Tag Archives: Journal

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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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.

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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.

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