Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Slim pickings and other things...

How are you all doing in this chilly weather? I've got three layers of clothes, two pairs of socks and slippers on at the moment but I still need the heating on! It's absolutely freezing at our place!

This morning Rebekah was looking for a phone that she plays with, my old mobile phone to be precise! Who wants a toy phone when you can have the real thing! I had to help as she couldn't find it among her myriad of toy boxes and shelves! I being ever so opportunistic thought I'd try to "cull" some of her toys. My serious attempts in the past haven't gone very far as she unfortunately seems to be a hoarder! Well, after I successfully talked her into parting with some of her toys, this is what we came up with:

4 measly items!

I suppose it's better than nothing:)

Yesterday we saw "Toy story 3" at the movies in 3D, woohoo! I've told you before I've had a deprived childhood, well, I've not told you that I think I've also had a a deprived adulthood because this is my first ever 3D movie in my whole life! :) It was GREAT. I was a bit apprehensive of the 3D factor at first as I've heard people say it gives them a headache, makes them nauseous etc but thankfully I didn't experience any of that. Now..... I've heard that they're making 3D tv's, hmmm, not sure about that though, I think I'd rather have the novelty factor at the movies than in my home everyday. What do you think?

And in other news, we've successfully finished term 1 of year 1 with Rebekah doing very well with her end of term exams. I should really post about our curriculum shouldn't I, I'll try to soon....

In the subject of "handicrafts" though, I must say, we are not doing too well:( Charlotte Mason will definitely not be proud of me in this subject! Just take a look at our project below. I thought we'd start off with something small, well, it's still very small:).....the picture of what it should like is on the right and our attempts on the left (which we've been working on for more than a year) (insert embarassed grin here)! Is there any hope?

Well, I'm not one to give up too quickly, so we persevere.....I'll definitely show it to you when it's completed. I promise!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The best toys came cheap!

Rebekah asked me the other day to get out her set of mega blocks that I bought when she was much littler and had packed away because she had grown out of it! Or so I thought! Anyway, while she was having so much fun playing with them the other day it occurred to me how a lot of the toys she loves to play with didn't cost much at all! She has toys ranging in price from $1 or to $100 and yet who would have known that these things I picked up for next to nothing give her the most fun!

Aforementioned mega blocks set cost me $1 on ebay:

This toy piano cost me $2 at a garage sale:

And this keyboard set me back by a whole $5 at an op shop!!!

The above two provide Rebekah with endless music making fun!

Who would have thought.....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spontaneous nature study and education

I was feeling like a hen in a coop waiting to be let out after all the rain we've had and also being under the weather a bit (both Rebekah and I) of late!
So at the first glimpse of sunshine yesterday morning we seized the opportunity to head out to one of our nearby nature reserves.

It turned out to be a very educational morning (though I didn't plan for it to be that way!)

For instance on the drive there, we were listening to the classical radio station and a piece of music we recognised came on, so we spent some time trying to guess the composer. I don't actually think that either Rebekah or I got it right but we tried never the less:)

(On a side note, we recently flew down to Melbourne for a wedding and guess what Rebekah listened to on the plane - the classical channel - she went through a few of the channels they had and chose that herself - she actually loves classical music, hallelujah!)

Anyway, back to my day yesterday:

This nature reserve has a lake with ducks and up until a couple of years ago, a duck was a duck to me.
I did not realise that there were so many "types" of ducks with their own separate names...I know, I'm a city born and bred, nature ignorant person.
My favourite I think is a "chestnut teal".

Anyway, Rebekah was having so much fun feeding the ducks when I decided to get out our field guide for birds (which I always carry in our outdoors bag) and try to identify some of the ducks we saw in the pond.
I didn't manage to get pictures of them all but here's some pics I took.

We then collected some feathers and thanks to Anna Botsford Comstock, I am now learning that ducks have different types of feathers on their body that serve different functions. We collected some to take home and study.

We then did some tree climbing after lunch and yes with Rebekah being an only child, I have to "join in" on Rebekah's play many times, so don't laugh:

We then observed some of the fallen leaves and as we headed back to the car after a couple of hours, Rebekah said to me that we should have "drawn" something in our nature journals!

Then later at home, Rebekah called me to our back yard to check out some "cute little creatures" that were swimming in a unused pot of water.
I told her they were some type of worms!

This morning she went out to our back yard again to check out the worms and I decided to use the opportunity to actually find out what they were.

Turns out that these little "worms" that I would have previously called them and even referred to them as late as this morning are actually young mosquitoes...once again Anna and her "Handbook of Nature Study" came to the rescue and we spent some time observing and learning about Mosquitoes. The wonders of nature are truly amazing if we just have our eyes opened to observe them.

Rebekah then proceeded to get out her "Christian liberty nature reader" and found a chapter on "mosquitoes" which she read herself. She then proceeded to tell me why the little wigglers or larvae stick their tails up at the surface of the's because they have little hairs at the end of their tails that they breathe with.

So, there you go....all of this education happened spontaneously with Rebekah and this city girl is enjoying and learning alongside her daughter:)