Our Homeschool Curriculum Part 2

This post is a continuation of yesterday`s post Our Homeschool Curriculum. My youngest three children Casey, 11, Andy, 10 and Jayme, 9, were born within 1 year and 360 days. So alot of what they learn is combined. My oldest daughter is very strong in Language Arts and flourishes with writing Poetry, Creative Writing, Studying Foreign Languages. However, her Math skills are coming along a little slower. I`m totally fine with that, I just keep plugging away. In fact, I have no problem holding her back until she understands the concepts. The youngest two are quick on Math so all of them are around the same level.

I enjoy being able to present the same materials to the children and watching how each of them interact and thrive at different aspects, it`s fun trying to imagine what they will do with their knowledge as they grow. (If the Lord tarries, of course)

Language Arts

Grammar: Everyday Edits – Education World (8 edits of your choosing each month)

Essential Skills Advantage 

Spelling: Grade Spelling: Grades 5,6 and 7

Reading: 8 book reports

Author Studies: 4 studies

Literature: All 9 Little House on the Prairie Literature Studies

Writing: 10 Journal Entries every month
Poetry course- Janice Campbell on schoolhouseteachers.com
NaNoWrMo- follow book outline (only Casey)
Cover 14 writing styles produce a piece for each style

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Visual Latin – All videos and questions for Lessons 1-20

French – Complete all Level 1 for Language Nut

MATH: Adapted Mind

HISTORY: Read All of Volume 1 – Mystery of History
Read and Complete all questions for Honor of Kings Volume 1
GEOGRAPHY: A Child’s Geography – Explore the Holy Land

SCIENCE: Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology

Watch all Answers in Genesis videos for kids

Take part in the County Science Fair

MUSIC: Beethoven Who? – Complete Book
12 Hymn Studies
Learn To Play the Soprano Recorder Book

BIBLE: Bible Road Trip Year 1 – 32 Lessons
Theory of Intelligent Design Lapbook

HOME ECONOMICS: Home Economics Lapbook
Sewing Machine Basics
Cooking Class
DIY – 1 project/week

COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: Code Academy (only Andy)
Gamestar Mechanic

GOVERNMENT: Canadian Government  (only Frankie and Casey)

Related eBooks

Our Homeschool Curriculum

DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. :)  Thank you, in advance for your support

I use a huge assortment of curriculum. I spend most of the year, researching and tweaking our curriculum. With four children there are four different learning styles, needs and interests.

I feel a certain level of confidence after 12 years of research that I have come up with a good mix of curriculum. I like using diverse methods, online, book work, lapbooking and  notebook pages. I believe it’s important to have the children capable of learning in all environments.

I feel that the children are learning and excited about the curriculum I have decided on and more than once they have come up to me individually and thanked me for including a certain book or website.

I am normally pretty relaxed when it comes to what I want them to learn. I usually have a good idea of what I want to have accomplished by the end of the year. I focus more on character education and skills versus academic perfection and fact learning. I believe I have the High School years to push academic prowess.

I also believe that extra curricular activities greatly enhance the overall experience for my children and I am very choosy about what I have them participate in.

I’m going to start with my oldest child, Frankie, he’s just turned 13. He is hovering somewhere between 7th and 8th Grade materials, however, he is more than capable of High School at this point. I am debating on when to start with him. I want him to have all the necessary study skills he needs to handle the added workload, so I have decided to push a little harder this year.


7th Grade (officially)

Language Arts

Grammar: Elson Grammar School or Gutenberg Project

Everyday Edits – Education World (8 edits of your choosing each month)

Spelling: Complete 8th Grade Spelling

Vocabulary: VOCAB-u-lous – Education World (All 46 sheets)

Reading: 8 book reports

Author Studies: 4 studies

Literature: All 9 Little House on the Prairie Literature Studies

Writing: 10 Journal Entries every month
Poetry course- Janice Campbell on schoolhouseteachers.com
NaNoWrMo- follow book outline
Cover 14 writing styles produce a piece for each style


Visual Latin – All videos and questions for Lessons 1-20

French – Complete all Level 1 for Petra Lingua

MATH: Complete all of Video Math Tutor to the end of Algebra.

HISTORY: Read All of Volume 1 – Mystery of History
Read and Complete all questions for Honor of Kings Volume 1
GEOGRAPHY: A Child’s Geography – Explore the Holy Land

SCIENCE: Finish All of Grade 7 Lifepac Science

Watch all Answers in Genesis videos for kids

Take part in the County Science Fair

ART: Complete 4 Artist Studies

           Complete Lamb’s Book of Art

Complete Art Techniques – schoolhouseteachers.com

Everday Easels – schoolhouseteachers.com – Dailies

MUSIC: Beethoven Who? – Complete Book
12 Hymn Studies
Learn To Play the Soprano Recorder Book

BIBLE: Bible Road Trip Year 1 – 32 Lessons
Theory of Intelligent Design Lapbook

Computer Science with Chris Yust – schoolhouseteachers.com
Code Academy
Gamestar Mechanic
HOME ECONOMICS: Home Economics Lapbook
Sewing Machine Basics
Cooking Class
DIY – 1 project/week

LOGIC: Logic – schoolhouseteachers.com
Media Socialization – schoolhouseteachers.com

I will continue in another post with the other children.

An Abundance of Language Arts Links Part 5

Continuing in our series of Language Arts Links…..handwriting and copywork. Schools don’t seem to focus on this much anymore, but I believe there is still merit in having good handwriting.












How to Stay Healthy through the Winter Months


There are so many wonderful things to experience during the cold months of Winter. Illnesses such as colds and the flu can try to keep you bedridden,adding to the already depressing atmosphere that Winter can invariably bring. What should you do when staying healthy through the winter is your goal?

Focus on Fruits and Vegetables

Eating plenty of fresh produce is a wise move all year round. In the winter it is crucial to maintaining good health. When flu season comes around, your body will be better equipped to fight it if you have been regularly consuming a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. This will ensure that your body has a rich supply of vitamins and minerals necessary for good health.

Drink Lots of Water

Drinking water is a great way to boost your health. When you drink a sufficient amount of water, your body is flushed of toxins which can otherwise build up and cause problems. The correct amount of water can vary depending on the individual, but the Mayo Clinic suggests that the average man should consume about 13 cups of water per day, and the average woman should consume 9 cups.

Take Your Vitamins and Supplements

Although it’s best to obtain as many nutrients and vitamins as possible through a whole foods diet, it is often difficult to get everything you need through food alone. If you want to stay at optimum health, you will likely want to take a few supplements. Look for a high quality daily multivitamin, as well as probiotic to help boost the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Vitamin C is important for your immune system, and Vitamin D has been shown to increase immune function also.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is essential when it comes to great health. Exercise is known to help fight disease and bring energy, which a person can lack when winter has set in. Each time you exercise, it gives a boost to your lymphatic system, which in turn helps to rid your body of toxins. Because your lymphatic system doesn’t have its own “pump,” it relies on the movement of your body to stimulate it. When possible, exercise outdoors as this will bring you the added health benefits of sunlight exposure and fresh air.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Depriving yourself of sleep is a big mistake. A lack of sleep can affect your immune system in a negative way. Studies show that when you lack sleep and are exposed to a virus, you will be more likely to get sick. If you are an adult you should aim for about seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night. One helpful, natural way to fall asleep is to take the occasional Melatonin. Staying healthy during winter can be a challenge, but there are many things you can do that will help you reach your goal. From choosing an enjoyable form of exercise to getting sufficient rest, you can keep your body in top shape. So grab some water and a squeeze of lemon, and make sure you get plenty of exercise and sleep.

I have linked this post to the How To Get Organized at Home Monday Madness Link Party,at My Stay At Home Adventures MSAHA Link-Up Party and at Hearts for Home Blog Hop

Positive Activities for Hyperactive Kids


If you are a parent of a hyperactive child, you know that sometimes you have to think outside the box in regards to activities that will keep them busy and having fun. Crafts are no exception. There are many crafts that may require far too much concentration to be enjoyable for a child who is filled with unlimited energy. Instead of diving into a boring or time-consuming craft, look for something that involves a lot of sensory stimulation. Thankfully, there are many crafts and ideas nowadays that fit the bill.

Edible Sensory Beads

This is a craft that children of all ages will enjoy. You may even find yourself sitting down with your child and trying it out for yourself. Edible sensory beads do not have to be eaten, but if your child is tempted to put things in their mouth then these are a safe alternative to other similar forms of sensory play which may not contain the safest ingredients.

Simply use as many cups of water that you want for beads, and use an equal number of tablespoons of chia seeds. You can use (natural) food coloring in the water to brighten up the beads, and if you want more than one color then simply make more than one batch in separate bowls. Once you have mixed the ingredients, set the bowl or bowls in the fridge overnight and they will be ready by morning. Your child will enjoy mixing the beads and swirling them around with their hands.

There is also a non-edible Sensory Bead Gel Mix you can get. It makes almost 4000 beads!

Edible Slime Here is another craft that is safe for children who can’t help but taste everything they see. Brightly colored edible slime is a fascinating craft for kids that they will spend hours enjoying.

For each color desired, mix one tablespoon of Metamucil with one cup of water, and a few drops of your preferred food coloring. Add ¼ package of Kool-Aid powder if you want a delicious scent. Cook the mixture for 3-6 minutes on high, and let the slime cool slightly before using. This is a crowd pleaser for all ages, and can hold the attention of a child with a limited attention span.

Here is a great alternative for non-edible slime. Beautiful colours and hours of fun.

Finger Paint Here is an activity that will never grow old. Finger paint is the perfect activity for a child who doesn’t wish to be contained to using a paintbrush. Finger painting offers the chance to be creative, which is a strong point of many hyperactive children.

It also offers a sensory experience that will help calm your child when they are feeling too much negative energy. Here is some finger painting paper.


Hyperactive children often love to solve puzzles. Mosaics offer a puzzle-like experience without the confines of a regular puzzle. Mosaics can be bought in small sets and put together, or bought in packages as a way to create your own design. Mosaics are a craft that will help build concentration in your child. Although traditional crafts can be exasperating to an energetic child, there are many alternatives to choose from. Creativity is a natural strong point of many hyperactive children, and there are many crafts they can thoroughly enjoy. By using a little creativity of your own, your child can have access to hours and hours of fun.

This post has been linked to

My First Teen, Autism and Missions

So yesterday I became the mother of a teen! I honestly am shocked at how quickly life passes by. My oldest son is a truly unique and wonderful boy. He loves God, his family and Minecraft so very much!!

Frankie 1

I am so proud of the accomplishments he’s made. He was diagnosed with Autism with P.D.D when he was just 4. Up to that point, I just assumed I was a bad mother. Truly! He was often unhappy and would cry whenever it was time to leave somewhere to go home. I had a 3,2,1 and newborn and I’d have to scoop him up in one arm, grab the diaper bag and car seat and wrangle the two other toddlers out to the car with Frankie kicking and screaming and people staring.

Frankie 2

He has always been sensitive to light and touch. I use to have to pin him down to cut his nails or brush his teeth. Many times my wonderful husband would jump in there to help me. Whenever, he would be playing quietly with his toys, one of his siblings would come up and try to touch “one” thing that Frankie was trying to line up and he would lose his mind and start kicking and screaming. He also didn’t potty train until he was 5 1/2 years old.

Those were very trying days, until he was around 8 or 9 he needed to be reminded of every single thing. His mind wanders constantly. He can get fixated on one thing for hours. He would NEVER complete a chore, or get dressed when he was asked or do anything for himself independently. Most of those things he still struggles with, but now he is able to communicate with me better. He does still think he is right about everything though.

Frankie 3

He is an amazing, mostly self-taught student. When it comes to his schoolwork I just have to tell him what I expect and he will complete it quickly. He loves knowledge. He learned to read and multiply by the age of 5 and he was dividing at 6. By 9 he knew more Geography than all of the adults he knew. He is so much smarter than I ever was as a child and believe me I was no slouch.

Frankie 5

I told him he was autistic all along and really started discussing what that meant with him when he was around 10. I asked him last year if he would have rather I not told him about his Autism. He said “I’m glad you did Mom because it helps me understand why people react to me the way that they do.” So insightful.

I really am so proud of him. He has had to overcome bullying, being left out, being told he couldn’t do things. But he is not a quitter, he has so much self-confidence and gumption. He participates in Scouts Canada, A.W.A.N.A and Cadets. He’ll be starting in Air Cadets this June.


This boy is going to accomplish great things. He wants to travel the world and bring Bibles to those languages that do not have any. Do you know there are over 6000 languages and only 2000 of them have Bibles translated. That is not O.K with Frankie.


He’s off to Klondyke camp with the Scouts this weekend. He loves camping and has earned all of his camping permits. I personally wouldn’t find camping in the winter fun, but he is all for it. He’s such a go-getter. I can’t wait to see what else will come his way.

The Last Few Weeks

10400494_26020195268_5330_n**This picture has nothing to do with this post, but I want to showcase some cute pictures of my kids.**

     My three youngest children got the opportunity to go to A.W.A.N.A’s Winter Camp. They had an amazing time. My oldest daughter Cassandra said that she was so grateful to be going to A.W.A.N.A and that she was so glad that everyone there knows her name. My children have attended this wonderful program for 6 years and I couldn’t be more happy or appreciative of the whole experience. My children study and memorize God’s Word and have an awesome time doing it.

A.W.A.N.A. is one program we will never stop! Monday was Family Day here in Canada and there were so many things we could have done in our county, but we decided ultimately to go to our local hockey game. What a great choice. We sat right behind the visiting team and had a great view of the whole game. It was a devastating 0-6 loss for our local Sting boys, but we were absolutely riveted the whole time.

Afterwards the children could go out on skates and get signatures and talk to the team. Francis took that mission literally and even though he didn’t want to put it skates on, he got permission to go out onto the ice. He got all the team’s signatures, some of the staff and the mascots. He even requested the Vice President to come down from his office for a signature. I was impressed he was so bold. They ended up handing out free hot chocolate!

It was a great Family Day, we played Sorry at night and the kids and I continued with watching LOST. We are about half way through the whole series now. I enjoy going back and watching it, because the kids were babies the first time the series ran. It’s fun seeing them try to guess or figure out what’s coming next. I must say, they are much quicker than me when it comes to figuring out the plot lines.

Tuesday’s are busy for us because all the children have Scouts, Guides and Cubs. But before that we ended up going for Pancake Tuesday at my youngest son’s Cub church. They gave a free meal! I don’t know how they managed that, but bless their hearts.

On Wednesday the children usually go to A.W.A.N.A but my oldest son had a Baden Powell Dinner with Scouts, so hubby, me and our two boys went to that while the girls were going to A.W.A.N.A (which sadly due to the snow got cancelled, man they missed out on a great meal). Thursdays the boys go to Cadets. It used to be Calvanist Cadets, I believe. What a fantastic program it is. My youngest son got the opportunity to go curling with his cub group…Curling!

Man, I wish I had the opportunities that my kids have while I was growing up. I’m living my life through their happiness though. I love seeing them so excited about all these programs and fun. I have never been the most active person, so I wasn’t on any sports teams and never went camping or hiking. Maybe I can change that someday. I’m not too old yet!

This past weekend we had my best friend’s son sleep over because the girl’s went to camp with the Guides and ended up leading 3 of the girls to the Lord. I’m humbled that they are loving God so much and are salt and light to those around them. I pray for them to be bold, even when it’s not easy!

The boy’s did a Hike for Hunger with Scouts Canada. Citywide they brought in 3700 lbs of food. Well, I will end this post even though there is never a dull moment around here. Till next time.

Homeschoolers and PENCILS!!

I can’t say for sure whether the horror of trying to keep a sharpened supply of pencils is relevant for all mothers or specifically rests in the homeschooling mother’s category of “Worst Things About Homeschooling”, but I am definately one of the affected ones.

My sweet husband will go to the dollar store and bring home two boxes of pencils and I will think “Good, because I don’t know where all the pencils have gone”. I end up uttering the same phrase about every two weeks! Where are all the pencils going? They disappear faster than the other pair of the socks we never seem to find.

For Christmas last year my husband fortuitously bought me an electric sharpener. I actually let out a yelp. The only thing harder to find in my house than pencils, is the hand held pencil sharpeners. It was like he had just handed me a $500 gift card. (maybe not exactly, because then I could have bought 25 more of them!)

Sadly our electric sharpener gave up on it’s glorious little life after a much too short71qGbYqEwtL._SL1500_ 13 months of use. I don’t know whether to be happy that it survived my 4 children that long or sad that I didn’t have an immediate replacement.

I ended up going to Amazon.ca and ordered a manual pencil sharpener. You know the kind. We all grew up with them in school. I figure if it’s good enough to endure 100’s of children, it surely can withstand the abuse from my four munkiees. Surely!

I have never used Amazon Prime before, but you can be sure I signed up for the trial just to get my sharpener fast!! It arrived in two days! Go check out my little beauty, such clean, smooth points. Pure bliss!

An Abundance of Language Arts Links Part 4

Journal writing can be a wonderful lifelong pursuit for a student. To record and reflect on their past can be invaluable to their future. Here are some links to encourage this worthwhile endeavour.







What You Need to Consider to Begin Homeschooling

     Homeschooling was something that wasn’t even discussed when I was a child. Everyone attended public school, and people didn’t talk about any another option (except for private school and very few could afford that).

     Nowadays with the Internet you can learn anything you want about homeschooling. It’s unprecedented for our generation. To have all the tools for educating your children at your fingertips.

     If your family has a baby or young child, homeschooling a wide range of children will be more challenging, but God promises in His Word,Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me…for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt. 11: 28-30)

     You will need to set aside different times of the day for each of your children. Or even find things that can be taught to all of the kids together. Look for good opportunities to engage all of your children in activities. Almost any topic can be taught to all with the exception of Math and Language Arts lessons.

     Though you might want to shield your children from negative influences. It is still important to be creative in finding ways for your child to interact with others. Join other homeschooling families and go on different field trips together. Your kids can have play dates with others. The park is a great place for your kids to meet other children.

     Let them become part of a club. Signing your child up for a local sports team is a great way for them to make friends. You can also sign them up for Scouts or4-H. A.W.A.N.A has been a wonderful resource for our family.

     Chosing to homeschool your children can wreck havoc on your finances. You may need to quit your line of work, which can be challenging. Learn to coupon, cook more meatless meals, use blogging sites to look for better deals on groceries. Negotiate new prices for your credit cards, insurance and other bills. We have had to adjust to living life on one income, but it has been the best decision for our family.

     If you are educating young children you need to spend time with them one on one. Set aside some room where they can play or do arts and crafts. The older students can help by reading to them too. This fosters learning for your entire family, and it encourages your older children to gain confidence in their own abilities.

     Also don’t do all the housework by yourself. Teach them cleaning skills when they are young and they will grow into wonderful helpers. They will learn the importance of being dilligent workers.

     It is important to learn the laws and guidelines for your province or state that you need to follow. What you have to adhere to varies greatly from coast to coast. So as not to be charged with truancy, be sure the school district knows that you will be homeschooling your child. I would also recommend signing up with HSLDA, they are a truly wonderful organization.

     Ensure that your children have a place to learn that is free from outside influence and distractions. If the area in which your child does schoolwork does not have storage areas, use a box to keep all learning materials organized. Workboxes are a great alternative to keeping organized.

     When you have learned some simple ways to go about teaching your children try them out! If you’re not homeschooling yet, they’ll be a great jumping off point.

An Abundance of Language Arts Links Part 3

There are a lot of parents and students that struggle teaching writing. Creative, essay, research, formal letter, compare/contrast, persuasive and even argumentative are all covered in this vast assortment of links. Lots of wonderful goodies in this bunch to carry you through your homeschooling lives.





















An Abundance of Language Arts Links Part 2

I am continuing the series of Language Arts Links with a good assortment of spelling links. Personally we use the very first link gradespelling.com. It has all the grade levels up till 8 and 40 lessons per grade. The kids have never once complained about it and are proud of their results every week. Plus they email the results right to me.










Crazy Over Currclick

So, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there is an AMAZING resource that I use often. CurrClick.com  is a one stop shop for all of your curriculum needs. (affiliate link – see Disclosure Policy)

I have used CurrClick for the last 5 years and on top of their incredible live classes, they have the largest assortment of free and paid curriculum that I have seen.

We have utilized several of their free classes like LEGO club which runs every Monday at varying times. You only need to attend one a month as all 4 classes are indentical. The teacher Miss Loretta has kits you can buy and she even ships to Canada. My children love these classes and learn so much as each month has a new theme.

Another wonderful free class is the American Girl Club which meets once a month on the last Wednesday of the month. My girls have thoroughly enjoyed learning about history through these delightful books.

One free class that is beginning soon is Creative Kids Club for ages 5-7 meeting on Tuesdays.

Some of the paid classes we have enjoyed are:

History of Weapons from 4 Little Penguins

Botany Classes from Natureglo’s eScience

Colonial America and Native American’s with Lessons Worth Learning

Mechanics from Science Jim

Basic Math from the Video Math Tutor

Usually I can buy just one class and all my children can log in from their own log in point and participate together. Most of the time I have one of the kids hook up the HDMI from the laptop to the T.V  and then I can watch the class also. These classes have been so much fun for the kids and they have learned so much. It’s also a great motivator for when I need them to “finish your work quick so you’re not logging into your class late”.

I also have countless pages of high quality curriculum from such companies as A Journey Through Learning, A+ Interactive Math, Brandenburg Studies, Connect The Thoughts, Hands of a Child, Kathy Hutto, Knowledge Box Central, Math Mammoth and The Critical Thinking Company, just to name a few of oh so many.

I would encourage you to check out the site and keep your eyes posted for their wonderful “Pay What You Want” Sale, I have picked up countless goodies from that.


Surprise Trip to the London Museum

So yesterday was a very blustery day so I was debating whether I should surprise the kids with a field trip to London, ON which is an hour away from us. Once a month the museum puts on a 1 1/2 hour long program for homeschoolers. I was excited to try it out, to tell the truth I’ve never really been in an art museum myself.

I had the kids start their schoolwork just in case I decided not to go due to weather. About an hour in to it, I sounded a buzzer (with my mouth) and told them to put down their schoolwork and get dressed for a field trip. They FREAKED out!!

The children learned how to navigate the iPad’s and iMac’s to learn about different pieces and paintings and they made a guitar inspired by Murray Favro. We also toured around after by ourselves and enjoyed viewing artwork from local children from grades K-12. The kids were amazed and inspired to think that people so young could have their work hanging in a gallery. I wasn’t able to take pictures of the pictures in the gallery, even though I did and didn’t realize it was wrong….oops! Delete. I did manage to get some of the kids enjoying themselves. I don’t know why I didn’t get a picture of Andy, he must have been off enjoying his new friend.

It was a dicey drive down and back. We also had A.W.A.N.A  that night so I knew I would be pushing it to get back. (20 minutes to spare and eat dinner!) It was a great afternoon and we even made some new friends that we hope to see again.

10959750_10155170304420274_5819503323360933889_n 10958582_10155170304425274_787527011925560907_n 10985203_10155170304435274_1826481012294639668_n 10924695_10155170304600274_1218889904682082608_n

An Abundance of Language Arts Links Part 1

I have accumulated so many wonderful links over the last 12 years. Way too many for me to actually utilize. So I am so happy to be able to share all of my hard work with all of you. Most are free, some are not; however, all of them are useful. I have tried my best to categorize them. I will split this post into several smaller posts as this list is bound to get VERY long. Take your time combing through the links. There are many gems to be found. I wish I could use them all.

This first list will be sites that are a comprehensive language arts program or contain more than one discipline associated with language arts.





















http://www.walkingbytheway.com/blog/free-printables/ and http://www.walkingbytheway.com/blog/lapbooks/









Eclectic, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling? What Does It All Mean For Me?

If you haven’t been in the homeschooling sphere long, there will be many terms that are confusing and unusual. Don’t despair, I will guide you through the many choices of homeschooling methods.

I have been researching homeschooling since my oldest was 3 months old back in 2002. I have become somewhat of an expert in the different genres of homeschooling, having attempted many myself. Sit back, relax and come along with me on a journey through the sometimes despairing vocabulary that is homeschooling.

Traditional / Classical Method

At the heart of classical homeschooling is what is called the Trivium. There are 3 levels of learning called the Grammar Stage (typically Grades 1-4), the Logic Stage (typically Grades 5-8) and the Rhetoric Stage (typically Grades 9-12).

There is a strong belief towards instilling a balanced approach to learning and with subjects such as History, Science, Geography and the Arts rotating on 4 year cycles, it gives the child a chance to go around the subject 3 times throughout their schooling.

The Grammar Stage is based around fact memorization. Young children are eager to soak up facts and the “building blocks” of grammar rules, mathematical facts, foreign language vocabulary and scientific truths. This four year stage is where the ground work is laid for future stages.

The Logic Stage is a time of change, of analyzing and reasoning the information that has been obtained in the earlier Grammar Stage. This is the time the student begins to question the why behind all the knowledge.

Logic is applied to all subjects, causing the student to dig deeper into the why in English (thesis development and essay writing), the why in Math (algebra and geometric theories), the whys of History (why were battles fought, what logical decisions and fallacies shaped the world) and the why of Science (where they learn the Scientific Method) and the why of Foreign Language (Latin and Green are often a staple of this method).

The Rhetoric Stage is typically the High School years. A time of self-expression, self-examination and learning how to communicate that to the world with clarity and purpose. This is a time to dig deeper into subjects that specifically interest the child.

Many people who are drawn to the Traditional or Classical Method are Christians who strive to base their child’s knowledge in a Christian Worldview. If you are interested in reading more about Classical Christian Education, I would encourage you to head over the the Well Trained Mind website by Susan Wise Bauer. There are books and encouragement to help you along the way.

Charlotte Mason Method

In the later half of the 1800’s into the early 1900’s Charlotte Mason was a British educator who’s philosophy was comprised in a series of lectures that became a 6 volume series called Home Education. Her belief was in creating a well rounded child through atmosphere, discipline and life.

The website  Simply Charlotte Mason, puts it as such, By “Atmosphere,” Charlotte meant the surroundings in which the child grows up. A child absorbs a lot from his home environment. Charlotte believed that the ideas that rule your life as the parent make up one-third of your child’s education.

By “Discipline,” Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits—and specifically habits of character. Cultivating good habits in your child’s life make up another third of his education.

The other third of education, “Life,” applies to academics. Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. So all of her methods for teaching the various school subjects are built around that concept.

The basis of any good Charlotte Mason education are “living books”, books that draw you into a story that puts your imagination in the middle of whatever subject you are learning. No dry textbooks or boring lectures. Children experience, feel, do the work.

Some of the important cornerstones of her philosophy are Narration, Copywork, Nature Study, Hymn Study, Art Study, Music Study, Spelling and studying foreign languages.

Montessori Method

This method was invented by an Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori who placed emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural pyschological, physical, and social development.

According to the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators the Montessori Method would include


  • A carefully prepared child-centered environment
  • Mixed age (family groupings) per classroom
  • An opportunity to progress at his/her own pace
  • Activity-based learning
  • Freedom and responsibility
  • Co-operation, collaboration, not competition


     The basis of the Montessori Method is in having Sensory Materials, Practical Life Materials and Academic Subject Materials. If you would like to investigate this subject further please refer to Montessori Homeschooling.
Unschooling or Child-Directed Learning
    There are many misconceptions when it comes to unschooling. Much of the public that is unaware of this “unusual” method do not understand and assume the child is lazy and sitting around watching television all day, who will never qualify to get a job or “succeed” in real life. Nothing could be further from the truth.
     Unschooling refers to not having a “School-At-Home” philosophy. Meaning that learning happens all the time by curious and interested children, not just between the hours of 9 and 3 Monday to Friday, but learning happens whenever, wherever with whatever resources the parent provides.
     They do not follow an all-in-one curriculum method, but instead place interesting books, videos, field trips, experiments, craft projects and real life instances within the reach of their children. Often taking many trips to the library, local parks and local businesses to partake in real world situations, learning by doing, by getting messy and making mistakes (intended Magic School Bus pun).
     This method lends beautifully to Child-Directed Learning and Project Based Homeschooling.
Unit Study Method
    The unit study method helps the mothers of multiple child with multiple ages and stages, to incorporate all the subjects into one unit study.
     For example if you were learning about the War of 1812, in Language Arts you would read a story about  a child who lived during that time period, you could incorporate copywork, spelling words and grammar based on the topic. In Math you would count how many troops were in the battle and how much ammunition they would need or how to ration food, working on fractions. In History, you would read about the battle and with Geography you would study maps of the battle.
     There can be a varying degree of difficulty placed in the lesson for the different members of the family based on their level of understanding. After reading about the battle you may ask your kindergartner to draw of picture of what they heard, while encouraging your third grader to research a General’s life from the battle, and expecting a 200-300 word essay from your 7th Grader.
     Whatever the reasoning for choosing this method it is a fun alternative and teaches children that life incorporates all the subjects, all the time. If you would like to investigate this method further please click here , here , here, here and here. There are alot of links and alot of information just take your time and soak in the information listed within.
Internet / DVD Instructional Method
    This method can take on many faces. There are umbrella schools, all-in-one online curriculum both in DVD and online forms. There are specific subjects online or available to buy individually. There are teacher led classes and tutors. In certain provinces there may even be public school courses online. 
     For the parent who is unsure of themselves in a certain subject area, or who may not have the time to devote to a specific subject, then this method will work well for these situations.
     Many parents incorporate some form of online learning with the other methods that have been discussed. Look into the website She Knows for an excellent article on this method.
Eclectic or Relaxed Homeschooling
     This is another commonly misunderstood approach to homeschooling.  Eclectic homeschooling typically means that you do not use a one size fits all curriculum, but you piece together bits and parts of some or all of the above methods.
     For example in the 9 years of our homeschooling we have been Classical Christian, Charlotte Mason, Online Unschoolers. (If that even makes sense!) However; the best part of homeschooling is that you can customize your learning plan to your children, to your job(if you work from home or away from home) and depending on the season in life you’re in (pregnancy, moving, sickness, financial struggles), you may also find yourself bumping from method to method. And that’s O.K, momma!
     You need to do what works best for your family. No two families will be the same. With religious differences. Discipline styles, Learning Disabilities and Family Life, you cannot put yourself or your children into a box. Above all RELAX. I wish I had realized how important that would be at the beginning of our journey. I’m certain we all would have enjoyed it more, if I could have calmed down and realized the precious gift I was being given.

Homeschooling In Canada? What Are The Legalities?

If you homeschool long enough you will inevitably have people ask you if homeschooling is even legal. You can rest assured in all of Canada and most of the world, for that matter, it is indeed legal; however, it is important that you are aware of  the laws and regulations governing your province.

I would encourage you to read through these articles so you can become well versed on the laws of your particular province.

I would highly recommend becoming a member of HSLDA Canada. The benefits are enormous and there is something to be said for the peace of mind it affords you. HSLDA will provide you will 1. Legal Services 2. Insurance Services and 3. General Services.

Please check them out and encourage other moms in your group to join. They fight for the good of all homeschoolers in Canada and we need to show our support. They have made it even easier now with very resonable monthly, yearly or 2 year payments.

How Does Your Child Learn?

It is important before you dive into searching endlessly for curriculum that you take the time to analyze your children’s learning style.

There are numerous online tests designed to give you more insight into your child and I will give you links to some of these. However; in this article, we will focus on Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic learners.

Auditory Learners

These learners thrive on listening to what others have to say and participating in group discussions about topics they are learning.

They often have trouble following written instructions and need to have them verbalized.

It may appear as though you are being ignored by an auditory listener as they do not frequently make eye contact when learning. You may catch them having a conversation with themselves about what is being taught.

They are often great story tellers with great imaginations. Be careful to always answer  an auditory learner as they need thoughtful responses to their questions in order to process and make sense of their information.

Visual Learners

     The child who is a visual learner relates best to images and colours. They can often see plans and organizing of materials in their mind. They have a good sense of direction and are coordinated ( have good spatial sense)

They need visual aids, maps, videos, art lessons. They need to doodle and draw to make sense of the information being presented to them.

Colour coding information and making charts and other visual aids will help a visual learner to present information to other people.

Kinesthetic Learner

A kinesthetic learner is one who uses every aspect of their body and touch to interpret and understand the world around them. They have a hard time sitting through lectures and would rather “get their hands dirty” working out a problem, than reading a textbook. 

You will find the kinesthetic child restless if made to sit still too long and can be found reading upside down or standing up.

They love to play sports, run and dance. Role playing through history or making models is right up their alley.

It is more than likely that your child will fall in more than one category of learning styles, however; there will be a predominant style they will be prone to follow.

Take the tests so that you can make sure to cater the curriculum to their particular learning style and it will save you both many tears.

The following tests are meant to help you define your child’s learning style, they do not replace the professional advice of a medical doctor.


I would also encourage you to read the following article from Dyslexia Victoria Online.

Different Methods of Schooling

 With four children in the mix Homeschooling can be a big ship to steer some days. There are days when we get so much accomplished I feel the imaginary pat on the back of success; however, there are days when every move we make is met with resistance and it feels like nothing gets done. 

     Needless to say, I am always in search of the perfect method (even though my brain knows there is no such thing). I have the heart of a Mother, someone who always has hope that things will work out. 

     I have tried so many styles of homeschooling and I am still not entirely convinced of any one style right now….but the research continues. At the start of last year we would all sit at the kitchen table for Geography and History and Science and Bible. I was all prepared and happy and was met with resistance from some and compliance from others and the compliant ones would have to inevitably wait for their siblings to stop fooling around long enough to get the lesson accomplished. 

     After 2 months it started wearing on me to the point I didn’t want to sit at the table anymore….because I don’t want to spend the whole day upset with the children. I want our time together to be lighthearted and smooth. So the search was on again.

     I spent hours upon hours upon days reading blogs and looking how other people did things trying to come up with some method that works for us. I came across computer learning and decided to give Time4Learning a try. At $65 a month it was a good fit for about 3 months and during the last two weeks they started complaining that it was boring. My husband and I decided that it wasn’t worth putting forth the money just to see tears. In entered Head of the Class a free version of computer learning. Sadly this curriculum is no longer available. There was another couple of months of resistance; however, I made the children stick with this until I could come up with another method that would work.

     I personally love Time4Learning and Head of the Class and would have considered myself lucky as a kid to do my school work on them. They are engaging, thought provoking and informative. I think my boys would have been ok to stay on them indefinately, but the girls need more personal interaction I think. 

     Starting this school year I have implemented my own schedule. It is able to be customized, for long or short days. It allows students to progress at a comfortable pace while still taking in the same information. It frees up my time for questions and one-on-ones. It allows me to add in projects that would take to long and be too frustrating doing with four children. Also, I am not a morning person and this allows the children to begin their day without needing to wait for mommy to spring to life from her second coffee of the day. (I know, I know that’s an issue I need to work on)


5 Top Misconceptions About Homeschooling

With almost 7 years of homeschooling under my belt, I can say with certainty that I have heard of many misconceptions when it comes to homeschooling. Until I had my first encounter with a homeschooling family when I was a Sunday School Superintendent, I had my own misgivings when it came to the subject. If you had asked me then, I would have told you that homeschoolers are hippy, religious fanatics who are over protective and shielding their children, who were all wearing jean jumpers by the way, from the world. I’m glad to say I was wrong. All of the homeschool families we have come across are caring, loving, helpful people who support and encourage and understand differences.

I believe that most of the misconceptions come from being uninformed. So ,as with me, I’m sure others just want to educate the world on this incredibly, enriching educational choice.

As a homeschooling mother of 4, I have had to debate these issues with our families, our friends, our neighbours and society in general. As I lay these out, please realize that there are always exceptions to the rule. Just as we are different from other families in our own cities, we are different from other homeschool families all over the world. However, in this beautiful world of ours it truly does take all kinds. Life would be dreadful if we were all clones.

#1. Is this even legal?

Oh, the height of misinformation! It would just take a quick Google search for anyone not familiar with homeschooling to find out in less than 5 minutes that it is in fact legal to homeschool in Canada and the U.S. I believe society in general has been fed an incredibly negative image of homeschooling from the media. What are they suppose to think? It is such a disservice to us who do homeschool who have to put up with jeering neighbours and very unfair questions.

Yes, there are different rules governing each state and province and they do need to be followed, but for the most part if people would just ask the homeschool parents if it is legal, we would be more than happy to set them straight. I believe the more  positive media that people see, the better this situation will get.

#2. What about socialization?

Having heard this concern so many times, it makes me wish people could spend a week in my home. They wouldn’t question that anymore. My children are articulate, friendly and will have a conversation with anyone of any age. They are involved in many social outings and activities with public school children every week. They love life and they love people, all people. They are very tolerant and wouldn’t shy away from speaking or praying in public.

I live in a small city and there are an overwhelming amount of homeschool and community activities to keep us out of the house all day. I have to consciously make the decision to say no to some outings so as to have time for schoolwork and family time. You can become so wrapped up in the socialization bubble that you neglect fostering relationships with your children in the quiet times at home.

I do realize that there are homeschoolers who are not social and are not involved in community activities, but from what I’ve seen they are few and far between. Just like there are public schooled children who don’t socialize in school well and are not in any activities outside of school, there are homeschoolers like that; however, I believe we need to be judged on an individual basis, not in a lump sum.

#3. It’s too expensive!

It can be expensive to homeschool. If you allow yourself to become a curriculum junkie and buy all the latest materials from all the lovely and compelling ads that you see in the pursuit of the PERFECT curriculum, you will be struggling financially and emotionally. The perfect curriculum doesn’t exist. A fancy curriculum can promise you the moon, but if you don’t utilize it correctly or it is not in line with your children’s learning style, it is no better than a free resource off of the internet.

I begin researching for materials for the coming year starting in January of the current year. That way I have lots of time to prepare and analyze the styles and to determine if that free resource off of the internet is equally as good. You need to keep your head about you at all times when it comes to determining what’s really necessary.

I have been researching homeschool methods and materials since my now 12 year old son was 3 months old, because I knew the time would slip away and I would be forced to make a decision. I like to be prepared and for most part I have been. I only spend what I’ve wanted to, not what I’ve felt pressured into. It is possible to homeschool for free, minus printer ink and paper.

#4. I could NEVER spend that much time with my kids! When would I get time for myself?

While it is true that your children being home 24/7 can be trying on the nerves. I see the benefits of close relationships between my children and I and between siblings being close that far out way any inconvenience I may feel on not getting alone time.

If someone is concerned on getting alone time there are several ways that can be accomplished.

– arrange with a fellow homeschool mother to take her children for an afternoon and vice versa

– make sure the children go to bed at a decent time so you can have time with your spouse or alone.

– be honest with family and friends, let them know you need regular alone time, even if it’s just shopping without littles. Give them the                  chance to offer to watch your children.

– Let your spouse know it’s important for date nights or solo shopping sprees. If he sees how happy and relaxed it makes you, he’ll see                    the benefits of stepping up and taking the children to the park for a few hours or hiring a sitter for some much needed romance.

– many homeschool progams require a parent to sit and wait. If it’s a library take the time to peruse the adult section. If it’s someplace                  else, bring along a book, laptop, project you’re working on. Or take the time to socialize with fellow homeschool mothers.

– the one that works for me is letting my children know that I cannot be there constant source of entertainment, they can read, play LEGO’s, invent a play, play quietly in their rooms, watch the occasional educational video.

Please do not make the decision to not homeschool based on how much time you believe you need alone. It can be a false trap to causes you to lose out on the joys of homeschooling.

#5. Homeschoolers are lazy and undereducated.

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is how my four children can develop their talents and interests and that they have the time they need to be interested in subjects and dig deeper if need be. My children are involved in community activities like Scouts Canada, Guides Canada, AWANA, Gems and Cadets, swimming lessons and homeschooling activities such as CO-OP’s, LEGO club, French class, soccer, gym and swim, skating and dance. And that’s just what we do, there are many more things we could do.

I know this is not true for every family; however, my children are one grade ahead of where they would be in public school. I believe that is in large part to the less one on one attention it takes to accomplish the same things at home. We also school year round so there is no need to play catch up at the beginning of the year. I find that because I’m able to correct my children’s work instantly they do not develop false methods of doing schoolwork.

When I made the decision to put my children in school for a year and a half, they fit right in. I just missed our time together as a family so we brought them home for good. Society claims tolerance for different lifestyles and choices; however, the homeschool family rarely benefits from this tolerance.

It is my hope that we as homeschoolers are not intimidated by the naysayers and stand firm for what we believe is the best choice for our families.

2 Free Complete Homeschool Sites

     The deeper you dig into the world wide web, the more free resources you will find. Most homeschool families do not have unlimited resources when it comes to their homeschool budget. Therefore, it is essential to only spend money where you need to. Let me show you the top resources I’ve scoured for and gleaned out for you.

1. Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool


This is a screenshot of the first day of fourth grade.

 A homeschool mother has written this complete curriculum for her family as well as yours and has complete or partial courses for each year of K-12. My own family used this curriculum for almost a year and we did enjoy it. I would copy the lessons into Live Binders because I didn’t want my children to skip ahead which they would do.

It is thorough and fun. There are as many hands on activities suggested as there are computer related activities. This curriculum is written with a Christian perspective, but I’m sure anyone could use this. Anyone of the subjects can be used individually.

You can follow Lee Giles, the curriculum writer on Easy Peasy’s Facebook page. There is also a Facebook page dedicated to Extra Resources and many other Facebook pages created by other moms who use the curriculum. There is no shortage of support for this free resource.

Here is a thorough review of the site by Cathy Duffy, author of 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

2.  Ambleside Online


This is the first week of grade 4.

If I could go back to the beginning and start all over again, this is the method I would follow. I love everything about Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. I do incorporate many of her aspects; however this curriculum just has it all and presents it so well.

This curriculum covers k-12 and makes it easy for a mother of multiples to follow along. I encourage you to dig into this wonderful resource. Hepburn Family Homepages has done a wonderful job at helping you navigate the big website, in bite sized chunks. Also visit Ambleside Online’s Facebook page.

Librovox (an audiobook website) has done a wonderful job pulling together the year booklists.

Cost Effective Ways To Homeschool

In this day and age all families need to look for ways to cut costs when they are homeschooling. Having a family of 6, I understand the need to use the most effective methods possible.

Hands down the best resource for any homeschool family is the internet. There are a multitude of free resources that can be downloaded or printed out. Free unit studies, lapbooks, novel studies, math sheets…you name it. My goal on this blog is to share as many of these free resources with you as I can.

The next most valuable resource is the library. Not only is there wonderful literature, you can be involved in programs and sometimes you could convince the children’s librarian to start a special homeschool LEGO club or book club…etc.

Another cost effective method I have used, being Canadian, is to purchase ebooks and downloadable curriculum. It saves on shipping and ebooks are usually less expensive than their hard covered counterparts. You only need to print out the pages you actually need the kids to write on. Or be like me when the four kids need to use the same pages. Put them in a folder and add lined sheets.

There are so many contests and giveaways and samples associated with the homeschool world. Subscribe to a few resources and keep up to date with all the goodness. Some of my favorites are

  • http://homeschoolgiveaways.com/
  • http://www.freehomeschooldeals.com
  • http://www.homeschoolfreebie.wholesomechildhood.com/
  • http://www.homeschoolfreeb.com/

I encourage you to stay tuned for all of the freebies I have gleaned from the world wide web. Have a great day!

Another Addition

This week turned out differently than I thought it would. I imagined a full school week, lots accomplished. Instead we got a bundle of joy a week earlier than we were supposed to.

So our days are full of pee pads and warm, puppy kisses. Well there’s always next week for school!

Typical Day

I love homeschooling. I wanted to homeschool before I even had children, back when I “knew” how my life was meant to turn out. Even though life didn’t take the path I believed it would, I am grateful that God gave me the desire to school my future children at home, He does know best.
I will get into what curriculum we use and our methods but for today I wanted to show our typical day.

2015/01/img_0256.jpg My sweet son, Andy doing Bible Road Trip We love this curriculum.

2015/01/img_0257.jpg My youngest monkey, Jayme doing Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology.

2015/01/img_0259.jpg My second oldest beauty, Cassandra doing Adapted Mind math worksheets

2015/01/img_02551.jpg My oldest brain child ,Frankie doing Video Math Tutor.
I love that the kids feel comfortable to do their schoolwork wherever. It’s not always easy trying to concentrate on their schoolwork around distracting siblings, but today was a great day and I’m grateful for that.

My Munkies

I have the 4 funniest, craziest, most loving homeschooled children in all the world.  I am so blessed and challenged and frustrated all at the same time.  They are 38 months apart and I’ve always called them my munkies…..no matter where they are in the house….I call “4 munkies!” and they come running…..wondering if they’ll still do this when they are teens.

Francis Duncan

a.k.a Frankie, 12

Frankie is amazing…..he’s one of my favourite people in the whole world….he is also my biggest challenger in the pursuit of knowledge and the demonstration of patience. Frankie has High Functioning Autism, which I will address in other posts.

Cassandra Heather

a.k.a  Casey, 11

pronounced CASE- e

Casey is everything I wish I was……she’s talented and pure and athletic and gorgeous.  I call her my right hand, she will drop everything to help me and rarely complains……if I’m sad or need a pick me up she strokes my hair and tells me everything will be o.k…..what a cool kid, so wise for someone so young.

Andrew Gerald

a.k.a  “D”, 10

D is an all around awesome kid…..he is a people person……he is the life of the party and isn’t happy unless people are laughing.  He will do the most random, silly things that just make me gut laugh just when I need to.  He always makes sure I know how important I am to him and he never runs out of hugs.

Jayme Sharon

a.k.a   Jayme, 9

Jayme is my mini-me…..she is an exact replica of everything I was as a child…..I delight to see the world through her eyes, because I understand more of who I am…..me and this child are “Stuck Like Glue”. We sing together for hours watching Youtube videos, she’s always interested in learning about me and the things I find interesting.  I cannot go anywhere even the doctor’s office without her wanting to be there.

Through these four little people I have found more love and devotion than I ever thought was possible. I am excited to be their Mom and learn with them through our journeys in homeschooling.