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).