When I saw that there was fishing for lil kiddos, I knew i had to sign us up. It was one activity that I knew hubs would jump at and get all excited about. The boys were excited too of course, although lil Irfan does actually prefer to sit with me with his book. Me with my homework to read and Irfan with his Pete the cat book.
What an awesome program, right by a lake a short drive from our place! It’s just an experience of fishing. You just come between 10-1pm, pick up a rod and some worms, that are provided free and just fish. There are some experts around to help guide you if you don’t know what to do, but we have hubs who loves nothing more than fishing- okay maybe fishing ranks as high as Man United and maybe MMA.

It was crazy weather that day. It would be nice warm and sunny for like 15 minutes before the clouds rolled by and it was freezing cold for another 15 minutes before the clouds rolled away. It was like that all day! I just watched the clouds hoping for them to roll away faster, while the boys fished!
I made the mistake of taking a picture of the first fish they caught, for purpose of this blog. And then Ihsan insisted that I take a picture of every little fish they caught. It was very disruptive. Between cloud watching and taking pics of the fish, I got very little reading done. =(

Ihsan trying to kiss the fish! sighs…

But they had a fab time, which is what matters most! I’m thinking as I’m loading this pics- that I’m going to miss the warm toasty sun…I’d better enjoy the weather while it lasts!

Tiny Trekkers…

It’s not been an easy last few weeks. Although we are quite settled and happy in our new home, I am still transitioning into my new role now as a student, a mother in-school and a home-schooling parent. And for some reason, I can’t stop cooking- so that, especially hunting down Asian ingredients, takes a lot of time too!
The beautiful building where the class is held.

Look, life at work in Singapore was definitely more stressful and more challenging. But it was familiar. I think what I’m struggling with now, is the ‘newness’ of being back in school, dense readings, concepts and having people grade my work. 

I also think that our decision to home-school the boys adds a different dimension of stress that I had not experienced before. I think i may have spent more time with my boys over the last few weeks we’ve been here than in the last 6 months we were in Singapore. I was always sneaking out before they woke up, that I spent very few hours of the day with them.

Ihsan was stoked that the
 first class was about fish!
Here, i take Mondays and Wed mornings when    we do Malay or Arabic (ngaji or quranic recitation). Iman takes Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings when they do English or Math (How we are progressing on this front, deserves it’s own blog post. Watch out for it!).

We spend Thursday mornings at Tiny Trekkers (but not before a round of spelling =P), a program run by the Evanston Ecology Centre
Since we’re home-schooling them, we looked for opportunities for the boys to interact with other children and we are very very lucky that there are so many educational activities, most at very reasonable prices, for our boys.

My kids loved the fishing activity!
Tiny Trekkers focuses on what we can learn about wild-life. It was very interesting that during the last class we learnt about the raccoon- it’s an animal that the boys are not at all familiar with.
The class is designed the usual way these classes are- some intro activity indoors, outdoor activity, snack time, craft, story time and songs. It’s like sending my kids to Julia Gabriel’s but at a fraction of the cost!
I’m loving this experience because I have never seen my kids in a classroom environment before. I usually sneak out of the house before they wake up in Singapore so I never really drop them off at school. Plus we never did sign them up for enrichment classes- we were too stingy to part with our money- so I’m fascinated to see how they interact with others, listen to the teacher, get excited over the activities, etc.

When I used to work as a teaching assistant at JGC, i did remember observing how excited and fascinated parents look about what their kid says and does. Now I know what it feels like to be on the other side. 
Taking the time to attend these activities with my kids, instead of heading to the library to read or tackle assignments, is really important, especially if I’m to meet my goal of nurturing the relationship between my children and I
Hidden forest animals, waiting for the children to discover then!

We’ve signed up for more one-off events with the centre, like a campfire experience. It is wonderful that we have this opportunity to experience a whole different part of the world, its beautiful flora and fauna! I’ll definitely keep you updated.

Irfan and his list, which included raccoons and beavers, animals we aren’t familiar with.

The boys spot a hawk in the tree (it is not real, this picture isn’t very clear)!

My two lil raccoons!