Monday, January 30, 2017

Vegan Bites: Sunflower Brittle

Vegan Bites: Endurance Seed Crackers

Along the same line as our Flax Crax, these Endurance Seed Crackers need only water for the gelationous seeds to absorb before baking.

Forcing Branches

Another natural extension of Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), is the task of 'forcing branches'.
Essentially tricking buds into believing it's Spring, by bringing them indoors.
This works well for tree's already in need of pruning, since you can use the cut branches for indoor admiration (sneaky science!)

 After Two Weeks!

I'm in love with this little poem in story-form by Canadian, Margaret Atwood about two kids who get stuck in a tree and when they finally get rescued, they end up heading back into the tree again! 
Very sweet and on the growing Wish List!

Math Monday: How Many Triangles

Today's math prompt was fitting, as we used chopsticks leftover from our Chinese New Year celebration.
I first saw this prompt, 'How many triangles?' from a lovely Russian site called KokokoKids
No Russian required as the beautiful pictures are self explanatory.

I divided the sticks into 2 piles of nine and separated the mathematicians so they could not see each others work. We talked about there being many possibilities and no single conclusion, as long as all of the triangles accounted for had...
~3 sides
~3 corners (touching sticks)

Ms. O continued to amaze me and compete against herself, trying to beat her own numbers.
And mine!

We ended our session with this lovely book, 'Not a Stick'.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Chinese New Year: Zodiac Story

I lean on the side of caution when it comes to colouring pages.
There is less room for 'outside-the-box' and more room for 'colour between the lines'.

I presented the 12 Zodiac Animals for puppet making, simply due to lack of time to prepare the puppets I had planned for storytelling.
So I enlisted the wee and made the preparation a joint effort.
It was well over an hour's worth of colouring, cutting and pasting, not to mention some colourful conversation!

Their individual processes demonstrated two ends of the artistic spectrum.
The realist and the idealist.
Ms.O was researching actual colours, running back and forth to the library as she remembered books displaying corresponding animals, figuring out their habitat and drawing it beneath their feet, staying inside the lines and taking note of details like spots, stripes and colour.

Ms. C however, was content colouring just outside the lines, losing sight of the original drawing and in deep discussions about pigs with her sister, deciding that "pigs are intinct!" (extinct) so how on earth could we acquire one!
When her sister asked why her rabbit was multi-coloured, Ms.C eloquently replied,

"we'll give him all the colours to keep him warm."

Before breaking into story, we took a 'Tea & Poetry' break.
They love this activity as introduced by fellow homeschoolers and friends.
Four of Mr. Silverstein's collection featured zodiac animals; dragon, dog, horse and snake.

We finally collected our puppets and some props (silk scarves for water, wooden blocks for stepping stones and a raft) before explaining the story. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chopstick Practice

A tray of straw beads, bamboo bacon tongs and cricket tweezers led to some chopstick pick-up!
The object of the game being how many straws you could lift without using your hands.

Come counting time, the extra challenge of keeping your little brother out of your stash, presented itself!

Straw beads have been used for multiple projects and cost pennies to make.

Once everyone felt confident with the 'beginners chopsticks' we worked on the real deal!
Chopsticks and rice.
Ms. O had the right idea and scooped. She was really quick!
Ms. C had the right idea after a few struggled attempts; find those 'beginner' chopsticks and fill up!

MR.A was the resident vacuum, picking and sucking up any trailing rice within his reach!

Chopsticks, by Amy Rosenthal. One of our favourite books by one of our favourite authors!

Chopsticks, Chapter from 'Ling & Ting Not Exactly the Same' by Grace Lin.

Two Cute: Partner Yoga

Two cute.

We aim to practice yoga a few times a week, when the mood strikes, weather's poor, energy levels or emotions are low.
We love Cosmic Kids but needed a change of pace, which led us to Karma Kids Yoga.
The quick draw was the Partner Poses that we've never worked on before.
Big hit!

It helps with balance, connection, trust and creativity, not to mention elicited loads of giggles!

Word Wednesday: Fortune Cookie Riddles & Dumplings

 "This is my Thirth!"
~Ms. O counting fortune cookie production

Fortune cookie's are fun and simple, so we do them every Lunar New Year!
They include riddle-writing and this year Ms. O was intent to create her own!

It has a triangle on the top and a square on the bottom and you use it more than others.
(a house!)
It has spikes on it's back, it's red, eats green leaves and red envelopes.
(a Dragon!)

She wrote out riddles that we searched for on the internet while Ms.C was busy with playdough cookie-making.

It has been around for millions of years, but it's only a month old.
What belongs to you, but others use it more?
It counts day and night, but never gets past twelve.

Cookie Recipe. This recipe wasn't a hit, but any roll cookie would work.
Fruit-Leather Version.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Paper Lanterns & Dragons

Lantern Light

Ms. O's hands are constantly in create mode.
Any spare chance, she's using paper, scissors, tape, fabric and ribbons to work.
She came up with a paper lentern trimmed in lacey tape and completed with an LED candle.

The Dragons Back...
We then looked at pictures of The Dragons Back (The Great Wall) and read My Fathers Dragon, cover-to-cover!

Vegan Bites: Knock-Off Larabars

Math Monday: Abacus Shapes

Good thing we're not partaking in formalized education, since I completely finished my kids homework!
To kick off our Chinese New Year events this week, I (re)introduced the abacus.
I thought we would begin with a unique use and create shapes out of the beads.
In my attempts to create an 'invitation sample', it dawned on me how difficult it was and I became engrossed in making more!

Equals Ten
Once I got that out of my system, I invited each child to take turns creating an image of their choice by arranging the beads.

Later in the day, Ms.O and I had a chance to do various equations that equal ten and examine the pattern that creates on the abacus.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sci Fri: Snowball Shooters

Watermelon wielding snowlady

Our last snow-themed project for the rainiest January we've ever encountered, involved shooting pom poms out a snowmans butt:)
In other!

Ms. C's Sweet Snowgirl

Ms.C sweetly aiming at the camerawoman!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Psychedelic Snowflakes

Ms. O's work of art

With this unseasonably warm weather, it's put a bit of a damper on our Snow Theme and the projects that require cold, white and fluffy stuffy. 
So we've rounded up the last of our theme's art/science projects for this week.

To make psychedelic snowflakes, you only need coffee filters, scissors and paint.

Vegan Bites: Lemon Chia Muffins

Ms. C and I were up and at 'em this morning, baking muffins while the siblings slept.

Lemon and coconut are a great combo!!