Over the past three days, we have seen record downfall in the Greater Montreal area. It’s kept us indoors but it hasn’t dampened our spirits. For one thing, listening to pounding rain on a barn rooftop is quite amazing—and that’s what we did all day on Thursday at the Nook.

maple tour

We had a Maple Tour scheduled first thing in the morning, and the Quinns didn’t bat an eye at the rain, so neither did we. We skipped what would have been a bumpy, sloshy wagon ride and opted to tap a tree out front instead. Phil taught the kids about the different parts of the tapping equipment and how to tap maple trees. Then, we filed into the little boiling shack to see the sap being boiled down to syrup. Finally, we all got to taste some delicious maple taffy on snow.

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Back inside, the kids were kept busy—and active—with capoeira. This was also the morning that Zahra got her violin. She’s so excited that she keeps calling it “my precious” à la Gollum. This morning, too, she got it back out right after breakfast to try a few notes. I can’t help but smile to see her so in love with the instrument. Noah’s keeping up with piano, so between those two and the djembes and the euphonium and the oud, and Zahra’s voice, we’re going to make up quite an interesting Yagoubs’ Family Band.

pop-up booksNext was a new class at the Nook: pop-up books! The kids paired up to develop a story. After composing their text in French and sketching out their pictures, they’ll make hardcover pop-up books that they get to keep. Zahra and Madalina are working together on a story about a wolf and…something. We’ll find out soon.

violinWhile Zahra was in art (painting something that makes her happy), Noah was in biology. They dissected seeds and threw some beans and lentils in a jar with a moist paper towel. Noah stuck his jar in the living room and will take it back to Zahira’s class in two weeks.

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building clubLeila was also with us at the Nook on Thursday, mostly catching up with her little friends, but she did join in for Building Club. I bounced between her and Zahra who was in Kristin’s Aquaponics class. They learned about classification and had to figure out a pneumonic device to remember the taxonomic order (Z and I came up with: Don’t Keep Parrots Closed Off From Grape Soda). Then, they tried to classify the fish we have in our aquarium.

Funny enough, this morning, when I pulled out our plans de scolarisation to see what we have left to cover this year, I found “organisation du vivant” on Zahra’s list. Woohoo! Thanks, Kristin. Check.










plansAnd that’s what we did on this wet morning: we checked over the academic plans we had made over the summer to see how far along we are in accomplishing our goals. I was relieved to see that we’re doing great. We also made pear pie, so we celebrated after lunch. And watched the rain.

Our Robotics Club ended on Wednesday with a Battle of the Bots. The kids really, really enjoyed robotics. They have one more Journée sportive, and then our “required”, regular downtown trips are done. That in itself is a relief. The weather is getting better and better, and I’m looking forward to less and less time in the car.

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Then again, there is such a thing as too much free time: