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  • Hello!

    If you have popped by looking for my photography website, I'm sorry to tell you that I am no longer running a photography business. I still love photography and I will continue to pick up my camera now and then, but I found with three growing girls and another job, I just did not have enough time to also run a small business. I would like to thank all my past clients for all their support and I wish you all the best in the future!

One Month Later…

Well, it’s been one month now since we started our home education journey and I have got to say it is going…GREAT! I am so excited, and so happy, with the decision we made. I really just wish we had made it sooner. Making the decision to pull our two youngest girls from their public school was such a big one. I was so nervous and worried, but I knew deep down (or, even, not so deep down!) that it was the right choice. The past four weeks have reinforced that belief.

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(The girls doing a little “Earth Sciences” lab)

I find the best part right now (other than just getting to spend more time with my girls) is the fact that I actually know what they are learning every day! That may sound simple, but when I would send them off to school, I just never knew what they were doing all day, every day. I didn’t know what they had covered in school, how different subjects were being taught, what they understood, and what they didn’t . I mean, I would know some of it, but there’s just no possible way I could know all of it, because I just wasn’t there. Now, I know all of it. I know what they understand, and what they don’t. When they don’t understand something, no time needs to be wasted…I can immediately address the problem, and find a new way to present the material. That may mean just explaining something a different way, or trying a whole new curriculum. Whatever they need, I know about it, so I can help.

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(DD6 learning about partitioning in math)

Just as great as being able to immediately help out when problems arise, is getting to be there for all the triumphs! After just four weeks of homeschool, my youngest can now “spell” all the letters of the alphabet, both lower case, and upper case, based on their sounds. She has also learned a slew of “helper sounds”, and “popcorn words”, so that now, for the first time ever, she is actually beginning to read and write! I know that may not sound that exciting to some of you, and my own two older daughters were both already reading and writing by this age, but their circumstances were different. My youngest wasn’t doing any of this yet…now, just one month in…she’s pointing out words she knows all over the place. Today she was reading the writing on our vacuum cleaner! It’s been amazing to watch how much she’s accomplished at home, and I will forever be glad I actually got to see it, and be a part of it.

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(Tally stick tower)

I’m really thrilled with the curriculum we are using for her reading, and writing (as well as her math!)…so I’ll have to write more about that later. For now I just wanted to take a moment to check in and let you know how it’s been going: awesome!:)

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Winter Homeschooling Fun: Legoland!

Learning Outside the Box at LegolandWe are used to cold and snowy winters here in Ontario, Canada, but I’ve got to admit this winter has been particularly cold…and we are only about a month into it! The great thing about homeschooling in the winter is that no one has to wait outside in the freezing cold for the bus anymore. The bad thing is, it’s easy to end up spending way too much time cooped up indoors. That’s when homeschool field trips come in really handy! You get to take the kids on a fun and exciting adventure, they get to hang out with some old, and new, homeschooling friends, and there is always something to learn, as well. We just took our very first field trip with the gang at the Hamilton Homeschool group this month and it was awesome. We headed out to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Toronto and, well, why don’t I let my DD10 tell you all about it… Here’s Jamie! Thanks for that wonderful review, Jamie! Very well done!Hamilton Homeschool Group at LegolandThe happy kids at the¬†Hamilton Homeschool group;-)

I would add, from a parent’s perspective, that the rides and the 4D movies were definitely the best part and even us old folks had fun there. The educational opportunity came from the “Science of Racing” class the kids took at the beginning of our visit. They got to work in teams to create a race car. Then the four teams competed against one another to see who had the fastest car. Then it was back to the drawing board and with some quick lessons in math, and beginner’s physics, the kids were all able to create even faster racers! If you like, you can even try this at home, and there is a pretty interesting worksheet you can use to help create your own STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) lessons right HERE. I was very grateful for the group rate we received as part of the Hamilton Homeschool group and I’d like to give a shout out to Mrs. K for organizing the event. Otherwise, the trip would definitely get pretty costly if you wanted to go over and over again (plus there is the shopping you’re going to want to do at the Lego Store when your day is done) but, I’d say, it would be worth the price to go and check it out at least once. Best ages are probably from about 5-10, although I had a great time too…so I guess it’s good for 29 year olds, as well (cough. cough).;-)

Have you been to Legoland? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for more ways to beat “The Winter Blahs”…how about a Give-A-Way? Enter below for your chance to win some great Canadian winter-themed books!

Thanks for stopping by!

January 22, 2015 - 1:01 pm

Lisa Marie - Oh man, my big 3 and I went to LEGOland last week – SOOOO fun. We were there for hours and hours. I love being able to go off times so we could enjoy everything without a crowd.

The movies were really awesome, but ugh, 3D is hard on my brain lol.

Great idea for winter fun! :)

January 22, 2015 - 2:08 pm

Annie - We had such a good time, too, Lisa! We were worried at first because we were there ~so~ early (right at opening) the rides and movies hadn’t started, yet, and we wondered if they didn’t have them during the week, or something! But, soon after they started them up and it was great.

January 28, 2015 - 6:01 am

Homeschooling Through the Winter - […] ¬†Annie – Winter Homeschool Fun: Legoland! […]

January 28, 2015 - 12:18 pm

Lori-ann - Getting outdoors in the crisp air is always an invigorating experience for us. When we get back inside we are ready to hunker down and do some learning!

February 3, 2015 - 2:01 pm

mongupp - Yes LegoLand is fabulous! We especially like the Lego Toronto display.

February 3, 2015 - 2:05 pm

mongupp - I like all the Canadian content at On the Mark Press.

First Week of Homeschool!

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After a lo-o-t of thinking, researching, and discussing we finally made the decision to homeschool our two youngest girls. I’ll probably touch on some of our specific reasons in the future, but for now I’ll just say that there were ~so many~ reasons and it’s not a decision we came to quickly, or easily. One thing that did make our decision a lot easier was the fact that one of my oldest, and dearest, friends in the world had homeschooled all three of her boys for a period of five years. If it wasn’t for her, I’m not sure what I would have thought. I don’t know for sure if it would have ever even occurred to me as a possibility. To me, going to public school/sending your kids off to public school is just what you do. And, in the beginning, that worked out just fine.

At the age of 3 my oldest daughter started junior kindergarten at our cute, little, local school. I thought 3 was way too young to be starting school but, hey, what do I know? Her classroom was big and bright and her teacher was…amazing. Just the most incredible teacher ever. The classroom was always bright and cheerful and welcoming. The kids listened to every word she said. The days were so organized! The kids went from one engaging and purposeful activity to the next. There were songs, and hugs, and high fives, and when the kids were able to move on, they were able to move on. My daughter was never forgotten, or bored. Two years later, my middle daughter started school. She was also just 3 years old when she began, but at least this time I knew she was in good hands.

However, as is bound to happen in life, things began changing. That wonderful, amazing, teacher had to go to a different school within the same board. We got a different principal…then another, then another, then another. All the classes became split classes. ALL of them. Teachers continued to come and go with startling speed. And, the school suffered. Soon it became clear we needed to make our own change and, so, our homeschooling journey began.

We sent our “Letter of Intent” off to the school board, sent a copy to the principal of our school, and called to let them know, as well. The girls are thrilled! We have a well stocked library and more curriculum than you can shake a stick at. We have a brand new “Art Cart” for our Tinkerlab and brand new ukuleles for music class. I’ve joined up with all the local, and not-so-local homeschool groups. We also have the full support of many friends and family…for which I am so grateful! It’s going to be an exciting adventure.

Welcome to our journey.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it.;-)

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