Tag Archives: homeschool

Surviving Saturdays and Sundays

We did.  Survive, that is.  OK, Sunday is not over yet and I may be unduly optimistic, but we are all here, all four, sound of limb, if not mind.

Ms. E. had her 6th birthday party at the skate rink; Mr. D. lost control with all the excitement.

We’ve just come back from Wreck It Ralph 3D and Mr. D is losing control with all the excitement. 

Not just excitement, to be honest, we have this problem whenever anything special happens for Ms. E.; Mr. D. just can’t stand to not be the centre of attention and he can’t stand her having gifts that he doesn’t have or that he can’t do when she isn’t looking.

For instance, Ms. E. received her first playmobil yesterday.  Much more basic than anything Mr. D. has but he just cannot stand that she might be able to work it out herself.  Much screaming and shouting happening as I write and such a bad mood spreading and it just isn’t fair to the Littlest Muffin in the house!  She is such a joy-filled creature, who’s natural resting state is laughing, and she finds herself side-tracked constantly by her own brother.  If the toys aren’t stolen from her, then Mummy and Daddy’s attention is stolen.  We try to compensate but I would love to hear from anyone with this problem:  what works; what doesn’t work; what to never try again.  Any suggestions welcome.

So that I don’t go on thinking bad things about my beloved son, I am posting a quick sketch he knocked off this morning.  Pirate ship that, I’m told, is like Blackbeard’s only better (of course); Mr. D. doesn’t intend to be a bad pirate, he just wants lots of cannons and weapons to scare people apparently.  He also wants to buck the laws of convention by adding lots of outboard motors so that he can sail fast.  We’ve tried pointing out the irony but it just hasn’t hit home as yet. 

Roll on, Monday.



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Frumpy Friday

Have not had a chance to go through our thousands of photos as yet; all woke up this morning feeling rather tired and wrought, no doubt, in part, due to Ms. E. having her 6th birthday party tomorrow at the skating rink.  We don’t skate.  Should be interesting.  So what do we do for schooling on our half-day Fridays?

Pirate Day, of course!

Started after breakfast with a quick run-around inside and a tidying of bedrooms – ship-shape!  Terribly windy here today so there is less than usual enthusiasm for being outside the house.

Then the we settled to watch a Real Story episode about The Real Pirates of the Caribbean (with special emphasis on Blackbeard – our favourite).

Then the children were asked to draw a pirate themed picture; the picture could be of anything in any form but must relate to pirates.  The results are below!

Then the dress-up fun began – we have enough pirate regalia in the house for a whole fleet of swashbucklers and Ms. E. eschewed the usual wench-role for that of cabin boy, whilst Mr. D. was a staggeringly good Capt’n, eye-patch and all.

By the time the pirates were fed, it was time for them to leave with our respite carer for two and a half hours of outside romp!  Yay!  They were back in half an hour, claiming frostbite!  Ha!  Got them warm, sent them back out to the local creek, which will afford some protection.  Normally they would venture further afield, but father drove off with the boosters seats still in the car.

OK – if we survive the skating rink, I should be back with more soon.


Ms. E. chose to do a picture of a pirate in the sun – I love her attention to detail here:  the sword, the earring, the radiant sun!



Mr. D. chose to assemble a treasure map (need to do some more work on compass directions), complete with crumpling and, not seen here, ripped edges, added for that authentic feel.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Random Madness

Well.  Hasn’t it been a long time, eh?

We’re moving house.  On Monday.  Have you ever ‘transitioned‘ with a special needs child?  Try not to, it is so very challenging.  Moving house isn’t my favourite thing to do, even though I have incredibly itchy feet and always want to live somewhere different, but I would like to just go to bed in one house, wake up in another.  If necessary, I can take a two week Pacific Island holiday in between to allow this to happen…….

Here I am posting some photographs of Mr. D.’s recent works.  Not in order (order is definitely missing at present) and not in context.

A paper cylinder drawn by Mr. D. has pictures of every increasing/decreasing size (inspired in equal parts by Bugs Bunny and Vi Hart, the mathemagician); Mr. D. was giving his version of infinite series.

We also have some Lego figures:  person on a couch, washer/dryer with man adding washing powder.  We started these in response to Lego Quest (http://legoquestkids.blogspot.com/) a wonderful blog for homeschooling families that love Lego.  We had been a part of an online Lego club but as they were nation-wide, the live classroom didn’t work well for us time-wise.  Lego Quest gives you a regular “mission” to build Lego pieces and then will publish the submitted photographs.  Woot!  My lad loves seeing his things publicly displayed (who doesn’t, right?).

Last, and most certainly not least, are two playdough creations that now look a little worse for the travelling.  We have Mr. Shark and Mr. Penguin, both seem to be in response to watching the three episodes of Great Barrier Reef by the BBC on DVD.  Can’t vouch for the parentage of Mr. Shark but I do think Mr. Penguin is just a little bit Elvis, little bit Roy Orbison, no?

There you have it.  So much more work has been done – reading is improving at a rapid rate – but I haven’t had a chance to get my head around it let alone photograph or chronicle it.

See you once we’ve moved!

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Onward and Upward, troops!

Well.  A new school year is finally here.

One of the best summer’s the boy has had; many camps, many friends, doesn’t remember any of their names!  Nothing unusual there.  We have seen a huge blossoming of his social skills and his confidence.  Finding he was good at joining in at camps, good at games, good at gymnastics, good in the homeschooler’s production of “Wizard of Oz” even if he was a flying monkey named Rascal!  Our lad has forged through summer and now, on the penultimate night before his 7th birthday, we can proudly say he is hitting his stride more and more often.  Yay!

Schooling has started and Mr. D. has fallen in love with Math.  We are using Life of Fred – there is a new elementary series – and whilst the work is easy so far, the concepts behind are not.  Second lesson in and, in a round about way, we’re looking at how easy algebra can be.  Except it isn’t called algebra.  It isn’t called anything special at all.  That helps make it easy, methinks.

Science has been a slower start; lots of reading at the beginning and he really, really, really just wants to dissect the sheep’s brain we have for him.  And the heart.  And the eye.  And various other mammal organs.  Unfortunately, I think Daddy has claimed brain dissection as the one (read that right, one) class he is willing to take over.  Bummer.  I was looking forward to that.

On the sensory planet, Mr. D. is trying more textures of food.  Still doesn’t like the ones he didn’t like before but he is willing to concede his tastes may have changed and that he should try – even a morsel – to see if foods like potato, egg, rice, etc. are okay to eat.  Rice is the only winner and then it is only with soy sauce.  With his preference for bitter, Mr. D. has never liked bland food.  Doesn’t like spicy, either, but he does love bitter and salty.  Bring on the reduced sodium, please?

Labels in clothes are still an issue.  I try and cut them out or buy without but Mr. D. will often still be found with his underwear inside out.  To make it worse, this strange summer has played havoc with his skin and his eczema has been more pronounced.  Woe.

Anyway, in between keeping track of our learning via Homeschool Tracker (free software for the basic model), Mr. D. has been raring to go with the extra-curriculars.  Tomorrow is gymnastics.  He will also do swimming, museum science, and for the first time:  guitar lessons.  Lovely lady who is trained not only as a musician but as a music therapist; she gets that Mr. D. isn’t going to be a straight-forward lesson type of guy!

On our first day of schooling, two days ago, I needed 10 or 15 minutes uninterrupted for preparation.  I sent Mr. D. out into the sunny yard to amuse himself.  He made a bow and arrow – it has been an ambition for a while now.  He deliberately didn’t sharpen the point of the arrow because he only wants to knock apples out of our trees, not actually hurt someone, apparently.  We cheered on his resourcefulness.

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Perfect Planet

You didn’t know we live on two different planets, did you?  No.  Thought not.

This is not an advertisement.  At least it isn’t a paid advertisement.  Not an advertorial, gladitorial, or any other sort of ‘push’.

It is a recognition of brilliant service.

Which Planet is that?  Planet Kids, of course.

Now those of you who aren’t in the Comox Valley… well… you miss out.  Your bad.  Two stores, both here.  Wonderful stores.  Exciting stores.  Kids stores that kids feel welcome in.  Aladdin’s caverns of childish wonder.  Well.  OK, it is a store  A toy store.  But why the whole blog post?

Well – apart from the wonderful toys – Planet Kids also has:  teacher resources, teacher tools, French teaching resources, Special Needs equipment and information/books, hands on stuff, imaginative stuff, science stuff (and how), dress-up stuff, and some mighty wonderful staff.  Plus the divine Ms. Pam, owner/operator/Pied Piper of Comox.

There have been several good toy stores in our area – we’re blessed that way – and I miss the ladies at the Avon boutique very much – they were nice and I could pick up a gift for a child there and know the odds were such that it would be unique.

But then there is the store that carries great goods, inflated prices, and glare sternly at you, whilst delivering a lecture, that “their toilet is not for the children to use”.  As a mother to children with special needs – children that haven’t always been good at timing their bathroom breaks – this always irked me.  I was a regular enough customer that they remembered my name but I still got the “we’d rather you didn’t” talk about the toilet for the kids.

In contrast, Ms. Pam not only says “Yes” she or one of her staff will often accompany the kid, standing nearby for reassurance, while the parents are busy.  How cool is she?  I mean, really, she understands not just kids but parents, too.

Anywhoodle, I love our Planet Kids.  My kids love our Planet Kids.  Planet Kids loves our community and always volunteers/helps wherever and whenever possible.  Long live Planet Kids and Ms. Pam (and her gorgeous family)!!

(no, no, truly, it is okay Ms. Pam, no, don’t send me a little something, truly, I accept nothing on this blog, no, no-one will think you paid me, no, no, no, this was from my heart, not my wallet).

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Even more free stuff

Hootie Patootie!

We’ve been searching the web for (more) online science resources for our voracious experimenter and this is one we love.  We always try the tele-seminars for free each month – some video content and the sound of nearly 3,000 online/live kids all cheering and enjoying science.  Yay science.

But they’ve linked us up with a few other free offerings – I’m keeping my eyes open for the best ones and when they come through I’ll post them here.

A big of background on Supercharged Science – but only a bit because you’ll see for yourself – but they are all presented by Aurora, a real life NASA rocket scientist!  Not just that but she is charming and engaging and really seems to care that the curriculum is accessible for all ages.  Have a look at the video, download the HUGE book of experiments for FREE and then tell me what you and your kiddies think – would love to know.


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More Free stuff

Not from me.  Sorry.

For those of you with iPad and iPhones, McGraw-Hill is having a few days of celebrating mathematics so all their math apps are free to download.  This is only for a few more days so snap to it if you are interested.  Yes, that is right.  Totally free.  All ages.  All levels.  All cool.

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