For the last few days, we have been painting. Only two rooms, but boy is it a lot of work. Today, we called it quits for the painting though. Geoff’s new office, which was the kids room, is now painted. The room was a light green & yellow, which we had to cover with primer & now it is a copper (ish) brown colour.

The kids room, which was my creative space & our home schooling area, the past few months, also had a repaint. It went from the crappy beige that is the main colour of the upstairs, to an aqua colour (Island Breeze is the name) with nice white trim. The kids picked out the colour, which I thought was nice. L saw it today & said WOAH, but it was a good WOAH

Painting in the kids room
Prepping the kids room

Tomorrow, Geoff will seal the edges, around the baseboards etc & hopefully by Sunday we can move the kids into their new space & Geoff into his. Geoff, starts his new job Monday, which is completely remote & Monday I will be back to balancing, home schooling my creative work, the work with the new business & life in general, fun times all round.

Happy January 1st

Posted in COVID times, Family, Our House | Leave a comment

2020 Summary

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve, December 31st 2020, a time to reflect on the last 12 calendar months. Why? I’m not sure. It’s just something that most of us have always done, or have done for so long that it’s ingrained into our psyche, so let’s continue to follow the crowd. Buckle up, grab some refreshments & enjoy the long winded read, coming up is the last 365 days in review, for our little family of 4. It starts out by month, then all the days melded into one, so it becomes one big mess of thoughts.

On our way
On the Shuttle bus from the carpark to the terminal

We started the year with a bang! This time last year, we (Geoff, his brother Steve, the kids & I) were on a plane from Montreal to Lima, Peru. We arrived very early, new years day. I’ve spent a great deal of time this year, grateful for the fact that we jumped at the opportunity to go to Peru when we did. Peru has been on our list for a while, in fact we were originally planning to go in March this year, (around March break), but brought it forward with Steve here, as he was keen to come along & the plans that we did have in February changed that were were accounting for financially, so we figured why not do it when we did? Best decision!

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu in the rain (very common)

It was an amazing trip, we spent time in Lima, Cusco (where I even got to check out the hospital facilities when I was admitted for salmonella poisoning, boy was I sick, the kids were amazing, even though they were so bored & I really appreciated the hospital staff there too), Machu Picchu & the Amazon Jungle to name a few. So many wonderful memories & great for the kids to experience another different culture to either Canada or Australia. I’ll have to finish my posts on that trip soon, it’s long overdue (clearly, being a year, since we we were there).

Steve dumpster diving after he threw out his tickets prior to clearing immigration
Steve dumpster diving after he threw out his tickets, prior to clearing immigration, after we got back from Lima, whoops!

After we got back, right around Australia Day, Geoff’s brother, Steve, flew back to home, to Australia. I’m glad that he came over when he did too, because little did we realise that would be the last time we would see any family in person, for an undetermined period of time. I think we will be lucky to see family from either Germany, the UK or Australia by 2022, or as I like to type it 2020 (2).

In early 2020, I was part of the Animal Rescue Collective, here in Canada. With all the bushfires that were raging from late 2019 to early 2020 in Australia, a request went out for people worldwide, to help wildlife carers with handmade items such as pouches & the like. So of course I was part of the collective that helped not only financially, but with organising getting physical items to those in need. It was a lot of work, but I’m happy I helped in the small way I did & appreciate all the other friends & family that also helped in making items & even delivery to different places in Australia as well.

February, saw L have the last of his appointments for his concussion that he received near the end of 2019, at school & Geoff went to Berlin, Germany, for a conference that he had been keen to attend for some time, again something he was really happy he managed to go to, given the current state of affairs.

Some grocery items were really hard to find at the start of the pandemic
Some grocery items were really hard to find at the start of the pandemic

Then came March. To be fair, what unfolded wasn’t an entire shock. I wasn’t oblivious to what had happened in China at the end of 2019 & the news articles that described a new deadly virus. I’d been tracking it for months (hard not to miss the stories) watching as news reports of it’s spread to different parts of the world occurred & the devastation in Italy was heartbreaking, but even I hadn’t quite fully grasped what this could mean, mentally, I knew what was logically going to happen though. This was unchartered territory though.

The kids had their last day of in person schooling, by the local school board, on Friday March 13th, which humours me greatly (the date, NOT that it happened). I had told them (the kids) that morning to bring everything that they could home that day, as I expected they would not return for a long time. Logically it made sense, even if my brain was saying WTF? They did bring home some stuff like their pencil cases, but they left shoes & other things, which was to be expected. They haven’t set foot in their old school since. They did distanced learning at home until the end of the school year (which is June here) & now they are fully home schooled, as I pulled them from the school board entirely. BTW, we did get the rest of their stuff back, by appointment, just before the “summer holidays”.

I know that I don’t OWE anyone an explanation for why I pulled the kids, but I get that people are curious. Basically, it was the best choice for us. I knew that in reality, they could NOT attend school in person. There would be certain risks to them attending in person, that we didn’t want to take. I also knew that the expectations for online learning at over 4 hours a day, for each kid wouldn’t work either (we actually try to limit their screen time, & find that too much screen time can be hard on them, just like sugar, we don’t ban either, but we are mindful of it. As well as the large amounts of screen time, we knew we would have technology issues, having 2 kids streaming video whilst G needs to work, which I know would be an even bigger disaster than it was from April – June) was not something I wanted to do again. The other option on the table, would’ve been to get packets of printed materials from the school, every week or so, also wasn’t ideal. If the kids weren’t attending in person to reduce contact, having to pick-up packages every week or so, seemed like it might be a little counter-productive. Logically, after all that, the only option left, was left home schooling. I had to prove to Geoff that it could work, as he was skeptical, so in July I started to do research in ernest & by August, I started doing proper homeschooling lessons with the kids, to get the rhythm going.

It was a lot of hard work to start, still is to be honest, mostly I think because I have been so focussed on trying to make sure that the kids don’t fall behind, but I am starting to relax a little more. I find that the kids learn so much more when I am not pushing them constantly to do everything I hoped to cram in, which makes complete sense, but then I have moments of doubt. I’m sure that some weeks I am cramming more information into them then they would be getting at school, but I’ve appreciated that there’s cramming & then there’s retaining information & actually learning & both are often very different. Homeschooling your kids is definitely more of an investment in their education than sending them off to a bricks & mortar school, but so worth it too. Homeschooling in the middle of a pandemic, is an entirely different ballgame to normal too. To be fair, I’ve always liked the idea of homeschooling, but until I got the push to do it, it was just something in the back of my mind. Over the years many have thought that we were homeschooling because of all the things that we typically do with the kids, which always amused me. Now, that I have stepped into what I felt was the impossible, I really want to keep going with it after the pandemic, just to see what it COULD be like if you had more access to different resources, other than the web & books. I really missed the physical experiences, like museums & Upper Canada Village & I know the kids have too.

One of the things that I have appreciated about COVID & our decision to restrict our movements, is that it also limits the outside influences that the kids would typically get from their peers, especially within the school setting. I don’t have to hear that xyz has lmnop toy & how awesome it is, even though they know very little about it. E has had so many toys bought for her by other kids for birthdays & she gave away most of them this year to other kids in need, because she realised she didn’t really want them. Honestly, it’s been a great 10 months to re-evaluate things & simplify. Not only material things, but some relationships with others. I have less of an inclination to put much effort into some things & it’s liberating. I have also gotten a bit lazy with putting effort into the relationships I do want to maintain, so there is that downside, I guess. I am also getting older, so less inclined to do much, totally catching up to Geoff on that front.

I, like E, miss the company of some though & hugs, boy do we miss hugs, but 10 months in & we’ve mostly settled into the acceptance stage of the stages of grief with the pandemic. We get hugs from those in our bubble (when we can) & of course the 4 of us always make sure to give each other daily hugs. Even without the hugs though, there is a stronger sense of community & a stronger connection with some (even though I have let some relationships be), which I also appreciate.

Some of the other things of significance, that have happened this year, would be L asking me to cut his hair, after E asked to have all of her’s cut off (L had been growing his since birth, although he didn’t really get hair until he was 3). I as surprised that he decided to cut it all off, but was really happy that it appears to have been his decision.

Geoff & I also organised getting our PCOC cards for sailing, which was fun over a couple of weekends. I was incredibly nervous, but the guys that we did it with were really good with following covid protocols.

E did a 22km bike ride & raised $550 for the Terry Fox Foundation, something that she decided to do on her own, not sure if she will do another 20km ride again like that, but we were all really proud of her.

With basically no travel, other than Peru, this year, we have been doing reno’s in the house & are currently in the process of switching up the house, so that Geoff will have the kids old room, the kids will have the room that I had as my creative space & homeschooling & my creative space will now be in a slightly better layout, downstairs (we have been painting the last few days & need to paint tomorrow).

Some big news for Geoff was that he left his job, where he was for almost 10 years for a new job. As part of that, we started a new business, which we managed to organise just before xmas this year (basically, it was all sorted within a couple of weeks, damn it was crazy).

One of the other big things that we have been doing this year, is planning our next adventure, not sure when it will happen, but I think it’s important to have something to look forward to, after so many disappointments in our family (more so the kids & I). I was especially cut up that I missed my brother’s wedding this year. Unlike, times gone by, when you could just hop a plane, I have no idea when we might get back to Australia. Then again, if we were living in different states to family in Australia, not sure it would be much better (it would actually be better, but let’s not focus on that, because it’s not happening). Anyhow, our latest focus, is to plan sailing adventures, at least that has the potential to happen here & isn’t reliant on air travel.

Headbands for Masks
This was a CHEO order for one department, all donated

Whilst doing home schooling & trying to run the house, I have been doing my sewing & other creative arts too. There was a bit of a slump with it all, at the start, whilst I was trying to get my head around the whole pandemic, but looking back at pictures & notes, I still managed to create a lot. I donated hundreds of items, mostly headbands, masks & aprons, as well as made a lot of little gifts for kids for birthday’s to make up for the lack of birthday parties, to the tune of a few thousand dollars in product, which I am pretty proud of & appreciate the support that I received from others to do so.

Overall, it’s been an interesting calendar year. Not sure that I would necessarily like to repeat the last 10 months, but I don’t really see 2020 (1) haha /2021 as anything more than an extension of 2020. I know a lot of people are holding onto this coming year being so much better, but in reality, the current state of things will be in place for at least this next year. Expectation is the source of disappointment, so if you have low expectations, everything else is gravy. 😉 I appreciate many of my experiences in life, for what they have taught me & this year, I have realised that as much as I enjoy the company of others, I also enjoy the lack of commitment this year has afforded me (let me tell you, October’s birthdays were more manageable than any other year, without a multitude of kids to entertain haha)

Anyhow, on that note, I will sign off for the calendar year, play some minecraft & head to bed.

Posted in Canada, COVID times, Family, Home Schooling, Misc, Peru, Travel | Leave a comment

Clean up of site

In an effort to clean up & update the website, as well as fix the fact that I have actually managed to lock myself out, so I can’t actually login & update it easily, today is the day I’ve decided to delete it all. All that SHOULD remain if I do this correctly, will be this blog & the photo album (also rather outdated in looks, but a different plugin, & I only want to do so much in one day). The crappiness of the main site has annoyed me just long enough to do something about it. I started moving some items over into this blog from the site, so you will find recipes and posts that link back to our wedding and the Creative Arts I posted, just as blog posts.

For prosperity purposes, check out this outdated look, isn’t it special?

Wish me luck. I’ll be relying on the quick backup, I did a few weeks ago, before I started moving everything over hoping I don’t get distracted & delete the wrong folders.

OLD OLD look

Posted in Art & Design, Family, Misc | 1 Comment

History of Air Transport

Wright Brothers 1908

So, seeing as we’ve decided to take the leap into home schooling, most of my posts will touch on it in some way, because this is a huge part of my life at the moment… edumacating my kids.

In among the worksheets I found for the kids relating to James’s and the Giant Peach, was an activity to research the history of planes. It related to a couple of sentences where a plane made an appearance in the story. Don’t get me wrong, the insertion of a plane into the story, was a necessary addition to the story’s outcome, but initially when I found the activity I thought, wow, that’s clutching at straws! But, really it’s no different to us taking pause yesterday & discussing gardening trivia from facts discussed in the book. Perhaps we should do more research into that too? Or, I could go with my gut & leave that one alone for now. I feel like maybe we could return to researching some of the gardening facts in the spring again, when we could actually look at getting a colony of ladybugs to help eat the little pests that eat the plants & dig through the compost pile for worms & spread the beautiful rich soil they have mulched down in our different garden beds.

As much as home schooling is a fair amount of work, I must say that I really like the sense of ownership & pride that one feels whilst doing so. Home schooling these days is obviously very different in a pandemic & with at risk individuals in the house it certainly is isolating, compared to much of what you read about the beauty of it. We aren’t taking advantage of museum passes we already possess, like our air & space one that would be ideal for this subject. Not to mention that our library cards have been cast aside with them, joining the large pile we no longer make use of.

We are very fortunate to have internet access though, which of course means we still have a plethora of information at our fingertips, so I am incredibly thankful for that, as so many don’t even have that. That being said I still get very excited when we’re doing home schooling activities & I can share a physical item with them. Today, it was a newspaper from September 11, 1908, and pictured above. *

The kids though it was cool to have a newspaper that’s over 110 years old in our home, even though I know that the concept was a little mind blowing to consider. “A newspaper, that’s older than the combined age of the four of us, huh, ok, that’s cool.”

I love that, home schooling has made my more acutely aware of how a couple of sentences in a book can set you off on on so many different paths of learning.

* I actually only have this newspaper in my possession because I was given a few by a friend, for a creative project.  The old newspapers didn’t quite work for the project I had in mind at the time because they are so old & brittle, but are pretty cool still. At some stage maybe, I will find a suitable project for them, that preserves them instead of my original plan that was to reuse & somewhat deface them, but I’m in no rush.

Posted in COVID times, Home Schooling, Literacy | 1 Comment

James & The Giant Peach

Who doesn’t like Roald Dahl? I guess that there are some that might dislike his writings, but they don’t exist in in our house, thankfully. His writings are fantastical in nature & honestly in this new & still rather dystopian reality, a welcome distraction. The world needs magic & what better place to find it than books.

Today, I decided to start our Roald Dahl journey with the kids, starting with James & The Giant Peach, as part of our home schooling, a way to insert some fun into our literacy studies. Kidlet1 is very adept at reading & doesn’t go far without a book in their hands & whilst Kidlet2 is following in their older siblings footsteps, reading to them both is a great method to teach them to pay attention & retain information, without putting undue pressure on Kidlet2 to read faster than they are comfortable with, inadvertently.

I had intended to drag the reading out all week, but instead the kids kept begging me to continue, “Please keep reading the next chapter, Mummy”, so I did, I read all 39 chapters & now it’s done. I know I could’ve told the kids, no, let’s save it for later, but they were so keen to know what happened that I couldn’t do it. To be so engrossed in a story, that you NEED to know what happens & cannot fathom the idea of stopping, is a wonderful experience.

We broke up the reading of course with a few breaks for food & a little time to run around outside for a “recess break” etc, but we also stopped every so often at different stages of the story to predict what might happen next, which was fun. We looked up locations & information mentioned in the book, like how a grasshopper makes noise, the popularity of ladybugs (called ladybirds, in the story) with gardeners and other real life facts contained within the pages. We did some maths with the shoes the centipede wore and more. Then there were the worksheets that we did as well. Speaking of worksheets, we still have a few more to do, some of which I admit I copied by hand after doing a search online (& then copied for the kids to write in the answers) & others that I printed such as this one, which was free. We’re going to continue to work on the ones left tomorrow.

Pretty sure we won’t be dragging out this activity for a week, but maybe I’ll just make use of the “extra time” to do something else after we do all the activity sheets I have. I do have a small pile of sheets, but given the kids interest, I’m pretty sure we can cover it all in a day & best to do it all before we move onto a new book. ?

Final note about our home schooling journey so far

I have to admit that sometimes I find myself wondering that IF the kids do return to the public school system in the future, will they get a little bored? I’m almost certain they will look on it as a holiday at the moment. With only the two of them, there’s less time to muck around, than you might have in a classroom with a few more students. Today, was very successful, but also a very LONG day. I ended up doing supervised school work from 9-5 (with short breaks between, as mentioned) & whilst we covered a lot, I think the kids needed to run off more energy than they did. It’s a tough balance though, I want to foster the idea that if they want to extend our learning together, they can do so as needed, after all, learning should be fun

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

Wooden Dolls

Wooden Peg Dolls

Guess what arrived today? Our little piece of sweatshop labor, disguised as wooden peg dolls.

It was one of the highlights of the day, (which says a lot about the day we’ve had), actually, it might make the day seem less difficult than it actually was. hmmmm…

Anyhow, the idea behind these is to make the peg dolls a dollhouse. We haven’t quite settled on the dollhouse design though. At first it was to be a wooden dollhouse, but now it appears it will be sewn. I’m sure it will change again, given how quickly they changed their mind about a wooden structure to sewn, which is fine. I’ve been making them take notes throughout the design process, so as it evolves, so too do their notes. Honestly, it’s a fairly accurate portrayal of my design process too. I start out with an idea & along the way I either tweak it a little OR it changes entirely.

Anyhow, back to motivating them to finish their work, before the fun stuff…

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

Our Resources for Home School

Following on with my previous home schooling post, I thought that I would share some thoughts & resources that have worked for us, even though I am VERY new to the game.

In my flailing about, stage of the journey, I found myself caught up with the idea that I had to follow the ministries curriculum policy documents to the letter & was a little stressed, I was also getting pressure from G to do so, but there really isn’t much in terms of support material. The letter that the School Board sent the other day could make one believe that there is an actual useful amount of material given, but when the goal is to get butts on seats in schools, you can understand why the material is a little lacking. I’m only using the policy documents to refer to.

If you are on Facebook, you can join a lot of online groups & pages which share information. I found them useful to peruse, but would recommend not getting too bogged down in them or the politics. Home schooling isn’t all about religion, although sometimes it can feel like there’s far too many posts that link back to religious curriculum’s. I have certainly “happened” across some great non-denominational resources for us, via these groups. I also need to give due credit to with friends & others who had experience with home schooling that I spoke with.

The great advantage of home schooling for me, has been the added flexibility to find resources that fit the kids, not the other way around, as well as a real connection to their learning adventures. Now, when they ask a question or make a half statement, I have context & it’s pretty amazing.

Now, for some of the resources that we’re using at the moment.
The first one is the Complete Canadian Curriculum. I have grade level books for both the kidlets. The books give you a quick rundown on different topics of learning, which you can then build on, but as the link states, it doesn’t really contain enough information to use as your sole resource for an entire year.We also use grade level Scholastic books for extended activities, Scholastic books are quite popular with teachers, which I admit I really liked. Both the Complete Canadian Curriculum & Scholastic books can be purchased from Costco for a reasonable price, if you are looking for them & know someone with a card (cheaper to buy in person than online too).

Whilst we have had issues with sole reliance on online resources, I am not entirely opposed to them. I found that Khan Academy is a wonderful one, just like everyone says. You can use all their online resources regardless of whether you have contributed towards the running costs or not, which I love, they really do stand by their “equal access for all” stance. They have some wonderful videos that explain many of the areas of teaching which we love. The site keeps track of their progress as they do various activities. Mine think of it as a game, so are always keen to do their Khan work, as it gives rewards for finishing tasks etc. I honestly can’t say enough good things about it. As an aside, my oldest has started to do coding, which was an added bonus in terms of topics on offer & I personally love that the tutor in the videos is female.

We use duolingo a little, but I admit that we are actually not really doing too much French. It’s a wonderful resource though, we used it with the kids to learn some Spanish before we went to Peru in January this year. I have actually focused more attention on Sign Languages (Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and ASL) mostly as I have ties to the Deaf community & studied to become a qualified Auslan interpreter years ago. Honestly, at this stage, it’s far more useful than French, at least in our family unit.

In my opinion there’s only so much textbook work that you can do before you get bored, so we’ve gotten a little creative with other modes of learning.

To counteract the social limits with COVID & balance that with some social activities, as well as the fact that we’re considered an at risk family unit, I came up with the idea to organise pen-pals for the kidlets. There are so many wonderful resources available online, as to how to write a letter. For us I found, this reading mama had a fairly decent resource to start. We’ve been doing a mixture of handwritten (snail mail) notes & email to both kids & adults. At the moment we’re all caught up on messages, so they’re learning the skill of patience. Writing letters to other’s is also a great way to encourage literacy skills, without the kids being as aware as they are when we’re doing book work, for which they aren’t seeing any sort of imminent return.

We’ve always used everyday activities to teach practical life skills, that hasn’t really changed, these days, they’re more involved now than they were pre-covid, due to their 24×7 presence. At as someone who picked up my lifeskills outside of the home, I have always been a huge advocate of teaching mine as early as possible.

Both of the kids love to cook, so I use that as much as possible. Cooking is so much more than just filling a need for sustenance which many don’t think about. I use it to improve on skills of language, teaching colours, textures, mathematics, fine motor skills, science & art.

There are basically crossovers in any subject matter, art easily crosses into science, language, math etc. Even chores like cleaning, washing clothes & dishes etc can all be educational. We recently started playing D&D with the kids, which they are embracing with enthusiasm, they don’t even notice the mathematics, the language & literacy skills (the character writing is particularly impressive), among other skills.

We have a nice library of books at home, being a bit of a bibliophile is great to be honest, because these days, we just aren’t going to the library like we used to. To be honest I miss libraries, but this is the new norm for us, so we are going with the flow. That being said, there are some great online resources to borrow/ read copies of virtual copies of books too if you don’t have physical books.

The kids still ask about when they might get to go back to school to see their friends, but they also understand that at the moment, this is the safest option for us going ahead, for what feels like an undefined period of time. Best make the learning experience as much fun as possible & enjoy the flexibility our current situation affords us.

I hope that you find something I have mentioned of benefit. Just because it works for us, does not mean it’s destined to greatness on your journey. I very much believe that in the end you are responsible for your own decisions & have to live with them, others, do not. Make your own path & all the best in your educational journey

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

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! 🙂

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.

Posted in Canada, COVID times, Creative | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment