Canada’s Parks Day Celebrations in Nova Scotia!
This Saturday, July 16th is Canada’s Parks Day! It takes place on the 3rd Saturday of July each year.
Nova Scotia Provincial parks and historical sites as well as Parks Canada sites are participating. You will likely find fun and educational family activities at a park or museum near you. Some activities include:
Aboriginal Traditional and Ecological Knowledge with Gerald Gloade
Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park
1:00pm to 3:00pm
Introduction to Geocaching
Macelmons Pond Provincial Park
1:00pm to 3:00pm
Wildflower Walk and Forest Fighting with Smokey Bear
Blomidon Provincial Park
Scavenger Hunt & BBQ
Ellenwood Lake Provincial Park
11:45am to 1:00pm
Love, Luck &
Math typically isn’t the first thing parents think of over the summer. But my daughter tends to take her time with math (and we have the flexibility to let her take her time in our homeschool), so we often end up working on math for some of the summer. This summer, we are also brushing up on some times tables that she doesn’t quite have down pat, using Times Tales.
I’ve rounded up some FUN math resources, from music videos to volcanic explosions, so you can brush up on some skills over the summer and/or make math fun starting this fall! The best part is, they’re all on sale (and if you’re Canadian, Canada Post isn’t going on strike this month after all).
5 Fun Math Resources
Try these super fun DVDs. Your kids can enjoy the sounds of rock and even hip hop to help them get excited about learning math. The Early Math DVDs cover addition and subtraction, telling time, and money and making change. Each DVD includes 12 to 18 video segments, and each video lasts about an hour.
Cost: $36.99 US (save $23) –> Get It Now
Times Tales is a very popular tool that uses stories to help kids memorize their upper times tables. It is what I am using with my daughter to solidify some of her times tables this summer (although we don’t have the DVD). This version includes videos and games. Why? It helps kids learn the multiplication tables in an hour – with songs and visuals!
Cost: $19.99 US (save $10) –> Get It Now
It is what it sounds like – a “Bop It” for math learning. Math Slam is a tool that uses sounds and lights – and slams – to engage kids in a fun contest of math acuity. There are 3 levels with 13 questions each. As your kids get faster they boost their score!
Cost: $40.99 US (save $2) –> Get It Now
ShillerMath is a comprehensive math program that I almost picked up for my kids when they were younger. Their Fraction Set is a comprehensive supplement to any math curriculum. Part of why it’s great is because it is hands on and incorporates visual, kinesthetic, and practical learning. It includes a fractions lesson book, answer guide, parent guide, catchy songs, and unlimited downloadable resources.
Cost: $89.95 US (save $10) –> Get It Now
My kids loved the Magic School Bus when they were little! Mix a little hands-on science with math and you have active learners on your hands! It can be difficult to grasp math concepts if they aren’t applied in the real world and this is a delightful antidote for young learners.
Cost: $53.99 US (Save $6) –> Get It Now
Love, Luck &
This article includes affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!
Homeschooling Your Child with Special Needs
Are you considering homeschooling your child with special needs? Many parents choose to homeschool their children with various special needs such as autism, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, giftedness, diabetes, and deafness.
A friend of mine started homeschooling her special needs child a few years ago, because his medical issues made being in the classroom downright dangerous. A simple fall could be deadly and the public school wasn’t willing to out necessary measures into effect. We started homeschooling our son in part because he was playing chess at age three and was bored when we put him into public school for his Kindergarten/Primary year.
The article, Homeschool Best Option for More and More Families With Special Needs Children, mentions a poll of homeschoolers that found 38% were homeschooling special needs children. If you are homeschooling your child with special needs, you’re not alone! Here is another article, sharing Perspectives on Teaching Special Needs for some encouragement from fellow homeschoolers.
If you are homeschooling your child with special needs, there are resources you can take advantage of:
- I had the pleasure of reviewing an ebook on the subject, Someplace Called Special: A Look At Homeschooling Special Needs Children, which I found to be helpful, uplifting, and inspirational.
- The Special Learners Schoolhouse Digital Planner can help you plan and organize your homeschool year. It includes a homeschool IEP, medical and therapy forms, and weekly food and behaviour diaries.
- Home Schooling Children with Special Needs is a book written by consultant Sharon Hensley. You can find the book and an informative collection of answers to FAQs at the Sharon Hensley Consulting website.
- There are many blogs you can read for information and encouragement. At Not New To Autism, Penny talks about homeschooling with autism.
I hope this helps you on your journey, whether you are homeschooling a child with special needs or considering it. Check out more articles on Meeting Your Child’s Learning Needs at The Canadian Homeschooler website.
Love, Luck &
*This sale is over. Stay tuned for more great bundles available in future.*
Raise your hand if you prefer to use over the counter and prescription drugs as a last resort. That’s me. In our home, we generally like to go the natural route. Sometimes we may take an aspirin, but not often, and medicine for coughs and colds rarely make it into the house.
Did you know that various prescription drugs acting together can even cause symptoms of dementia in the elderly? Ever since one of my family members had a bad reaction to a cholesterol drug (and has been in and out of the hospital ever since), I am even more determined to go the natural route when it comes to my family’s health!
Although I have been making my own cleaning products for over a decade, I am relatively new to the world of herbs and essential oils. I want to start a natural medicine chest, but where to start?
Maybe you’re ready for the next step. Maybe you’ve been dabbling a bit, but you want to get serious and learn more advanced information.
Or maybe you’re more of a beginner like me and just need some step-by-step tutorials, recipes, and safety information to help you feel good about moving forward.
Regardless of where you’re at, I’m so excited to introduce you to something created just for you, to equip you with more confidence, skills and know-how as you use herbs and essential oils in your own home!
It’s called the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle.
Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle!
It’s a collection of 20 eCourses, eBooks and printables that bring together science-backed, time-honoured remedies and information, in one comprehensive package, at a price that’s too good to miss.
With these resources at your fingertips, you’ll be able to:
- Separate fact from fiction as you choose quality herbs and essential oils.
- Confidently prepare salves, syrups, tinctures, and teas.
- Properly dilute oils for topical use.
- Learn blending principals for aromatic use.
- Incorporate essential oils into easy and effective herbal remedies.
- Know which herbs are safe for use during pregnancy, and for babies and children.
- Use printables to organize your essential oils for safety and ease of use.
- Create beauty products, herbal baths, and even gifts for friends and family.
I am especially excited about the printables so I can remember safety instructions, as well as the eCourses so I can learn how to use everything!
You can get this entire herbs and essential oils library, worth over $400, for less than $30 US. That’s 92% off what it would cost to buy everything individually!
(Not to mention, it’s about the price of filling a prescription or two.)
It’s available for just 6 days, from now until Monday, June 27th, 2016 at 11:59pm EST (June 28th at 12:59am AST). That’s why the Ultimate Bundles team can offer so much for such a great deal, because they only have permission to sell it for such a short period of time.
Learn more or get your bundle now!
If you think getting all these herb & essential oil resources for less than $30 US sounds like a steal, then make sure to go HERE to see exactly what it includes and grab yours before this deal ends!
Love, Luck &
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!
Cathy Duffy’s Top Homeschool Curriculum Picks
Cathy Duffy is the know-all when it comes to homeschool curricula. When I see Cathy has given a curriculum a good review, I am more likely to trust it. While I have reviewed quite a bit of curricula, she has reviewed hundreds in order to help educators like you and me make an educated decision when shopping.
Here’s a handful of the Cathy Duffy’s top homeschool curriculum picks available on sale at Educents.com. I hope these double-recommended educational resources will relieve you of endless hours shopping around for the best (and most cost-effective) homeschool resources.
Elementary Math & Science
If you haven’t heard of Life of Fred, you’re in for a real treat. Dr. Stanley F Schmitt is a math teacher who developed a story-based math learning series that has taken homeschooling by storm! Forget rote learning that doesn’t resonate: learners follow Fred and his pals through life and learn math concepts along the way. Kids sometimes don’t even know they’re learning math until it’s pointed out to them!
Each book has a theme, such as Apples, Butterflies, and Cats. You can integrate math learning with the science study of the same topic!
This ties in with the second Life of Fred book so well! With this set, little ones can learn about (and experience!) the miracles of metamorphosis. Available at Educents for $35.99 US.
Elementary Reading & Writing
I can’t say enough about story-based learning. It’s one of the oldest ways people have learned from each other – starting with fables that teach morals.
Grammaropolis is a great tool for Kindergarten/Primary to Grade 3 learners on the quest for perfect English grammar, which isn’t always straight forward! This set comes with animated shorts, music videos, books and quizzes.
Price: $40 US down from $50
Middle School Math
I can’t say enough about the Life of Fred series! Kids learning algebra and beyond will enjoy the stories and learn the concepts through holistic learning. If your learner is new to Fred but at a more advanced level, it has been recommended that they start from the beginning. That said, re-learning a few known concepts in the Life of Fred framework will help them get up to speed with the story and succeed with the series.
Price: $34.08 US down from $38
As your kids get older you may also want to instill strong financial decision making. We spend a lot of time in our own day to day life teaching our kids about saving, investing, and all the skills they will need to succeed in life. The Life of Fred Financial Choices book is a great intro.
Price: $15.99 US down from $19.99
Science for the Family
Summer is a great time to get the whole family involved in experiments to foster learning and family bonding!
This set comes with four science kits at less than $16 each (a $35 savings). Toptics covered include:
- Weather – learn about rainbows, tornadoes, the greenhouse effect, and more
- Going Green – learn about recycling, compost, and making new paper out of old
- Solar Energy – watch solar energy inflate balloons and spin a top
- Wonders of Nature – build an ant hill, dissolve an egg shell, do an animal tracks exercise
Love, Luck &
This article contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!
Free Online Homeschool Conference!
I love homeschool conferences! They are a great way to learn about different curricula and meet new homeschooling families, and the sessions can be invaluable. I always leave refreshed and energized to tackle a new year of homeschooling.
I try to make it to as many as I can but since the Nova Scotia conference is usually the same weekend as my daughter’s dance recitals (as it was again this year), I usually don’t get to go. Of course, there’s also the fact that it’s almost a five hour drive to get there! Some years I haven’t been able to go due to finances or a lack thereof.
Now there’s an online conference I can attend, yay! The Digital Homeschool Convention offers more than 30 different sessions over four days next month. Topics vary from special needs homeschooling, to creating homeschool portfolios, to finding margin as a homeschool mom! You will enjoy these encouraging uplifting words from amazing homeschool moms.
I am especially looking forward to Creating Margin as a Homeschool Mom (something I often struggle with) by Heather Bowen and How to Make Art Appreciation a Natural Part of Your Homeschool Life (because I would love to) by Erica Johns.
The best part of this conference is that you don’t need to leave your house. You don’t have to spend money on food, gas, or hotels, and registration is free as are the sessions! Mark it on your calendar now – it all happens July 22-25. You can register here, free!
Have you been to a homeschool conference? What do you think is the best part about attending a homeschool conference? Please let me know in the comments below!
Love, Luck &
Please note: This article includes affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!
Homeschooling Through it All
There are so many advantages of homeschooling, such as being able to go on field trips as often as you want, and time for exploring passions and extracurricular activities. But how do you homeschool through illness, family stress, or crisis?
When we first moved provinces almost 10 years ago, my then 8 year old son had a little trouble adjusting. He missed his best friend and he missed simply being able to walk over to his friend’s house almost anytime, having moved from a suburb home to a rural one.
For the first few months of homeschooling that year we were able to keep a light homeschooling load. We took a day off whenever he felt overwhelmed by it all, and we spent a lot of time outside on our new 50 acres of land as well as sight-seeing across our beautiful island of Cape Breton.
Minor illnesses are easy. Whether I am sick (as I am right now) or my kids are sick, we usually still homeschool to a certain degree, but it’s often limited to some light reading, with perhaps a few educational videos. If any of us are experiencing some stress, we can take a day off, a few days off, or even a week off. Then we come back energized and ready to dive right back into homeschooling again!
In our first year of homeschooling, when my son was 6 years old, he contracted influenza. My poor child was ill for weeks and felt a lingering weakness for some time afterward. We were able to take it easy and introduce homeschool work gradually once he started feeling a bit better. I hate to think about how stressful it would have been if he was in public school and stressed out about catching up on all the work he’d missed. Even worse, we might have been pressured to send him back to school when he was still in a weakened state.
Recently, one of my family members in Ontario was sick in the hospital. My 17 year old son and I were able to drop everything and drive out to visit. It was time well spent and we were very happy to help out and see our loved one get released from the hospital before we came back home again. My 12 year old stayed home with her father and went about her usual extracurricular activities. working on some light homeschooling while we were gone.
The flexibility of homeschooling through it all is a wonderful advantage – homeschooling is flexible and we can adjust the work load to suit us at any given time, including taking some time off.
Have you experienced the advantages of homeschooling through it all? Please let me know in the comments below!
Love, Luck &
Thinking about starting to homeschool? Check out the Getting Started Homeschooling Checklist!
Homeschool Math with the Abacus
The abacus is an ancient calculator that has been used for thousands of years. It is still in use today, especially in Asia and the Middle East. The word “abacus” originally comes from the Greek word “abax” for “counting board”. The Greeks used boards with sand on them to draw out their equations. The Romans used boards with grooves and beads or rocks. The Abacus we are more familiar with originated in Asia.
The Chinese abacus has 7 beads on each rod, with 2 on the top and 5 on the bottom, separated by one horizontal beam.
The Japanese abacus is called a soroban and has 5 beads on each rod, with just one on the top and 4 on the bottom, divided by one horizontal beam (the reckoning bar). It has at least 9 rods, and the number of rods is always an odd number.
Each abacus is set to zero when all of the beads above the bar are up (not in contact with the reckoning bar) and all the beads below the bar are down (not in contact with the reckoning bar). The Japanese abacus pictured above is set to zero. The units rods on the Japanese abacus are the rods with the dots on them. The units rod on the Chinese abacus is the one on the far right.
For either abacus, on the units rod, if you raise one bead below the bar up to the reckoning bar, that represents 1. Two raised up to the reckoning bar represents 2 and so on. A bead above the bar lowered to the reckoning bar represents 5. To the left of the units rod, you will have the tens. A bead above the bar lowered to the reckoning bar in the tens rod represents 50. Two beads below the bar raised up to the reckoning bar represent 20, three represent 30, and so on. On the soroban, you can also show decimal places, to the right of any units rod.
Did you know the abacus, especially the soroban, can be used not only for addition and subtraction, but also multiplication, division, and also square roots? In 1946, a person using the soroban outperformed an electric calculating machine!
The abacus can be a very useful tool in your homeschool. It is visual and tactile, and its usage can be transferred to mental math easily. Once a child has done calculations repeatedly using the abacus, they can start to visualize them without using the abacus – math calculations can become a mental “picture”.
Your child can make a Japanese abacus out of Popsicle sticks! Here’s a great how-to at Simple Kids Crafts. Once you have made or bought your own abacus (I recommend a soroban because it’s a bit easier to use and handle), you can start using it with your children to make homeschool math fun!
Here is an article on How to Teach Mathematics Using an Abacus. (Please note that they are using a Chinese abacus in the article, but you can easily follow the steps with a soroban as well.) Your children will have fun clicking those beads for a change instead of the usual pencil and paper. It sure beats counting on your fingers!
Start with addition and subtraction and then give multiplication and division a try. You may find your visual learners memorizing the patterns each number makes. Once this starts happening, they may be able to “use” the abacus in their mind. Here is a handy, step-by-step lesson plan designed for Grades 4-6 at the PBS website, complete with worksheets.
If you would prefer your child learn about the abacus and mental math from someone else, you could try a UCMAS centre. UCMAS has locations all over the world and their programs are for ages 4 and up.
Let me know if you make or try out math with the abacus in your homeschool!
Love, Luck &
**This sale has ended but watch this site for future sales!**
How to Keep Up with it All
Does being a mom and homemaker and Homeschooler ever feel a little too hard?
There’s no question you love your family like crazy and would do anything for them, but it can be an exhausting job.
If you’re anything like me, I bet you wish your home felt more put together and peaceful, you kept up with housework better, were more consistent about serving healthy, homemade meals, and weren’t running ragged so much of the time.
Our families matter more than anything else. Our job is so important, and we want to do it right. But so often, we end up feeling discouraged and even as if we’re failing.
Maybe you wonder how to keep up with it all and still have the energy and intentionality to be the kind of mom, Homeschooler, wife, and woman you want to be.
I know as well as you do that homemaking will never be stress-free (though it sure sounds nice). But what if you had more (and better) tools to help make it stress-less?
That’s why I’m over the moon to tell you about something very special happening right now called The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016!
It was created to give you a plethora of amazing, high-quality resources to take some of the stress, overwhelm and difficulty out of homemaking and mothering.
To make you feel like you’re winning more often.
And to bolster you in the work you’re doing, because every awesome, hard-working mom deserves a little help sometimes.
The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle includes 93 hand-picked eBooks, eCourses, and printables, on topics that matter to moms such as:
- organization, routines, and creating a cozy home (my favourite category)
- recipes, grocery shopping, and meal planning
- budgeting and saving money
- motherhood (no matter what age your kids are)
- cultivating a strong marriage
- faith (for you and your kids)
- and even self-care (exercise, weight loss, life planning, and colouring books!)
- and much more…
You have a full year to download the eBooks and printables and take the online eCourses, and everything you’ve downloaded becomes part of your permanent library so you can go back to it whenever you need it.
Plus, it comes with these FREE bonus offers from companies who know what homemakers need and want. My favourite is the FREE Online Class from Craftsy ($29.99-$69.99 value)! We chose a Chinese cooking class to enjoy in our homeschool. It’s worth the cost of the bundle all by itself! You can use this and many other resources in your bundle to teach your kids.
It’s available for just 2 days – from now until Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. That’s why the Ultimate Bundles team can offer so much, because they only have permission to sell it for such a short period of time.
The total value is an astonishing $1000+ (plus over $300 in bonuses), but you get it for just $29.97 US. That’s a whopping 97% off what it would cost to buy everything individually!
Learn more or get your bundle now!
If you think getting all those homemaking & mothering helps for less than $30 sounds like a steal, then make sure to go HERE to see exactly what it includes and grab yours before this deal ends! I am loving these resources and I know you will, too!
Love, Luck &
Please note, this article contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!
Whether you include formal learning or not, most homeschoolers encourage summer learning. It’s usually difficult to get homeschooled kids to stop learning! Here is a round up of fun and games for summer learning.
We have enjoyed the book version of Times Tales in our homeschool over the years! Times Tales now has an interactive animated DVD that also teaches kids the upper times tables without memorization. Children can simply follow along with the entertaining story. As they progress, they’ll be guided into associating the stories they’ve learned with real math. With 70 reviews it has a five-star average rating.
Here’s one parent:
“I was so excited to receive this DVD, but I was not prepared for how wonderful it would be! Few things exceed expectations in the way this learning tool did. I purchased it as a reinforcement tool for my middle schooler and she has really benefitted from it. As an added bonus, my preschooler is also well on his way to learning his multiplication facts, too!” – Lacey F.
The Magic School Bus is an all time favorite for all ages – my kids loved it when they were little. This Math and Science Explosion combo is a 2-in-1 of hands-on math and science fun. The math board game is a race to make the volcano explode – first player to get all the math facts right wins!
Nurture your child’s reading skills and confidence with the right blend of interactive learn-to-read tools! Designed for the 2.0 learner, the award-winning literacy program that brought reading to millions of kids has been fully digitized. It can be synced with computer, tablet, or phone. It’s perfect for travelling (and even longer errands with the kids) since you don’t need the internet for use. This is a summer learning no brainer.
Good for: Ages 4-7
Price: $29.99 down from $49.99
Magnets, crystals, and fossils – oh my! There are seven kits in this incredible (and incredibly priced) set, perfect for any budding scientist.
With hands-on learning, this is a fun way to engage all children, including special needs. Spur your kid’s curiosity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and have fun together while learning about the world.
As one parent put it,
My 5 homeschooled kids loved this. I have a special needs child and this was a fun way to show him about science. It was so worth getting. I think I will keep buying these every year for all year long projects. -Shelly W.
You can check off “Summer Activities List” from your other list of to-dos this month with this fun round-up of 52 summer pursuits, including indoor and outdoor adventures, as well as simple activities easily integrated into your day.
Download it, print it, and stick it on the fridge (or bring along for family visits) for a little daily inspiration this summer!
Price: Free – download it with one click!
Love, Luck &
Please note: This article contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!