What We Did This Summer

Let’s give this (“this” being using this blog as a record of our learning activities in order to easily be able to write my end-of-year report) another try! I thought I’d start off our school/not-school year by recapping a few neat things we did over the summer.

We started off in June by taking a little day trip from Calgary to Blackfoot Crossing. It’s about an hour’s drive from Calgary, east on the Trans-Canada. I have wanted to go for a couple of years now, but we made more of an effort this time and actually set a date, as I had already started our learning plan for fall (in June?! What has gotten into me?) and it included learning about the First Nations of Canada and especially our region. I wish we had gone sooner, and we will definitely go again! It’s an absolutely beautiful site, and readily apparent why it has been a sacred site for centuries. You’re driving through dry prairie, nothing too exciting, and suddenly the prairie gives way to a lush valley and the scenery is gorgeous. Above it sits the interpretative centre (top righthand corner of the photo).

The view of the river valley at Blackfoot Crossing.

The view of the river valley at Blackfoot Crossing.

In the interpretative centre, we learned about different aspects of the Blackfoot culture, such as dances, migration, dwellings and traditions. We learned about residential schools (I added a bit of my own information to the write-up, which was very diplomatic) as well.

Our favourite part was strolling around outside, checking out the stone mounds, noteworthy sites and the traditional dance competition area. There is a walkway up to a lookout point (the vantage point of the photo above), and from here we could see pelicans circling, deciding where to land on the river below.

Blackfoot Crossing 2

In July, Neko spent a week in Edmonton with friends of ours. She was lucky enough to attend Odysseo, the Edmonton Science Centre, and the Alberta Legislature. She took the full legislature tour, which, happily, is in the Grade Four curriculum.

August was a blur of day camps and swimming. She can now jump off the diving board and swim to the edge, and dive all the way to the bottom of the pool, both of which are huge for her.

And the day before school started (September 15), we attended Homeschool Day at the Telus Spark. Neko attended the Junior Architects class and the tour of the building which covered all the aspects of their LEED certification. Great options for a little girl who dreams of being an architect or designer!

Junior architects building a wobbly tipi from PVC pipe at Telus Spark.

Junior architects building a wobbly tipi from PVC pipe at Telus Spark.

She also experimented with gears on the gear wall in the Creative Kids Museum (and later in the week went over gears and pulleys in her workbook), and of course the crowd favourite was the new Brainasium outdoor playground! The 63-foot slide was a blast.

63-foot slide in the Brainasium park

63-foot slide in the Brainasium park

IMG_3485

On the climb up.

Next up! Back to school! It’s been a hectic week!

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