Friday, August 8, 2014

Museum Days

Last week my sister and I took all the kids to the Surrey Museum to the "Kids Celebrate" exhibit.  It explores the diversity of cultural celebrations in Canada. Their little blurb says it better than I can "Discover 13 celebrations through the seasons and find out how music, dance, food, decoration, costume and games impart values and history to communities. Hands-on activities and artifacts help visitors discover commonalities and differences among various celebrations, and realize that the tradition of celebrating is something everyone shares." Surrey Museum

They had a lot of fun (and I did too).  The variety of hands-on activities entertained Hannah, Ethan and Ben for the entire time we were there.

Dressing up like birds.

Riding bikes to create New Years fireworks.

Ben loved planting flowers and watering them.

Building and igloo.

Canadian magnet fun.

Ben sure is clever.

Hannah put together quite an impressive Thanksgiving Feast.

Ethan made a Chinese Lantern

Ben was a pirate for Halloween.

Hannah and I had lots of fun with the costumes.

Ben and Ethan playing a Dreidel game.

Hannah making a mask.

So we will definitely be back especially since it was free and it is on for another month.

Outside enjoying a snack afterwards.

Hugs with Mommy after Ben tripped a little.

Sweet Charlotte enjoying the day.

Nathanael so chill after being asleep the entire time we were there.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Friends like Jon!

Ethan has been friends with Jon for almost 2 years.  Let me tell you about Jon.  He has been everywhere, including outer space.   He is a grown-up who has the soul of child, ageless really.  He can do, learn, and teach everything.  In fact everything that Ethan knows has been credited to Jon at some point.  I know what your thinking, everyone needs a friend like Jon.  Jon has been Ethan's constant companion for as long has he can remember and while he is imagined he is very real at our house.  

One of the things that Andrew and I like most about Jon is that he is quiet funny and often adds some hilarity to out meals.  Jon is often mention to strange and I think they must assume he is an older brother/uncle.  People who do know us often lift an eye brow at me as if to say "who is he talking about?".

Here is a conversation Ethan had with Andrew and I over breakfast:

Ethan:  Jon has an extra room for me at his house.  So that when I come to sleep over I have someplace nice to sleep.
Me:  That's great.
Ethan:  Yeah except when I sleep there he makes me where a diaper.
Me: Why?
Ethan: He thinks I'm a baby.  (Starts laughing)
Andrew:  Jon is crazy!
Ethan:  He is crazy and he is AWESOME

Hannah had a imaginary friend when she was 2.5.  His name was Shack and he was a little more unsettling because he used to start fires in our furnace.  Shack didn't stay to long thankfully :D

Saturday, August 2, 2014

2014-2015 Curriculum and School Plans


School will be a little different this year now that Hannah is officially in Kindergarten (as an enrolled DL student). In BC, you have two main options for homeschooling; either by registering or by enrolling.

Registered Homeschooled children: are registered at a school (public, francophone or independent school) in the province by September 30th each year.

  • Homeschooled children's educational program is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to provide and supervise the educational program.
  • Homeschooling program does not have to meet provincial standards
  • Homeschooling is not inspected by the Ministry of Education
  • Homeschoolers in Grades 10 to 12 have the option to write provincial exams
  • Students do not receive a British Columbia Dogwood graduation certificate
Distribute Learning Students: are enrolled in a public or independent school distributed learning program where the majority of the learning takes place at a distance:
  • DL program is the responsibility of the public or independent school
  • DL program is directed and supervised by a British Columbia-certified teacher (parents may assist in facilitating the learning process, but are not the teachers)
  • DL program must meet provincial standards as outlined in the School Act or Independent School Act
  • Students must receive on-going regular assessments, report cards, provincial letter grades and a permanent student record, as would students in a neighbourhood school
What does that actually look like on a practical level?  Hannah will be at home 4 days a week and in a classroom 1 day a week.  This is based on the school Andrew and I choose to enroll her in because not all schools function this way.  We think it important for her (and Ethan and Nathanael too) to have instruction apart from me and to have interaction with other students as well.  From a curriculum level it really looks very similar to last year.  All of the materials were chosen by me and approved by the school as appropriate year of study for a Kindergarten student in BC.  In Hannah's classroom class there will likely be 16-20 students all of which are educated at home the other 4 days and I can guarantee that all the students will have different learning plans based on the PLO's (provincial learning outcomes) just as every kindergarten class in BC looks different because the teachers and schools are different.  In the simplest sense this is a hybrid model of tradition classroom and homeschool.

Our Curriculum:

Sonlight Core P4/5 Exploring God's World
The core of our curriculum for our kindergarten year is from Sonlight P4/5 called "Exploring God's World".  It includes our Bible, Geography, Read Alouds and Science.  For our Read Aloud books, we will be reading  books from Dr Seuss, Eric Carle, Mother Goose, Peter Rabbit and lots of others.  It even has some older classics like the Milly-Molly-Mandy Book and the Uncle Wiggily's Story Book.  For Bible we will reading we will read through the "101 Favorite Stories From the Bible" and focus on Character traits (like being kind, loving, attentive etc).

Full-Grade Package for P4/5 w/ Grade K Readers PCK

Language Arts (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing):

Read Alouds are mentioned above in the core.  In addition to this is the millions of books the kids bring home from the library and the book we have here at the house.

We will be using Handwriting Without Tears Letters and Numbers for Me.  This is a continuation from last year.  Last year we did the green book and this year we are starting the orange books which covers uppercase, lowercase, numbers and punctuation.

Letters and Numbers for Me

For learning to read we will be using All About Reading level 1. Last year we did the pre-level 1 and it covered letter and their sounds. This year it covers decoding, vocabulary and fluency.


This year we will be using the Mathematics Enhancement Programme out of the UK. We have just started year 1.  We will also using a variety of other things added in like our bears from last year; Cuisenaire Rods demonstrations and some living math books.

The majority of our science come from the science picture book from from Sonlight which include a number of books by Robert E Wells, the "Berenstain Bear's Big book of Science" as well the book "The Year at Maple Hill Farm".  As well as hands on activities from Science Adventures for Very Young Children.
The Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature PS12        
Art activities usually fall alongside of other subjects and things we are doing (like holidays, science, and books we are reading).  This year we are adding in HomeArt Studio Kindergarten because Hannah would literally do art all day long and I do not have that much time.

This is the only thing I didn't pick myself.  For kindergarten we need to do a very basic map book.  We will be doing the "My Very First Primary Map Book". I love maps my kids love maps.  This is not a hardship.
Health, Safety, and Life Skills
These are things like PE, computer skills, safety topics etc  Usually these are things that I don't consider "school" stuff but "life" stuff.  Like Swimming lessons, not running with scissors, how to cross the road, learning your address, what to do if there is a fire, calling 911 etc.  The only difference this year is I will keep track of it.

We are looking forward to a good year. I had a few questions regarding Ethan.  Obviously he is a year younger than Hannah but at this point he quite capable and desiring to do the same things as Hannah.  So we are calling this his K4 year and next year he will do his K5 year.  This really only is for his benefit because he is disappointed to not be "going" to school with Hannah even though he does the same work.  He will also NOT have to repeat work next year just to make it count for kindergarten.  That is the beauty of homeschooling; the ability to personalize their educations.
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