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Archive for October, 2011

At this time of year, a favourite activity for many families is visiting the pumpkin path, going on hayrides, and picking out the perfect pumpkin. If you are visiting or have visited the pumpkin patch this fall, here are some fun activities you can do at home with your pumpkins:

Science:

PredictWill your pumpkin sink or float?  Test your prediction in the bathtub!

Math:

Have your children estimate the circumference of the pumpkin by cutting a piece of string the length they think is correct, and measuring how long it is. Then, actually measure the circumference, and see how close (or far!) their prediction was, and why

How much does your pumpkin weigh?  Again, have the kids make a prediction, and then compare their prediction to the actual weight.  You could also have your kids create a graph showing their prediction and actual heights and weights.

Open your pumpkin up, and take a look at how many seeds are inside. If your are feeling very ambitious, you could predict how many seeds there are, and then count them! (For younger students, this is a good chance to practice tally marks, or grouping and counting by ten)

After counting and washing those seeds, try roasting them, and eating them.  And of course, the pumpkin can make a wonderful pie! (These are great activities to practice measuring for younger ones.)

Language Arts:

Journal about the trip to the pumpkin patch, or create a photo booklet that tells the story of their trip….

Create an acrostic poem, using the letters from the word PUMPKIN to start each line of the poem.

Art

Paint a beautiful pumpkin patch picture. One of my favourite art websites, art projects for kids, has a great activity for this. You can check it out here.

Most of all, have fun, and enjoy schooling with your kids!

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Thanksgiving Weekend

October…. leaves falling from trees, days getting shorter, thanksgiving… How did this come so quickly?!  September was a whirlwind in our home. You’d think after five years homeschooling, I’d know better. I’d know that everything just starts at once. And although I think I’m going to start slow, stay relaxed, life happens. Hockey, dance, school, youth, more school, more hockey, work…. it’s a month of starts, a month of adjustments.

So, I’m thankful that it’s October. I love fall, although I’m a bit sad about the shorter days. (It’s just so much harder to get up in the morning when it’s still dark!) But still, isn’t fall beautiful?

This weekend I’m also thankful that the Christian school my oldest daughter attends takes a five day break on thanksgiving weekend, and so we have too. I’ve enjoyed it so much, I think I just might celebrate American thanksgiving in November. Probably by then, we’ll appreciate another five day break!

One of our big projects this weekend was rearranging and reorganizing bedrooms. It may be a bit crazy, but I really do love clearing, de-cluttering and organizing. And really, who decided that big cleaning projects are supposed to happen in the spring anyway?!

It started simply enough when we decided to get our daughter a new quilt  for her birthday. But that led to switching her twin bed with the double bed in the spare room. And then that led to moving our oldest daughter into that spare room. And then our son into her room. So, four bedrooms got switched around this weekend. Not bad for a few days off!

And now we’re finally done. Well, almost. Now there’s talk of painting, decorating… one thing really does lead to another! And I have to admit, the rooms do look a little bare – and a fresh coat of paint is always nice too. For now, though, I’m done. I’ve got bags to give away, bags of recycling, and bags to throw out… it’s been a good weekend. (It’s just too bad I didn’t take before and after pictures!)

Of course, the most important reason for this extra long weekend was thanksgiving. We had a great day Sunday, cooking, cooking, and more cooking… and then of course thanksgiving dinner. :) It was so nice to spend time with family and get reacquainted with cousins we haven’t seen for a while.

So, after all the dishes are cleaned up, and the house is back in order, here are a few more things to add to my list of things I’m thankful for:

A husband who takes complete charge of the turkey. Seasoning, basting, checking if it’s done, carving; the details of that really overwhelm me. But John looks after it all;  it’s nice to have a husband who likes to cook!

Of course, I can’t forget the kids who are old enough to help prepare the meal as well.  A busy day in the kitchen, cooking with my family; it’s a good day.

Everyone who brings a dish, a bottle of wine, a beautiful flower to brighten my house and my days.

Laughter, fun, ordinary everyday celebrations with family; it’s so good to take the time to get together. We feel so blessed to have many of our family (on both sides) living nearby. I’m glad that my kids are able to spend time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a great thanksgiving weekend as well.  :)

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