Category Archives: Journal

Homeschool Journal Week 3

In my life this week…

Its been a tough week. I found out that one of my long time twitter friends (@TheDaddyYoDude) has been diagnosed with cancer. He underwent surgery to have parts I won’t mention on a family blog removed. Next up is Chemo followed by radiation. He is a Stay at home dad (SAHD) to two beautiful young children aged 3 and 5. He also has no medical insurance. I’m Canadian I can’t even imagine fighting this beast with money worries as well. When my son was in treatment we had so much support and it took so much of the load off our shoulders. I’m planning on writing a post on this so I will just ask for prayers for him, and his family. (Note: His language can be colorful)

I noticed this afternoon that my son was looking sad. Without me knowing the cause I asked him which got the standard “I’m fine”. I pushed a little harder telling him that I could see that something was bothering him. He told me he was missing Connor. At this point I could see tears welling up. Connor used to play with Philip in the hospital and passed away soon after Philip finished his treatment four years ago. He had mentioned missing Connor before and has lit Lanterns at Relay for Life in his honor but this was the first time I had seen such sadness. I got us home as I was driving at the time and this conversation was likely to leave me in tears. On getting home we sat down together on the couch. Having had time to think I asked him how often he missed Connor. He told me that it was almost every night. I’m suddenly realizing just how deep this wound goes. I ask if it is causing him to lose sleep and it is. We talk about Connor being up in heaven, healed, health and happy. We talk about it being ok to miss him down here on Earth and that his family certainly misses him as well. I tell him its ok to cry and he collapses into me and I in to him. He has fought so many battles and been tough through them all, needles without flinching stuff I can even imagine I think he needed permission to cry. Tomorrow we are going to write a letter to Connor stating how we miss him. I’m not sure were this is going but at least me now know and can work through it.

In our homeschool this week…

We are still way ahead in Math and Chinese but I decided to focus on the Social Studies that we are the farthest behind on and that seem to have worked. We are going to do the same next week and then probably switch to Science.

We also had to change tracks on his math. He was working on geometry and was on area. He was struggling and I realized that it was because he didn’t know how to multiply multi-digit numbers together. So we put area aside a started the section on multiplication.

He is flying through Rosetta Stone Chinese. He is really enjoying the program. I going to need to find someone local to check his language skills but that can wait a while.

He is still working through Student Writing Intensive A and liking it. It is still not his favorite subject but at least he his getting words on paper.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

To quote Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy “DON’T PANIC

I am inspired by…

All the great idea I am finding through all these linkups. Although they are becoming quite addictive. Also all the comments I have received. I feel quite welcome in this community.

My favorite thing this week was…

Was going to our Church’s Fall Bazaar. Great time for the kids.

I’m cooking…

Its a bad week when I serve Hot Dog Hash. Fry up small cubes of potato and onions until browned. Add in sliced up leftover hot dogs. (Slice thin if you are short on hot dogs. Add Frozen veggie cubes, salt and pepper cook about 5 minutes. Grate some cheese in at the end and eat with ketchup. My kids love it but my wife hates it. She was out that night.

I did make the S’mores on the stick from last week. They were great. The kids were able to help make them and they sold well at the Bazaar.

S'mores on a stick

I also made some No-Bakes for the first night of Catechism. Is it a good sign or a bad one when it is a SAHD that gets volunteered to bring the first night snack?

I’m praying for…

John Taylor (@TheDaddyYoDude) I know the fears, the 1001 what ifs, the anger, sadness… It is a tough battle but my son is proof that cancer can be beaten.

For my son to be able to now mourn his friend and move on to the next stage of grief.

Linking up at:


Homeschool Journal Week 2

In my life this week…

Our big event this week was to go to Artwalk. It is a big art show of local artists. Its mostly painting but also some wonderful sculpture, photos and textile art. The kids always enjoy going. We talk about what they like and why they like it. There is a ballot for fan favorite and I get a ballot for each of the kids. It was funny at the end with my 3 year old very very carefully trying to write in a name. He manage to make a ‘B’ and then scribbled. After some talking and pointing I figured out what he want to write and filled it in for him.

In our homeschool this week…

I am trying to balance our day. I have a set schedule put it seem to be constantly slipping. I’m not worried about getting through all the material but we are behind in science and social studies. We are ahead in the other courses. I’m trying to make sure that those end up happening each day and I may do a day of just science or just social studies. I made a point of doing social studies today and he made good progress.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Allow kids to use Pinterest to gather research material for a project. (more below under what works)

My favorite thing this week was…

In reading through the blogs linked up last week on the “The Homeschooling Mother Journal” I came across Unexpected Homeschool’s post and they mentioned that National Novel Writing Month has free workbooks for kids. I downloaded and printed the Elementary age one for my son and he is working his way through it. I also download the High School version for myself.  It is preparation for November when the goal is supposed to be to write a novel. We are going to scale that back and each do a short story in the Science Fiction genre at about 7000 words.

NaNoWriMo's Young Writer Program

What’s working/not working for us…

Sometimes what isn’t working leads to answers you never would have thought of without the problem. For Social Studies we are looking at the various levels of government here in Canada. For the project I am having him research the Northern Gateway Pipeline. It would take oil from the Alberta Tar Sands to the BC Coast where tankers would take it wherever (Probably China). I showed him some websites and asked him to go through, read and print off the critical parts. Five minutes in the power goes off briefly and on turning the computer back on the printer wouldn’t work. Thinking quickly I set him up a board on Pinterest and had him pin everything he found. It worked great.

I’m reading…

I am still reading “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci”. I will eventually write a review on it.

Philip is currently reading “The Last Battle” from the Narnia Series. Its taken him 3 weeks to go through the whole series. He is really enjoying it. That the good thing about books, there is always more to read.

I’m cooking…

We started of with burgers on Friday. Its getting close to shutting down the BBQ time. With my wife having to work late and me being sick a lot of the rest of the meals were what my wife calls ‘Bachelor’ fare; Beans and Wieners, Grilled Cheese ect. We also had one “Fend for Yourself Night”

“Fend for Yourself Night” is when I declare that there is too many leftovers in the fridge and I’m too tired to cook. The kids get first dibs on what I drag out. If the kids want the same thing it gets divided up equally. They may add another selection at the end. My wife goes second and I get whatever is left. Works great and eliminates some leftovers. My son took some leftover Salsa Chicken. Toasted some bread. Spread sour cream on the bread and added some lettuce and the chicken cut up. Messy but apparently yummy sandwich.

Tomorrow I need to come up with something for our Church’s Fall Bazaar bake sale table. I am thinking of these I found on Pinterest.

I’m grateful for…

That this cold has not completely sidelined me this week.

I’m praying for…

For all my family to shake this cold and get better.

Linking Up at:


Homeschooling Journal Week 1 – First Week Ever.

In our homeschool this week…

Nuts and Bolts
My Preschooler playing with nuts and bolts

This was our first ever week of homeschooling and I have to say that it was a success. He did his work without complaining. He worked hard and most importantly he enjoyed it. Student Writing Intensive was a success. I am very glad that I spent the money on that.

Some of his math he whizzed through some he got stuck on but a few minutes of explanation fixed most problems. The other was getting him to write out the steps of the problems rather than doing them in his head. One it allowed him to look back and find his mistake. Two it allowed me to see were the problem was so I could explain it. Mostly he was dropping terms in his head.

He is really liking Rosetta Stone Chinese. He has started to try to use the words in conversation. It would help if I spoke a word of Chinese myself.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We did a Meetup with other homeschoolers for a hike. Great time and I got to meet some local homeschoolers and my son got to meet some kids. I Wish I had remembered my camera.

We also went to a picnic put on by our supporting school. We got to meet our teachers and other families. We signed up for some co-ops and went for a balloon ride. Good day and my son got to play with some kids. That will help with one of his concerns about homeschooling.

My favorite thing this week was…

I found a grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer in a thrift store. A new one would have cost me $80. This one was $5.

Kitchen Aid Grinder

I’m reading…

Still reading”Learn to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci. I am enjoying it but its taking forever for me to get through. I want Philip to read it after I am done with it.

I’m cooking…

With back to school this week for my daughter I needed some lunches for her. So I made her sausage rolls. Whole wheat so they are somewhat nutritious. I have trouble getting her to eat a balanced meal at lunch. Left to her own she would have crackers.

I like to make my own bread as it is cheaper and I know what is in it. Mine is about 80% whole wheat. I did a post on it a 2 years ago. I have changed things enough that it deserves a new post.

Homemade Bread

On Monday I went from plan A to plan B and then onto Plan B Take2 for dinner. Sometimes good things come out of problems. Taco Bites Post.

Taco Bites

One of the family favorites this week was Spinach Salad with Teriyaki Chicken on top.

I’m grateful for…

My daughter deciding that green leafy things could be edible. She actually ate the spinach salad.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

This just made me laugh…