Pieces of Me: our personal story boxes

28.7.16 0 comments
A few weeks ago we did a Pieces of Me project. We had been speaking a lot about what makes us special, and what makes us different (because different is NOT always a negative thing). The final piece of the puzzle was producing something tangible to showcase our differences and similarities. We created personal boxes.

Our personal boxes were just that - truly personal. None like the other. 
Each child was given an egg carton and asked to collect "stuff"; literally anything that could fit into their little carton was welcomed for our little project.

What they brought back was pretty cool...amazing!  With many stories to tell- with or without words, I was actually quite amazed at the variety and thought that went into collecting items. Some collected from nature, others from around the house. One friend collected items from a recent visit to the paint shop. 

Take a look...

In the Garden: busy bees

27.7.16 0 comments
Earth-schooling is all about being outside and becoming part of nature.We practically lived outside last week. I am happy to say that the kids are busy learning about the great outdoors, and all its living things.  Overall, the children are building a strong foundation for understanding and questioning the importance of living things, life cycles, the changing of the seasons, and our place in the great circle of life.
a bumble bee
In the past week we saw quite a few bees.Lately we have been seeing them everywhere. There's mix reaction between the children; some duck for cover, while others simply ignore. I thought that was an interesting thing, and it led me to introduce the topic of bees, what they do, and why they are so important in the circle of life. 
Next year I hope to have a bee garden. We learned some things this year and we have already started to experiment. For example, did you know that flowers that attract bees are usually yellow, blue, or purple? The children and I had already planted some herbs and veggies and were focused on watching them grow, when we started bringing home wild flowers from various nature walks...there is no doubt that bee activity increased in our garden.

Did you also know that there are many personal benefits of having a bee garden?
Bee can increase the quantity of fruits & veggies in your garden. They also attract more butterflies (which we love), birds, as well as other insects, which makes for a really busy & lovely space.
Here are a few fun facts:
  1.  There are 3 types of bees: solitary, honey bees, & bumblebees
  2. Honeybees and bumblebees live in colonies or hives. All the bees in the colony work together for the good of the hive. Each has a job to do: the queen lays the eggs and the workers build the honeycomb, care for the larvae and collect the food.
  3.  Newly hatched bees do cleanup work around the hive
  4. Bees visit about 1500 flowers in one day.
  5. Bees often fly up to 6 miles to collect pollen on each trip.
  6. Many bees specialize in one plant species in areas where different flowering plants bloom at the same time, this keeps different bee species from fighting over the same flower!
just hanging out...

...a story we read & loved: (from Stories from Bug Garden by L. Moser).

We liked this site and we liked the photos on this one too.

We made these fun bee friends from egg cartons.

Supplies needed:
yellow paint

black paint
paint brush
marker to draw face and /OR googly eyes 
brown or black pipe cleaners
white construction paper (for the head..I painted it the same colour yellow as the body)
clear/white tissue paper

Weekending July 22 (2016) - part 2

see part 1 here...

Weekending July 22 (2016) - part 1

25.7.16 0 comments
This may well be the height of our summer. In a few weeks we will be going on break, so I think it's a great time to reflect on the past week, and look ahead as well. 
The days have been anything but quiet around these parts. We are truly enjoying the fullness and the richness of our days.
Last week was full of Earth-schooling activities. We picnicked down by the river, played in the park, went hiking, nature-walking, studied bees, and even stopped in at the library to get some books for our ongoing projects, and to participate in some activities.
The children are growing! They are maturing! Best of all, they are eager to learn. I have a great group.
Stay tuned for more photos from our week...I am still editing photos... :)

Wishing you a wonderful start to your week everyone!

Weekending July 15th (2016)

19.7.16 0 comments
I really love doing these recaps of our weeks. Sometimes the weeks fly by, and I feel as if we didn't get much done; but mostly, looking back helps me plan ahead.

Less words and photos on the blog means good things are happening here. Although lots of words and photos on the blog say the same thing. We are having fun...doing a lot of outdoor exploration and learning. And as the kids get older, it's all the same stuff, but it's just a bit different. I love this group.

.../inside/ outside / remnants of play 
Have a great week everyone!

In the garden: bloom

11.7.16 0 comments
Last year I separated our In the Garden series from our regular weekend updates. This year I haven't had the time to do that, but it doesn't mean that we are not spending most of our days in the garden, and learning about nature and all its beauty.

Last week our focus revolved around the living things that we could find in and around our garden. How blessed were we to find 13 (my count) caterpillars in our garden(?)
The children were stoked, as was I. I couldn't believe my luck- as it was a perfect opportunity to have a hands on teachable moment (or moments). We are waiting for our friends to form their chrysalis and to see the beautiful butterflies.   

We also had silly discussion about the importance of wings and legs, and (for the children that understood), symmetry. We had a good laugh about what would happen if butterflies had one huge wing and one teeny tiny wing...hmm, that would be an interesting flight wouldn't you agree?
The kids and I planted and tend to our garden every day. They are great helpers, and they continue to assist me in beautifying it. I enjoy spending time outside with them. 
This week we will speak and learn about bees :)

Weekending July 8 (2016)

10.7.16 0 comments
... in the garden...that's where we spent our days last week.
We love being outside in the garden. We've been watching for bees, birds, and other critters. Next week we will be doing a backyard scavenger hunt (will share later). 

The children and I have also been blessed to be able to use some of the veggies & herbs in/from our garden for soup day. We also ate what was left of the strawberries - I am sure there will be more, if we can get to them before the birds.
We said goodbye to one of our friends (just for now). We hope he has a great vacation. We've got so much planned for the next few weeks. We are super excited.
Enjoy your week everyone!

Weekending July 1st (2016)

7.7.16 0 comments
 It was a short but fun-filled week. Honestly, I was happy to have a day off on Friday, to recuperate, and do a bit of planning for the months ahead.
Sometimes it's a great thing that I take so many photos, as I don't, or can't always account for our week :). On the other hand, despite all the pretty pictures, our days can get a bit hectic and messy at times, which is (actually) one of the reasons I love blogging about the time we spend together.  When I sit down at my computer to reflect on our week, and our days, I feel nostalgic, and I guess it makes sense of what we do and (sometimes) why we do it.

Last week we had a Pjs & Pancakes day. This gathering was more like our winter party, than our regular Pjs and Pancakes days, as we had an all day brunch. It was nice.

Other than that, we spent some time in the garden, and walked in nature. We baked and made yummy soup. We played and played and sang, and danced, AND laughed. That's what we do.
this recipe
Inspired by Nigella Lawson's recipe
I would like to thank each parent for participating in our activity. We are a very lucky bunch. 
Have a great week!

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