Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Homeschool - Back to Routines

Once again it is that lovely time of year when everyone gets organized and goes back to their regular routines and the kids head off to school.  As much as I love the hot and lazy days of summer I do love getting back into our regular routines and activities!  What does this time of year mean for a homeschooling family though?

For us, we work on a somewhat similar schedule as the local schools. It is handy with all of the extra curricular activities, and it is nice to really take a break and enjoy the short summers that we have here in Alberta.

We usually don't do a bunch of back to school clothing shopping, we tend to pick up items on a demand basis.  The deals that you can find on clothing right now are just not worth the fight at the malls!  I did take advantage of some of the great deals that are available on school supplies right now!  

I sat down yesterday with all of my school texts that I picked up earlier in the year. I made our daily schedule for the next 2 months.  I always make sure I leave plenty of days for catching up on work that we will miss when other, more interesting educational opportunities, come our way.  (Hooray for field trips!)  I also made notes about what units we will most likely cover in science and social studies this year.  I double checked the Alberta Education website to see what the boys would be learning in regular school this year.  I try to do a couple of units from each grade level that would cross over to public education.  Mostly I like to let our science and social studies stem from the boys interests at the time and possibly from any upcoming family vacations.

This year we are starting out a bit behind schedule as we did not finish all of our math and language before summer.  I debated moving the boys into the next level and decided that we would just finish the books they were working in before so we did not miss any important information.  (Wouldn't want them to miss out on conjunctions or pie charts! snicker snicker).

Yesterday was our first day sitting down with our books, and it was hard to get the boys to focus on getting their work done in a timely manner.  Today they started slowly, but finished strong, so I hope that tomorrow will be even better!  Right now in science we are doing a unit about Simple Machines, so we have lots of interesting labs to do in the next few weeks and I find that to be a great way to break up any monotonous bookwork.

Here's to fall and the start of our next learning adventures!  I hope you have a whimsically wonderful day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Check Out My New Hair!!

Well it was time to get my hair done, well, actually I was WAY overdue!  I was supposed to go right before my cousins arrived from overseas and I was busy... visiting, (you know... doing important stuff!) ... and had to cancel my appointment.  So I was very excited to finally get into the hair salon!  As much as I loved my red hair it was time for something new... so now I am a brunette!  I totally love my new hair and I gave it a good test drive when I went to a wedding a few days ago and it looked great!


My two fifteen year old cousins came to stay with me this summer.  They each stayed for 4 weeks and we had one week when they were both here.  It was so great showing the girls around our beautiful countryside and we had so many wonderful adventures.  What a great way to spend the summer!  

Now that everyone has gone home I have to get my house back in tip top shape and get back into our regular routines for fall.  I can't wait to get the boys started on their homeschool stuff again... although they are not as excited as I am!  I'm sure once we get started on some fascinating new projects they will become a lot more interested!

I Climbed a Mountain!!

I Climbed a Mountain!!  We went to the Jasper a couple weeks ago and we took the tramway up Whistlers Mountain. There is a long trail that you can climb up to the summit of the mountain.


It is actually longer than shown in this picture... but it is the best photo to convey the hike involved.
This is what the sign says the top...


And here I am!  At the top of the mountain!  Yay me!


Of course, once you get to the top of the mountain you always have to go back down.  Fortunately going down is much easier than going up!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Funnest Game Ever?!!

I don't know what rock I've been hiding under, but I've just recently been introduced to quite possibly the funnest game ever!  Dance Dance Revolution.  I LOVE it!  We went to my brother's place to play Sing Star and after playing, or you could say... kicking everyone's butts, we moved on to Dance Dance Revolution.  It was AWESOME!!  We had so much fun dancing and laughing and ugh... sweating, that I couldn't wait to run out and buy myself a DDR for myself!!  Want to come dance with me?!!

Have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.





Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reading: The Day the Falls Stood Still

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan is a Canadian Book!  I picked it up on a whim in Chapters and I was not disappointed!

The story is set in Niagara Falls in 1915. It centers on Bess Heath a 17 year old girl who meets Tom Cole and is captivated by him, although he is not accepted by her family.  Tom is a "Riverman", he lives off of the river and was raised learning about the secrets of the river.  He has the ability to know what the river is going to do and how to help people that are in danger.  The story weaves a tale that includes real Niagara Falls history and tells the love story of Bess and Tom and the river.

I loved how this book told a love story, not only between Bess and Tom, but also of Tom and the river. I loved the photos of real Niagara Falls history and the tales that are worked seamlessly into the plot of the book. I loved the stories of the daring river rescues made by Tom, and the sensitivity he shows to those who tangled with the river and lost. Reading this book felt like living through history as you read about the  people and their emotions as they experienced this period of time.  I will definitely keep this compelling Canadian love story with a bit of real Niagara Falls history dabbled throughout on my bookshelf!  Maybe I can lend it to you!

Happy reading and have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.




Reading: Mrs. Perfect

Surprise!  I read something that is not by Jen Lancaster!  Well, that's because there are no more Jen Lancaster books that I haven't read... yet!

Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter is the story of Taylor Young, a stay at home mother who has it all.  Looks, dream home on the beach, expensive car, gorgeous husband, three beautiful daughters and a perfect life.  Then her perfect life is turned upside down by an enormous secret.  Everything falls apart in her life and she finds herself searching for a way to survive and make a new life with the pieces left behind.

This story was an easy read, I took it to the park and read it while I was "watching" my kids play.  I was easily captured by the story and found myself relating to Taylor is many different ways: her struggle for perfection, her desire to be the best and most committed volunteer, her need to be in control and her love for the finer things in life.  I really appreciated her strength when faced with one of the biggest battles of her life, her ability to step up when it was needed, her ability to adapt.  If you like chick lit and have some quiet time to read on a beach Mrs. Perfect will entertain you and leave you feeling satisfied.

Happy reading and have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.




Monday, August 9, 2010

Reading: My Fair Lazy

The latest Jen Lancaster book definitely kept me laughing!  My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or, a Culture-Up Manifesto. I loved Jen's retelling of her journey into culture.  From new foods, to wine tasting, from drama to opera, I enjoyed Jen's observations and found myself enjoying her cultural experiences and delighting in her charming wit and her fear of n-a-k-e-d-n-e-s-s!  I can't explain how much I've loved reading her books and I'm sad that I'll have to wait until another one get's published... which will be awhile because this one just came out!

Happy reading and have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.




Sunday, August 1, 2010

Segway to Fun!

At West Edmonton Mall you can try the super-cool Segway!  For ten bucks you can go around the track 4 times.  I took my cousins and boys to the mall and we had to try the Segways.  It was amazing how quickly the kids figured out how to control them.
We were told a Segway costs $6000.  So that pretty much guarantees that there is not one in our future!  It  would not be very useful for us but it sure was fun to take for a ride!