EnglishAlso: Book Reviews


  • Homeschool Spelling Advice SpellingIs spelling an important thing to teach in our homeschool? This month, some of the Canadian Homeschool Blogging Team shares their experiences with spelling. Jen – Reasons Why I Think Kids Should Learn To Spell There are many life skills that are no longer required in public school as I learned that day in talking with her. Some of these are also not required in homeschool. They are required in MY school. One of these is spelling. Alison – Spelling: Ditching What Doesn’t Work and Finding What Does I must say that I was totally wrong in believing that a child who reads well, loves ... Read more
  • Weekly Spelling Activities {Printable} Looking for a more hands-on, interactive way to get spelling words to stick in your kids’ heads? Check out this simple weekly spelling activities list. Separated into daily activities, kids get some autonomy in learning their spelling by being able to choose the things they want to do. Mondays and Fridays are set activities: writing down their words and taking a test to see if they have learned their words throughout the week. The other days of the week list a few activities to pick from, including fun ways to write out the words, using Scrabble points, creating words from cut out letters, ... Read more
  • Punctuation..? {Book Review} Are you learning about punctuation? Sometimes, it can be a little challenging to come up with a clear definition of what each part of punctuation is used for. If this is you, or your child, you might want to check out this little book called Punctuation..? by User Design. Only 35 pages long, this little book from the UK uses creative sketches to help explain the use and purpose of punctuation marks from apostrophe to semicolon.  Each topic has a sketch and a short paragraph beneath with examples included. I found this book interesting, and actually quite a nice reference guide when ... Read more
  • Sequential Spelling Review This year, we needed something different for spelling. We decided to give the program, Sequential Spelling a try. Over the last few years, I thought I’d do spelling simply. I just printed out the Dolch sight words list and broke it down into groups of 10 words per week. Each week, the boys would work on their list through games, activities,  and daily written “tests.” But as the words got harder, spelling time led to frustrated, confused children. Nothing made sense. The problem with using the Dolch list is that the words are all words that don’t follow phonetic patterns. There ... Read more
  • Teach Your Kids About … Dolch Sight Words In the 1940’s,  a man named Edward Dolch published a list of 220 commonly used words of the English language – mostly in children’s books of the time. Intended to be taught as “sight words” instead of phonetically sounded out, this list of Dolch Sight Words is still important for our kids to recognize while reading even today! The List: Dolch Word List – alphabetical and frequency lists, total list or divided into grade levels Word Wall Set from Jenna Ferko  – complete 220-word list for the wall Flash Cards: Flash Cards & 3 Suggested Activities by Kidzone.ws Dolch Sight Words Flashcards from K-3 Teacher Resources Sight Words Flash Cards ... Read more
  • Canadian Spelling Pack {Printable} Language can be tricky – so many rules and variations. As Canadians, we have the extra challenge of spelling some words differently than our American friends. Our British and French roots have influenced the development of our language, and it’s important to help our kids understand how to use Canadian spelling for these different words. This Canadian Spelling Pack includes a table to compare Canadian and American spellings, some flashcards that you can use either for practice or for a word wall, and a few worksheets to help review these words. To get your copy, subscribe to my emails in the box ... Read more
  • Teach your child about … the Alphabet alphabetOne of the questions I’m asked a lot from parents of toddlers and preschoolers is just wondering how to get started with teaching their kids. Although my response is typically along the lines of remembering their child is still very young and to focus on just playing and learning that way – I know that learning some of the early basics are very important. I’m not advocating hours of seatwork or grade level learning, but using tools you have to play games, do challenges that allow your kids to sponge up what they need to know. One such area is teaching ... Read more
  • A Moose In A Maple Tree Moose in a Maple Tree“On the first day of Christmas, a Canuck sent to me a moose in a maple tree.” And so begins author Troy Townsin’s All-Canadian 12 Days of Christmas book – A Moose in a Maple Tree. Filled with iconic Canadianisms such as hockey players, the RCMP, beavers, polar bears, and totem poles – this is a cute kids’ book to add to the Christmas collection. Troy has also written 2 other Canadian Christmas books – adaptations of famous songs/poems: Canadian Jingle Bells & The Night Before a Canadian Christmas. These books are a lot of fun. The pictures are bright, vibrant and very “Canadian.” ... Read more
  • Storyboard That {Review} Making a history timeline using Storyboard ThatThe word “storyboard” is defined as “a panel or panels on which a sequence of sketches depict the significant changes of action and scene in a planned film, as for a movie, television show, or advertisement.” But what if you could use it to outline a book? Or a self-made story? Or a historical timeline?  Storyboard That offers just that. A place to create your own panels to tell a story – whatever that story is. First, you choose a style of storyboard. There are a few different options: traditional, timeline, and charts. Once you’ve done that, you can get started. Storyboard That has an extensive ... Read more
  • Video Game Review Worksheet If your kids are anything like mine (aka video game junkies), you might wonder how in the world to use their passion for something good instead of just mindlessness. After much mulling it over, I thought that encouraging their love of gaming to help them learn the art of reviewing and critiquing would be a great idea. Because I couldn’t find a simple worksheet that kids could use, I decided to make one of my own. Combing through many articles that explain how to write a game review, I pulled in questions about all sorts of elements of games that factor ... Read more
  • Charter for Children Book Series Published by DC Canada, the Charter for Children book series makes the Charter of Canadian Rights and Freedoms more personal and understandable through stories of lovable cartoon characters such as Anne of Green Tomatoes, Alexander the Grape, and Thanadel the Canadian Goose. Based in different provinces and territories across Canada, these stories take a small part of the charter and build a story around it – explaining how that section works and why it’s important. The series has recently added 4 more books to the series, bringing the collection up to current total of 10 books. They are working on adding ... Read more
  • Grammar Check Makes Your Writing Even Better By now, we are all familiar and comfortable with spell-check. But what about grammar? Thankfully, there is an excellent tool you can use to help make your writing more efficient. Find out if you’ve used the proper there/their/they’re, if you have commas in all the right places, used the correct tense, and much more. Grammarly is a free program that you can use either directly on their website, or through a series of apps to add-on to your computer for Microsoft Office, Windows, or even right in your favourite browser. I added the Google Chrome add-on to see how it works. As I’m using ... Read more
  • Come Sit By Me Come Sit By Me is a unit study program based on lovely, Canadian picture books. It is designed for use with young children aged 4 to 7, and includes content for all subject areas including math, science, art, language, music, history, and geography. It is a christian program which emphasizes character formation by making connections between the characters in the books and Bible characters as well as having a memory verse for each unit. There are 8 units covered in Volume One with such topics/themes including life skills, literature, social studies, science geography and math.  Each unit is organized into a ... Read more
  • Family Literacy Day Ideas 10 ways to encourage literacyEvery year, on January 27th, it’s Family Literacy Day. Hosted by ABC Life Literacy Canada, along with honorary chair Robert Munsch – the popular Canadian children’s author, the day is designed to bring awareness to families about the importance of even 15 minutes a day of literacy in your home. They’ve provided a great collection of 15 minute ideas, some downloads and videos to check out – like these storytelling tips from Robert Munsch. Here are my 10 ways to help foster a love of books and reading as well as making literacy fun in your home. 1. Use the library. Head to the local ... Read more
  • ABC-123 Stacking Circles Game One skill that early learners are working on is letters and numbers. Learning in a way that is fun and tactile can make these concepts really stick, so here’s a hands-on game you can use. This printable consists of a full set of lower case and upper case letters, pictures of things that start with each letter of the alphabet, numerals and number words, along with the accompanying number of dots. Cut out the strips. You can use them flat, if you prefer, or you can curl each one into a circle and tape or staple them to stay that way. If ... Read more
  • English Language Reference Pack Learning the English language and all it’s grammatical structures can be a challenge, so here’s a short reference pack to help explain some of it.   It includes: What are nouns? Plural nouns rules Showing possession Pronouns What is a verb? What is an adjective? What is an adverb? Punctuation Read more
  • Book vs. Movie {Printable} So many books have been made into movies and it’s a great opportunity to have your kids compare the differences and similarities between them both. This printable is a simple Venn diagram where you can place similarities and differences between the book and the movie. It also has a short worksheet with some prompting questions to write a short response about each and also to decide which format they preferred. Download your Book vs. Movie worksheets. Read more
  • Canadian Story Time: Boy Soup 5 Days of Canadian Picture BooksToday’s Canadian Story Time book is all about a giant with a head cold who just wants to feel better. Book: Boy Soup Author: Loris Lesyenski Summary: Giant is sick, and his medical guide says boy soup will cure it. So he catches some boys. But he also catches Kate – a girl – who comes up with an escape plan.     Here are some activities to do related to the book. Follow The Canadian Homeschooler’s board Boy Soup Activities on Pinterest. Read more
  • Canadian Story Time: The Hockey Sweater 5 Days of Canadian Picture BooksToday’s Canadian Story Time Book is about the passion that we feel as sports fans, and how being different can be a challenge.     Book: The Hockey Sweater Author: Roch Carrier Summary: Roch and his friends love Maurice Richard and the Montreal Canadiens. When Roch’s mom orders him a new hockey sweater, the company sends the wrong one – a Toronto Maple Leaf jersey. Watch the story. Here are some lesson plans and activities to do after reading this book. Follow The Canadian Homeschooler’s board The Hockey Sweater Activities on Pinterest. Read more
  • Canadian Story Time: The Paper Bag Princess 5 Days of Canadian Picture BooksToday’s Canadian Story Time book was written by one of our best known and loved Canadian children’s authors – Robert Munsch. It takes a classic fairy tale and flips it on end.   Book: The Paper Bag Princess Author: Robert Munsch Summary: Elizabeth is a princess with lots of princess-y things, including a handsome prince who she is going to marry. At least, until a dragon attacks, burns everything she owns, and carries off the prince. Now she has to save him.   Here is Robert Munsch telling this story: Lessons & Crafts to go along with the story. ... Read more
  • Canadian Story Time: Jillian Jiggs 5 Days of Canadian Picture BooksToday’s Canadian Story Time book is all about a little girl with a wildly creative imagination and a room that looks like it’s been lived in by pigs.    Book: Jillian Jiggs Author: Pheobe Gilman Summary: Jillian’s room is a mess and her mom wants her to clean it up. But Jillian and her creative imagination keep finding things to do.     Here’s the story: Be creative right along with Jillian. Follow The Canadian Homeschooler’s board Jillian Jiggs Activities on Pinterest. Read more
  • Canadian Story Time: Red Is Best 5 Days of Canadian Picture BooksThis week, I’m going to be sharing 5 days of Canadian picture books. These are all classic books for preschool and early elementary years. For each one, you will find resources that you can use to expand learning for that book – through worksheets, crafts, hands-on activities, and whatever else I find that can be helpful. Today’s book is a tribute to little kids and their personal preferences – you know, when they want a particular cup, or want to wear the same pair of pants for the 3rd day in a row.   Book: Red is Best Author: Kathy Stinson Summary: Kelly loves all ... Read more