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.