Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

Monday & Tuesday - No school on Monday due to Easter and none on Tuesday due to laziness ;)

Wednesday - Finally got to the Easter worksheets I printed out. A reading comprehension story about Easter. Brianna's used to the short stories for reading comprehension so bombed on it when she first tried. When she actually took the time to READ the story rather than skim through it, she got it.

Thursday - We started in our new Canadian Geography book today with a basic overview of the seven continents. We also watch the Blue Planet movie which was really interesting!

Friday - Today was supposed to be a homeschool soccer day, but no one remembered until about 3 hours after it was over :(  Math was rough today. Brianna's pretty good at adding and subtracting with borrowing and carrying, but keeps making it out like she can't do it *sigh*

We've linked up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Friday, April 29, 2011

Garden Update

We're linking up with The Homeschool Village's Garden Challenge for the 2nd month! See the first post here.

Up here in the Frozen North (otherwise know as Canada), it's still too cold for planting, but we should be able to start in a few weeks! So right now, we're renovating the backyard and watching the Spring Perennials grow.

Our Bleeding Heart with a couple Day Lilies trying to grow within it

Our random daffodils that no one planted lol

First Hyacinth growth!

The first tulip popping up

Our expanded garden and a peek at our new patio and walkway
Brianna was a really big help in expanding the garden. We had to remove a section of sod about 12 feet by 4 feet. She helped by picking out as many worms out of the sod (to toss back into the garden) and shaking off the excess dirt before tossing the sod into yard bags. She also made sure all none garden stuff was out of the garden (sticks, pine cones, ect...). Now we just wait patiently to be told the last chance of frost is gone!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Brianna can now, from start to finish, make herself scrambled eggs for breakfast. Now I know at 8 this isn't such a huge deal but it is for me. Teaching Brianna how to cook and bake is a big step for ME. I am very possessive of my kitchen and have patience issues (ya know, it's faster and easier if I just do it myself?).

However, I know when I was her age I was doing a LOT more in the kitchen and I NEED to let/teach her to as well. I also discovered this morning that she IS tall enough to reach the stove dials to turn the burners on. I didn't think she was.

Mommy. Needs. To. Let. Go.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wilderness Wednesday

No pictures this week, but Brianna did show me she's learning from these Nature Studies! We went for a walk in the park today and Brianna surprised me by remembering the names of several birds that we don't see everyday. She named off red-winged black birds, robins (which we DO see all the time), starlings, a male mallard (which she did even identify as male) and a few others.

We are finally getting some warmer weather so hopefully our Nature Studies will be further flung!

What did you do this week?

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I introduced the idea of the triathlon to Brianna today. She seems interested. She's quite out of shape though. We walked the bike route (3km or 1.86m) at around a 3.8mph pace and she was out of breath a lot. We have lots of work to do! She's excited that she'll get a medal though (any child who competes gets one).

So right now, we'll stick to walking. I hope to have nice enough weather to do the routes 3-4 times a week. This will also be good for my exercise and I'll be tracking our times on my general blog. For the next 4 months, this will count for Brianna's Phys. Ed. class.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week… Money sucks. With Lee laid off and all the bills coming in at once, money just plain sucks. But we'll get through, we always do!
In our homeschool this week… We had a shorter week with Brianna's father coming into town, but still got to get a lot of work done and Brianna got to show off her work to him.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… with it being Easter, we saw LOADS of family on both sides.

My favorite thing this week was… seeing Brianna (who is SPD/ADHD and only 8) behave a heck of a lot better than the several years older children we were with in church for my nephew's communion service.

What’s working/not working for us… Spell By Color. Or at least it seems to be working! We just started it last week, but Brianna's enjoying it!

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have… How far ahead do you collect HS material? I've been picking up pre-school stuff for my not even 2 yr old and DH looks at me like I'm nuts. Same with Brianna, she's roughly 3rd/4th grade level and I have stuff for a few grades ahead.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Our color changing celery that Brianna's all excited about
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An Unschooling Kind of Day

After all the craziness of the Easter weekend we're having a lazy kind of day. Of course, that's not to say there's no schooly stuff going on! Brianna's reading her recycling and plant books and we're going to be cooking/baking once she's done. Then she has a couple of her school movies picked out to watch.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

Monday -Today we started a few experiments for science. The food coloring/celery one and sprouting seeds in the windowsill and cupboard one. For the seeds we decided to expand it a little further by using 2 different kind of seeds in each bowl. A green pea seed and a black eyed pea seed.

We also compared nutritional labels of household foods. I had Brianna pick any 5 items (before telling her what we were doing). She picked peanut butter, tuna, cereal bars, Zoodles and diced tomatoes. We compared the serving size, calories, fat, sodium, fiber, sugar and protein. We then discussed whether we needed a lot or a little of each. Then she checked off which food items "won" in each category. Tuna won for the healthiest item and Zoodles got the loser award. Brianna was surprised about the Zoodles, which I knew she would be. So we discusses why these seeming "healthy" things are only a once and a while food and why it's important to read the nutritional labels so you really know what you're eating.

We also started a new spelling program. Brianna's an odd speller. Some super easy words, she spells wrong, then there's words that are several grade levels ahead of her that she spells right. I had wanted to get All About Spelling for her, but with Lee laid off, spending money on curriculum items is out of the question. Then I was pointed towards Spelling By Color. It's a FREE program that was developed by a homeschooling mom for use in her own home and she has shared it with the world. We've only done the first week but it's going great! Brianna's loving it! I'll review it further as we get more into it.

Tuesday - As busy as yesterday was, we had a quieter day today. We went further into what vitamins and minerals and water can do for your body. We had to do some google research to find answers, which Brianna thought was great.

Wednesday - More Health class... Fiber today. Brianna had to make a menu for a whole day that included enough fiber for a child her age. Her age group needs 25g of fiber. Her menu had 32 so I'd say she did pretty good!

Thursday -We did some plant life cycle work today for science. Brianna was surprised at how so many plants only live one year. We also learned about biennial and perennial plants.

Friday -Last night she spent the night with her father who was in town for the weekend. Today we ended up having no school because by the time she got home we were well into working on our back yard renovations. Instead she went to a neighbour's house and did some bead necklaces. She did however show off a bunch of her school work to her father, like her lapbook and a recent math a spelling test that she got 97% and 100% on. He was quite happy that she seems to be doing well with homeschooling.

Check out other weekly wrap-ups at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Secular Thursday: Easter

My mom lives with us. She's a non-practicing Catholic. She knows I'm non-religious and raising my kids to seek out what ever they want in regards to religion. Brianna occasionally attends church with my very-Catholic sister. I'm totally cool with this.

Today my mom asked me how do you secularize Easter?

Honestly, the same way we do Christmas. To us, Christmas and Easter are about family. Yes, of course, we include Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, but if you ask Brianna, she'll tell you that the holidays are about family.

On Sunday morning we do an egg hunt. I refuse to fall into turning Easter into a second Christmas like so many people do nowadays. I spend about $10. I actually spent $12 this year cause I needed new eggs since Olivia teethed all over last year's. I fill the eggs with some jelly beans, chocolate eggs and about $2 in quarters over the bag of 48 eggs. Brianna thinks it's great!

Sunday night we'll be going to Lee's family for dinner and Monday we go to my family for lunch.

Family. My idea of a great holiday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wilderness Wednesday

I'm a bad blogger and don't even have an update for Wilderness Wednesday this week! We've had nothing but crappy weather and we've been hiding inside. I do have pics of our backyard to show another reason we aren't running around!

Before backyard renovation starts

What our yard looks like right now (only add several inches of water)
But please post your Wilderness Wednesdays! Check out the guidelines and grab our button!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week... Busy, busy, busy! I've been sorting through a bunch of new (to us) school books I've bought over the last month, getting ready for a consignment sale and taking care of a bunch of sick people *knock on wood, I haven't got it yet*

In our homeschool this week… A very short week. Both kids were sick, Brianna the worst Tues through Thurs. We did get Monday and Friday in though! On Monday we started our new science unit and on Friday started Gr. 2 math. Hopefully we'll get through Gr. 2 as fast as we did Gr. 1 and we'll be back to where she should be if the public school taught her what she was supposed to be learning!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… On Sunday Brianna had her last curling day of the season. She's sad, but looking forward to next season already!

My favorite thing this week was… Seeing Brianna's excitement over dissecting lima beans for science,

What’s working/not working for us… We're too early into the science and math books to know whether they'll work for us or not, but so far so good!

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have… When did you start formally teaching your children about puberty and such. I don't mean just answering their questions as they ask them, but teaching/telling/reading to them about the stuff they didn't ask about. Brianna has always been a very accepting child in matters like this. She was 7 when I was pregnant with Olivia and never once thought to ask how she got there, how she came out, nothing. She was even with me until about 30 mins before I gave birth and still no questions. So I'm starting from square one. She'll be 9 this summer. My family typically starts periods around 12, but I want her to know the important things well in advance.

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

Brianna's diagram of a lima bean
 Check out other Mother's Journals at The Homeschool Chick!

Supper Plans

I've added a Supper Plans thing to my sidebar. This is mostly just to make myself accountable and make myself make real meals most nights instead of just throwing something together at the last minute. Or, the other usual, going out to buy more food for our already jam packed house cause I'm too lazy to fit the food we already have together into a meal. If anyone wants recipes of the meals I post each week, just ask!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

Very short week here, both kids were down for the count for 3 days with nasty colds.

Monday - We started our new science unit on plants and such. Brianna's super excited cause she loves all things involved in growing stuff. We'll be done about the time it gets to be garden planting time around here.

Friday - She started on her Gr. 2 math. It's a lot closer to her level. Hopefully after working through this book and the worksheets I found online, we'll be able to move to Gr. 3 where she should be if the schools actually taught her what she was supposed to be learning in Gr. 2 and while she was still there in Gr. 3.

We finally got to check out the lima beans that had been soaking since Monday (we were supposed to dissect them on Tues). Brianna tried to pick on apart but it wasn't working too well so I cut the other one open with a knife. We discussed the embryo and the starting of the plant and how the plant feeds on the seed until the root system grows. She was over the moon picking apart the seeds and drawing a diagram of it.

Check out other weekly wrap-ups over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

Used Book Heaven!!!

Over the last month I've had 3 opportunities to hit used book sales. Even prior to HSing, I've always been a book worm and used book sales have always made me drool. Now doing HSing, it just gives me justification to buying loads of books!

At the local library's book sale:
The Illustrated Natural History of Canada series of 12 hardcover books
Know-It-All Animals
Black Beauty
Essential Facts
MSB Dinosaur Detectve
The General Basic English Dictionary
Little Women

At Value Village:
101 Great Science Experiments
The Macmillan School Atlas (of Canada)
Usborne First Encyclopedia of Space
Usborne First Encyclopedia of Seas and Oceans
Usborne First Encyclopedia of Our World
Usborne First Encyclopedia of Animals
Usborne Great Planet Earth Search

At a Homeschoolers Sale:
Pet Shop Origami
Springtime Origami
Je Revise Avec Mon Enfant Francais (a 2nd grade French book)
The Big Book of Knowledge
Pioneer Projects
Literature Circle Guide - Shiloh
Hooray for Fraction Facts
Gr. 4 Reading
Gr. 4 Math
Gr. 3/4 Spelling Booster
Real Live Science
Beginning to Print
On the Road to Learning
Watch Me Learn
Discovery Toys Busy Bugs

All in all I spent 43.93 for the whole above list. However, (cause I'm a geek like that and figured it out...) the above list of books is WORTH a grand total of (approx) $643!!!!!!! HOLY CRAP I saved like $600!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Curling Season Over

Brianna has completed her first year of curling and can't wait to go back in October! They played a short game (Brianna's team won 2-1), had lunch and handed out awards.

Olivia was amazingly well behaved for being there nearly 3 hours

Just a *teeny* bit happy with her medal!

Her badge and certificate

Close up of the medal

Wilderness Wednesday

Oops! I posted this a day early lol

Today's focus is on birds. While driving out of town, in a big city, we saw a not-so-big-city bird...

 A Wild Turkey! Now what she was doing in the middle of a large city, who knows. We discussed how we knew it was a she cause Brianna learned how only the male turkeys do the gobble-gobble sound, while females have more of a chicken sound.
 Amazingly in the same yard the turkey was wandering around in, we spotted a cardinal! I've never seen one so up close before, man are they bright!
 Back at home we have an abundance of robins this time of year and managed to snap pics of a Mr. and Mrs. Robin pair. Mrs. Robin above, and Mr. Robin getting quite close to us (about 5 feet away) below.

Be sure to check out the guidelines for Wilderness Wednesday and grab our button!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

Waaaaay late on this one, but at least I'm posting it!

Monday - We had a day off cause we went to our first homeschool used book sale! Lots of exciting things, but that's another post.... Brianna DID watch 3 school movies though, so there was some education in there lol

Tuesday - This was a big day. We were working well so we actually did everything we missed from Monday as well!

Wednesday - Today was mainly about completing Brianna's Aboriginals lapbook. Once she actually got into it she realized how much fun they are.

Thursday - This was a boring, regular day.

Friday - We're finished with Gr. 1 math!!! She got 97% on her "final exam" and every question that she got wrong was simply a matter of adding when she was supposed to be subtracting or vise versa. She also finished up her current French book. With the frustrations she's been having with it lately, we're gonna take a bit of a break from French and take it down a notch when we start up again next month.

Check out the other (on time) Weekly Wrap-Ups at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

New Followers, New Blogs to Follow!

I had loads of fun with the Ultimate Blog party this week! Between my 2 blogs I gained 15 new followers and am now following 34 new blogs! YAY!

So as you can probably tell, I've been crazy busy reading blog this week! I read the intro/blog party posts of over 1000 blogs! Yup, that's over one *thousand* blogs. No wonder I'm so far behind on my own blogs!

However, we're back to our regularly scheduled programing! I *do* have 5 days of blog posts to catch up on, but I'll at least be back to blogging.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks - 14

Not sure if I skipped a number or not, but I'm on the current week on the link up and it says it's week 14

I'm taking part in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge

This week's book is Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Asperger's, Tourette's, Bipolar and More! by Martin L. Kutscher

THIS is the kind of book I was looking for! It describes symptom, medications, therapies, and more for several disorders that are commonly diagnosed in the odd children. It's written in layman's terms, but not dumbed down.

As we look into SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) with Brianna, I've been doing a lot of reading research. In this book it's called Sensory Integration Dysfunction, same thing. This book also opened my mind to Brianna also being ADHD.

The book also included a Behavioural Checklist, a Quiz on Executive Function and a Further Reading section (where I found my next several 52 Books!)

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking into the "Syndrome Mix" for any of their children!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Our First Lapbook!

We finally got to finishing our Aboriginals lapbook. Brianna kept putting it off and putting it off and finally today I just said "we're doing the lapbook". By the end of it she kept talking about how much more fun it was than she thought! I'd been telling her from the start that lapbooks are supposed to be fun, but I guess she didn't believe me.

And now... *drum roll please* Our first lapbook! (Pardon the basic-ness of it!)

Pardon my fingers, it won't stay closed and I need to buy some brads

Opened up

Even further



About the Bering Land Bridge

Areas of Canada and the common Aboriginal groups

Clothing (we did study this as 1400s-1700s)

An interesting recipe using the "Three Sisters" (corn, squash and beans)

Wilderness Wednesday

This week's Nature Study is mostly about flowers. Brianna's been out counting flower in the gardens. Oh! And we found our first blooms! So exciting!

The garden count:
- 57 tulips
- 16 day lilies
- 18 daffodils
- 16 crocuses in the back
- 42 crocuses in the front

We also saw a big fat robin sitting on the swingset this morning but we're afraid to run for the camera lest we scare it.

Please read the guidelines for Wilderness Wednesday and grab our button!

Follow Me, I'm Canadian

In the middle of the UBP11 I found a Canadian link up! Woooo for Canadians! If you're Canadian and have a blog, fb page, twitter, ect... check it out and link up at Follow Me, I'm Canadian!

If you're visiting from the Canadian link up, Hi! I'm Sam and this is my homeschooling blog. I've also linked up my general blog. Here I post about our homeschooling journey.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week... This week I started the C25K program. Pretty excited to get back to running. Not that I was ever really a runner. Just a sprinter, but still. Moving towards a goal is awesome! Especially one that revolves around me for once!

In our homeschool this week... We had a strangely good week! Usually I get a good day here or there, but for the most part out day revolves a lot around me prying Brianna's eyes off the ceiling and back to her work. This week had 2 fan-freaking-tastic days that I would love to repeat on a regular basis.

Places we're going and people we're seeing... Another week of not really doing anything. We did have a little get-together at my sister's last night that allowed the kids to stay up til 11pm, so Brianna would say it was a great places we're going and people we're seeing type of thing

My favorite thing this week was... Tuesday and Friday's easy school days. Hand over the work, set the clock, it's done, next!

What's working/not working for us... Using a time limit is beyond belief working for us. Her French is not. We're starting to run into problems with me not knowing French. And I really have no idea if she knows this word or that so I have no clue if it's a matter of her pissing around or truly not knowing it. Thankfully we're done that book in a few short lessons and are moving to a bilingual series that's a little lower in the level and hopefully gets her back moving.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have... Going to a homeschool used book sale tomorrow. Super excited and super nervous. What if these people see me coming from a mile away and charge me more than retail simply cause I have no idea what the stuff is worth? What if I fork out a fortune for stuff that ends up sucking? What if we do a 3 hour round trip and end up not finding anything I want to try?

A photo, video, link, or quote to share... "Just cause you have the right to do something, doesn't mean it's right to do" No reason for this quote, I've just always liked it.

 Come check out the other Mother's Journals at The Homeschool Chick.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

Woooo! We actually got a full week in this week!

Monday - We're doing a lot of math right now to get the Gr. 1 stuff out of the way. A while back, we discovered that Brianna seemed to be missing a lot of basic math facts that she should have learned in public school and didn't, so we went back to Gr. 1 in that subject. Provided we hit no snags, we'll be done by the end of next week and can move into Gr. 2 (which really means I need to pick up some Gr. 2 work!)

Tuesday -Today was an amazing day. Brianna was super speedy in her school work and begged to do extra chores. I love this kid. She has no qualms against washing floors (on her hands and knees) and scrubbing toilets. Let's just hope she stays that way!

Wednesday - Today was a really rough day. Complete 360 from yesterday. We did get Nature Study in and that was a welcome sigh of relief from the rest of the day. Brianna thought it was great that she's noticing more and more things going on each week (me too!).

Thursday - School was pushed into the afternoon so we could get errands done, but she didn't have much to do today anyway. One of the things were starting is "taking notes". I've picked up relevant-to-what-we're-learning books from the library (simpler ones) and she has to read the book and pick out 5 important points from them. Also a lesson in plagiarism since, much to her disappointment, I won't let her do it. 

Friday - Another great day! How am I so lucky to have that happen twice in 1 week?!? Right now she's helping grandma make pasta salad (it's only 2 hrs past her bedtime....)

Check out other weekly wrap-ups at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers!