Thursday, December 30, 2010

Homeschooling for Mommy

For Christmas, I asked for and got, a breadmaker. Very exciting stuff! However, not only had I never used a breadmaker before, but I had never even used yeast before! Thankfully I have a wonderful homeschool buddy, Becky, who makes nothing but fresh bread for her family and offered to come over and teach me hands on to make bread her way (which I love!).

I prepped it up and did the dough cycle in the breadmaker before she came over (she uses her breadmaker for the kneading and first rising then does the rest by hand in the oven). When we pulled the dough out of the maker it seemed a bit stiff. Turns out, I actually need to make sure the water is totally level with the measuring cup rather than just below the rim like I do for other baking. Also because of the seeming lack of water, it didn't seem to rise too much. I mean, it totally looked like bread, but not as big as the loaves I had bought from Becky.

But oh my oh my did it taste fanfreakingtastic!!! The baby wasn't terribly impressed (but then she's got a love/hate relationship with bread, sometimes she hates it, sometimes you can't get enough in her!). However, myself, Lee and Brianna ate almost the whole loaf lol 

Because of the flying through the fresh bread, I decided to try another loaf on my own. This time I did 2/3 whole wheat flour and only 1/3 white flour (Becky taught me with 1/3 ww and 2/3 white, but we prefer ww bread). I screwed up right out of the shoot lol Put all the ingredients in, turned it on, notice nothing's moving *sigh* I didn't put the spinny thing (my great terminology) back in after cleaning. So, hoping I didn't just screw up the whole thing, I dumped the stuff from the bucket into a bowl, put the spinny thing in and dumped the stuff back in the bucket. Turn it on... NOW it's working! Thankfully, even after playing with the ingredients, I didn't screw it up and it turned into a pretty loaf of bread (fully risen with the proper amount of water and such). We haven't tried it yet cause I wouldn't let anyone cut it til the first loaf was gone, but we'll try it tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'm gonna pick up some bread bags so I can freeze it as I go. I'm hoping to quickly get to the point where we don't have to buy store bought bread anymore!

BTW, welcome to my new followers!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Planning Done!

I'm all planned up for the next 2 mths. Here's a sampling over what we're covering. (All in your everyday workbooks or stuff I made up)

Math - Adding and Subtracting to 4 digits (Brianna has some issues with borrowing and carrying so I can see going quite in depth here)
Science - Animals and Winter, and the Solar System. Towards the end of my current planning we'll be covering some more "boring" topics like gravity, magnetism, levers/pulleys ect... And of course, we'll still be tracking the daily weather and graphing it for math for each month.
English - We're going to do a lot of back-to-basics stuff for the next while, nouns, verbs, adjectives, basic grammar and so forth. I'm also adding in some reading comprehension exercises since that seems to be an issue as well. We'll be starting at the Grade 2 level for that before moving to 3.
Music - a new addition to our schedule! She got a recorder for Christmas and right now is content to just blow the same note over and over (much to mine and Lee's poor ears' concern). So we're gonna start doing some basic notes and songs like Hot Crossed Buns. I'm so used to the flute now though that I hope I can remember back to my recorder days lol
History - While I'll be coming back to it in the fall briefly, we're going to spend January doing a unit on Aboriginals. Like way back. Like before white man started crowding Canada. She loves the pioneer stuff from the Little House series so I'm hoping going further back in time will spike the same interest. In February we'll be doing some family history stuff.
Spelling - On top of our weekly spelling sheets/tests I'm also adding in a small workbook I got that's spelling with the Disney Princesses. For me it'll be a time waster, for Brianna though, it'll be something exciting cause it's not a typical workbook.
French - we're continuing the French workbook I bought and the duotang her old French teacher gave us. I want to also find some printable vocabulary sheets for her for translation, but am wanting to get my real computer running again for that.
Health - We're gonna work on nutrition here. Reading nutritional labels, making wise food choices, ect....

I hope for a good next 2 mths. I'd like to see her core subject grades upped, but also remind myself that we also need more non-core stuff in the regular work.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Term Ends, Christmas and Back to School

I've broken up our years into 6 wk periods or terms when Brianna will get a report card (she insists). That said, I obviously do grading. I found a great grading sheet, but can't remember where I got it from cause there is no site name or copyright name anywhere on the pages. I'll see if I can find it.

Here's what our first 6 wks looks like gradewise:
Math - 79%
Science - 72%
English - 82%
Geography - 73%
History - 73%
Art/Music - 83%
Phys Ed/Health - 83%
Computer - 82%
LifeSkills - 87%
Spelling - 81%
French - 82%

Now I've just got to get my printer connected to this laptop (if it even will) so I can make a paper report card for Brianna.

We took a 4 day weekend for Christmas. While we were too busy to do school anyways, it felt really weird not to be doing school on Friday and Monday. Even Brianna was asking about school. So I don't think we'll be able to take long breaks. Of course that's my fault since even when she was in PS we did homeschool during Christmas, March and summer vacations.

So now, after that short break, we're back to school. It was an ok day. The first part of her day went fine, but the second half was slow and dragging. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. 

We have a slower week this week as well, so hopefully I can get some planning done as after this week I only have sporadic plans done.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Hectic Week/Planning

The last week before Christmas.... gotta get last minute shopping and wrapping done, get baking done, and try to squeeze some school in. Thankfully, I'm not a masochist and planned a VERY light week school wise for this week.

Brianna's been working on (but I don't think will finish in time) her cross stitch project for Grandma. Of course, like I told her, Grandma's birthday is next month and it's not Christmas themed so she can always give it then if she's not done.

I also realized today that after next week, I have NOTHING planned curriculum wise in my planner. Well, other than some usual stuff (like graphing the weather, spelling, ect...) So I've gotta get my butt in gear on that one. So far, I have her doing some probability work after her graphing unit is done, a unit on aboriginals (like from waaaaay back when), some basic English (nouns, verbs, ect....), a science unit on hibernation, and that's about it. That takes me to about the 3rd week of Jan, and not even fully.

I've got to find some more French vocabulary (which I have a GREAT bookmark for.... on my dead computer). I've got to find more subject matter on the aboriginals unit other than just what's in her curriculum book. I've got to get something more than a week and a half's worth of math put together. And so on, and so on.... *sigh*

Thursday, December 16, 2010


We started the day with some shoveling (big surprise there!), then went off to schoolwork. The day went down hill from there *sigh* After taking more than an hour 2 write out a few sentences, it took almost an hour to do some alphabetizing (something that took less than 5 mins 2 days ago). 

That was it, we need to get away from each other! After some mutual temper tantrum time, we're back to work... at 8pm. But hey! More work has gotten done in the last 20 minutes than over a 3 hr period earlier!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Homeschool Bowling

Today we had Brianna's much anticipated homeschool bowling. She's been patiently counting down the days since it was first discussed back in Nov. Today was the day!!!

We got a ride there, but mom had to go to work before it would be over, so we brought the sled to bring Olivia home. Brianna was matched with Emily and Shayna and Ryan, 2 12/13 yr old girls and a sweet little boy. Brianna's chatted with the girls several times at soccer so it was a good set up. A little hero worship going on lol

Brianna did pretty well I say for only having bowled 3 times. She did get a lot of gutter balls, but all in all bowled better than I would have lol She did technically get a strike at one point, but I understand the last pin took too long to fall so the machine didn't count it. She did get an acknowledged spare though. Olivia was amazingly well behaved considering it was naptime and no one would let her play with the balls

After, we all shared Christmas goodies in the "bar" of the alley. We brought brownies that I threw together at the last moment after being reminded that we were supposed to bring a snack to share with the group.

We also finally got to meet the mom who was supposed to drive me to the moms meeting (but ended up not being able to with her DH coming down with a case of appendicitis). She has decided to start HSing next month instead of Sept. I guess she's finally had enough with her son's school. We also discovered that Lisa, a mom down the street, is looking into HSing her kids. Brianna plays with the kids once and a while and it would certainly be nice to have kids a little more local that are HSers! 

We have no more homeschool group meetings til the new year since our next regular soccer meet would be Christmas Eve. I'm pretty sure our next one will be Jan 7th, but I have to find out. Brianna's gonna go through withdrawls!

On a school note, we had a great day school-wise today. She quickly finished up her English work, dawdled only a little through her French work and threw herself into our making of our wagon-wheel-pasta snowflakes. Very cute craft.

Mix approx 3/4-1 cup wagon wheel pasta in a bowl with a few tbs white glue. Arrange pasta pieces into snowflake shapes on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet. We painted some extra glue over the completed shapes just to make sure they stuck together. Then we decorated them with glitter and left to dry. Tomorrow were gonna peel them off and spray them with a sealing glaze and hang them in the windows.

Pictures of bowling and out snowflakes to come as soon as I can get the camera working on the new laptop!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shoveling and Quick Schoolwork

We only got about 5cm of snow last night, but with the blowing snow, the driveway was drifted all over. So we put off school to get some Phys Ed in. Brianna actually did a pretty good job helping me. I thought she'd slack off a lot more, but it wasn't too bad!

Schoolwork was happily painless today. She got everything done in about an hour. We did have to skip a couple things due to lacking materials. I needed to print a few things but havn't uploaded the printer driver to the new laptop yet and the library was lacking a movie we were gonna watch.

Brianna also finally thought she had enough practice cross stitching so started on her present for Grandma. It's slow going since it's the first pattern she's ever done. I told her not to worry, if she doesn't finish it before Christmas, Grandma's birthday is next month so she can give it to her then.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Homeschooling Is So Much Better Than School!"

Brianna's opinion while we were doing a graph today. Now, of course, it could have something to do with the fact that we were graphing mini M&Ms, but I'll take it! lol

Squeezed in some Phys Ed with shoveling snow, which Brianna thinks is great. I told her just wait til it's heavy wet snow lol She thinks she'll still love it.

My quest for wagon wheel pasta is complete!!! Apparently it's a common American pasta, but a bitch to find here! I went to every store in town, including the fancy expensive grocery stores and found nothing. Even checked at Bulk Barn (which is now open weeeeee!), nothing. Finally thought to check Sharyn's Pantry, which is similar to Bulk Barn but can have more obscure items. BINGO! Got us a bag of pasta big enough to make at least 4 of our ornaments that I have planned! YAY!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ooooh! A New Site!

A friend showed me a new site I'm pretty excited about. I'm a big lover of free printables and this is the best kind of free printables sites.... it's a refresher site! Meaning every time you refresh a worksheet page, a page of new problems pops up! I haven't explored it fully, but in printing off worksheets for this friend I got 110 different pages of Grade 1 worksheets and I'm not even 1/4 of the way through the links offered for Gr. 1! YAY!

Our School Based "Reward-System"

Brianna has always been a fan of reward systems and I knew, at least at first, she'd need a little help keeping on track outside of the typical school setting.

I bought (but, yes, could have made) what looks like movie tickets. Tickets, numbered 1-6, are earned by paying attention well during school-time, doing extra reading and doing well on reviews (since recalling information learned, even just yesterday, is a tough one for Brianna). Potentially, Brianna could earn up to 18 "points" in 1 day.

Then comes the rewards. I wanted fun things that were out of the ordinary since before we'd be too busy to do that kind of thing. Also winnings that could be earned fairly soon (within a week or 2) to big things that could take a few mths to earn.

So we settled on the following rewards that Brianna is super excited about:
- 50 points, $2 added to her Tim Hortons card
- 100 points, buying a new book
- 200 points, going out for lunch
- 300 points, going to a salon to get our nails done (what Brianna is currently saving for)
- 400 points, going out to a movie
- 500 points, shopping spree! (essentially she gets $40 to spend on whatever)

We're both pretty excited about this system. The rewards are all things we've never done before and are "bigger" ticket items. She's doing well so far with almost 100 points, which surprised me since I was expecting a lot more "bad" days where less tickets would be earned.

Complete 180!

Tuesday was a horrible day for school. Wednesday was a great day for school!

Tuesday we got almost zero work done. We spent 6+ HOURS on one assignment. It was pretty simple. The question was how is dew formed. I had written out a paper about dew how dew is formed and we read a passage from a book about how dew is formed. The 6+ hr assignment? Put in your own words.... HOW DEW IS FORMED!!! Brianna's answer? I dunno *facepalm*

Fast forward to yesterday.... brilliant day! We got LOADS of work done since Tuesday's work was added to it. We did some more graphing work in her math book, we got French work done, and a HUGE project on emergency preparedness. First we wrote out the things we thought we'd need for an emergency kit for both the house and the car. Then we put together 2 emergency kits taking note of what we still need to the kits (sadly we still need lots). This was all done with smiles and full of "what do you want me to do nows". Wonderful, wonderful day!

*fingers crossed* that today is the same kind of day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

St. Nicholas's Day

Brianna and I spent the day doing St. Nicholas activities of a sort. I was mistaken into thinking St. Nicholas' Day was St. Nicholas' birthday, but it is not. It is his feast day and the date of his death, being him birth into the eternal. So still sorta a birthday. 

So, as with all birthdays, we made a cake! Well, Brianna made a cake. It took a lot out of my OCD self to let her make it herself. Down to the mixing, pouring and putting it in the oven. It's sooooo much easier to do it myself, but as I told her, she's gotta learn how to cook/bake sometime.

We also did Christmas cards for her old schoolmates and teachers. We had been told before pulling her that we could deliver cards to the office and the teachers would distribute them. One child's card may not be delivered because it was a recess playmate and Brianna wasn't sure even what grade the girl was in, let alone her teacher's name.

We read excerpts from The Truth About Santa Claus by James Cross Giblin. While I havn't read a lot of St. Nicholas material I found this book very informative and highly recommend it. 

I think Brianna has finally realized that "Santa" isn't real but that we will still do all the fun stuff associated with Santa. I didn't come right out and tell her Santa isn't real, but we went into great discussion as to why older children shouldn't tell little ones that Santa isn't real, ect... 

I had planned to watch Miracle on 34th Street with her as well, but by the time we were done school I was beyond pooped. Hopefully we can get school out of the way quickly tomorrow so we can watch it then. It plays into the theory of believing in the magic of the season and such.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Season Begins!

We ended another rough week with a great Friday. School (other than a fun movie) was done before lunch and everyone was happy. Now if only we can get more of those days in!

I'm hoping this month will be easier simply because we'll be doing lots of fun Christmas stuff. We kick off tomorrow with St. Nicholas' Day. Well be reading of the history of Santa Claus, making Christmas cards, baking a cake, ect... I have lots of crafts and cooking/baking planned for this month, which Brianna loves.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Secular Site!

I have zero problem with the fact that I'm a minority being a secular homeschooler. However, it is nice to see some things made for secular HSers! I was directed to the site and am very excited to check it out!

Also got some great FREE pdf files (I guess they're e-books or something) from They were having a big Cyber Monday sale. It was set pdfs that were free but I think I picked up 7 or 8 that will be useful for us.

And last but not least, a shot of the baby helping Brianna with her schoolwork :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 3 Begins

This week we have the addition of Grandma. My mom moved in with us as of yesterday. It'll be nice for the financial help and the Olivia entertainment when Brianna's not done her work when the baby gets up.

We added French to her work last week with the workbook her French teacher gave me and the workbook I bought. Thankfully I've bookmarked Google Translate! Once we get more settled in I think I may look into Rosetta Stone as I've heard good things about their French program.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Today was SUCH a nice change from yesterday! Other than a little snaffu over her math work, Brianna totally cooperated in getting schoolwork done. The movie I had planned for the day didn't work out cause the tv's on a fritz, but even with the delays we were completely done school before 1pm and that included breaking for lunch and a 20 min break in the morning! YAY! And I finally got our first day of homeschool pic loaded... great day all around :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holy Busy!

I've totally slacked in the blogging department with the start of homeschooling. We're now just over a week into homeschooling. We've had some rough days, today being one of them, but we're making it through. It's testing my patience a LOT to work through the school mentality Brianna has and try to get it out of her. Right now, the school mentality pissing me off is working. I get very frustrated. I'm pretty good about walking away when it gets to me but sometimes I blow up before the walk away part *blush*

I KNOW it will get better with time, it's just a matter of getting through this rough start. She IS doing really good with our daily stuff, weather tracking, writing a descriptive story about a picture and her math speed challenge (flash cards). It's just some of the other stuff. 

I am proud to say she is a zillion times better at telling time now!!! I found great blank clock sheets at and we worked on them pretty well every day. She's almost done her time unit and I'm pretty confident she'll ace her test for it.

I also got her a French workbook. I got Gr. 1 level because we have to find out where she is. Can't remember if I blogged about this before... because she was in Immersion she's not in Gr. 3 for French. There's no such thing as Immersion workbooks so we have a choice between workbooks made for a French child doing their regular work in each grade or workbooks for an English child who is starting to learn French. Well Brianna's not JUST learning French, she's been in 1/2 day French since she was 4! Brianna seems to think there's something wrong with doing Gr. 1 workbooks, but I've assured her that if she thinks it's too easy, we'll move to Gr. 2 and so on.

I have a picture of our first day that I wanted to add but Blogger is being a PITA tonight!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Presents from the French Teacher

Finally got around to unpacking Brianna's backpack. Her teacher told me that she included a duotang of worksheets for the play they just started in French class. She also included a DVD of the actions. 

While unpacking her backpack I found in her agenda a sheet of paper with a whack of websites to use! Apparently she's being left in the "online class" where they can make comics with their classmates. There's also a whole bunch of sites that are reference sites for French and several French sites with games and such on them. 

It's so nice to have this bit of extra support from her French teacher! Also, the crossing guard, Yvonne, has told me to get ahold of her for French help too.

On a side note, I was able to get a ride to my first homeschool mom's meeting! The woman who's driving me still has her son in PS for this year, but she's looking to pull him for next year. Can't wait til Wednesday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

No More School!

It's soooo nice to not have to be walking to the school right now. It's a PA day for the school board today so I wouldn't have to anyways, but now I don't have to walk to the school on Monday! 

Yesterday was Brianna's last day. She brought home her backpack FULL of school stuff. Her French teacher even gave me a folder full of French worksheets which I thought was very nice of her since I won't be able to get a French workbook til next weekend. 

Today we have homeschool soccer and I told Brianna she's a full member of the homeschool group now cause she's not just missing a day of school. She's pretty excited about that. She was worried last night about Rebecca not being her friend anymore cause she's not in school, so I see a playdate in the near future.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Today we remember the fallen and the ones who have served. Bow your head and honour them with a moment of silence at 11am today. Freedom isn't free. Someone had to pay for it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Woooooooo!!! Got mom's laptop to accept pdf files and work my printer! While I'm missing most of my bookmarks cause there's way too many of them, at least I can check out new HS sites and am able to print work sheets and such!

Found a great all about me 22 page e-book for once Olivia's Kindergarten age. Also found some great maps of Canada from the 1800s and such. 

Tomorrow's Brianna's last day of school wooooooo!

Monday, November 8, 2010


One more week to go!!!!!

Today I start my cleaning week. With the organizer I found on I want to start with a base clean house so I can keep up as easy as possible. I think it won't be as hard as it could be, since Brianna's already used to chores and helping clean.

I also found a new homeschooling book at the library that wasn't already in my collection so excited to start that!

Now if only MY computer was working properly! I'm not used to not having all my bookmarks *cry*

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Teacher Talks

Stopped in after school to talk to Brianna's teachers about homeschooling. I wouldn't say they were thrilled with the idea, but neither balked at it either. 

Her English teacher said that because her time there was over the same day as Brianna (the other teacher is coming back from maternity leave), that all projects hope to be done by then. But she has no problem gathering Brianna's work and such for next Thursday. She even said that I can have the math text she's working in since otherwise it'll just be garbaged (they work with in the book so it's not like it can be reused by another student). She's also going to send home her English workbook so I can see what Brianna has already done this year.

Her French teacher was a great help in the area that troubles me the most. She said that she'd get together a list of websites and workbooks that she recommends so I can continue in Brianna's French. She will also gather together any finished or in the middle of work that Brianna's done.

Now all I have left is to count down the days until we're officially homeschooling! Only 12 more days!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Letters of Intent

Mailed out the letter of intent to the school board. Apparently they don't always respond, but I can request it if I need it. 

Also met with Brianna's principal today. First to bring up the bullying again and second to give him my other letter of intent. He was surprisingly very open to HSing. He wants my name on the school list to be mailed school newsletters so I can stay in the loop and mentioned that at one of his old schools that they invited HSers to field trips and such. He also has no problem with Brianna coming back to the school to visit her old teachers and such (obviously out of school time)

I am very surprised by the show of support. From what I hear it's quite rare. He did mention some paperwork, which I assume is to relieve the school of any liability to Brianna while doing school stuff once she's no longer registered, but I'll be going through the paperwork with a fine toothed comb to make sure there's nothing else in there. 

In Ontario, we're lucky enough to have zero regulations on HSing other than providing a letter of intent, so I know the schools can't "make" me do reports or testing. I *can* have Brianna tested during the EQAOs if I chose, but I don't have to. I also know that I don't have to let anyone from the school/board look over Brianna's work or my plans. Hopefully the paperwork is solely what I assume... removing liability from the school (which I have no problem with).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Busy, Busy!

I finished cleaning out Isaac's room. Holy a lot of garbage!!! I still have to sort through the assorted toys, you know, the ones that don't belong to a certain set, ect... But all the sets, books, and craft supplies are sorted and organized. 

I still wish I had paint for the toy room. I have paint for Isaac's room, but want to do the toy room first while it's still relatively empty. All that's in there is the book shelves, the desk and the vacuum. Easy to move around and put back. Where as Isaac's room has the mattresses, all the toys, most of Brianna's story books, all the craft stuff and several pieces of furniture. Waaaay easier to do the toy room first. However, I don't have paint for that.

Brianna's almost done the last of her workbooks from our part time homeschooling. She just has the last of her Gr. 2/3 math book to do and has been working on it all day. She has only about a dozen pages or so left so it'll be no problem to finish them before we start full time homeschooling in 2 weeks. 2 Weeks!!! So excited!!!

On Monday I have a meeting with her principal to discuss homeschooling and pulling her. I have his copy of my letter of intent ready. I'm kinda nervous about it since he's a great principal and I don't want him to think I'm insulting him or his school. I've also got to send out my letter of intent to the school board.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An Organized Day

Very productive day! I got Brianna's desk moved out of Isaac's dark-ish room to the nice and well lit old toy room. It now sits in front of a large southern facing window (with a black out blind so it can lowered to shade her eyes but still light up her work). Also found that the old hamster/mouse shelf is a great bookshelf for her larger books and text-style books. They didn't fit on her regular bookshelf (which doesn't have adjustable shelves) so I was lost where to put them.

Next, move to Isaac's room. Oh boy! On the stripping of the possessions day (extreme, repeated bad behaviour made her lose everything but her bed and clothes), I just kinda tossed everything in there. WOW! But now, it's an organized mess. All I have left to go through is her assorted toys (ya know, the random ones that don't come in a set or anything). I also have to figure out what we're gonna do with her hidey chair and the 2nd slingback chair. They're just kinda stuffed in there right now.

Now I really wanna re-paint. The walls in the old toy room and Isaac's room are horrible due to Brianna's drawing on them. They just look gross now. I have the paint for Isaac's room but just can't seem to find the time to do it. Maybe I'll get Lee to occupy the kids on the weekend and get started. I just wish I had paint for the old toy room instead of Isaac's room (I use colored paint) since Isaac's room is shut up right now and the toy room is out in the open (essentially an oversized hallway between the bedrooms). Wonder how much of what colors I have in the basement......

Sunday, October 24, 2010

On a Positive Note:

Brianna started her curling class today. She fell a lot but thankfully there was a lot of 1st year students so she was far from the only one falling. She also discovered that she needs to wear gloves. I guess she didn't put together that playing on ice would mean that the arena was cold lol


So I'm still reading that local history book... There was a whole chapter on the building of the St. Laurence Seaway. Great! I know lots of stuff about that, I'll be able to get some new info! Yeah, not! Again... most of the chapter was about how the influx of Seaway workers changed the religious areas of the town. NOTHING about the flooding of the Seaway, nothing about how they dried up the Long Sault Rapids, nothing about exploding the dam to flood, nothing about the moving of the towns where the flooding was gonna occur.... NOTHING!!!!! I am so pissed at this book! The title is "From Great Wilderness to Seaway Towns. A Comparative History of Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, New York, 1784-2001. WHERE in that does it say that 80% of the book is going to compare the religions and almost only the religions of Cornwall and Massena?!?!? *sigh*

Friday, October 22, 2010

Local History

I need to find some better sources! Currently I have an I'm-unhappy-with book. But it appears to be the only one I can find that goes back 200+ yrs. Our town is one of the oldest towns in Upper Canada and Canada itself so I really want to cover that at some point. I mean I don't plan on diving into it in 3 weeks so it's not like there's a hurry, but it's frustrating that I'm having problems researching our great history! We have sooooo many historical things around town, you'd think I'd be able to find scads of great books about it! I'm thinking a lot of our unit on the towns history is gonna be field trips. Nothing wrong with that, but even minus the homeschooling front, I love history so *I* want to read more about it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Official Virus/Spyware

So my computer is officially dead :( Thankfully I'm now able to use mom's laptop. It's not ideal cause it's old and has issues, but it's better than being offline! I gotta figure out how to hook up my printer to it too. And of course I don't have all my awesome HSing bookmarks cause they're on the dead computer, but that's ok, I have some sites I wanted to check out written in my notebook.

I sooooo can't wait til we start HSing!!! Brianna got kicked by one of her bullies this week. Left a good sized bruise too. Did I hear about the incident from the school? Nope, found out about it from Brianna hours after she got home from school. So done with PS!

We're working on finishing up her old workbooks now so we can start on fresh ones with the beginning of homeschooling. Her father picked me up a Gr. 3 English book so now we're set to start up. There's still several workbooks I *want* to pick up, but nothing we'll be even opening til the new year so no hurry to buy them yet.

Friday, October 15, 2010


OMG My computer/printer are pissing me off!!!!

I've got some virus or something causing pop ups all over the place. It's slow as crap. My printer hates me and freezes anytime I want it to print something with more than 2 pages. And since my printer prints backwards I keep getting the end of printing projects and not the beginning of them. I have several sites I want to print worksheets from and I can't!

And with this virus or whatever I'm having a heck of a time getting to certain pages. For example, I wanted to make a new blog post with some of my favorite free HSing links and every time I tried to get to blogger it would "re-direct" me to a page that's never found. So instead I'm blogging about this hunk of junk. I sooooo need a new computer. Unfortunately that means $$$

And to top it off, the baby is molar teething hard core, so I'm sleeping like crap and it's not making my mood towards my computer any friendlier!

Rant over. 

On a positive note, tomorrow (or today, depending on if you insist on pointing out that it's after midnight) is homeschool soccer. Hopefully we'll be able to play! I know nothing about indoor soccer domes, but I'm assuming that it wouldn't take 2 weeks to fix it after the collapse.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


So much for me keeping up on this lol In my defense, my computer was having issues the last few days and I havn't been able to get to my blog to even view it, let alone post! Thankfully after some deep cleaning, it seems to be better.

So I've decided to revamp our schedule til the end of the year. Both to allow a little de-schooling (but not completely no work since she *is* used to homeschooling, just not on a full time basis) and to stretch out the plans I currently have and have time for the awesome Christmas unit I have planned (if that isn't a drug out sentence I don't know what is LOL!).

Now I have us doing some basic review (so I know where she is) and some set up for the stuff we'll be doing daily (weather tracking, ect...) for the first couple weeks. Then for December, we'll do the Christmas unit and a little of this, a little of that.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Well I got confirmation of my decision to homeschool last night. Brianna told me about 2 boys in her class that are calling her a retard and a bitch. Hello!?! We're talking 3rd grade here! I'm going into the school to talk to her teachers today. I heard the words I'd been hoping to hear... "I can't wait to start homeschooling!"

So I'm pretty far behind on my blogging *bad mommy* I've been alternating between not even touching my curriculum books to planning units and lesson plans from the moment I get up until I fall asleep! 

I've now got math, science and English done to the end of the year (and even some into January). I'm getting the books to start my next history unit (the history of Christmas) and need to find some local maps and books for our next geography unit (our town and area). Thankfully Lee will be a help here since he was born and raised in the area.

I also found that the local Early Years center provides Scholastic catalogs. Even though the program is typically from 0-6 yrs, they do carry the catalogs for the older age groups! They also carry the science and math catalog and the click (computer/tech stuff) catalog, which the schools almost never hand out.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I'm obsessed with planning lol Right now I've got our first 3 weeks curriculum planned including English til the end of the year. I know that no plan is set in stone for homeschooling, but this makes me feel more prepared to take on this huge task. I'm also having lots of fun!

I'm also tracking what subjects we cover in a given week on a tally chart. This is my little way of making sure we've covered all the bases each week. Now I'm sure there'll be a load of things we do in daily life that will add to these tallies, but just knowing I've got everything covered in actual planned stuff makes me feel better. 

Currently I'm working on some basic math skills, carrying and borrowing, perimeter and area and building a multiplication table. Also need to do the next science unit which is hibernation in plants and animals. The animals part seems to be easy to find research on, but the plant part is harder. Then after I get the "boring" planning out of the way I'll be doing our Christmas History unit.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Feeling Accomplished!

Over the last few days I have accomplished a lot! I've completed the planning for our time, graphing, government, family history and weather units and planned our first 2 weeks of homeschool. I've also got a bunch of books to plan our writing, hibernation and government history units. 

Brianna is getting more into it as well. This morning she asked me a question (crack of dawn questions are bad cause I'm in the middle of pumping coffee into me lol) and I told her I didn't know the answer. From behind me she pipes up in a singing voice "homeschool question!" She seems to love the fact that we'll learn about stuff she wants to learn about rather than what she "has" to learn about. Of course, in the curriculum I'm writing, there is a lot of the basics that are learned in school, but it won't be hours upon hours of the same boring stuff.

Her uncle visited today and I told him about some of the reasons why I plan to homeschool (not learning anything new in 4 weeks of school, ect...) and he seemed amazed with what's going on in the school system. He gave me a new idea for French as well. He suggested watching tv in French (which she already does, tv and movies) but also for her to watch hockey games in French. As he pointed out, it's something that she's interested in and already knows what it's like in English so should be able to follow it pretty quickly in French. Great idea!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Scholar's Choice

Went to the Scholar's Choice store today.... OMG Drool-Worthy!!! There were HUNDREDS of workbooks and soooo many applied to Brianna's grade or interests! And all sorts of teacher's aids and activities and cool games and oooooh I could spend a fortune in there!

I also got a bunch of lesson plans written up, 14 yesterday and 3 more today in the car. Now I need more blank ones!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Disappointing Book

So the only Canadian book the library has on homeschooling kinda sucked. The Kitchen Table Classroom seems to be more meant for part time homeschoolers or parents who just supplement their child's school based learning. I picked out a couple fun looking math games to add to the math section and a recipe for rock crystal candy for our science section, but that was it. :(

New Printer!

Went ink shopping yesterday so I could start printing lesson plans. First I took my existing cartridges to one of those refill places and explained the problem. He says my cartridges are dead. Even filled my black one with ink and still couldn't get it to work. Gave me the cartridges back (at no charge) and said I could try the filled cartridge again in my printer, but he's sure they're dead. So I take it home, yup, no go. Crap. 

Headed to Walmart. As I stand in the ink aisle crying over $42 and $65 cartridges my sister points out that the cartridges for her printer are only $20, color or black. We see a $50 printer similar to my sisters. Hmmm... maybe I'll get a new printer! While it may cost a little more, $50 plus tax as apposed to $42 for just a black cartridge, it would save money in the long run by buying cheaper ink. Wandering around I find a sale on basic printers (no copy/scan like mine) for only $20! AND it comes with a black and a color cartridge! Bonus!!! $20 for a new printer AND ink for less than half the price of a single cartridge for my printer! And it's the same brand as my sister's with the $20 replacement ink! SOLD!

So now I've got a brand spanking new printer and I'm gonna sell off the old one (nothing wrong with it, I'm just too poor for it lol) Sooooo excited! I've already printed off a whole bunch of stuff. Now to find a lesson plan template that I like!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Read Too Much

Finished another book today.... Homeschooling The Middle Years. Pretty good ideas. I can't wait to get a new ink cartridge tomorrow so I can start filing my ideas into lesson plans! Yes, I know I can hand make them, but I found a template for them that will make it so easy, so I'm printing blanks to fill in.

Brianna and I went to the library again today. I finally found her a homeschooling book from a kids perspective! It does have some religion in it, but it's just about prayers which Brianna knows about from going to church with her cousins. Otherwise it's a pretty cute book based on a 9 yr old. She talks about the positives of homeschooling compared to going to school which I'm trying to impress upon Brianna right now.

Picked up a couple more for me too, including a Canadian one finally! It's the only Canadian based one that the library has. Thankfully I have the internet to back me up on the rest. I wonder what more recent books there are for homeschoolers though since the newest I can find at the library is 2003. I also discovered that in the reference section (which unfortunately means I can't take it home) there's a activities for homeschoolers book. Apparently it has over 500 things to do with homeschool kids from 3-12. I'll have to peek into it frequently!

Also discovered that the teen section at the library isn't just fluff! I found loads of educational DVDs, videos and books there. Some are out of Brianna's range, but loads are within it! 

Talked to Brianna's father today about moving up her homeschool date (was originally after Christmas, now approx Nov 15th). He seemed ok with it once I explained it would be easier on me and the school to do it like that. He ask if I can do it. I told him of my worries, especially for French, but told him that was why I didn't just pull her out today. I want to have the time to feel more confident in our new route.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today I finally got around to making up Brianna's summer report card. Found a nice template in Microsoft Office for homeschool. Got it all typed up and professional looking (Brianna insists on a report card and I like the idea). Go to print.... blank page! WTH? Try again on a different setting. Nope, blank page. So I try running the nozzle cleaner. Holy crap, there's like nothing printing! There's ZERO color on the page and very smudged faint black. Now, I've got 3/4 of a cartridge of color and a little less than half of a black one. Why isn't it printing?!?! So I took out the cartridges, clean, re-print, clean, re-print.... No go. If anything, it's getting worse. I know if you don't use it for a while the ink can dry up, but i just used to printer to make the baby's birthday party invites 2 mths ago! So I'm looking at about $80 in printer cartridges going to the garbage *cry* I'm going to try taking them to one of those refill places to see if they have an idea, but otherwise I'm gonna be stuck buying new cartridges :(

On another note, I finished another homeschooling book, Homeschooling Step-by-Step. Pretty informative! I wish I could find more Canadian homeschooling books, but 90% of the stuff in the American ones are relevant to Canada anyways. Wanting to start putting together lesson plans, but with the printer issue, that's out of the question for a couple days....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lots Done Today!

Lots done on the homeschooling prep front! 

Decided last night that if I can get French in place, I'm going to pull her after the first reporting period is done, rather than waiting for Christmas, in which she'd be in the middle of another reporting period. The first (and her last) report card will also help with our curriculum.

While at the library to get some new books, Brianna and I discovered a Free Youth Yoga program! Brianna says she's always wanted to do yoga, and free makes me very happy! So now, every second Saturday until Christmas, Brianna gets to spend an hour learning yoga. Phys. Ed., socialization and culture all in one!

Also called the French tutor I found on Kijiji today. Sounds really nice! She's a certified teacher, she normally does older grades but actually had 2 Gr. 3 students last year. I explained how we were looking into homeschool and how I don't speak French at all. She says no problem! She provides the work and even homework. $25 an hour doesn't sound too bad either. She did confirm that Caf+ does only adult French lessons, but I'm still gonna see if they have other resources I can use.

Called about signing Brianna up for curling. Looks like every Sun from 9-11am. Costs around $40 for the whole season and they provide all the equipment, so super cheap for a sport! I told Brianna about finishing out the season even if she doesn't want to do it again and she says no problem, it's good exercise! lol

Got 2 new books on homeschooling at the library. I'm getting some great ideas out of them! There's a couple others I'd like to see if the library can order, but still have about a dozen in stock books to go through. Was drooling over the educational section in the kids level again.
We also picked up Little House on the Prairie today. After Olivia goes to bed we're gonna read the series. Brianna seems pretty interested. The beginning of the 1st book is pretty boring cause it's about their travel across the country, but it gets better pretty quickly thankfully.

Wrote up our curriculum for the rest of her "school-year". Pretty easy since it's 1 thing a day while she's in school. Trying to plan a slow first week of actual homeschooling. The first day is gonna be mostly discussion and introducing the idea of Brianna keeping a blog.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Library Cards!

Made my first major "investment" into homeschooling. A library card for each Brianna and I. I am just salivating over the educational stuff that's now at our finger tips! They had like 50 books just on volcanoes for example! I'm so excited! I found a couple books on the "how-tos" to homeschooling. I'm hoping to pick some ideas out of them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Making the decision

I'm still not 100% certain that we are going the homeschool route, but I wanted to start this blog in the event that we do so that I can keep track right from the start.

My daughter Brianna is 8 and in Grade 3. I have been toying with the idea of homeschooling since before my son Isaac started school. He lives with his father so won't be being homeschooled if that's the route we take. Brianna loves school. Why would I pull her out then? I personally hate the system. I love her school and her teachers, but I hate the system they are forced to follow. I think 90% of High School is useless. We've also had problems with Brianna not paying attention in class and not completing work. I believe this is due to boredom.

So, I've spent the last 2 weeks (since school started) researching homeschooling. It appears in my province, Ontario, that homeschooling is as simple as notifying the school board that I will be homeschooling. No approved curriculum, no testing, no one to answer to. I've read the policies and laws from the Ministry of Education and have read dozens of websites that put the policies and laws into layman's terms.

This week I started preparing. Right now I am looking at the possibility of pulling Brianna out of school after the Christmas break. I've gotten my "curriculum/planning binder" started. As I come across interesting things I'm putting it in there so I don't have 35,615,465 bookmarked web sites to go through.

I've also started picking up materials we'd need. The normal workbooks that I normally buy her, but now paying more attention to content rather than just grade level. There's soooo much I'd like to buy, but I don't want to get too ahead of myself either in case we don't go this route then I'd have too much material for my usual part time homeschooling.