homeschooling over the holildays

yeah, that happened. :) did a little bit but mostly we cleaned, we relaxed, we spent time with friends and family.

We read the books we normally do.
We talked and played and did some Christmas oriented work, but mostly we just lived life.

We start back soon.

Today we got together with a friend and did some skating. We had a lot of fun.

Found some sites I want to look at further.

Poetic devices.

Parts of speech.

Clip art resources.

all about reading

Heart of Dakota. Link

Nativity/Bethleham buildings.

Hopefully we can remember these for next year.

A blog that listed all parts for making a paper craft of Bethlehem the town.

Christmas Bureau

This morning the lad and I helped at the Christmas Bureau.

We had a good time and did some good work.

It was interesting how accepting this group of people are about a six year old volunteering. Some folks aren't. They just say.. a child...he can't help, he'll just be a hindrance. But this group of folks, to a tee, were quite helpful and accepting of him helping.

Today we helped stuff the goodie bags...this meant putting in a wood toy, socks, mittens, hat, scarf, stuffie, and small toy. We stapled and organized the bags.

When the lad needed a break he ran up and down the hallway.

He was polite and talkative. He made some good decisions about what stuffies would make good toys for boys.

After lunch we helped with sorting out the toys from the local schools.

They made a GREAT lunch, and even had a boston cream donut for one six year much better could it get? :)

our plans this week

homeschooling this week will be focusing on cleaning our house, bookwork, and stuff planned.

For instance, gymnastics and swimming are planned events.
We also will be volunteering at the Christmas bureau two days.
and hopefully on Friday visiting friends.

We are doing daily advent readings. We are using this guide.
If interested in getting, click the picture.

We'll be doing our normal reading.

10 minute stories

He really liked today's story. It was well written and inspired thought and brought a smile to his face. Giant birds flying! :)

World History

We are into Roman history now. We continue to learn about gladiators. Today he learned how gladiators usually fought to the death. his response.. "IF I were there mommy I throw down giant cages down that could catch them so they couldn't get out and hurt each other mommy."

Friends and homeschool

Today we plan to go visit a friend and just have some play time/learning time and what not. :)

But the youngest needs to see the doctor so we are waiting for them to return.

In the meantime we went over to simple schooling which is doing 12 days of giveaways right now. WOOT WOOT! they have a study on Penguins! We didn't get all the way through it, but what we got through was quite interesting. hopefully we'll return to it early next week. :)

We did our normal reading.

10 minute stories

He really liked today's story. It was well written and inspired thought and brought a smile to his face.

World History

We are into Roman history now. We continue to learn about gladiators.

he played fable with dad for a while as a reward for doing good work. :)

Then some playtime for a bit while I set up studyladder for him. I had planned that we would do some science, english and math. But we ended up doing a craft instead and learned where quality in what you get makes a difference. NOT all crayons are created equal. I need to post pics yet.

then off to his friends house. :) helped his mom out with a couple things, sat and chatted. It was a good visit. :) The lad had a whole lot of fun playing games and just being a lad with a friend. Good stuff.

Today a good day

Today was a good day.

Didn't exactly go homeschooling wise as I thought it might.

On Wednesday mornings I have bible study so hubby dear usually gets the lad busy with book work. but this morning hubby's brain was fried so that didn't go over.

Over lunch therefore, we did our normal reading.

10 minute stories

He liked today's story. I shortened it here and there as it was quite wordy and that NEVER goes over well with the lad. But it was a good story about a firebird, a grey wolf and a boy who had to learn how to listen well.

World History

We are into Roman history now. We are learning about gladiators.

I had gotten the lad onto reflexmath before I headed out to bible study. The lad enjoys this program.

So after I got back from my stuff I got the lad busy with Studyladder. We did math, music, and something else that right now I can't remember.

This afternoon we played a game with dad. Catopoly
We had a lot of fun playing it. So much nicer playing games with a lad who is willing to follow the rules of the game.

oh..I'm trying to work home-making skills into our week... today it was cleaning the upstairs bathroom. I set the boy at the task of cleaning the bathtub. He did a decent job for a six year old doing a job for the first time. he did an EXCELLENT job of having a bath so he could clean his toys up really really well. :)

Then peter rabbit videos were the thing to watch, followed by supper and children's club at the baptist church. They are learning the fruits of the spirit there. What I know most is how much the lad enjoys attending. :)

Sites I want to explore more

Housing a Forest linky page.

K5 Learning.Link

that worked well

went to the Stratford library to do our schooling before heading off to swimming.

I think I shall do that more often. Getting out work done at the library means less distractions.

means I have to be better organized, but better organized, and having better schooling done over a shorter period of time sounds like an excellent idea to me. :)

We did art and science today at the library. A good thing that! We first did some book work though, then played art and language skills on a computer, and some science as well on the computer. Then we started doing our Christmas cards... excellent way to practice our spelling!
He has watched the rescuers a fair bit lately so the golden eagle and the boy riding the figure prominently. :)
building Christmas cards... stickers, drawing and writing. It's all good.

Then off to lunch at boston pizza, and then over to the YMCA for swimming lessons.
the lad in the blue head band. :)

Then home again.

Played a game before bed (connect four) and played a construction game as well.

Today we....

We started off with our normal daily readings out of

10 minute stories

The lad didn't appear to be impressed... was off playing and chatting while he listened. Some stories keep him glued to the chair.

World History

We are into Roman history now. It's just fascinating reading tidbits about ancient history. Today we learned what good builders and architects they were.

Then we went with reflexmath. The lad enjoys this program.

Then upstairs to do a snowman search and find. This gives us a chance to talk and read a page in a large floor puzzle book. We talk about different ways to hold a pencil crayon to get different effects, and the lad has fun searching out the hidden objects.

A fellow homeschooler over at Learning To Homeschool gave me this idea. To have a daily word to learn. I asked her how she came up with them and she said just words they come across as they read or talk. Since that's too "iffy" for me I decided to use this

Children's Illustrated Dictionary.

Today's word was Abacus: a frame with beads that slide along wires, used for counting.

I read another chapter out of First Language Lessons, Levels 1&2

We read a few poems out of a book until we found one that made us both think of a picture in our heads, so we drew. This also gave us an opportunity to talk about the different ways one can hold a drawing implement in order to achieve different effects.

I'll try to post pics of what we did later today.

now off to swimming lessons, and then the library afterwards if it's still open upon our return. :)

Hands of a Child black friday sale

I used to have a super membership with these fine folks. Funds prevented that this year. Must say their sale is looking tempting.

anyways, go here. :)

HOAC is having a huge sale of up to 45% off their own products.

On cyber Monday they are offering up to 30% off products made by other folks that they happen to carry.

And this year they are participating in Small Business Saturday. Saturday, November 26th is the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is a day that is dedicated to supporting small businesses. Please take time out of the busiest shopping weekend of the year to support small businesses! And on that day you can save on Super memberships. They are offering 1-year Super Memberships for $50.00 (retail $75.00). Purchase a Super Membership on Small Business Saturday and not only do you save $25.00, but you make a HUGE impact on their business.

Tangents and more

One of the things I enjoy about homeschooling is some of the interesting tangents one can take.

For instance this morning we added studying at least one or two animals every week. We don't go indepth, we just read a bit, find a location of where the animal lives, it's animal track if we can get and draw a picture of it and one fact that is interesting.

today we did caribou. We read about them in this book.

Then I searched for a nature study page we could use a base, and found this one I got as part of the teacher's toolbox from the old schoolhouse.

I asked the lad to draw a picture of a caribou while I found a picture of where the caribou lives (up north) and caribou tracks.

He did that. and then it evolved as pictures in this house are apt to do. To "J is capturing the caribou" (he was tranquilizing them which he's learned about from watching nature shows on TV.

From that evolved this story.
"The caribou are escaping from the zoo and a tree root grew really fast and there were eagles who escaped from the zoo. The angry birds came to help the bunny town Justin recapture all the animals that got out of the zoo. They are tranquilizing the eagle and the caribou." I read what I recalled to the lad and he added the following "The zoo man ran after the guinea pigs and ben said don't attack them, they are trying to help".

This was a just a fun way to learn and think and talk out what is happening.

We also did some work out of this book.

Listening Skills for grades 2-3. This book was interesting because it had a dot-to-dot with all mixed up numbers and letters and I told the lad where to draw and what type of line to draw. At the end of it we were surprised to find a bunny on a swing. The book below is similar to the one we have but ours is an older version of it. :)

A fellow homeschooler over at Learning To Homeschool gave me this idea. To have a daily word to learn. I asked her how she came up with them and she said just words they come across as they read or talk. Since that's too "iffy" for me I decided to use this

Children's Illustrated Dictionary.

Today's word was Aardvark.

I read another chapter out of First Language Lessons, Levels 1&2

We did our normal daily readings out of

10 minute stories

some of the stories in this book are quite good, others leave something to be desired. Today's story left the lad confused.

World History

We are into Roman history now. It's just fascinating reading tidbits about ancient history. Gives us a good framework for study in the future. :)

We repotted a couple of plants, the lad learned what it means that a plant is rootbound and that we have to help the plant by loosening up the roots.

We played a couple of games "pirates" - this is a board game we got at the local dollar store, it is a HUGE favourite of the lad and 9 times out of 10 he beats me handily. And bingo link which is a fun game that we win 50% of the time.

And then he worked on building a spider web on our stair way and helped dad play a computer game. Problem solving skills at work!

Today a busy day

Shopping with extended family in the morning.

Rabbit deliveries and Playing at the london's Children's museum in the afternoon. We played, we laughed, we hid, we crawled, we rolled.

Rabbit delivery went well.. sold a harlequin doe.
Rabbit "medical" went well. A young flemmish buck stomped hard and broke a foot. He'll recover just fine, but just needs to have limited room to just settle and heal. Good to help out a rescue, good to offer advice, good to teach a boy what a broken bone feels like.
Rabbit hay run done. Good also to help a young owner stuck between a rock and a hard place to keep her rabbit longer. Unexpected bills sometimes play havoc with people.

We got frustrated with traffic and snafus in life.

We got food, we felt better.

We enjoyed each other, we talked, we got tired, and we went home.

This week

Has gone somewhat differently than expected BUT... we've done some good homeschooling.

Each day we read from

10 minute stories

World History

And we've added some new routines.

Scripture memory. This week John 14:6

And we read from First Language Lessons, Levels 1&2

though this cover looks different than mine. :) It's been good to add a bit more routine.

We continue to work on phonics by going through the alphabet.

We also do Studyladder at least twice a week...Did I tell you that I won a year's subscription to it courtesy of The Old Schoolhouse.. they were doing giveaways during their birthday bash and I lucked out! :) Pretty cool eh? Today the lad did some art, math, English, and some French. (he was totally unimpressed doing the French).

And the lad continues to thoroughly enjoy doing ReflexMath.

Otherwise what have we filled our time with?

Monday is Gymnastics.

Tuesdays the lad goes swimming with our HOPE group. It's a lot of fun. We do stuff in the morning at home, mostly just our standard fair, plus reflexmath and chores.

On Wednesday he does book work with his dad since I attend bible study Wednesday mornings. This week he did Three pages in each book.

My heavenly Helper

The Complete book of Numbers and Counting

Complete Canadian Curriculum 1

My Book of Numbers 1-120.

When I got home I said Come on buddy, let's get out of the house (it was such a lovely day) so we headed off to the dam to collect leaves and do some tree rubbings. We used chalk and hair spray to stabilize the chalk. Collected samples and once we did five trees we went bug hunting. When you are six.. bug hunting is important. We brought home one spider, one black bug, and one leaf with a nest on it. We talked about birch trees and how the wood was once used for writing on.

Then off to the dentist where we received the news that due to some odd fluke one of the lad's teeth had no roots to it, which led to a lad going back to the dentist today to get that tooth removed and infection out. The lad was super scared but the dentist was marvellous with him and talked him through everything. So today we mostly played lego this afternoon and watched a video on rehabilitating orangutangs. It was quite interesting.

Anyways, we needed to do some problem solving for Wednesday night as I needed to be out of town, hubby had a meeting and the lad had kid's club which he definitively did NOT want to miss. We managed to find an acquaintance that he would accept picking him up and taking him to his dad's meeting and then I picked him up at the meeting when I got back. Meant a late night for one six year old but everything worked out well for all concerned.

We've read books, listened to books, talked and laughed and kept busy. Thus far a good week.

Tomorrow is Friday and we are shopping in the a.m. with family, having lunch out, and then heading to the London Children's Museum for the afternoon.

magic painting

I do wish I had seen this science and art experiment before I finished my science class. This would have been fun to do.

Magic painting. From the blog called child central station.

reading, listening, experimenting, and learning

10 minute stories

The story today was about Pinnochio finding his father inside the dogfish. It was a fun story to read and caused the lad to ask questions. And just so you know, YES a dogfish is a real fish! :)
not quite as fearsome looking in real-life
as it was in the story.
World History
Today we finished off looking at mummies, we covered the Canary Islands, Siberia, Japan and Papua New Guinea. We learned about Buddhist monks and animal mummies as well.

Our overall plan for the day is to make a rocket car, cookies, do some computer work, listen to books on CD "the treasury of Storybook classics", play reflex math, and pack what we need for our weekend away. I'll update as we go along. :)

we engaged in an impromptu science experiment. We put took an egg that we emptied of its internals. Sealed up the holes with tape and mac-tack. We thought it would explode but... all it did was crack. Much to the disappointment of a boy child.

we did some work on Studyladder. We learned about animal classifaction, gas/solid/liquid, ecosystems and more. and then of course played some games. We also tried out a new program called mathletics. We got this as part of the TOS birthday bash for being members. Not the most inspiring program but the lad was indeed willing to try it out. Comes from Australia.

nomination are now open

for the 7th annual homeschool blogger awards.

Go here.

There are 20 categories, and surely you know someone who might fit in those categories.

1. Best Homeschool Mom Blog
Everyone is the best homeschool mom for their own children. With thousands of homeschool bloggers out there, please know that there will only be one winner online – but EACH OF US are winners in our own homes. If there’s a blogging mom out there that has been a particularly good example to you and you want to let her know… consider her for this nomination! [Her blog does not have to be exclusively about motherhood or homeschooling.]

2. Best Homeschool Dad Blog
We love to hear what dad has to say. Especially if he includes homeschool posts off and on. [Blog doesn’t have to be exclusively about homeschooling.]

3. Best Blog Design
Here’s your chance to nominate a gorgeous blog design and give a code-and-design savvy blogger a pat on the back for her talent (or give her hired web designer some credit!).

4. Best Photos
This blogger has photographic talent and makes her posts pop with eye-candy. We want to thank those of you who post pictures and graphics that inspire us! The winner of this category will be one that takes her own photos – not someone who only uses stock images.

5. Best Crafts, Plans & Projects Blog
Do you turn to the blogosphere for a steady supply of great craft ideas, lesson plans or projects that you can do with your homeschoolers? Why not share your favorite how-to blogs that provide us with things to be inspired by and ideas to use with our kids and in our homes.

6. Best Family or Group Blog
Nominate your favorite Homeschool Family blog or your favorite group blog that is either run by Homeschoolers or discusses homeschool issues. [Blog doesn’t have to be exclusively about homeschooling. Remember that if more than one of our authors are part of the group blog, it is not qualified to win. THIS BLOG MUST HAVE MULTIPLE AUTHORS.]

7. Best Encourager
It is time to say thanks to those bloggers out there who lift you up out of the homeschool “blahs” and help you get back on track. The winner of this category doesn’t have to be perfect or always in a good mood… just someone who makes you feel as if someone else cares and has a positive attitude overall.

8. Best Current Events, Opinions or Politics Blog
We don’t want a strictly political blog that is run by a homeschooler unless quite a few posts have relevant information pertaining to homeschooling. News clips that affect our freedoms as homeschoolers and how homeschooling is portrayed in the media are ideal. We love to hear what other homeschool teachers are thinking and reading and their views on things that affect us all. [This blog does not have to be exclusively about homeschooling, current events, or politics… just a blog that often shares opinions on matters that you enjoy learning from.]

9. Best Homemaking or Recipes Blog
This blog should have content regarding homemaking, housekeeping, tips, ideas for making your life easier, information about raising multiple kids, or recipes that you enjoy trying. [This person should be a homeschooler but the blog doesn’t have to be exclusively about homeschooling, homemaking or recipes.]

10. Best Teen Blog
Let’s encourage those young bloggers to speak up and be a good example for their peers. I have seen so many wonderful teen blogs out there that deserve recognition. Let us know what some of your favorites are! Teen blogs can be any blogs run by teens who are at least 12 years of age. The winners will have to submit permission slips signed by their parents – see legal page at HSBA for more details. [This blog does not have to be exclusively about homeschooling, but homeschooling should be mentioned often or it should be obvious from the template that the teen/s are homeschoolers.]

11. Funniest Homeschool Blog
We all need a laugh in-between laundry, lesson plans and losing our cool. It is nice to get your smile back so you can share it with your students (who can only take “so much gloom” as Ma Walton said so eloquently on The Waltons television series). Nominate your favorite crack-pot or crack-up homeschool blog here.

12. Best Special Needs Blogger
These are the moms that have the extra challenges – they go above and beyond to help their children succeed. We hope to help connect all sorts of bloggers – special needs included. We also have an author who is a special-needs advocate: Miss Tammy! Say Hello to her by stopping by her bio/blog link in our sidebar!

13. Best Homeschool Vlogger
It’s a rare treat to get to be the “fly on the wall” in someone’s homeschool. Don’t you always love seeing what’s on other people’s book shelves and watching them demonstrate things on video, though? Vlogging is a wonderful way to spread the homeschool encouragement around on the net.

14. Best Variety
This blogger is one that could fit in any of these categories … but they just can’t be pinned down in ONE. This type of blogger is the ADD hyper-focused type… always moving on from one thing to the next… and always keeping you interested in coming back for more!

15. Best Thrifty Homeschooler
Most of us are homeschooling on a shoe-string. Nominate your favorite money-saving blogger so you can share her tips with the blogosphere and bless a bunch of homeschool children in the process! [Blog doesn't have to be exclusively about frugality.]

Ever feel like a loser after reading someone else’s lesson plans, seeing their field trip photos, listening to them talk about what they got done today, or seeing pictures of their children’s accomplishments? You were probably feeling the effects of visiting a SUPER-HOMESCHOOLER’s blog. These are the A-list homeschool parents that just BLOW YOU AWAY with their enthusiasm. We all have our good days, but this blogger has us all beat.

17. Best Nitty-Gritty Homeschool Blog
Since we included a category for the Super-Homeschooler… I figured we would add one in for the homeschooler who is brutally honest and open about her mistakes and failures. These are the moms that make you feel better and let you know that it is OK that we aren’t perfect. What would we do without them???

18. Best NEW Homeschool Blog
It is hard making a name for yourself in the blogosphere. A lot of times, you feel as if you are writing and no one is out there. If you have stumbled upon a great new blogger who has a lot of potential and you want to share them with the rest of us… please consider nominating them for this category! [A new blog is one that appeared on the scene during or after last awards season.] If you don’t know many new homeschool blogs, check out the linky on our Welcome Wagon post from this year. We’re introducing them to you ahead of time!

19. Best Homeschooling Methods Blog
There are a lot of methods used to homeschool. Are you a boxed curriculum gal? A Classical homeschooler? An unschooler? Do you thrill on Unit Studies or spend time outdoors doing Charlotte Mason-type nature walks? Are you a mixture of everything (eclectic)? Make sure you tell us what TYPE of method this blog showcases so we can list it on the voting page!

20. Best Homeschooling Nature/Field Trip Blog
Have cabin fever? Looking to get OUT and see the world – sketch it, research it, photograph it? Who inspires you to take the kids out and enjoy Creation? Who makes you scratch your head in wonder while showing you all the fascinating things they have discovered outdoors?


Places I want to spend more time at

Homeschool Share has a variety of Lapbooks I'd like to take a good look at.

Practical Pages has a History Page with various downloads I'd like to save and use.

And I also like the mom the narration Scribe. I think it has a lot of useful information in it.

Scripture Memorization

Memorizing the bible is something I've been wanting to add to our personal (and homeschool) lives for a while. I've asked hubby to put something together but distraction and busyness is proving an issue so I've been meandering around trying to figure out what to do.

Was over at Practical Pages today and the blog owner pointed me to Simply Charlotte Mason. And I'm thinking to myself...this looks doable. So I'll be seeing what I can do about setting it up. And then tonight when I took the lad over to Kids Class at the Baptist Church (mommy I don't want to do...was changed to mommy! I had FUN! Can I go again?) I learned that they want the lad to learn 1 John 4:9 and Galatians 5:22-23. So guess which two verses will be the first we'll be learning? :) And then I heard about Ann Voskamp doing a thing with memorizing Colossians and I pretty much think we'll be set. :)

So what do you do for Scripture memory if you do any at all?

Bible study, stay at home study and play dates

This morning I had bible study at the local Christian Reformed Church. We are going to study Colossians using the Infuse bible study. it's available from Faith Alive resources.

Before I left I set the lad up with his bookwork with his dad.

he did Four pages in each of these books.
My heavenly Helper

The Complete book of Numbers and Counting

Complete Canadian Curriculum 1

and two pages in My Book of Numbers 1-120. It was supposed to be four pages but dad says "this book is highly repetitive and boring". :)

they also went through the alphabet and did some word and number matching with some flashcards.

When I came home the lad was quite happily playing with Reflex Math. Hubby said the highest he got was 8,000 feet in the game that he particularly enjoys doing which is a good achievement for a lad just gaining confidence with his addition and subtraction abilities. Thus far I am impressed with this on-line game. Time will tell if I choose to purchase it. Checking out the pricing, for me it would be $35/year. Affordable I think. But I have one more week to play with it yet. :)

So we had a quick lunch and then scampered off to London for a playdate with his friend Adella from HOPE. We went to Adventures in Wonderland. They had a hoot. I got discounted tickets through WagJag.

Swimming and more

10 minute stories

I cannot say I much liked the story we read today. It was WAY too wordy.

World History
Did you know that mummies aren't just found in Egypt and England? I didn't either! They are found in England, Greenland, Peru, Egypt, China, Germany, Russia and so on. It is fascinating to read how different methods were used to preserve bodies. It was very sad to read how some people, in their false belief of their god, choose to kill their children in a way to please those gods. Oh that more of the world might know the true and living God. Many folks were preserved because they thought it would help them in the afterlife. Some were preserved naturally by the effects of ice and sand and salt. Quite interesting to be reading through this book with the lad.

This afternoon we go swimming with the HOPE group from Stratford.

We'll be doing some science later this afternoon I hope.

Reflex Math - a brief review

New to us, trial period Reflex Math. We have tried this program for two days now. Yesterday it caused some issues because each new program (so each time you open it up) you have to go through a speed trial. And the lad DISLIKES intensely being wrong and being asked to do something he simply not sure about. So he simply didn't want to, I told him he had a choice, do the speed trial and play the games or simply don't do it and you cannot play the games.

For a while he chose not to play, and then changed his mind because the games were simply too alluring.

Today he played quite willingly, about 1 hours worth of math. It was neat to see him getting better and better with math skills that he struggles with to do on paper...even though he knows how to do them in his head.

This program is all about mastery of facts. If you know the facts you can do them quickly.

From the site:
Reflex is a revolutionary, game-based system that helps students of all ability levels to develop instant recall of their basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).
I have two weeks to see if I like this program enough to bother keeping up with it. For two days though, he has mastered well the math I want him to, and now it's a matter of time to see how he can continue to do with it, or if it will become boring to him.

One thing I do like about the site is it is customizable to a variety of students, which makes it ideal for public/private or home-school use.

article link

history/reasons to homeschool.

Today we learned...

10 minute stories

World History
Today we learned about the Egyptian mummies. It was quite fascinating to both of us to learn how they made them. Taking their brains out through the nose just fascinated the lad.

We sat down and did some organization for winter of our gloves/hat/scarves chest. Gave us a good time to talk about winter and how we need to dress differently for it. We practiced our math and organization skills. Matched colours, compared sizes, and talked about the different ways manufacturers all try to do the same thing...keep us warm, but doing it all differently, ergo the extreme creativity that God has given us.

Once that was done we did some work online with literactive and MightybookJr. we played around with both sites. then I got the lad set up with Tuxedo Math while I did the dishes. :)

This afternoon we'll be going to the library and making cookies.

Facts vs Ideas

I get alot of email from a variety of sources and sometimes I actually read them.

This morning I read an email from Simply Charlotte Mason. Which if you want to sign up for you can go here. I am not a Charlotte Mason teacher, but I think there is value in a variety of approaches to teaching.

Anyways, in this newsletter they were talking about Facts vs Ideas.

The author mentioned
how a living book should give our children ideas, not just facts.
The author went on to explain

Let's take a Bible character most of us already know about in order to illustrate the difference. Let's look at Joseph.

A typical factual summary of Joseph's life might read something like this:

Joseph, the eleventh and favored son of Jacob, was sold into slavery by his brothers and carried to Egypt. Because he accurately interpreted Pharaoh's dreams, he was appointed second in command over all the land. His good management of resources resulted in Egypt's survival during a seven-year famine and eventually the salvation of his whole family from starvation.

But if we read Joseph's story, told as a narrative in Genesis 37-50, we will get the facts, yes; but we can also pull from it all kinds of ideas like this:

  • Inter-family relations and sibling rivalry; how it can be enflamed by words and actions,
  • Diligence and trustworthiness in assigned responsibilities,

  • Sometimes good choices result in painful circumstances,

  • God is in control,

  • Circumstances can change in a moment,

  • People will disappoint you,

  • Forgiveness,

  • Managing resources in feast and in famine,

  • Giving glory to God before authorities; courage.

There are probably several other ideas you can think of that I didn't list here.

Do you see the difference? The facts are just something that happened to someone else. The factual account takes all the emotional and human experience aspects out of the equation. But the ideas are common human experiences and emotions that we can relate to and learn from.

I enjoy reading books to the lad that cause him to ask questions, OR that I can ask questions of him. If he asks questions I know that he is listening and that the information will come out later in play or in connections that he gets from other things that he is learning.

Ideas I find often spark further learning.

THIS is what I want to inspire in my lad... that desire to learn more.

AppleLand and more.

10 minute stories

World History

In world history we learned about bog men. It's amazing, most folks they have found in bogs have been murdered.

this is the tollund man (found in Denmark).
then we went upstairs and did some workbooks.

Pages 92-96 out of the complete book of numbers and counting

He also did three dot to dots out of the My Heavenly Helper book.

Finished off another workbook completely. :) Then practiced matching numbers with their words. This was hard for the lad, but it's a work in progress. :)

We finished them at 1125 and then packed ourselves into the car to go to AppleLand with some other homeschoolers.

We had an enjoyable time. :)

Currently working on...ecosystems

Building a study on ecosystems.

NOT a particularly easy thing to do as ecosystems can be as generic as "oceans" or as specific to "this puddle of water". Since the lad is six, I won't be doing EVERYTHING that there is to learn. But I will give him a good overview and hopefully start it as a small binder so that over the years we can add to it.

I think I'll concentrate on Forests, Water (salt and fresh), Tundra and icecaps, Deserts, and Grasslands.

I'll be pulling in information from a variety of sources.
Pronto Lessons on the ecosystem will be a starting point.

Then I'll pull in information from national geographic, Canadian forest services, Geography4Kids,, KidsCorner, neoK12, and ecosystems.

time to homeschool.
will do more planning later. :)

Land Forms and more

We started our day as normal reading from
10 minute stories

World History

in the world history book we have started learning about mummies. Today we learned about Otzi the Iceman from Italy.

The lad and I have been working on learning what some land forms are.

I made up this copywork sheet for him, which comes from this site. We reviewed what we did yesterday what what the different land forms are. Did some matching. We looked on the world map we had to see if we could find real examples of things like a bay, cape, and so forth.

We also did some math. Not a whole lot, just a wee bit since it is Tuesday. :)

Then out for a walk to do some art. The plan for the walk was to go to the benches by the nursing home and find something we could draw for 5 minutes tops. We talked about line and shading today.

this is what we came up with
the lad

Did some work with head of the class as well. And the lad played adventure world on facebook. He has to problem solve his way through a variety of puzzles and complete tasks.


Speed, this game looks interesting. Here's a review of it.

7th Annual Homeschool Blog Awards!!!

go to the homeschool post to learn more. :)

books on transportation

Here are some of the books we read on transportation which was our over-arching theme for September. We have another three or four that we haven't read yet.

transportation on land and sea by nigel hawkes.
The one car in this book that can fold up inspired lots of thinking by one boy child. That alone made this a book worth getting out of the library. :)

C-Growl the daring little airplane
The Chipmunk. Good to read about this Canadian plane. The book got a bit wordy and repetitive after a while. It would be a good book to use for a geography study someday as the Chipmunk ends up visiting a vast array of countries.

Speed Machines by miranda smith
Interesting book to look through. I can't say we read it all, but we read about the pictures that intrigued us the most and occasionally used the computer to learn more.

It's True Pigs Do Fly
A good read. Written in a humourous style, with funny illustrations.
And yes.. pigs do fly (just not always very well).

I want to be a pilot
This is a simple overview of what a pilot does. It gave us good practice counting and learning about place value. It gives a decent overview.

Cars - by heather miller
A basic overview to what a car is. Meant for beginning readers.

From the same series as the Cars book above. This is a simple overview of what bicycles are. Meant for beginning readers.

The McGurk Effect

The query is of course... how does this affect different age groups.
I ask, because the lad didn't get it at all.

Today... a good learning day

Despite the "I can't do this mommy" .. he did. :) Just needed some encouragement.

Despite the "the letters are all mixed up mommy!"... he managed to sort them out. And yes, the letters are all mixed up as I have "garage sale" numbers so don't have full sets of lower and upper cases letters so we make do with what we have. :)
here I asked him to match the numbers with the words and then spell them out.

He even made up a game afterwards with them where he had to practice his memory. It was interesting watching him work through it.

We finished our timeline of transportation.
I don't recall where I found the pictures or the timeline.
We added kites, dugout canoes, and walking.
He was even able to tell his dad about the timeline abit too!

We did math. Pages 89-91 out of the complete book of numbers and counting

We did the alphabet. He knew ALL of them today! woot woot!
I will note that he stumbled on d, g, e, f today, but when he saw the picture on the
back of the card he knew them immediately.
This is a HUGE improvement over two weeks ago. :)

He also did a lower case alphabet dot to dot out of the My Heavenly Helper book.

We finished "It's True, Pigs do Fly" book. It was fun. He learned a ton and asked TONS of questions. This book was written in a humourous style with fun captions of pigs doing the various things that inventors were doing throughout the history of aircraft. An enjoyable book. It did not cover every facet of airplane history, but it gave an excellent overview.

He asked if people ever made a car that can fly and we learned the answer to that is YES! It's called the Skycar.

We did have to take a break at one point to catch these two that escaped from their lawn pen. Silly little boogers. :) Just the two black ones, the broken black was good and stayed put!

Passport UK SCOUT - review

Today we worked on our review for Passport UK - we did the Scout version which is for children in K-6. This study is produced by unit studies by amanda bennett.

We chose to do Scotland today as we've studied some of the other countries in this series before. The other days include: An Overview of the United Kingdom, and then individual days England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

when I told the lad we were going to learn about puffins I got a huge YEAH!!!!

We did some copywork of Psalm 147:8. We used this site to generate a copywork sheet.
He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures. (new living translation)
We learned about puffins, the loch ness monster, geographic points of interest and much much more. It was a very interesting study, just not as hands on as six year old prefer.

We thoroughly enjoyed watching the videos. There is such an abundance of links that it is fascinating to see all these different things.

Each day is jammed packed with scripture, maps, interesting points of interest, very important people, culture, science, a creature feature, and family fun projects. I really wish I could have copy and pasted from the study to my word program. It makes things easier for being able to minimize paper printing and to be able to formulate writing and drawing papers for my lad.

I have to admit, I've never done one of the passport studies before. I was expecting something along the lines of the DownloadN'Go Studies as that's what I've come to expect from Amanda Bennett unit studies. And I was initially disappointed to not have the similarity, but as I got into it we saw that it was quite indepth and varied, and it spawned conversation and interest. I do wish it was a bit more user friendly. I was expecting graphics and things to cut and paste and circle and more of a unit study approach, so I was disappointed by that. I did like the lapbooking materials that can be found at the end of the e-book. My lad enjoyed putting together the small booklet on the puffin. :) BUT he NEVER likes colouring in maps. he just doesn't so we normally just look for it on the large map and then just outline it. :) We then add points of interest to it.

I was impressed with the amount of information provided. You can take a peak inside of it by going here. :)

It's a good study, just wasn't quite what I was expecting. :) I would encourage you to go out and get one. Seriously... it contains a good deal of solid information that is varied enough to promote conversation between teacher and student. It has a few lapbooking elements in it which makes it a bit more hands on for a younger child.

It was overall an excellent study. :) we had some fun figuring out how much 17.5 oz is (the weight of a puffin). 14 hot wheels, three bananas, and so on. good study.

Having done Scotland today we decided to do a scottish meal for supper. We'll have scottish oatcakes, fish, and I choosing to doing something not particularly scottish because I have a six year old somewhat skeptical lad.. PEAS! (he'll eat those for sure). :)

Guess what! I got this message from Amanda Bennett Unit Studies!
We are happy to offer ALL your readers a gift – a unique code just from your blog, for 50% off this study for 7 days after we activate the code. We really want to reward ALL your readers, and not just one lucky winner.
The code is this: GetUK12. So here or go directly here and give them the code and you'll get 50% off just for reading my review! Pretty cool eh? :) At least that's what I think!

disclaimer: i got a copy of this study for my free and honest evaluation of it. it did not influence my opinion of the study in any way. :)


Going to try out a new math program for a little while.

it's called adaptedMind.
AdaptedMind creates a custom learning experience for your child. A learning experience that identifies your child's strengths and weaknesses, and delivers a curriculum and exercises that adapts to these needs. That's adaptive learning.

Great books week

is currently being celebrated.

Should you like to know more about this go check it out over here.

Great Books Week 2011 is honoring Great Expectations in its 150th anniversary year. It’s a haunting classic, with a host of funny, memorable characters and a thought-provoking plot.

A day in the life of homeschooling

Carnival of Homeschooling is posted.

Today was an excellent day overall.

The lad came out to talk with me while I cared for my rabbits. And then we talked over breakfast, we read

World History

10 minute Stories

We prepared for Renee to come over with her children. We planned to do some science and then go off of a nature walk. When the children arrived they really really wanted to play with some baby bunnies so we headed outside to do that. We had a spot of lunch to eat and then did some art science.

We experimented with wetting down paper and then seeing what happen when we dropped thinned paint on it. And that taught us about diffusion. :)

We then sprinkled dry paint over a pan of water and then put dry paper over the powder paint. it was fascinating to watch what adding the paint did to the surface tension of the water.

We varied the length that we let the paper sit in the water to see what that would with how the paper reacted. It was VERY interesting to see what happened. I did neglect to take pictures of some the results from the children but i did get this one.

Looks rather cool eh?

The lad decided that mixing paint was VERY interesting so he had fun doing that, and then decided to paint a picture with the resultant mixed paint.

After the children left we watched a thing on Sound that Aurora was doing through Supercharged science. We made a hornet and a harmonica. I was unable to capture of pic of J using the hornet, but here's the harmonica we made. :)

Earlier during the day we made some yellow jacket traps since we got inundated with yellow jackets today. Take a pop bottle, cut off the top. Mix up some basic lemonade, invert the top (normally I'd secure it but this one seemed to sit on really well) set it somewhere near the hornets and just wait. If you see a hornet crawling around inside speed up the process by CAREFULLY squirling the liquid around.

as you can see.....highly effective (after 1 hour).

Prey vs Predator

i found this article interesting.

I'll need to reexplain things to the lad.

question of the day: praying mantis

this is not the one we caught, just a pic off the internet.

Due to a caught praying mantis, and wondering if we could keep it, this question was raised: What do praying mantis eat?

We found an answer here.

The diet of a praying mantis most often includes various species of insects - including mosquitoes, flies, grasshoppers, beetles, butterflies, moths, spiders, roaches, bees, dragonflies, etc. Other than these insects, some praying mantis species also feed on lizards, frogs, rodents and birds. Almost all the species of mantis feed on insects, but those which can grow up to a length of 10-12 cm are generally the ones who take on birds, rodents and other creatures of their own size.
So, no, we can't keep it as it will eat our crickets. We released it to our rose of sharon bush.

How can you tell a girl from a boy?

The difference between a male and female praying mantis is that the female is larger and the abdominal is larger than a males abdomanal.
Adult female Mantises are larger than adult males. That's one way to tell them apart.

Living Bridge

I need to show this to the lad. I thought it was very cool.

Living Bridge.

Homeschooling Carnivals

Carnival of Homeschooling - 300th Edition!!!

Hands On Homeschool Blog Carnival

Homeschooling on the Cheap

homeschooling carnival

Harvest Edition of The Carnival of Homeschooling

Never Felt Better my lad learned to felt at the Art Museum of London. They have a homeschool art program there.

the program he attended was called
Never Felt Better

Children will learn the sculptural technique of wet felting, in which crisscrossed layers of wool are dampened with warm soapy water and agitated by rubbing and rolling, and will experiment with felting around a form to make three dimensional pieces.

about 20 children all told. Some of us parents chose to help. Good thing we did or the singleton teacher would not have coped particularly well with that many students.

The lad had a hoot.

He at first didn't much like his snake, but later he was quite intrigued by it.
He does DISLIKE intensely the mat that he made. "it doesn't look like anything mommy". So we may end up throwing it out.

It was a good experience for us. Next time we'll try to get there a bit earlier so parking isn't so expensive.

the next one we'll go to will be on book binding.

TOS birthday bash

Right now TOS is in the middle of their birthday bash. You really should go check it out. :)

And did you know that TOS is going to be going to an all digital format. they will be having one annual magazine that will be HUGE (like 300 pages), but they will be switching to a monthly digital magazine. If you want to see what their magazine is like, go check out the summer one for free. :)

overwhelmed? perhaps not any more

So I've been feeling panicky and overwhelmed at the thought of teaching my lad this year. I'm not feeling very organized or planned out or anything.

Hubby dear gave me the idea of planning our next day for 15-20 minutes the night before and I think I'll be doing that. I've been a bit concerned about doing TOO Much planning as I know what I'm like what I get a list I just feel "argh" if I don't complete everything on it and I can get snippy and snappy and I do not wish to be like that.

Therefore I went to the ministry of education (Ontario) tonight to see just what they expect children to learn in grade one. And though a few things leave me wondering HOW will I teach that? Overall it was like okay....he knows that already, this we already do and he'll get better at, and OH>>> I can teach that! It overall left me with a feeling of relief. Overtime I will be able to plan out better what we do. EVEN IF at times it is haphazard it will work out in the long run I think.

I am feeling a bit more settled again...knowing that I can teach my son, but I do need to be a bit more organized about how I go about doing it. AS LONG AS.... I remember that we are FIRST a family, and second a homeschooling one. Homeschooling will continue to fit around our need to be a family first, and one that honours God while doing so.

What We Learned Today: Head of the Class

today we did a couple of things.

We continued reading through

We did a fair amount of work on the letter 'a' through head of the class. Filling in the missing A, sounding out words, picture matching and what not. I really like that they use a variety of methods to teach the same concept.

We did a bit more research on the house centipede. :)

We talked about the difference between living and non-living things using as a basic talking guide the simple schooling e-book Living & Non-Living.

We continued our transportation theme by learning about air pressure and resistance, using a craft from Transportation Thematic Units (Enhanced eBook). We experimented a bit with adding a paper clip to see if that would make a difference in how the helicopter worked.

Both the simple schooling and transportation unit are available from Currclick. One of them currently is free.

question of the day: house centipedes

Mommy... how do house centipedes grow up? How do they make babies?
This was a continuing query over a couple of days.

So we looked up house centipedes and learned they moult and get more legs with each moult. They live up to six years and takes about 2 years to mature.

Girl centipedes are bigger. Boy centipedes have a thicker tail.
The boy centipede puts sperm on the ground which the girl centipede uses to fertilize her eggs but they don't do this until after they touch antennae with each other.

They are GOOD bugs to have around (as much as they freak me out) because they kill spiders, bedbugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish and other household pests.

ehow and wiki and animal corner.

Tuesday... hard days

So today I had a, what seemed to me, harsh reminder of why Tuesdays should NOT be book work days... the lad is too unfocused and too easily upset as is his mommy. SO no more book work on Tuesdays except maybe a tiny bit.

Instead we will read.
We will draw.
We will do science.
We will simply relax, play a bit, and work a bit, and just let Tuesdays be the quiet relaxing days that we need them to be.

Today we had a mental break-down over the alphabet and doing numbers up to 30. Quite frankly alphabets and counting should NOT be reasons to have harsh words between parent and child on either side. it simply isn't, ergo my change of focus for Tuesday.

On a positive note... he did really well figuring out the sounds of letters of the alphabet and I started introducing the concept of hard/soft sounds. AND of the 26 alphabet letters....he recognized all but one of them (the dreaded letter K). I was simply thrilled by this and the lad smiled as well. :)

We had fun lying back on my bed and reading a poem. It was actually quite funny. We read one poem, and then read another and we looked at each other at the exact same time and smiled... That would make a fun picture we said. So we drew a picture of it. It was interesting how different they turned out from each other. The poem comes of the old Childcraft series. The link is for the 1995 series, but ours is the older one yet.. 1977 I think?

We started reading through a world history book (we will do two pages most every day) and another book with 10 minute stories.

We finished the first book of the people of christian history book tonight at bed time. The lad has enjoyed learning about these people who really lived. It's been interesting learning some of the Christian history behind us.