Friday, November 26, 2010

The Big Move! ... again!

We moved here from across the country and due to the economy we are moving across the country again. I've done my last few posts before focusing all of my energy on the move. I've finished many Book Sharing Mondays to keep the posts coming at least once a week, but I won't likely have much time to post in between for a little while. Once settled in our new place, I'll update you on our status. 

Have Happy Holidays Everyone!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Letter to Santa

Zoe insisted on making her letter to Santa so we got her a paper and she drew everything she wants, then she asked how to spell each thing and printed the words near each picture. We will be putting it in Santa's mailbox as soon as we get one from Austyn. I just thought I'd share hers because she is such a great artist and the way she prints out her words... well it's just so cute and in some cases really well done for her age, I think.

She wants a Dog, a red hair band, a stuffed animal (dog), dresses, leotards, make-up , and red hair.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dragons... dragons... dragons...

I find it so amazing when Austyn if following his interests and from that topic he touches on so many subjects. I don't even have to prepare a unit of study for him. I just need to be flexible and open enough to follow his lead and support what he wants to do. Lately he is interested in Dragons. This is a book we got from the library. We love it so much. This book is called How to Raise and Keep a Dragon by John Topsell. 

 If anyone was ever thinking of owning a dragon, this is the book for them. It is a detailed guide for anyone who wants to own and care for a dragon. It gives many common breeds and describes them to help decide which dragon is right for your home.

 It describes in detail the environment needed for each dragon. What supplies you need. Did you know it's very expensive to own a dragon? They also require a large amount of space. Even miniature dragons require at least one whole room in a house. 

There are many tips and tricks to help train your dragon. A dragon not trained well could cause lawsuits if they destroy property or people. 
Austyn and I read all of the dragon descriptions and discussed which one made the most sense. He ended up choosing a Standard Western Dragon to order and decided to order the egg. He played out this scenario. He even gave up his room so that the dragon could use it.

He then had me photocopy the registration form for the Worldwide Dragon Club and filled it out. I helped. Then he had me get an envelope and he put the address on the front.

He started to talk about how he might be able to afford a full sized dragon. I told him that it would be very expensive and that most people could never afford one. So, he went to get his play money (we print mini money off of the internet and he has purchased some mini U.S. dollar sets) and counted all of it with  my help. We counted it in sections and then added it up in the end. He decided that three million dollars should cover the cost of getting a dragon and setting up an environment for it. I then reminded him that full sized dragons eat a great deal of food. "A hungry dragon isn't a happy dragon!" He said that dragon feed is probably ony $10. I said that was for a small amount and that the dragon would have it eaten in no time. He would have to have a good, constant income. He said he'd get a job. LOL!

This is one of the eggs he found to pretend that he had a dragon egg. The object beside it is a serpent dragon that he made up with string and a mini clothes pin.
Dragons continue to be the main theme in his artwork.

Through our study of dragons and the use of the book I described earlier in this post, we learned about the bombardier beetle. It seems to have dragon like qualities, so to confirm this we looked it up in one of our resource books. There was only a short description, but the information was correct. It can explode chemicals out of it's butt!

I just love this dragon he made.

This is a rainbow dragon that he made.
So far we have covered many subjects and none of this was planned by me except getting the book. We have covered hand writing, math, history, mythology, art, crafts, nature, science, and probably something else that I've not thought of. So, in some cases I'm required to do so much work and use so much creativity to introduce ideas and activities to accommodate his interests but sometimes... just sometimes... these things come to him naturally and all I need to do is be there to help the magic happen. 

I'm sure we are not finished studying dragons. It is only the beginning.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weekly Overview

This overview is over about a week and a half instead of just a week, but here it is! The kids went to an indoor play place to attend a friends birthday party. They had such a great time. 
Austyn decided to do a scavenger hunt one day. I sat down with him and helped him to organize what papers need to be where and to help him spell the words so that he could print onto each paper what he wanted to say. At the end was his stuffed Turkey Vulture with a note.

We found some old sparklers in the bottom of a drawer. We just had to use them. 

This is the ghostly effect I got when I played around with settings on my camera.

This is of the kids running across the yard with the sparklers. I was having way too much fun!

We attended a Veterinarian Field Trip, which couldn't have happened at a better time since we learned about cats and dogs this month and worked on some lap books.

 This is a picture of an Eastern Screech Owl in a tree at the park. The sun was getting low and this little one was waking up and getting a closer look of the playground. I can't believe Austyn spotted it. Shortly after this he also spotted a Red Tailed Hawk. When we go for drives we keep seeing hawks in the trees near the road. We spotted more Red Tailed Hawks and a Gyr Falcon.

 Zoe used my camera to take a bunch of pictures around the house. This is my favourite picture. This is Austyn with his new owl stuffed animal. It was a late birthday gift that he purchased with money he got.

We like to watch these little guys trying to find a warm place to hid for the winter. They love our back door because it's out of the wind and in full sun.

Zoe attempted to sew a dress. With my help we messed it up and had to scrap the whole project, but at least we tried and it was fun.

Shhhh... don't tell her that she can't use red thread.

Austyn made this Mega Block castle.

Austyn made this map our house and yard. He has been really into maps lately. I purchased him a curriculum workbook from the toy store and the first few pages of the geography section were on map making. That was the first thing he worked on in that book.

He made this log house in his room.

I have a tendency to purchase books and curriculum because I trust that it'll be good to have and since we unschool we don't always get to it, but this one science book I purchased seemed way too wordy and drawn out for me to work with. I decided to finally read through the first lesson (6 pages) and summarize it on a sheet in my notebook. Then I took some other resources I had around and added them to it. The first lesson was all on organization, categories, and sorting. In the picture above they are sorting random items from around our house into categories and then turning around and resorting them by other criteria, size, shape, material, texture, colour, which room they belong in etc... I think I've decided that I don't hate that curriculum after all, but that it'll just take me a bit more prep time in advanced. They both seemed to have fun and were interested for the whole time. We will continue some of these activities and books to read in the next week or two.

Zoe made another character. Here they are posing with the character.

Here they are kissing her.

Here they are admiring the kiss marks Zoe added after.

Here is Austyn's Lego Quest entry... that I didn't get in in time. The quest was on maps this week and this is his map of an island. It has a building on it and different types of vegetation.

We went to the park to call for owls since this is where we saw the owl the other day. We didn't hear any call back like they are suppose to, but maybe our imitations of owl calls weren't too accurate. When we arrived we realized that the Christmas lights were all up already and walked around to admire them. I'm sure people thought we were strange doing owl calls while walking. LOL!! The kids and I also rolled down a hill. What fun!

So there you have it. These were just a few of the things we did. Austyn did so much this week that we missed so much. I had writer's cramp from recording everything he did. One day he asked to do math and I had to cut him off for supper after three whole lessons from his math book. He really does enjoy that.

Austyn is really in to dragons and did a bunch of activities relating to his passion for dragons. Stay tuned for the next post on dragons.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Sharing Monday - Alfred's Kid's Guitar Course 1

Austyn has really enjoyed using this book to learn how to play his electric guitar. It's easy to follow even for someone who isn't a reader. It's well illustrated so he can work on learning new songs even without help and it comes with a DVD that has shown to be helpful.


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