Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Unit Study: Japan

Im planning to do a Unit Study: Japan. Here are a few things I'd like to cover...
Let's see how things go...

Things we'd like to cover:
I. General facts about Japan:
- flag, continent, capital, population, currency, geography, seasons, clothing, government leader, etc
II. Historical facts
III. Important people, events and places
- Artist: Yayoi Kusama
III. Stories and Folk Tales
IV. Japanese Words and Phrases
V. Create something Japanese
- Sudoku
- Origami
- Color a Kimono
- Sushi Making Day
- Draw Japanese Cartoons (Kodomomuke)
VI. Immersion Trip
- Write about My favourite day, thing, place, memory, _______

Some useful links:

Kids Web Japan

Japan Printables

Geography Study


Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Love love love. Where to begin?

Love can be warm and cozy. Hugs and kisses for a happy moment. 
A long hug on a disappointing day. Coffee and conversations while 
on a long drive. Lounging and laughter on a relaxed weekend.  

Love can be cold and harsh. Going to work when you prefer to stay 
at home. Doing mundane chores when you’d much rather relax. 
Waking up at odd hours to comfort a crying baby. Raising a child. 
Staying strong for the sick and dying. Foregoing luxury now in favour 
of the future.  Saying no when things aren’t right. Agreeing to disagree 
when you can’t compromise. Asking for forgiveness when you are 
in the wrong. Letting go when you’re itching to hold back. 

Love can be fire and passion. Embracing change despite the fears. 
Moving forward because it’s for the best. Baking a beautiful cake 
for a special occasion. Cooking a favourite dish to celebrate a 
success. Sex with the one you’re married to for life. Raising a child. 
Encouraging someone to pursue their dreams. 

We do ourselves a disservice when we expect a song, a book or 
a movie to portray an accurate depiction of love. How can something 
so immense and glorious be expressed in such short a time? Expect 
to see a mere moment of love. Nothing more. Real life and real love 
is an intricate tapestry of emotions and experiences. It is different things 
at different times. Love is something nurtured and cultivated for 
a lifetime. If you must, look to those who live a life of love. Learn from 
their stories of failure and success. Avoid the pitfalls and trappings. 
Do what needs doing constantly and consistently. Pray, act and believe 
that you too will reap the fruits of your labour of love.

Remember remember remember. LOVE is ancient and eternal. Love 
springs forth from the Almighty who is Father, Son and Spirit. God 
who is Creator, Redeemer and Paraclete. The One for whom our hearts 
will always be restless until it rests in Thee. You cannot give what you 
do not have. And so, you and I must, could and should — 
love and be loved by LOVE.  

Love in a chorus? Love in a page? Love in a scene? 
That’s not all there is. That’s not all it can be. 
It’s more more more.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Raising Readers

If I had my way, you would often find the children and I gathered
around a circle. Or sitting cozily on the sofa. Or idly lounging around.
We'd be spending hours on end reading good books. We'd be reading
away without a care in the world.

If. I. Had. My. Way.... But I don't....

I live in a world where life is just happy busy. There are toys to be
played. There are gadgets fighting for our attention. There are chores
to be done. We're simply not reading as much as I'd want for us to.

So here I am again, trying to put more consistency in our reading time.
Reading in our different ages and stages. Trying to find our rhythm.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Cup of Tea

A Cup of Tea

When the world is all at odds
And the mind is all at sea
Then cease the useless tedium
And brew a cup of tea.
There is magic in its fragrance,
There is solace in its taste;
And the laden moments vanish
Somehow into space.
The world becomes a lovely thing!
There’s beauty as you’ll see;
All because you briefly stopped
To brew a cup of tea.

- - - - -
"Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate 
the innermost values of diverse cultures.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique

ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind."


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Easy DIY Play Dough

After going through tubs and tubs of store bought play dough, we've
finally made our own homemade play dough. The kids are ecstatic
because we now have a fresh supply of play dough as soon as our
stock runs out.

The kids just love love love making this play dough. There very few
ingredients so they just dump everything in the bowl and mix away.
Minimal to no supervision required. And because the ingredients are
your everyday pantry items, you need not worry about spending extra
to make the play dough. Just mix up all the ingredients and you're done.

There are different ways of making play dough. This version is quick
and easy to make. No cooking required! It's a small batch which means
it wont be around for very long. If you have littles, I'm sure you know
what I mean when I say that the stuff can get nasty as the kids play
with it. If you want a bigger batch, just double the recipe. Voila! The
homemade play dough is now double the fun.

Easy DIY Play Dough

* 1 cup flour
* 1/2 cup salt
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 tbsp cooking oil
* 2 tsp cream of tartar

- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well blended.
  Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Go Grow Glow Foods

M's recent homework was on healthy lunch choices.
He had cut outs of what a healthy school lunch should look like.
It was a chance for us to talk about which foods were a good idea
for morning tea and lunch.

I thought it was a good idea to continue the discussion and talk
about Go, Grow and Glow Foods. What they are and why they're
important in keeping us healthy:
Go foods provide us with energy.
Grow foods help us grow bigger and stronger.
Glow foods give our skin glow and boost our immune system.

"Treats" are meant to be out of the ordinary (def.) and are not
a major food group.

Obesity is all too common in our society today. Good health isn't
something we suddenly have. It's about consistently making good
health choices and practicing self care. This is isn't a one time talk.
It's an ongoing conversation that our family will be having for many
years to come.

Go Grow Glow Guide (NAQ Nutrition)
Harvard Healthy Eating Plate
Food Plate Template + Food
HealthyBalanced Plate Activity

Monday, April 25, 2016

Shakespeare for Children {Part 1}


If you find the thought intimidating, well you and me both. I know
of a few moms who read Shakespeare to their children because
Shakespeare is something dear to them. They are intimate with
the works and are merely passing the torch to the next generation.

I, on the other hand, have a very limited knowledge of Shakespeare.
I know of Romeo and Juliet but not much more beyond that.

Now here I am today, a mom of a 6yo, a 3.5yo and a 1.5yo, excited
to be introducing The Bard's works to my little ones.

Here are some books we'll be taking along on the journey:

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles & Mary Lamb presents
Shakespeare's works as simple stories for the children to enjoy.
The book was first published in 1807, and is said to have started
the sub genre which we now know to be Children's Shakespeare.

Once the kids are nicely settled and eating their afternoon snack,
I pull out Tales from Shakespeare and read a few pages at a time.
I usually start with a recap of what's happened then continue on
past where we ended. Nothing fancy. Just mom and the kids
reading a book and enjoying the afternoon. I'll be honest, I'll be
lucky to get in 10minutes of read aloud time. Patience. Patience.
Patience. It all builds up. When the kids get squirmy, I put down
the book and we're done for the day.

Tales from Shakespeare is available online for free. You may
find the out of copyright version here.

Shakespeare's Stories for Young Readers by E. Nesbit is another
classic Children's Shakespeare book. I posted this next so you
can compare it against the Lamb version. Either would be a good
introductory book for children.

You may find the free out of copyright version here.

I so love Teach Your Child Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig. Ludwig
introduces us to some of his favourite passages and explains what's
going on in the text. What's the story about? Why did this character
say such? What key passages should we take to heart? As a
playwright and theatre director, Ludwig's experience translated
into a book that has made the plays come to life.

Our family has been slowly trying to incorporate memory work
into our meal times. We've tried poetry and bible verses. Shakespeare
is getting thrown into the mix as well. Teach Your Child Shakespeare
has great tips on how to go about memorizing Shakespeare. This book
is worth looking into if you want to take this route.

Books you may want to consider, depending on the age and
interest of your child:

I know some moms who're fans of the Shakespeare's retellings by
Bruce Coville. The pictures are beautifully drawn and the stories
are well written. The books remind me of the illustrated classics
that I read when I was a child.

Im sure young children will have fun with The Shakespeare Can Be
Fun! books. The approach of this series is more modern than the
other books mentioned. I'm sure my children will easily relate to
the illustrations in the book. Im tempted to go with this series next.

Mr. William Shakespeare's Plays by Marcia Williams is another
popular modern book that would appeal to children who like
comic books. The text is a bit small so it might appeal to those
who are already confident readers.

There you have it, a few books on Shakespeare for Children.
I hope you enjoy reading the books as much as we do in our home!