What our life looks like 98% of the time

I come across blogs about other homeschoolers that are just so beautiful! The children are all nestled around the harvest table, lovely books spread across the old barn planks, a pot of tea, candles burn with a peaceful glow – in the background there is a shelf with nature findings, a globe, a succulent garden orb and books for every subject lined up by color. The many children round the table are each immersed in their projects – writing lovely characters on a real slate, drawing a detailed diagram of the water process, and one is even reciting poetry out loud!  Frankly the picture is a work of art. I have nothing against any of this beauty, but in truth these are curated pictures and no one lives like that all the time.  I will be the first to admit that I also curate my pictures. I adjust the color. I asked my kids to hold this or that and smile! And usually what you see in my pictures is just a tiny glimpse of our space – but just outside the frame is where I shoved the giant pile of laundry aside.  We are not perfect. No one is.  The following un-edited pictures are what our homes looks like 98% of the time. Enjoy and relax!

Seeds and Duct Tape

We started September off with a wonderful adventure out to a local lakeside park to gather seeds, write in our journals and enjoy the last days of summer weather near the water

The sides of the bank here are quite steep – Luca always wants to go down, but I had to watch from above with Lila as the kids practically slid down the side!

Here we are set up in the shade with our blanket, market basket full of pencils and journals and Phoebe tied to the tree behind us

These pretty pencils were a gift from Grandmama and Grandpapa – they were always so supportive of our creative pursuits growing up and now are supporting their grandkids in the same ways.  I often give thanks for my experiences growing up in an unschooling/life learning family – as we homeschool our own kids, I have a built-in support system in my parents.  I’m used to this way of life and I don’t have to worry that my family thinks we are crazy… but these are real struggles for a lot of homeschooling families.  I hope this blog and my friendships in my local homeschooling community can be a support for those finding their way.

A couple years ago I bought these thick blank art journals for Luca and Rose. Luca has been pretty good about organizing his entries, whereas Rose scribbled on every page! We’ve gotten about half way through them, even though Rose has to re-use all of her scribbled-on pages! We use them for copy work, drawings and diagrams, math, art and whatever seems to work well at the moment. It’s a lovely way to have a lot of their work together in one place and a sweet reminder of all of the good things we have done together! Here is Luca decorating his 2017 entry.

We gathered seeds and made a graph of the ones we could identify

Pencils, blanket, goldfish, journals and a baby! All you need for a fabulous homeschool adventure!

What September looks like in Ontario

Later we made this pretty circle display of our seeds with labels around the outside. Never underestimate the power of cardboard!

Luca finds a quiet moment

With my mom’s help, I set up one of my art tables in our living room for the kids to have another space to write, do art, and work on our latest projects. I’m so glad I did! We live in a fairly small home and having another space to spread out has been so handy! Rose has especially embraced this space and I often look over and see her perched on the stool immersed in drawing and coloring. Something I often think about is creating space for our kids to just be in – a cozy nook to read in, a fort to play cards and lego in, a table by the window…

This month we really enjoyed creating our own patterns with the help of a lovely guide on Design Sponge by Julia Rothman.

Luca colored his with Pixelmator

Rose used Procreate and the iPencil to color hers

I had to make one too!

Rose and Remi playing with the Beleduc human body puzzle

Luca and Rose had fun making number charts. It’s a great way to get in a little practice in repetition and lettering. Luca also had fun using different colors to represent different multiplication groupings.

This year Luca, Rose and Remi all submitted entries into our local fall fair. Rose and Remi painted rocks and Luca made duct tape gauntlets. We used a pair of old garden gloves and fabric for the base form and covered them with layers of duct tape. He was happy to get a second place ribbon!

I am forever grateful to kind friends that drop off art supplies, books and clothes at our door! Here is Remi playing with a great stamp set!

One of my favorite Lego builds this fall was when Luca and Rose created “Their Worlds”. I can’t now remember all the details, but they each had a little house, garden and vehicles and spent hours up in the bedroom creating and playing, totally immersed in their little lands.

Lila Wren looking her usual happy self after the bath

How many mornings look around here

How they look down under too


We went out to a shady place in the park and drew maple leaves and collected dandelions

We are part of a small group of alternative educators that join together for many wonderful outings and adventures, one being a weekly Kids In Nature program. Here we are gathered together in a sweet little circle of trees that looked just like Tolkien’s Lothlórien to me.  I spent my childhood growing up in the country, learning so much from the fields, prairies and woods of my parent’s hundred acres.  Since we now live in town, this is one way that I’m hoping to spark a love of the outdoors in my children. In that same vein, a couple of years ago we watched and loved the documentary All the Time in the World – disconnect to reconnect.  I would highly recommend it!


With this same lovely group we went camping (well some of us did) at Warsaw Caves Conservation Area

Luca builds a boat with duct tape

Rose builds one too!

Helpers on the woodchip pile

Hammering on his board of nails