***Monkey Academy***

Archive for the ‘Homeschooling’ Category

We recently visited Kingston and there isn’t much to do up there but I found the Miller Museum at Queens University. We had hoped to go to Ottawa to visit the Museum of Nature but it happened to be close at the time of our trip.

You know you’re a homeschooler when you base your trip on where museums are located.

We were planning to head out to the east coast when our car broke down, well my mother’s, and spent an entire day trying to get back home. I bet you didn’t know you could get CAA to tow your car 3 times. Thank goodness we had some helpful family members pick us up while VS stayed with the vehicle. We have the worst car luck ever.
The kids had fun in Kingston since there was a cat at the house. M1 thinks that was the whole trip, as long as they had fun I guess, that’s fine with me.


So here we are in our second month of homeschooling and I have just revamped our reading schedule. It looks a little more intensive, however, M1 seems interested so far in the new readings which is good. I was reading a lot on Charlotte mason and thought “what am I waiting for?” so I decided I might as well start now. The curriculum is outlined at Ambleside online so I just adapted it to suite us. There’s lots of read alouds and we’ve just finished peter pan. Although, since we have the Disney book, M1 kept asking why the pictures from the novel didn’t look the same as the Disney book and why other things were different. FYI Tinker bell is actually evil, at least that’s what we think. I think that we’ll have to read the novels first before he sees any movies.

A day in the life of our homeschool…
I am a full-time grad student who homeschools her 7 yr old son (M1) for over a year now. We love it; he told me he wants to be homeschooled forever. So as long as I’m able to I’ll do it. I also have an 18 mth old (M2) running around, wishing to be carried, or sitting in the same chair while his older brother is learning.

I’ve really enjoyed Charlotte Mason’s teaching philosophies and hope to incorporate some picture and music study once things have progressed.
I had planned on hs-ing through the summer, just continuing with math, however, that didn’t pan out, and we’re just relaxing.

This is the plan for September:

M-Th: Phonics – Plaid phonics/Spelling – Natural Speller
M-Th: Grammar: First language lessons for the WTM 1&2
M/W: Narration includes vocabulary, copywork, and memory work and bits and pieces of Writing with Ease
M-F: Math-Saxon 3 (previously used MUS beta…too many tears)
T/Th: Science-Lapbooks: starting with dinosaurs
F: French

Geography (Canada) will get done later once Science is complete (Prehistoric mammals/mammals/human body) – I spend about 6 weeks on each topic. We’ll be trying lapbooks this year, they look fun. I like to focus on one topic as oppose to having several ongoing, M1 just concentrates better that way, and it’s easier for me to teach.
I’m still working on my book/poem list for the upcoming year, there’s so much I want to get through. My school day runs from about 9:30 to 11:30am, I have one active homeschooler who I don’t think could go more than that right now without 10 breaks in between.
I’m not very good at sticking to schedules, sometimes M1 won’t feel like writing so we’ll do everything orally. I want to be more flexible with him this year and hopefully develop a greater love of learning.
Once I get home from school, I have a den full of hungry monkeys so once they’re fed I try to get outside with them…good relaxation time, while the weather is nice.

So how do I homeschool with a toddler around?

Well since I’m at school during his naptime, we have to do school with the little monkey climbing all over the place. We have special “school time” toys and books that are only allowed out during school hours. He also likes to sit in his own chair scribbling since he thinks that he’s doing school work as well. That buys me about 15 min for some one on one math lesson time before he starts chewing on the pencil crayon. Since my M2 is food crazy, a snack will also hold him over. And I’m sad to say that the movie Happy Feet is the only thing that calms him down. We watch it daily, just the singing and dancing scenes. M1 can recite all the lines from memory since it’s on all the time. M2 also enjoys listening in on our story time, which is great.


The best resources that I’ve found are on my HS resources page, all free, which is my favorite kind of resource. I try to find things online first, my best friend is google book preview. Then I’ll look for used items through my local hs support group, then I head on over to ebay, and then if I can’t find it and I MUST have it, I’ll order it online. I’ve allocated $200 for this school year for curriculum; we’ll see how that goes.

So last year we spent it on insects and dinosaurs so I’m hoping to move on from that although M1 is still very much into dinosaurs, it’s just time to learn something new. He’s been reading about them all through the summer. He wants to be a paleontologist. He’s also asked me how he should try to get a job at a museum, I thought that was cute. There were a lot of issues with math last year so hopefully a change in curriculum will help. I find I have to hold myself back and allow him to have time to figure things out and not freak out if we’re off schedule with our lessons.
So this is the plan anyways, as for how this will work, I’m not sure. Just have to take it one day at a time. If all I can complete is one math lesson I know he will have learned more in that one lesson than he would have with an entire day of public school.

Dino Diarama
Dino Diarama

Salt Dough Fossils
Salt dough fossils
We are currently building a Museum will have a pic up as soon as we are finished.


Currently working on my homeschooling resources list, it meant to help make things easier for me just in case my computer crashes and I lose my favorites list. Just thought it might also be helpful to others. Just find out I won’t be completing my thesis proposal till September so it give me more time to work up all my data, yeah! The end is in sight, must start writing. Where do you start when writing a 200 page thesis, sounds so daunting. Great play date today. I had organized a play date with 3 other homeschooling mothers and it had been rained out the last 2 weeks so finally able to meet up today. Kids had a great time at the splash park although M2 did not touch the water. He spent his time chasing birds, at least he had fun.

It’s soon to be August, I’m working on my proposal, which will hopefully be done in 2/3 weeks. Just hoping to get it out of the way. With all the experiments planned I’m hoping to be done by Feb/March. Time has passed by so fast. Then its on to the real world. Ideally, I’d love to stay home, however, financially that won’t be possible. Definitely enjoying the homeschooling life. Just wish I was home more.