Friday, February 5, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - Feb 5th

On Monday, Brianna organized and ran her first homeschool coop meeting. Our usual coordinator is out of the country so our family has taken over for the time being. Brianna's great with crafty stuff, so she found this cute Pompom Popper craft to do.

On Tuesday, we ran our No Technology Experiment. Check out the results here!

We've started our 3rd round of Mystery Class. I'll have a post about that soon!

Olivia had a rough week with her attitude. She was refusing to do schoolwork, generally not listening and being hateful. Friday was a MUCH better day.

We started reading an Our Canadian Girl series for Black History month. This series is on Rachel, a girl trying to come to Canada to escape slavery. Olivia will be taking part in this read aloud, her first longer-than-10-minutes read aloud, so hopefully it goes well

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

No Technology Day Results

It was slightly strange writing down my notes for the day on paper instead of directly into my blog editor.

The experiment went better than I figured it would. I was expecting lots of whining, especially from the 2 yr old who doesn't "get" it. My kids don't have a lot of computer time as is, but the TV is on all day for background noise.

End results:

Joshua: He seemed pretty unaffected by the lack of TV. He definitely wanted out of the living room or for people to come play with him more often than when he had the TV for distraction, but that's not really a bad thing.

Olivia: She had a wee bit of a meltdown near bedtime about wanting to watch a movie with Brianna, but otherwise did well. She was bored and digging through the school room and decided to pick up the recorder and ask to be taught how to play.

Brianna: We had Brianna turn off her cell phone so she wouldn't be tempted to cheat and she agreed it was a good idea. She jokingly whined about not being able to play on Facebook, but otherwise seemed unaffected by it. She even picked up a book by her own choice in the middle of the day to read.

Myself: I kept my phone turned on (I am the emergency contact for a few kids' schools) and on me (so my step-counter would still work). I did a quick lock screen check 4 times to verify that no one had called (it was on silent to help prevent me from wanting to check it), but otherwise did ok. It was definitely a challenge to not check on my business and various homeschool or craft groups. I did, however, get a whole book read and half the marking done (that I had been ignoring since New Years)

Lee: he managed to be electronics free until about 7pm then said F-it and watched TV lol I actually assumed he'd give up way before, but he surprised me!

Mom: Since mom lives with us, the kids informed her that Grandma had to take part too! Outside of texting her boss (needed), she played along too, sorting my grandmother's pictures.

All in all it was a decent day. The kids found non-electronic things to do and I got more cleaning done than I normally do lol

Sunday, January 31, 2016

No Technology?!?!

I read a blog post, which lead me to this article about what happens when children spend 8 hours without technology.

No technology. No internet. No Facebook. No smartphone games. No TV playing endlessly in the background. Honestly, I'm more worried about me than the kids! I run my business online. I do zillions of school things online. I play brainless apps on my phone.

But I think it'll be an interesting experiment. Since we'll be away from the house on and off until Tuesday, I'm going to put it off until then, so we'll be home and get the full effect. So Tuesday, no tech day. From wake up until bedtime. None of this 8 hours crap. Full day of torture! *evil laugh*

I will pin this experiment on screen-type technologies. I'll still use my washing machine and my stove and the like. Silence has always given Brianna and I anxiety (we have several radios in our house that play 24/7 as background noise), so radios will stay on as I'm not looking to set anyone up to fail. But no phones, tablets, TVs, computers, ect....

Brianna may hate me....

I may hate me... especially after the kids go to bed. My wind down, internet surfing time.

UPDATE: Results here!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - Jan 29th

My first wrap up in over a year and I'm already late! My excuse, it was my mom's birthday yesterday so I was busy....

Brianna re-started working on Khan Academy after a few months. She had been getting frustrated at the topics she had been covering, so we dropped back to just her "paper math" (Math Mammoth). Over that break, I started allowing the use of a calculator for speed purposes. She knows how to do all basic math, on paper and often in her head. However, I noticed that when she was trying to rush, she might put a number one decimal point over and end up getting the question wrong. Since using the calculator her grades have improved along with her general attitude towards math.

Olivia finished up her Food Groups unit this week. It was a learning experience for both of us. Olivia is beyond an extreme picky eater. She has a very short list of acceptable foods and will honestly starve herself to illness if she doesn't want to eat something. Part of this unit was tracking servings across the food groups. While she is severely lacking in the vegetable dept (she won't eat ANY unless it's a fruit/veggie juice or rarely, spinach in a fruit smoothie), she does eat majority of her servings, most days. I found a cute little workbook that covered all the food groups. Olivia's favorite part of the unit was creating a real food food pyramid from our fridge and pantry.

Joshua had another speech assessment. He is improving in the sense of communication but he is still essentially considered mute. He has approx 30 signs and 4 kind-of words (num num, woah, uh uh and yuh (yuck)). Because he is still not speaking and will be 3 in June, he will be set up with weekly speech therapy. The speech lady that we're currently dealing with is going to try to push him into the sessions that start next month, as opposed to the ones his group of assessments is in (April/May).

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Alberta (and BC) Bound!

Last summer Lee and I took an epic 3 week road trip, driving from home (near Ottawa, On) to Victoria, BC and back. We car camped and couch hopped. The event being surrounded by the trip was our friend Leslie and his wife April's wedding, in which Lee was the Best Man. It was something I had always wanted to do and was seriously the best vacation ever.

Being that we're a homeschooling family, it was also a great geography lesson for the girls who "followed" us from home. We talked to them each night over Skype and sent postcards through the mail.

The kids trying to stow-away on our van-bed the morning we left

Giant Nickel in Sudbury, Ontario

Heading into the mountains of western Ontario

Lake Superior 

A wolf wanted to check us out outside of Wawa, Ontario

Terrance Bay, Ontario

The Terry Fox Memorial outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario
Time Travellers!

Finally got out of Ontario!

The flat lands of the prairies

As the speed limit increases (68.5mph)

Meeting up with my Kindergarten best friend, Holly, after 20 years

Fog line over the Assiniboine River in Manitoba


Meeting up with fellow homeschoolers, Carla and David in Saskatchewan

Sitting on the Alberta/Saskatchewan boarder in Lloydminster, Ab/Sk (pardon the face, it was very bright)

Back in Alberta after 17 years!

Our friends had an awesome 80's/candy themed wedding in Edmonton, Ab (also where I was born and raised)

I was the wedding organizer, which meant I got to slave labour the other wedding party members

The Groom and his Best Man

Bride, Groom, Man of Honour and Best Man

Lee's Best Man speech was a tear jerker

My second mom growing up, Ana, in Edmonton, Ab

Outside of the wedding, Lee's goal for this trip was to go to West Edmonton Mall

Another homeschooler, Allison, in Edmonton, Ab

My best friend from high school, Steve, in Edmonton, Ab

First views of the Rocky Mountains (in the height of forest fire season)

A beautiful shallow lake outside Jasper, Ab

Glacial fed river in Jasper National Park

Finally, British Columbia

We had fun buying lottery tickets in each province

The Rockies get clearer, and bigger.

Speed limits increase again (74.5 mph)

Seeing my now 17 yr old brother, Theo, for the first time since he was 10. And my step-mom, Norma, in Surrey, BC

On the ferry to Vancouver Island

The redwoods of Vancouver Island, Sooke, BC

My Grandpa Tim and my Aunt Nikki, in Sooke, BC

Stepping into the Pacific Ocean, in Sooke, BC

One of the scary things about driving in the mountains, rock slides. This one was an older one and thankfully very small

Amazing animal crossing bridges in Banff National Park

Beautiful Badlands of Alberta, near Drumheller, Ab

At the Royal Tyrell Museum, near Drumheller, Ab

Hoodoos, near Drumheller, Ab

Lee's favorite part of the drive, huge prairie farms

The saline lakes of Chaplin, Sk. One of the largest bodies of salt water that is no where near a coast, in the world. 6-7 times more salty than the ocean!

Back in Ontario!

At the Panorama Amethyst Mine, the largest amethyst mine in Canada, north of Thunder Bay, On

Our haul from the mine

10,000 kilometers! (6,200 miles)


Our complete route