Friday, November 7, 2014

What`s Going On

What's Going on

This morning when I checked my email I had a message from Facebook wondering why I haven't been active on my homeschool page. I had to laugh. I realized I have actually been so busy in real life that I haven't even had the notion to post it on what I always refer to as not real - social media. There's a whole other topic for discussion!

Last January I started night school to get my chef's Diploma. I was so blessed by everyone around me and most especially my sister who faithfully babysat my five boys twice a week for the last ten months. A big thank you as well to those who sacrificed their bodies to eat many, many overly rich French cusine dishes! I'm in my final push now to prepare for my written exam and am looking forward to being able to have that much missed time back.

My oldest son turned 13 this summer. We passed on blessings to him as he presses into his transition to manhood. He took a big step towards that in joining the Army Cadets in the fall and I know that my days are beginning to be numbered. A fact that is sometimes hard to keep in mind when I have my moments of being overwhelmed. Nonetheless, it's been said; "the days pass slowly, but the years pass quickly". I would have to agree.

I knew this would be a busy season going in though and we were able to start school again in August and get a running start. Looking back at our personal photos I can see that we have had a wonderful range of experiences. My mother and I took the boys to the Warsaw Caves. We've visited the Wartime Air Museum. We attended the literacy festival. We spent a great day in Niagara Falls as a family doing all the crazy "tourist" things. We even enjoyed a get away to Great Wolf Lodge a few weeks ago.

One of the most unique experiences for our family recently though has been a dabbling in the movie industry. The four oldest boys have been able to work as background extras on shows like "Max & Shred", "12 Monkeys", and "Between". It's been an adventure outside our homeschooling box. In many ways just as I can see the boys approaching high school, and potentially choosing to go out to public school, we are finally coming into our own.

We are schooling in unorthodox ways and throwing in textbooks and math drills - pretty much doing things in a style that has it's own flair. Maybe that's ok. And that's the whole problem with raising kids , homeschooling or whatever. The big Maybe. The uncertainty of the end result.

This week we scooped out pumpkin, washed and baked seeds talked about the squash family and vines and compost. We went out to gym. We read out loud, we read in groups, they read to each other. We worked in books and worksheets, we delivered paper routes and talked about accountability and work ehic. We went on set and followed directions.The middle child is practising for a Christmas church production. We went to boys & girls club.  We went to youth group, kids parties, Cadet Poppy Days. They helped "critique" recipes.  They worked online. They worked independently. We photographed nothing. We facebooked very little on our personal page and nothing on the homeschool group page.

I think I will be ready to share again on social media. For now we have just been busy in the business of real life. Nothing Pinterest or Facebook worthy. Just the everyday process of being in the moment.

So that is it in a nutshell :) I`m looking forward to having time to do some fun things again with the boys that I can actually share with people because I do enjoy that aspect and I know people do enjoy following along. I have a handful of things I keep meaning to polish up for posts and pins and I will get there too. Just know that even though we aren`t publishing we are busy and pressing towards the larger goals for our family.

(You can find our family on facebook as Growing by Grace   and my catering page as  Kitchen Comforts )

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Frog Life Cycles

Frog Life Cycles

Here's a simple frog lifecycles Unit Study 

Our Unit Theme shelf

Great for reviewing
An easy activity

I added pieces as I explained what the life cycle was
Felt and foam , craft eyes for eggs and puffy flower stickers

Spring Chicken

Spring Chicken !

Our themed shelf

It seems that Spring may finally be arriving ! It has been a long and brutal winter here in Canada this year. We've anxiously been waiting for the weather to be nice enough to put away mitts and such. While we were waiting however, there was no reason we couldn't start our "Spring" themes indoors in our unit studies !

As I often do I set up our shelf by the calendar with theme related books and props that the boys could look at to be inspired and jog their memories. 

We dyed some eggs


Hard boil the eggs and cool

Tap them to "Crack" the shell in various places and set them in dyed water for at least 24hrs

Peel shell
Beautiful Eggs !

 We searched for Gwen's eggs...


Sneaky way to add in a non-Easter egg hunt !

We weaved in the Easter Message

Resurrection Eggs

From the book "Little Red Hen" we milled some flour 



Other activities not pictured included Decorating styrofoam eggs with push pins and jeweled stickers
Baking bread
Fine motor ; wind up toy races, open and closing plastic eggs
Craft jointed toy paper chicken craft
Poem Chickens Everywhere