This morning rolled out as it usually does, with kids up around 7:30, all five of us around the breakfast table in front of the smorgasbord that Saïd usually prepares. This man does not do a small, quick breakfast. That’s probably a good thing, as regardless of the multiple plates at the table, the kids are still ready for a snack one hour later.

costumeWe had had a fun and crazy week with various activities and appointments and a visit from friends, but this morning we got back to routine, including SQUILT, math and writing. Zahra worked on her costume for the play (she’ll wear this with a brown tank top and leggings for The Paper Bag Princess). I’m also trying some grammar exercises with Zahra. The girl reads and writes all the time, so grammar as an exercise is not something we’ve ever done (with the exception of a few days of regular verb conjugation). I asked her to read a chapter in a grammar book (which she found so boring as to be insulting) and then to tell me which verbs in a list were infinitives and which were conjugated, and also if the conjugation was past, present or future tense. I’m on the fence about the necessity of all this. I myself have a deep understanding of grammar and syntax (that came later for my native tongue at the same time I was trying to learn a foreign language, and it was still later strengthened by linguistics classes at university). I enjoy it. Because she reads so much, all of this comes naturally to Zahra. She knows how to do it (verb conjugation, sentence structure—and this in two languages) but not necessarily why. She can write prepositional phrases with ease, but when asked what a prepositional phrase is, she balks. So I’m going to ask her to read the grammar book, as I think it will click for her quickly without having to do the more monotonous writing exercises.

libraryThe kids played for a bit before lunchtime, and then it was off to the downtown library. I plugged the meter for two hours. Passersby smiled as we walked toward the library, laden down with thirty or so books to return, the kids talking excitedly about what books they wanted. I love how they just burst into a library, whispering hurriedly, on the brink of finding treasure.

I was also on a mission, mine being to find some books that gave good descriptions of Viking longhouses and also to find another books series that might interest Noah. He’s halfway through the eighth book of the Agent Jean series, which to my knowledge is the last (as he’s not interested in the hors série volume). I remembered that my friend’s son is into the Magic Treehouse series, and I found them in French. I chose a few that seemed especially adventurous. It’s going to be hard to follow Agent Jean, but I’m hoping these might do the trick. Later in the day, he was slow to come to the dinner table because he was engrossed in his book. These days, when I call him and he doesn’t answer, he’s got his nose in a book.

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routine deviationWe finally left the building with a couple dozen books in tow, as well as some books on CD for our upcoming road trip. We will be going to Kentucky for my niece’s baptism and breaking up the trip into a few days so we can hit some museums along the way. As the kids buckled themselves in, I checked my email—and lucky me, I had just received a message from a curator a the Redpath Museum that my Canadian Wildlife Federation backpack had IMG_7432arrived! We were ten minutes away from McGill, so we drove there straight away to pick it up. We also took advantage of being on the campus to do a quick visit of the Redpath Museum. I told the kids that routine has its merits, and that I was happy we had accomplished a lot this morning—but that it was always exciting to take a little deviation from routine. And here we were with an unexpected downtown excursion to pick up a bag full of treasure.

I am so excited to get this backpack! And even though Zahra has laid claim to the great backpack itself, it’s jam-packed with supplies for the Nook’s Nature Hour. There’s a tarp, a net, a compass, markers, activity cards, two books, twine, rope, spray bottle and more—all free from the Canadian Wildlife Federation! It’s amazing, and we will undoubtedly put it to good use.

We shared our treasure with Jill and her kids when they came over for dinner. The kids played for a while, and then it was time for bed. A busy weekend ahead of us!

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