Monday, February 28, 2011

New Stuff

I was playing with some of my new "toys" last night and today. I put up our 100 Days Fish Bowl and added the current number of fish to our next 100 days.

Next I arranged my new letters in the toy/work room upstairs. I'd like to at least partially have this be a schoolish room as the time goes by

Last I made up Brianna a Daily Schedule. It worked today a zillion time better than I thought it would! Normally, the stuff before "School" takes forever and most of it doesn't even get done before we need to get started on school. As for the rest, well, I'm lucky if it gets done at all. Today was amazing! I gave her the list (which I laminated) in the morning after waking her up and after prying her eyes open enough to read it she hopped to it! Everything marked for before school was done before we needed to start school and other than her computer/blog time she got everything else on the list done too. I am so beyond thrilled with how well this worked! And without any prompting (I didn't even think of it til I saw it), she brought it to bed with her so she could see it first thing in the morning.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal

I found another weekly type of post to hook up with! The Homeschool Mother's Journal over at The Homeschool Chick. Since I have my Weekly Wrap-Up on Friday's, I'll post this on Saturdays or Sundays.

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week... It was my birthday on Friday. Brianna made me a special treasure box and Lee bought me flowers and took me out to dinner. Bad for the diet, but oh so yummy!

In our homeschool this week... We had a lighter week than normal with Family Day being on Monday, a no sleep day on Wednesday and a finishing up the secret birthday present on Friday. I've been spending all day planning out our Health and Nutrition course.

Places we're going and people we're seeing... On Monday we went to Ottawa to see Sens Skills and go skating on the Rideau Canal. And we had soccer with our homeschool group on Friday.

My favorite thing this week was... Family Day. It's been a while since we had a day to go out with the family.

What's working/not working for us... Our schedule in general has not been working for us. There's been a lot of slacking on both mine and Brianna's part and it's taking too long to get the simplest things done. I've been focusing so much on core subjects that we've had next to no time for fun stuff and it's wearing on us. Boot Camp for both of us starts tomorrow.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have... I'm wondering if I should be looking more into typical "homeschool" curriculum or if the teacher-store bought workbooks and a mix of books and websites is good enough. I mean, I know Brianna's learning and I enjoy looking for resources for us to use, but I keep seeing people posting a zillion acronyms for this product or that site and wonder if I should use more main stream homeschool products.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share... 

I love that my children play chess for fun

Week In Review

A bit late this week! But I did remember to take part in the Weekly Wrap-Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

Monday - We had a quick bit of school work before heading to Ottawa for Family Day activities! Both Lee and Grandma had the day off so the whole family got to join. First we went to Sens Skills. Always lots of fun to watch these pro hockey players have just a plain ole day of fun!

Next we went to the Rideau Canal for some Winterlude fun! It was really windy and cold so we really only got skating done, but it was worth it!

Tuesday - We celebrated our 100th day of Homeschooling! Brianna did a fairly big essay on what she thought life would be like in 100 years complete with pictures. She tried to make it as silly as possible (like driving in bowl-bug cars).

Wednesday - We did a light day because I only got about 5 hrs sleep. Mommy + no sleep = not productive! She did get the rough draft and final copy of her letter to her penpal Carmen done though.

Thursday - Brianna scrambled to get her school work done so she could go hide in Grandma's room. Top secret stuff going on!

Friday - We had soccer with our homeschooling group in the morning and I let her skip school in the afternoon (we're doing Friday's work today) to finish her top secret work with Grandma. Turns out she was making me a treasure box for my birthday.


I went to my favorite teacher store today, Scholar's Choice and did some school shopping. Mostly stuff for the present or near future.

Since we have nothing specific for Grammar, I picked this mini Grammar (Gr. 3) book up. The geography/maps book I bought last month is a shorter one, we'll need something to continue on by the end of March. In came Canadian Geography and Mapping Skills (Gr. 3-5). Since we've been having some healthy choices issues I wanted to touch on Nutrition sooner rather than later. I'd been looking at Canadian Health Activities (Gr. 4-6) for a while and finally picked it up. I also grabbed this mini bulletin board set. 

For fun, I got these cute letters to do whatever with and this awesome 100 days fishbowl kit to keep track of our 100 days. No need for them other than the need for fun stuff :)

I also grabbed this cheapy gemstone excavation kit. I think it'll be something interesting to do, but I don't want to buy the real, more expensive one if there's no interest. One thing I know will be liked is that the stuff you dig through to find the "gems" is bath fizzy stuff!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Daddy Came to Soccer!

Pardon the speed-shot!
Lee had the day off today and it just so happened to be a soccer day for our homeschool group. So Lee finally got to see that we aren't the only homeschoolers in the world lol Olivia also came with us to kick around the soccer balls.

We ran late but Brianna still got to play about 1/2 the game. In goal, as she loves. Lee got to know some of the other HS parents and I got to talk to a facebook friend that's in our group who's launching an all Canadian Homeschool Magazine. I can't wait til September when the first paper copy comes out. Here's the website for now.

Homeschooling With Grandma

,Since my birthday was today, Brianna has been sequestered in Grandma's room with her doing "top secret stuff". Apparently a painting lesson has been going on. Brianna picked a nice box she wanted to make a treasure box out of for me. Then Grandma did a base coat and Brianna made a design on paper to make sure to do a good and proper job, then painted it on. Grandma did the gloss spray though. Brianna designed and painted/decorated it whole box, inside and out. A totally awesome birthday present if I do say so myself!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Becoming More Relaxed

I've been going at these last few month quite hardcore. Must have loads of core subjects, every day. Barely having any time for fun stuff (even falling under a core subject). So I have decided to force myself to be more relaxed. Since we were coming up to a point where I hadn't filled up the pages of my planner with curriculum to be followed, it wasn't that hard to move stuff around.

As of Monday we have new rules. No more than 3 core subjects per day (I consider everything bookworkish to be core, math, English, science, history and geography all fall under core to me). On days where we have outside activities, no more than 2 core subjects.

My planner suddenly appears bare! However, I look at the last few months and not only would I have 4/5 cores per day, but sometimes more than one activity, workbook or project for a single core in a day! No wonder both Brianna and I were getting so stressed by the end of the day.

This way, we'll have a chance to go more in depth to interested areas, but not be stuck (for hours sometimes) on something that is totally uninteresting. Not to say that we won't still be covering the same stuff, it'll just be spread out more. The fact that we homeschool year round makes this even easier!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

100 Days

Today was our 100th day of homeschool! I wanted to do something for the 100 days like the public schools do since it's just another fun thing. However, since we HS year round and through holidays and such, we will be doing a 100 day every 100 days.

Today Brianna had a fun essay. She had to think of how things would be in 100 years. We'll be driving bowl-bug cars, living in trees, looking like monkeys and all the grass will be flowers. It was a hard start though. She still got so much school mentality that she was getting all frustrated at her self for not *knowing* how it's gonna be in 100 years. I had to explain to her in great detail how this was a FUN project! She could make up whatever she wanted! Be fun, be silly, use your imagination! There was no right or wrong answers. Once she got going, you couldn't stop her! Here's her report....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks

I am taking part in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge

This week I read Falling Home by Karen White

An excerpt from the back reads "At twenty, Cassie Madison left her hometown of Walton, Georgia, without so much as a backwards glance, but when a family crisis calls her home, she must part with the satisfaction of her Upper East Side life - and return to the tumult of the one she left..."

Excellent book. One of those home is where the heart is type of books.

Cassie does everything she can to refuse her past and home while helping her sister take care of her dying father. Once he does die, the sisters come across a secret from before they were born. In trying to solve the mystery Cassie comes to see how much her family and hometown mean to her.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Brianna's Homeschool Record Book

I'm so excited! I made up/found a whole bunch of printables and made a record book for Brianna's HS stuff. It'll work as a planner currently and as a keepsake type of thing for later. I'm doing these books up for 3-4 mths at a time. Here's some pics :)

 A cheat sheet for grading
 Grade sheets
 A place for Brianna to record cool stuff from field trips
 Some Nature Journal pages
 A bunch of blank pages with a place for a picture to record random projects and such.
 Daily and book-ly reading logs
There's more, but they were more boring pages.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Week In Review

I guess I've been slackin' eh? No excuses really, other than maybe Farmville and Gourmet Ranch LOL! I love joining new linky things and I've been meaning to join this one for a while.... The Weekly Wrap-Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Here's my first shot...

Valentine's Day - We did all Valentine's Day themed stuff. Math sheets, English sheets, baking heart shaped cake-cookies, ect...

Tuesday - I won the Bad Mommy Award. I fought with Brianna all day to do her school work, she was just in another world all day. We got only 2 things done cause she was in la-la land all day. 6pm rolls around and she says she feels yucky. In my current mood I told her fine, have some soup and go to bed early. She happily did! Couple hours later she comes back downstairs with a fever of 101. Oops. I guess that explains why she was off all day!

Wednesday - Official sick day. She did a bit of coloring for her Aboriginals lapbook while laying on the couch, but otherwise just vegged.

Thursday - Back to work. Got caught up on some of the missed work and spent the evening getting soaking wet in the rainy/melty backyard with her friend.

Friday - Gold Star Day! Her first star earned in over 3 weeks. She was so proud of herself!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 6

I am taking part in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge

This week's book was English as a Second Language by Megan Crane

I grabbed this book quickly from the library's new novels shelf because of the blurb on the front "Totally hilarious and deliciously wicked! This is one book I never wanted to end".

While it wasn't a horrible book, it was a waste of reading time IMO. A *good* book of this length (just over 270 pages), would take me 2 days max to read. This one took me 5. Translates into a slow read. Maybe better suited to an older teen.

The main character, Alex, is a woman who's ex-boyfriend says she could never get into graduate school in England. So she makes it her mission. She gets accepted into a smaller not known graduate program where she meets some foreigners and Englishmen. They seem to spend most of their time drinking yet Alex can put out wonderful, marked with distinction, papers and dissertations.

I'll look forward to exchanging this book for something with some more brain power.

Homeschool Pictures

Finally got the camera, computer and photo programs up and running so this blog post will highlight some of the stuff we've done over the last few mths.

 From the Homeschool Bowling Day

The cross stitch pattern Brianna stitched for Grandma for Christmas

Some of the sentences Brianna made with her French food words
 Above: Daddy helping with some math work. Below: Olivia's excited to start homeschooling too!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I spent the day printing math sheets for Gr. 1. Let's see where she is. I, of course, think she'll fly through grade 1, she knows this stuff, but then again, I thought she knew the stuff in the Gr. 3 books.

2 of my favorite free sites are: - it's a refresh site, where you can click on the topic you like and just hit refresh every time you print something and it'll be a whole new worksheet - not a refresh site but it had LOADS of printables. This site is also multi-subject and grade.

Now I need more ink lol

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Back to basics is the word around here! This week we discovered MORE things that Brianna is behind in for math. We're going back to Gr. 1 and starting over. I don't even know what she learned in the last 2+ years of school cause there's so much she's missing.  

Brianna and I were doing what I thought was super simple, basic review in math this week. Ya know the multiplication table? Well we had one the same style but with adding. She had to find which problems equaled 16. Sure, she could find the 16s, but then had NO IDEA how to use the table to figure out the problems (7+9, 8+8, 9+7). This is Gr. 1 level! She's *supposed* to be in Gr. 3! 

This is on top of her having no idea how to borrow in subtracting. On top of her barely being able to carry in adding. On top of her not being able to multiply past x2. What the hell have they been teacher her these years????? All of her report cards gave her Bs or even As. What we're they marking to give her those grades?! The school obviously dropped the ball. 

I pulled her our of PS because of bullying and various other "not liking the system" reasons. NOT because she was behind. From talking to her teachers, reading her report cards, ect... she was doing just fine! I'm so pissed!

Monday, February 7, 2011

First Day Back

Brianna got an extended vacation and again proved why we can't take a lot of time off. We skipped Wednesday so I could spend the day shoveling. Then she was sick Thurs and Fri. Then there was the weekend. 5 days off = lots of work to get back into the swing of things!

We did get a lot done today though. She did a few worksheets of adding and subtracting. We have a lot of work there. She frequently forgot to borrow when subtracting, then tried to borrow when adding, not noticing the sign change.

She started working in her curriculum book in the science section. It's what I consider boring science stuff, learning about pulleys and forces and so on... Brianna thought it was great! If she keeps it up over the unit I'll pick her up some of the science books on that stuff that I skipped over.

We also started turning her spelling words into a pocket dictionary. While she's not enjoying the writing out part of it, she loves the idea of *having* the pocket dictionary. Once we've caught up to her current week spelling words it won't be so bad to write out the words, but over the next couple weeks we've got to do the definitions and such for all her spelling words back to November!

On a great note! My BIL got my computer back up and running so I now have access to all my homeschool bookmarks/sites and my printer! YAY!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Did some school shopping today. I love school shopping. Yes, I'm a geek lol

First I picked up some cute marbled index cards and a container for them to make a little pocket dictionary. We're gonna use the words Brianna's gotten correct on spelling tests to start. Writing down each word with it's definition and alphabetizing them.

For our continuing unit on Canada's History I picked up In Pioneer Days. Brianna is loving anything to do with pioneers and when she was flipping through her new book she wanted to start right away!

For English I got Story Starters. It shows a picture you need to write about and gives you a list of 5/6 words to get you started. Similar to our picture story for daily writing. Brianna's taking longer and longer to come up with what to write about so I thought this would be a good helper.

An interesting math book was Multiplication Facts Made Easy. It's a starter type of book that teaches all sorts of multiplication little tricks. Since Brianna typically looks at me blankly when I try to teach her the tricks I know, this'll take a load of my shoulders.

I also picked up some file folders to try out lapbooking. From what I can see, Brianna'll love it. It's essentially taking what we're learning and turning it into a craft. Hopefully I'll have a good computer running soon so I can start sharing pics of what we're doing again!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sick Day #2

We ended up doing her spelling words and Aboriginal People test yesterday. She wanted to, so no problem!

Today she woke up still ugh and sniffly and I feel cruddy Mommy. We're still gonna do her spelling test and science stuff, but everything else will get shoved off. I don't mind, I'm still getting over this same cold myself!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sick Day

Last night Brianna started complaining of a sore stomach, sore throat, feeling pukey, ect... She slept on the couch to be close to the bathroom and spent most of the night moaning and groaning in her sleep. This morning her stomach is almost better but she's still got a sore throat and sniffles pretty well every time she breathes in.

Well at least we can get a little education in. We finally found her Leapster so she got to finally try her Christmas game Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends which is a spelling-based game. She thinks she's lazing around playing video games while sick, I know she's practicing spelling rules. Everyone's happy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day... Sorta

We woke up to our lovely snow storm so I canceled school in order to have an extra body to help shovel. Yeah.... Brianna shoveled for about 30 minutes then spent 5 hours at the neighbour's house cause her friend got a snow day from school. Brat lol

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Week 5

I am taking part in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge.

This week I read The Lucky Sperm Club by Rebecca Eckler

Contrary to what my husband thought when he first saw the title, it's not a gross book. It's about a woman, Amanda, who gets pregnant by a very rich man. He chooses the non-father route and she raises her daughter, Clover, as a single mom. The father's mother starts to see Clover when she's about 4 years old and treats her like a princess during their visits while mom is raising her on canned corn and frozen fish sticks.

Clover's father wants Amanda to send her to a fancy private school, he'll even pay for it. This is totally out of Amanda's league but she agrees. She becomes friends with one of the "Richie Riches" and soon learns to love the rich lifestyle.

The book goes through Clover's childhood and upbringing having multi-millions that belongs to Clover, not Amanda. It's sort of a rags to riches style of book, but not really.

I very much recommend the book if you can get past the title. Great Canadian author!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Giveaway On One Of My Boards!

One of my favorite homeschooling boards, Secular Homeschool, is having a giveaway this month from Time4Writing! Come check out both the site and the giveaway. It's free to enter :)