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

for more than a quarter century

Category: Resources

  • It’s raining gadgets!

    We reached the end of the academic year with the SelfDesign program and hadn’t managed to spend the kids’ Learning Allowances. There’s a rule that the government sets that says that homeschooling families enrolled in DL programs can’t directly receive funds allocated for learning resources. It used to be just fine to spend the money, […]

  • Other people’s mistakes

    Noah’s writing has really taken off in the past 18 months or so. He actually enjoys writing and has got quite good at it. He can build a story, turn a phrase, express himself well. All the building blocks of good writing are well in hand — with the notable exception of punctuation. His writing […]

  • An iPod family

    We are an iPod family, it must be said. With the addition of Erin’s new Nano, and the passing down of her old Nano, everyone but Chuck now has one. (He’s been repeatedly asked if he’s interested in one, and has said no every time. He seems more interested in broadcast radio, which the iPods […]

  • Top ten books

    In a homeschooling on-line conference we were asked to list our top 10 favourite picture books, novels and non-fiction books. I didn’t spend very long at it. For the most part these are not carefully considered choices, just off-the-top thoughts; I can already think of a few I’d like to substitute. Picture books1. Owl Moon […]

  • Cuisenaire Discovery Book

    Someone recently brought to my attention (thank you Christine!) that when I changed ISPs and retired my old website last winter my Cuisenaire Activity and Exploration Book disappeared from cyberspace. So I’ve uploaded it again. It’s a booklet I made back when Sophie was 4 and begging for a math book of her own like […]

  • Hanging out watching TV

    For Noah’s birthday he got a set of gymnastics rings which have been installed in the middle of our fairly small living room. The ceiling fan had been broken by Noah’s jumprope a few weeks ago, so it had to come down anyway. The rings will probably prove more useful than the fan was. The […]

  • Creature creating

    There are times I despair over the computer use in this family. I wonder what good can possibly come of it. Then there are nights like tonight. Spore is due out later this week. I’ve never seen such a sure-bet piece of software on the horizon for my kids. It’s going to be totally their […]

  • Stiffy

    Sophie is an origami nut and has been for a long time. Fiona loves it too in her own novice way. So when I saw instructions somewhere for using fabric stiffener to turn fabric into a durable origami-like material for crafts, I knew this would be a hit. We ended up buying a book of […]

  • Claymation

    As you might have noticed, I’ve been spending a lot of time editing clips off the camcorder lately. One of the unexpected results of having the camcorder firewired to the computer has been a sudden interest in claymation amongst my younger kids. Sophie especially has taken to it with a vengeance over the past couple […]

  • At Grandma’s again

    This morning I took Sophie off to a four-day sleep-away Aikido Camp. Two and a half weeks ago I dropped Erin off in Calgary for her music programs in Alberta and Quebec. And Fiona had decided it was time for a second sleepover at Grandma’s. Between the time I dropped Sophie off (9:00 a.m.) and […]

  • Speedminton

    Speedminton is a new game for us. I bought a couple of two-racquet sets recently. The rackets are stronger than badminton rackets, though still lightweight. A net is not required. And the birdies are a bit heavier and more stable in breezes outdoors. It is a great family lawn game. The kids are really enjoying […]

  • Set game

    I’m not actually much of a family game player myself. I make an effort, and sometimes I enjoy the conversation and the kid-watching, but it’s a rare family game that I enjoy for the game itself. Set is the exception. It’s a visual-spatial pattern-recognition game that taps into mathematical intuitiveness. There’s no strategy. It’s difficult […]

  • Connections

    It was a typical Friday night in our home. After dinner we headed to the gym, which we had to ourselves again. The kids did all sorts of obsessive tallying of calories expended, played tag in the gymnasium, and got very pink and healthy-looking. Their parents sort of did likewise. Except that we probably looked […]

  • March 19, 2008

    It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a “Day in the Life” entry. Here was today. Erin was up first. This is exceptional. She enjoys being a night-owl extroardinaire, but she has an incredible ability to move her sleep time around as she sees fit and for whatever reason wanted to be up early […]

  • That ubiquitous Canadian history

    Today the community string orchestra performed at the annual Celebration of the Arts concert in one of the nearby communities where several of our members reside. The concert is a sort of moderately pathetic, though intermittently entertaining, community talent show. This year’s program was a bigger deal, because it coincided with BC’s 150th birthday, and […]