner the elusive Esther in her natural habitat. With a promise of a repeat visit! Seriously this week was an eye opener. I have missed these people.
Late night boardgame with Kathy and Neko
The most interesting fact we could find about hippos