Thursday, 22 November 2012

Jean 3:16

Jean 3:16 Car Dieu a tant aimé le monde qu'il a donné son Fils unique, afin que ceux qui croient toujours en lui ne périsse pas mais ait la vie éternelle.



Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Nature Journaling

In October we took the online Bravewriter "Nature Journaling" class and spent the month outside with our sketch pads and pencils.  We recently moved to a forest so our outside time was easily everyone's favourite part of our school day. 

Here is a sampling of some of the pages from Matt's Journal:

Don't you love the descriptive language?!!!
One day we went on a "Colour Walk" and Matt's colour was red.  This is the descriptive paragraphs that came out of the walk:
Apples are one of the things I know are red but trees and leaves take on the colour when they’re getting ready for fall.  Once in the fall, when we were going to the mall to shop, we saw bright red trees.  The red was a pink-red like strawberries and the leaves looked like they were on fire. I used to have a small maple in my backyard but I moved to a forest and now I have millions.  I liked my old maple tree because my dad planted it for me when I was a baby.  
Maple trees can be red but cedar trees can also be red under the bark.  I know this because I’ve peeled off some of the bark from a cedar tree before.  When you peel back the dark brown (like a brownie) bark you see another really thin layer of bark that is the colour of red clay. Once I was running through my forest in a game of chase when I tripped over a cedar root and fell down with a crash.  In the split second before I got up and ran again, I saw the thick line of red on the exposed root.  
Cedar trees feel rough like sandpaper or sand on the seashore but maple trees are smooth like silk fabric.  Also, cedar trees have needles instead of leaves.  I like all trees but you can probably tell that maples are my favourite!  I feel happy when I see maple trees outside my window because I have different kinds of maples – one is a red one and one is a green one in the fall. 
Here is a sampling of pages from Bekah's Journal (she loves words!):

Bekah wrote this after examining the similarities and differences between leaves from the same species:
Hello, I’m here to talk to you about a fascinating recent discovery - even if two things are from the same species (plant, animal, or even human), they don’t necessarily have to look the same. For instance, when I picked up two maple leaves in my backyard, upon first inspection, they were basically the same: both were from a maple tree and both had three main sections. Upon further inspection, however, they were different sizes  - one  the size of a dinner plate and the other  a dessert plate. They were also different colors - one a lime-green with a bit of something else and the other a Dijon-mustardy color with spots like wet cedar bark. Furthermore, one leaf had unusual markings -  little poppy seed-like dots left by some crawling critter and two holes made by a hungry herbivore. The stems were both a purple-red with a bit of yellow and  dotted with swollen nodes.  Although looking closer, they were also different - one stem was shorter than the other, with more yellow and even  a bit of white!
So you see, even if something is from the same species, it will not necessarily look the same as another in that species.


Our kids (along with the Giesbrecht family) performed at Sunridge Gardens today and did a fabulous job.  The residents were thrilled with their performance and enjoyed chatting with the kids afterwards.
What a confident and talented young man!  Sarah is pretty cute too.
 Bekah is the one on the left during the duet.


This fall we're back skating at the Surrey Sports and Leisure Center.  Bekah is our figure skater and is now in the highest level!
Sarah is now learning to skate "upright" (instead of bent over holding onto a chair!) and we're thrilled that Matthew (level 3) has learned how to stop so he doesn't need to wear a face mask anymore!


We started talking about the circulatory system and created edible models of the heart ("blue" icing depicts deoxygenated blood and "red" icing depicts oxygenated blood).  The crackers each represent one of the four chambers (top are the atria and bottom are the ventricles) and the marshmallows represent (crudely!) the blood vessels.  Up next?  Dissecting a cow's heart!
Of course we also played with our models and then ate them!

Lest We Forget - The War of 1812

The Defenders

During the month of November we've been doing a unit study on the War of 1812.  I'm embarrased to admit that previously I had no idea what this war was about or why it might be important.  We've been reading a number of books (including the ones shown here) and have been fascinated by the many Canadian heros (General Brock, Tecumseh, Laura Secord to name just a few) who played significant roles in the battles spanning the three years during which the war between the Americans and Canada (Britian) took place. While there was no clear winner after the war was over it is clear that it was the first significant time during which British, French and First Nations united together as "Canadians" to battle someone other than themselves.

Acts of Courage                           What Caused the War of 1812?

The kids are still working on their written reports but they've also been busy recreating the battles (this battle scene directed and photographed by Matthew) and creating a floor map to depict the numerous battles ("red" sticks denote British/Canadian victory sites & "blue" sticks denote American victory sites).

Monday, 12 November 2012


Here we are making edible cells as part of our unit study on the human body.  We got a bit carried away with the candy, however, and ended up with a bit of a mess.  We are thankful God does a better job with our cells than we do!
Here Bekah and Dane are having fun "teaching" everyone about the different components of a human cell.

Salmon Forest

The past couple of weeks we've had the incredible privilege of watching the salmon in the stream on our property.  Today while we were out there wasn't much action compared to the past few days so the salmon must be getting close to finishing their journey upstream.
Before heading out today we read the beautiful book "Salmon Forest" by David Suzuki.  It is the story of the food chain that salmon play a role in.  The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and the book is worth reading just for the paintings!  This picture of the bear also hits close to home right now as we went out today to find our garbage strewn all over the forest floor.  As our littlest, Sarah, remarked, "The bear is coming to the stream for the salmon and got interested in our garbage!"

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Digestive System

Yesterday we had fun finding objects around the house to create a model of our digestive system.  Starting at the top of the picture we have the mouth (The bandanna that is supposed to be in the shape of a mouth.  We tried to find Levi's fake teeth but they were missing in action!  Thankfully his real teeth were intact and in place.) and saliva (spray bottle).  Connected to the mouth is the esophagus (wind tube) that leads to the stomach (striped bag) which then attaches to the small intestine (extension cord expertly twisted up by Dane!) and then finally the large intestine (black belt).  Matt didn't want to include the "unmentionable" at the end of the large intestine.  Not exactly the most orthodox model but the kids can all explain where food goes after you swallow it. 
After exploring what the digestive system looks like we did an experiment to see how vinegar (hydrochloric acid) speeds up the digestive process.  Dane set everyone up with eye protection and then we were off (the blurry parts of the picture are when the container was being violently shaken).