Category Archives: Journal

Homeschooling Journal Week 6

In my life this week…

My mother came to visit this last week. Last week was the Okanagan Wine Festival. So a week of wine tastings and fancy dinners among other events. We didn’t go to any but my mom attend a couple. We did go out to dinner with them, although not to a fancy place. Still it was a good meal.

Being up here in Canada means that it was also Thanksgiving. We Canadians do it early. So my wife’s mom put on the turkey and all the fixings. So another excellent meal. Of course it is always great to have most of the family in one place for an evening.

We also went for a nature walk along the greenway and saw lots of wildlife and evidence of one that we did NOT want to meet. The funniest bit was the muskrat tormenting the poor ducks. I don’t think he liked them in his pond.

Muscrat Ducks Squirrel

Bragging right to the first one that can tell me the animal and what he was eating.


In our homeschool this week…

Letter to our MP

We have crossed the first item off our todo list for our portfolio due Nov 1st. He has finished writing his letters to our politician regarding the Northern Gateway Pipeline. We also have a first draft of a topic paragraph for his essay on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Homeschool Portfolio Todo list Update

We are still working on the write things down for math. Today he was trying to do Venn diagrams in his head.

I also found some cool lapbooking stuff for his Canadian Government studies.

I am inspired by…

That I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on the portfolio.

My favorite thing this week was…

Our walk along the Greenway. I have walked it many times an this is the most critters I’ve seen.

I’m cooking…

I did get creative in the cooking department this week. We had a giant zucchini that need to be used up. I was remember a meal my mom used to make long ago that involved stuffing the zucchini with ground beef, rice and I’m just remembering as I write this, yogurt. I couldn’t fine that recipe so we came up with the idea of stuffing it with cabbage roll filling. It worked great. Everyone except my two zucchini haters loved it and with all the rice it is a good meat stretcher. Unfortunately it was not very photogenic.

I’m praying for…

That the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train.

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Homeschooling Journal Week 5

In my life this week…

We started off this week going to our local university for their community day. We got to tour the buildings and some of the labs. There were some hands on activities for the kids. I found the labs fascinating. So much has changed since my university days. Of course I left my camera at home.

Fall has official arrived here with plunging temperatures. For me one of the sure signs is when I finally decide to switch back to long pant after the summer. With the temperature for our morning walk hitting -1 C that is 30 F it was time to drag out the long pants.

I talked to Philip again this week and he has decided that he has moved onto acceptance but also a stated that it is natural to go back into depression at times. He has been sleeping better than I can remember for a long time which leads to the question of how long he was stuck in the depression stage. I think it has been for quite a while. Homeschooling allowed me to read him better and push past the everything is fine statement.

In our homeschool this week…

We have been finishing of our government studies section. I chose to look at a controversial project that involves all levels of government. The project is oil pipeline crossing British Colombia. I had him research it from the point of view of the company, federal, provincial, and local governments along the route. To finish up I am having him write a letter to our elected officials stating his position and defending it. He is also asking them each a question.

This week I have been trying to convince him to write out his math problem rather than try to do them in his head. 7x8x7x9= requires a piece of paper. With the website we use for math getting one wrong takes getting 3 or 4 right to conteract. He gets enough right to make progress but it’s 3 steps forward and 2 back.

I got the key projects that we need to complete for our first portfolio up on the white board so Philip knows our goals and can work towards them. There are a number of things not on the list but on mine. I need to pick a page out of his Bible workbook to submit, spelling tests, grammar worksheet and so forth.

Homeschool Portfolio Todo list

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Don’t be afraid to go overtime to make sure they understand something.

I am inspired by…

On of the things we saw at the UBC Community day was a microscope made out of a CD-ROM drive and a webcam. He had added a control board to move the device over the sample. Wish I had time to play around and try to build my own. Time, time ,time…

My favorite thing this week was…

The UBC Community day. It was a great time and gave the kids a glimpse at some possible futures.

Things I’m working on…

Ever since Philip got sick I have a had a book in my head. So that is going to be my goal for the National Novel Writing Month this November. At least the first draft. I have a lot of work to do to prepare.

We’re reading…

I am still read the Learn to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci. I’m almost done it. Of course next comes implementing and we all know how that can go. Philip has finished reading the first book in the Circle of Magic books and has moved onto the second one. If you have a Harry Potter fan these are excellent books. I have read them myself and quite enjoyed them.

I’m cooking…

I’m still in survival mode and making the faithful stand by recipes that I can do in my sleep. Considering I tried to serve cereal on a plate the other morning I may need more sleep. I caught myself in time. The bowl was the next dish over. The plate was for my son’s toast.

You know you are a #SAHD when morning reminds you of your time as a short order cook. TOAST UP, CEREAL, JUICE…

Does anyone know of a homeschool recipe linkup? I am thinking of starting one but don’t want to step on any toes. From what I have seen a lot of homeschoolers cook simple, good, healthy meals and I would love to have a place to exchange recipes.

I’m praying for…

One little boy who’s CaringBridge blog I am following has had his odds go from tough to zero at least from a medical point of view. His cancer has come back and is resistant to chemo. I have seen miracles. When Philip relapsed we were told we had to be concerned with his quality of life which is doctor speak for life remaining. He beat those odds. It is possible but I have seen too many that didn’t. So I am praying for him, his family and all those responsible for his care.

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Homeschool Journal Week 4

In my life this week…

I had Philip write the letter to Connor which he elected to keep secret. I also found a site that covers the five stages of grief for kids and had him read through it. We talked about it and he stated that he was somewhere between bargaining with God and depression. We talked first about the bargaining. The good part about that was he brought out his bible and looked up Lazarus to show me. Of course the downside to that was he had Biblical proof that it could happen. We talked about Connor being health and happy in heaven, about his parents missing him deeply. I think he has moved on from bargaining on the basis that it would have already happened. The depression is tougher.

When Philip was first diagnosed I knew that I had to be there for him and I couldn’t fall apart. I needed to hand him over to Jesus. That was tough. One of the big parts of how I did it was I took a picture of Philip and taped a prayer card with the image of Jesus on it to the side of the frame. It was a constant reminder that Jesus had him. I told Philip this story and did the same thing with a picture we had of Connor. It acts as a memorial and sits on Philip’s homeschool desk. We also talked about thing he has done and could do in honor of Connor. He has fund raised for cancer research and lit lanterns at Relay for Life in Connor’s honor. I asked him to think about other thing that he could do in Connor’s honor. I specifically asked him to think about those if he was feeling depressed. Finally I asked him how Connor would want him to live his life? Depressed or Fully?

The best part is he has had a couple of good nights of sleep. I don’t think this is the end of this and I intend to talk to him again next week to see where we are.

In our homeschool this week…

First I shared a story with my wife that a lot of blogging homeschoolers have named their schools. I shared a number of these. My son went through a number of options and eventually settled on Tamarisk Academy. It is based on the tree in our front yard that stumped my mother and my wife’s father both pride themselves on gardening. Its been badly cared for, is to big and needs a more severe haircut than we gave it this year. This is our first year in this house so we are learning.

Tamarisk Academy

My daughter has half days Thursday and Friday for parent teacher conferences. So I decide to focus this week on the areas where we are behind. Thus I am finally feeling that we have achieved balance. At least close enough for now.

My first portfolio is due Nov 1. So I spent some time this week planning what I was going to put in it. So know I have a plan, a checklist. Nothing checked yet but most are started. It reduces my stress, at least for now and I have shown it to Philip so he has an idea of where we are going.

I am inspired by…

Ulam Spirals. If you start writing down the numbers in a spiral going out and then circle the prime numbers you get this beautiful computer generated image. You can see diagonal lines being formed in a pattern. The cool thing is the fellow, Stanislaw Ulam, who came up with it was bored in a presentation and started doodling and came up with this.

Ulam Spiral
Source Wikipedia - User: Grontesca

Wikipedia – Ulam Spiral

My favorite thing this week.

My daughter belt test in Tae Kwon Do. She was so proud in getting her new belt.

Belt Test

I’m cooking…

One of our favorite ways to use up leftover roast beef is to turn it into Cornish Pasties.

Cornish Pasties

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