Posted in Homeschool Events

Canadian Homeschool Conference April 14 to 18 2020

We’re stuck in our homes. Homeschool conferences won’t be held in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick this spring (I was going to both of them so that makes me feel sad). Many parents are home with their kids for the first time, looking for homeschool information. Whether you’re a new or experienced homeschooler, we can all use encouragement during this difficult time. Enter my friends and fellow homeschool moms Ana Willis and Cori Dean. They’ve put together a new Canadian homeschool conference, yay!

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Posted in Homeschool Information, Things to Do, Places to Go

I Hope You Dance in Your Homeschool

I have dance on my mind. For dancers, this is usually competition season. My daughter is usually preparing for exams, recitals, and perhaps a competition or two at this time of year. I got in on a competition myself back in 2016 and competed in a big studio number on stage with my daughter. Here we are backstage at the competition:

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Posted in Homeschool Information, Resources

Spelling Fun in Your Homeschool

Spelling doesn’t have to be boring or tedious. Spelling can be fun! Toss those work sheets and spelling tests aside and give some of these resources a try for spelling fun in your homeschool. Spelling is important. Because spell check doesn’t catch everything!

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Posted in Homeschool Information

Fun Schooling History

During week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home. Most of the ideas can be enjoyed now, but a few you can look forward to once things return to normal.

History is often the dry, dreaded class in a public school setting, but it doesn’t have to be in your homeschool! Here are some tips for fun schooling history in your homeschool.

Eat Through History

What did the Vikings eat? How about the Ancient Romans? What were popular dishes in the Medieval period? Many of these dishes are still eaten today in different parts of the world.

Have some fun in the kitchen with recipes from a book such as the Usborne Children’s World Cookbook, or look for recipes online. You may even find some of your historical dishes become family favourites! One of our favourites is a Viking fish dish we found on the Parks Canada site.

Include Primary Source Material

There is nothing like reading first-hand, personal accounts of wars and different times in history – using primary sources. These first-hand accounts can be so exciting, or at the very least eye-opening! Here is a great collection of primary source material from different periods in world history.

Read Historical Fiction

Historical fiction can bring history alive! While historical fiction isn’t all true, generally the setting and way of life will paint a good picture of the time period in a compelling way. The Book of Negroes is an excellent example (for older teens). I thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself and learned so much about slavery in the U.S. and Canada that I hadn’t known about before! Once you read the book, watch the miniseries. It was filmed here in Nova Scotia!

Enjoy Historical Arts, Crafts & Trades

There are so many arts, crafts, and trades that have been enjoyed over the centuries by different cultures around the world. Many of them are simple and can be done with items you already have around your home, such as the fibre arts. You may even be able to find local tradesman and artisans that will let your child try a historical art, such as glass blowing or working at the forge, like my son is doing here:

Fun Schooling history

History Through Song and Music Videos

It is so much fun to learn history through music! There are many terrific audios available to learn from and sing along to, such as the History Songs from Audio Memory and the Presidents’ Rap and the Prime Ministers of Canada from Sara Jordan. Bring them with you in the car for some “car schooling” fun. I learned more about our Canadian Prime Ministers  by listening to that one CD than in all my years of public school!

You can find a great example of fun music videos that teach all about history on the “historyteachers” channel on Youtube – for example, learn all about Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia set to Lady Gaga’s Pokerface!

History Dress Up Time!

Have your children dress up like a famous figure you have been studying. They can memorize and recite a speech or piece of writing that the famous person is most noted for. You can make it simple and use clothes or sheets you already have around the house, or teach sewing and make more elabourate costumes (check out Bluprint for some sewing help). Some heritage sites offer a chance to dress up, such as the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton:

fun schooling history

Integrated Learning

Another way to keep history interesting, is to study it in context. It doesn’t have to be a separate subject. Learn the relevant geography along with the history. Look at old historical maps and compare with present day maps. These black line maps to print out and label are a great resource. You may even want to use a unit study or an integrated curriculum such as Tapestry of Grace.

History doesn’t have to be boring! How do you make history fun in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in May 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Information, Resources

Finding the Fun in Your Homeschool Day

As we head into week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home. Enjoy!

Homeschool fun, for me, isn’t only the subjects or activities you and your children find fun (such as fibre arts for art class), it’s also finding the fun in your homeschool day. This can be particularly important as you’re winding down your homeschool year and everyone wants to be done!

Finding the Fun in Your Homeschool Day

How do you find the fun? Part of it is having the right state of mind. Wake up determined that you’ll have fun today! The fun may happen between bouts of sibling bickering or whining about math – finding the fun doesn’t mean it will be a perfect day, but try to find some moments to enjoy!

Easy, Fun Ideas

  • Are you working on spelling today? Incorporate some phys. ed. with your child’s spelling and have them jump rope or jump on a mini trampoline while spelling out “e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e, exercise”!
  • Is it read aloud time? Do you usually read aloud to your children yourself? How about taking turns instead? Whoever isn’t reading can work on some of those fibre arts projects or other handiwork.
  • Are your children studying their multiplication tables? Sing them or rap them today instead! If you don’t feel comfortable making up your own song or rap, let the children try (you might be surprised to find out how easily coming up with lyrics can be), or use Audio Memories if you like.
  • Is it time for penmanship? How about posting big pieces of newsprint on the wall and letting the children paint their copywork with paint and a paintbrush. Or if you have a writing tablet for your computer or gaming console, let them write it on the tablet (it may not be nearly as legible, but it is fun)!
  • Are you reading the Bible today? Don’t just read it – act it out! Act out Moses’ confrontation with Pharaoh, or create a skit depicting the love passage from Corinthians (Love is Patient, Love is Kind).
  • Get outside for science!
    • Studying plants? Go look at some!
    • The sky? Study at night – lay outside on a blanket and look up.
    • Simple machines in physics? Build some using things in your yard.
  • Are you doing some art today? Turn on some beautiful music while you do your lesson, maybe some Mozart or Beethoven, or even something to sing along to while you draw.
  • Are your children studying logic/critical thinking? Watch some commercials and point out the logical fallacies to each other – commercials by political candidates are extremely entertaining for this exercise!
  • How about a theme for the day?
    • Backwards Day: Have breakfast for supper, walk backwards, dress backwards, start with what you usually end your homeschooling day with.
    • Pyjama Day: No getting dressed today!
    • Silly Hat Day: Start the day by making silly hats and then wear them the rest of the day.

The possibilities are endless! I challenge you to find the fun with your children this week! What did you do? Please let me know in the comments below.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in May 2018 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Posted in Homeschool Information

A Positive Homeschool News Story

It’s a positive homeschool news story, and it’s about my family homeschooling our daughter through high school especially! Yay! A big thank you to CTV News Atlantic, especially Maria Panopalis and Cory McGraw for doing a beautiful job on our homeschool story.

A Big Day

I got the call on Wednesday requesting an interview. Then on Thursday, we met them at the Conservatory School of Dance since my daughter had “Dance History” class that morning (part of her Professional Training Program). Cory filmed my daughter dancing part of her self-choreographed dance for Taking Steps to Fly (happening this Sunday at the Dalhousie Student Union building). And Maria interviewed us both. It was a terrific experience, especially for my daughter, who plans to train in dance post-secondary and pursue a professional dance career.

You can watch the video story, A Teenage Perspective on Homeschooling here:

Be sure to check out our positive homeschool news story in print as well. Maria covered some different aspects of the interview entirely in the print version, which is terrific as the two together give a better picture of how we homeschool high school. Check it out here, A Lesson in Homeschooling: a Smart Move for a Halifax Family.

What’s Next?

It’s been a busy time for my daughter. Last weekend she appeared as Drizella in the Cinderella ballet at the Spatz Theatre. For Taking Steps to Fly this weekend, she has prepared two pieces of choreography for adjudication – one the solo you see above and the other a trio. Next month, as mentioned in the news story, she will be starting rehearsals for Billy Elliot at the Neptune Theatre. She is a ballet girl. It’s so exciting as it’s been a while since she’s been in a musical and this is her first gig in a professional theatre.

What did you think of the story? Please let me know in the comments below!


Photo credit: Cory McGraw, CTV News Atlantic

Posted in Homeschool Events, Homeschool Information

2020 Canadian Homeschool Conference Feb 5-11

The 2020 Canadian Homeschool Conference starts this Wednesday! It is a 7-day online event featuring knowledgeable speakers, a vendor hall, opportunities to interact with other attendees, fun, and giveaways! The best part is that you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home (or pay for gas or travel ). It is free to attend live. Plus you can grab a lifetime pass for only $17 (available at this price until Feb 11) so you don’t miss a thing.

Speakers and Sessions

The 2020 Canadian Homeschool Conference features speakers who are homeschooling moms, business owners, and from homeschool and educational organizations. Learn from speakers such as Lisa Marie Fletcher (The Canadian Homeschooler), Cori Dean (Maple Tree Publications), Laurie Beesting (Bridge the Gap Math), Lisa Knight (HSLDA Canada), and more! There are sessions for parents, youth, and kids, so it’s for the whole family! Some sessions are even in French. Topics include homeschooling as a single parent, planning your curriculum, starting your own business (for youth), learning the time tables, learning a second language, stars and constellations (for kids), and more.

Vendor Hall

Visit some of your favourite homeschool vendors and learn about fantastic new ones in the vendor hall! Check out Oak Meadow, The Learning House, Usborne Books, HSLDA, Classical Education Books, Crayola Teachers and more! You’ll get a goodie bag from the vendors full of coupons and special offers!

Don’t Miss Out

Don’t miss this amazing conference. Register for the 2020 Canadian Homeschool Conference now! Choose free Live Conference Access for access until February 11th. OR banish the fear of missing out and get Lifetime Access for only $17 for the whole family.

Get Live Conference Access or Lifetime Access here. See you at the conference! I’m looking forward to it!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Cape Breton March Break Camps 2020

What’s going on in Cape Breton for children and families during March Break, March 16-20? Check out these Cape Breton March Break Camps 2020.

Bras D’or Lakes Camps
Kidston Landing, 490 Chebucto, Baddeck
9am-4pm, ages 5-12. $125/wk (march 18-22) or $35/day drop in (includes one healthy snack, campers must bring own lunch.)
Includes silk-screening, yoga, arm knitting, kickboxing, curling, scavenger hunts, table tennis, crafts, and more. Register by emailing boldcamps.cb@gmail.com

Cape Breton Regional Libraries
Fun March Break activities typically take place at the McConnell Library in Sydney for children in grade Primary and up. For more information please call the library at 562-3161

Gaelic College March Break Fun Camp
St. Ann’s
March 13-16 and 18-21, Ages 5-18
Gaelic language, fiddle, piano, piping, guitar, step & highland dance. Call 902-295-3411 for more information.

Ski/Snowboard Day Camp at Ski Ben Eoin
Ben Eoin
March Break Day Camps for ages 5-12
March 16-20, 9:30am – 3:30pm
1 day=$60, 2 days=$109, 3 days=$145, 4 days=$185, 5 days=$225
Includes crafts and activities. Click on the link above to register.

YMCA Cape Breton
Sydney
March 14-22
Family open gym, family swims daily

Do you know of any Cape Breton March Break Camps 2020 I’ve missed? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list. Thanks!

Click here for mainland Nova Scotia March Break camps 2020.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Nova Scotia March Break Camps 2020

Looking for Nova Scotia March Break Camps 2020? Here’s what’s going on for children and families during March Break on the mainland, March 16-20.

ART

CANCELLED: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Halifax
Dynamic Dimensions Art Camp
March 16-20. $230/week for full-day classes. Family Memberships receive a 10% discount. Pre-registration required online at the link above.
For ages 5 to 7 and 8-12. 2D and 3D art.

Creative Kids Education Centre March Break Camps
Hammonds Plains
March 16-20, 8:45am-3:45pm.
For ages 3-4: Full week $195, Single day $39
For ages 5-12: Full week $160, Single day $33
Choose from: Early Years Explores: Transportation, Construction Building Extravaganza, Friendship Bracelet Club, Head to Head Sports, and Roblox Challenge themes.

Ross Creek March Break Art Camps
Canning
For ages 4-16. March 16-20 from 9am-5pm. $70 per day or $325 for all 5 days Lunch and snacks provided at no extra cost. Bus service is an additional $15 per day or $70 per week.
Many programs to choose from, including clay, comics, space, photography, singer-songwriter, jewellery, and more.

CODING

Artech Studios MARCH BREAK CAMPS!
Halifax – NSCC Institute of Technology
March 16-20, 9am-4pm. $299 for ages 7-14 and $324 for ages 15-20. $25 off all camps until the end of January. Register at the link above.
Pacman to Pokemon for Ages 7-12 (video game design)
Camera – Action – Animate for Ages 10-14 (animation)
Create New Realities for Ages 11-14 (3D game design)
Leaders in Training for Ages 15-20
Artech Camps are all about getting creative with technology! All programs tap into campers’ creativity and incorporate the use of new media.

MISCELLANEOUS

CEED Juniorpreneur Camp
Halifax – Bayers Road
Run by the Centre of Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED)
Ages 8-14, March 16-20, 8:30am-4pm. $180 snacks & Friday lunch included.
Campers will learn about entrepreneurship and work together to create their own business for a day all while developing teamwork and leadership skills!

CANCELLED-Dalhousie Junior Leadership Camp
Halifax
March 16-20, 8am-4:30 pm, Ages 13-16, $295 non member; $265 member
Register at the link above or call 902-494-3372.

Experience Waldorf March Break Camp
South Shore Waldorf School, Blockhouse
March 16-20, 8:30am-4pm, for ages 5 and up. Week: $150 first child, $135 additional; Daily: $35 first child, $31.50 additional.
Arts and crafts, stories and games, outdoor play.

CANCELLED-March Break at the Ross Farm Museum
New Ross
March 14-22. Admission: Adult $10, Child (6-17 years) $4, 5 & Under Free, Family (max. 2 adults) $25
Each day of March Break will have a theme relating to the farm. As always there will be lots of hands on activities for everyone to enjoy and crafts that everyone can participate in throughout the day. Hot chocolate will be served. Weather permitting, there will be sleigh rides.
Saturday 14th ~ Tasty Treats
Sunday 15th ~ Traditional Skills
Monday 16th ~ For the Birds
Tuesday 17th ~ St. Patrick’s Day
Wednesday 18th ~ Springtime on the Farm
Thursday 19th ~ Tasty Treats
Friday 20th ~ Explore the Outdoors
Saturday 21st ~ Fun on the Farm
Sunday 22nd – Happy Easter
For more information, contact Joan Lenihan at 1-902-689-2210 or
1-877-689-2210 or rossfarm@novascotia.ca

CANCELLED-Myths & Legends: Pirate Adventures
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax
March 14 to 22, Daily: 10 am-noon, 1-4 pm, Sunday only: 1–4 pm
Yo, ho, ho, all aboard to raise the Jolly Roger, grab your cutlass and set sail to Canada’s largest and oldest maritime museum! Exciting adventures await, so come dressed in your finest pirate, privateer or buccaneer attire! Enjoy your adventure of themed and historical activities, games and crafts…and if you dare, exciting discoveries in virtual reality! All activities are included with regular museum admission.

CANCELLED-Spring Break Camp
Seaport Farmers Market, Halifax
March 17-20, 10:15am-2pm
Ages 7-12; $30 for the week, $10 drop-in per day
Register at welcome@halifaxfarmersmarket.com or at the market Customer Service.

CANCELLED-Wheels on the Bus
Museum of Industry, Stellarton
March 14-22, Mon-Sat 9-5, Sun 10-5
Hop on and hop off our play bus for a day of adventure and fun! Climb aboard and imagine your destination. Where will you go today? Maybe you will work laying bricks or fitting pipe. Perhaps a visit to the post office is next on your list. Don’t forget to stop at the grocery store before you shoot some hoops in the park or play a round of golf. There’s much to do around town and the Wheels On the Bus will take you there!

YMCA Day Camps
All Across Nova Scotia – contact the YMCA near you, or click on the link above to find yours.

CANCELLED-March Break Activities at Your Local Library
See your local library branch for what’s happening in your area or click on the link above to find yours.

SCIENCE

CANCELLED-Discovery Centre March Break Camps
Halifax
March 16-20
Loco-Locomotion
Get up and show off your own wacky locomotion, discover how objects in motion stay in motion, and build, balance and race zipliners across the room. Make and take home a variety of moving contraptions in a workshop designed to get things spinning, rolling, and zooming.
Ages 5-7 & 8-12. Registration: $250 non members; $230 members
Digital Discovery
This week-long camp explores a variety of ICT topics including video game development, coding, robotics and hardware. Enjoy special guest visits and work one-on-one with current professional mentors in ICT fields.
Ages 9-14. Registration: $275 non members; $250 members

SPORTS & RECREATION

CANCELLED-Dalhousie University Day Camps
Halifax
March 16-20, ages 6-15
Climbing Camp: Ages 6-15, $295 non member; $265 member
Dal Tigers Basketball Camp: Ages 7-15, co-ed, $234 member; $260 nonmember
Click the link above to register or call 902-494-3372

Hockey Camps – Halifax
March 19 & 20 $75 per day. Separate camps for goalies and players.

Horseback Riding Camp
Todd Hill Farm, Oakfield
March 16-20, $400 plus HST
Daily riding lessons, trail rides, horse care, mounted and unmounted games, horse safety, hands-on practice, pool time.

Sea School March Break Camping Expedition
Black River Lake
March 16-20
Ages 14-18
PRICE: $600 – Includes all food, group equipment, sleeping bags and other group gear apart from personal clothing items.
Shelter making, fire building, tracking, cooking and exploring with map and compass. Learn how to stay toasty in the winter and also have the opportunity to test your survival skills in a culminating solo experience. Call 902-423-7284 or email admin at admin@seaschool.org.

Try Taekwondo Camp
Ummah Mosque and Community Centre, Halifax
March 16-20, 4-5pm daily. $50

THEATRE

Neptune Theatre School March Break Camps
Halifax
March 16-20
Camps for Ages 4-12 at the Shambhala School, 5450 Russell Street in Halifax, 9am-4pm, $240:
4-6yrs (Drama) Squish! Squack! Scoot!
4-6yrs (Musical) The Royal Treatment
7-9yrs (Drama) Theatre Wizard
7-9yrs (Musical) Musical Misfits
10-12yrs (Drama) Around the Campfire
10-12yrs (Musical) Time to Shine
Teen Intensives for Ages 12-18 at Neptune Theatre, 1593 Argyle Street in Halifax $175 for 1/2 day classes, $280 for full day classes (save 20%):
12-18 yrs Monologues & Cold Reads, 9am-noon
12-18 yrs Musical Theatre Rep, 1-4pm
Leader in Training Program for Ages 15-18 at the Shambhala School. Offered to successful applicants free of charge. It is aimed at teens hoping to build skills and confidence working with children in theatre education. L.I.T. participants will work with specialized instructors on lesson planning, problem solving, breaking down and instructing games and activities for different age groups, building up a professional resumé, etc. To apply, fill out the online form.

**Do you know of an activity or camp I have missed? Let me know and I will add it to the list of Nova Scotia March Break camps 2020. Thanks!**

Love, Luck &
Laughter,