Posted on Leave a comment

A Few Good Books

Hello All,

As many of you know, this Maple Tree is littered with many good reads and I am constantly shipping them out from our little space.  I thought I would let you know of a few good books that I have here and would love to share with you…

First our Clearance books.  These are all new books that are discounted because I have more than we need even at this busy time of year.
Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series $50 (Regular $62!)

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Dr. Ruth Beechick $12 (Regular $14)
*Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra and Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra Companion $36 (Regular $48)
*Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra and Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra Companion $36 (Regular $48)
*These Life of Fred books are being replaced by a new volumes which combine the companion into the text.  In other words, these four books are now coming out as two books which will be $42 each.  As far as I can tell, the content is the same.*

I also have a hard cover, “scratch and dent” copy of You Can Teach Your Child Successfully available for $10.  There is no visible wear and very minimal damage.

As well, not wanting to jump into the Christmas shopping rat race, but also wanting to respond to the requests of some of my customers, if you have items that you are thinking of purchasing for your family and friends for Christmas and think that Maple Tree could help you out with them, I do very much appreciate your support of our small business from one home schooler to another.  I have in stock several items that you might have on your Christmas list including:

          The Jesus Storybook Bible ($19)
          The Jesus Storybook Bible with CDs ($28)
          Jonathan Park CDs.  (I hope to have the newest volume, #9, in stock in the next week to 10 days!) ($25)
          What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver DVDs by Phil Visher ($15)

Also, I am able to order thousands of other titlesthough a distributor that I am working with that supplies both homeschooling resources and many of the books and other items that you would might find at a general Christian bookstore.  Please let me know if you would like me to special order something in and I will see if I can help you with what you are looking for.  I plan to make an order this Thursday so please send all special orders in by Thursday at 10am.  Thanks!

Finally, as it is my goal to give gifts that are doubly beneficially this year, I also wanted to pursue items at Maple Tree that could be doubly beneficial.  As such I have started to carry a few titles by talented Canadian independent authors.  These books are a wholesome treat to have in your home and your purchase can also support independent Canadian authors and small businesses.

·         May I introduce to you a beautiful children’s picture book by Janis Cox called Tadeo Turtle.  Mrs. Cox is a very talented artist and has filled her book with amazing watercolour paintings.  The book is a story and learning opportunity about painted turtles and other animals and has a sweet moral to it about how we are all special because we are different.  There are many activities and learning extensions included in the book.  It retails for $13 and for Christmas I am shipping it for free! (These books are so new to Maple Tree that I don’t have them on my website yet but you can preview them here:

·         Carolyn j Morris is another independent Canadian author whose stories have been a treat in our home.  She has published three novels entitled Mourning Dove, Barn Swallows and Pine Warbler.  These novels are suitable reading for about a grade four level and up and can easily be enjoyed as a read aloud by younger children as well.  In the first story, the main character, Billy, is dealing with the recent loss of his father.  In this and all the stories the reader becomes acquainted with rural Canadian life as Billy spends a lot of time on his grandparents farm.  You will laugh and cry at the tender moments in these stories but will also learn some of the ins and outs of life on a farm in Canada.  A real treat.  These books also retail for $13 each but I have an introductory special of $12 each or all three for $30 plus shipping.  (You can read more about these books here:

I hope that these few volumes will be of use to some of you.  Please let me know if I can help you with any of these titles or with a special purchase.



Posted on Leave a comment

A New “Come Sit By Me”!

It’s been a while since I wrote to you all last and this is why!  I have been busily at work on some exciting new developments here Under the Maple Tree.  Take a look at the preface to the newly revised edition of Come Sit by Me:
It was over ten years ago that I found myself, for the first time, in the living room at Cyndy Regeling’s house for a “Newby Meeting” as my hubby and I were just beginning to consider educational options for our then three year old and soon to be newborn.  Mark and I really hadn’t considered homeschooling but I had a few friends that were looking into it and so I decided to join them for a fun evening out.  I’m sure that if I had known then what an incredible world homeschooling and Maple Tree would open to my family and to me, I would not have believed it.

That evening we had a cozy visit with yummy treats, hot tea and great conversation and it wasn’t until weeks later that I found out that I had been in the home of a nationally loved and respected author and educator.  Cyndy is a humble woman but so gifted to have produced resources that have become something of a household name among Canadian homeschoolers.

I guess you can imagine that, in time, we did decide that homeschooling was the right route for our family and when we finally make that leap, Come Sit by Me was a natural first learning tool for our little ones.  After all, what child doesn’t love a good picture book and this teacher-mama’s heart was certainly pleased with the caliber of the books selected and absolutely delighted that they were all products of “the True North strong and free”.  We knew that, for our family, we didn’t just want Christian content but we were looking for materials which were built on a worldview that was foundationally biblical and Come Sit by Me also fit the bill here.  Add to these the fact that we had just gone into full-time ministry, and therefore had severely restricted our pocket book, the general availability of the books at our small local library was impressive.  I didn’t have to make a large investment.  Smiles-per-dollar, Cyndy’s curriculum was a great deal compared to other boxed curriculums which were likely also of spectacular quality but out of our price range.  What a treat to know that home educating my children didn’t need to cost an arm and a leg but that armed with a few good books we could learn so much together.  Finally, feeling like a fish out of water, Come Sit by Me was a gentle introduction to being both the teacher and the mama at the same time.  The curriculum was thorough and yet very simple. 

            Well, over the years, several young ladies at the exclusive all-girls’ school that we call home have begun their learning with Come Sit by Me and, in the meantime, I had the privilege of working alongside Cyndy here and there, doing a bit of editing and chattering over writing ideas and outlines.  So it seemed a natural transition, in 2008, when Cyndy’s boys had finished their homeschooling journey and she had taken on a teaching position in a local Christian school, for me to take over Maple Tree Publications.  Cyndy’s books remained popular but she just couldn’t keep up with the demand.  It was a perfect fit as I had books and articles that were bubbling up, wanting to be printed, and had already begun to be involved in speaking to groups of homeschoolers and to lead workshops.  Maple Tree was a perfect fit for our little family, allowing me to make a few pennies to cover the costs of piano lessons and the occasional field trip while still being with my children fulltime.

            I have loved every aspect of being involved with Maple Tree as I have been able to interact with customers, to deal with the printing and publishing end and to travel across the country speaking at homeschool conferences and in local support groups.  In the wee hours of the night I even have fun writing books, articles and blog posts.  All in all, what I love the best is getting to know people coast to coast and hearing your stories, why you’ve chosen the educational route that you have, what makes your family unique and what you love to do together.

            Consistently, over the years, the people I run into have shouted their praises for Cyndy’s books and for Come Sit by Me in particular.  So many of you feel the way that I do!  It was with this in mind that I embarked on the task of updating and improving this resource so that it can be enjoyed all the more by the next generation of homeschoolers. 


So What’s New?

            You may be saying, “I know the old Come Sit by Me.  It’s great!  What needed changing?”  Well, not much, but lots.  Not much because the books that were covered in the unit studies are no less great now than they were when they were chosen years ago and the unit study format remains a fun, popular and effective way to start out schooling your young ones.  The general layout hasn’t changed but here is what is new:

  • 6 new book studies.  It has always been our goal at Maple Tree to make sure that the books that you are looking for to do these unit studies are accessible.  With the advent of the digital age and so many websites that sell both new and used books, as well as the widespread availability of interlibrary loan, even books that are out of print are often quite close to your fingertips.  Even so, we did replace a few books to make sure that the books that are studied are the most available. 
  • Dozens of new activities.  Besides the new activities that accompany the new books studies, you will find lots of other updated, freshened and added activities.  You’ll even find that a few books that weren’t previously available and now are in print again have returned with new activities.
  • Expended additional reading lists.  Let’s face it, I could write a book of good books alone so this is still a very limited list.  I couldn’t resist, however, a few additions – especially some scrumptious Canadian offerings.
  • New photography and graphics.  With all of this new material came the need for a new look.  Everyone likes a new outfit every so often and Come Sit by Me wanted to celebrate its new look with a new jacket and some bling on the inside too.  Crystal Hounsome, at Crystal Xpressions Photography ( was the creative genius behind the new look and style.  She would love to hear your kudos.  Stop on by her site and show her some love. 
  • Updated Bible verses.  Come Sit by Me has always used the New International Version for Bible verse quotations and now both the NIV and Come Sit by Me  have been updated so we made sure that wording will match your newer copy of the NIV Bible (copyright 2011).  If you find the wording of some verses slightly different than your NIV Bible at home then the difference is probably due to a different copyright date.  As always, you are welcome to use whichever version of the Bible your family chooses to study.  
  • Updated charts and planners.  You asked me to make them better and I’ve taken your suggestions.
  • Lots of little tweaks and fixes that you suggested.  Let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes and some of you have graciously shared your time and energy in making those fixes that will make Come Sit by Me even better.  Thanks to many independent editors, parents, friends and Maple Tree fans for proof reading over and over.  I’m sure you will still find typos and errors here and there and I appreciate your help in tracking them down.  If you find an error in the text then please send me a note and, as your prize, I will send you a list of the corrections that we have accrued to date.  If you have a contribution to make to this prize please email me at  I am always glad to hear from you. 


I certainly hope that you enjoy this new edition of Canada’s classic homeschool curriculum for your younger children and more than that, I hope that you enjoy the activities and adventures that it helps you along with.  I look forward to hearing about some of your adventures.




P.S. – In the next day or two you should be able to check out the new cover under “Product Catalogue” on our website at!

Posted on Leave a comment

New Stuff!

It’s been a while since my last post since we officially entered “conference season” at the end of March and I have had to spend more time in the “real world”.  I wanted to send you all a quick note though, before I head out to Ottawa for this weekend’s RVHEA conference, to let you know a bit of what is going on here Under the Maple Tree. 

For more than a decade, Maple Tree has been committed to bringing you spectacular homegrown Canadian homeschool resources.  In the past few years though as I have been out at conferences and enjoying many yummy chats with all of you we have often talked about wonderful books that weren’t on our publication list.  After a chat about one great resource or another the inevitable question was, “Can I get that from you?”  I was pleased to be able to point my friends to where they could seek out some of these yummy resources but have decided to stream line the process for you (and to work harder at paying for our own piano lessons rather than at padding some other retailer’s bottom line). 

So, in light of the fact that we love the principles of Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy of Education, we have expanded out product line and now carry many of the essentials of a Charlotte Mason education

I do plan to send you some more info in the near future on these products but, in short, we can now provide you with:

– Life of Fred Math
– Learning Language Arts Through Literature
– Mystery of History
– and Apologia Science

As well as many Charlotte Mason style Bible and parent resources.  We have been slowing adding products to the website so check back there as we continue to make updates but also feel free to email or call for more information.  I’d be happy to try to help you find the resource that you are looking for.  For now, our product line is fairly simple (though it is a big and exciting change here in our little corner of the world) as we aim to provide at least some essentials of a Charlotte Mason education.

Don’t forget that Maple Tree was founded on amazing Canadian resources that we continue to provide: Working Together, Come Sit By Me and the Great Canadian ArtPak to name a few. 

Please stop by our virtual store as you plan to visit your local conference or to order books for you next school year.

And if you are going to be at one of the remaining conferences that I will be at (Ottawa, Hamilton, Barrie, Brantford, or Toronto) please come and say hello!  I’d love to chat with you in real life!



Posted on Leave a comment


Hello Friends,

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 14thRVHEA 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?
          Working Together
          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.

Posted on Leave a comment

What’s New?

Hey there Friends!

I just thought I would drop you a short note (for once) to invite you to come on over and visit my newly refreshed website,  While this “work in progress” is still likely to morph and change over the next few months, we hope that we can use it to be useful to you.  The resources page will contain more and updated links and likes lists.  The link back here to the blog is prominent.  We also hope that, though our product list is still small, you will consider buying some of your homeschooling resources through Maple Tree. 

At Maple Tree we would love to become Canada’s Charlotte Mason resource provider and so please let me know if there are resources that you would like to see us carry and we will try to get them in for you.  For now, being a cheap homeschooler, I am trying to focus our product list first, of course, on the spectacular resources that we publish and secondly on the most essential learning tools that we homeschooler all have to invest it. 

For now, since there is so much out there that is cheap or freely available for our kids to learn from so I would rather help you to find where you can get free ebooks than to try to sell you reprints.  I love the idea of borrowing books that will only be used for a short time from a library rather than cluttering your house up with them even though they may be very good.  So if you take a look around at the website now, you will find that there are a lot of parent resources, math, reading, science and history curriculums but not so much the typical cornucopia of Charlotte Mason style wonderful novels and other books to read.  In time…  it will come.

One thing that I do want to point out though before you toddle of to peruse the dusty shelves of my little store is that the last of the Life of Fred Elementary Series is now racing across the United States in a FedEx truck toward my door!  That means that if you are interested in using this most engaging and entertaining of math curriculums then you can now order them on my website.  Need more information about Life of Fred?  Check it out here.  Updated pricing that includes the newest books can be found at under products.

Thanks for checking us out!



Posted on Leave a comment



This summer has been another wonderful series or camping trips, visits with family and friends, garden time and beach time and lots of time out doors in general. It’s nice to just feel the sun on my face and to only come inside when we absolutely have to! (…though it would seem that some of the required indoor domesticity has fallen by the wayside. Alas, we shall start to climb that mountain again soon!)

As a result of all of the excitement about Fred I have already
made two orders and am preparing a third.  I am so glad that
you are able to benefit from my “experiment” at ordering
books from the US.

As such I haven’t spent much time popping my jabbering into your inboxes but have just stopped by here and there for just one or two quick chats and a cup of tea.  Now, when I mentioned my new love affair with Life of Fred though a couple of weeks ago I certainly didn’t expect the response that I got!  I am totally flabbergasted!!!  I am glad that you are all enamoured with him (as I am) and do hope that he is able to liven up your math lessons but it has taken me quite some time to catch up with all of your orders and inquiries.

Anyway, Fred has kept me from returning to my quiet little spot Under the Maple Tree for quite some time as I have been busily filling orders and trying to find my house again under all of these stacks of books. 

Soon I will ship the last of the orders out in the back to school rush and hope to spend a few minutes here and there updating you on upcoming stuff here Under the Maple Tree. Look for a few more posts in the next week or so.  (As a sneak peak, if you are in the area, mark your calendars now as our little Charlotte Mason support group will be meeting again this fall starting on September 22nd.  I can’t wait and hope to see some of you then!)

Enjoy the last few “lazy days of summer”!