Saturday, March 31, 2012

Garden Challenge

I'm linking up with The Homeschool Village for the 2nd Annual Garden Challenge!

Last year, I actually WON in the Garden Challenge. Very Exciting! This year I'm starting off at a new house so I can't wait to see what we can do to the new property! Here's my final update from last year.

Our new home was empty for quite some time before we moved in and the people who were supposed to do the upkeep (cutting the grass for example) did nothing. We moved in in November, waiting for winter to hit any minute so we didn't bother wasting time fixing anything last year. Now all the snow is gone and we have quite the challenge ahead of us and I'm so excited to get started!

 From our front porch looking left

From the front porch looking right

Looking at the right side of the porch

Looking at the left side of the porch

Friday, March 30, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Linking up with The Homeschool Chick

In my life this week… This week was full of blahs. After having hugely record breaking temps last week to back to normal temps this week and it being overcast/rainy all week, no one has had motivation for anything. 
In our homeschool this week… See above... we got school done this week, but the enthusiasm was craaaaaap.
What’s working/not working for us… I'm still not totally happy with Tanya's current English curriculum. Thankfully it's just "catch up" work, so we won't be stuck with it long, but ugh! It's just so repetitive!
I’m cooking… made quinoa for the first time tonight! VERY interesting! I now want to try out several of the quinoa recipes I have saved!
I’m grateful for… my hubby. We moved on November and school stuff is all over the place (my supposed "school closet" barfed all over my laundry room) and he hasn't even threatened to recycle it all yet! 

Weekly Wrap Up

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Because of the shocking cold temps (compared to last week), the girls did very little running and no biking.
Training Records
Brianna's run - 3 mins 2 sec
Tanya's run - 2 mins 58 sec

MondayTuesday My mind is totally blank as to what we did these 2 days and I've been just *awesome* at writing everything down lately...

Wednesday - Tanya was sick so stayed home. Brianna expressed surprise when she "only had this much work to do". I explained that she had the normal amount of work, but it certainly does go faster when she actually works instead of spending half her time off in lala land!

Thursday - Brianna decided to really buckle down. The night before I asked her to start on her work as soon as she was done breakfast cause she had French at my sisters and we had an otherwise busy day ahead. When I got up she was almost done! By 10:30am she had all her school work and morning chores completed! And she asked me to lay out her school work again for the next day to work on it again first thing. A sign of good things to come?

Friday - Brianna again worked on school work first thing in the morning. A lot slower than Thursday, but still got everything done before noon.

We were gifted 2 cases of butter popcorn flavoured rice cakes and I think the girls would have been happy to swim in them if I let them lol Guess what school snack will be for the next 347 years?

New Blogger

I switched over to the new blogger and maaaaaaaan am I confuzzled! Thankfully I have some already written our posts... hopefully this one posts properly!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wilderness Wednesday

Please join our linky! Be sure to read the guidelines page if it's your first time linking up!

Last week we had gorgeous weather that was more summer like than spring. This week we're back to the cooler, more dreary weather. 

 I believe this is my Bleeding Heart. I'm not completely sure though, cause I can't remember where I transplanted thing to the new house and I also can't find any early pics from last year!

The mystery Day Lily is almost over powering my poor Lupin!

Thankfully it appears that the lack of yard care (at all) last year when this house was empty didn't totally kill the lawn. Not that the lawn itself matters since we'll be tilling the whole yard and re-seeding, but at least we know there's still nutrients in the ground!

I was hoping to add bird pictures this week, but it seems between the damn pigeons and the larger Purple Martins, almost all my little birds have disappeared! Maybe it's the colder weather too. Here's hoping for some next week!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Unsupervised Science Experiment

Brianna's favorite subject is Science. Most of the time this is great! Sometimes, like today, it's a source of huge frustration.

Brianna has always been a mixer. Typically it's be full bottles of shower gel, facial scrub, shampoo, ect... while in the bath tub. HUGE waste of money, yes, but nothing absolutely horrible. Today it was vinegar, laundry soap and BLEACH in my WASHING MACHINE. And then she LEFT IT ALL IN THERE! Thankfully, I smelled the bleach and wondered about it since I hadn't used bleach in 2 days. 

So I did a science experiment of my own. I poured some of the bleach into a bowl and dipped an old red towel into it and showed her what would have happened to all her favorite clothes if I had done laundry without noticing the bleach. Expected horrified reaction - check. *fingers crossed* she thinks first from now on!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Training Records:
   Brianna - run - 2 mins, 49 sec
               - bike - 3 mins 27 sec
   Tanya   - run - 2 mins 35 sec
               - bike - 3 mins 15 sec
   Mom    - run - 3 mins 45 sec

Monday - The girls started their training for the year. We're starting out with some light daily exercise, multiple .3 mile runs and .7 mile bikes. The distances will be upped as we go and I figure out new routes for them. In my weekly wrap ups I'll now be including their records for the week. My mom is also sort of training, as she promised to run one of their 5Ks with them. Whether she runs in the first one or last one, we're not sure. She's doing a hell of a lot better than we thought she would (herself included!) since she hasn't run as long as I've been alive and spent most of those years 250+lbs.

Tuesday - A fairly quiet day of enjoying the weather and getting a couple basics done.

Wednesday - We were supposed to go to homeschool swimming today. Normally in the name of fun stuff, I'll put aside school for the moment and come back to it later in the day or the next day. However, the girls have been doing their best to dawdle. Come to find out that not only has Tanya been blowing of the work *I* give her for the days she's not here, but also the work my sister gives her.

Thursday - The girls started their French course with my sister. They're using Living Language (books and CDs as well as flashcards and games on the site). This week they focused on polite and familiar greetings. On Wednesdays, they'll review last week's lesson with me and if they've mastered it, they'll move on to the next lesson the next day at my sister's.

Friday - We finally got to last week's geography class. We got to figure out the longitude clues to see approximately where the locations are east or west of Greenwich, England (Prime Meridian). The girls were quite interested to see that 3 of the locations we're within 5 degrees longitude from Greenwich, but of course those locations can be anywhere on that line of longitude.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wilderness Wednesday

Please join our linky! Be sure to read the guidelines page if it's your first time linking up!

Green stuff is growing bigger all over my yard!  This is some bush type of thing that a neighbour gave us last year. I'm not sure what it's called but in full growth it's got purplish flowers/leaves that bees really like.
My lilac tree is blooming leaves! I was soooo excited when we saw that our new house had a lilac tree, it is my ultimate favorite flower!
Somehow a Day Lily is growing next to my Lupin. Not sure how since there were no Day Lilies in this flower bed before and there were none in my old flower bed where this was growing last year. Good thing I like them!
The Purple Martins are back!
Unfortunately, so are the pigeons... They're scaring away the little birds at my bird feeder and are peeving me off at cleaning out my bird feeder in 2 days. Is there a natural way to get rid of them? These are city pigeons so while they'll fly away when you get near them, they don't go far and come right back.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tot School - Letter D

Olivia is 32 months old

Linking up with 1+1+1=1

 Olivia went looking for worms. The garden is just a bunch of dirt right now, but she's actually really good about not trying to dig up plants once they're growing. She's going to have her own mini garden this year.
Trying out her trike for the first time this year. Her legs are finally long enough to be fully on the pedals, but she keeps trying to push both pedals at the same time. That and she doesn't steer at all lol Stuff to work on :)
 She can identify her name no problem and is getting better at tracing it

 I found this cute color sorting game at Criss Cross Applasauce

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Homeschool Mom's Journal

Linking up with The Homeschool Chick

In my life this week… The temperatures are strangely warm for our area for March, so we're slowly starting Spring Clean Up in the yard and planning our re-designing of this hugely over grown yard that had at least a year of not being taken care of before we moved in.
In our homeschool this week… The girls are going to be a big part in the yard re-design this year, learning all the things they need to know about planning a garden space, re-seeding a lawn, laying a patio, ect... Right now the girls are excited to be part of the planning, I imagine it'll be a little less exciting once the hard work starts lol
My favorite thing this week was… seeing the girls excitement over the bugs at the invertebrates workshop that we went to as opposed to the typical girls "ewww bugs" reaction.
Questions/thoughts I have… I was quite excited for the math curriculum I got for Brianna. It's Jump at Home and I thought it would be great for her cause it's super broken down in each step to learn new math. Unfortunately the beginning of the workbook is SUPER simple to the point that even Brianna's asking "I thought this was Gr. 4!". Thankfully it soon leaves simple adding and subtracting and goes into multiplication. 
Things I’m working on… Finding a good full free printable English curriculum for Tanya with emphasis on grammar instead of phonics *sigh*
I’m cooking… up a storm for mine and my sister's St. Patrick's Day party today!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Monday - A big lump of the day was spent outside working on the yard. We cleared back a lot of overgrowth and started working on clearing up all the wind damage, garbage and leaves. And of course, monkeying around in the trees!

Tuesday - Brianna fell randomly ill Monday night and felt worse on Tuesday so spent the day hanging out in the bathroom or laying on the couch/in bed.

Wednesday - I posted a big "Day in the Life" post

Thursday - After spending over 5 hours to do 2 hours of work yesterday, Brianna managed to do majority of her school work today without piddling around and she was so happy with the free time she had! *now if only she'd remember that every other day!*

Friday - Today was a shorter day cause Tanya was being picked up for a meeting, but it was also kinda a silly day since Tanya did most of her school work in my house coat as by the time she got here in the morning it was pouring outside and she was soaked to the bone!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day in the Life

I haven't done one of these in a while (last one was here)

This Day in the Life starts at midnight, since I was still up, dyeing (is that a word? lol) and cutting my hair. Yeah, I'm a night owl. Thankfully though, I'm lucky enough to have a hubby, a morning person, who happens to get off work shortly before the other morning person (Olivia) gets up. Meaning me and the other not morning person (Brianna) can sleep in.

2:08am - I go to bed

6:52am - Olivia wakes up and calls for either me or Lee. Thankfully I hear Lee talking to her so I can go back to sleep

8:59am - one minute before my alarm goes off, the phone rings *grumble, grumble*

9:02am - ship Lee off to bed and try to figure out why Olivia shirt is sopping wet

9:04am - I sit down with a coffee and discuss with Brianna whether she's really still sick or if she wants to just play the DS again all day. Not having to go back to bed wins and Brianna finds breakfast.

9:13am - talk to my sister and find out the my BIL is driving Tanya to school today. He says they're leaving at 9:45... whether that's am or pm, who knows (my BIL is notoriously slooooow)

9:33am - send Brianna to get dressed and do her morning chores and eat a bagel. Olivia's curled up on the couch watching her shows.

10:02am - The girls sit and play the DS together while we wait for Tanya to get here. I get working on printing out school stuff

10:06am - Wooo! BIL wasn't as late as usual and Tanya is here.

10:08am - Olivia tries to bounce her face off the floor so we make things all better by "feeding" the ferrets (shoving bits of cat food through the cage bars)

10:15am - The girls settle down to fixing their longitude/latitude chart for their Mystery Class from last week. Olivia insists on doing her school work too

10:32am - Tot School is ditched for Toopy and Binoo

10:34am - tell the girls that they better get school done so we can go to our field trip (which probably wasn't the best idea cause now they're yapping about the field trip instead of doing school lol)

10:37am - somehow, they lapse into talking about Terry Fox....

10:49am - explaining to the girls about their Mystery Class journal page (in which they predict what their photo period graphs will look like at the end of the month) that that's only 2 weeks from now and not the summertime so they should make educated guesses based on the current photo periods and now much they would move by the end of the month (meaning we probably won't suddenly jump from 11.5 hrs of sunlight to 15 lol)

11:26 am - Finally starting the girls on other school work, Tanya, English and Brianna, math.

11:30am - Olivia demands a red crayon to do school work in her notebook then *needs* to show Grandma her sunglasses

11:40am - Handwriting practice talks about the Wright Brothers so we head off on a mini rabbit trail about the first flights.

11:48am - Hook Olivia up with a peanut butter sandwich and a bowl of yogurt for lunch, big surprise, the yogurt gets put on the sandwich

11:52am - my sister shows up to go to school (I live next door to her college)

12:04pm - set up the girls with their lunches and have them continue school work since they piddled around all morning taking 2 hours to do 30 minutes of work.

12:22pm - argue with Olivia that the sunshine streaming into her room at nap time isn't too dark, but too bright lol

12:28pm - Let Lee know that we're leaving and will be back before Olivia gets up so he can still lounge in bed.

12:36pm - Leave for the Invertebrates Workshop and the Ontario Power Generation Visitors Center

2:04pm - Back from the OPG center. The girls got OPG balloons and run balloon races through the kitchen.

2:13pm - Back to school work. The girls are finally done their review/assessment stuff and are working through actual curriculum.

3:04pm - random discussion on the difference between telescopes and microscopes (which has a lot to do with the math they're working on lol)

3:26pm - Olivia gets up and wants to wake up Daddy and have a snack. The girls hear about Olivia's snack and suddenly fall hungry

3:52pm - The girls each earned an extra page of school work for their dawdling

4:08pm - FINALLY onto this week's Geography

4:36pm - My sister comes back from school and we discuss her class while the girls screw around do their work

6:02pm - Tanya is finally done her work and goes home

6:06pm - Olivia's balloon pops and she's soothed by doing her dinosaur pre-writing page

6:13pm - Olivia switches to tracing her name and coloring Dora shapes and with Brianna finally done she plays with the Canada magnet set

6:22pm - Brianna and Olivia declare snuggle time before supper to watch Backyardigans

6:40pm - supper time!

6:59pm - I reply to an email from The Canadian Homeschooler about putting together a blog post about homeschooling in Ontario

7:03pm - Olivia suckered Lee into watching cartoons in our bed and Brianna slooooowly got started on her evening chores.

7:08pm - actually paying attention to the tv (when it's not Toopy and Binoo on) lasted about 3 seconds longer than it normally did and Olivia's off to the tub while Brianna takes 6 years to do a load of dishes.

7:14pm - discussing with Brianna what 30 minutes of exercise a day really means.... ya know, swinging your legs off a chair while you daydream doesn't count...

7:27pm - Brianna's turn in the shower, she's on a 10 minute time limit or she stay in there til the water runs cold.

7:42pm - after braiding Olivia's hair she wants to play her game (ReadingEggs). She's still stuck on a sounding out lesson  so we switch to StarFall.

7:58pm - Olivia's off to snuggle with Daddy before bed (and con him into watching Cat in the Hat lol) and Brianna is making up her own version of Go Fish!

8:31pm - Olivia come down for "one more kiss" and Lee puts her to bed.

9:03pm - Brianna decides that she's going to exercise before bed and starts running in circles in the living room

9:34pm - Lee leaves for work

9:39pm - I ship Brianna off to bed and explain to Olivia that it's supposed to be dark in her room and no she doesn't need a flashlight.

9:45pm - I sit at my desk to check facebook and try to find Tanya an English curriculum that isn't book based (while I think book based curriculum is great, I prefer ones that CAN be used with books instead of one that MUST be used with books)

10:43pm - No luck in finding more than 2 worksheets for Tanya so far, but I did find 2 French sites (here and here) and a Catholic site for my sister....

10:52pm - Give up for the night and work on some marking from last week

11:57pm - Organize pictures and links for today's blog post

12:52am - off to bed!!