Saturday, July 18, 2015

Current Curriculum July 2015

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Previous post from last Sept here.

We school year round and don't really follow grades. Brianna started Nov 15, 2010 coming from 3rd grade in public school and will go until whenever of whatever year. Olivia started "Preschool" on Feb 6, 2012. We don't follow specific grades but Brianna is anywhere from Gr. 6-10 and Olivia is mostly Gr 1, a little Kindy and some Gr. 2. 

So, since we don't have set grades or set school years, I figure every 6 mths-ish I'll post what we are currently working on. We use a mishmash of traditional homeschool curriculum, workbooks bought at teacher supply stores, stuff made up completely in my head and most subjects are supplemented by printed worksheets from various sites and of course, library books. In a nut shell, we're eclectic homeschoolers.


We have a subscription to and Olivia really likes it! It has all the way from Toddlers to the end of Kindergarten. This program added on a couple more levels, but only lists levels not grades, so I don't know where the program ends after Kindergarten. Olivia is still learning to control the computer so she's a little slower going here than in her paper school work.

For printables we mostly use 1+1+1=1 (there's also great tot school and preschool printables here!). Confessions of a Homeschooler also has great printables. I love 1+1+1=1 as they have a lot of themed units. They cover a wide variety of skills but under one theme (Olivia has done cats, pizza, Octonauts and more). Even though most of them are below her skill levels, she really enjoys them so we keep doing them. 1+1+1=1 now has literature units as well.


We'll start dabbling in Brave Writer's "Jot it Down" program which focuses on dictation for Olivia's age group. We'll start up 1+1+1=1's You Can Read program once Olivia is more comfortable in phonics. We feel that phonetic learning is highly important over memorizing sight words so we're spending a lot of effort on letter sounds, blending sounds and sounding out short words.

Olivia has started Early Math on Khan Academy. She is super proud to be doing Khan just like Brianna. Her computer skills are still lacking, so Khan is definitely something that we do together, though she is getting better at navigating. 

Olivia loves to help take care of Joshua, cooking and household chores. We, of course, encourage her as much as possible!

Phys Ed./Health:
Olivia has started running like Brianna. This year, like last, she ran in the fun run this month and will be taking part in the Cornwall Triathlon, doing a duathlon, next month. She's also in U7 Soccer this year. The kids play weekly and Olivia seems to really enjoy it.


We really like Math Mammoth. It's almost self-teaching once a kid can read. It breaks the new concepts down into step by step instructions in a way that really gets through to Brianna. Math Mammoth goes only to Gr. 7, so once she's done that, I'll be looking for a new curriculum for Algebra and the like. We're also slowly working our way through Khan Academy. Brianna really likes the videos explaining new concepts. 

We're using Brave Writer's "Writer's Jungle" again this year. Brianna's especially enjoys their Poetry Teatimes, which we'll be starting again in the fall. For spelling, I keep track of words she has spelled wrong in her general school work and base spelling practice off of that. We'll be doing NaNoWriMo again this year. She took part last year and wrote an impressive 12,000+ words. Amazing who someone who often struggles with writing a few pages. This year, we'll be starting early with NaNoWriMo's educator's lesson plans.

We will be doing Rosetta Stone now that Brianna has her own laptop to install it on. Brianna already knows more French than I do, so thankfully Rosetta Stone is a self-teaching course! We'll be using Living Languages for extra activities. Duolingo has an app for her phone for extra, on-the-go practice. One of our neighbours has offered to test Brianna's French periodically.

Brianna wants to learn guitar and we have a child's guitar and a great book - The Complete Guitar Manual, hopefully we can get around to that. She also wants to get back into playing the flute (which is currently under repairs). Hopefully she can be encouraged to put in a stronger, more frequent effort this time.

She has expressed interest in learning about some Shakespeare, so we'll  learn about him and read/watch some plays. 

Phys Ed/Health: 
Brianna runs with a local MultiSport club. Her last run of the year is her Terry Fox run on Sept 14th. She actually bikes the Terry Fox run, but as she chooses to do the biggest route (10km), it's certainly nothing to laugh at! Once that is done, she's done until May. She'll spend that time doing training at least twice a week (running, yoga, strength training, cardio) and of course, we live in Canada, so there's always snow to shovel! 

Brianna and Olivia both have Minecraft accounts. I'm currently looking for cool educational ideas for it as I know many are out there. But for now, both girls are just working on computer skills and building. Brianna is learning to use the MinecraftWiki to research how to do or use various aspects of the game.

This fall we're doing a study on Canadian government and our Prime Ministers from Confederation to present. We have a federal election this fall and will be tracking the candidates and their platforms. We're using various books and sites like Canada Votes, Exploring Canada and a cool Prime Ministers of Canada set that I got from the Library and Archives of Canada

Life Skills: 
Brianna has taken on babysitting and dog poop scooping jobs from our neighbours. This is teaching her a great deal about responsibility and money. Because of the sudden influx of money, she's learning about comparing prices and smart spending. She's also becoming more responsible for getting her schoolwork and chores done with less interference from us. 


Lee and I are driving across country at the end of August and the girls will be tracking us and learning about various places as we go.

We're continuing to do Country Studies. The kids have really enjoyed them so far. We read about the countries, find them on maps, watch videos about them and make a bunch of food from that country. We'll be using History of the World and Geography of the World at home and whatever oodles of books we can snag from the library. World Atlas is fantastic for maps and National Geographic Kids has a bunch of videos and articles I made both Brianna and Olivia's country reports on Microsoft Word because I couldn't find anything I liked that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg. If I can figure out how to share them here, I will.

For the most part, science is done through day to day life with no set curriculum. We'll be doing a lot of interest based topics. Both girls want to do the human body. We'll have to do a refresher in a few years for Olivia, but with the random stuff she picks up on of Brianna's school work, I'm not worried about doing a joint class with them. Brianna got an ant farm for her birthday and the girls are fascinated with watching it.  

I want to work on art some more. Brianna loves it but is fairly terrible lol So she wants to learn little ways to make her art better. Olivia on the other hand, has this idea that her drawings aren't good enough. No telling her otherwise changes her mind :( So for both girls, we'll be doing some basic art lessons, using a variety of mediums and styles.


He will to continue to be cute and get into stuff and steal school work *wink*

Linking up with the iHomeschool Network

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Ok, so I suck at keeping up with the blog. Christmas got nuts in my shop and I barely had time to breathe. Even homeschooling took a back seat for the most part.

Brianna did NaNoWriMo in November. She really struggles with writing. We set the lofty goal of 12,000 words. She has struggled before with writing 500, so 12,000 would be a miracle. She did surprise me though with 9,388 words! AMAZING!

In December we completely broke off of scheduled school work and just did homemade gifts. Brianna made a set of wooden blocks for Joshua and a pair of mittens for Olivia. Olivia learned how to hand sew (and super assisted machine sew) made Brianna a set of bean bags for the bean bag toss game. (Pictures later)

This month we're easing back into "real" school work. Brianna's working on Khan Academy and Olivia is working through some kindy workbooks she was given for Christmas. Joshua, unlike Olivia, is completely uninterested in "schoolwork". Meh, whatever, he's 18 mths old.

Brianna has joined Lee and I in a healthy living diet. Brianna doesn't have a lot of weight to lose (though some wouldn't hurt) mainly she just needs some eye opening lessons in nutrition and keeping up with her winter training so next running season isn't as bad (for lack of a better word) as last year.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We Stand on Guard for Thee

Canada is a very peaceful country. As judgemental as it may sound, we often see what happens in the USA and the rest of the world and think, it'll never happen here. We haven't had war on our soil since the 1800s. We've always been the Peace Keepers.

Monday and today, war was brought to Canada. 2 people killed 2 different military personnel and injured several others.

On Monday, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53 was struck by a car while walking through a parking lot with a fellow military member. WO Vincent had been a member of the Canadian military for 28 years.

Today, Corporal Nathan Cirrilo, 24, was gunned down while performing his duties as an Honour Guard at the National War Memorial. He joined cadets at 13 and then became a reservist. He leaves behind a 6 yr old son.

Both murders are thought to be tied to extremists (that were later killed by police). I don't care who did it. It's a disgusting, cowardly act. Canada will not be intimidated

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Last Baby

Ok, so I'm way late on this post.....

On June 23rd, my last little baby turned one year old! Of course, like my other kids, he's still just a baby to me. But in reality, I will never have a little bitty baby again *sniffle*

So now, I bomb you with baby pictures :D
Last baby bump pic

Seconds old

First mommy, daddy, baby pic
Already he's annoyed with mommy always having the camera in his face lol
Baby's first tan ;)
Happy Canada day!

First cloth bum!

Sibling snuggles

Cool Dude
It's amazing how much they grow in only 2 mths!

More sibling snuggles

I loooove this one. He did NOT want me to work!

This is the sweater that was made for me as a baby. Now all 4 of my children have worn it

First custom diaper. Go Sens Go!

4 mths old
Joshua's Sunshine Boy pic

All my babies

5 mths old

So cranky, he needed 3 soothers
He stuffed himself in my elbow, I figured he fell asleep. Nope, wide awake, staring at the floor
Ho Ho Ho!

Joshua's so impressed to be mauled by Olivia

First food. Totally suspicious of carrots

7 mths old and deciding that being a little baby is boring

Go Team Canada

8 mths old

Fierce destruction of a peanut butter sandwich

Sippy cups make great pillows

Joshua has some road rage issues
Mr. Drama King is 10 mths old
Walking everywhere like a pro at 10 mths
First experience with Jello

Dirt is da bomb!

What happens when you have older sisters

Happy Birthday!!!

Fall 2014 Bucket List

Ok, so we kinda failed at our summer list. But we still had a fun summer so that counts, right!?

So we'll try again this fall.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up

I've been slackin' over here! Not surprisingly, it's been crazy busy. With my business and getting back into the school routine, it's been pretty hectic!

Last Monday, Brianna did her final running race of the season. She knocked 2 minutes and 22 seconds off her last 5K time! She bikes a 10K for Terry Fox then is in off season training until next May

Olivia insisted on running with Brianna for a stretch

On Tuesday (first day of school for local public schools) our local homeschool group did our Not Back to School picnic. It was a small group, only 4 families, but I'm trying to get more activities going! The kids had a blast and Brianna even met with another girl her age (most of the homeschool kids in our area are much older or younger than her).

Brianna, 12, age-grade "7"

Olivia, 5, age-grade "K"

On Wednesday, the girls did their first real day of school. We decided to start slow with them only working in their new daily books for the week as it was only 3 days and Daddy was on vacation time so we had extra distractions!

This week, I did a homeschool assessment for a friend's daughter who is Gr. 1-2. It was great for me as it gave me a sneak peek into the next couple years with Olivia. We only started homeschooling with Brianna in Gr. 3, so I have only homework knowledge of Gr. 1 and 2.

Olivia seems to be loving doing school work every day. She does often complain about her arm hurting if we do too much (in her opinion) writing, but I think that's because she presses too hard with the pencil or crayon. Any ideas to get her to lighten up?

Olivia loved this graph from A Teaching Mommy

Brianna's excited about the new things we'll be doing this year, starting with Brave Writer's Poetry/Tea Time Tuesdays. We may do it a little different than Brave Writer at first, but Brianna expressed interest in learning about poetry when finding out that poems do no have to rhyme, so we're running with it!

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Friday, August 15, 2014

Not Our School Area

This week in the iHomeschoolNetwork's Not Back to School Blog Hop is on school rooms or school places.

We have designated school areas. An area for working. An area for storage. Well, actually several of those.

They all look like a tornado went through them.

My big plans of organizing all the school stuff this summer went the way of the wind. In other words, I did squat.

So to save hubby from dying of embarrassment, I won't post our school area pictures right now.