Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Starting Preschool

What do I mean "Starting Preschool"?? I've been doing assorted Tot School posts for quite some time!

I have started the letter of the week program with Olivia so often, she's probably got most of the first half of the alphabet's worksheets memorized lol Then I get lazy and forget to do them. However, she's now firmly 3 years old now (3 years 4 mths to be exact!), it's time to actually get through the WHOLE alphabet. A through J we're going to double up on (A&B, C&D, ect...), these are letters we've already done at least twice. Then we'll go back to doing one letter a week.

The sites I use most often are 1+1+1=1 and Confessions of a Homeschooler. I do use several others, but these 2 are the most common.

I set up a school notebook for her which she just loves! It's got a bunch of sheet protectors (which she can use dry erase markers on) with pages like her name, our phone number, our address, her birthday, a sheet each of letters and numbers and shapes. I don't know how often I'll switch them out, but she's pretty happy with what's in there for now.

I also have a whole pile of preschool workbooks that we've collected over the years. For one child, I probably won't even go through half of them, but it's nice to have a variety!

 Thus far, Olivia is loving to get official "school time." She even skipped on a favorite tv show earlier because as she told us she "had to finish her school work" LOL!
Bacon loves to "supervise" Olivia's school work (Photo credit to Brianna)

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Visitor

Today I got an expected visit from the Children's Aid Society (CPS, DHS, and so on). I knew the visit was coming. A certain troll follows my blog, and has for some time (my blog stats are quite telling of who searches for me *wink*). After I posted this post about Brianna's SPD/Aspergers meltdown, I knew this troll would call CAS, as they have many times before.

The worker showed up as we were dancing around the house to Let It Snow! lol very abusive house here *sarcasm* As I never have anything to hide, I invited her in and turned the music down (only a little bit though lol).

She said that she was here as she had gotten a report that I was trying to push syndromes and disorders on Brianna and restraining her. After she spoke with Brianna alone, we went on to the porch to chat. I told her straight out about the blog post above and how I knew I had a troll and was expecting the worker's visit. I offered to let her read the blog post that I knew her visit came from but she declined.

I told her that Brianna *presents as* having Sensory Processing Disorder and Asperger's but has no official diagnoses and probably never will as I don't feel it's something that she needs a doctors help for. I also told her that unless it came to a time that Brianna needed medication or other therapies that she would never be given a "label". Brianna shows many symptoms of SPD and Apserger's (and yes, I do say, when talking to others, that she has SPD and Asperger's) but I don't feel that she needs to feel any different about herself so it's not something that I've sat down and told her "you have SPD or Asperger's". We've talked about her sensory issues. But I don't label it to her as Sensory Processing Disorder. I explained to the worker that I research various coping methods for SPD and Aspergers to assist with Brianna various issues, but as I've always been a parent to try new stuff, so it doesn't even phase Brianna. The worker applauded me for not labelling my daughter and for not trying to con a diagnoses out of a doctor if I didn't feel it was needed. (Side note: I know that a lot of people NEED labels and that's perfectly ok, I just don't feel at this time that they are needed for Brianna)

When asked about restraining Brianna, I told her exactly what happened with Brianna's meltdowns and what I do (just like my blog post above). As I'm telling her about Brianna flailing and thrashing herself about, the worker herself, interjected that Brianna needed to be stopped from hurting herself or others. She told me that Brianna has no complaints and apparently even commented on how I help her calm down when she's upset. The worker said that it was a good thing that I went into such detail in my blog as others may read it looking for suggestions with their own children and by going into such detail, they would learn how to restrain in a protective, correct and helpful as opposed to an abusive manner.

The worker had some off the record questions about homeschooling as when she walked into the house of course the first thing she sees is Brianna's school work on the table and our posters and maps all over the wall. She seemed quite impressed with Brianna's progress.

All in all, it was a good visit and the worker told me straight out that she has no concerns and would be closing the file immediately. While this troll was trying to "get me in trouble", all they succeeded in doing was making me look good to CAS, so thanks troll!

Monday, November 5, 2012


This weekend we had the opportunity to spend some time in Ottawa in the early morning (read not so many tourists lol).
Looking up at the Peace Tower of the Center Block of Parliament

Brianna standing under the archway of the Peace Tower

The Cats of Parliament Hill. This cat sanctuary is on the Parliament grounds.  6 (fixed) male and female cats reside on Parliament Hill and are taken care of by volunteers. Brianna got some lovings from Fluffy, the cat in the center of this picture. **As it turns out, I'm especially glad that we made this trip as the Cats have all been adopted and the Cat Sanctuary is being torn down. As sad time on Parliament Hill**

The Centennial Flame. It was lit with Prime Minister Lester B. Person on Jan 1st, 1967 for the event of Canada's 100 year anniversary as a Confederation. Around the flame is the shields from 12 of Canada's provinces and territories (Nunavut is not included as it only became a territory in 1999) and along the bench is the date each province/territory joined Confederation and their official flower. Brianna thought it was great that even though it was freezing out, the water from the fountain was warm.

Brianna was just over the moon to see the Terry Fox monument that we talked about while studying Terry Fox in September. We spent a lot more time on Parliament Hill than with this monument but yet it's the one she talks about the most!

The National War Memorial. This memorial was originally build in remembrance for World War  I. However, it was  completed in October 1938 and officially unveiled by King George VI on May 21, 1939, just months before World War II started. It was later rededicated to include WWII and the Korean War. In 2000, the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added to the base of the monument.

The Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This soldier originally died and was buried in France during WWI. The remains were exhumed  in 2000 and flown to Ottawa. The honoured soldier had a full funeral procession to the National War Memorial. Then, with appropriate ceremony, the body of the unknown soldier was re-interred in a sarcophagus in front of the War Memorial. You can see in this pic the first of what will be a sea of poppies placed there by passer-by in honour of the Unknown Soldier.

Brianna loved seeing all the cool stuff in just a small 2 block area. Because Ottawa is Canada's Capital, it would take weeks or even months to be able to see everything Ottawa has to offer, but at least we got a good little start!

Friday, November 2, 2012

October Stats

I'm a statistics geek so feel free to ignore this post :D

Top Posts:
Current Curriculum (Aug 2012) (8/11/12)
Titanic! (4/20/12)
Weekly Wrap Up (10/12/12)

Top Referring Sites:
Canadian Homeschool Society
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Top Keyword Searches:
Lima Bean Dissection (I giggle that this 1.5 yr old post is still so hot in the searches lol
Worksheets for Pre-K
Grading Cheat Sheet

The USA gave me the most visitors, followed by Canada and Russia.
Most of my visitors came to me though IE, followed by Chrome and Firefox via Windows, Mac or Linux 

Weekly Wrap Up

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

This week started with Brianna and I re-organizing our Emergency Kits. I'm glad we did it because with moving last year we forgot to do it and there was a lot of stuff that needed replacing. We also spent a lot of time tracking Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully we're too far inland to get any horrible weather from it, but we did have some wicked wind and Brianna was amazed to know that this wind was from the hurricane.

Brianna is showing some real natural talent in the flute. She is picking up notes and songs easily. She also appears to be playing by ear quite often, and doesn't even realize it. She's also speeding through the music book. I put together a loose weekly plan to make sure I cover all the important points and she's already 2-3 weeks ahead of me!

She also completed her first reading log and is super excited to got buy and new book and start a new list!

This weekend we're doing a field trip to downtown Ottawa to see Parliament and some other monuments around the area. Brianna was especially happy to hear that we'll see a Terry Fox Memorial! Pics to come!

5 Question Friday

I'm linking up with My Little Life

1. What terrifies you the most? Outside the typical parent response of something happening to my kids.... falling. I am obviously not a fan of spiders, but falling just scares the crap outta me!

2. Favorite fall/winter drink? Hot chocolate! (I'd say coffee, but I chug that year round)

3. Do you and your spouse have the same political views? Yup!

4. What was the last book you read? Was it any good? The Maze Runner series. And yes, it was great! It falls along the same theme as Hunger Games.

5. Do you look forward to the snow each winter? Why or why not? oh hell yes! I looooove snow! 

Reading Log Completed!

We're very much book lovers here. This year we started a book report program of sorts with Brianna so she could earn more books. We found this book list and decided that for every 25 books Brianna reported on, she would earn a gift certificate to the cook store.

Well today she filled in her list and is over the moon to be heading to the book store tomorrow! She was even happier to hear that she can get working on another list and get another book card when she fills that!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Pics!

Happy Halloween!

My butterfly and my princess ballerina

Our pretty nails

We ended up with better and drier weather than we were predicting 

Olivia got pooped about 6-8 blocks from home and rode with her personal Daddy-chariot

Brianna was super sparkly!