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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Homeschool Xmas Party

Today was our homeschool Xmas party. Everyone brought either a potluck dish or activity. I brought ginger bread cookies.

Ko-Ko made a 3D snowflake that one of the Moms found instructions for on You Tube (easy search but my iPhone doesn't always like to give me you tube links).

Another Mom brought simple foam Xmas crafts. Ko-Ko enjoyed both of these a lot. Then it was off to the gym. It was a good day for kids and Moms.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Attawaiskat housing crisis

Attawapiskat has been in the news while we have been learning about Shannen's Dream. What started out as an education in politics, finance, the state if education and pollution had grown. Ko-Ko is learning about the very tough realities of our people, even here in the province we live in. It's a lot for a child to learn, however is is a lot harder on the children living this reality. Our lesson lengths vary, dependent on what she cam handle in a day. Could I be following a curriculum with easy topics and realities removed by the passing of hundreds of years? Sure. But what is the more relevant education? That once long ago Canada did not treat Native people in a good way? Or that here, today, nothing had changed?

Another video

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

More On Attiwapiskat

Attiwapiskat has made the news
again. And again it is not good. Again the government is failing in it's financial duties. Attiwapiskat is in such dire circumstances that they are begging for evacuation.
Read the news article here.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Varied Discussion.

So as our exploration into the book Shannen's Dream for a school continues we spent a lot if time discussing different educational options and how those vary place to place. We talked about how lucky we are to live somewhere with many options. We also talked about how not everyone had those options, even here in Ontario. She was surprised that in some countries not everyone can go to school and that those same people may not have the option even to homeschool. I think this will be a good lead into our next book where educational options will be an underlying them to another issue.

On Friday we joined our roommate and her family at a Remembrance Day service where their family was invited to lay wreaths for the soldiers in their family who have passed on (both from WWI and WWII). Today we followed up by watching a program about Vimy Ridge and the art the soldiers left behind. She finished up with some art. It was a good and very full day. I should have broken it up more though I think she was intellectually tired about half way through the Vimy Ridge program.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011


*With pic
So after some regular school work Ko-Ko and I went out. While on the bus we planned the weeks meals together and then created the grocery list from the plan. While out she practiced using the bank card and we used the calculator on my phone to see if we were keeping the grocery list in budget ($6 over). To finish off out trip we went for sushi. She read the menu and tried to teach me how to use chopsticks. I failed again. A good day and I believe ad much learning out of the house as in the house.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Schooling Out

Yesterday while Ko-Ko worked on her math I created some school work for today. The work was all based on the boom we have been reading "Shannen's Dream For A School". We covered spelling, vocab, and some pages dealing with both geography and whats going on in the story. With no computer I had to handwrite it all. I do miss my computer and printer.

Today we were heading to the Native centre to pick up a support letter and make copies of my court papers. I brought the school work with us.

Ko-Ko worked away with great dedication and zero issues. With and ADD child this is not always the case and required patience and creativity on my part, sleep on hers ;) Maybe (I thought) we should work here everyday. LOL Ok in reality I know that is not the real solution. There are simply good days and difficult days in real life. It's just nice when the good days happen when you have an audience :)

Also I think the return to our old style is a good thing.

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Old Lessons

When I started homeschooling in December 2008 I went with school at home. I didn't realize there were other methods. In less then a year I was looking for other methods and became a unit study, lab book, educational games, projects and experiments, living book junkie type :)

Well old lessons need to be re-learned sometimes. I went with a curriculum this fall out of fear (custody case).

It wasn't great. For Ko-Ko it just doesn't sink in doing worksheets.

So we are back to our old ways (still using curriculum for math).

Right now we are reading "Shannen's dream for a school". A true story about the kids in Attawapiskat (northern Ontario). We are doing vocabulary and spelling from words in the book. Chosen when she asks what they mean. Geography and geology based on the book. Plus the book is about currant history and politics. What more could you ask for? Art, well she has made some lovely protest signs just like the kids in the book.

So glad to be back at it our way. And I totally recommend this book.

You can also learn about the Shannen's Dream foundation and watch you tube videos of the kids speaking so google away "Shannen's Deam".

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm Back

Soy blog suddenly died. And if you were following my blog you probably chalked it up to summer and expected me to get back at it come September.

The thing is life changed over the summer. I am now a single Mom, staying at a friends apartment while I try to find an apartment of my own that I can afford. the details of the end of my relationship will not be posted but I will say that there are circumstances under which a Woman should leave and this summer I lived through some of them.

A week after leaving my (now) ex and sending kids back and forth he didn't send the kids back and filed for custody. Ko-Ko snuck out of his house and came to me. SW wanted to stay since he no longer had rules and restrictions. Unfortunately that has the same effect it would on most 13 year olds and is not a good story. Poor little Runner and Indy have no choice due to their age and I have barely seen them. Hopefully that changes when custody is felt with. Sunny Not (different dad) still goes back and forth between my place and her Dad's. The only one I am still homeschooling is Ko-Ko. And I will continue here with our homeschool journey.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Planners and Portfolios

(not sure how this originally had a different title)

So this year SW is going to be in grade 8. This means preparing him for highschool (weather that be of the homeschool or public school variety or a bit of both). So that also means prep and learning for me. This year I am going to keep records showing what he (well maybe all of them) had learned. I know he has also been pushing for public highschool. I have been sad about this but I have a secret that may bring him fully on board. Sadly I can not share it yet.

So my next step is style if record keeping. I have looked at my options. But once I got real about who I am, I realized the conventional would never work for mire them a month. So I am going to keep portfolio samples of work them keep a digital record (other then this blog) on my phone (which I can update wherever I am).

Location:Transcripts & Portfolios

Friday, August 19, 2011

Powwow Trail

First my apologies for my lack of summer blogging (again).

So we have been to the Kingston powwow, Scugog powwow, Algonquin Park powwow, Tyendinaga Powwow and are now off to Golden Lake Powwow.
It is just Sunny Not and I as well as some friends. Some from where we live and some from up north meeting us there along with all our usual powwow crowd. I look forward to this powwow each year as it is vacation for me and on of the older kids each year. I even got my nails done up for powwow.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm not dirty!

Today Indy had a peanut butter sandwich for a snack. When he was done he announced "I'm not dirty!" rather matter if factually. He had (of course) peanut butter on his face and some (unknown) little dark spot in his nose. Why do boys dislike being cleaned?
He didn't want me to take a pic if his dirty little face to prove he was in fact dirty.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Day For Mom

I have today (or I should say tonight) off of work. So what to do with myself :)

To be a good Mom I did a few chores (floors and folding laundry).

Then it was time for myself so my good friend C and I went bra shopping. I needed something nice, something other then my old nursing ones (especially since I am now done nursing). We had a good time and since we were by my work we headed over. Fir some frozen yogurt and chatted away. After (back at her house) she should be her plans for the kids rooms. She has put a lot of thought into it and it will be great. Next we listened to some great music. We checked out some favorites such as Keith Secola and Black Lodge Singers. We also found some great hand drummers on you tube that (I am sure) will hit it big in powwow country someday soon.

I really enjoyed myself and find I am feeling ready to throw myself back into my Mom role until my next time out.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Meeting An Artist.

Today at the Native Centre artist / photographer Greg Staats from Six Nations came to do a presentation. He showed us his work and talked about it.

His muse is his community. The people he knows, the people he meets, his family. The landscape he grew up in and the items past down such as journals and recordings from the past. I really enjoyed it. This was school for the kids and I today. We will talk about it later.

After he pulled out his old polaroid and took pics of people in our community who were interested. We got to keep the polaroid and he keeps the negative (I didn't realize polaroids had negatives). After there was the usual community socializing. SW and Ko-Ko stayed with Grandma Clause for family night.

The pics here are the pics of the polaroids, the originals are better of course.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sandbanks Provincial Park Beach

Today is to be the hottest day of the year. With the humidex 44C (111F). This is big news and is all over the radio and tv. I have never felt temps so hot. Luckily it is very windy. the wind from the water is saving us because on the other side of the sand dune it feels like an oven.

Arriving at Sandbanks Provincial Park and stepping out onto the sand was amazing. The sand is so soft. The water beautiful and we got two picnic tables.

Indy started playing with his trucks in the sand. Then my dad got him down by the waters edge. The other kids are in the water where I am going now. Add more later.

The waves are great the sand is great. The water is a beautiful blue and green. Reminds me of the ocean (despite the differences), which I miss.

The kids and I jumped in the waves. Floated on the crests (well I did, they tried). Then we came in for some snacks. Indy is back to playing with his trucks in the sand. I am heading back to the water.

Came in for lunch. I feel a little queasy. SW is doing his own thing. We were enjoying the waves but sometimes you get a mouth of water. I am exhausted and going to take a short nap under my new sunshade (got it yesterday, it's by ozark trail).

Went back to the water (of course). Sat in the shallowest part with my Dad, sis, Indy an Sunny Not. Runner and Ko-Ko joined.

They have been playing here for a while. I told everyone time to put on some sunblock. The UV index today is 10. Even my kids are getting a bit pink.

Sunny Not, Ko-Ko, Runner and I headed back to the waves. We had a great time. When we came in for a snack it wad 4:30. So we got a bite and then packed up. Now we are in various cars on the way back. It had been a great day.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Super Sunny Scugog Powwow

We spend the weekend at Scugog Powwow. We always enjoy this powwow. We see almost all our powwow friends at this one as it is huge for a traditional powwow.

It is also the hottest powwow of the year since it is in mid July and not a tree in sight.
The above pic of Sunny Not is all white cuz it was so bright all the pics turned out this way unless in shade

A pic from under the canopy where we sat with Rose's family
This year was the hottest yet. And the thing about Ontario is that we do hot a little different. 33c (91.4F) may not seem to bad to some of you but add 90% humidity to that.

This is an evening pic when the sun was less bright

Of course the rain bringing the humidity missed us....Scugog; the powwow where you wish it would rain.

talking in air conditioned feast hall after feast
Enough about the heat
Let's talk powwow.

The powwow was awesome. I enjoyed seeing people, dancing, talking an feasting.

And the Fireworks (which they do every 5 years). In fact I loved the 20 min show. My phone died after the first minute so i only have opening shots.

As did the kids. The kids played and danced. And SW was offered a job with a good vendor. My husband said no. I agree. It would be different when he is older. But spending the summer living with family we don't know isn't OK at 12. Hopefully they will reconsider in a few more years.
We hit McD's (how come they eat more every year?) and are heading home.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Off to the Scugog powwow.

So it is 6:08pm and we just hit the 401 (main highway here in Ontario). We had planned on leaving earlier ( at 2 or 4 ish) but DH had to fix the kitchen sink. He had done a few basic snakes before but we were clogged again quickly. It did need to be done (yesterday may have been better :S ). But we are on our way and the kids are excited.

Out new van has more packing room. The stow-&-go makes a great difference. We are however, still packed with out leg room. Buy the kids are not sitting on top of things :). C and her daughter Rose will be keeping as much space available for us in our usual space. The kids found an awning frame and so we packed that and will put a tarp over it for shade from the sun. I think it will be a great weekend.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Waiting in line for midnight showing of...

....Harry Potter! (no spoilers here) So Excited!

We are in the shorter line (smaller theatre, not a 3D fan). 3 kids (Sunny Not, SW, and Rose) came at 5pm. Myself, Runner, Ko-Ko and C (Rose's Mom) came at 9:45. Ko-Ko joined the others in line. This isn't "allowed" but she looks cute and little. No one complained.

Runner is waiting with us grown-ups. The other 4 will save out seats. People are dressed up, others wearing HP shirts. Runner wishes he had some such thing to wear.

I am so excited.
Our line will have 150 people in the end. The other lineup photoed here us for #6, which holds 240. This line up

would be most crazy is #10. It holds 400 people. But they made a cool chalk drawing

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Twilight....caught up in books

So I am a pretty voracious reader. I have read most if the books in our house...we probably have at least 1,000. Some I have read several times. On Sunday I walked into Aunty Claus' bedroom for a chat and she was reading Breaking Dawn. So I asked if I could read Twilight. She warned me that she wouldn't be done Breaking Dawn till the end of the week. Sizing up the near 500 page book, and the next two I didn't think it would be a huge problem. She laughed knowing I read near 100 pages an hour. So I started reading. Turned out Monday was a quiet day if watching Runner and Indy play out side so I read some more. I didn't work Sunday night an had a short work night Monday. The point? I finished Eclipse last night before bed. Now I have to wait. This weekend we are at the powwow in Scugog so unless I plan on a killing my eyesight trying to read by lantern I have to wait for Monday.

The series really is much better then the movies. I think the movies really tried to please the readers but I think two of the actors missed the memo. I remember seeing Twilight with SW and Runner (them and Sunny Not are big fans) and finding it almost painful to watch Bella and Edward and their awkwardness. Also the book made me understand their relationship. In the movies I just could not understand why she would choose anyone other then Jacob. I will of course always think an Indian Man is always the best choice, but I understood her choice....up until the end of eclipse. At which point I decided it was the stupidity of youth. Oh well, poor wolf :) So now I anxiously await the end. Hoping I am satisfied with her choice. I guess choosing Jacob would not have made as good a story.

So why am I telling you all this? A confession I guess. I am completely shocked that I am so hooked :)

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

"I Named Him Spencer"

I hate bugs. My heart races in fear around bugs. I know I am bigger but somehow they are not always so easy to kill. Plus anything with many legs or no legs creeps me out.

Ko-Ko brought a pet home from my parents. One that may not cross the threshold of my bedroom. He is a firefly. She told me of him proudly from my door (I am in bed reading). She continues and says: "I named him Spencer cuz it is a boy/girl name and I don't know what he is". She made me laugh.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Day With My Oldest and My Youngest

The middle 3 kids are at my parents kayaking. So Sunny Not, Indy and I went to fabricland. Sunny Not helped get some fabric to replace her bibs, leggings and the ruffle on her dress for powwow.

I need to get creative in the next few days. At home the two of them played together in the trampoline and then with Indy's trucks. Ge was happy to have so much of her attention today.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

The Car From Zoo Keeper

Zoo Keeper came out in theaters today and added a small excitement to our minimum wage jobs. Apparently a local bought the King Cobra car used in Zoo Keeper, the one Kevin James drives in the movie. Even had part of a script in the glove box.

The car was brought to the theatre and the couple who now own it were letting people have their pictures taken in it. A group of us went out. It wad sunny so we were squinting

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Beautiful Day At The Park

Our homeschool group has regular park days while the weather is nice. My Friend G and I started doing park day as soon as the weather could be called spring. It was chilly and we were the only ones.

Now it is summer and others are joining in. Park days are even organized to rotate through various neighborhoods in our city making it more access able. (hmm.. Spell check made that two words, didn't know that).


Today was in our old neighborhood and we saw old neighbours along the way. I also picked up some back packs so the kids could carry their own stuff when we are out.

The park had the wadding pool filled. Bathrooms open and park clean. We sat in the sun, later moved to the shade and enjoyed a gentle breeze. The kids played wonderfully together. There was only three families this week (but it is hot and humid) but we enjoyed ourselves. G brought toys (she thinks ahead better then I do). We all enjoyed our time so much we stayed till nearly 5. Indy fell asleep on the bus home. I am so thankful to be part of an activity/social based homeschool group. It has benefited both my kids and I.

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Additions to our dino movie

The kids and I filmed some more of our Dino movie today. We could have wrapped up filming today but they wanted to add some scenes. This is good. I must have chosen this project well if they wish to expand it.

First was a decision to expand the filming of finding the bones. They added a 3rd paleontologist.
The third one does not find any bones. They (correctly) decided this was more realistic. Also they set up tents.

They wanted to show it taking several days. I suggested that may take us several days, so that was omitted. Instead we will infer that they spend more time digging.

Also we zoom in on one and then another. The second paleontologist uses a small explosive to get inside a rock. That took some creativity.

The other addition occurs when we next film. After the skull is airlifted out of the badlands they would like a third set where the fossils are taken to a museum.

So I suspect it will be next week before we get to editing. This is perhaps a project we will repeat for other subjects we learn. Not all however as it is clearly time consuming. So far we have shot over 700 photos for this movie. Some photos will be used more then once (when there is a repetitive action).

It has been good so far and as a homeschooling Mom it is always nice when a learning experience is so well enjoyed.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Butter them up with cookies.

Community politics in Indian County

(still working on claymation movie, kids gone swimming today)

I have a bylaw committee meeting today. The committee has been working hard bringing the wishes of the community into the bylaws. Among them is giving the youth rep a voting position on the board and making sure the bylaws don't take away rights of community members. This is widely anticipated by the community, all except for one board member (a fan left over from the lawyers we got rid of). She has sent emails and is trying to undo much of what we have accomplished. Her threats seem real if you are new to this arena. The CC'ed emails appear to give credit unless you notice it is only the ones she has sent and never any replies.

She can't make the meeting :0)

She is relying on her emails and a friend.

I have truth...and cookies.

Manipulation cookie recipe
A.K.A. Cocoa Oatmeal Cookies.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar(or 1 cup white and 2 tbsp molasses)
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Beat butter or margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in oats and raisins, mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are almost set. Do not over-bake. After-bake 1 minute on cookies sheets, then move to wire racks. Cool -

-My Tupperware deli meat storage thing holds 2 dozen cookies. As for deli meats, well Things that are hidden in a fridge are never good.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011


Today was my sisters birthday. We had a good time. The kids went kayaking and did really well. It was great to watch them.

My sister's request fe her bday gift is for us all to go spend the day at the Picton Sandbanks. It is the best beach for hours and I haven't been since I was a teen. Time to change that :)

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