So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90.12

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

How Much Does Homeschooling Cost? Part 1

We have been homeschooling for about 4 years now and have moved beyond the "curriculum-in-a-box" method and have been enjoying the "build-your-own"  approach.  I never knew I would ever get to this point.  When we started "formal" homeschool, I relied on packaged curriculum because I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to teach everything my daughter should be learning.  Packaged curriculum is a wonderful blessing and we are fortunate there are so many great options available today.  Having said that, I also have to say that it can be very expensive (especially if you are schooling a number of children).  Some packages can be hundreds of dollars per child per year and often the materials are not reusable.

So, what should you do if curriculum is outside of your budget?  Should you not homeschool?  Certainly not!   I've thought of a few options but, first, let me say that you do not need a complete prepackaged kit in order to homeschool.  You can mix and match curriculum as well as piece materials together to create your own.  First of all, lets look at some options for curriculum:

1. Get curriculum from your school board/school district - Now, this is obviously not an option for folks who dislike the public school curriculum (or find it lacking in some way), but I'm going to throw it out there.  I could see this being a good choice for, say, mathematics, especially if you aren't much of a math person.  Here in PEI, you can get textbooks and other resources from the Provincial Learning Materials Distribution Centre.  They require that you pay a $50 deposit per child per year (I'm fairly certain it is refunded when the materials are returned).

2.  Buy second-hand/used curriculum - Keep an eye out at thrift stores and yard sales for homeschool and academic materials.  This may be difficult if you're not in an area where homeschooling is popular.  However, if you can find a local homeschool support group, often families are selling (or giving away) items that they no longer need or want.

3. Borrow curriculum - If you know some families that homeschool (perhaps through your church), ask if they have some materials that you could borrow to try out before you commit to buying anything.

4. Free curriculum available online - Free, of course, providing you have access to a computer, the Internet, and possibly a printer.  Many public libraries have computers with Internet access available for their patrons to use.  Some examples of curricula available online are:
Ambleside Online
An Old-Fashioned Education
Mathematics Enhancement Programme

Of course, there are tons and tons of free resources (books, worksheets, lapbook materials, copywork pages, etc) available online on many different sites.  Homeschool Freebie of the Day is a great site for free materials.  DLTK is a good site for all sorts of education, craft, and colouring stuff for younger children.  Honestly, there are too many places to list (you should see my bookmarks in my "Education" folder!).  Do a Google search for "free homeschool curriculum" to get you started.

As, you can see, there are many options for low cost curriculum and home education does not have to be a costly venture.  I hope this has been helpful to you and thank you for visiting!

Linking to the Hip Homeschool Hop today

This post is also linked to Look What We Did!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A Quick Post

Here are a few cards I made for Thanksgiving, which was a couple of weeks ago for us Canadians.  I love Thanksgiving and fall colours!

Everything I used was from my stash and some items were quite old (like the patterned paper).  The newest item I used was the Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint on the chipboard pieces.  I have wanted to try some of the Tim Holtz products for a long time, but they are pricey!  I got these two pots of paint on clearance at Michaels for $2.99 each (regular price $7.99).  There is a brush attached inside the lid of the jar which make these really easy to use.  The paint adds a really cool, antique looking texture to your project.

Thanks for visiting today!

Supply List
Cardstock - Recollections
Patterned Paper - ? (toile), ? (plaid)
Tags - dollar store
Mini Telegram Forms - wish I remembered!
Stickers - dollar store
Twill ribbon - dollar store
Embossed paper leaves - Michaels $1.50 bin
Chipboard shapes - Paper Salon
Paint - Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint in Vintage Photo and Picket Fence

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Adventures With Meat

I hope you get a chuckle out of this ...

Last week, my in-laws gave us a bag of game meat (deer and moose) that a hunter from Nova Scotia had given them.  My mother-in-law has no experience cooking this type of meat (even though she is a fantastic almost-gourmet cook, they are not common foods here on PEI as we don't have any wildlife of that sort).  I was excited to have this to cook because I love deer meat especially and it has been years since I've had any.

So, I cooked up 2 huge steaks last Saturday night.  I think they were moose as the meat was really dark, almost black.  It was delicious, but as we were eating it, my husband commented, "I'll bet this is what horse tastes like."  YUCK!

Monday was Thanksgiving here in Canada.  We were invited over to my husband's parents for dinner - lunch for those "from away" :)  When we arrived, we found my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, and one of the other guests huddled around the beautifully roasted farm chicken.  My mother-in-law turned to me and said, "Have you ever seen anything like that before?"  I looked where she was pointing.  There were two lime green patches in the breast meat!  We ended up throwing out the chicken, the dressing, and the gravy.  We had a vegetarian Thanksgiving this year.  (By the way, I found out later that this is what was probably wrong with the chicken - deep pectoral myopathy)

Last night, I cooked a roast (either deer or moose again).  Laddie walks into the kitchen, smells the meat cooking, and says, "What kind of animal is in the oven tonight?"

Eating has become an adventure...

Monday, 1 October 2012

Getting A Start On Christmas Cards

Like I've said before, we're not big on "celebrating" Christmas (see this post), but we do send out cards every year.  It is a great time to touch base with people and let them know we are thinking of them.

The last few years, I have made our cards ... or bought cards and  personalised them ;)  When I saw the October challenge over at Christmas Cards All Year 'Round, my creative juices started to flow.  The challenge is to:

"Create a card using a non traditional image with traditional Christmas colours 


Create a card with a traditional Christmas image using non traditional colours."

It just so happened that I picked up a couple of sheets of GORGEOUS paper on clearance at Michaels last week.  I love aqua and red together.  They aren't "traditional" Christmas colours, but they seem to be trendy the last few years.

I made a 6 x 6 inch card out of Medium Awesome Aqua cardstock, and then layered the patterened papers in gradually smaller squares (5x5, 4x4, 3x3, & 2x3).  I then stamped the 2x3 inch piece with a snowflake clear stamp and the "Warm Wishes" sentiment.  I gave the snowflake image a few dots of iridescent glitter glue for a little glitz.  Very quick and easy card but I really like how it turned out.  I think I'll make a few more and I may have to go searching for some more of that paper...

Thanks for dropping by today!  My supply list can be found below this post.

Card Details

Cardstock - WorldWin Papers Colormates cardstock (12x12) in Medium Awesome Aqua
Patterned paper - My Mind's Eye "Brocade" (double-sided, 12x12) 
My Mind's Eye Bohemia Bliss "Love of My Life" Tiny Dots/Blue (double-sided, 12x12)
Clear stamps - Snowflake medallion and "Warm Wishes" (Michaels $1.50 bin)
Ink - red Color Arts pigment ink pad (Great Canadian Dollar Store)
Glitter glue - studio g (Michaels $1.50 bin)