Day In The Life Of A Home Educator - May 2022

Onto May, this year seems to be flying by already!




 May 2022


Lapbooks

Unfortunately, the enthusiasm for the lapbooks has waned considerably! I have spent a few evenings making up new ones for both kids to try and entice them back; JJ's is a Minecraft-themed literary-based pack, and Miss L's theme is dogs.

What I'm reading this month

Rewiring Education - John D. Couch

If one of your main concerns with home education is the amount of screen use then this book is for you. Granted the author has a vested interest in people using a computer given he works for Apple, but still, he cites some interesting viewpoints. As with everything, I believe there is a healthy balance to be struck that will enable the best to be drawn from every resource, but it's refreshing to read a pro screen and technology book for a change.  

Learn Like A Pro - Barbara Oakley & Olav Schewe

Last year I took an online MOOC course called Learning How To Learn on Coursera (which I'd highly recommend.) Then, last month I started the successor called Uncommon Sense Teaching. Barbara Oakley, the author of the above book, is one of the lecturers on the course and I love the way she succinctly explains how the brain learns, as well as the best methods to help us learn more efficiently and effectively. The book is a good companion to the course to help reinforce some of the concepts, but it works great as a standalone too.

Weather

It has been (I'm told) an unseasonably cold start to the spring and May has not disappointed. There have been some intermittent days of sunshine which has helped keep me going but I'm very ready for summer to begin! 

Weekly activities

These things happened every week!

  • Swimming
  • Cleaning the house
  • Meeting friends online to play Minecraft
  • New art classes that we signed up for at the rec centre

'Field trips'

North Vancouver  museum (MONOVA) home educator group trip

We welcomed the month in with a trip to our local museum in North Vancouver (MONOVA) organised by our area's home learner group. The museum only opened last year and has an original streetcar in the lobby which was great for the kids to explore inside. It's always fascinating learning more about the place you live in and it's history. There was a theatrical rendition of the streetcar's past as well as a scavenger hunt for some of the historical facts and to finish an indigenous wool weaving workshop which the kids loved.  

Beach Day


Where do you head to on a warm spring day at the first sign of sun? 
The beach of course!
So we headed to our favourite spot, Ambleside beach and whiled away a late afternoon with the kids paddling in the sea whilst we soaked up the lazy atmosphere. Bliss.

Trout Lake Park Picnic


Another unexpectedly beautiful day so we headed for a foodie trip out. First though we nabbed some home ed supplies at Collins Educational Supplies the website doesn't do it justice, but this place is crammed to the rafters with everything you need for learning essentials. We then headed up the road to Mount Pleasant and grabbed delicious wraps from Superbaba they are hands down the best I've had and well worth the trip if you're in the area! Then we swung by Beta5 to complete our foodie picnic with some cream puffs. I realise I have dropped the ball here in not having a photo of all this delicious grub so you'll just have to take my word for it that it's THE BEST! 
We set up camp at the lovely Trout Lake park and enjoyed the calm breeze, hot sun and playpark. 

Stanley Park day trip

Beautiful purple starfish

It's taken us a surprisingly long time to get back to Stanley Park which is silly since we're not that far away and there's loads of exploring in there to do. It's less easy when we have the dogs though as there are hostile coyotes in there so you have to constantly be on the lookout.

Another sunny day though gave us the nudge to go and check out Third Beach and have a little wander through the forest.  We watched a marathon race that was passing along the seawall, found a vibrant purple starfish and, most excitingly for me, got to see the barnacles in the exposed rock pools opening and closing, something I've never witnessed before. We then had an explore through the forest, following a round route of Tatlow Walk onto Lake Trail via Lovers Walk. We saw lots of trees but no coyotes!

Dimensions Illusions Art Gallery

Playing with size illusions


If you have a rainy day in Vancouver then you can't go wrong with a stop at Dimensions.  Easily done within an hour, all the paintings are illusions that you can pose in front of for some awesome (and fun) photos. 
STOMP!!


Vancouver Aquarium

Treated to some goslings - sweet!


We made good use of our annual Vancouver aquarium membership again. They had a new exhibit on "Wildlife Rescue; Miracles in Conservation" which we wanted to catch. The exhibits are always so clean, fresh and interesting. We really loved reading about the opossums, I didn't realise how excellent they are at pest control and so play an important part in keeping habitats free from rubbish - like walking bins really. Afterwards, we headed to the park and were very excited when this family of Canada geese wandered by with their super fluffy goslings. 


Skateboarding Festival 

Enjoying the alfresco music despite the moody clouds

One of the first events of the year the outdoor skateboard festival is organised by the youth of North Van and it was great to get to support their efforts. We found it well thought out and enjoyed watching some of the skateboarders do their thing! The music and stalls added to the fun and despite it being a little chilly the sun came out and we had a lovely morning. 

The library

This month we seemed to have multiple visits to our usual library but then also to the mini one that's in the new rec centre here. It means I have lost track of all return due by dates and have many books due at various times! This month the kids have been enjoying Babysitters club, Calvin & Hobbes, Diary of a Wimpy kid, Big Nate, and Pheobe and her unicorn. 

Thoughts on this month

I've noticed an increase in activities as the world slowly recovers from Covid which is nice. More things are re-starting and we're hoping to get to some outdoor events over the summer. 

I'm a little deflated that the lapbooks have lost the kid's interest so soon but maybe a little break might help renew their enthusiasm! It does mean that I feel on a very basic academic side that we need to look into some other alternatives if the lapbooks don't get back in favour. 

We've certainly been getting out despite the rain, it being that bit warmer helps, but with schedules getting busier it's further cemented the need for me to lock in down days, as well as rest periods within each day, just so we don't get overwhelmed with social overload. As I wrote above it's a fine balancing act to keep it all running smoothly and I can see it tipping a little more towards the burnout end so I'd like to redress that next month. It's easy to cram so much into the week when activities start appearing, but I'd like to be more conscious of the things we commit to; giving us plenty of time and breathing space to get there and enjoy it. One thing I've truly learned about myself over the home-educating years is that I hate to be rushed; it just makes me stressed out and snappy which is fun for no one!

Finally, a few of us mums have managed to strike up a beneficial arrangement where we offer a home play date for the kids without the adults having to stay and chat too. It means the kids get to hang out with their friends without the parents and the parents get to go and do whatever they want for a couple of hours without having to worry about making small talk. It's wonderful for my social anxiety! 






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