Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas is Coming....

Just trying to get into the Christmas spirit a little - Blogland is so highly decorated I thought we could add a little touch to our super-neglected blog too!  Without snow it''s a bit of a struggle! 

 It is sunny and a balmy 9 degrees outside.  The kids are longing for snow!! 

We haven't gotten a tree or put up lights etc, so I took a few close-up shots of my small efforts to help get us into the mood (loose battleship pieces included). 

Let's see what you've been up to!

Friday, February 27, 2015

You Say It's Your Birthday....Na Na na na Na!

This jazzy chick has just turned ELEVEN!  

She is funny, stubborn and smart.  She is cuddly, clumsy, and independent.  Grace is such a fun, free-spirited girl.  It has been so interesting watching her grow up.  She loves us so freely.  She really feels her feelings.  She loves to laugh and sing and dance in the kitchen.

 She wears her heart on her sleeve.  But she is also very practical - she'll march right up to the boy she likes and says "I like you and thought you should know it.  There is no point in playing games and letting everyone else know - except for you.  So what do you think??"

She's the kind of girl who marches to her own "hip hop/rocker" beat.  She'll bedazzle a pair of 3D movie glasses and wear them to school without the least hesitation.  She knows what she likes and doesn't worry about the rest of us.

She isn't easily influenced, but she also values friends and family and likes knowing we all adore her. As her friend Shelene once told the new boy at school, "Grace is kind of a big deal around here" (so don't mess with her?)... And I agree, Grace is definitely a big deal around here!  Couldn't imagine our lives without her!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Making Me Smile on a Frosty February Day

Today my Dad came to help me install some cabinet doors I made a couple of months ago.  I used Ana White's plans for simple panel doors (love that Kreg Jig!!).  Then Christmas was busy and fun.  And the weather has been nasty and cold.  And the doors sat in the garage (in sub-zero temperatures!) for a couple of months.  

I was daunted by the task of actually installing the doors, and it turns out it is definitely a two person job.  Also, it helps to have a dad with the know-how and tools to make it all happen.  So today was the day.  

Here's how this space has been looking for a couple of years....


And here is how it is looking RIGHT NOW!!!


I was so excited that I took pictures before I even washed the smudges off!  The doors aren't perfect, and I would probably try a bit of a different technique in the future, but it sure is an improvement.  The sun has been shining all day and although it was -24 this morning, the sun feels warm - so we will just ignore the "glare" in the pictures... I couldn't wait!


plus a little sneak peak at the new door at the top of the basement stairs....

It sure feels more calm, clean and bright!  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tell Me

"I'm thinking about homeschooling. What can you tell me?"

I've been getting this question a lot lately, so I thought I'd give a basic answer here.

I always advise that people considering homeschooling start by getting their own educational philosophy figured out. Start by asking yourself some questions.

-What is education? What does it mean to "have" one? Do I have one?
-How do I learn? How do my children learn?
-What do I want my children to know? To experience? To become? How can this be achieved?

I have found my educational philosophy is something that has evolved over time. 

Here are some more formal examples from student teachers at UWO


Of course there are many types of homeschooling. Do a google search to see what's up in the world of un-schooling.  Find out what's involved in a "school in a box" kit. Look around and see what catches your eye. Read some blogs like this one or this one or this one.  

Do you have a good library near you? Hunt out everything by John Holt, Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Gatto, A Thomas Jefferson Education by DeMille, and something by Maria Montessori. 

Also, see what your community has to offer. Homeschool co-ops? Support groups and associations? Try not to be discouraged if the perfect thing doesn't exist. You can always create your own community.  You can also contact your school board and find out the legal particulars. 


It seems overwhelming now but the best place to start is with reading, reading, reading. Get your ideas together and figure out what you want for your kids. 

p.s- These freaky pic are ones that were taken kid-style over the holiday. Hilariously terrifying. Kinda like homeschooling.

Friday, December 5, 2014