Monday, February 25, 2013

Six Star Award

Delta Receives his 6 Star Award.
I am one proud mom right now!   This Saturday, the day after Baden-Powell's Birthday, Delta was presented with his "Six Star Award" in Cubs.  This is a great achievement, especially when you consider that he has only been in cubs for a year and a half.

So, what is the "Six Star Award"?  Well, first you need to know a bit about Canadian Scouting.  In Cubs, which is for youth ages 8-10, there are 3 types of badges they can earn.  The first is interest badges - which cubs pick out of what they are interested in.  Delta has earned many of these.   Then there are the Stars, and then there are Awards.  The Stars are generally worked on during Cub meetings, but can also be worked on by themselves.  Awards are for Cubs that wish to do more after earning a Star.  They are generally considered "extra".  Delta haw one so far, and has set his sights in the rest.   

So, there are 6 stars:  Black for doing activities in Nature;  Green for activities Outside (hiking, camping, cub skills);  Tawny for Creative activities;  Red for Physical Fitness and Health;  Blue for citizenship in the home and community;  Purple for citizenship in Canada.   By earning all the stars, a cub is learning skills in a variety   of areas that help them be well rounded.  I don't know what the statistics are, but although it isn't rare, I don't think many cubs do earn all 6 stars.  More in some groups, and less in others.    Delta is also the first cub to earn all six since his cub pack re-opened 3 years ago.

Just to make his day even better - it was the big Kub Kar Rally.  (Ok, I don't know who decided  years ago that Kub Kar should be spelt with K's...)    Delta spent a lot of time deciding how he wanted his car to look.  He made a great diagram on our white board - including where to cut - and that a portion cut off was to be added to the back to make it look like a rocket.   I wish I took a picture!   Delta made the car with his dad, and painted it on his own.

It was a bit disheartening to see his car race - it came in last or 2nd last in almost every race.  It came time for the results.....  and Delta won first for "Best Designed Car"!   So it worked out well, and he was so pleased.

Delta won the Best Kub Kar design

Monday, February 18, 2013

She's Reading!

Foxtrot read this book!

Yes, it is true, Foxtrot is definitely reading.   We finished "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" a while ago, and she has been reading quite well.  She just read "Make Way for Ducklings" over the last few days, and only needed help with a few words.  She has also been known to read to Golf.

This week coming up looks pretty interesting.  We are going to be watching Zulu and Yankee for most of Wednesday, and probably all of Thursday.  As today is a holiday here as well - I don't see us getting much schoolwork done this week at all.   I sure hope the weather will be good so they can get a lot of outdoor time!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Making AO our Own

When I first set to the task of Canadianizing AO, it seemed like an insurmountable job.  But I eventually found some help from this post at A peaceful day, which helped me define the steps better for what I was trying to do.  I do a few things a little differently, and thought I would try to put to words the process.

I think there are 2 main stages - general planning, and then scheduling.  The general planning takes the longest.   (It took me 3 years to find a Canadian History spine for years 3-5 that I felt met the CM standards, and was available for free.)

General Planning
First I look through the AO year that I am working on next.  I try to do this over a year in advance, as this can take a while.  What books are very American, that I might want to take out?  What time period are we in?

For each book I decide to replace from AO, I do some looking around to find an appropriate replacement Canadian book. For example, in Year 3, I knew I wanted to replace Squanto.  It was American History (not to mention out of print.)  I determined it was placed in about the 1690's.  So I hoped to find a good Canadian History book in around the general time frame.    Obviously I can't always meet all the criteria, but I hope to find something around the same length, with a similar number of chapters, similar difficulty.  And it should be a living book.  And my preference is for it to be something that is available free, or is available at our library, or is something we already own.

I try to find history books - but I also try to find Canadian literature as well.  (I hope to do more Canadian artists, music, etc as well...  we have done some, but not too formally at this point.)  I try to have at least one Canadian literature book each year....

By this point, I should have a good idea of which books will be replaced, and which books are being added.     I copy the AO weekly schedule for the year into Microsoft Word.  I do a bit of formatting changes - mainly taking each list for each week, and change it to a numbered list.  (I do this to help me know how many readings there are.)  For AO books that list a reading with several chapters together, I separate those readings to a reading per chapter.

I then look at the first book I am replacing.  If the number of chapters/readings are the same - then I just replace the one book with the other on where it is scheduled.  If the number of readings are different (or it is a rarer added book) - then I look at the number of readings for the book I'm adding.  Is it something that will go nicely into the year (or term, if for only one term?)  For instance, I determined that the History Spine Readings for Year 3 (Child History of the US, and the way I'd broken down Story of Canada) came up to 18 readings over the entire year.  This would fit nicely for every other week.  I celebrated that one as the Marco Polo book I chose also had 18 chapters - so we alternate a Canada/US reading with a Marco Polo reading.     Some patterns can be a little weird.  20 chapters over a term, for instance, go along the lines of 2 chapters, 2 chapters, 1 chapter....

So now, I have removed all books we won't be doing, and have "pencilled in" the new books.  I now look at the number of readings each week - which is easy because Word numbered them for me!   The number of readings generally isn't the same every week - but is generally within a couple.  Year 3, for instance, seemed to vary from 8 to 12 readings.  I look at the heavier weeks (the 12) and see if something could easily be moved to one of the lighter weeks (the 8).  

A couple of other things I do - I use a different coloured font (blue) for the new books I put into the schedule, so I know at a glance if something was from AO or from me.   I also go through and highlight (yellow) the first time a book is used that we need from the library.    The weekly lists that I have as a result are put in my children's planners.  When they do a reading, they cross it off the list.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Canadianized AO - Year 3

Most of the year will be based on AO's Year 3

Booklist Change Summary:

  • Remove - This Country of Ours. 
  • Add - A Child's History of the United States by Charles Morris
  • Add - Story of Canada - by E. L. Marsh
  • Add - Canadian Minutes from Historica (these are the "Canadian Minute" ads from TV - we watch them online)
  • Remove - American Folk Tales
  • Add - The Spirit of Canada 
  • Add - The Secret World of Og - Pierre Burton -> added as a Free Read
  • Remove - Squanto
  • Add - Madeleine Takes Command
  • We don't do Trial and Triumph
  • (Add - Young Folk's History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by Nephi Anderson) 
Note - I generally tried not to add something without removing something, so as not to overburden the year. For History, This Country of Ours is removed because we don't need that amount of US History (and I don't like the Anti-Mormon chapter) - and is replaced by A Child's History of the United States to allow for a shorter overview of American History, and Story of Canada to add in Canadian History. 

Note that the Marco Polo selection we picked - The Adventures of Marco Polo by George Towle has 18 chapters.  I have scheduled it on Even Weeks, and Canadian/US History on Odd Weeks.

Weekly Changes 
(I haven't noted the readings by week that you don't read from the AO schedule for the books that were removed.)

Week 1
  • Story of Canada 1.1 - Finding the New World - Christopher Columbus
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 10
Week 2
  • Spirit of Canada - Ti-Jean Brings Home the Moon
Week 3
  • Story of Canada 1.2 - Finding the New World - John Cabot
  • Canadian Minute - John Cabot
Week 4
  • Young Folk's History - Chapter 11
  • Spirit of Canada - Paul Bunyan Digs the St. Lawrence River
Week 5
  • Child's History of the US - Ch 1 - Columbus, the Great Sailor
Week 7
  • Child's History of the US - Ch 2 - Three Great Discoverers
Week 8
  • Young Folk's History - Chapter 12
  • Spirit of Canada - Johnny Chinook
Week 9
  • Story of Canada 2.1 - The First Explorer in Canada - Jacques Cartier
  • Canadian Minute - Jacques Cartier
Week 11
  • Story of Canada 2.2 - The First Explorer in Canada - The Mound-Builders and the Indians
Week 13
  • Child's History of the US - Ch 3 - Three Heroes of Enterprise
  • Spirit of Canada - A Fish Story
Week 14
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 13
Week 15
  • Child's History of the US - Ch 4 - How the Dutch and Quakers Came to America
Week 16
  • Spirit of Canada - Windigo Spirit
Week 17
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 14
  • Story of Canada 3.1 - Colonizers and Missionaries - The Father of New France
  • Canadian Minute - Jean Nicollet
Week 19
  • Story of Canada 3.2 - Colonizers and Missionaries - Breboeuf and His Helpers
Week 20
  • Spirit of Canada - The Giant Bear
Week 21
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 15
  • Child's History of the US - Ch 5 - Cavalier Colonies of the South
Week 23
  • Child's History of the US - Ch 6 - The Red Men, how they Lived and were Treated
  • Canadian Minute - Peacemaker
Week 25
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 16
  • Story of Canada 4.1 - The Young Colony - The Heroes of the Long Sault
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 1
  • Spirit of Canada - Big Joe Mufferaw
Week 26
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 2
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 3

Week 27
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 4
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 5
  • Story of Canada 4.2 - The Young Colony - Laval and Talon
Week 28
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 6
Week 29
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 17
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 7
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 8
  • Story of Canada 4.3 - The Young Colony - La Salle
Week 30
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 9
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 10
  • Spirit of Canada - The Cremation of Sam McGee
Week 31
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 11
  • Child's History of the US - Ch 7 - Royal Governors and Loyal Captains
Week 32 
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 12
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 13
Week 33 
  • Young Folk's History... - Chapter 18
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 14
  • Story of Canada 5.1 - Frontenac and His Times - Frontenac
  • Canadian Minute - Governor Frontenac
Week 34
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 15
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 16
Week 35
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 17
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 18
  • Story of Canada 5.2 - Frontenac and His Times - The Story of Castle Dangerous
  • Canadian Minute - Syrup
Week 36
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 19
  • Madeleine takes Command - Chapter 20