Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adjusting to Change

 Austyn and I have been doing much more school type activities lately. Our homeschooling looks more like school than unschooling sometimes because Austyn has made it clear that that is what he wants. He has been reading from his reader, learning Canadian history, and doing math. Zoe sometimes feels a bit left out so I sit down and do things with her. In this picture she is doing math. She went off track, but this is what I let them do because I find it makes the experience more individual and fun. She decided that she wanted to play X and O's with the tally sticks. She made little pieces of paper and put X or O on all of them and that is what we played for the next few minutes until she lost interest. This is creative and provides confidence. The game itself provides it's own strategic challenges.

 Living with family, they get different experiences. There are many farm cats here. One of them had two kittens and they are kept right outside the door in a little cat house. This little kitten just opened it's eyes. 

 They have been learning to drive because Austyn is going to be old enough to drive a junior dragster. One way to learn to drive is to drive the golf cart and the lawn mower. 

 Zoe didn't want to be left out. They take turns driving with Daddy.

 There are many things to do that they could never do at our past couple of homes. Here Zoe is climbing a tree.

 The hammock provides hours of amusement.

It is very quiet here. We have had the chance to be here on our own for most of our stay so far. We can see far, there are many insects, and many birds. With the land so flat we can see what weather is coming and the sunsets are great.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Summer in Alberta

 Austyn tried writing letters instead of just printing letters.

 Watching America's Got Talent sparked an interest in entertainment. Everything from singing, dancing and here they are doing a magic trick together.

 Archery in the back yard. Austyn liked to fill cups with water, place them on a small table and use them as targets.

 While school was out they spent time with friends who attend school. This little boy is Austyn's friend from Lacrosse. 

 We did some science. This is an experiment with house hold items testing them to see if they are an acid or a base. 

 We watched many movies and this sparked play with toys that haven't been played with in a while.

 Zoe enjoyed doing her make-up and painting her own face.

 We watched a couple of hawks in our area and named them. First there was "Prey" (above) and then a much lighter coloured, larger, younger female showed up to spend the summer with him. We named her "Sky".
 They are Swanson's Hawks. We learned that they can be aggressive to humans. We also learned that robins make a cool noise around them that signals to other birds that there is a hawk nearby.

 I arranged for a homeschool trip to the Strathcona Raptor Shelter.

 This is a place we wanted to visit since we arrived in Edmonton.

We learned so much and met more homeschooling families.

 We stayed cool with friends and took advantage of some of the free organized activities put on by the parks program.

 Austyn attended a couple of hockey camps. One was the Oilers Camp. It was a full day for a week. 

 The coaches were a ton of fun. The kids were sometimes carried around under an arm, or placed in a garbage pail. 

 He got to meet a real Oiler, Cam Barker.

He got to play hockey with and learn from a retired NHL Player, Chris Joseph.

 Zoe had fun socializing with the other kids at the hockey camps. 

We were invited to a fun BBQ.

 We met up with Austyn's hockey team at the park a few times.

 We went to Drumheller.

 It was dangerous business, but Drumheller turned out to be extremely educational for Austyn since he is now old enough to take it all in.

 What a better way to learn about Dinosaurs than to go right to the source.

 Since it was a hot day in Drumheller, the kids enjoyed ice cream and a run through the water.

 Movies sparked a new toy purchase and a new craft.

 Lego creations continue. You may recognize this scene from the new Star Trek Movie.

 We finished off our time in Alberta with swimming lessons. 

 Both Austyn and Zoe did great.

 Zoe's naps happened less, but were sometimes needed, especially when we had busy days with friends.

 Zoe learned to braid the hair on her dolls and on her own hair. This is one of her first braids. In the following days she improved so much and still does her own braids when she gets ready to go out.

 Before leaving Alberta I started a North Group and a new Park Day in the North of the city. These days became popular and we met many new friends. Two wonderful ladies took over the group for me since I'm now far away.
 We will miss the free park programs, the free skates, the free junior rangers.

 We met up with a few people before we left. 

The kids found ways to entertain themselves, even in the middle of packing.

Well, I guess that sums it up. We had a good summer and our time in Alberta was wonderful, this time. We planned on staying. It's funny how quickly things change.

Book Sharing Monday - Other Goose

If your children know nursery rhymes this is a fun way to see an alternative story to each. J. Otto Seibold did a great job of re-writing the rhymes.

The illustrations add to the silly, whimsical stories. We enjoyed this book and I have a feeling it'll be a book that we will read again and again.

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