Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Holidays

Despite good intentions, our regular homeschooling schedule came crashing to a halt this week.  In need of some serious "down time", we've spent a couple of days in our pyjamas baking up a storm and preparing for Christmas.

Doing some colouring....

and a little bit of Science (?!!!!?).

Choir Christmas Concert

Bekah and Matt had the privilege of being part of the Surrey Homeschool choir this fall.  Here are a couple of highlights from their recent performances.

Bekah also had a solo singing part but I'm having technical difficulties with the video of her.  Stay tuned!

A Starry Night in Cloverdale

We finally finished our 24-panel pastel rendition of Starry Night and it is currently hanging proudly in the Giesbrecht's dining room.  Another fantastic Stokes and Giesbrecht collaboration!

Singing About Art

This is a fantastic cd our friend, Mrs Giesbrecht, gave us to listen to.  It is a collection of songs about famous artists and their work.  Our favourites are "Renaissance Man", "One of a Kind" and "Into The Green".

Field Trip to City Centre Library in Surrey

After a quick trip to the Passport Office we had some time to visit
the new library in Whalley.  What a fun place to visit!

They have very cool chairs to sit in.

And, of course, great books to read.

Some of Matt's treasures (!).

And some of Bekah's choices.

A Christmas Cutie by Matt!

The Great Weather Challenge!

We just participated in the Great Weather Challenge (!) to wrap-up our weather unit with the Giesbrechts. 
With Mrs. G as moderator,

there was discussion and collaboration about each question
(only one lifeline available!).

Thankfully, everyone knew their stuff ...

and, working as a team, they finished victoriously! 

Their reward?  Certificates and a field trip to the Great Escape.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Cooking with Bekah

Bekah got a new cookbook for her birthday and was excited to start using it.

Kids Cook! 3-in-1 Cookbook Collection

The first recipe she tried was "Cucumber Under Wraps" but, after eating it, she marked the recipe: "Not too good, would not bother doing again!"  I guess she'll try a different one next time.

Latest Creations by Matt

Early Morning Sweetness

I came out this morning to find the kids huddled around the computer choosing animals to give to families this Christmas via World Vision.  They were given $100 from family to "spend" and this is the email Bekah wrote summarizing their choices:

Dear Auntie,

We have decided that we are going to get a goat that is 100 dollars and 2 chickens and a rooster that are 50 dollars. Me and Matt are paying for the chickens and rooster and we will bring the money after Christmas. Would you please order all of these animals for us? Thank you for the goat! Merry Christmas!

Love Bekah, Matt and Sarah J

The kids then scurried off to get their piggy banks (with Bekah also making a quick trip to the kitchen requesting $20 of her birthday money she was just given) and then came back, beaming, clutching $50 to pay for the chickens and rooster.

There were lots of math calculations going on while choices were made about what to "buy" but that seemed very secondary compared to the thrill of watching your kids excited about giving away their own money. Daddy and I had nothing to do with their decisions; we just stood back and watched.  What a delightful way to start the day.

Here is the envelope for Auntie (with the $50 in it):

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Victorian Pharmacy

Professor Nick Barber, Ruth Goodman and Tom Quick inside a typical Victorian pharmacy.

Have you ever tried a boiled concoction of earthworms, water and red wine to treat bruises?  Or perhaps used leeches in an effort to painlessly bleed out your ailments?  What about swallowing a "pill" that is passed down from generation to generation (swallowed by a family member to cure gastrointestinal issues, passed out of the body, cleaned off and put back on the shelf for other family members to use)?  This BBC documentary looks at life in the 19th century and how people used these and other methods to cure common ailments.  Very fun!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Matt has memorized Isaiah 58:6-7

Playing with Multiples!

Matt & Bekah enjoying a memory game using multiples
("3s" for Matt & "8s" for Bekah).

Bekah has memorized Isaiah 58:6-9!

The Iroquoian People

This week we read about the Eastern Woodland Farmers (Iroquoian First Nations group) and learned some fascinating things.  Did you know that this group, long renowned for terrorizing and killing, worked peacefully amongst themselves, farmed the same land for many years, and was governed by the women? They also played an important part in Canada's early history as, longtime allies with the British, together their strength proved to be too much for the French.  It is interesting to consider that if the alliances had been different (i.e. if the Iroquois had joined the French) Canada may have been predominately French today.

Making tomahawks and wampums (strings of beads used as memory aids)

Writing for Fun!

I couldn't find Bekah in the house one afternoon and then Matt told
me to look outside (she was writing a story for fun).


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Year of the Hunter: The Story of Nanook

As part of our First Nations unit we recently watched "Year of the Hunter: The Story of Nanook".  Filmed in the 1920's by Robert Flaherty, it is the very first documentary film ever made.  Set in Port Harrison (on the Eastern shore of Hudson Bay), it chronicles the life of an Inuit hunter and his family using diary excerpts, photographs and clips from "Nanook".  Although a bit slow moving, it is a delightful story both of traditional life in the Far North and the making of a documentary.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Starry Night on a Rainy Afternoon!

We spent the rainy afternoon today listening to music and colouring our Starry Night mural (a project we're doing with the Giesbrechts).  We have to colour 24 8x11 sections and then put them together on a big wall to display our rendition of the original (will post the end result when we finish). 


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A School Day?!!!!

My little man usually runs, hops, jumps, skips, and leaps from room to room.  So, I couldn't resist taking this unusual picture of him napping in the middle of the morning (he's been sick this past week) ....

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Poetry Teatime!

Today Bekah made golden, fluffy scones.

Then we choose a selection of poetry books,

got a mug of juice (!) and enjoyed a Poetry Teatime!