Blogging about music, family life, the outdoors, unschooling and everything else

for more than a quarter century

Category: Resources

  • Doodling

    Fiona and I have both been enjoying doodling lately. The internet is full of inspiration: repeating patterns, geometric iterations, fill patterns, awe-inspiring creations. Suggested search keywords: zenspirations, zentangles, tangle patterns, zendoodle. Fantastic for fine-motor control, creativity, geometric awareness, and just chilling while listening to a readaloud, audiobook or podcast.

  • TOPScience

    Just over a month ago Fiona received her favourite Festivus gift. I bought her a set of four TOPS Chemistry units, complete with the equipment and supplies kits that made them completely self-contained and drop-dead simple to implement in the kitchen. While I’m by nature a scrounger and a make-do-er, I’ve recognized that the little […]

  • Math Watershed, the 4th Edition

    The math watershed occurs in our family when the kids finish the Singapore Primary Math program. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions of the math watershed occurred around age 10 for my three elder kids respectively. That was too young for a traditional academic high school program, especially after the friendly, unintimidating, low-repetition approach of […]

  • A Thing About Tea

    Behold, our tea cupboard! We seem to have A Thing About Tea. We are hopelessly addicted to loose leaf tea. We have done five big orders from David’s Tea since early last fall, supplemented by Two Hills and Teaopia purchases now and then. We’re don’t have sophisticated tastes. We probably couldn’t definitively identify an assam vs. […]

  • Early Math Nostalgia

    A week or so Fiona started Singapore Primary Math Grade 5 work and I realized that our “early math” days are gone forever in this family. These days the kids are busy with obtuse angles, polynomials and  repeating decimals. Gone are the days of “different ways to make 7” and “constructing and deconstructing tens.” Today […]

  • Buckyballs

    Sophie got a set of Buckyballs for her birthday. She had seen them on-line and fallen in love with them. I didn’t understand what she saw in them. They’re just a bunch of rare earth magnets, 216 of them to be precise. They look like small ball bearings, but each one has a magnetic north […]

  • Recommended for geeks

    Noah is a serious PC gamer. For a while I resisted the FPS (first-person shooter) games and the stuff with violent content. But my resolve got worn down over time. Lugaru (now Overgrowth) was probably the turning point. It was a game using anthropromorphized bunnies with combat skills. He loved it and it engaged him […]

  • Thermometer

    I mentioned in one of my recent posts about the cob oven that an infrared thermometer would be very helpful in learning how to bake reliably in it. Yesterday I found one. I was in Kelowna getting Erin to a rehearsal with her accompanist there in preparation for a recital at the Anglican catherdral there […]

  • Barefoot Runniversary

    It’s now been 4 months since I started transitioning to barefoot running. I’m currently running about a quarter of my mileage barefoot. For regular runs on concrete or asphalt barefoot is definitely what I prefer. I’m up to 10k road runs barefoot without difficulty. I haven’t had problems with blisters, cuts or callouses since logging my […]

  • BSG Awe

    Erin was the first one to develop a love for the new Battlestar Galactica. She watched as much as she could on-line and bought episodes for her iPod. Then we began renting Season 1 episodes from Zip.ca and gradually the rest of the family got keen. None got as keen as Fiona, though. For whatever […]

  • Milo, and the Slide

    Fiona and I went to the garden center in Nelson this week. We bought some bedding plants as well as some shrubs and herbs for the garden we’re creating in front of the deck. Our old kitchen garden was clear-cut and covered when the deck went in, so we’re starting anew. Just as we were […]

  • Turning Japanese

    There’s a Japanese flavour to my children’s lives. We live in a community that received, relatively speaking, a large influx of Japanese immigrants and nissei (2nd generation Japanese-Canadians) during WWII, when the Canadian government saw fit to intern them away from population centres on the west coast. Many internees put down permanent roots here, and […]

  • Archived!

    I write this blog for many reasons. Some are about the process, but several are also related to the product. The accumulated virtual scrapbook is an important memento of family activities, adventures, challenges and milestones. Important not just to me, and not just in a nostalgic way, but also to the kids and also in […]

  • Sophie School

    Of the three at-home kids, Sophie is the one who has come up with the most unusual approach to structured schooling. She has gravitated to setting her alarm for 6:30 a.m.. This is the girl who often used to still be in bed at noon. Now she’s up before it’s light outside. She makes a […]

  • Fiona’s Morning School

    This has been a homeschooling blog for years, but now that we’re finally doing some structured schooling I thought it would be appropriate to post about what we’re doing. Fiona’s morning starts at about 8:30 am. She usually grabs some breakfast first and then settles in for some bookwork. These days she is pretty happy […]