Category Archives: Homeschooling

And now that September is almost gone!

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As you can tell from my lack of blogging, September has been busy. I’ve done 4 babies this month. We started another year of homeschooling. This is our first “official” year as Gabrielle is registered in Kindergarten through the homeschooling program at the school.IMG_0209

For our first day of school, we made a time capsule, to be opened on the last day of school. She has goals for this year. She wants to learn how to climb trees, read and write, and finally, she wants to learn every bone in the human body. Ya know, nothing lofty for an almost-five-year old.IMG_0216

This is our first day of “school” with the Spring Leaves program at Pender Elementary school. I’d say we are on the right track! A sunny beach day, really it doesn’t get better.IMG_0221 IMG_0606

Because kindergarten is mostly about games, we play lots of games. For reading, we obviously use books, we use the game like the one above. And I picked up a sight-word Bingo game. And we do lots of letter practice by writing notes and signs. For math, I picked up a Saxon math curriculum from another homeschooling mama who was getting rid of it. It’s a bit advanced for her yet and since we want to keep everything light and fun, we do a lot of playing with cuisinaire rods.

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We extracted honey, with another batch coming. It’s delicious. Different than last year. I found last year’s batch quite dark, and the year before, quite light. This year you can taste a burst of flowers at the end. It’s divine!

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I got to be involved in a Doula Get-together. Past clients brought their babies to the park and we ate snacks and got to visit. It was so wonderful to see these families. They are so so dear to my heart and I felt very blessed to be invited into their lives through such a big transition. Thank you for coming friends.

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And then just because I have permission, here are some beautiful babies that have come this month. Oh aren’t they squishy delicious?

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Happy Autumn!

Lemonade Stand

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Gabrielle had her first lemonade stand the other day.

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It went well and people were very generous. Gabrielle learned about professionalism and quality service and earning money etc etc. But she also learned about community.

We had a bunch of friends stop by, loiter, spend more, and advertise for us too by yelling at the cars to stop and have some lemonade. Brie is a quiet salesperson, trusting her product will get her results. But having a mascot show up who stood on the corner and screamed “LEMONADE” at the cars driving by also increased her sales dramatically.

She also learned that people like it when you share your end goal.

Her customers would drop a quarter into her hand as she exchanged them for a chocolate chip cookie, and they would ask her what she planned on buying with her income. She said matter-of-factly, “A zebra aloe plant.”

The answer usually earned her another few quarters. She also learned about appealing to people’s good nature.

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She has big plans for her next lemonade stand.

The Journey Begins: Homeschooling

The cherry blossoms were out a month early because our Winter was so mild. (Unlike our friends on the East Coast, suffering through blizzards.) But spring has been abominably wet. So our garden has been a gluey sticky sopping mud puddle. We have been eager to get in there, rotor-till the beds after all the pitchforking I’ve done, but it is just too muddy.

Then a friend scared me last week. She said, “I think everything is a month early this year!” My face dropped. That means my garden should already be planted. I employed the same techniques as a woman in labour. I breathed through my panic and then ran out to the garden with pea seeds to hastily shove into the driest part of the soil.

And the birds ate them.

Don’t worry. I won’t give up that easily.

bird brieflowergirl brieflowerpicker currantblossom dandelions mapleblossom wheelbarrowThe bees are doing well though. I lost one hive and I’m not sure if it was the Queen who failed late in the Winter but the hive was very small so I wasn’t especially surprised to open it up and find a few dead bees.

Gabrielle has starting “homeschooling” in earnest. She is a very earnest child. She colours pictures and writes letters all day. We have been taking a country that she picks on the spinning globe, and writing down three things notable about the country, usually the climate, a landmark and an interesting animal. We draw the flag and attempt to draw the animals. It isn’t her drawing skills that are lacking so much as mine! We started reading chapter books a couple months ago to Gabrielle. She is enthralled. She loves listening to these stories where the characters flesh out more than in a picture book. So far she has eaten up The Trumpet of the Swan (E.B. White,) Mouse and the Motorcycle (Beverly Cleary,) and we are now reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Daddy and Ribsy with me. Her joy in reading and stories is palpable and very exciting for both Marc and I. Daddy and Brie do science experience together and she seems to have a propensity for math.

At my mother’s recommendation, I read “Homeschooling for Excellence” and it was a fabulous book for anyone looking at homeschooling and the philosophies surrounding it.

And the babies keep coming. I am teaching prenatal classes in Victoria now with a full schedule. I’m enjoying my work immensely and because it only takes me away on the weekend (but you know, babies come whenever,) I get to spend the majority of my days at home. I find my work/life balance working right now but I am ever-aware that it is a balancing act. So I check in often with my family.

And that is us in the Spring! Have a very happy day!