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

for more than a quarter century

Year: 2006

  • Family games night

    The plan was to have a family games night every week, though we haven’t quite managed that. Maybe every second week. But I guess that makes it an even more special treat when we have a few days in a row to play intensively. Our Christmas Eve tradition is now that we open, and play, […]

  • The Artist

    Fiona loves painting. She’s had exposure to tempera and acrylic paints, but what she loves are watercolours. She loves the intricacies of bleeding colours, washes, dry brush, dry and wet paint, blends and colour combinations. She plays around with these techniques endlessly, not aware of them as techniques per se, just experimenting and experiencing the […]

  • What We’re Watching

    I’ve got a “what we’re reading” widget in the sidebar, so I thought I should complement it with an entry about what we’re watching. From October to April we subscribe to, an on-line DVD rental service based in Canada. With thousands of documentary titles and tens of thousands of mainstream and oddball videos of […]

  • Atomic Tree Ornaments

    Another product of Science Club. Two marbles, a black one (proton) and a white one (neutron) were twisted together inside a small square of plastic wrap (in lieu of nuclear force) and tied off with a string. Around this we created an electron cloud of wool roving. Not particularly seasonal or aesthetically imbued, several of […]

  • Acids and Alkalis

    Today was another challenging Science Club meeting. The kids were very unfocused and there were only a couple of activities that pulled even half of them in. My four were all at various stages of recovering from illnesses, as were several of the other kids, and that certainly didn’t help. However, I wanted to share […]

  • Beneath the Action

    A week or two ago I posted an image of Where the Action Is, showing the kids together at the computer bench, where they spend far too much time clustered together playing games. Here’s the dark side… the floor beneath the computer desk. I finally got around to doing more than a traffic-area vaccuuming of […]

  • Choir concert

    Last night was the local Community Choir’s holiday concert. Erin sang. I’ve watched her perform on violin and piano and in choirs, dozens and dozens of times but I’ve never been so proud. Not so much of what she did, but of whom she has become. She sang in a children’s choir for two or […]

  • Ferocious Doctor

    Ferocious Doctor is one of the hundred-plus characters who inhabit Euwy World, my kids’ silly universe where mistakes and stupidity are sources of delight and entrenched as cultural icons. Fiona has adopted Euwy characters into her own story-telling and play. On the way home from Nelson she told me “I’m writing Ferocious Doctor.” “Oh, that’s […]

  • Where the Action Is

    I’m not sure why I took this picture. It’s just so typical of the kids, all glued to the computer, but socially so … I thought you might enjoy it. 1. Old kids’ artwork done with hand-made rubber stamps. 2. Erin cuddling Fiona, who is draped in a quilt made for her by now-grown friend […]

  • Owl visit

    Today, on my way to put up the Christmas lights, I discovered this guy perching outside on a beam about 18″ from one of our windows. He’s a saw-whet. The kids were able to get soooooo close and were completely entranced. This picture was actually taken from inside the house, through the aforementioned window.

  • Pushing snow

    We have a fairly long driveway. Three hundred metres or so, downhill and fairly straight from the highway, taking a little dip, then leveling out and diverging into a short lane heading for the carport and a turnaround circle. Since we don’t have a 4WD family vehicle, we depend on conscientious snow removal — otherwise […]

  • Privacy

    Here is where Noah worked tonight on Rosetta Stone Japanese. For years my workspace has been a 2 sq.ft. space at the end of the kids’ communal desk. First I had a laptop there. Then I upgraded to a desktop computer, but tucked the CPU and keyboard underneath my little single-place-setting of desk space. Then, […]

  • The Gym

    We’ve not had a public gym in our town until today. During WWII a Sanitorium was built here for Japanese internees who had TB. In the 1950s the San was converted to a reform school for school-refusing Doukhobor children (who were actually just being educated at home). A gymnasium was added at that point. Then […]

  • Co-op learning

    We’re now four weeks into Science Club. We meet for two or three hours on Wednesday afternoon. I’m preserving my optimism with effort. We’ve done some fun things, from the planet walk to the ‘elevate an apple’ challenge, to printing evergreen foliage on clay tiles. We’ve touched on principles of gravitational acceleration, solar system orbits, […]

  • Reading

    Fiona is reading. Not only that, but unlike my other (previous) 3-year-old reader, Erin, this one’s doing so quite unabashedly, stumbles and mistakes and all. Mostly just three- and four-letter words with short vowels and the simplest of consonant blends, but she’s doing it, and building on her progress as the days roll by. Her […]