Sunday, May 17, 2015

Garden Update May 16 ~ Photos & Video

We’ve been crazy busy this week!  I’m almost done getting the seedlings started in our second greenhouse.  I’ll do a video soon showing our new one.  We still have a few more cucumber and squash plants to start.  Tonight we finished planting the yellow bush beans.  I can’t wait for them to be ready!  Yellow beans are a family favourite here.

Here is a video peak inside our greenhouse this weekend.


ComfreyComfrey is really growing! IMG_5114Peony GarlicGarlic Plum tree flowers.Our plum tree is flowering. IMG_5133The apple trees are flowering  to! IMG_5134 IMG_5135 IMG_5136This little fly was hanging out on the blossoms.  I guess he is happy for spring to. LOL IMG_5137 Lilly of the ValleyThe Lilly of the Valley is flowering nicely. Rhubarb RhubarbRhubarb is ready to start picking! Gooseberry bush


The gooseberries are starting to form tiny fruit.

How is your garden doing?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Early Spring In The Gardens & Video

We’ve been so busy working out side and dealing with spring colds that I’m way behind in posting photos of the gardens!  These are some photos taken in the greenhouse and yard last Thursday.   I’ve also shared a short video of what is started inside the greenhouse.


red sails lettuceRed sails lettuce  is coming up nicely.  You can see it’s starting to get the red spots!  I’ve been filling in extra  sections in our plant trays with lettuce when I run out of the main variety I’m using in that tray.

red sails lettuce tomato seedling IMG_4991 IMG_4992Some of the tomatoes finally starting to come up!  They are a little later than normal because we had some very cold weather.

pansy flowersPretty pansy flower pot from hubby. collard greens seedlingCollard greens coming up. herb seedlings, parsley, catnip and thyme.Parsley, catnip and thyme. IMG_4996Cauliflower and broccoli. pepper seedlingPeppers IMG_4999  rhubarbRhubarb is doing well this year.  It wont be long before we can make pie! IMG_5002 IMG_5003These show some of our expanded garden areas (the darker wood chips).  The 3 bushes are my gooseberries. IMG_5011One of our many comfrey plants. It wont be long until they are flowering.  They will be covered in bees, butterflies and hummingbirds!asparagusThe asparagus is up and we’ve had our first harvest already.  Yummy!  IMG_5023We have 3 rows of sweet corn planted at the side of this garden. IMG_5024The garden behind the barn we planted 5 rows of red popcorn.  We are going to try a 3sisters garden back hear this time. IMG_5025Lilacs are starting to leaf out and are covered in flower buds. garlic


The garlic is doing great!  This is the first year we have grown hard neck garlic and it’s doing so much better then the soft neck types we have grown in past years.

What’s growing in your garden?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course ~ Review


75600856-432e-4555-b3b4-8f4b2a3a0741_zpsb9t1zefmAre you thinking about homeschooling but find it overwhelming?  Perhaps you've been homeschooling for a while but are struggling with burnout.  If so then Successful Homescooling Made Easy Course by Stephanie Walmsley from Successful Homeschooling Made Easy might be a great fit for you.


About Successful Homeschooling Made Easy

Stephanie Walmsley is a Christian mother of 5 children and a veteran homeschooler.  Stephanie started homeschooling her children in 1985 long before there was the huge wealth of homeschooling support resources that there is now.
Over time as the homeschooling movement grew Stephanie began to see how stressed out homeschoolers were becoming with information overload.  They were spending large amounts of money on curriculum and classes that might have been a good fit for friends but did not suit their family.
To help homeschoolers with this problem Stephanie created the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course.

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy is a 26 week online course that walks you step by step through setting up a homeschool plan for your family.

After joining each week you receive a lesson in PDF format.  You can print these off or read them on your computer.  The very first lesson gets you started homeschooling in a very manageable way.  This is the foundation of setting up a "fireproof" plan for your homeschool with a realistic 8 week schedule.

Lesson 1 starts off by asking you 7 important questions a bout your family's lifestyle and values.  These are things like what time your family gets up, what chores need to be done when and what time of day does your family do better at academics etc.
One suggestion in this lesson was starting a family literacy hour.  In this for 1 hour a day your family would gather together for activities in writing and reading.  The next thing she guides you to add to your schedule is a numeracy hour, this is covered in more detail in lesson 2.
The idea to starting off with just these to subjects is so that you can feel like you are being productive each day but not overburdened.  Each day your children are getting practice in LA and math, extras will slowly be added in.

This program covers schedules, lesson plans, organization and choosing curriculum in a practical and non overwhelming way.


How Did I Use It?

I've been homeschooling for 8 years now, since our oldest started kindergarten.  So I was looking at the lessons with a perspective of if this would have been a help to me when I first started homeschooling.  Also if this would be something that I would recommend to a new homeschooling friend.  I also hoped that I would pick up some helpful tips for myself!

I've had the chance to work through the first 9 weeks of Successful Homeschooling Made Easy so far.  I have to say that I find Stephanie's writing style very warm, friendly and easy to read.  She encourages you that you really CAN homeschool your child and enjoy doing it. 

From the first lesson Stephanie has your start working on what you believe is important to your homeschool and family.  She provides 2 printable schedules you can use to get started.  One setup for morning people and others for us later risers.  You start by putting together a realistic schedule for your family and a literacy hour where you gather with your children for reading and writing.  Now if you have young children don't be afraid of the hour for this!  Stephanie doesn't expect you to have young children sit at the table and write for an hour!  For younger children the expectations are very realistic let them draw a picture and then YOU can write the captions.  If they are old enough to copy then you can use this as copy work.  Doing this for a short time then use the remaining time to read stories together.

The next lesson focuses on math, Stephanie really helps you to not be afraid of teaching math.  She recommends some good resources for new homeschoolers and younger children for playing with math.

Other subjects are slowly added in one at a time as you work through the course.  The value in building your schedule slowly is it gives your family time to adapt and form positive habits.  Jumping into a full schedule of subjects can be very overwhelming when you are new to homeschooling.

Because of the homeschooling styles I'm drawn to many of the ideas I've seen covered so far we have done in the past.  As life has gotten very busy for me we have dropped some of these group activities for more online independent work.  We really do miss our group subjects and Successful Homeschooling Made Easy has given me the motivation to start slowly working more group learning back into our schedule.

I think this would be a great program for a new homeschooling mom to work through.  I could also see it being helpful for a mother who's been homeschooling for a while and is entering a new season in life.  Perhaps you want to make some big changes in your schedule and learning formats.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what is in upcoming lessons.

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To read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew on the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course please click the banner below!



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Photos From Our First Spring Nature Hike

Wow  this week the weather has been so HOT!  I think we skipped spring and went right to July. LOL  Last weekend we were all feeling better and decided to head to a park for the first hike of the season.  We had a great time and the kids found so many interesting things to look at along the way.


IMG_4899Hubby and some of the kids. IMG_4891 IMG_4892 IMG_4893 IMG_4895Some beautiful swans!

IMG_4979 IMG_4902 IMG_4903 IMG_4908 IMG_4909 IMG_4915 IMG_4918 IMG_4931I don’t know what kind of tree/shrub this is. IMG_4933My little tree huggers. LOL! IMG_4934 IMG_4935 IMG_4936 IMG_4940A pretty little waterfall. IMG_4944Some very soft and pretty moss. Marsh marigolds Marsh marigoldsThe marsh marigolds are flowering! IMG_4964 IMG_4972 IMG_4973 IMG_4974Something has really been chewing on this tree.  Maybe a porcupine… IMG_4976 Some larger water falls.

We had a great time the bugs weren’t TO bad out yet.  The next day the black flies were out in full force so I’m glad we went when we had the chance!

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