Posted in Cooking with the Kiddies, Uncategorized

Social Distancing in the Kitchen

In our normal life I don’t cook much, it’s not that I don’t like to cook, or am not very good at it, it’s just that I’m never home long enough to cook. A few years ago we starting using meal kit delivery.  We did Chef’s Plate for about a year but the kids found their meals a bit too adventurous.  We switched the Hello Fresh and have been getting their meal kits for a few years now.  With these meal kits I know that we are at least eating a well balanced meal at least 3 times a week.  Whoever is home first makes it and everyone eats when then can, rarely together.

Since school’s have been closed dinner time has changed dramatically in our house.  We have sat down to dinner, the 5 of us, almost every night for 2 weeks now.  I can’t remember the last time that happened.  I have kept up our Hello Fresh deliveries, mostly because that way I know whatever happens with food availability in the next couple weeks/months we ‘should’ have 3 well balanced meals a day.  The others days of the week I have started to cook again, and I am having fun with it.  I am trying to get through the many items that have been stocked in my pantry and freezer over the past year.  We are trying to support local.  Today we got fresh bread order from The Good Bread Company, and picked up a drive through market order from Heritage Lane Produce.  Earlier in the week we received a Dover Rocks Box, with cheese, bread and sweets from small shops in Port Dover. I dare to say that we are eating now better than ever (Eileen is becoming a bit of a cheese snob).

The other great thing is that there are so many chefs doing online cooking demonstrations for free, as many people now have more time on their hands.  There are many out there but the one I have been following is from another local business, Ritzy Cakes.   Michael Reitz is #chefisolation and he is posting video on the Ritzy Cakes Facebook page.  You can watch them live or look through their page for past videos.  Last weekend I made the crepes and tonight I made the Pasta Carbonara.  They were both awesome and devoured by my entire family.  On Saturday morning I’m going to tackle the Eggs Benny.  I love trying these new things, and it is a great way to keep busy and motivated.  The next time I need a cake for a birthday or other event I’m definitely calling Ritzy Cakes! (for some reason I can’t upload a photo of my crepes but here is the pasta)

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Posted in Home Activites

Counting at Home

I been trying to think of fun suggestions for parents to do with Kindergarten aged kids at home.  We work on a model of Play-Based learning while continuing to strive for academic excellence.  At the same time, I feel time might be better spent focusing on a few basic concepts rather than trying to teach new material. By this time of year we have been working ALOT on counting.  We start right in September and focus on counting concepts throughout the year.  We are checking in with students all the time to see how they are learning and developing and make guide groups in class to work with students at their individual levels.

When going through my Twitter feed I came across the perfect activity/challenge to do at home with Kindergarten aged children while schools are closed.

Counting Collections – Click on the hyperlink and watch this video.  I am trying to find another way to share it and will post as soon as I am able.  The video outlines the many, many skills children develop as they count collections of things, in and around their home.  I encourage you to try this with your children.  Have them count collections of their favourite things.  Let them explore how numbers work.

One of the professional resources I have been exploring is called ‘How Children Learn Number Concepts’ by Kathy Richardson.  It is amazing the number of skills children are learning just by counting objects:

  • Counts one item for each number.
  • Keeps track of an unorganized pile.
  • Notices when recounting results in a different number.
  • Spontaneously checks by recounting to see if the result is the same.
  • Knows “how many” after counting.
  • Counts out a particular quantity.
  • Estimates while counting.

These are just some of the things your child’s teacher is working with them on while they are counting.

Try out the challenge.  If you share on social media remember to tag @UCLAMathProject as it is their challenge but also tag me @KEMmommy so I can see your amazing work.  Also feel free to email me photos or videos if you would like me to post them (or just to share privately.)

 

 

Posted in science

Exploring Space!

One of the projects Eileen’s teacher sent home was a start to their unit on space.  She had a little booklet to fill out on on different components in the solar system.  I was hoping to expand on this work, and maybe spark a new interest.  I have taught science a few times at different ends of the spectrum.  In teacher’s college I taught the entire space unit to a Grade 9 Academic Science class.  A few years later we did a large space inquiry in my Kindergarten class.  Hence – I have a number of great space resources at a wide variety of levels.  I gave her my box to explore and she pulled out a series of books by Thomas K. Adamson through Capstone Press.

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The reading level of these books is easy but they are full of great facts!  When needed she searched the internet to add more details.

We have been watching more movies and TV while on social distancing so I thought it would be great to check out some great documentaries on space.  We started by getting a 30 day preview to BBC Earth through our Prime subscription.   Our first goal was to get through the series, “Wonders of the Solar System.”  Yesterday we watched the first episode, “Empire of the Sun.”


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Continue reading “Exploring Space!”

Posted in Uncategorized

No trouble keeping busy – yet

Surprisingly, yesterday ended up being a very busy day.  It was St. Patrick’s Day, so we had stocked up on appropriate groceries to have our St. Patrick’s Day feast.

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Earlier in the day we decided it was time to tackle some ‘school’ tasks.  Eileen’s teacher has sent home a fair bit if work, and most of it looks fun.  Michael’s did not, which is OK, but we are using some other things to keep him working.  One of the sites Eileen’s teacher recommended was the Scholastic Magazines.  Many of the teachers in our school use them in their classes.  I found the Grade 3-5 link for Michael and love the way it is set up.  For each day they have 3 articles, with follow up activities listed.  In our house that means choice – he needs to pick one of the three to complete.  These are very easy to use and there is even a text-to-speech feature that your child can use to listen to the article.

The afternoon was spent preparing for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  Kaitlyn and I had previously come up with a menu but Eileen decided, last minute, that we NEEDED green cupcakes.  They could have used more green food colouring but I think they turned out OK, and she was happy.

Posted in Uncategorized

Taking it Day by Day

Today we ventured out of the house, but don’t worry we practiced social distancing.  We live just outside a moderately sized town but I headed into the smaller town that is also very near.  I wanted to stock up a few things while supporting a few of my favourite small businesses.  My first stop was to a caterer friend who makes freezer meals, so I could stock up my Grandmother’s freezer.  Next I hit the cheese shop, gluten free bakery and finally the chocolate store to get a hot chocolate (that I may not be able to get for a while).

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After we got home Eileen really wanted to go for a bike ride. Right now I am VERY grateful we live in the country.  I could not imagine still living in our small condo in the city as we go through all of this!  It won’t be easy but we have LOTS to be thankful for!

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Posted in Uncategorized

Taking up a Hobby

It is officially Day 2 but it is the first day that we really have done much.  Dance was still on yesterday and things were still really sinking in.  We now have our groceries and are starting to adjust to this new reality.  We are not in a complete shut down but are practice social distancing.  Yesterday Eileen was cleaning out her closet and found a knitting loom.  She unravelled it last night and decided it would be a good time to restart.  Kaitlyn then decided that she would like to knit as well.  Luckily we had another loom.

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My first lesson, follow the lead of your kids.  It will amaze you what they decide they want to do.  If you want to try looming you can get a kit on Amazon and they will deliver right to your door (no need to venture out).

I’m still looking for something to inspire my 9 year old to get off technology, I’ll let you know how that goes.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Reason to Return to Blogging

I have not been onto my blog for a VERY long time.  My kids are now older, the world has changed a bit and we are a very busy family.  Usually we are never home, running between hockey arenas and dance studios.  My eldest is now 14, middle 11 and my son 9. Life is very different.  Professionally I am still in my Kindergarten class but I have done a lot of PD and my outlook on early education has continued to evolve.

And then everything started to change ….

Back in January my girls and I went to see ‘Come from Away’ in Toronto.  It is an amazing musical but the conversations we started to have have become some much more relevant in the last 3 days.  The song ‘I Am Here’ touched me more than any other in the entire musical.  Throughout history big events happen that are so relevant that everyone remembers where they were when it happened.  I remember being at our local arena with my Dad, listening the the radio, when the first Iraq War started.  I remember sitting in history class learning of the fall of the Berlin wall.  And I knew exactly what my answer was when my girls asked, “Where were you on September 11th?”  (For anyone interested, I had been married exactly 1 month, living in a condo in Mississauga, and I watched the events unfold on TV until I had to drive and pick up my husband from the subway station after his building was evacuated.)

The new question – where were you when the realization of COVID-19 hit.  We knew something was happening but had not really grasped how significant until …

March 13th – During the day I received an email saying our dance studio was having and emergency parent meeting at 7:00 that evening.  After I dropped the girls off just before 4:00 at the studio I headed home to do a quick workout and on the way heard that schools would be closed for the 2 weeks after March Break.  Short to day I didn’t get my workout in (first day in 73 days I missed).  I watched the news until I had to go to the meeting at 7:00.  We are a competitive dance team and had a meeting about how competitions would be affected.  In the days since then we have heard about travel advisories, social distancing, and toilet paper shortages.  There has since been balance in our house as we have heeded all the warnings but then the last family member who was still holding out (my husband) finally acknowledged something when he suggested we cancel brunch this morning.  We were planning on supporting a small local restaurant for brunch but the last warning that everyone returning from travel quarantine themselves was the thing that hit home for him (2 other partners at his firm were just returning from vacation).  There are things about this outbreak I will remember but March 13th will definitely be one of them.

So  … I thought I would use this opportunity to start up my blog.  I have lots of plans for these 3 weeks (or however long we are off).  I will share what my children are doing, professional reading and learning, and possibly other things that come along.