One of my sweet friends reminded me recently that this life that we are living is always going to be a juggling act and that we are always going to be dropping the ball. The trick is to choose which ball to drop and when and to make sure that we alternate which one gets dropped from time to time.
I am sure that many of you also have a similar story: there’s my job as wife and then mom and teacher and small business woman. I need to feed little people, and make sure I get some exercise in, and that the laundry is relatively under control, and pack book treats into boxes and envelopes and write. Writing. I miss that. Writing has been the ball that has been dropped lately and it’s time to dust it off and pick it up and get in touch again. I think I am a bit of a modern day old fashioned girl: not much for talking on the phone but I do love to write and exchange notes. If we can’t sit down and have a proper conversation over a cup of tea, then the written word is one of the best ways to communicate.
Writing soothes me. I think that’s why I am a journaller. I write even when I hope that no one will ever read it. And while this sunny little spot Under the Maple Tree isn’t a very large community, I thank you for joining in this conversation. It encourages me to hear from you and to hear of your struggles and your victories. Thanks for indulging me and letting me share my little part of the world with you. I’ve missed this time.
I can’t wait to tell you a bit about what’s been going on here. Most of it is mundane and everyday-ish, some is exciting and exhilarating. Dropping the writing ball has allowed me to do a little better at a few other things. I have become fairly consistent in exercising and eating better, which has lead to me adding a few new treats to the shelves of our store: the book Trim Healthy Mama and some of the specialty foods that they provide like healthy natural sweeteners.
We have also done a bunch of the boring behind the scenes work that needs to be done, updating computer programmes and hardware to make Maple Tree run better. I thought that changing my email address (to firstname.lastname@example.org) would be less cumbersome than it proved to be but now we have an address that won’t need to change again as it matches our website.
We’ve tripled the number of books that are available on the webstore as we continue to work towards being Canada’s Charlotte Mason resource provider, www.mapletreepublications.ca. Check out all the Simply Charlotte Masonbooks that we now stock in addition to publications by Maple Tree as well as Life of Fred math, Mystery of History, Story of the World, Jonathan Park, Learning Language Arts Through Literature and much more.
On the home front, the girls are in senior kindergarten to grade ten, if you want to talk schoolish. I can’t wait to tell you about our experience reading through the whole Bible at the beginning of this school year. Many of you have asked and so I will update you about that soon too.
For now though I should leave you with a few more practical updates as I anticipate the excitement of a few more conferences coming up in the next several weeks. It has been so refreshing to me to see many of you and to serve you at both the KWCHEA conference in Kitchener and the RVHEA conference in Ottawa. Next weekend Maple Tree will be at OCHEC in Ancaster at Redeemer University.
If you are at any of these upcoming conferences, please come by and say hello. And, of course, I will happily pack up an order to bring to you at the conference if you have something that you need and want to make sure it’s available when we meet up.
Here’s where Maple Tree is setting up shop in the next little bit:
May 1-2 OCHEC Convention in Ancaster.
*I will be speaking on “Enjoying Math?”* (Really, it will be fun one!)
*I will be doing a three part series on Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education: Education is an Atmostphere, a Discipline and a Life.* I am really excited to be able to share these ones. Don’t miss out!
June 12th TEACH New and Used Curriculum Fair in Brantford.
Looking forward to seeing many of you soon in person and to hearing from you Under the Maple Tree as I get back to adding the writing ball into this jumbled up mess that I juggle.
I was talking to a friend today – on the phone! (Just talking on the phone while my kids are awake is something that I gave up on years ago but we had business to discuss so I squirreled myself away in my room during quiet time and hoped for the best.) She mentioned how I didn’t really have a 9-5 job and I agreed. My jobs as wife, mom, teacher, writer, and small business guru tend to mush together and overlap in so many messy muddled ways. Perhaps you can relate? Just finding time to do work on only one job at a time is often hard. It’s also hard to find moments of still and quiet while the family is awake.
I love my moments of contemplation and sharing when I get to chatter with you all here Under the Maple Tree but I know they have been few and far between lately. I’ve missed it but I have also so enjoyed bringing Come Sit by Me back to life for you all. While it was still looking great on the outside, it sure does look amazing with a face lift. More than that, there were issues behind the scenes that needed a little TLC. I didn’t realize that when a book gets to be nearly 15 years old, it is possible for the old file digital technology to fail to keep up with new computing. We weren’t able to continue to print with the files that were available. Come Sit by Me needed to be rebuilt on a new platform. I am so glad that now, at the end of the process, we are still able to provide the Canadian Homeschool community with this spectacular resource. I am also glad to have a few moments to share with you what is coming up in this little place.
First of all, it’s conference season – so let the visiting begin. This is the season when I get to come out from my little corner and see so many of you at conferences and sales. Kitchener’s KWCHEA Homeschool Conference was spectacular as usual. Smile-per-dollar it is a great conference to go to because there is so much packed into one day!
Now, I am quickly packing up the last of my supplies so that I can pull out for Ottawa in the morning… And in two weeks: Kelowna! So many events to look forward to!
And so many other yummy ideas that I wanted to share with you, but for now I think I will simply let you know about what is coming up so that if I find myself in your neck of the woods, that you might come and say hello if our paths cross.
This Spring’s Conferences, Sales and Events where you will find Maple Tree:
April 4th – Charlotte Mason Meeting
April 6th – KWCEA Conference, Kitchener
Homeschooling for “Newbies”
April 13th – RVHEA Conference, Ottawa
April 26th & 27th – BCCHEC Conference, Kelowna, BC
Day by Day and Side By Side
Single Income Living in a Double Income World
In Search of the Secret: The Practical Roadto Contentment
May 3rd & 4th – OCHEC Conference, Hamilton
May 9th –Charlotte Mason Meeting, Bradford
May 25th – Parent’s Guide Conference, Barrie
June 1st –Toronto New and Used Homeschool Book Sale
June 13th – Charlotte Mason Meeting, Bradford
June 14th – TEACH New and Used Curriculum Sale, Brantford,
July? – Newby Meeting, Bradford
August ? – Newby Meeting, Bradford
Also, check out the new website! It is, as always, a work in progress but we hope that our new look will again be more user friendly and easier to update. If there books that you would like to see that we don’t carry, let me know. Often I am able to order them in but just don’t carry them all the time. Also, if I you have an order that you want to place and might be seeing me at an upcoming conference then let me know. I can bring your books and save you the shipping!
Whether I see you at this weekend’s Ottawa conference or not, have a great weekend!
Once again this year I am offering free workshops to new homeschoolers (and those thinking of homeschooling) at my home in Bradford. I will also be partnering with Henry and Corrinna Kiezebrink to offer one in their home near Barrie again this year.
You may come to my home on either of two dates: Thursday, July 19th or Tuesday, August 7th. Both evenings will run from 7:30-9:30. The Keizebrinks are hosting their workshop on August 21st from 7:30-9:30.
If you are new to the homeschooling world or are considering this crazy lifestyle, then please feel free to come for a visit. These are interactive (question and answer style) small group workshops in my home. If you, or someone you know, are interested in coming please RSVP directly to me at email@example.com or 905-778-9412 as soon as possible as attendance is limited to 15 people (since I do have a very cozy living room) and the evenings usually do fill up.
Both Mom and Dad are welcome to attend though I respectfully ask that only parents and nursing babes attend as a full house and a late evening often make it hard for young people to allow the adults the opportunity to get the most out of the workshop.
We will cover topics like:
Where can I go for support?
What are the legal implications?
Do I have to contact my local school board?
What about curriculum?
What is a “normal” homeschooling day like?
What about socialization!?!
Please come with questions!
And expect some yummy handouts too!
Henry and Corrinna Kiezebrink plan to attend all of these meetings to share from their 23 years of homeschooling experience as well.
Please feel free to share this invitation with friends and family who are new to homeschooling or who are considering it. You are also welcome to forward this information to your church group or other homeschool groups. See you in the summer!
A few upcoming dates in my little world… Will you join me for a few of them here or there? I’m excited that “conference season” is just around the corner as I will be able to see some of my virtual friends in real life. If I don’t see you in a seminar, be sure to some and see me in the vendor hall and say hi.
February 16 – Charlotte Mason Meeting in Bradford, Ontario. 7:30-9:30. Please let me know if you plan to come!)
March 22 – Charlotte Mason Meeting
March 31 – KWCEA Conference, Kitchener. See you at Rockway Menonite Collegiate, 110 Doon Road, 8:30am to 5pm.
Workshops that you might join me for? (See the descriptions below)
Goal Setting And Planning Your Next School Year
Homeschooling for “Newbies”
Single Income Living In A Double Income Culture
April 14th – RVHEA Conference, Ottawa. Will you be at this one? It’s at Kanata Baptist Church, 465 Hazeldean Road, Kanata, 8am to 5pm.
Workshops that you might join me for?
Enhancing Your Math Teaching
Charlotte Mason in Real Life
In Search of the Secret: The Practical Road to Contentment
April 27 & 28 – OCHEC Conference, Hamilton. Please come and say hello if you are around in Hamilton. Hamilton Convention Centre, 1 Summers Lane, Hamilton.
Workshops that you might join me for?
In Search of the Secret: The Practical Road to Contentment
May 3 – Charlotte Mason Meeting
May 7 – Speaking at New Tech Homeschool Group. This is a local homeschool group meeting on a Monday evening.
Charlotte Mason in Real Life
May 26 – Parent’s Guide Conference, Barrie. I will be spending my day in the vendor’s hall; if this one is closer to your front door then please come visit for a bit. Barrie Free Methodist Church, 284 Cundles Road East, 8:30 am -3:30 pm.
June 7 – Charlotte Mason Meeting
June 8 – TEACH New and Used Curriculum Sale, Brantford, Mohawk College Campus, 6-9:30. There aren’t any seminars at this one but if you are looking for bang for your buck – this is an awesome used books sale. (I’ve always shopped for used books here and then been able pick any other books that I needed in the vendor’s hall.)
July – Newby Meeting **Stay tuned for updates**
August – New and Used Curriculum Sale, Ajax
August – Newby Meeting **Stay tuned for updates**
(Interested in a Newby Meeting in your area. Drop me a note, I’d love to visit for an evening with new homeschoolers in your area!)
So, now you know where to find me in the next few months… I will look forward to seeing many of your soon.
2012 Homeschool Workshops
In Search of the Secret: The Practical Road to Contentment. – Do you ever wonder what is it that you are searching for, what would make you truly happy?Living in a homeschooling family is a countercultural lifestyle just as being content is a countercultural value nowadays.In this seminar, we will search out the secret of the true meaning of contentment and how it is that we can practically work towards this ever elusive paradise in a home that is lived in 24/7 and on a limited income.Looking at our goals and expectations, our priorities, our stuff, our money, our relationships, we will set out on a journey that will prepare us to not only endure the trials of everyday life as a home educating family but to thrive and to be truly content.
Working Together – Working together as a family is an essential learning goal of every homeschool both for growing students and for the sanity of the mom who wants to conquer the laundry mountain.In this workshop we first look at the biblical basis for teaching our children to work together then discuss the basics of working together in order to develop self care skills, hospitality skills and a servant’s heart.Because Working Together is framed around acquiring practical life skills this seminar also includes how to set up a routine that will get the whole family involved in the essentials of running a Christian household. *** Note: I have an exciting new publication, Working Together: Teamwork Starts at Home Base that corresponds to this seminar.***
Goal setting and planning for your next school year – Preparing for the next school year can be a daunting task. Where do you start? How do you decide what to study and when to study it? Are you planning too much? Or too little? How do you know if you are making SMART goals? Do your long term goals for educating your children match your short and medium term goals? This workshop will walk you through how to plan for each of your children for an entire school year from writing a vision and goals to finishing with a workable schedule.
Single Income Living in a Double Income Culture – Choosing to homeschool makes your family countercultural for many reasons. Living by a different economy is one of those reasons. As homeschoolers, we have to learn to live more on less. This seminar looks at how it is that we can not only survive on less but thrive on one income. We will look at ways to save money in our homeschools and how to invest what we do spend wisely. Cori will also share about ways that their family has turned their home educating efforts into opportunities to earn money for the kids and for small business income that has helped the family’s bottom line by paying for homeschool costs.
Homeschooling for “Newbies” – Just starting out or considering taking a homeschooling adventure? This workshop will address some of the top questions that new homeschoolers ask: Do I need to contact my local school board? What resources and supports are available to me? How do I choose curriculum? What should a typical school day look like? What about socialization!?! – With lots of time built in for questions and answers you will have the chance to get specific answers to specific questions.
Enhancing Your Math Teaching. In this seminar we will look at ways to enrich the basics that you are studying in your math curriculum so that your family can move beyond the theoretical study of a pure science into the realm of everyday life through practical application. Enhancing teaching through the use of games, literature, activities and manipulatives as well as through unit studies, and various subjects, such as science and art, are just starters to helping your family enjoy their math studies.
Charlotte Mason in Real Life – Every family homeschools for different reasons and from a different perspective. Likewise, we all have different styles. This workshop looks at ways to integrate beneficial aspects of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy without necessarily becoming a dedicated “Charlotte Mason” family. This workshop starts out with an overview of the Charlotte Mason Philosophy and goes on to explore simple ways of incorporating beneficial principles like “living books”, narration and developing relationships with subjects into any homeschool no matter which way you approach home education.