Archive for the ‘Homeschool’ Category

Combine Season

It’s that time of year again…




Rats, I don’t know why I can’t embed a non-youTube video here.  Oh well, just follow the link for the song please.

I was going to tell you we were well under way with our soybean harvest:

But he actually finished up the last of the beans before lunch AND even came in the house and sat down to eat his lunch!!  Yesterday went better than planned and it didn’t rain enough last night to stop him. Finally a time where things not going to planned turned out to be a good thing.

Look what I did yesterday:

I went up to our furthest farm and towed the flex head home for Colin.  It wasn’t too bad.  Just one spot on the back side road where I met oncoming traffic right where a bunch of mail boxes crowd the road.  Even though I’m wider than the lane, no cars or mail boxes were hurt!

At lunch I found out that he wanted the wagons moved further down the field closer to where he’s working.  He actually thought to himself “can I teach Paula to drive the tractor over the phone?”.  I may have started something!

Wednesday we had our homeschool trip to Hugli’s and as per tradition it was cold, and windy, and snowy!  It really came down a couple of times.  But I didn’t mind, snow is much drier than rain.  Ella had a good time.  Her buddies Keifer and Ephraim and Landon were there, they make her less serious.

Speaking of home school friends, tonight is ladies’ night for the home school moms.  We’re going to get wild and crazy without the kids.  I made pie  🙂

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Some Autumn fun for our Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real post this week:

Our first official nature walk of the 2014 school year.  The first day of Autumn seemed like a good day to go walking.

Ella’s pink dress shows up too much for hiding in the grain corn.  She’s only 3 rows in so it shows how easy you can get lost in a corn field.  Also, you really can’t hear anything in a corn field.  Especially this time of year because everything rustles and crunches.

We had some company for our walk too.

And of course, Daisy came too.  Though she was more interested in chasing the cats than walking with us.

The acorns are coming along on Daddy’s oak trees too.   They look so cool at this stage.

Our nature table is all set up for the first day of Autumn.  This year we have something new.  The beautiful Autumn girl came all the way from Israel!  Daria at Art of Felting made her especially for us.  I’ve done some felting and I can assure you that Daria’s prices are very reasonable.

And here’s a funny for this week:

It used to be that Ella loved having her picture taken, now I get faces like this more often than not.  She looks so tall in this picture too.

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School started today.  I have a migraine so we did the short version, but we were learning.  Ella was very pleased with the A+ she got on her math review.  It’s not very ‘Waldorf’ to give her grades that way, but it makes her happy.

You are going to have to wait to hear about our trip to London.  I’m too sad to post today.  Yesterday we had to take Kitty Cat to the vet.  She was drooling and not eating her dry food.  Colin had look and thought her tooth was infected.  I was afraid we’d have to spend a fortune on surgery and antibiotics.  Boy, did I have it wrong.

Poor Kitty Cat’s entire right side jaw was a giant bloody, pussy cancer tumor!  Our dear sweet Kitty had a very aggressive form of cancer and it was likely in her bones now too.  So Kitty Cat had to be sent to kitty heaven last night.  I’m going to miss my snuggle buddy.

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Crafty Homeschool

Ella’s been a busy little bee the last little while.  So we thought we’d share a couple of the projects she’s been working on.

We’ve been learning about animals and birds and the things they need to live.  So we decided to make some bird feeders.   One for our house and one for Grandma’s.  I splurged on some chocolate milk –all for the sake of learning of course  🙂  Ella got out the paints and decorated the cartons.

I cut a ‘door’ in the side and made the holes for Ella to slide in a stick for a perch.

Apparently this took a lot of concentration.  Notice the tongue??   I got some bird seeds on grocery day.  Now we just need to find a place to hang it, one that we can see from the house but isn’t easy for the cats to bother.  We want this to feed the birds not become a lunch counter for the cats.

Last year Santa gave Ella a sewing kit.  I must admit we haven’t really done anything out of it yet.  She always seemed to ask at the worst time possible.  The other day Ella was determined to make a start.  She wanted to make the stuffed cat.  The kit is great, it comes in a cute little suitcase.  All the felt pieces are pre-cut for all the projects.  My only complaint is that the embroidery thread is complete crap.  I ended up tossing it all and getting out my DMC threads for Ella to choose from.

She was totally focused and determined to have it finished that night.  Ella did a great job (Momma helped a little to meet the time frame).

And here’s the very proud new cat owner!

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My Week

Wow, what a week we had last week.  Seems we were running/busy the entire week.

Monday we had a very fun homeschool trip to a local farm in Eganville.  Helen and Tom of Tickle Island Farm were kind enough to let the kids come out and have a great day with the animals.

This little one greeted us at the gate.  It’s only a day or two old.

We toured the new pasture field, with Biscuit the dog as our guide.  Ella and the others had so much fun running.  Ella was in her element, playing ‘mother hen’ with all the little people.

Of course, this little guy was a hit.

Ella loved getting a chance to feed the lamb.  Helen managed to find enough little ones that everyone (who wanted to) got a chance with a bottle.

It’s funny, I got asked a couple of times if Ella would enjoy herself/find the trip interesting.  She had a ball.  It’s a completely different way of farming than ours.  First of all, it’s mostly sheep which we don’t have and she’s never seen up close.  Even the pigs she found a little more interesting than Daddy’s.   Out in the big field they are less stinky and less overwhelming.  We crop about 4oo acres as well so we don’t have all the open space for running.  Ella has so much fun when we can get together with the homeschool group from the Wilno area.

Though if you asked Ella, I’m sure she’d tell you that this was the best part of the trip.  My friend Maureen brought her older daughter Ruby and a friend and they made sure all the little people got a good swing.  That’s one of the biggest things I love about homeschooling.  The children all get along so well and the older ones are usually happy to play/help the younger ones.  You don’t have the cliquey-ness that public school children seem to have when in a group.

Tuesday was groceries and dance.  I can’t believe how busy the stores in Renfrew were in the morning.  You would think it was a holiday.

I’m not sure what happened Wednesday, it went by in such a blurr  🙂  I also did a bunch of prep for Thursday’s freezer cooking attempt.

Thursday was my first ‘real’ freezer cooking day.  It probably should have only taken a morning, but it was also a day that it seemed Ella couldn’t do anything herself.  It’s funny how they know when you want to be busy.  Oh well, she’s cute  :p

I made: 3 lasagnas (ate one that night)

2 beef goulash

2 baked penne

3 meals of meatballs

spaghetti sauce

Friday I headed to Ottawa with my MIL Isobel.  She’s having her thumb joint replaced and needed to have her pre-op.  Luckily it’s at the hospital right on the edge of the city.  Unfortunately it turned into an 8 HOUR day.   I did have a lovely knit night with the girls at Meagan’s new house.

Saturday found us at the Renfrew Farmers’ market.  We had a good day and it was great to see some of the regulars out this week.

Colin has a hen and rooster that wander around the barn.  They are a couple of my remaining Chantecler chickens.

21 days later, Colin showed me these:

We have 9 little chickies that are a range of colours.

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I think this is a great article that really answers the socialization question.  Instead of trying to defend against this question, we should embrace the fact that our home schooled children are different (or weird).  I think most of us homeschool, at least partially, to ensure that our children don’t turn out like most public school children -just another mindless cog that follows commands and doesn’t think for themselves.

Yes, My Grown Homeschooled Children Are Odd — And Yours Will Be Too!.

If the choice is for Ella to be assimilated into the herd mentality, a victim of over commercialization/s-xualization prevalent in public schools, and to surrender her individualization or to be peer-independent, free thinking, and a well-rounded, loving person -I’m sure you can guess which I’ll choose.

Any one who has met my Ella will tell you she’s not ‘normal’.  She will talk with anyone and carries on very intelligent conversations.  I am always being asked if she’s in grade one (and not because she’s tall).  Ella doesn’t notice differences in people, not colour or mental ability.  Every one she meets is her friend.  She is loving and a creative thinker.  She is not a mindless cog just doing what she’s told when she’s told to do it (i.e., at the bell).  Ella loves to learn and explore.


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Hugli’s Adventure

Ella had another great home school outing yesterday.  She and Grandma met up with a bunch of our home school friends at Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch in Pembroke.  I was still feeling miserable, so I did groceries instead  😦

The kids had so much fun.  There are a couple of mazes, including a large alphabet corn maze.  Ella’s bunch got a little lost around the letter ‘M’.  That was fine at the time but caused a little stress around 2am this morning.


They have a bit of a petting zoo.  Ella was quite taken with Valentine the goat.  There were sheep and alpaca too.  It’s really great how the children can get up close and personal with the animals.


This impressive fellow (aka Mr. Hugli) made an appearance and fired off the pumpkin canon.  They are so great with the children.  Fun stories about a fin-less shark that needs to be fed pumpkins.

And then there is this…..

The giant pumpkin is eating someone!!!  At first they were going to use the pumpkin cannon to rescue the guy, but then they decided since only legs were left it was too late.

That last picture reminded me of one I found on the camera on the weekend.  Colin had been taking some pictures and I guess got creative.

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We had a homeschool trip on Monday.  We headed to Eganville and the Bonnechere Caves.  This was one of the last tours of the year because the caves flood over the winter and are pumped dry again in spring.   The caves are located along the Bonnechere river and there is a beautiful waterfall and rapids.

This time of year the bats are coming into the caves to hibernate.  Apparently, Ontario has 8 kinds of bats and the caves are home to all 8.  The bats must be sound sleepers, we had about 16 children and lots of flash photography and it didn’t disturb them.

The caves aren’t that claustrophobic.   There was room for 2 wide in most spots.  It’s well-lit and has a hemlock walkway all the way through.  There are a number of stairs, so must keep that in mind.


The caves and property are so full of fossils, you almost can’t not find a fossil!  We took our fossil along to get an expert opinion.  Colin thought it was a sponge.  But really it’s a honeycomb coral.  Our tour guide said it was the best example of honeycomb coral he’s ever seen.

We had a lovely day at the caves and a fun picnic lunch.  I always like getting out with the other homeschool moms so Ella can have around other children.  I get so fed-up with public school kids that have no idea how to deal with Ella and most of the times won’t even speak with her.  And they are the ones considered well socialized!!

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Best Laid Plans

I have been doing a lot of research lately and really like a lot of the Waldorf ideas.  I got a couple really interesting books from Amazon with lots of great things to do.  I was really hoping to start our year with the celebration of Michaelmas.   But we all know what they say about the best laid plans.  We are so busy this week that I wasn’t able to get anything done that I wanted.  Guess I’ll have to move on to our next festival celebration.

This isn’t the table display I intended, but they are gourds Ella bought this weekend.  When things dry up around here, I’ll get some colourful leaves to fill in the empty spaces around the tray.

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Home School Fun for Momma

Ok, I guess it’s not such a ‘wordless Wednesday’ but I have so many things to share that I wanted to get started.

We’ve been suffering in a heat wave the last few days.  These last two days have been unbearable.  I was out to a home school meeting last night.  A bunch of us Mommas got together to discuss some field trip ideas for the upcoming year.  We had a lovely evening outside in Maureen’s backyard in Wilno.  It’s a cute little village.  It’s the first Polish settlement in Canada.

The first Saturday in May is Kashub day.  We try to go, we missed this year because Belinda and Stefan were up for a visit.  I always kid and tell Ella not to look too “German” and blend in  🙂  No one would care, we always get a warm welcome and have a great time.  Ella loves the music too.

We usually got for perogies  and cabbage rolls at the ‘famous’ Wilno Tavern. Every one in Renfrew County knows the Tavern.  It’s obvious they are proud of their Polish heritage.

This is the absolutely beautiful Catholic church in Wilno.   If I had of had more time I would have stopped and gone in for a few shots. It’s the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen.   It was built mostly by hand by local parishioners.  All during the height of the Great Depression!

If you are up that way in Renfrew County, spend a while in Wilno.

Thanks for the nice evening Maureen and for including me in your group.

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