Prey vs Predator

i found this article interesting.

I'll need to reexplain things to the lad.

question of the day: praying mantis

this is not the one we caught, just a pic off the internet.

Due to a caught praying mantis, and wondering if we could keep it, this question was raised: What do praying mantis eat?

We found an answer here.

The diet of a praying mantis most often includes various species of insects - including mosquitoes, flies, grasshoppers, beetles, butterflies, moths, spiders, roaches, bees, dragonflies, etc. Other than these insects, some praying mantis species also feed on lizards, frogs, rodents and birds. Almost all the species of mantis feed on insects, but those which can grow up to a length of 10-12 cm are generally the ones who take on birds, rodents and other creatures of their own size.
So, no, we can't keep it as it will eat our crickets. We released it to our rose of sharon bush.

How can you tell a girl from a boy?

The difference between a male and female praying mantis is that the female is larger and the abdominal is larger than a males abdomanal.
Adult female Mantises are larger than adult males. That's one way to tell them apart.

Living Bridge

I need to show this to the lad. I thought it was very cool.

Living Bridge.

Homeschooling Carnivals

Carnival of Homeschooling - 300th Edition!!!

Hands On Homeschool Blog Carnival

Homeschooling on the Cheap

homeschooling carnival

Harvest Edition of The Carnival of Homeschooling

Never Felt Better my lad learned to felt at the Art Museum of London. They have a homeschool art program there.

the program he attended was called
Never Felt Better

Children will learn the sculptural technique of wet felting, in which crisscrossed layers of wool are dampened with warm soapy water and agitated by rubbing and rolling, and will experiment with felting around a form to make three dimensional pieces.

about 20 children all told. Some of us parents chose to help. Good thing we did or the singleton teacher would not have coped particularly well with that many students.

The lad had a hoot.

He at first didn't much like his snake, but later he was quite intrigued by it.
He does DISLIKE intensely the mat that he made. "it doesn't look like anything mommy". So we may end up throwing it out.

It was a good experience for us. Next time we'll try to get there a bit earlier so parking isn't so expensive.

the next one we'll go to will be on book binding.

TOS birthday bash

Right now TOS is in the middle of their birthday bash. You really should go check it out. :)

And did you know that TOS is going to be going to an all digital format. they will be having one annual magazine that will be HUGE (like 300 pages), but they will be switching to a monthly digital magazine. If you want to see what their magazine is like, go check out the summer one for free. :)

overwhelmed? perhaps not any more

So I've been feeling panicky and overwhelmed at the thought of teaching my lad this year. I'm not feeling very organized or planned out or anything.

Hubby dear gave me the idea of planning our next day for 15-20 minutes the night before and I think I'll be doing that. I've been a bit concerned about doing TOO Much planning as I know what I'm like what I get a list I just feel "argh" if I don't complete everything on it and I can get snippy and snappy and I do not wish to be like that.

Therefore I went to the ministry of education (Ontario) tonight to see just what they expect children to learn in grade one. And though a few things leave me wondering HOW will I teach that? Overall it was like okay....he knows that already, this we already do and he'll get better at, and OH>>> I can teach that! It overall left me with a feeling of relief. Overtime I will be able to plan out better what we do. EVEN IF at times it is haphazard it will work out in the long run I think.

I am feeling a bit more settled again...knowing that I can teach my son, but I do need to be a bit more organized about how I go about doing it. AS LONG AS.... I remember that we are FIRST a family, and second a homeschooling one. Homeschooling will continue to fit around our need to be a family first, and one that honours God while doing so.

What We Learned Today: Head of the Class

today we did a couple of things.

We continued reading through

We did a fair amount of work on the letter 'a' through head of the class. Filling in the missing A, sounding out words, picture matching and what not. I really like that they use a variety of methods to teach the same concept.

We did a bit more research on the house centipede. :)

We talked about the difference between living and non-living things using as a basic talking guide the simple schooling e-book Living & Non-Living.

We continued our transportation theme by learning about air pressure and resistance, using a craft from Transportation Thematic Units (Enhanced eBook). We experimented a bit with adding a paper clip to see if that would make a difference in how the helicopter worked.

Both the simple schooling and transportation unit are available from Currclick. One of them currently is free.

question of the day: house centipedes

Mommy... how do house centipedes grow up? How do they make babies?
This was a continuing query over a couple of days.

So we looked up house centipedes and learned they moult and get more legs with each moult. They live up to six years and takes about 2 years to mature.

Girl centipedes are bigger. Boy centipedes have a thicker tail.
The boy centipede puts sperm on the ground which the girl centipede uses to fertilize her eggs but they don't do this until after they touch antennae with each other.

They are GOOD bugs to have around (as much as they freak me out) because they kill spiders, bedbugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish and other household pests.

ehow and wiki and animal corner.

Tuesday... hard days

So today I had a, what seemed to me, harsh reminder of why Tuesdays should NOT be book work days... the lad is too unfocused and too easily upset as is his mommy. SO no more book work on Tuesdays except maybe a tiny bit.

Instead we will read.
We will draw.
We will do science.
We will simply relax, play a bit, and work a bit, and just let Tuesdays be the quiet relaxing days that we need them to be.

Today we had a mental break-down over the alphabet and doing numbers up to 30. Quite frankly alphabets and counting should NOT be reasons to have harsh words between parent and child on either side. it simply isn't, ergo my change of focus for Tuesday.

On a positive note... he did really well figuring out the sounds of letters of the alphabet and I started introducing the concept of hard/soft sounds. AND of the 26 alphabet letters....he recognized all but one of them (the dreaded letter K). I was simply thrilled by this and the lad smiled as well. :)

We had fun lying back on my bed and reading a poem. It was actually quite funny. We read one poem, and then read another and we looked at each other at the exact same time and smiled... That would make a fun picture we said. So we drew a picture of it. It was interesting how different they turned out from each other. The poem comes of the old Childcraft series. The link is for the 1995 series, but ours is the older one yet.. 1977 I think?

We started reading through a world history book (we will do two pages most every day) and another book with 10 minute stories.

We finished the first book of the people of christian history book tonight at bed time. The lad has enjoyed learning about these people who really lived. It's been interesting learning some of the Christian history behind us.

Carnival of homeschooling is posted

Focus on this issue is math, but other stuff is included as well.

I enjoyed this post.

Warehouse wipe out

Clearing out the Warehouse Special!
NOW $35

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*Don't forget-receive up to four additional bonus gifts by telling everyone you know about this special. To receive your bonus gifts, mention in the comments section (or dropdown) in your store order whether you shared this crazy offer on Facebook, Twitter, your blog and/or your email list. We'll then get busy selecting your extras to go in your tote!

Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

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HOPE days returns

Yesterday HOPE days started again.

It was fun. The lad learned about dinosaurs, had gym time (played a game called lemonade that made a big impression on him) and did some science. I enjoyed teaching the children science. NOW.. I have learned that even with two helpers that 14 children ages 6-8 in one classroom is a HUGE number of children to try to teach science to so I need to try to arrange that a bit better. smaller groups doing different things.

Then afterwards we went to the Western Fair. We had an enjoyable day. Hubby's knee has been bugging him a bit so that slowed us down a bit.

It was rather cool... they have this free children's play area. Tractors to drive, straw to jump into, a duck race, sunflower seed planting, tractor pull and a variety of other events. So the lad had a great deal of fun. We partially watched a cow calving, petted some pigs, ate cotton candy and caramel corn and corn dogs. Typical fair food. :)

We did miss the horse show, and the extreme canine show this year. We watched reptile ray. Man NOT a good show if you don't believe in evolution, but the information just about the reptiles he showed was quite interesting. I would rather he just talk about the reptiles and leave the evolutionary stuff at home.. cause what's the point? Is it to give a history (in his eyes) lesson or to talk about creatures he really enjoys being around?

Monarchs and Time lines

Today the lad and I started to work on a timeline for the history of transportation. We got up to 1620. he was quite surprised at what is considered part of transportation.

We got bogged down looking for pics so decided to do a short cut and just look for pics online, which led to me being reminded about the Butterfly Conservancy homeschool thing this afternoon.... SO....RUSH RUSH RUSH but we got there 3 minutes early. The lad had a hoot. :)

He fell asleep on the way home.

Jenn who ran the program suggested Journey North for more information on the Monarch. Here's the link to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. The lad was quite intrigued by the birds that ran around the butterfly house. He even helped to tag a butterfly. Our Butterfly is NAW 325. We'll be able to look in the spring at Monarch Watch to see if he (yes it's a male) made it all the way to Mexico for the winter. Mind...that all depends if anyone finds him and his tag. :)

Doing more with Transportation

Car Spelling Song

On the road to Spelling

When teaching it is important to use as many senses as possible. Here is a way to use music to practice spelling words.

"Car, Bus, Van" song (Tune: Jingle Bells)

C-A-R, C-A-R that's how you spell car

B-U-S, B-U-S that's how you spell bus

V-A-N, V-A-N that's how you spell van

Transportation helps us, I hope you understand!

Sing the song several times so they feel successful and can spell the words.

Car Play with Ramps
Help your child set up a ramp and watch the cars go.

1. Which cars go faster?
2. Which cars go further?
3. What happens when you change the angle of the ramp?
4. What happens when you change the surface of the ramp?

I asked questions such as.. if you were going to divide your cars into teams, what teams would they be on? Why? How many do you have that are cars? trucks? how many of blue or orange or ??? We weighed them to see if that would help determine who went the fastest. We guessed how would go the fastest. we experimented with ways to "protect" the boulders.

suggestion by the author: If you take digital pictures you can turn this experience into a book. Have your child help to label the pictures and soon he will be able to read his own book.

Forms of Transportation

we started to make a time line of transportation. I'll use this link as a idea place. :)
We started with walking, and progressed to swimming. :) (yes I know that's not an official mode of transportation, but YOU try convincing a six year old that it's not a valid form of getting around?). :)

We did a thing with links... figuring out solutions to problems using links and clues given. It was interesting how it all turned out.

others in this series
day one airplanes
planning to do airplanes

Blog roll call

A couple of posts in the realm of homeschooling that I liked.

1. because it is so true of a variety of things in life. This one pertains to homeschooling, but as with anything, the wrong expectations can net you an outcome you didn't anticipate.

Homeschool blindspots.

2. 1+1+1=1 this post just made me smile today.

back to homeschool 2011/2012

Monarchs and drawing

We have a monarch actively hatching right now! It's just TOO cool. :) Both hatched and have since been released! :) It was very exciting to watch. It's amazing how quickly they go from wrinkled to full wings.

The chrysalis when first made.

they got dark..pretty cool eh?

the wrinkled just out stage

both Monarchs.
This was just fun.
We put them outside so when they were ready to leave they could.
The last one was gone by 6 p.m.
Worked on some work books.

we finished "Thinking Skills"

We did a few pages in Complete Canadian Curriculum 1

we practiced our alphabet again using blue clues flap cards

Read some poems and then got inspired to draw a picture of what one of the poems was about. It was rather fun to talk and draw and think.

Went for a walk. Brought a sock back to a friend, and then stayed for tea. On the walk there we gained a male mosquito and a caterpillar of some sort. :)

Dug some potatoes.

And made decisions about supper. We had roast pork, carrots and pasta.

I can tell the lad is quite a bit better from his earache but he's not all the way back yet. I am looking forward to the day when he is all better.

Starting to school properly this week :)

This morning we played an alphabet game and we went through, do you recognize this letter? He got all but 5 of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Not sure why he struggles with G, K, W, D, and N. but he does. He struggled with them last year as well.

For the alphabet we used the flashcards we had on had (though he's a bit beyond blue's clues we had them so we used them).

I just took random cards and asked him what they were and if he didn't get them just put them in a separate pile. then I took those eight cards and lay them out and got "OH.. that's "E" and we were left with these five that "I just don't have a clue mommy, I can't remember that one, My brain is all confused mommy." I said "that's okay buddy, just means we get to practice more.". :)

Then I had him put the cards in alphabetic order and he did pretty good with that with having to use our alphabet chart on the back of the door a bit. In time he won't be able to use the "cheat sheet". :) but for now, with a boy still recovering from an ear ache, I'll go with what I got.

We also did three pages in one workbook, and two pages in another one. Mostly we worked on math type sheets.
The complete book of numbers and counting

My heavenly Helper

Kumon, my Book of numbers 1-120

We played battle for 15 minutes. Then the lad gathered up random dishes so they could be washed, I planted some things out in the garden (parsley and radish) and then folded a load of laundry.

Then off to town for the afternoon/evening. The lad enjoyed spending time with gramma and going to gymnastics.

Today's Efforts

Started reading magic tree house the rain forest. the lad is enjoying this book though he thought we'd start reading a hardy boy book.

Played Farm Sounds. I have a cd with bingo type cards produced by myactivemind, which is a company that seems to no longer be in service. We got it at the dollar store. The lad had fun playing it though we had to have the sound turned up as his ears aren't working the best right now.

did some work in books as well.
kumon counting - so nice to see him better than where we left off in the fall. :)

Jesus heavenly friend - needed a bit of help with the alphabet dot to dot, could say it, but couldn't remember what some of the letters looked like

and a math skills book - did an excellent job on this.

then we played battle until my body said.. GET UP OFF THIS FLOOR! :) But by then it was time for the lad to chill out for a while again. Earaches are NOT fun things to deal with.

the afternoon was taken up with canning applesauce and watching mammoths and the ice age, we also watched Astro Boy - which provoked all sorts of questions about what the future world could possibly look like. :)

We Choose Virtues

We Choose Virtues is a company that makes a quality product. They focus on providing materials that help parents/teachers teach their children virtues.

The Crafty Classroom is hosting a giveway of their products, and give an extra entry for blogging about it, so here I am. :)

I have to admit to having mixed feelings about a curriculum that teaches virtues.

On one hand I see it as a helpful tool for people to use to teach character to their children.
BUT on the other hand... with good biblical training doesn't one teach these character traits as one lives life?

So it's a mixed bag for me. The helpfulness on the one hand in promoting vs the taking away from the parental responsibility to simply train as one lives life. It seems schoolish to me. As in the public school actually have built curriculums to teach character in the school system because so many parents are working and abdicating some of their responsibilities in this regard.

I don't tend to see homeschooling parents doing this. We're with our children mostly all the time so it's hard for us to let that sort of thing slip.

But on the other hand... it is an aid. And should aids be shunned? or merely carefully examined?

A mixed bag. I haven't made up my mind.

What do you all think?

Concert in GLASS - amazing !

you have GOT to go listen to this.

It is VERY cool.

TOS has things to help with homeschooling

From September 1 to September 5, they're offering resources that will help you save time cooking, cleaning, organizing your home, running your home, and teaching your children. Some products are discounted up to 50%! You'll even find labor savers that will get your kids working too!

Relief is at your fingertips. Don't put it off. Order today. These great deals only last until September 5 at 11 p.m. EDT.

They have a variety of planners.
Have you had the chance to look at their newly released 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planners yet? Plan for another great year with The 2011-2012 Schoolhouse Planner, the brand-new 2011-12 Special Needs Schoolhouse Planner, and our 2011-12 Student Schoolhouse Planners for students in kindergarten to high school. Planners are now available on CD or in E-Book format!

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Children from kindergarten to high school are learning the ropes of organizing their own schedules. Choose the Primary, Intermediate or High School Schoolhouse Planner and watch them build their educational adventures with ease.

Don't forget a Mom's best friend, The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner, packed full of forms, lists, and resources to organize every aspect of your school and home!

Learn more about the NEW planners by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine here.

did you know that if you subscribe to the magazine that you get free access to the teachers toolbox? that's means every month you get access to new menu plans, printable activities, daily activity ideas and more?

Currently TOS is having a warehouse wipeout sale

While supplies last You can snag a box filled with these goodies from their overflowing shelves . . .

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Homeschooling with Heart tote bag ($24.95 value)
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$104.75+ worth of products and what it takes to mail them for ONLY $39 US/$49 CA

You will want to snatch a box before it's too late or purch several for gifts!

They even have a cheapy section! :) Everybody loves a good deal! They have almost 300 of them waiting for your readers to explore and possibly purchase.

if you click on the banner below you will be linked to an interactive catalogue.

Monarch into Chrysallis

Check out this youtube video.

Both monarchs that we have are going exploring. The one is currently hanging, the other is looking for a place to be safe. We're having to keep a close eye on that one.

Hopefully in seven to 10 days we'll have a couple of butterflies to watch! :)

our previous attempts at Monarchs failed, so we're thrilled that this one appears to be working.

actually doing day one airplanes

Working from our plans this is how our day went.

NOTE: I had a lad with bad tonsils, who can't hold down food today.

We started out watching the five part series of the wright brothers on YouTube. I chose the animated version as it had short snippets that we could stop and talk about what we learned before watching the next in the series.
here is part two

We learned about their main rival in Alberto Santos-Dumont.

Santos-Dumont he was a rival to the wright brothers to see who would be the first to build an airplane. :) The lad was quite fascinated by him and asked tons of questions so we researched him for a while. (a bit of a rabbit trail that). :)

we read through the beginning of flight.
the lad liked this one:
and this one caused lots of questions to be asked as it looks quite different than the others we saw
we spent a great deal of time on the Canadian Wings site. Rather fascinating to watch the changes in how aircraft developed. and the wright brothers museum was quite interesting as well. I read through the encyclopedia on the wright brothers but the lad was getting wiggly at this point. So we closed our computer time by learning all the different TYPES of aircraft and doing our copy work. I am hoping later to find some pictures of different aircraft and making a small lapbook book with the lad.

Question: is there such a thing as a helicopter that is amphibian?
Does anyone know the answer to this question?

Thanks to the gals on facebook I have an answer to that question! YES! they make amphibous helicopters. Here's the wiki link.

We did our airplane sorting into
Fast planes, medium planes, helicopters and mommy's planes.
the fast planes are JET engines, the medium planes use propellors, and the helicopters are medium planes too but they are different because they are helicopters. :)

he also observed other ways that they are the same and different, good to see him learning and thinking.

and then we made a couple of planes and had a LOT of fun playing battle. :)