Sweet Bella Vita

a dash of motherhood… a sprinkle of homeschooling… and a pinch of photography ( with a side of compassion )


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5 days of Canadian field trips… day 4

We have been having a crappy summer … lots of rain and very cool with a few exceptions

A creative and indoor outing is to a ceramic art studio

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They are all over the place now … I think it is a new trend

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If you have kids that like painting or being creative this is a great afternoon outing especially on a rainy day 🙂

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~Lisa

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5 days of Canadian field trips… day 3

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Next on our stop is the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

If  your child (or even yourself) have any interest in planes … this is the place for you!

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~Lisa


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5 days of Canadian field trips… day 2

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One of our favourite museums is the Canadian Museum of Nature 

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~Lisa

 


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5 days of Canadian field trips… day 1

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Let me kick start this 5 day series with the parliament of canada !

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This is a great field trip for kids studying the government … I would suggest maybe 8 years and up …depending on the child and their interest in architecture and /or government  as they not only learn about the government but the building itself is really beautiful to visit and learn about.

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oh and  by the way it is FREE just be careful as it fills up fast during tourist season and they have limited spaces for visits and close early in the afternoon.

~Lisa


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Curriculum

When I started homeschooling; I so badly wanted to just buy a box with everything I “needed” to homeschool. Sadly I never found this magic box… every boxed curriculum I found seemed to contain stuff that was pointless or stuff my kids didn’t want or stuff my kids already knew.

So I get curriculum from many places…

For math I highly  recommend Math Mammoth ; it is well organized and set up and the price is just perfect.

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As for other subjects; I have a variety of stuff  we use on and off depending if they are interested in using it or not at that moment.

For french we have Rosetta Stone as our main source; my review of rosetta stone is so/so ; I find it does’t pick up the kids voices that well and kind of goes from easy to expecting them to spell all of a sudden :/ I supplement with story books and shows in french.

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For italian I have these great books and italian cartoons are always very entertaining.

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For geography and history we use  ‘Canada map books’, they  are a really great place to start. We supplement with books from the library and shows  on history. 

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For science I have several kits I bought that have helped my kids learn hands on.

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I try to go with what they are into and find stuff to expand on for them to learn more … the internet is always a wonderful resource. 

And I find you don’t always need curriculum in the sense of a workbook with pages to write in but rather hands on learning is essential.  

Do you have any curriculum you love ?

Go check out the rest of the Canadian blogging team and what they use for curriculum also check out and download the FREE printable from the Canadian homeschooler on buying curriculum

~Lisa


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A Virtual Field Trip

Welcome to Quebec; where I happen to be living for the moment.

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I have to start by saying I haven’t seen that much of it in real life … I have been to Quebec city and all around the Montreal area, up north and south … but have never made it past Quebec city or to the far north.

Here are some places I am very familiar with and love:

Montreal is a great city as there are many families and many parks and green spaces. almost anywhere you are in the city you can probably find a park not far.

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One of my all time favourite places is Mount Royal … a huge green space right smack in the middle of the city. Kind of like central park … only way better 😉 , because it is a mountain and there is an amazing view from the top. (fun factThe park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also co-designed New York’s Central Park )

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Then there is Old Montreal; which takes you away and makes you feel like you are travelling through a town in Europe. With it’s cobblestone streets and the port with the huge ships … lots of fun for kids to see and explore.

Montreal is known as the underground city … because it has a vast underground subway system which is referred to as the metro … and you can shop, eat and travel all while never stepping foot outside.

Another great place that we really like is Parc jean Drapeau which is also linked to Notre Dame Island … it is a great place to bike, walk, roller blade… this is where expo ’67 was held and there is a famous sphere like ball which today is the biosphere museum   ( fun factNotre Dame Island was built in ten months from 15 million tons of rock excavated for the Montreal Metro in 1965. to clarify … when they dug out the underground metro system they came up with the plan to make a man made island from all the rubble)  also this is where the famous Canadian grand prix takes place.

I will suggest the best time to visit is May / June or September / October but if you are coming for some of the famous festivals such as the jazz or just for laughs then you would need to come during the summer months or if you are coming for the winter festival, that is usually in early February … and then the sugaring off season is always fun ( fun fact quebec is the worlds leading producer of maple syrup “with about 75 percent of global production” )

Mont Tremblant is a great day trip get away; a village on a ski mountain. We have gone in June and loved it as there were lots of neat activities such as mini put, panoramic gondola ride, luge,  and the beach to hang out at.IMG_4576IMG_4495

I asked friends to help me come up with a list of places to visit in the province and below is the places my friends mentioned 🙂

a nature park just north of montreal: http://centredelanature.laval.ca/

this place looks lovely for rescued horses:  http://ahorsetale.org/horse-rescue-wp/

a Chimpanzee Sanctuary : http://www.faunafoundation.org/the-sanctuary/

another great outdoor place: http://www.ilesaintbernard.com/en/naturalsites/refuge-faunique-marguerite-youville-wildlife-sanctuary/

http://www.matawinie.com/

water park : http://www.parcaquatique.com/en/

where ever you go; overall quebec is very family friendly and there is lots to see and do 🙂

if you visit any of these places please let me know how you liked them 🙂

please go check out my fellow Canadian bloggers with their provincial field trips here 

please enter our giveaway for this month by clicking here  Entry-Form ***

*open to Canadian residents – excluding Quebec Must be 18+ to enter. Ends April 15th, 2015 @11:59pm EST. *** sadly due to quebec regulations  which have nothing to do with myself or the Canadian homeschooler or the giveaway partner and simply due to the quebec provincial government regulations; quebec residents are not eligible for this giveaway  this month … yes it completly  sucks! :/

~Lisa

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Favourite Canadian Book (s)

It is too hard to just pick one … so I have decided to name several books that we love.

My oldest who is 9 years old really enjoys the books Canadian flyer adventure series; they are great chapter books that teach some history of Canadian events.

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My 7 year old enjoys the short stories in the two books by  Canadian author Ian James Corlett; E is for ethics and E is for Environment. Great short stoies that get kids to think about ethics and how to be kinder to the environment.

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My 4 year old  currently loves all books by Canadian author Melanie Watt. The scaredy squirrel series  is particularly entertaining to her. Actually I have to be honest all three of my kids and myself included love her stories.

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Then I have to have an honourable mention which are more work book type books rather then story books.

The map books by George Quinn and Debbie Sherman; they are absolutely awesome and my kids love the worksheets in them and they have learned so much from them.

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This is a small sample of some of our favs.

Do you have one favourite in particular or many? Honestly I am not sure I could ever pick just one favourite book.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway  for the books  ‘Disaster Strikes’ by clicking right HERE 

and visit the rest of the blogging team posts for favourite books this month HERE

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~Lisa