Homeschooling beyond co-op!

Well co-op is getting so full it requires it’s own post, so if’ I can keep up I will be posting twice a week whenever we have co-op! Henceforth this section will be categorized as the week in review!

Our week was pleasantly motivated this week by our portfolio meeting with our support teacher scheduled for Friday morning. This meant we had a very productive time of seatwork with E completing the last pages of her Australian animals unit, a small unit on measurement and one final set of mapping skills sheets.

We focussed on putting the organic learning that we experience all the time down on paper and I was so happy that despite a small amount of grumbling E actually showed great focus and commitment to the process!

Monday was a beautiful day so after we finished co-op we picked up our boys and headed for a wetlands area to try out new binoculars and birdwatching! E really enjoyed using the binoculars and spotted several ducks and small birds. We also practised using our eyes to look for signs and spring.

IMG_0048 IMG_0101

IMG_0067 IMG_0109

Along our walk, we found some great plaques that provided information on the different animals in this habitat. This one in particular included a First Nations story about the Beaver and it’s role in the world.IMG_0068

Tuesday we had a productive kitchen table morning then headed out for some more animal science with friends. We visited a man called The Reptile Guy and had an amazing tour of his reptile rescue/ rehab facility. We had a chance to get VERY up close and personal with the animals and E surprised me by being not only brave but actually enjoying some of the creepiest critters on the planet!!!

IMG_0200 IMG_0291 IMG_0270 IMG_0268 IMG_0208 IMG_0237

YIKES! It was great fun though and we learned so much about problems with pet stores not properly informing consumers about growth and habitat requirements as well as the widespread problems of illegally releasing red-sided turtles into local ponds and their devastating impact on our local painted turtle population! Mike, AKA the reptile guy was so passionate about these animals and desperately seeks to inform people of the necessity of giving these animals proper homes and what to do with them if they can no longer care for them.

This outing provided a great opportunity to discuss with E the problems around pet stores and people making impulsive choices and then being unprepared to live with the consequences. (ie: 2 of the 3 little snakes that are wrapped around her hands can eventually become the size of the one wrapped around her shoulders. It’s important when people see them in the pet store and decide to buy them that they have a long term plan in mind.)

Wednesday we worked on our measurement and E and I talked about the need for different units of measurement. I played a Q&A game with her to ask which unit of measurement would she use to measure a doll, the room, the distance to Grandma’s house? Then changed my questions to “name something you would measure in centimetres”, “name something you would measure in metres”, “name something you would measure in kilometres”. After a little while of playing she seemed to have a good grasp of the subject but we will be spending a bit more time reviewing it this month.

Thursday we had a funny incident where I prepared everything for our teacher to visit and then when he was a half an hour overdue with no phone call, reviewed my email and realized I had the date wrong! This turned out to be a blessing as we now felt fairly organized and had a little bit of grace time to finish up a few things.

Finally Friday arrived, the meeting went beautifully and E was relatively confident reciting her poetry and showing her work to Mr. V.

The pressure was suddenly off and it was another sunny day so as soon as everyone could be rounded up we packed up our car and binoculars and explored a Great Blue Heron reserve. It was a lovely facility with a fantastic interpretive centre with helpful volunteers, well marked walking trails and most amazingly a colony of nesting Herons! We saw a cluster of about 20 nests and Herons flying to and fro between the water and the nests. What a neat experience to see them in their natural habitat and have such a good view of their nesting behaviour!

IMG_0413 IMG_0414

E enjoyed observing the ducks building their nests from behind this bird blind.IMG_0430 IMG_0432 IMG_0435 IMG_0444

We found some tracks along the path to the river and examined them to see what information we could take from them. E was able to identify both sets of tracks, dog and horse, and show which direction the horses had been going at that spot.

IMG_0438 IMG_0447

Advertisements

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

 

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!