Homeschool #016 – Can’t see the Trees for the Forest

Tt, in our “first year” of homeschooling, has learned many, MANY things. He could name over 20 species of sharks by the time he was just over 2 1/2. He can draw elaborate stories in pictures. He can tell you the names of at least 40 various Star Wars characters – as well as which scenes they were in, and in which of the 6 movies they appeared. He can tell you all about Ancient Egypt, Medieval times and knows the difference between a Gladiator and a Knight. He has travelled to Paris and backpacked through Italy. He can draw our home – accurately – in 3D. He knows what a “striker” and a “keeper” are. In short, he’s seen and learned a huge variety of stuff.


(trying to  build a pyramid out of sugar cubes, a la PW)

And I’m all thinking we’re up on it, doing well, keeping up with “other kids” – until we happen upon one of these other kids… Then, usually after an hour or so of playing, I look at Tt and realize – whether telling left from right or tying your shoe, there was a little boy who didn’t know what to do!

p4130004(I must admit, it was NOT very structurally sound… maybe it was the glue?!)

In all our adventures in books, walks, playgroups, field trips, etc, we’ve seen many BIG things – and I’ve completely missed and/or forgotten to teach him BASIC things! Many a “D’oh!” moment has occurred.

Now, once in awhile this has been intentional – what adult doesn’t know his left from his right? He’ll learn it when he needs it. I assume he’ll figure it out one day, go back to studying bugs on our walk, and don’t give it another thought. Until “other kids” bring it up again. D’oh!

p4130034(voila! or whatever “there it is!-ish” is in Egyptian. I don’t think they have a heiroglyphic for that…)

I can’t help wondering if not purposely integrating the basics into our teaching will come back to bite him in the butt one day. Maybe. He really doesn’t seem to care, and I’m mostly comfortable with the bigger picture of what we’ve been doing. But for now, we’re looking past the individual tree and just enjoying our meanderings through the entire forest – one step at a time.

Enjoy learning something today!





Other posts you might enjoy:
Homeschool #015 – For the Record
Homeschool #014 – Where the Wind Blows

Homeschool #013 – Math/Spelling Worksheets

Lego Math Worksheets

More for you worksheet hungry homeschoolers!
The quality for printing, I’ll admit, is not great, but don’t they still look F-U-N??

<Thanks for to the person below who figured it out – just right-click, save + print – I’m not computer saavy enough to create actual downloads>

Here’s #2…

And some subtraction, too!

Anyhow, I thought they were cute ;-).






Other posts you might enjoy:

Math/Spelling Worksheets (#013)
Math Worksheets (#010)

NEW – H.schooling Creative Ideas!

Check out my new page under “H.Schoolin’ ” called “Creative Ideas!“.

I’ve listed, from my h.schoolin’ journal, all the creative ideas I’ve dreamt up or come across for keeping school at home FUN and EXCITING.


Doesn’t Boo look like he’s both excited AND having fun??

Here are the first 3 on the list:

  1. dress up day – dress up as your favorite, random characters. create and perform a play at the end of the day based on how each of your characters comes to meet one another.
  2. presentaton day – invite family/close friend to see what you’ve been up to! even if it’s a display of Lego creations ;-) . I like this one – we often get asked what we DO as homeschoolers.
  3. out of the house study day – who wouldn’t want a break from their dining room to study for a day at the beach with an end-of-day BBQ or at the park with a picnic?

Read on to see more or to add your own ideas!
I’ll update the page every time I come across anything NEW and/or EXCITING.
Because schooling at home should be anything but dull.



Homeschool #015 – For the Record

Well, homeschooling is decidedly not for the unorganized.
Especially in Year One.
The sheer amount of information thrown at you about associations, groups, books, diets, naturopaths, child psychology – you name it, homeschool specific or not – is overwhelming.

Good thing I’m (generally) organized.

THIS is my “Year One” journal. It’s my info central.


Lists of websites I received at the beginning but never really looked at? Check.
(I meant to, truly I did!)


Every now-and-again journal with photos of some of our crafts, projects and fieldtrips? Check.


More photos of activities? Check.

Articles cut out of magazines for now or future reference? Check.


Notes and ideas from other moms, websites, blogs ETC? Check.

I’m realizing in the early years I’m doing WAY more homework than Tt! But I like to keep track, keep myself accountable to doing something no matter how small, and keep record for Boo homeschooling 3 yrs behind Tt.

Do all teachers have more assignments than the students??


Homeschool #013 – Math / Spelling Worksheets

Math worksheets was such a hit, here’s more!
My niece apparently used them to add – 3 blue + 5 green = 8 aqua starfighters…
So, this time I’ve left room for “answers”.

Also, for your learning pleasure, I started some reading/spelling worksheets.
Can you say FUN!? Lol.
You can either fill in the word except the first letter for “What does this start with?”, or leave out the Vowels, or leave out the word completely.

As my chicken-scratch is not always clear (…), I’ve written out what the pictures actually are below each one.
Et voila!

math-scooby(Scoob’s nose and Shag’s cheek might be kinda small for smaller kids, but they can color too!)

misc-luau(in honor of Maui this summer! hut, palm or tree, sun, boy, surf, pig (I didn’t want to draw him all roasted up!), boat, lei, girl, sand (?!), toe, hula) (hey, I did my best – don’t laugh!)

misc-foods(egg, jam, milk, pan or pot, ham, tea, apple (yes, it’s more than 3 or 4 letters…), oven, pie, fork, bowl, pea)

misc-spelling(pen, star, cat, moon, fish, bike, car, bug (sorry! silly-looking bug!), bed, hat or cap, book, one).

There you have it!


Homeschool #012 – Symphony for 5yr olds

Today Tt + I went to a concert of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for Elementary School-aged kids.  There were quite a few homeschool groups on the list – they almost couldn’t find our particular one, and we almost turned back and just hung out at Starbucks together for an hour.

Really, I wouldn’t have minded one bit.

However, they found us and in we went.
A room full of 5-10 yr olds… at a “serious” concert.
I brought candy to bribe my kid to be QUIET. I’m a bad, bad mother.

The first two songs we sat as still as possible, no talking, no moving. He was hating it, and I could tell. By song two he was already asking if it was going to be much longer… All you could hear were angry parents spitting “SHHHHH” to various wiggly children. FUN. Not.

vso2007_174(photo credit here)

So, for the next song which featured cute and plucky violins, we started tapping. We danced with our fingers on each others laps. Then I started to tell a story (in whispers) – “this sounds like cute little fluffy mice playing in a field, doesn’t it?”. Tt caught on quick (in not-so-quiet whispers) “YA! and now they’re playing in the bushes, around some raspberries that have no pointy things” and on we went (much to the person in front of us’s HORROR I’m sure). Good thing it wasn’t full and there weren’t many people around us.

The next song sounded like a big parade, with Knights and Nobles and Kings and Queens “and 50 pigs and 80 horses and…” passing by.

The next one was spooky, and we were walking through dark castle hallways. We started running faster and faster towards a lit up room as the music got quicker and louder. “The light is getting bigger!!” Whew! We just made it!!

At the end I asked Tt if he enjoyed the concert. He said “It was pretty good, but the beginning was really bad”. The beginning was boring to him – no moving, no stories, no imagination.

And I’m left wondering… WHY does classical music HAVE to be enjoyed only in silence and complete stillness of bottoms? Why can’t we get up and move around to it? Why can’t we imagine stories together as it plays? Why can’t it be treated more like a rock concert? WHY can’t it be more fun?


Whispering during Symphony concerts is widely deemed as HORRID, RUDE behaviour. But, Tt almost walked away with a lifelong distaste for the wonderful instruments and tunes of Classical music. We broke the rules, whispered away, and he left thinking it was all great.

It was a nice date (ending in, what else, Starbucks), and I’m going to buy some vibrant classical CD’s for the car – or better yet DVD’s for the surround sound plasma – where we can imagine to our hearts content, as loudly and as actively as we please.