Home Schooling

Yesterday, we checked the mail & found a letter from the school board confirming that they had received our notification to home school & that the kidlets were officially withdrawn from the board. It was relieving in some ways as I had submitted the form at the start of August, but when I stopped receiving the emails hounding me to choose an option for returning to school, I had an inkling that the process might have happened. We started home schooling though the summer, so this was more of a formality.

Home schooling has been something I have to admit that I have thought about in the past, mostly because many thought that I was already doing it over the years & I have always liked to teach others various skills. To be honest though, we were quite content to send our kids to the local public school & watch them grow with external influences in life. Albeit sometimes there were issues that we didn’t really appreciate, but all in all, the small school they attended has some wonderful teachers & we were content.

Then COVID-19 hit & things changed. Friday March 13th 2020, was their last day of school. It was also the Friday before March Break. Thursday (12th), was when it became clear that everything was closing. Schools were shutting at that stage for 2 weeks after March break. I tried not to alarm the kids too much, but encouraged them to bring back as much of their belongings as possible, they remembered their pencil cases, but left everything else, at least it was something, so kudos to them. They only knew they had to stay home to stay safe for a little while.

There was a huge amount of uncertainty, as much as I tried to be an optimist in what I said, I was also a realist, I knew, life as we had known it was over.

I wasn’t overly surprised when we went into lockdown, the writing had been on the wall for a few months really. I had read the news about a deadly virus in China & then watched as it ripped through Italy & I knew our life of bliss was likely changing. When we went to lockdown, I had to of course continue to stay up to date with the train wreck that is 2020. I was reading the news & watching the daily press briefings by our PM, Trudeau & the Premier, Ford with bated breath. I remember hoping that the school closures would be extended & breathing a sigh of relief every time they were.

School wasn’t entirely finished though. We moved to online. Both of the kids teachers would send through emails with links to resource or attachments for resources that you were to do with your kids. It was a nightmare, we had issues with trying to stream video’s and gain access to different sites whilst G was working from home. G’s work had actually instructed everyone to work from home immediately a week or two before schools shut down, but with 3 people needing access, it was a nightmare.

The kids were only supposed to do about an hour of work each day, but this wasn’t always the case & were often online for hours, as we tried to get different sites to work, & dealt with issues of too much screen time & keeping them to task. It was incredibly wearing. I actually had to pass it off to G to look after for a while, because it wasn’t working for my sanity. He solved the issue by removing screens pretty much all together for them both, sitting them at separate tables in the basement & they weren’t able to get up UNTIL it was afternoon, then I looked after them.

With the issues that we had from April – June, I knew that it was highly likely that I would be home schooling & pulling them from the board, unless I could see a viable option for us. At the same time, I didn’t want to corner us into home schooling if that too was a non starter. Bearing this in mind, I started to do some research over the summer. I know there are a lot of religious fanatics that home school, so that took some perseverance to get past my own bias to find more non denominational resources, but I did it. I joined a heap of home schooling groups that I could in Canada & Australia (we are dual citizens after all) & scrolled through a mountain of info, before deciding step out on my own.

I’m so glad that I took the time to get things sorted, because it took weeks to work it out a suitable plan of action for both myself & the kids. Sure, I could’ve probably slapped something together, but I needed time to process it all & I felt the kids did too. It has been both hard & easy at the same time.

Hard in that initially G said, if you want to do it, then do it, but you are solely responsible & I kept getting guilted by comments about how their socialization would suffer, which annoyed me to no end, but I persevered & now he’s on the same page. I’m sure it’s helped by the fact that the ministry of education here seems to be flailing without a solid plan & G recognizes that whilst any method of education at the moment is not ideal, this is the best one for US, given the options that the school board is offering simply do NOT work for our family. Equally so, our decision to home school has been viewed by some parents we know as too extreme. However, home schooling for us will mean more consistency for the kids, ensuring not only safety for all of us, but a happier family.

It was also a little bumpy, because as much as I did a lot of research, I had to cast aside some of my bias’s I had, as to how to teach & work with what actually works best with the kids. I originally cast aside all online resources, but now we use some, with great success. I love the freedom that we have with learning too, you aren’t hemmed into only spending a certain amount of time on different subjects, it’s quite fun, when you start to let go a bit more.

My next post, as this one is a little long, is to share some of the resources that we’re using, with some links, for anyone interested, never know when they might come in handy.

All the best to everyone in school for 2020/2021

Posted in Canada, COVID times, Home Schooling | Leave a comment

Terry Fox

Both of the kids have always loved participating the in the Terry Fox run at school every year. The youngest was participating before she even went, as the school let parents come with other family members to do a few laps of the school yard.

Last year we took part in the run (really, it was mostly a walk for some of us), down in my hometown of Prescott, as a family. Kidlet2 was the one who spurred us all on to participate, so it made sense for her to be our team captain for the 5 of us (we had G’s brother staying with us from Australia, so we dragged him along).

As Kidlet2 was registered as team captain last year, this year she received a note soliciting her participation again in the same role & of course, she jumped at it. She was not going to miss taking part, just because she won’t be able to do so through the school, doesn’t mean she wasn’t going to take part, no way! In fact, she has fully embraced the idea to do it “Your Way” & has been preparing herself to do a 20km bike ride, in the local area.

So far, we’ve managed to do a 15km ride, which is amazing for a 6yr old who has to peddle that little bit harder on her little bike to keep up the pace. The ride is on the 20th of this month (or around that date, weather dependent).

She’s doing the ride for Grandma, who unfortunately passed away in early 2004 from cancer (so she never met any of her grandkids) and for kids & others who have cancer.

If you wish to support the Terry Fox Foundation & the kidlet’s ambitious venture, her page is here

Thank you to everyone who has supported her thus far. To date she has raised $380! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Canada, COVID times, Kidlet2 | 1 Comment

The Fair

With so much upheaval this year & a feeling that the world is upside down, there is an overwhelming feeling of loss & grief. Things have changed for an undetermined amount of time.

All big events have been canned for in person attendance here, but, there are some events like the Spencerville Fair that have decided to continue, albiet in a slightly different fashion.

This year the fair decided to go online. There are no rides or food trucks obviously, but there are virtual competitions. They even had an incentive for kids to enter $5 for your first entry OR if you entered at least 5 different categories, you would earn $20 total. The kidlets loved it, although one needed a little prodding, but we got there. Thank goodness they extended submission dates by a week, because we had a lot of half baked ideas that still needed to be complete. Here are a few pictures of their submissions for your viewing pleasure. I missed a couple, but they did each manage to submit at least 5 each. They did so much better than myself, who had the best of intentions to enter, but simply ran out of time.

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Random Thoughts

Now, that I’ve taken a jab at people, it’s time to do some writing

2020, has been a strange year indeed, hasn’t it? I mean it’s great if you’re a hardcore introvert, but do those people even exist? I mean we all need some sort of human contact & connection, even if we don’t like to admit it.

We went into lockdown here basically in March, Friday March 13th, was when schools closed. I think of all the dates to be the last day of school for my kids, that’s a pretty awesome one to end on. I had been watching (reading if you want to be precise) the news & could see the train wreck unfolding. Still, when it hit here, it was surreal. It’s still somewhat surreal to be honest.

Now, months later, with our family still distancing from others, as the majority are going back to life as it was before, or as close to, it’s getting wearing. I miss being able to go against the grain in my own special way. None of us knows for sure how the virus would impact our family unit if any of us get’s it, so for us the best course of action is to limit the chances of catching it.

Even with our limited contact with others it’s been interesting to watch the reactions people have in these COVID times to anything in general. I find people are lacking not only patience but compassion, likely a product of fear.

I’ve observed & had so called ‘friends’ turn nasty. Both keyboard & justice warriors are out in full force. Saying your piece can be good, but my experience has shown that most that get their knickers in a knot, really couldn’t care to hear the other side & set the record straight. Often the best thing you can do is take note of their treatment & walk away. I thought I was really adept at that before, but now, I feel like a pro. Thanks COVID!

At least COVID is helping to ensure when it does come time for us to resurface we will do so with a smaller circle of genuine friends. That being said, for now, I miss my old life, I miss people, I miss the human contact, the ability to travel anywhere without worry.

Posted in Canada, COVID times | 2 Comments

Back again

As per usual. I tend to leave it a long time between posts. Who knew it would be a few years though, after the last time?

One of the reasons I haven’t written on here for a while, relates to family that are still members of a cult that value blind beliefs over actual relationships with living and breathing family, & their stalking of this page. Too invested in a perceived relationship with an invisible being, to actually care for those that they could have a truly meaningful relationship with, but then again I would be ignoring the fact that I actually don’t want to have anything to do with a family that has tried to ensure family secrets that portray anything other than a wonderful rainbow & sparkles home life, stay hidden under the rug.

….. and email of outrage is in my mailbox in 3,2,1 …..

Anyhow, let me take this moment to say HELLO to the stalkers, be them genuinely interested & actually involved in our lives or the weird stalkers, both related & not. Welcome back creepy people!

Posted in Canada, COVID times | Leave a comment

Still around

Finally logging back into my blog. Not been sharing much on here of late, but now that I have sorted out some site issues, who knows, maybe I will make some sort of return.


In the meantime though, Hello ๐Ÿ™‚

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Back…. Hopefully….

I have been meaning to post on my blog for a while, but I forgot my password & getting around to resetting it was apparently too hard for me to do for a while, but today, I pulled my finger out, finally.

Lots of stuff has been happening, even though I haven’t been posting here. Levi is now in JK & Emily wants to follow, she enjoys coming into the school with me when I do the lunch money & orders for the school kids, which I do, once or twice a week. I can’t handle the food, so I get to do the paperwork. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am attending different markets, fairs & shows to sell my wares, which has been fun. I have a Facebook page & Instagram too. I might do online sales, but not sure if I want to open myself up to that yet, with Emily not yet in school, I really want to spend time with her, rather than just making stuff all the time, at least at the moment I have some control of my stock levels because I am only going to markets & events, here & there.

Anyhow, I best head off & do some other stuff. Hope you all have a great weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Shortbread GF/ Dairy Free

250g Plain (gluten free) flour
200g Margarine (dairy free) diced at room temperature
100g Almond Meal
60g Castor sugar
pinch of salt
2 drops vanilla essence 

Mix all ingredients together until a dough is formed, or combine all ingredients in a food processor & process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Finish working dough together by hand on a lightly floured board.Roll dough to approximately 1cm in thickness. Cut shape the dough then place on an ungreased baking sheet

Bake in a preheated oven 0f 180 C for 15-20 minutes

Allow to cool on the tray for approximately 5 minutes before removing with a spatula to a cooling rack.
Dust with a little castor sugar before serving

Yield: 20 Almond Shortbread

Posted in Allergies, Food, Gluten Free | Leave a comment

Mad Hatters Tea Party

I’ve been wanting to do a tea party for the kids for a little while now, but until recently wasn’t really sure how I was going to bring it all together to make it a little more than your average sort of tea party with cake, little sandwiches & beverages. Early this year, ok, I warrant you it’s only the 11th of January, so I am pushing that early in the year stuff, I decided this was my moment to have a mad hatters tea party.

I toyed with the idea of doing a Mad Hatters party for Easter, but then I thought that doing one just for the sake of having a party would be even better. At the moment I have randomly picked the start of June & told people to save the date, BUT, we might have a visitor (a family member) coming over at some point because Geoff is turning 40 in October, so I could potentially still change the month I guess. However June is fairly nice time to come still. I hope that there aren’t too many mozzies about so that we can have a bit of time outside, & that it doesn’t rain, but I am probably out of luck on both those accounts, more chance of it not raining than the mozzies not being their savage normal selves. :s

I have been pinning ideas to pinterest like crazy, not just for the mad hatters tea party, but other areas of interest. So far I have 462 pins to sort through with all the ideas of things that I like for the tea party. Anything from dรฉcor to source (ie tea pots, tables, chairs), dรฉcor to make (flowers, costumes), activities & games & I am also looking into some food ideas too. There is much to sort. I have to be honest that the food is the part that I am not looking forward to, throwing a tea party means copious amounts of sandwiches, cakes & other delicious things that I am not all that familiar with, but something will happen.

I have copious lists of what I need & have started looking because now that I am trying to make it all happen, it seems like 5 months is almost not enough time to get it all sorted.
I have used freecycle, local second hand (charity) shops & sites online & even asked friends for any materials that I have needed, plus started raiding my own crafting supplies.

This project is huge & even with all the time that I am giving myself, it’s fairly easy to get lost in all my thoughts & ideas. It could be said that I am the reason it seems like such a large project, but that’s really not going to stop me from wanting to create some of the things I have in my mind to do. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I really want to document the progress of the party planning, so I am hoping that I will do so, with some more blogging, which I know has become very seldom from me.

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Uncle Barry’s obituary

The obituary for my uncle was posted today, unfortunately the details of the funeral were missed when it was printed.

The funeral itself will take place on Saturday Oct. 4th at 11am at the Northland Bible Chapel 34 Hwy 552W (corner of highway 17) Goulais River.

Posted in Canada, Family, Family by birth | Leave a comment