A Breath of Simplicity

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I love books.

I spent much of my childhood and probably too much of my teen years with my head buried in a book.

Even now, I can’t think of anything lovelier than to curl up with a steaming cup of coffee and a good story ;)

As you can imagine, it practically drove me crazy that my daughter didn’t enjoy reading…

A reluctant reader

When my ten year old was enrolled in public school, she refused to read chapter books. Her idea of a good book was Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Bad Kitty books. Her teachers didn’t mind. Apparently, graphic novels are a great way to teach reluctant readers to read. As long as my daughter was reading something… anything, “there was no reason to worry.”

Here’s the thing. I worried.

Every time I attempted to read a children’s classic to her, this blank look would mask her face and she would exclaim in frustration, “I don’t understand anything. I don’t understand anything!” One night, I lost my patience and practically screamed at her, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING?!

I’m not proud of that moment. READ MORE →

Scheduling “me time”

I love this time of year. The last of the cold, lingering snow has melted. Birds are singing, squirrels are chattering, and winter jackets are idling in the closet! The start of warmer weather feels like a weight has been lifted. It's liberating. I tend to spend most of winter dashing in and out of the car... these days I catch myself dawdling between the car and the front door. My kids attend weekly swimming lessons at a community centre that neighbours the lovely lake pictured… READ MORE ➞

homeschool

Simplicity in the homeschool

A year ago, the concept of homeschooling was a blip on my radar. Sure, I knew it existed. But that was all I knew. The notion of homeschooling, after-schooling, and unschooling (unschooling, for pete's sake?) had grown in popularity and it felt like most families had turned away from the public school system and put themselves in charge of their kids education. Of course, in retrospect, I realize I was more susceptible to these ideas via the blogs I was reading at the… READ MORE ➞

Homeschooling

We’ve joined the homeschool bandwagon!

Not in my wildest dreams did I EVER imagine myself as a homeschool mum. In fact, quite the opposite was true. This time last year, I was relishing my new-found freedom. For the first time in 15 years all four kids were in full-time school. I was home alone (by myself!) for 6 blissful hours. Six hours! On my Own. Can you tell the concept of being alone had been obliterated from my reality? But I side-track... Truth is, I gave up the 6 blissful hours to jump onto the homeschool bandwagon… READ MORE ➞

reward chart

A Reward Chart that Works!

My teen daughters grew up with a plethora of reward charts (I liked to switch them up) but I've somehow neglected to implement a system for the younger two. My five year old son has an aversion to brushing his teeth. And if that isn't enough, he also doesn't like to dress himself in the mornings :( On week-ends he's often still in his PJ's at lunch time (don't judge. I got SO tired of listening to myself nagging at him… READ MORE ➞

mother nature

Let mother nature soothe your soul

When I was a kid, I used to scour the roads for papery winged seeds. I liked to throw them up in the air and watch them twirl to the ground like little helicopters. These winged seeds are fruits called samaras and grow on Maple trees. I know this now because our backyard is home to these two lovelies. I recently dredged up a memory from my childhood that portrayed a side of me that I had forgotten existed. I… READ MORE ➞

simple living

Saying “no more” to school lunch and simple living

I have four school aged kids. This translates into planning, preparing and packing four snacks, four lunches AND serving breakfast - by 8am five days a week. That's a lot of work for someone who's not a morning person! Last year, I picked my younger two kids up for lunch every Friday and it was a great way to spend some quality time with them, but I particularly enjoyed the slower, less hectic pace to my Friday mornings. This year, I've… READ MORE ➞

Healthy Breakfast

Feeding Kids a Real Foods Breakfast

Breakfast cereals marketed to children are typically loaded with sugar, artificial flavours, colours and additives. I've known this fact from way before I started eliminating processed foods from our kitchen so I used to stock our pantry with "healthy" cereals like Multi-grain Cheerios and Special K. I realized I was fooling myself when I took a good look at our "healthy" cereals and discouvered that they contain up to 12 grams of sugar per serving. To top it off, none of my kids… READ MORE ➞

simple living

Un-scheduling your kids simple life

"Children need free, unstructured time. They need time to do 'nothing'; time to do handstands. Or figure out a way to get the ice-cream truck to continue straight down the block without always turning at the corner. Or to make a good ice-cream truck plan while practicing handstands. " ~ Kim John Payne. Last Summer, my younger kids and I packed a lunch and spent most of our afternoons at a neighbourhood park. They were 4 and 7 at the… READ MORE ➞

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