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Winner, Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Well, another Conference Season has come and gone at Maple Tree.  I always so look forward to the time that I get to finally see so many people in person that I have only ever met in this virtual world.  I love communicating with you all through the year but to see real people at conferences is always so encouraging to me.  It’s then that I know that I am not the only crazy one attempting this home education thing and that my acquaintances aren’t just imagined. 

I know that I go to conferences as a speaker and a peddler of books but I actually have a more selfish reason for going.  I love to hear people’s stories. I am a collector of stories.  I love to hear how your school year went, why you are just starting out or what 20 years of this crazy life style has taught you.  Thank you all for stopping by and saying hello at a Maple Tree booth here or there in the last few months.

As a way to say thanks for stopping by and to give back to the community, I was able this year to give a special $25 gift certificate as a door prize at each major conference and book sale that I was at this spring and now I am pleased to share the winners with you all.

KWCHEA, Kitchener: Joanna M.

RVHEA, Ottawa: Leanne L.

OCHEC, Hamilton: Meagan V

KATCH, Peterborough: Amy L.

New and Used Sale, Barrie: Matt L.

TEACH, Brantford: Barb W.  

Congratulations to you all!  I look forward to sending you a special treat of your choice from the Maple Tree store.



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Thank you

Thank you for you many words of encouragement and your prayers for our little girl and for our whole family.  We wait and pray and try to keep all things in perspective – really, so much worse could happen!  For now, our daughter is well and we are continuing the daily struggle of fitting it all in: school and play, hiking in the woods and tidying the house, preparing for Christmas and enjoying visits from friends. 

As such, I am behind on my blogging.  I want specifically to get my next blog out on our virtual Mother Culture meeting.  This past meeting was on nurturing and discipling our kids.  We also talked practically about language arts and came up with a great resource list.

As we slog away, rather distractedly, at our reading and math lessons this fall I am constantly reminded to keep worthy goals in mind and am thankful for God’s grace which I know will sustain us.  We are also focusing on giving our kids the skills to fill in the gaps for themselves which are bound to come in any education let alone one with so much humanity interspersed into it as our little one room school house has. 

Yes, there will be ways that a licensed teacher would far surpass me in her teaching skills and knowledge – I am acutely aware of this as I, the Math Mama, am teaching an art class to a group of elementary schoolers.  On the other hand, in our home we can focus on helping our kids to learn work ethic while they are cleaning a bathroom, or to learn problem solving skills when they need to help their sister find her missing pair of runners, or logic when they have to decide how to arrange the plates on the table for the guests that are coming.  Our lessons may not always be formal but always we are teaching and our children are learningThe rest will fall into line.  I pray for that everyday.

Blessings Friends,


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Making Connections

Once again I am thankful for the opportunity to go to homeschooling conferences and to meet so many wonderfully interesting people.  I had a great time at the recent Rideau Valley Home Educators Association Conference in Ottawa.  My greatest regret though was that, as with every conference, it was such a busy whirlwind of a day that though I met many people, I didn’t get to know many.  One thing that I love is to hear people’s stories.  Why is it that you decided to home school?  What makes your home and family unique?  So here, Under the Maple Tree, I assuage my interests by sharing our family’s stories with all of you and look forward to having the chance to hear more of your stories over time. 
While I am taking the opportunity to share a little bit about our home school I thought I should make a couple of other introductions in hopes that these friends will also encourage you and share in your stories.
First, I was pleased to meet Shannon Ratcliffe in Ottawa at the RVHEA conference.  Most of you will want to check out her exciting new venture: Homeschool Horizons, a brand new all Canadian magazine for homeschoolers!  Shannon has had significant interest in her new magazine which will launch this fall and I know that I am looking forward to subscribing.  Won’t it be neat to have a national forum for connecting with other people who are walking the same road that you are travelling?  Check them out at or on facebook: “Homeschool Horizons – Canada’s Homeschooling Magazine”.  Say hello to Shannon and Kimberley and tell them that Cori sent you.  J
Another friend that I would like to introduce you to is Kay Chan.  Kay is the wife of Derek and homeschooling mother to six lovely daughters.  Kay has been a wonderful encouragement to me in my busy days as wife and mom and teacher and business woman.  She generously gave of her time to thoroughly edit and revise my new book, Working Together, despite having a full schedule with homeschooling and caring for a sick baby.  She provides me with many words of wisdom and encouragement.  And now I am happy to commend her efforts as she is working on compiling a book of encouragement for larger families.  Read more about it on her blog,!   Kay would love to share your testimonial if you are part of a large family.  Feel free to contact her at
And now after enjoying Kitchener and Ottawa conferences I am very much looking forward to OCHEC in Hamilton in another week.  If you are going to be there then please stop by the Maple Tree table in the vendors hall or come and see me in one of my seminars.  I have the privilege of sharing Charlotte Mason 101 as well as Enjoying Math?!?  Lots of fun and excitement! 
Or if you are in the area, you are welcome to come and visit at my home tonight – Thursday, April 28th for our second last Charlotte Mason Support Group of the year.  Contact me if you would like to come and need more information.
So many chances to make connections!  I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks!
Wishing you the support and encouragement that you need to finish this school year well!

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What a busy week it has been!  With a new book coming out, two homeschooling meetings and a conference, and many workshops to share, I really felt maxed out.  I kept asking myself, ‘Have I committed to too much?”  Often there is much that is good to do but I have to ask myself if it is reasonable to do it all in light of other commitments, namely commitments to having time for my relationship with the Lord and time for my family.
Well, I made it through it all, family in tact and still keeping up with some time with my Jesus and my Bible.  And what a spectacular week!  I really thrive on those times of visiting with families that are walking the same road as me.  Don’t we all enjoy that from time to time?  I am so thankful for the chance that I had to meet so many people at Newmarket’s CHEN meeting and in my own living room at our little Charlotte Mason support group.  What a blessing it was to me to hear so many of you respond so favourable to the three workshops that I had the privilege to share at Kitchener’s KWCHEA homeschool conference though I am sad that I had to turn away some of you at the door when the room got full.  I am truly blessed and bolstered up by your kind words. 
Thank you too for the spectacular response that you have given to my new book, Working Together.  I really do hope that it will bless your family as it has ours.
As the week starts up again Friends, I wish you peace.  I wish you the moments of respite in which you can count the many blessings of living the highs and lows of the wild and crazy lives that you have.