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Sunday, August 29, 2010

How Do My Kids Like Homeschool?

My DS was Ps'ed for Junior, Senior Kindergarten and part of grade one. That's since he turned four. I should have kept him home because he wasn't emotionally ready to handle the separation. Even though he is extremely social, his social skills are geared to adults. He LOVES being homeschooled. It allows him to be himself and not have to conform to fit in. He isn't into sports like most boys or other rough play. He likes building and using his imagination. He is my deep thinker who loves an in depth conversation on anything. It really was hard once grade one hit in PS to sit in a desk, not eat when hungry, not go to the bathroom when needed, and school rules contradicted home rules. So he wasn't meshing with the school. Further recess became a nightmare that usually ended up in someone getting hurt one way or another. Because one adult who stands on one side of a building CANNOT possibly watch 150 kids around three sides of a building and expect to have control of the situation. At home he can be himself, which includes his LOVE of learning and at public school I could see that his love of learning was dying in him and that WAS NOT o.k. with us. He doesn't always like his school work here but he understands the need for it now and he has grown in maturity so much. Also he knows here there is more emphasis on taking things in at a pace that fits him. PS was making him a nervous wreck, homeschool has allowed him to breathe and relax.
As for my daughter who is younger she was allowed to finish her first year in PS JK because she had been so looking forward to going and it allowed me time to see how homeschooling would fit with my son. Now she is relieved not to have to take the bus. And when I ask if she wants to go back to PS she says no. She knows that would mean getting up at 7.00 am getting on the bus even on the coldest of days -30C with higher wind chills. And she knows if she stays here she has more time with Mom and she still learns. And to her at five she is happy to know more free time will be had for playing her number one love at the moment :) .
I am not going to say they won't choose to return some day to PS or that I wouldn't allow them to. I have no idea what God or life has planned in the years ahead. But I am grateful and so blessed to be able to spend this precious, short time with them in their early years.
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Apples and Squirrels, Oh My!

The fruit vendor is up from the Georgian Bay. So excited to be buying bushels of apples for eating and pies. I love them crisp and sweet and ready to eat!

Next week we are going to tackle a lapbook in school that I had to make up all myself! I feel so nervous and excited all at once to tackle such a venture with the two eager kids I have. Little sponges, I call them, sucking up all the knowledge of the world they are given. My kids love learning new facts. We watched a grey 'black' squirrel bound happily along one of it's litter mates this past week in the backyard. And it got us to thinking, we know virtually nothing about squirrels other then how pesky they can be at the bird feeders.
When I get my computer back. ...I know I am sounding like a broken record here...I will post pics of the finished lapbooks.

We of course since DH was home went garage saling again. And I lucked out finding VHS of leapfrog tapes for math, phonics and alphabet. I hear they are awesome for visual learners so I can't wait to play them for DD.

Also this past week the kids were booked through the local homeschool group for swimming lessons. They get forty five minutes instruction and fifteen of play in the pool for twelve weeks starting at the end of Sept. They are really stoked. :)

I am also trying to book DD for Sparks but after submitting my form last week online still haven't heard anything so I think I will have to call the 1-800 on Monday for that. She wanted to take highland dance but....money isn't flowing from rivers. And it's ridiculously priced over $150 to start. And there are many concerts throughout the year meaning more cash out of pocket. So we figure we can wait until she is a year or two older to see if she still has the interest. Right now at five she is interested in everything but reality is we can't do it all! lol.

DS wants to join a robotics club but it won't be starting up if at all until after the PS is back in since it is a high school teacher who teaches that. I really hope they do because he is choosing it over scouts....not sure if I understand the appeal of robots but he is gung ho so I am on board with it and muddle through teaching it as best as I can. :P
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School Week Two.

Well still I am hobbling through lesson making on my old computer. So any images of the classroom or kids work will have to be posted later.
That being said. I almost felt like we got into a fantastic routine this past week. There were of course a couple of shaky moments but on the whole it went well. My grade two did a lot of math review and language also. My SK(Senior Kindergarten) was elevated to grade one work. And although she protested over some of it she can complete it with my help to read things for her. It can be so frustrating as a teacher knowing they can do the work and to have them complaining that they can't.
Anyway she also started on her word wall as we call it. A small magnetic whiteboard was put up and we focused on 'at' words this week. I put up magnetic 'at' and she had to create other words with the rest of the alphabet. We kept score and if she got ten right then she won a prize. If she got ten wrong then no prize. Needless to say she got the prizes for her repeated lists of at words throughout the week. I would write the at words on the board and when she had made them all up I asked her to read them to me. She balked at this as it seemed to complex. But gently and firmly I asked that she try. Because trying is better then sitting there saying you can't. So she did. I think she likes to memorize though as she looked away and was reciting from memory. Also a clue that I am on the right track with her being more of a visual learner.
We also started a french class as it was their decision to do a second language. I chose french for two reasons. One I took it in PS and highschool and can handle the basics without a curriculum. And two I simply wasn't ready to learn Japanese, which is what DD wanted me to teach. LOL.
It went well as we covered both numbers to ten and colors. I would say my DS has the advantage of being able to read so most work is easier for him.
And so went this week the end of term four is coming up. I have decided to make each year into quarters. Have them set goals for each quarter and tell them my expectations for them. DS wants to fly before the end of the term. :) I told him I want him to be able to do addition, subtraction and multiplication quickly and easily before we really tackle division. He is chomping at the bit, crazy boy, to learn division. :P
My daughters aspiration for this term was to see a 'field of flowers.' Well I just want her to be further along in reading by the end of term.
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Bush Plane Museum.

Monday this past week we finally got our field trip in to the bush plane museum. It was so much fun for the kids to use the interactive flight center. All of the experiments we had done were reinforced with what they got to look at there. We then toured through all the planes and watched a short film on forest firefighters and water bombers. I encourage anyone with an interest in flying to go to their website and check it out.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Week One Aerodynamics Down..well almost ;P

For our fist official back to school week we looked at aerodynamics in regard to flight. We talked about the four forces required for flight; weight, lift, pressure and drag. We looked at some of the historical figures associated with flight, the Montgolfier's and their hot air balloon, Leonardo Da Vinci and his Ornithopter. We talked about the Swiss scientist Bernoulli and discussed his principal. We then recreated Bernoulli's ball with a hairdryer and a ping pong ball. The kids thought that was great fun. DH made them each a whirly bird toy out of white cedar and they got to paint them. We discussed how birds can create lift with their powerful wings and how that wouldn't be possible for humans and why. We experimented while driving on a quiet road with the principle of lift by hanging our hands out the window of the truck. The experiment would have turned out better had it not been raining. We did learn at high velocity rain hitting our hands hurts lol. The kids each made foam bird crafts and we still have to take our field trip to the bush plane museum.

Aside from our aerodynamics the kids got to work in their workbooks for math and English. And the first flat travelers of the year came. One from Arizona and another from Texas. Monday will be a day off as Dad has the day off. The first time in a long time. We have a huge schedule to get through in one day. Our field trip will be that day as well. :)

I will post pics when I can. As I said before I am using my old computer so it's not good for pics. :(

Off now to accomplish next weeks shortened lesson plan. :)
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Strange Language?

There once was a song written that illustrated the difference of pronunciation in speech. It was called 'Let's Call the Whole Thing Off.' By Louis Armstrong. It clearly demonstrated that pronunciation makes little difference in meaning.
However spelling makes a huge difference. Spelling has been on my mind since I found out that the way I was taught in PS to write the word dilemna is wrong???? According to all dictionaries out there the spelling is dilemma. Dilemma looks wrong after so many years of writing the word the other way. I am shocked! And a little perplexed.
How did my grade school teacher have the word so wrong? Why was the point that the 'n' was silent need to be driven home when clearly the spelling was wrong to begin with. And why after searching the web are there hundreds of thousands of people like me.
This is a mystery I intend to get to the bottom of. A mystery that if you stay posted you may have the answer to as well.
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010


At the risk of angering fellow Canadians I post this. I know our country is vast. I know it's resources are too. But I want a pristine home for my children and their children. I want to know that our great country will remain great. And since we are striving for a better future for all mankind and for our nation this needs to end!
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Year of the Dollhouse!

Browsing with my spare time I came across this idea. I think it's admirable I am not sure how feasible it would be to do for a whole year. But I love the idea and wanted to share in case someone else was interested.

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If you are new to my page and just passing through via the blog hop I encourage you to look through our homeschool links. They are a wealth of helpful sites and it's all free.
If you so choose to read my blog I apologize for my rant earlier today. It's long winded and not in the spirit of love thy fellow man. I shall try to refrain from future rants and stick to the more uplifting moments in my life.
For example the house right now is quieter then it has ever been. My kids went out with DH to make plans for my birthday which incedentally is tomorrow. I will be 35. Hard to believe so many years have passed. I wonder am I the only one who stares at their kids in awe over their perfection. Oh I am not saying they are perfectly behaved but they are perfect in that moment, in their mother's eyes. Little stars given to me to cherish and hold dear until they can fly on their own. :)
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Blog Hops

Just joining in on the blog hop a bit late. I am wowed and amazed by some blogs out there. It is great to see what other people are doing as well.
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Okay the Bandwagon Here I Come.

Socialization by definition is the ability to function in society. No where does it state that you must learn from your peers how to behave like a functioning member of society.
That said the term is often alluded to in the course of conversation with non-homeschoolers as a much neglected area in a child's development when homeschooling. It is a silly question really as one knows you learn social ability from the world you interact with not from kids your own age. If in fact the person asking means will they have friends. Then they should be posing their question as such.
Will my kids have more or less friends as a homeschooled child. That depends on my ability to get them out there in other groups. My ability as a parent to allow them to drop their homeschool studies during the course of our summer to play with other kids in the neighborhood. It depends on my children's individual personalities, their likes and dislikes in relation with other kids. It depends on a great many factors which are only slightly different to a Public Schooled child's factors on whether or not they will have successful friendships.
What I can say is my kids aren't shy. When they want to make their presence known they will and stand back they will take you by storm will their robust personalities. Are they one hundred percent well behaved. No they are aren't they are children, I ask you to show my one who is. I want them to be the individuals they were meant to be not cookie cutter, school hating kids. And if that seems harsh that's just my opinion and we all have our own. And so if you see me in the street and ask 'what about socialization?' I will likely say 'what about it?' It's a point that has no point and therefore needs no more discussion on it.
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Flats Away!

So I mentioned earlier the great forum Homeschooling Spot.com One of the great woman on there has organized a flat exchange. We are sending out two flats for the kids this week coming. I do think it is a great way to learn social studies and geography. I am looking forward to starting treasure boxes with the kids for each of the countries that they travel to. Last year we had been making a scrapbook. But that seems a bit more pricey for scrapbooking pages for the albums with all of the informative brochures you usually have returned to you. So rather then just toss them I read another homeschooler had made up treasure boxes. The basic idea is to put the returned items whatever that may be into a box to look back on and reflect upon whenever the mood hits. Of course we will still get out our map of the world and pin point each flat's destination for point of reference as well.
In other news our dino unit lol is still slowly plodding onward. It doesn't seem to have to momentum I had hoped it would. Perhaps it is the time of year or the method in which presented. Although they both can tell you about the Triassic period dinosaurs they seem to be left feeling a little bored. I think DD was hoping to learn about the flying dino's. Sad to say that isn't part of the lesson. I have added them to the Jurassic era but not in great detail. Perhaps we will cover them afterwards.
I was also thinking of doing a bit on the Prehistoric period of animals. But not sure that that would be any more engaging. Have to think about what to do hands on for my creative visual learners. :)
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Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer Roadblocks.

I love this homeschooling life we have embarked on. However I am discovering how truly difficult it can be to schedule anything in the summer. I have been working on trying to fit in the dinosaur/paleontology unit and it has been a bit slow going.
Seems the neighborhood PSer's are out in abundance. It just seems each time we start school the doorbell rings with kids wanting to play. I know school for them will start soon and so the doorbell will ring less. So I let them run but it can be somewhat frustrating to develop a routine or schedule of any kind during the summer. I shall have to see if we can't try to fit more in. Somewhere, somehow. And rethink this schooling in the summer to be more organic and less hands on perhaps for next summer.
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Monday, August 2, 2010

You May Have Noticed.

If you have been using the links and are confused now. I assure you they are all still there. I have just changed the theme for the page as I found the other a little graphically dull. I may do this on occasion as no one likes seeing the same thing forever.

I hope you will continue to frequent our page and see what we are up to.

This week we are studying Dinosaurs and Paleontology. I am using an older computer at the moment as the good on is sick with something. So I can't post pics but will when I can. Let's spread the ideas around as much as possible. If you see something we have done please by all means copy it for your own homeschool.
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Whoa there!

Talk about your days whizzing past before you know it. Mine started at four am as my DH had to get up for work and I never can really go back to sleep. Before I knew the kids were up the usual routine of breakfast, dishes, laundry, and then the power went out. So we went out. We have been slowly picking away at finishing their homemade custom playhouse. DH just put the PVC screen door on yesterday. I was so glad to finally see it being used as we had bought it five or more years ago at a local hardware stores garage sale. It was a beautiful door which unfortunately did not fit our home. So there it was staring at me in the morning light screaming please wipe off the past five years of shop dust. And wipe I did. After that big job lol. I gave in to the dogs requests for me to throw the ball, then the frisbee and then another ball before she wandered off eating leftover walnut shells the squirrel had left in the yard. I can honestly say this dog is unique. But I can't blame her as I like walnuts myself, although I will stop short of the shell. ;P
After the power came on it was lunch time already. Then I had lessons I was supposed to prepare for this week coming. I make my own lessons/curriculum based on what is in line with the last thing we learned or what the kids have an interest in. Well this time I wanted to prepare a dinosaur lesson. Only one major problem..DH is working a 14 hour day and kids are very busy..and not in a way that is working for me. So after we cleaned the upstairs I realized we had to have school store. They had fun as they had made more money this past week picking up fallen apples of the ground for me. After that I realized it was time to throw something on for supper. So off to make a quick casserole so I may get one minute to start the lessons. Oh no wait now the kids are making a racket and I can't think. I tell them to be quieter. Still dinosaurs is a large topic which angle to tackle what topic to discuss. I will say here at the risk of alienating any readers that I do subscribe to evolution and I am a Christian. So I was thinking a lapbook but I am now down to the wire. So I have decided we will tackle a large mural that covers the three geological time periods that the dinosaurs lived in. We will also briefly look at the Pterosaurs as my daughter is fascinated with the idea of flight.
Following the mural I have those kits where you dig out your own fossil for each of the kids. And we will talk about the Canadian Badlands and how they formed and other topics that may come. And of course I am sure they will wow me with the immense questions that only young minds can come up with.
And here I am supper over, day done and I am wondering if I can manage to make it through this long month with hubby working 12-14hours everyday. Hmmm. Well I think I may have been here before not so long ago I had a babe in a snuggly and another in a stroller and DH was away for weeks at a time. I am sure this hurdle will be handled with more grace and finesse than those days of endless diapers. :)
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