Nov. 12-17

A long weekend Monday was the perfect chance for us to settle in at home and get back into routine after our extended holiday. We worked on cardinal directions and mapping and then spent time doing some writing and our favourite math dice game. It was a rainy dreary day with lots of housework to do so not much in the way of pictures today.

Tuesday we worked at finishing up some of the tasks in our travel journals and in seeking to find out the proper pronunciation for Neuwanstein Castle ended up watching a great YouTube video about King Ludwig the mad king of Bavaria. For the afternoon E and her brother experimented with structures and different materials making themselves a reading fort complete with booby traps all around to foil the infamous book bandits!

E is really enjoying Mo Willems’ books and is reading them to herself and her brothers all the time. She has renamed Gerald the Elephant Grandall. It started as an accidental mispronunciation but she has decided she likes her name for him best so she substitutes it into the text.

Wednesday E and her brother did some fun math by playing Crazy 8s, math puzzles and Math Bingo.

We are in a short session for swimming lessons and E is working on her front crawl technique.

Thursday we restarted piano lessons and E is making excellent progress. She is now learning some Christmas songs and really enjoys singing and accompanying herself. We had friends over after for some important social connection time.

On the weekend we had a science fest and conducted a couple of different kitchen experiments. First we learned about vacuums and watched an egg get pulled into a bottle. Next we placed an egg into a jar of vinegar and then waited a couple of days to see what would happen. E’s hypothesis was that the egg would be cooked by the vinegar, then as we watched it change, she changed her hypothesis to suggest that it was decomposing in the vinegar. Finally we took it out and investigated what changes had occurred in the egg’s shell and overall structure. E felt it and observed that it was rubbery but still soft. I accidentally dropped the egg into the sink in trying to gently rub off the last grainy bits of the shell and sadly broke the membrane. E was able to examine the membrane and we discussed the chemical changes that had happened to the shell. We plan to repeat the experiment and leave the egg for a longer time to see if it will be less fragile.

That was our week… in an eggshell ūüôā

November 4 – November 11 2012

Countdown to flight home begins this week T – 3 days to departure. We have had a great adventure and enjoyed a lot of special time reconnecting with friends and family. Fortunately our schedule has allowed us ample time to keep up on our lessons while adding in a variety of rich learning opportunities. Our last few days in Ontario involved more visiting and packing up the bits and bobs collected along the way. E had lots of free time and fortunately some sunny weather to play outside. On Nov. 7th we said a tearful goodbye to family and headed back to BC.

We got to see the wild differences in weather in our great big country as we spent time in the morning before we left jumping on the trampoline and playing in the leaves, 
Then we were delayed for 2 hours in Edmonton due to a snow storm and finally arrived in Abbotsford to a dark, cool evening with green grass and more fallen leaves everywhere. We woke up to a warm sunny day and enjoyed settling back into our home with a family bike ride in the afternoon.

Saturday we were reuniting with family here when another accident sent us to the hospital for E’s brother D to get stitches in his forehead! A proper bookend incident for our trip I guess. We’ve certainly learned quite a bit about accident management and wound care this month! Now to practise accident PREVENTION!

Sunday we marked Rememberance Day at church and wrapped up our week with family and friends. It’s good to go away and have adventures but it really is great to be home.

October 28- Nov. 3 2012

We are excited this week as we count down to E’s dad’s return to Canada and Halloween. We took one more short road trip on Monday to St. Catherine’s to visit friends. E was able to examine an antique model train and a fantastic castle and knights playmobile set.

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We started reviewing our addition facts with dice and have a new game we enjoy where each person rolls 2 dice, then we write the 2 numbers into a math sentence and E solves the equations. It is helping increase her speed and memory of addition facts 1 – 12

Then it was Halloween and we were designing and carving pumpkins. E ¬†and D spent lots of time reading ¬†Auntie Esther’s collection of Usborne books and playing in their cousin’s old halloween costumes.

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ImageThen Halloween was over and it was Daddy’s day to come home!!! We were so excited to go and pick him up at the airport. And hear all about his adventures in West Africa.Image

And now with Daddy home we were off to more adventures with a trip to Reptilia.

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King Cobra eating it’s monthly meal of ratImage

Petting Bonesaw the AlligatorImage

Petting Fluffy the Rattlesnake!Image

 

We had an awesome time getting up close and personal with all those reptiles and it was a great way to spend a day with our family and wrap up our last full week in Ontario. Departure countdown begins next week!

 

October 14-27

When we went to the clinic to get E’s stitches out we found out that her toe is infected and she has been ordered to complete bed rest for 3 days and a course of antibiotics. Consequently¬†we are taking things slow with lots of book reading and some seat work. Continuing with ¬†Time and Money and our Reading Skills workbooks. Our bible verses are Hebrews 4:12 , Ephesians 5:16-18. Following our quiet week E finally felt herself again and was able to ¬†get out and about.

We headed north to Barrie for a couple of days with good friends and some outdoor exploring. We were able to visit a provincial park that had a collection of rescued/ injured Canadian wildlife. E and her brothers were enraptured with the friendly deer and had fun honking back at a territorial Trumpeter swan (from a distance of course :).

After that we headed south to downtown Toronto on a rainy day to see friends and spent some time at the public library reading books and doing puzzles. E discovered the Scaredy Squirrel books and thoroughly enjoyed the humour.

One day to rest then on the road eastward to the Toronto Zoo to see White Lions, Orangutans, Gorillas, Elephants, Giraffes, penguins and so many more animals than we have time to list here!

Pretending to be on safari on the African Savannah!

Finding out how penguins communicate:

Practising kindness in helping the smaller kids with us look through the view finder:

This is Hudson the one year old Polar Bear that was born at the zoo. He’s much bigger than the one year old in our family! We talked about the different growth rates between humans and animals like Polar Bears.¬†

At the end of a full day at the zoo we hopped in the van and drove a couple of hours  further east to Kingston to see our cousins at University. We spent a warm sunny day seeing the sights and had an impromptu history lesson on the border wars of Lake Ontario. This is a view of Fort Henry from the Wolfe Island ferry:

In an historically rich area like eastern Ontario one finds history lessons all around. This gentleman is a local musician (Sheesham & Lotus), who specializes in traditional instruments and we were the privileged first row audience during a spontaneous concert on the ferry that included a banjo, gourd banjo and a mouth bow. The man explained and demonstrated each instrument and told us about some of the interesting artefacts he collects. One of which is a penny farthing bicycle!We went on to go through a corn maze and enjoy a picnic and playtime in the park with the big cousins!

October 9-13 2012

After a sad meeting of coffee and laptop we finally have a computer to write and blog upon! E has been focussing on math skills in Time and Money. She is independently figuring out the time on an analog clock and is learning the names and values of Canadian coinage. We have also been working on reading and writing. E is doing a reading comprehension workbook and is using more invented spelling in her independent writing. This week our highlight was going to the Royal Ontario Museum. We spent the majority of our time in the Dinosaur,

Egypt

and natural history exhibits. We are going to be learning about modern Egypt in our co-op next month so we focussed on the ancient Egyptian burial customs, pyramids and hieroglyphics.

E and her brothers also really enjoyed the children’s play area and took turns dressing up in period costumes and¬†

pretending to be paleontologists excavating a dig!

After our day at the ROM we had a family trip with E’s cousins to a local pumpkin farm. We went on a hayride, walked through the pumpkin patch, played on an antique tractor and enjoyed a scenic drive through the countryside.

That was our second week in Ontario!