Category Archives: Uncategorized

Shades of unschooling

Our homeschooling is usually structured. Not very rigidly so, but I normally have a plan for our homeschooling that involves working on math problems, reciting poetry, working on grammar rules, reading the classics, learning Latin and French, some history, social studies, etc. We don’t do all that every single day, of course. I usually pick 2 or 3 topics and we rotate through them. Then we take breaks by doing some music or colouring and so on.

This morning our homeschooling routine is chaotic to put it gently. Our furnace decided to stop working late last night and we’re busy dealing with that (we’re on alternative heating sources at the moment, waiting for the repair guy). I’m also scrambling to finish prepping ourselves for a trip next week, including packing our filming gear, finding my nice clothes, and – oh yes – putting the finishing touches to two speeches I’m giving.

So this morning I surprised Youngest with a new colouring book (I always keep some on hand for emergencies) and she’s going to be busy for a while with that. To the older two I said: Find something good to do that won’t get you in trouble. So they picked up a book about hand shadows that their dad fished out of a spare book bin yesterday, turned their desk lamp towards the wall, and started working on them. They’re debating how best to portray animals, assigning each other various animals, and making up/acting in impromptu stories.

I have trouble sometimes understanding how the unschoolers manage to get their kids to learn what they need to learn. But episodes like this morning help me see it. I will still continue to have some structure in our homeschooling, because I find it better to have some kind of plan that follows (however loosely) the classical curriculum. But some freedom for the kids to learn and explore what tickles their fancy is very good indeed.

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Supporting is loving

I put a lot of time and effort into producing what I do on this website and on social media. And I want to do more of it – including writing more books. I am therefore launching a public appeal for support on Patreon. I am looking for fans who enjoy what I do to help keep it going by pledging a monthly payment. Pledges start at $1/month. I’ve also put in a bunch of rewards for those who wish to pledge $3 or more per month. Please go visit my Patreon page for details.

An important note for Canadians: Please note that Patreon at the moment only works with US dollars. So please consider the exchange rate when making a pledge. You can always go back to your Patreon account and adjust your pledge later, as you see fit.

Thanks, and hope to see you there!

p.s. if you prefer using PayPal, by all means you’re welcome to do that, too. Please see the right-hand sidebar for subscription options, or use this link (which I share with my husband) for one-time contributions.

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If you enjoy my work, please consider supporting it with a monthly contribution. Visit this page for details.

Mississauga, here we come

Eldest and I are gearing up for our second tournament, which takes place in Mississauga on Saturday (it’s at Mentor College, 40 Forest Street, if you’re in the area and want to come say hello – look for Team Douvris uniforms, we’re the cute ones). We’ve been training pretty hard for it. Eldest even started adding more training a few weeks ago. Her technique is slowly but surely improving, and so is her endurance. Combined with a healthy clean diet and enough sleep, she’s turning into a fine little athlete. But what’s really impressing me about how she takes all this is her attitude. She works hard during training and doesn’t mind getting yelled at (and yes, there are times when yelling is called for). When it happens she hustles and tries again harder. Which usually leads to praise and that seems to make her happy.

She’s even improved her attitude at home and with the homeschooling. Every now and then, when I have some computer work to do, I’ll ask her to read something to her sisters (these days they’re reading a mini-biography of Leonardo da Vinci) and she’s happy to do it. She can also be relied on to coach her sisters (properly, that is) through their math or grammar exercises when I need her to take over from me. All this without neglecting her own work. She’s also more thoughtful and helpful with chores; instead of waiting for me to ask her to set the table, she notices me preparing lunch and starts doing it. The other day I commented that she would be having fun at the tournament playing with her friends once they’re done competing, and she said you know, Mom, I don’t think I want to play and run around as much this time. I think I want to go from ring to ring and cheer other members of our team.

I’d like to take all the credit for this wonderful attitude of hers, but I can’t. Most of it is her, of course, and being part of this fantastic competitive team has certainly given her a great deal of motivation to improve herself. And I’d say that’s money and time well spent.

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Windowsill fairytales

The weather was nice enough today for me to bike to the dojo with the Youngest. She came home early with Dad, had dinner with him, then (after bath) was left to her own devices. I came home to a kid happily watching a movie. It was only after she’d gone upstairs to bed that I found those guys on the windowsill. Very charming don’t you find? She’s an artist and a romantic.

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October fun

We just took one boat out of the water and brought it in for winter storage. We came back to this glorious sunshine and relatively mild temperature (about 12C). Kids wanted to go play and I didn’t have to heart to force them inside for the last part of their homeschooling day. They’re having a ball out there pretending they’re hobbits. And why not? 

  

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Stating (once again) the painfully obvious

Anybody who knows Nigel Wright even just a little (and that would be me) will tell you: There is NO WAY he cooked up the scheme to repay Mike Duffy’s expenses on his own, without at least some direction from, and approval by, the boss. There is also NO WAY he would proceed with the intention of tripping up his boss. There is NO WAY he would deceive the prime minister, never mind Canadians.

Anyone who suggests anything to the contrary is a coward, a liar, or both. Say what you will about Wright, he’s not trying to blame his difficulties on others. He’s taking it like a man.

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Ford nation: enablers

I agree with this. Those who are encouraging Rob Ford to continue the fight are contributing to his very likely personal downfall. Not his political downfall. This thing is headed in a very wrong and likely catastrophic direction. And for what: tax cuts? True conservatives do not stand for this.

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Up the Glens indeed!

Wow, what awesome news! I am so pleased for Lt-Col Duda and his fine regiment. We shall drink to this at the next mess dinner. Up the Glens!

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, has graciously consented to serve as the first Colonel-in-Chief of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders.
“Her Majesty’s appointment as Colonel-in-Chief of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders reinforces the historic and warm relationship that Canadian Armed Forces units, organizations, and members enjoy with Members of our Royal Family,” said the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence.
The announcement of this appointment coincides with today’s bicentennial commemoration of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm, popularly known as a ‘Battle that saved Canada’. Her Majesty’s appointment also coincides with the last Remembrance Day prior to entering the centennial year of the outbreak of the Great War, a reflection of Her Majesty’s deep loyalty to and affect for all the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces.
More than 100 soldiers from the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, the Voltigeurs de Québec and the 4e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment, regiments from the Canadian Army which perpetuate the Canadian units that fought at Crysler’s Farm, will today mark the bicentennial of this important battle.
The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, popularly known as ‘the Glens’, perpetuate the 1st Regiment of Dundas Militia (1812-15) and the 1st Regiment of Stormont Militia (1812-15) both of whom served at Crysler’s Farm. As such, the Glens proudly carry the battle honour CRYSLER’S FARM.
The position of Colonel-in-Chief is a Royal Appointment – an honorary title normally reserved for the Sovereign and Members of our Royal Family.
“The Army is proud to have a Colonel-in-Chief whose life has been such a noble example of service. It is truly a testament to our soldiers, who remain ‘Strong. Proud. Ready,'” said Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse, Commander of the Canadian Army.
The appointment of Royal Colonels-in-Chief has been an integral and proud aspect of numerous Canadian regiments, branches and units for over a century. The Colonel-in-Chief is the guardian of history and traditions and serves to promote regimental ethos, identity and pride in service.
“We are deeply honoured by the appointment of Her Majesty as our first Colonel-in-Chief,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Rob Duda, the regiment’s Commanding Officer. “The Glens have a proud history of service to Canada and around the world, from Northwest Europe during the two World Wars to Bosnia and Afghanistan, as well as support to our communities, such as during the Ice Storm of 1998.”
Her Majesty the Queen is Colonel-in-Chief of twelve other regiments, branches and units of the Canadian Armed Forces dating back to 1952 – the year of her accession to the throne.

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