Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trying out an iPad

My sister is visiting and I'm trying out her iPad. I like it!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Teacher Tipster

Came across a really neat site today - Great ideas explained with videos and sometimes including printables.  Here are some of my favourite:

Parts of a Story Song Video - Parts of a Story Poster

The Clock Song -  Clock Song Poster - Set The Clock Sheet (to be kept in a sheet protector so that it can be written on and whipped clean to use again and again

Lots  more videos with fun tips on the TeacherTipster Videos page and lots of great fun printables on the TeacherTipster Printables pages

As the TeacherTipster is a grade one teacher and Anna is presently working on grade one goals I intend to make good use of this site.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Grey Hair and Hair Colouring

Why do people stress so much about the colour of their hair?

I am getting more and more grey hair, but I don't care.  I never did care, but I've cared even less since the day, many moons ago, when my first girl told me that she liked the sparkling hairs that I had.  I didn't have many at all at that point but I loved how she described them.  Then I found this verse Proverbs 16:31 "The silver-haired head is a crown of glory".  I intend to wear my crown proudly when I finally receive it.  :)

I have never died my hair, and I don't think I ever will.  My hair is quite dark, but I see more and more light hairs showing up all the time.  It does not cause me one bit of stress.  My hair always has been and always will be it's natural colour. I have never understood why anyone would want to change their hair colour.  I've always been of the opinion that God knows best in that department and I'm not going to mess with it.

So, while others may sit around and lament about the grey hairs showing up, or their roots showing through, I rest easy and take things as they come.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

My Baby is Reading!

She turns 6 this month and she's already a pretty confident reader.  I love it!  I've really enjoyed watching her learn.  I feel blessed that I have the privilege of homeschooling her and watching her learn.

How did she learn?  We didn't follow a structured reading program but instead we took advantage of all kinds of different things that came our way.

We read together lots. And lots.  We made regular visits to the library to stock up on books.  We read all different kinds of books. Sometimes I'd point out the words as I read.  If there were repeated phrases I would encourage Anna to help me "read" those repeated phrases.  Sometimes we'd read picture books with just a word or two a page and Anna would practice "reading" them after we'd read them together a few times.  I was always quick to help her if she forgot a word.

Anna loved playing on  I let her wonder around the site as much as she wanted and she became more aware of the sounds of letters.  We printed off some of the booklets for some of the stories on the site and she practiced "reading" them after we had read them with the computer and on our own lots.

Gradually I watched her grow more interested in words and she would point out words that she recognized.  I decided it was time for her to try reading a Young Readers Bible that we had in our shelves.  Each story was 6 pages long with a few sentences on each page.  I'd read her a story one day and the next day she'd read that story to me, with me quickly supplying any word that she didn't immediately recognize.  I had to help her less and less as we worked our way through her special Bible.  She actually finished reading the whole book this month and she is so proud of herself.

All the while we continued to read lots of different books together.  As I noticed that she was gaining more confidence and recognizing more words I started making sure that some of the library books we brought home were ones that she could easily learn to read on her own - some picture books with a few words per page, some easy readers, etc.  I always read a book to her at least once before I asked her to read it to me and I was always quick to supply any word that she didn't immediately recognize.  She didn't realize it but she was reading more and more on her own and needing less and less help.

When she was really comfortable with a book I encouraged her to read to her dad and her older siblings, to show how good she could read and also to share some of the fun books we were reading.  This helped build her confidence even more.

She finally realized she could read one weekend when we had friends over and she came running out of the room exclaiming to us that she had just read a book to her friend in her room.  Her friend, who's a couple of years younger than her, was pretty proud of her too.  It was so fun to see her exclaim that she could read!  She'd been reading for quite a while, but she didn't realize it until then.

I've been keeping a list of library books that she's learned to read on her own and she now has over 20 books on that list.

What a joy to have been able to witness this accomplishment in her life!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

How Do Homeschool Graduates Fare?

That's what's been on my mind lately. Part of the reason it's been on my mind so much is because I've been reading glowing reports from homeschooling friends on Facebook.  Homeschooling friends from right here in my province.

One friend just attended a convocation service where her child received a Master's of History degree.  Another friend just attended her child's White Coat ceremony, celebrating acceptance into med school.  Another friend reported that her child received a $1000 scholarship from his college.

These children were all homeschooled right here in my province.

Just like public school graduates, not all the homeschooled graduates traveled the academic route.  One homeschooled graduate has traveled the world on modeling contracts.  Another has traveled the world on music related contracts.  Another is a professional fire fighter.

All these children are from different homeschooling families in my province.

I'd say homeschool graduates, for the most part, fare just fine.

Of course, like public school graduates, there are those that have their struggles.  After all, homeschooled graduates are humans, just like public school graduates.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Resuscitation Attempt

It's been a while...a long, long while.  I was starting to wonder if there would ever be life here again, but, inspired by Alex's NaBloPoMo post I am making a resuscitation attempt, I guess we'll see how successful it is.

While I haven't posted in a while, I have written many posts in my head, most of them offering reasons, excuses, contributing factors for the lack of posts.  There are many factors.  We finally moved in August.  We had been anticipating the move since November and it finally happened in August.  I felt like my life was kind of in limbo from November to August waiting for the move to happen.  August was taken up with packing and moving finally.  In the process, my laptop crashed again and this time my attempts at reviving it failed.  I was so busy with moving that I didn't really have much time to think about it but when we finally settled in our new place I started to miss my laptop.  I finally got a desk top set up but I don't like the set up.  It's very uncomfortable so I spend as little time as possible at it.  Those are some of the reasons for my absence.

I really started thinking about blogging, and writing in general, again as November approached.  Like Alex, I have participated in NaNoWriMo in the past and I was hoping to do it again this year but the horrible set up for computing was keeping me from committing.  Still, I couldn't quite give up on the thought.  When I read Alex's post I decided to follow her example and skip NaNoWriMo this year but to give the NaBloPoMo a try, sort of.  I've only quickly perused the NaBloPoMo site and from what I can gather they give you a daily prompt to post about.  I doubt I will be using the daily prompts, though I may from time to time.  My goal is simply to try to get back into the habit of blogging by posting every day during the month.

So, let's see what happens with this resuscitation attempt.  Let's see if I can bring life back into this blog.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Secret of the Old Swing Bridge by Ian Wilson

Even though I don't presently have any 8-12 year olds in my house, I jumped at the chance to receive a copy of The Secret of the Old Swing Bridge by Ian Wilson to review. A drawing factor for me was the fact that the author is Canadian and I love to promote Canadian authors. I also have an almost 6 year old and have shared books with her before that were geared towards older children.

When I got the book I decided it was probably a bit too much for my almost 6 year old right now but I will probably share it with her in a few years time.  I decided to read through it myself at this time, but I have to admit that I struggled with getting through the book.  I found it a little tedious at times.  I don't know if an 8-12 year old would have the same reaction or not.

There were some parts of the book that I did really like - like the fact that one of the main characters is from a homeschooling family.  That was a nice surprise.  I don't remember being told that before I read the book but it definitely made me more interested in the book.  There are few books that I have found that have a homeschool connection.

I also loved that the boys and their dad developed a scale model of part of the railway system.  We have a friend that is into model trains and I thought that he might be interested in sharing this book with his boy when he gets a little older.  I think it's a great way to encourage learning and the development of father-child relationships.

Along with having a Canadian author, this book also has a Canadian setting.  It is set in Ontario and is sprinkled with bits of Canadian history, especially surrounding the CNR.  I don't really know much about the CNR so I'm not sure how much of the details in the book are true and how much are fictional, but it has sparked my interest to learn more about it and to include it in my child's learning in the future.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Homeschool Horizons - Canada's Homeschooling Magazine

Have you subscribed to Homeschool Horizons - Canada's Homeschooling Magazine yet?  The premier edition goes to print in the next day or so and if you haven't subscribed you will miss it because they are only printing to subscriptions.  Hurry and subscribe!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Beautiful Sunset on the Bay

...on the way home to my son's house...
...and my beautiful daughter taking a picture...
...of the beautiful sunset...

Friday, June 03, 2011

More Fun at Margaret Bowater Park

...a view from the other side of the park... the sun goes down for the day... youngest and oldest play tag around one of the big trees...

...Such a beautiful park...

Thursday, June 02, 2011

View of part of the City of Corner Brook...

...where we've been spending some time while visiting...
...such a beautiful spot...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The View Outside My Son's Front Door

A Plan for June - Photos of my province

I am a proud Newfoundlander.  I love my province.  I think every part of it is beautiful.  I have decided that during the month of June I am going to try to post at least a picture a week, and quite likely more than that.  Who knows, I may even end up posting a picture a day.  I will be doing some traveling to different parts of the province during the month of June so it seems like the perfect time for this plan.  My posts may not be limited just to pictures, though.  I may post other posts during the month, too, so that means there may be more than one post some days.  Then again, I may post my other musings on my other blog, JacquelineJabbers.  I guess we'll see what happens.  Either way my main goal here for the month of June is to be sure to share pictures of my beautiful province.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Goal Evalutation and Goal Setting

Well, I missed posting a few days this month.  Totally forgot about posting yesterday!  I thought about it when I went to bed but it was already after midnight so I didn't bother to try to post.  That's really the only day that I didn't post willingly.  The other day or two that I missed was because of the blogger problems.  Soo...while I didn't actually accomplish my goal of posting every day in May, I technically only missed posting one day when I could have posted, so that's not bad.

Time to think of a new goal.  I like having something to work towards.  I've been doing great posting daily to my 365 Days of Children's Books blog for 5 months now!  I'm pleased about that but I'd really like to do more with this blog.  I'm not satisfied with the nothing posts that I've been doing this month.  I need to work on having posts that are actually worth posting.  That may mean posting less so that I spend more time preparing the posts.  Hmmmmm...going to have to give that some thought.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Budgets are Biblical

Proverbs 10:4 "He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich."

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It doesn't take long to become spoiled

Last month I had over 2000 visits at my 365 Days of Children's Books Blog.  The last couple of months before that I was averaging about 1000 visits a month and was thrilled with that.  I was shocked to have 1000 visits before last month was even half way through and hoped, but doubted, that I would hit 2000 and was thrilled when I did.  This month I was once again excited to hit 1000 visits around the half way point and was pretty confident that I would hit 2000 visits again, but traffic has been slow the last week or so and I'm starting to think I might not hit the 2000 mark.

Funny how I was so happy and content with 1000 visits a month until I hit 2000 visits a month, and now I am disappointed at the thought of not getting 2000 visits this month.

It sure doesn't take long to become spoiled.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Good reading material

I got my hands on Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book. Really enjoying it!  Learning lots.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My girl is growing up

Last year she needed me to help her get into the swing at the playground and she needed me to push her. Today she didn't need me at all. It was a bittersweet moment.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Home selling hassles

An appraiser is coming to appraise the house tomorrow. I plan to not be around. I hate this process.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fun New Blog by a Newfoundland Author

Tina Chaulk has started a new blog, Never Eat a Dinosaur, to share ridiculous things she says to her children, and she invites the rest of us to join in the fun by sharing our own "Never Eat a Dinosaur" moments.  During the month of May she is running a Never Eat a Dinosaur contest in which the winner will receive a $50 electronic gift certificate.  The winner will be randomly selected using and there are lots of simple ways to get your name in for the draw.  Be sure to check out the contest page for details.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Newfoundlander on Top Chef Canada

I am so proud of Todd, the Newfoundlander on Top Chef Canada. He is really doing us proud. Way to go Todd!

That's what's on my mind at the moment.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Living with poor Internet coverage

I don't know how people live with poor Internet coverage. Well, actually it's poor cell coverage more so than poor Internet coverage. I've been at my eldest son's house the last two nights and he doesn't have an Internet connection here. There is also very poor cell service. It comes and goes and drives me crazy! I can't wait to get back to good coverage.

That's what's on my mind today.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just get it done!

I just spent quite some time starting a post and then erasing it and then starting again and erasing again, and so on. That's bad enough when I'm wring from my laptop but even worse when I'm working from my phone. Sure wish I'd done this earlier today when I could have used my laptop. But I didn't and now I'm stuck having to use the phone and having the dual frustration of using the phone and not knowing what to write. I give up! This is as good as it gets today. I think my brain took the day off

That's what's on mind at the moment.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Most Important Question

Have you heard that the Rapture is happening tomorrow, May 21, 2011?  That is the claim of a group that runs the WeCanKnow Website.

I think they are right - partly.  The rapture may happen tomorrow. Then again, it may not. I do believe that it will happen some day, that is the part I think they are right about.

I think the most important question for us is not "When will the Rapture happen?" but "What is my personal relationship with God?"

That's what's on my mind today.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It is important to read carefully

Second post for today but I had to share a post I just posted on my wordpress blog - Skimming Google Reader Causes Confusion.

Progression, not Grade Level

I'm still enjoying the Schoolhouse Expo.  Great sessions today so far with Kim Kautzer and Molly Green.  Kim  talked to us about the importance of helping our children learn to write well and gave us lots of great tips and information.  Molly talked about the importance of teaching our children to be fiscally fit.  I got some great tips from both presenters.

My favorite thought so far today has been one from Kim Kautzer when she said that we ought not to concern ourselves with what grade level our child is working at but we ought to be concerned with whether they are showing progression in their learning.  Great advice!

That's what's on my mind at the moment.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Yikes! I almost forgot!

I was just getting ready to head to bed and I suddenly realized I haven't posted here today.  This will definitely not be anything interesting or well put together.  Simply a hurried post so that I will actually have a post for today.  Isn't that horrible?  Is it really worth it?  I'm not so sure.

I don't think I could have picked a crazier, more busy month to decide to post here every day.  What with renovations for the upcoming move, preparations for the upcoming homeschool conference, trying to take in as much as I can of the Schoolhouse Expo on line conference, and then of course there's the normal everyday stuff of being a housewife and homeschooling mom.  Really makes for some crazy days.  Not sure why I decided to pick this month to try to get into the regular routine of posting here every day.

That's what on my mind at the moment.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Enjoying the Schoolhouse Expo!

Though it makes for some crazy days, I really enjoy the Schoolhouse Expo.  My fingers have been flying taking notes and at one point today my little one asked me if I was talking to my friend because I was audibly agreeing with the speaker about some point.  Little One is no stranger to talking to people on Skype so she thought I was having a two way conversation.  She can't wrap her head around the fact that I can hear them but they can't hear me.  Thankfully she was pretty good today about keeping herself occupied so I could take in most of the sessions.

There were so many great sessions today!  I really enjoyed Susan Wise Bauer's session on teaching writing.  Though the session was geared towards teaching writing at the highschool level, I still gleaned things from it to use with little one now.  Got lots of great ideas to use with Little One in Marie Rippel's session on teaching spelling and also in Carol Barnier's session on learning styles.  Such great speakers!

My brain is rather addled trying to take it all in and I'm looking forward to going over the notes and handouts later to get more from them.  I'd love to write more about it but sleep is calling and tomorrow's another busy day.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What a day!

Been dealing with a little one that is not feeling number one and I've been trying to take in as much of the Schoolhouse Expo as I could so I'm feeling a little worn and torn at the moment.  I'm off to cuddle with my little one for a bit.  I might not make it back so I have to get my post for today in while I can.

That's what's on my mind at the moment..

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tomorrow is the first day...

...of the Schoolhouse Expo!  I can't wait!  I sure hope I can get DH to keep little one occupied so that I can give the sessions my full attention.

I was checking out the door prizes for the event the other day.  What a lot of stuff!  I was lucky enough to win three prizes last year!  It was pretty exciting.  I love how they do the door prizes.  At the beginning of each session they post a link to a form for you to fill in with your name and email address.  Once you submit it your name goes in for the draw for the door prize for the session.  Also, after sessions sometimes they do special prize quizzes.  They ask questions about the session or the speaker or about Schoolhouse products and you have to answer in the chat box of the session.  Before the give the question they say that the "nth" person to answer will win and if you're lucky enough to answer at the right time you win.  I actually won one of my prizes that way last year.  It's so much fun!

One of the door prizes that I'm particularly interested in this year is the Visual World Geography.  I've never heard of it before and it sounds very interesting to me.  There's other prizes that caught my eye too and I will be spending more time checking them out when I get the chance.

If you were smart and got your ticket to the expo already, you are one of the lucky ones because the live sessions are sold out!  If you have your ticket, don't forget to sign on for the sessions so that you will get a chance for the prizes.

If you missed the chance to get a ticket to the live expo you are not totally out of luck.  You can still purchase the Expo to Go.  Unfortunately that doesn't give you a chance at the door prizes but you do get some free gifts with your purchase. It's also still worth your time to check out the door prizes.  You just might find something that interests you and might be something you'd like to purchase for your homeschool.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Missing posts and my resulting adventures.

My attempt to post here every day in the month of May was thwarted by bloggers unexpected troubles.  Late in the evening on the 12th I tried to log in to do my daily post but was greeted with a page that said there was trouble in blogger land.  I wish I had thought about taking a screen shot of the page, but I didn't.  I was bummed.  I kept trying to get in to no avail.  Even the next day I couldn't get in.

Panic struck! What was I going to do?  I needed to blog!

I needed to blog not only for this blog but also for my 365 Days of Children's Books Blog.  I've been making daily posts there since the first of the new year.  Luckily I had managed to post my daily post there on the 12th before bloggers trouble started so I was safe for that day but I couldn't miss a day.  I had to do something!

Then I had an idea.  I headed over to wordpress.  I knew that I had started a wordpress blog a long time ago but I couldn't remember the name of it or how to get into it so I decided to just sign up for a new blog.  My main concern was my Children's books blog so I set that one up first.  I got a blog set up there with the same name no problem.  Then I figured I may as well set one up for my jabberings too.  That's when I found out what my old wordpress blog was called.

I tried to set up a blog at wordpress with the same title as this blog only to find that I had already done that many years ago, before I started this one actually.  That one, however, I had set up specifically to share about my journeys through the Bible.  I only lasted there a couple of month.  I stopped posting there when I started this blog.  I wish I could get back into that blog but I can't yet discovered how to access it.  I haven't entirely given up hope though.  If I do manage to access it I may revive it in some form.  We'll see.

Because I couldn't get a blog with the address I wanted and I really wanted to make a post so as not to miss a day and blogger was still down, so I set up a new blog with a slightly different name - Jacqueline Jabbers.  That's where you'll find my post for the 13th.

I thought about moving that post over here, and I may still do that yet, haven't quite decided, but I'm leaving it there for now.  Nothing exciting about the post it just talks about my need to blog and why I had to start a new blog over there.

I had thought about double posting to the blog there and here, and doing the same with my children's books blog in both places, but I wasn't sure if that would be a good thing to do or not so I asked some people that I thought would know.  They advised me against it so I'm going to follow there advice and not double post.  Now, however, I have to decide what I'm going to do with the blogs over a wordpress.  I do want to learn how to use wordpress, partly because I just love learning new things and partly so that when someone asks me about it I can help them.  I've had people ask me about wordpress before but I couldn't help.  I'd like to be able to.  I figure there's nothing wrong with learning how to use both platforms, but I have to figure out what exactly I want to use those blogs for.  I have some ideas so we'll see what happens.

That's what's on my mind today

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Homeschoolers and socialization

Why is it that people automatically assume that if you are homeschooling your kids are going to miss out socially and turn out to be social misfits?  I know an awful lot of homeschoolers who prove the exact opposite.  They are some of the most social and well adjusted people that I know!  Sure, there probably are some homeschoolers that struggle socially, but there are also public schooled children that struggle socially.  A lot of the time it's personality, not schooling, that causes the struggles.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Roller Coaster of Life

Life has it's ups and downs.

I was disappointed yesterday to receive an email from the editor of our local paper, The Nor'Wester, saying that he had to cancel my column to help free up funds to hire a summer student.  I had been doing a weekly column highlighting children's books written by Newfoundland authors.  He invited me to contact him again when the summer is over.

I was excited today to have James Rumford visit my 365 Days of Children's Books blog and leave a comment on my post about his great book Calabash Cat and his Amazing Journey.

It doesn't take much to get me down - and it doesn't take much to get me back up again.  Such is the roller coaster of life.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Just one week away... more days...until Schoolhouse Expo!  Yeah!  I can't wait!

That's what's on my mind at the moment.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mommy Memories

I don't know why but I've been having lots of mommy memories lately.  I'm privileged to be the mom of four wonderful children, three of whom have grown into wonderful adults, and one that still has a way to go but thinks she's there already at just 5.  :)  The last few days I've been thinking back to the baby and toddler days of each of my children.  I've found myself sitting with a goofy grin on a lot as I remember all the precious moments.  My heart is warmed.  Sure there were bad times, but the good far outweighed the bad.  I am so blessed.

That's what's on my mind today.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Money Matters

Recently a friend of mine started talking about Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller and their thoughts on money and life matters. I had heard about Dave Ramsey before from some online blogs but didn't know much about him.  I hadn't heard about Dan Miller before.  I liked a lot of what my friend was telling me about them so I decided to do some research.  I discovered that they both had podcasts available through iTunes so I have been faithfully listening to Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller for a couple of weeks now.

I think my husband thought I was crazy for listening to them at first.  Correction, I know he thought I was crazy.  He thought that before I started listening to them, but that's beside the point.  He's been on holidays the last two weeks and he's been doing some work on our house so he's been subjected to hearing some of the podcasts whether he liked it or not.  I'm glad it worked out that way.  He got to listen in without me asking him to and without having to actually admit that he has been listening in.

We've been married over 20 years and have never seen eye to eye on money matters, or most anything else, truthfully, but I think our money problems have been the worst of it. I am not a spender at all. I've been wanting to get a handle on our money for 20 years, but we can't seem to work together on it at all.  Over those 20 years there have been two distinct times, about 10 years apart, when I remember seriously trying to work at getting a handle on our financial situation but failing miserably because he wasn't with the program at all and wasn't interested in working at it.  I couldn't do it alone.  I quit.  It hasn't been a fun 20 years.

Tonight I listened as he talked about money matters for about an hour with the friend that first got me interested in Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller.  Is there hope for the future?  I sure hope so.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Friday, May 06, 2011

It's Conference season!

All across Canada, and the United States too I think, there are homeschool conferences happening.  I'm reading about it all through my friends blogs and facebook pages.

I spent some time today working on some things for our provincial homeschool conference which is coming up June 17 & 18.  I love this time because it means I get to see homeschoolers from across our province.  We are a very small and spread out homeschool group and I think this time to get together is so important.

I'm also looking forward to the Schoolhouse Expo online homeschool conference which starts May 16, just 11 days away!  I love that conference because I get to connect with an even bigger group of homeschoolers and they are from all around the world!

That's what's on my mind today.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Teaching opportunities just pop up

Today while reading with my little one I noticed that the title of the section of the book we were reading was written with alliteration.  We had started another book earlier in the week that also had alliteration in the division titles for the book and I had pointed out to her the fact that the words in the different section all started with the same letter and we chatted about it for a while and had some fun saying them.  When I noticed it again today I decided to introduce her to the word alliteration.  She's only 5 but she loves new words so I figured I'd give her another one.  Today I reminded her of the alliteration in the other book and we chatted about it and had some fun again.  I don't expect her to totally grasp the idea or remember the special name for it yet but she may just surprise me next time we come across it.

I love taking advantage of natural learning moments like that.  I wish that I had taken the initiative to journal about all the times it's happened to us.  She's learned so much that didn't come from planned out teaching lessons.  Actually, the few teaching lessons that I've planned out for her have turned out anything but stellar. It's these natural learning moments that have really boosted her knowledge.  

I wouldn't have known anything about these moments if it wasn't for homeschooling.  I was a teacher in the public school system before I started homeschooling my children.  I thought that learning could only take place in a very structured environment with a very well laid out plan.  Man had I missed the boat!  I'm so glad that I've discovered how natural and enjoyable learning and teaching can be.

That's what's on my mind today.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

How do I want to record the books I've read?

I've been struggling with how I want to go about keeping a record of the books I read.

I love to read, but I don't always get the time to read that I'd like.  I have a 5 year old that I'm trying to homeschool and a house I try to keep in order.  Add to that the fact that I have a husband that hates to read and thinks reading is a waste of time so I try my best not to read too much when he's around.  Doesn't leave me with much time left to read.  I do, however, squeeze it in whenever I can.

A few days ago I actually set up a Reading Log page on my blog and made a list of the books I could remember that I've read, or started, so far this year.  I'm debating with myself as to whether to leave it at that or do more.  Should I do a blog post about each book giving a short synopsis of the book and my thoughts on it and then link that post to the book title in the list or should I add that information to the Reading Log page somehow?  I can't seem to make up my mind, and in the mean time I'm doing nothing.

I read a very interesting blog post about that just yesterday - And this donkey died because....  I'd never heard of the "medieval logic dilemma" that he describes and I thought it was pretty funny.  He used it to make a very good point.  If you are trying to make a decision and you can't make up your mind so you just don't do anything, then you are still deciding on something - your deciding to do nothing, and really that's not going to get you anywhere.

That's about where I am in trying to figure out what to do about recording the books I read - doing nothing but thinking about it.  It's soon going to be time to make a different decision and actually do something.

And that's what's on my mind today.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

What does it take to get renos completed?

I don't ever remember a time when there wasn't some kind of renovations happening in our house.  I also don't ever remember a time when a reno that was started was actually totally completed.  

We have been in the same house for over 20 years.  

We are presently in the process of fixing our house up to sell.  I actually now have a tub surround installed around the new tub that was put in about 6 years ago.  I now have doors to the kitchen cupboards that were put in about 10 years ago.  Actually, that's not totally true. The truth is that the cupboards that were put in 10 years ago have been taken down and new cupboards have been put up, but the doors actually went on at the same time.  Today I finally got a range hood installed over my stove!  It only took 20 years.  It's amazing what can get done in a house when you are about to leave it.  

So, if your house is like mine with renos in progress, just remember that they probably won't ever be completed until right before you go to sell it.


That's what's on my mind today.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Voting Day 2011 - plus other stuff

Voting Day 2011
Today is voting day for our country's 21st General Election.  I'm proud to say that I exercised my right to vote today.  I'm sad to say that I haven't always done that.  For many years I had taken my right to vote for granted.  I found the whole process confusing and pointless.  Then I started to learn more about it.  I had to learn, because I wanted to teach my children.  That's when I started getting interested in the whole political scene.  I still don't know a whole lot about it, but I know a whole lot more than I used to and I am continually trying to learn more.

This year I had the privilege of presenting an information session about the election and our electoral system to our local homeschool group.  During our last federal election I had discovered the StudentVote site, which puts off a parallel election for students under the voting age so that they will become educated about the process.  When I told our homeschool group about StudentVote this year they were excited to take part in the StudentVote program during our 21st General Election.  Because of school holidays in our province we had to hold our Student Vote earlier than most provinces so we didn't have as much time to spend learning about the whole process as we would have liked, but we still had a great time.  I created a Student Vote 2011 Zapd website on my iPhone using pictures I took with my iPhone at our StudentVote. They are seriously looking forward to the next election so that they can do this again. Hopefully these kids will be inspired and educated enough that they will never take their right to vote for granted.

Mixed Feelings about the Big World News Story
Something else making big news in our country, and many others, today is the death of Bin Laden, as reported on the CBC News site.  While I am not sad that Bin Laden is dead, I am also not celebrating his death, as many others are.

I think much like Dara, of Readily a Parent, in what she has to say in her Why I Won't Be Celebrating Bin Laden's Death post.  I can't say that I'm fearful, because my hope rests in God, but I am sad to think about what happened and what potentially could happen still.

Just Two Weeks to Expo Time!
The Old Schoolhouse Spring 2011 Expo, an online homeschool conference, starts on May 16th, just two weeks away!  I can't wait!  I really enjoyed the last Expo that I took in and I'm expecting no less from this one.  If you don't already have your ticket purchased to take in the Expo live, you are out of luck!  The tickets have sold out!  That said, however, you're not totally out of luck because you can still purchase the Expo-to-Go.  If I were you, I'd hop to it.  You seriously don't want to miss it.

And that's what on my mind today.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Can I manage to post daily?

I had made a promise to myself that during the month of May I am going to try to make at least a short post daily to this blog. As I climbed into bed a few moments ago I remembered that promise and realized I hadn't posted here today. It's a good thing I take my iPhone to bed with me. :)

It's not so easy writing my post on my iPhone so I'm going to have to work harder at remembering to get my post done before I crawl into bed. But it's nice to know that if I forget I can still post something, though it will be rather short and less polished than if I'd done it earlier

Think I'll leave it at that for tonight. Lots on my mind I'd like to share but typing on here is too bothersome. Hopefully I didn't make too many mistakes while typing this. Not only is it hard to type, it's also hard to see the small screen, especially as my eyes are wanting to close in sleep. At least I haven't failed at my goal on the first day. :)

So, that's what's on my mind at the moment and now I'm hoping to clear my
mind of all thoughts and sleep well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Can I post from my iPhone?

I have been spending less time at my laptop lately and more time with my iPhone so I'm wondering how difficult it would be to do a blogpost on my phone. I decided to try it out to see what I thought. I struggle with the typing so that makes it a little difficult. I'm not sure if I want to do it this way or not. I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2011-2012 Schoolhouse Planners now available!

Passing on this notice from The Old Schoolhouse.
Need a tool to help maintain a well-organized home and homeschool?
Want to get your kids organized too?
Get ready to plan another great year with The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner, the brand-new 2011-12 Special Needs Schoolhouse Planner, and the 2011-12 Student Schoolhouse Planners for students from kindergarten to high school.
Erase the frazzled feeling of disorganization with The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner and bring order and efficiency to your school year.
Packed with relevant articles, clever calendars, useful forms, handy lists, and so much more, this planner is the key to meeting your many goals for the 2011-12 school year.With over 175 new forms, you'll have all the organizational tools you need to make this the best school year ever.
New forms this year will help you:
  • Plan beautiful holiday celebrations.
  • Run a successful home business.
  • Plan a course of study over four years.
  • Run a well-organized home from top to bottom.
And so much more!

Whether organizing your homeschool curriculum, household tasks, a home-based business, or jotting down lists of things you hope to do some day . . .
The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner has all of the planning components you will need to make this year a great success.
Don't wait! Take advantage of great prices with the special presale going on now until April 14.
These are available in digital format so I assume you can print off only what you need.  Sounds interesting!

Friday, March 18, 2011

World Read Aloud Day Report

March 9, 2011 was World Read Aloud Day.  Anna and I celebrated at to two events.

Our local library has a story time every Wednesday afternoon. I told our librarian about World Read Aloud Day and she talked to the kids about it during story time and then explained about it to the parents present.

Our local homeschool group got together for a special World Read Aloud Day celebration.  We talked about how privileged we are to be able to read and the advantages it gives us.  Then each child shared a favourite reading from a book they brought with them.  It was great fun to see each child's personality reflected in what they had chosen to read.  One of the boys chose to challenge us by reading clues from little fact cards about different animals and plants and having us guess what it was before he read us the answer. His brother read one of his favourite verses from the Bible (1 Thessalonians 4:11), while their sister read her favourite Bible story (Jesus feeding the five thousand).  Another boy read one of his favourite poems.  Another child read a favourite book of his dad's while his sister read a passage for a new book she just got the day before.  My 5 year old daughter did her first public read aloud at the event.  She read Splat!, a first reader, and everyone congratulated her on her great reading.  I read a couple of our favourite read alouds, What if Your Mom Made Raisin Buns by Newfoundland author Catherin Hogan Safer, and Watch Out Big Bro's Coming by Jez Alborough.  There were about 16 of us present and we all had a great time sharing about the joys of reading.

If you did something to celebrate World Read Aloud Day be sure to send in a report about it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weekly Character Projects

Doorposts, a company who's mission is to supply you with "Bible-based, parent-designed, family-tested products to help you apply Scripture in your home" has a new blog titled Doorposts of Your House.

One of the features on their blog is a weekly character project.  The first project is on How to Develop Patience Towards Others and it suggests a real simple, practical way to work on this.  I know it's something we all need to work on in our family and I'm glad I came across this great idea.  I'm looking forward to future character projects.

TOS Homeschool Expo Preshow

The TOS Homeschool Spring Expo takes place May 16-20, but they have bonus Pre-show nights on March 16 and April 12 for those that register early for the Expo.  Sooooo, last night was the first pre-show!

I almost missed it!  I didn't even realize it was happening until it was started and I was scrabbling to get everything set up so I wouldn't miss it.

The first session was Teaching with Technology: Boon or Bust with Terri Johnson.  I loved a statement she made early in the session.  The gist of it is that the education community is experiencing these "New Revelations" in Education, but in reality they are just learning what homeschoolers already know!  Things like you don't need desks, teacher lectures, peer groups, or classrooms to learn.  She then talked about what technology is and what it isn't and how it's changes over time and shared number of interesting quotes.  My favourite was "In times of change, it is the learners that will inherit the earth while the learned will find themselves beautifully equipped for a world that no longer exists. –Eric Hoffer".  It is important for us to teach our children how to learn and to take advantage of all the tools that will help.  Then Terri introduced us to a number of apps that can help our children in their quest to learn.  Great session!

The second session was Home Business and Homeschooling: The Dynamics of Delegation with Malia Russell.  She made a great point about how important it is to delegate and even pointed out in scripture that delegation was important to God.  One statement that she made that really stuck with me was that if you are over worked you are doing things you shouldn't be doing! - either doing things that someone else should be doing or doing things that nobody should be doing.  Another great session.

Unfortunately I didn't get to take in the last session because I had to put my little one to bed.  I can't wait to get the MP3s so that I can see what I missed.

I'm looking forward to the next pre-show in April!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Canadian Homeschoolers - make sure you are counted!

Homeschool Horizons is having a fun challenge to see which is the top homeschooling province in Canada.  Really, it is not an actual account of homeschoolers in each province, just an account of how many homeschoolers in each province have filled in the Homeschool Horizons Survey, but it's still fun. Along with giving you a chance to have your province more accurately represented in numbers, the survey also gives you a chance to help ensure that Homeschool Horizons will meet the needs of homeschoolers across Canada.  They post updates of the results each week on their facebook page.  Come join in the fun.

Here are how the provinces stand right now:

Ontario 30%
Alberta 21%
British Columbia 13%
Saskatchewan 10%
Newfoundland 8%
Nova Scotia 7%
Quebec 6%
Manitoa 4%
New Brunswick 3%
Prince Edward Island 0%

I can't believe that their are no Homeschoolers in Prince Edward Island!  I know that is wrong.  I also can't believe that the numbers are so low in some of the other provinces.  I also know that it is not a true reflection of the numbers.  People need to help get the word out and get these numbers up!

Why don't you help?  If you are a homeschooling in Canada, make sure you fill in the survey so that you are counted.  If you have friends that are homeschooling, point them to the form and stay after them until they, too, fill it in.  Post about it on your facebook, on your blog, in your provincial forums or email lists.  Talk about it at support group meetings.  Get the word out!  Let's get those numbers up and have some fun!

Which province do you think has the most homeschoolers?  Where do you think your province falls?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What are you doing for World Read Aloud Day, March 9, 2011?

You'll find suggestions for how to celebrate, a tally sheet, a certificate, and lots of other things on the WRAD activities page.

If you're looking for some suggestions for books to read aloud for World Read Aloud Day tomorrow, check out my 365 Days of Children's Books blog.  There are lots of suggestions there.  Why not check out at least one book by a Newfoundland Author and at least one book by a Canadian author?  While you're there, check out the March Reading Challenge.  I'd love to have you join and hear about what you read, even if it's just on World Read Aloud Day.

Anna and I will be attending Story Hour at our local library as well as participating in a special WRAD celebration with our local homeschoolers.  We love any excuse to enjoy books!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Homeschool conferences are a great encouragement

I'm in conference planning mode.  Our provincial homeschool group, CHENL, has been organizing a "Conference on the Rock" homeschool conference every year since it's beginning.  The purpose of the conference is to bring together homeschoolers from across our province and provide support, encouragement and inspiration.  Plans are presently under way for the 2011 CHENL Conference on the Rock.  It is great to be able to get together and I wish we could do it more often.

We are so spread out across our province that many homeschoolers are the only family in their community that is homeschooling and they never see any other homeschoolers.  For some, even getting out to the conference once a year is a struggle, because of the travel, costs, or timing.

I think these times of getting together are very important.  I don't think I would have survived all these years without the times that I was able to receive encouragement and support from other homeschoolers.

One year, before our provinical homeschool group started, a couple of other homeschooelers and I traveled to New Brunswick for a conference.  It was great to see so many others and not feel so alone!  I wished I could go every year but of course it just wasn't feasible.  I was glad when our provincial group started and I at least had the option to go to their conference each year.

Last year, thanks to the Old Schoolhouse Expo, I discovered the wonderful world of online conferences.  I still think there is nothing better than face to face conferences, but the online conference is definitely an added blessing when you don't get a chance to have face to face get togethers very often.  The really great thing about the Expo is that if for some reason you can't take in a session when it happens, you can always enjoy it at a time that is more convenient for you, because when you purchase a ticket to the Expo you also get access to recordings of each session.  I was so encouraged by the first Expo that I participated in!  It was just what I needed at just the right time.

Right now the Old Schoolhouse Expo is taking preorders for their Expo to Go.  If you aren't able to take in the Expo when it is taking place, May 16th-20th, you can still order the recordings and enjoy them when it is convenient for you to enjoy them.  For $19.99 you receive all the MP3 recordings from the Expo along with a great bunch of free gifts.  It's worth your while to check it out.

If you are homeschooling in Newfoundland and Labrador, I really hope that I will see you at the 2011 CHENL Conference on the Rock.  If you decide to take in the Old Schoolhouse Expo I'd love for you to let me know.  I plan on taking in both the provincial conference and the Old Schoolhouse Expo.  I love the opportunity to connect with homeschoolers all around the world!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Canadian "Homeschool Horizons" Magazine website has launched!

Check it out by clicking on the magazine logo above.  Read the explanation of the Homeschool Horizons logo, check out the Homeschool Horizons We Care page to read about a wonderful plan, send a link to your blog so that you can be added to the Homeschool Horizons' list of Canadian bloggers, and take a minute to fill in the Homeschool Horizons survey to have a say in what the magazine becomes.  Before you leave, don't forgot to sign up to be notified of updates.  Pass the word.  Here's a chance for homeschoolers across Canadian to connect and support one another.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Simply Music Online Music Lessons!

I don't remember where or how I first heard about the Simply Music program but it intrigued me the very first time I heard about it.  I recently took part in an introductory session to learn more about it and was even more intrigued.  I want to learn more, so I've decided to take part in the Online Simply Music Lessons "Live Class" Piano Camp/Level 1 Intro .

Tami Duvall, licensed and accredited Simply Music Instructor at Natural Notes Piano School Online Classroom,  is giving away a month's worth of weekly online piano classes. ($70 value)

From the Simply Music Website:

"Simply Music is the largest playing-based music education institution in the world, with educators at 520 locations throughout the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It presents a revolutionary, Australian-developed piano and keyboard method for those who would like to teach music, or learn how to play. This breakthrough program has students of all ages playing great-sounding blues, contemporary, classical and accompaniment pieces - immediately - from their very first lessons.
Simply Music educators look at music in an entirely new light, transforming the teaching and learning process. The program sets a new standard in music education, and presents the possibility of a new era in self-expression through music. "
The classes will be held LIVE on Tuesdays at 1:00pm CST (5:00pm NST) starting Feb 22. The drawing will be held on Feb 19. If you would like to be entered into the drawing, post a comment including these words, "I would like for my child(ren) and me to have music as a companion for the rest of our lives!"

*Note: Only students from USA and Canada can participate in Natural Notes Piano School Online Classroom.*

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Act Fast to Get the Early Bird Price!

The Early Bird ticket price for the Spring Expo ends at midnight Eastern time on Wednesday, February 9.

Do you have your ticket? If not, act fast! You don't want to miss the deal.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Salt Fish and Scrunchions

Anna and I recently read a book titled Jack Likes Salt Fish and Scrunchions, Do You?  I have a confession to make.  Even though I am a proud Newfoundlander, I do not like Salt Fish and Scrunchions.  I did, however, really like the book, which is also known by the shortened title Salt Fish and Scrunchions.

The book was written and illustrated by Newfoundlander Necie and it is actually featured on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog.  You can read more about the actual book on the Salt Fish and Scrunchions feature at the 365 Day's of Children's Books blog.  You can check out Necie's Website for sample pages from the book and for the recipes mentioned below.

Here I want to share some pictures of the fun Anna and I had inspired by this book.  In the page section of the book are recipes of Newfoundland dishes and as soon as we finished reading the book Anna wanted to set in cooking.

We put the book into a clear plastic bag to protect it before we started.  We decided to try the Molasses Buns recipe first.

We put the first lot of ingredients into the bowl and Anna set to work mixing it together.

Some of the ingredients need to be warmed in the microwave so Anna helped punch in the time.

It got a little hard to stir when we started to add the flour in.

Finally it was all mixed together and ready to put on the cookie sheets.  Though the recipe said to form it into balls, we just dropped spoonfuls on the cookie sheet.

Here are the yummy results! - minus the three that Anna ate from the first batch while the second batch was cooking. 

A couple days later Anna wanted to read the book again and try out another recipe.  This time we decided to try the Blueberry Crumble.  The book went back into the clear plastic bag for protection and then we set to work.

Once again, Anna really enjoyed the results.

I wonder what we'll make on our next reread?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Ever thought about starting your own business?

Ever thought about starting your own business?  Have your kids ever shown any interest in starting their own business?

I think it's something just about everyone dreams about at some point in time.  It seems to me lately that a lot of homeschoolers - parents and/or students - are making that dream come true.  I read about it more and more all the time.

If you or your children have any interest in running your own business you should definitely check out the upcoming TOS Expo.  There are a number of sessions planned for the Expo that have to do with starting and running a business.

If you have teens, whether they are interested in business or not, they still might be interested in some of the sessions in the Teen Track planned for this Expo.  Last Expo there were also a few sessions that were great for teens. Check out the speakers and topics here.

The really great thing about the Expo is that it is an online conference so you get to enjoy it without having to leave the comfort of your home and what makes it even better is that when you purchase an Expo ticket you also get recordings of all the sessions so that if you can't watch them at the time they happen, you can watch them at your leisure at a more convenient time.  Often at conferences you have to pick which ones your going to take in and which ones your going to miss.  With the Expo you don't have to miss any!

If you want to hear more about it check out this post by a mom with two sons making the most of their interest in entrepreneurialism.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Canadian "Homeschool Horizons" Magazine website launching soon!

If you are a Canadian Homeschooler then you should go join the Homeschool Horizon's Facegroup page now!  The editor of the magazine, and owner of the facegroup page has suggested that the website for the magazine could launch next week, if we get 300 people to join the facebook page.  We are presently at the time of this writing at 255.  Help us reach the 300 goal before the weekend is through.  Go join the facebook group.  You will then be one of the first to know about the launch of the website.  I've also heard that there will be a special surprise for everyone.  While you're on the facebook page, make sure you check out the new logo.  It has so much meaning packed into it!  Check out it!  And don't forget to spread the word!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Last Week's Library Loot Reviews

Goose Girl by Joe McLellan and Matrine McLellan, illustrated by Rhian Brynjolson (Canadian Authors and Illustrator)
The illustrations in this book are very nice.  I'd love to have some of them as artwork in my house.  It tells the story of a Cree girl and her special connection to geese and how she found her special calling in life.  Overall I liked this book but it does have some spiritual ideas that I don't agree with.  At the back is a page of information about Canadian geese.  Would be a good addition to a social studies lesson on native people.

Night Flight by Mireille Messier, illustrated by Carl Pelletier (Canadian author and illustrator)
Every night when Lucas goes to bed his imagination takes him on wild adventures.  In rhyming text we are told of some of his adventures.

Bear in the Air by Susan Meyers, illustrated by Amy Bates
Very cute story about a bear that falls from a stroller and ends up having all kinds of adventures before it is found and returned.  Love the illustrations too.

Emma's Treasure by Gerald Mercer, illustrated by Jillian Nicol (Newfoundland author and illustrator)
Loved it!  Emma found an old trunk that once belonged to her grandfather.  The trunk led to all kinds of fun learning for her and her friends.

Emma's New Game by Gerald Mercer, illustrated by Jillian Nicol (Newfoundland author and illustrator)
Love this book and actually featured it on my 365 Days of Children's books blog.  Emma and her friends learn about a game that her grandfather and his friends used to play.  The game was called conkers and involved making your own playing peice from a chestnut.  The story ends with the children and their grandparents having a competition with the conkers they make.

Newfoundland And Labrador ABC Alphabet Book story and original paintings by Dale Ryan
The paintings in this book are beautiful!  I actually featured this book on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog.  We loved it!

Sadie And The Snowman by Allen Morgan, illustrated by Brenda Clark (Canadian author and illustrator)
Sadie has great fun building snowmen all throughout the winter, though she is a little sad at first when the animals pick her snowman apart and the snowman starts to melt in the heat.  A really cute story.  She keeps using different things to make the snowman and in the end places what's left in a bowl and when it melts puts the water into a bag and keeps it in her freezer until winter comes again.  I featured this book on my 365 Days of Childen's Books blog

Do You Still Love Me? by Charlotte Middleton
Dudley the dog has a great life with Anna, his owner, until Anna gets a new pet and Dudley wonders if she still loves him.  Dudley is not crazy about this competition but before long they find a way to all be happy together.  Cute story.  Of course Anna liked the fact that the girl's name was Anna.

Freddy's Hockey Hero by Susan Chalker Browne, illustrations by Hilda Rose (Newfoundland Author, Canadian Illustrator?)
Freddy is really excited to be going to a hockey game and is convinced he's going to see his favorite player there.  Not only does he get to see him, but he gets to take shots with him!  Kind of cute story but I bit too wordy for me.  Some repeat phrases on some pages that werwe kind of cute but once again a bit too wordy for me.  Maybe it was my mood when I read it.

The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
Minna longs to go to school but can't because she doesn't have a coat to wear in the winter, until the Quilting Mother's come up with a plan and make her a very special coat.  Unfortunately the children at school make fun of her coat, but soon Minna helps them see how special the coat is.  Beautiful watercolor pictures of a time past.

The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Edward Miller
I wasn't crazy about this book, but Anna liked it.  It is an information book about teeth and how to take care of them.

I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt, illustrated by Cyd Moore
As Mama tucks her little one in bed and tells her/him? she loves him the little one asks a question, "would you still love me if..."  A cute book.

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Charlie likes school, but he doesn't like being the smallest one in his class.  One day Charlie's teacher gets his students to do an activity with pumpkins and Charlie learns that size alone is not the only important thing.  Lots of chances for learning in this book.  Great for a fall activity.  Helps teach observation, estimating, counting by twos, fives, tens.

Hog-Eye by Susan Meddaugh
Little Miss Pig decided to skip her bus ride to school, because her bus was too noisy, and ended up being caught by a wolf, but she outwitted the wolf and got away.  Anna and I both thought this was a pretty good book.

Star's Island by Margaret O'Brien, illustrated by Veselina Tomova (Newfoundland author and illustrator)
Star the pony loves his small island in the middle of the ocean, but one day Cordell, a big white bird, convinces him to check out the big island where Cordell insists everything is bigger and better.  Star goes to check it out and enjoys himself, but he longs to get back to his little island again.  In the end Cordell and Star decide that even though the both prefer different places they can still both be best friends.  A cute story that makes me think about how many Newfoundlanders feel about thier home.  Found a YouTube video of the book's launching.

Duncan's Way by Ian Wallace (Canadian Author)
It looks like Duncan and his family might have to follow the steps of many of their friends and leave the island they love to find work, until Duncan comes up with an idea that just might make it possible for them to stay.  Many Newfoundlanders will relate to this story.

Brave Jack and the Unicorn by Janet McNaughton, art by Susan Tooke (Newfoundland Author, Canadian Illustrator)
The story in this book reminded me of a folk tale that I had read before.  An old lady has three sons, one who's handsome, one who's clever, and one who seems to be no good for anything, but is very kindhearted.  The kindhearted son goes through a series of circumstances that shows his true worth.  What makes this particular version of the story different is that it is set in Newfoundland.  The illustrations are of 15 different locations in Newfoundland and Labrador.  There is a list of these locations in the beginning of the book.  One complaint I have about the book is that the page numbers are not on the pages, making it a bit of a pain to find a particular page.  It would be great to us this book in a study of Newfoundland and us the different illustrations to learn about different places in Newfoundland and Labrador.  I featured this one on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog

The Blue Door: A Fox and Rabbit Story (A First Flight Reader) by David McPhail, illustrated by John O'Connor
Fox invites Rabbit to go with him on a visit to his Uncle's place, but there is one problem, Fox doesn't have an address for his Uncle's place he only remembers that he had a blue door.  Fox and Rabbit set out anyway and eventually find Fox's uncle.  It is a cute story.

Count Down to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee, pictures by Harry Bliss
Honestly, I wasn't real crazy about this book.  I'm just not a fan of a book that tells a lot of the story with speech balloons.  Being a book about getting ready to go to public school for kindergarten it is also not a book that goes along with our philosophies.  That being said, it wasn't too bad and it would be a cute book to read to a child that was preparing to go to Kindergarten.  The little girl in the book has been told that kindergarteners have to be able to tie their laces by themselves and she is very worried because she doesn't know how to do that.

Adele And Simon by Barbara McClintock
Love this book! The story is cute and the illustrations are wonderful. The book tells about the struggles big sister Adele has trying to get her little brother Simon home without losing all his things along the way. She's not too successful with that task and it is fun to find hidden on each page something else that Simon has lost along the way. Set in the early 20th century Paris, the illustrations in this book make for a great social studies lesson.  In the back of the book the author shares the inspiration for each illustration, giving information about many historical places in Paris.  I featured this book on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog.

I'm Sorry by Sam McBratney, illustrations by Jennifer Eachus
Beautiful pictures in this book which tells about the friendship between a little boy and a little girl.  They have so much fun together, but there are also times when they need to say "I'm sorry."

Where Are You Bear?: A Canadian Alphabet Adventure written by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Sean L. Moore (Canadian Author and Illustrator)
Sophie is excited to go visit her Grandma in Vancouver but she can't find Bear and has to leave without him.  Bear sets out on his own adventure to get to Sophie and both Sophie and Bear see all kinds of things as they travel across Canada.  Each double spread page features a different province or territory and different letters of the alphabet.  Kind of cute but a little too contrived for me, or maybe I was just in a bad mood when I read it and I need to reread.  The inside front and back pages show a map of Canada and a chart showing what Sophie and Bear saw in each province.

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt (Canadian Author)
Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his home because he's afraid of everything, until one day he accidently leaves and finds out the big wide world is not quite as scary as he thought it was.  I wasn't a big fan of this book, mostly because of the style of it.  Anna, however, thought it was great.

Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland (Canadian)
Bear loves to hug everything, until one day he sees something that makes him angry.  He decides to put his anger aside and hug anyway.  Cute story.  Featured on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog.

Maggie and Hero by Margaret O'Brien, illustrated by Veselina Tomova (Newfoundland Author and illustrator)
Maggie the puppy is always getting in trouble and feels like she's no good for anything, until she meets a big dog named Hero. and Hero convinces her that she is good for something and with Hero's encourgement Maggie herself becomes a Hero and rescues a boy.  Cute story.

Heroes of Isle aux Morts by Alice Walsh, illustrations by Geoff Butler (Newfoundland author and illustrator)
Tells the true story of how a Newfoundland dog helped save passengers from a grounded ship of Isle aux Mort in Newfoundland in 1832.  Featured on my 365 Days of Children's Books blog.

P is Puffin: A Newfoundland and Labrador Alphabet written by Janet Skirving and illustrated by Odell Archibald (Newfoundland author and illustrator)
This book can be read and enjoyed as a simple alphabet book by reading just the main text on each page, or it can become the jump off point for some great social studies learning by reading the additional information on each page, making it a book applicable to many age groups.  To be perfectly truthful, I found some of the rhyming in the book's main text to be difficult and contrived, but I do see us coming back to this book again as a basis for some social studies learning.

Johnny and the Gipsy Moth by Deannie Sullivan-Fraser, illustrated by Hilda Rose (Newfoundland author)
Inspired by true events in the author's father's childhood.  Johnny has trouble fitting in when his family moves from the big city to a small community, but a special visit from his uncle changes things.  His uncle arrives in a Gipsy Moth aiplane and takes Johnny for a ride, stirring up envy and interest from the young boys that liked to make fun of Johnny.  The story is sprinkled with Newfoundland words and sayings and has a one page glossay in the back to explain some of them.  It is a nice book to read just for fun but it can also be used to initate some social studies lessons about dialects and also about the history of flight in Newfoundland.

Two books for me:
Be Safe Little Boy and Stay Close Little Girl, both by Karen Kingsbury.  I cried my way through both.  They would make great graduation or wedding gifts for adult children.  The kind of reminded me of I'll Love you Forever by Robert Munsch.