Posted in Homeschool Information

Our Family World: Is Homeschooling Right For Me?

Is homeschooling right for meIs your child approaching school age? Are you one of those parents wondering if homeschooling is a viable option for your family? Check out my article at Our Family World this week: Is Homeschooling Right For Me and My Child?

Is your child approaching school age or are you considering homeschooling your older child? How did you know homeschooling was right for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,
Kimberly

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: Weaving a Scarf

Welcome to Fibre Friday! This week, I’ve been working on a pair of socks to give to my son for his birthday – my kids both love hand knit gifts, especially socks! If you have ever had the pleasure of wearing hand knit socks, you know how incredibly comfy they are. I’m hoping to have them completed before next Friday, when I’ll be casting on the Crosstown Convertible for the Ravellenic Winter Games!

As I’ve mentioned before, my children also enjoy the fibre arts in our homeschool. My 10 year old daughter is currently working on a special cosplay scarf for her brother. It is modeled after Natsu’s scarf from the anime series, Fairy Tail.

Fibre Friday

We all enjoy working with the portable Cricket loom I bought my kids for Christmas a few years ago.

Fibre Friday

I think if she works at it for about another hour, she’ll have the scarf complete and can wet finish it and present it to her brother, who is anxious to see it all done!

Fibre Friday

What are you working on this week? Have you chosen something to cast on when you start watching the Olympics next Friday?

[inlinkz_linkup id=367601]

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Homeschool Information

Homeschool Drama: Acting Tidbits from Hal-Con

Once again this year, we visited the fabulous Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Comic convention in Halifax called Hal-Con as a family. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as we always do! My Homeschool Horizons article this month is full of great tidbits of wisdom on acting from actors such as Billy Dee Williams and Jewel Staite who were Hal-Con guests. You can read Homeschool Drama: Acting Tidbits from Hal-Con at the Homeschool Horizons website.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly Charron

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Homeschool Information

2013 “Not” Back-to-School Blog Hop: Day-in-the-Life Week

Day-in-the-life weekWe’re still enjoying summer as we soak in the unusually beautiful weather here in Nova Scotia! We won’t be starting back to homeschool quite yet. When we do, my 14 year old son will be working on “Grade 10” and my 9 year old daughter will be working on “Gr. 5” this year

Many people assume that a Homeschooler’s daily and yearly schedule has to be the same as the schools in the local school board. If the local public school’s day starts at 9am and ends at 2pm, and runs from September through June, they assume that homeschoolers must adhere to the same schedule.  A homeschooler’s schedule varies widely from home to home.  Some homeschoolers do homeschool work for 5-6 hours per day, while others school only in the morning, only the afternoon, or even only in the evening when their parents get home from work.  Some homeschoolers do schoolwork from Monday-Friday, some Monday-Thursday, and some include the weekends.  While a September through May or June schedule is typical, some homeschoolers opt to homeschool year-round.

Here in our homeschool, we tend to follow a September through June schedule, much like the public school schedule. However, we are flexible and often will take a week off around our own activities.  For instance, when either my children or myself, or even the whole family are involved in a stage production, such as Les Mis this past year, we usually take the performance week off.

In a typical week, we get most of our homeschool work done Monday through Thursday, with Friday being a time to relax before our generally busy weekends, or to  tie up some homeschool loose ends.  We also find that, without 20 or 30 children learning classroom style, we get a lot more done in less time per day.   As a result, our homeschooling day often runs from about 10am-2pm.  This leaves a lot of time for my children to explore their own interests, read, practice their dance, drama and music, or explore the outdoors, before heading out to extracurricular activities. It also allows my 14 year old son some flexibility – if his internal clock is waking him up at noon, that’s fine, he’s just done his homeschool work a little later.

Whatever the schedule being followed, most homeschoolers will tell you that homeschooling is a way of life.  Even when homeschooling has technically finished for the day or for the week, the children will keep on learning, and even excitedly come show me what they’ve learned in those “off hours”, something I love about homeschooling! What is your typical homeschool day like? Feel free to check out other homeschoolers’ days in the life at:

nbts-blog-hop-2013

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

It’s a “not back to school photo” hop. This time, share your students! All too often, homeschoolers forget to take that token not-back-to-school photo. So, you can wear a backpack and new shoes like the typical first-day-of-school photos, or you can wear a batman costume, goggles and barefeet – like my homeschoolers. Come as you are. First-day-of school photos shared. Linky will go up on Monday 8/19!  Join the student photo hop here.  – See more at: http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com/5th-annual-not-back-to-school-blog-hop/#sthash.g2Iw5kz2.dpuf
Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Homeschool Information

2013 “Not” Back-to-School Blog Hop: School Room Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop - School Room Week

Do we have a schoolroom? Where do we “do school”? On any given day in our home, you will find my children reading or doing their work:

in the window seats…

ConnorKillShakespeare photo ConnorKillShakespeare.jpg

on the floor…

MinuetcolouringPeriodicTable-Oxygen photo MinuetcolouringPeriodicTable-Oxygen.jpg

on the couch…

 photo ConnorreadingSep10.jpg

at the computer,  on the counter of the breakfast nook, on their beds, and sometimes even at a table!

We have also been known to work on homeschooling outside, in the park, in the car (on our long trips back and forth to the mainland), at the local Tim Horton’s, the dance studio, or even the Wentworth Perk cafe!

I like the freedom of homeschooling wherever we want, whenever we want. Many homeschoolers who are just starting out think you *have* to have a separate school room.  They spend a lot of money on desks with chairs attached and on items to cover the walls.  This works for some homeschoolers, but a lot of them end up getting rid of the school room desks and even the school room in favour of the couch or the dining room table.  Many homeschoolers don’t have an “extra” room that we can make over into a schoolroom anyway.

If I was to say that we were completely organized, that would be a fib! Most of our books are on our many bookshelves.  I keep my homeschool magazines in magazine holders that we make out of cut-out cereal boxes.  Some of it does get contained quite nicely in binders (by subject), and we keep most of it in a rolling organizer for each child.  We have baskets for our library books and books we’re currently reading.  We still end up with it spread all over the house, but we have a “lived-in” home and I’m comfortable with that!

Check out what kind of “school room” other homeschoolers have, and feel free to share your own at:

nbts-blog-hop-2013

 

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Second week in August: It’s a school room hop. Tell us about your “school room”. This can be a dedicated space, or what you’ve made work. Post photos, storage ideas, comfy chairs. Your garage? Or dining room table? An actual school house? Show us where you school! Linky will go up on 8/12 Join the schoolroom hop here. – See more at: http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com/5th-annual-not-back-to-school-blog-hop/#sthash.7L7f6sIq.dpuf
Second week in August: It’s a school room hop. Tell us about your “school room”. This can be a dedicated space, or what you’ve made work. Post photos, storage ideas, comfy chairs. Your garage? Or dining room table? An actual school house? Show us where you school! Linky will go up on 8/12 Join the schoolroom hop here. – See more at: http://www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com/5th-annual-not-back-to-school-blog-hop/#sthash.7L7f6sIq.dpuf
Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Homeschool Information

2013 “Not” Back-to-School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop - Curriculum

It’s planning time…Here we are about a month away from the beginning of our homeschool. I am not anywhere near ready to start thinking about it! We just finished performing in a children’s play last week and are back in rehearsals for Les Miserables for the second round of performances. Furthermore, I am up to my neck in music to learn for an upcoming theatre workshop and musical revue. Phew! I do have a lot of curriculum mapped out in advance, since we are continuing along the same path again this year, and much of what I need for my 9 year old is already on the shelves, having been used by my eldest. We basically follow what The Well-Trained Mind suggests, with some tweaks and additions. So, here is our rough curriculum plan this year.

For both children:
Tapestry of Grace, Year 2 (covers History, Geography, Language Arts/Literature, Bible) combined with reading & curricula suggestions from The Well-Trained Mind
The Periodic Table of Elements Coloring Book – we will be continuing to go over the table of elements together, one element at a time
Rosetta Stone French – we finally bought this last year because it has been on sale, and will be continuing on with it this year – my youngest going at a slower pace

For my 14 year old:
Teaching Textbooks: Algebra 2 (already purchased at Conference)
Astronomy: A Self Teaching Guide
Henle Latin – we are continuing with this (I need to pick up book 2)
The Well-Educated Mind – we are using this as a supplement for our studies of Literature
A Rulebook for Arguments & Classic Rhetoric for the Modern Student (I have to pick this one up, hopefully used) – for our Rhetoric studies

Min-planner

For my 9 year old:
Teaching Textbooks: Math 6
Various Astronomy books (already on our shelves)
Prima Latina/Latina Christiana
Mind Benders – my daughter has zoomed gleefully through this whole series of Critical Thinking Co. books and I believe she only has 2 left!

And I will be keeping track of everything using The Ultimate Planning System and My Home School Grades!

What are you using this year? Are you excited about something new you found for this year’s studies? Feel free to join in the 5th Annual “Not” Back-to-School Blog Hop and check out what curricula other families are using:

nbts-blog-hop-2013

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Homeschool Information, Things to Do, Places to Go

Summer Reading! #cbias #shop

cbias

Do you take a break from formal homeschooling over the summer? We always do, but my two children, ages 9 and 14, are far from bored! They take part in summer camps and classes, as well as community theatre all summer long. There is still time for the pool and the beach (with our student from France in tow), but I also like to see them just kick back and read for pleasure, like I did when I was a kid!

Reading collage

Going to the local library is a great rainy day outing, or even in the middle of a hot day when you want to keep out of the burning sun. My children will often find great books on the shelves, and there’s always something going on at the library. In addition to various events, we usually get involved with our local library’s summer reading program. This year it’s the Go! TD Summer Reading Club being offered across Canada. Children can even earn prizes, simply by reading.

And don’t forget the Homeschool Buyers Co-op Summer Fun Reading Program. All you have to do is log your child’s daily reading activity and they could win weekly prizes AND a chance to win an iPad! It’s open worldwide, so everyone can join!

We also love going to Chapters! My children would sit for hours and peruse books at the book store if I let them. My 9 year old daughter usually plops down right on the floor with whatever she’s found to start reading then and there.

Chapters photo

They love when I give them each some money to spend on books for summer reading. And did you know that Chapters stores have summer activities, too? From book signings to free summer camp activities, check it out!

Pre-teen summer reading picks

 Teen summer reading picks

 Indigo Kids

It’s always fun for the kids to find some good reads on your shopping trip.  You can check out the photo story of our Chapters shopping trip on Google+.

What learning activities or reading programs do you like to engage in over the summer?

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Homeschool Information

Public Meetings For Homeschoolers Across Nova Scotia: June 10-14

NSAttention all homeschoolers in Nova Scotia! Further to a recent meeting with Dr. Lowe of the Department of Education to discuss the DOE’s response to the Auditor General’s Report on homeschooling, public meetings across the province have been scheduled. For the most part, Dr. Lowe wants to know how the Department of Education can best meet the needs of homeschoolers here in the province. I would love to see as many homeschoolers at these meetings as possible – help each other out and carpool or share babysitting teens! The meetings will be held as follows:

June 10: St Andrew Junior School, 2 Appleseed Dr, Antigonish, 6:30-8:30pm

June 11: Halifax West High School, 283 Thomas Raddall Dr, Halifax, 6:30-8:30pm

June 12: West Kings High School, 1941 Hwy 1, Auburn, 6:30-8:30pm

June 13: Bridgewater High School, 100 York st, Bridgewater, 6:30-8:30pm

June 14: Halifax Regional School Board Office, 33 Spectacle Lake Dr, Dartmouth, 2:00-4:00pm

Homeschooling parents unable to attend can send in comments/concerns by email to [email protected] or by mail to:

Regional Education Services
Brunswick Place, 2021 Brunswick St.
Halifax, NS, B3K 2Y5

Posted in Resources, Reviews

My Home School Grades – Review

MHSG

My Home School Grades is a new web-based program created by homeschooler John Echols, along with a homeschool graduate. If you’re preparing to homeschool high school, approaching the end of high school, or even if you’re just starting out on your homeschooling journey, this is a fantastic program to keep records and design a quick and easy transcript. It is so easy to use!

My Home School Grades works on all computers & devices – it’s not platform specific. I have used it on my iPhone, iPad, PC, and a laptop. It is easy to record things on the go so you don’t forget. There is no need for a user manual, four how-to videos a few minutes each illustrate how to use the program.

Add students, classes, and activities, and you will ultimately have a great looking transcript. First add your student:
students
These little chalk drawings are the default images – you can easily replace them with your own children’s photos under Student settings. As you can see, it calculates the student’s GPA and displays it on the student profile, as well as on the transcript.
After you’ve added a student, add classes and lessons:
lesson_plans
You are able to choose a published program from a drop down list that appears when you add a class – all lessons & tests appear for you – just go in and add the grade. However, not all published programs are added yet, as this is an ongoing process. You can also add your own curriculum, and use whatever lesson plan you want, or go in and remove the pre-added lessons from a published program. It is fully customizable – if you are taking a dual enrollment class or a class above or below grade level, it can be added and included on the transcript. For grading, you can choose number grades, letter grades, or even use the fraction, i.e. 23/27 correct and My Home School Grades will calculate the grade for you.
You can also add activities, for the second page of your child’s transcript.
activities

 Choose activities from the drop-down menu, or add your own.

Everything is automatically inputted into a transcript format. You have the option to have the transcript only show high school classes, or only classes from Gr. 10 and up for instance, just click on “hide classes before” and then it calculates the GPA for only those years.Transcripts display your address. At present, it is not possible to enter Canadian provinces or postal codes. However, I was able to put my province and postal code in the City box, and it ends up printing on the transcript beautifully. For recreating prior years, just input grade, class, and end grade, and you have your record to build on from there.
Keep an eye on the My Home School Grades blog for ongoing new improvements. They will be adding reports required by state in future. In the next year, they are even planning the ability to allow access to your own online transcript for university admissions (likely for an extra charge).  You can also check out My Home School Grades on Facebook and on Twitter.
Sign up for a FREE 14-day trial, no credit card required! A lifetime subscription, which includes regular updates and access on all computers and devices is $49.99!
Love, Luck &
Laughter,
Kimberly
**I received a subscription to My Home School Grades as part of the Mosaic Reviews Team in exchange for an honest review. All opiniions are my own.**