Saturday, December 15, 2012

Libraries are Very Important!

When you homeschool, the library usually ends up being an important resource. Because of this I scheduled a tour for our homeschool group. We need to get to know our library! We need to know where things are found, what online resources are available, and what activities our branches hold. There are so many resources that you can even learn how to speak another language online for free. It's important to know what help we can get since we get no help from the schools in our province. 

Get to know your library! Your homeschooling experience will be enriched because of it!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hockey= Busy

Both of my kids are in Hockey. It means we are really busy. Many times we are running from one game to the other or we are split up in two different towns.

Both of our kids can skate well and play hockey well.

 Along with hockey games, there are practices, fund raisers, social activities, parades, volunteering, and much more. 

We have all made some great friends through our hockey teams over the years. It is inevitable because we spend so much time with them and plan our social lives outside of hockey around the hockey schedule, which doesn't leave us with many choices. LOL!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Austyn has wanted to know how to do more things with the computer. I have set him up to do graphics when he helped create his own rookie card for drag racing. He made his own Birthday Party invitations.

I purchased a book on animation for him. It is great! I recommend it! It's called The Klutz Book Of Animation. It is a very visual, step-by-step guide on how to do different types of animation. We focused on stop motion and claymation.

Here are a couple of our creations.

This one we did together. Zoe was the stop motion actress. It suits her well since she likes to change her clothes at least 5 times a day. You will see some mistakes with this video, but it's one of our first.

This is a claymation that Austyn did on his own. I helped him download sounds and add them. We messed up and left one sound out, but it's not too bad for his first one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Importance of a Homeschool Group

Recently I did an interview for our local paper. It was nerve racking for me, because I've seen way too many negatively written articles on homeschooling. What she wanted to know about from me was an overview of the homeschool group that I moderate and how many families are joined up. She wanted to know what activities there were and what kind of homeschooling families there are in this area. She wanted to know about resourcefulness and how important it would be to have the support of a local group. 

Groups are very important to us. If I need information on something, there are always parents who can answer within minutes of my online post. Many of the parents get to know the children and the parents and have personal insight as to what things they could share that would be helpful.

Groups provide, support, resources, friendships, socialization, and activities. It takes a village to raise a child and in homeschooling we create our village. This is also why the group that we join needs to a group that we fit in well. If you are Atheist for example, you may not be comfortable attending Christian activities if there is a good deal of religious content being shared in the activities. I am not an Atheist but felt that it was important to have a strong Secular group here. If you don't know what Secular means, it's not catering to any specific group of people. So, a secular group would be open to all people, no matter what they believe. It's more of a general public type of group.

The group I helped to get going again has had many activities. Above is a restaurant tour we had.
 We baked pies and painted.

 We had a Games Day, where we played educational board games. Some activities are well attended and others aren't as much. I find that no matter what it seems to always work out. Sometimes it's nice to only have a few friends there and sometimes it's great to have a crowd. 

 We visited a honey farm.

 We skate, swim, go to the park, and do gymnastics together.

 We share simple things with each other. Here Zoe is learning how to finger knit. I didn't know how to do this. It ended up something that both of my kids did for a long time. HERE is a video to teach you how to finger knit. It's a little different from how we do it, but close. I've noticed that there are different variations on how people do it.

 At our yarn day Austyn learned how to knit. This is something I don't do well. Each parent of a homeschool group has strengths and weaknesses. Kids want to know more than what we can teach them sometimes. Or more than we want to teach them. This is where the group comes in. We share our abilities with other families and they learn something new!

 We had a Halloween Party because we thought that it was a bummer our kids wouldn't experience the party that the other kids have at school. We read a story, did crafts, listened to scary music, had a healthy Halloween snack and just had fun together. 

 Because we have moved so much, we have been in other groups, in other areas. We try to make it to at least one activity with one group each year. They live over an hour away. We attended their Zoo Field Trip. It was great!

I keep in touch with these families online. It was nice to see them again. The turnout to the Zoo trip was huge. I didn't know everyone. There were so many kids! Keeping in contact with other groups enables me to get ideas for our group. The main people from that group keep in contact with me and the group I'm currently am in as well. We share ideas and learn from each other. 

So, it is important to have local support and join a local group that suits your family and it can also be beneficial to keep in touch with other groups outside of your area. Sharing is a big part of homeschooling. I don't know where we'd be today if we had no group.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nature around the house in Autumn

Over the past few months, we've been experiencing nature less than I want us to. We still have had some good nature experiences. Above is a picture of our crickets. We noticed that in the early fall there are a ton of them, so we kept some in our house for a little while to study them. 

These are the eggs that were laid by a cricket. They never did hatch.

These guys were fighting over sunflower seeds in our garden. We had many Blue Jays fly through and stop to eat. 

I don't believe that these plants are native to Canada, but we planted artichokes to see how they grow. The plant was HUGE!! It looks like a big, prickly, weed. Only it's not picky at all.  Here is a close up of the vegetable you commonly see in your grocery store. 

We learned of a family of mice living under our raised garden beds. Here is one of their holes. Going out to use the compost, I scared them. I heard squeaking and saw them run across the ground. They were so cute and fat! The kids looked all around for them and took close looks at their holes, trails, and poops.

Even if you are like us and haven't been out to the local trails lately, there are always opportunities to see nature, right in your own back yard.

Here are a couple of books that I would love to purchase someday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Looking Back - Why Blog

 Sometimes it's hard to find the time, but I find blogging important. There are obviously more important things, but it's important to me. I learn so much form other Bloggers and know that I have so much to share as well. 

When I took a break from it, I didn't take as many pictures. Here are a few. Above, Zoe and Austyn were taking candies and laying them out on parchment paper to melt in the oven and make an edible serving tray. It didn't work out well, likely because I'm terrible with ovens and baking, but it was fun to try. Zoe seems to be very interested in baking. It's too bad that I'm not a very good baker.

 Austyn became interested in jets for a little while. We looked up jet activities and videos on the internet and learned how they work. He constructed this device using a fan and aluminum foil. It's like a jet because the air is pushed through and is compressed when it is forced to go through a smaller hole. He learned that the area in the middle of the larger area had not as much wind and along the outsides and in the compression chamber the wind was stronger. We talked about the air molecules and what was happening.

 Here is is playing around with light and mirrors. He thought he could figure out how to make a projector, but it didn't work out so well. It is just great that he would try it and see. What a great experiment!

 Zoe loves arts and crafts. I pulled out some good paints and some canvas. She really enjoyed this.

 Austyn isn't as interested in drawing and being a perfectionist he is too critical of himself as he works. This is exactly what happened this day. I talked to him and told him that once he learns to calm his thoughts, he will create great works. Within minutes he started to wipe off the canvas (out of frustration) and found that it was a cool effect that he loved. He keeps this picture in his room because it turned out great and he is so proud of himself. 

 We had some devices around the house that didn't work so great. I took them out and the kids took them apart. They loved this!

Summer has gone, Halloween is gone. I can't believe how time flies.

When blogging and showing pictures and what we have been up to, it may seem to some people like it's just an album. This isn't so. When reading other blogs and people share pictures of what they have been doing, I get ideas. Sometimes the person may not even realize that they are influencing someone else. There are so many great ideas out there. Blogging is important to me because I can share and I can also get ideas for  my own family. I'm giving back, because I'm grateful for others who share with me. This is what this is all about!


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