Wednesday, 1 October 2014

New year, new approach!

So am I the only one who considers September as the "beginning of the year"? It's the start of school and hockey season - which means late hours and cranky mornings for me!

Running a hockey-related business AND homeschooling my now 10 year old are respectfully two full time jobs and after a year of juggling both, I knew I needed to change my approach to certain things.

After critically evaluating how the last school year went, I realized that having a customized curriculum worked wonderfully for K, however, with his ever-curious mind, he naturally had questions that went beyond what I covered in his curriculum. His curiosity has always been encouraged, despite the incessant questions throughout the day can be like nails on a chalk board. Just when I thought I was going to loose my mind from hearing another inflection in his voice, I stumbled upon

This site was designed specifically for students as a tool to assist them with homework and assignments. Subjects range from French to Spanish to English to Math and everything in between! The site functions by a member (free) posting a question, and having the brainly community answering them. They have a point system, where the more questions you answer, the more points you can accumulate. I decided to toy around with it to see how well it functions and if it was even worth getting my son to use. So I posted my question, "what were the causes of world war one" - and I waited. In the meantime, I was able to answer other community questions and accumulate my own points. (oh and "the assassination of Ferdinand" and "Nationalism" were the popular answers to my question)

Kids are more connected than any other generation previous. With iphones and tablets as the "expected gifts" for our children, they're more tech-savy at a younger age, where the internet is a toy first and foremost. This site teaches them that the internet can be a tool, and should be used as such. The inquisitive child in the classroom now has an outlet to go to and ask his questions freely to the global community.

Brainly is more geared towards the upper grades, but my 5th grader has been more than comfortable posting his questions and delving through the answers he's received. This site will become a new tool that we'll be using in the classroom this year, and for years to come. Simply genius!

The site can be accessed here:
By all means check it out and let me know what you think!

Happy learning!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Comic Sans is for elementary school ONLY

So it's been just over a month diving head first into the world, and I'm enjoying the response. I'm really impressed with the site and how it works as it is truly a tool to enhance education as well offer teachers (and home school teachers alike) an opportunity to supplement their salary. Teaching is by far one of the most demanding jobs there are, and it goes way beyond the classroom. Like parenthood, teaching is a way of life - something that is integral to your identity (at least I feel that way lol). It's a job where you give, give and give, and the only real return is seeing your child over come challenges and succeed. I know the site itself has its critics, as pretty much anything in today's society does. But that doesn't mean it's not beneficial to both student and teachers, and in all honesty, any win/win situation is a good thing.

When I started the home schooling era of my life this past September, I promised myself that I wouldn't do anything "too childish" in terms of babying my grade 4. But I've learned that when kids can related to "kiddie" things, they are so much more open to learning. I FINALLY decided to use comic sans for an assignment a few weeks back, and the first comment out of K's mouth was "cool font!" and he dove right into completing the work! What? You mean to tell me that you don't care for Times New Roman, or Ariel black? Those are classics!! What I fail to realize though, is that grade 4 students are not used to writing pages upon pages of papers, so Times New Roman is not nostalgic for them yet. Messy writing, misspelled words are their comforts.

I guess this is a learning process for everyone! Luckily offers numerous freebies for parents such as myself to download in order to make homework assignments and activities much more inviting to young and creative minds. 

Do I still think comic sans is a childish font? Absolutely! Does that mean I will never use it? Of course not!!

Weeks until summer: 8!

Check out my stuff on teacherspayteachers! Like I said, it's only been a month...

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Spring has sprung!

It seems as though that spring has finally sprung in the GTA! It definitely couldn't have come any sooner! The hockey season is winding down, and the kids are longing for those dog days of summer. To be honest, I'm dreaming of them too - life always seems easier when the sun is out, accompanied by a cool breeze - and of course, a glass of wine, or two, or three (depending on the week LOL)

But I digress. 

Not only are we winding down the school year, this is also the time to start planing for September! So, I've officially started to upload my lesson plans and worksheets for Grade 4 onto; a useful website where teachers are able to upload their own worksheets and lesson plans for purchase. The link to my store is here:

I am sill in the process of uploading all my lesson plans, but  it's a process, so please, bear with me :-) Also, everything uploaded is what I've done with my son, so they were successfully used in a learning environment. All of the content is based on the requirements and expectations of the ministry of education for the province. 

Please note that I can do any other lesson plan for all elementary subjects (as well as history and English high school courses) from any other province, whether it's an entire unit, or a specific chapter. I do all my own research, and can completely customize it to fit your child's interest. My son absolutely loves Minecraft and hockey, so I incorporate those into every lesson for him. When you get kids to relate, you get them to learn. 

I know I'm pitching myself here, but hey, the internet is all about shameless self-advertisement! lol 

If you would like a sample of my writing, lesson plans, worksheets - anything - I can totally offer that to you! All my work is based on my own research (of course from credible sources; learned a LONG time ago that wikepedia is NOT meant to be the basis of ones research lol). 

I'm available via email if you have any questions, or just need someone to vent to. Raising children is tough, being a mother/ father AND a teacher is even harder. But we're all focused on the end result: raising the best kids we can :-)

Thanks for taking the time to read this! 


Ms. Fusion

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Calming the chaos


Thanks for taking the time to stop by and check out my blog!

I'm a twenty-something-home-schooling-self-employed-stay-at-home-"stepmother"-of-one - betcha can't say that 5 times fast. Sorry, this is the internet, where all the jokes are bad and recycled.

This is my very first attempt at doing the whole blogging thing, but hey, bandwagons can be fun!

Most of my blogs will not be about me, but rather, links and access to home schooling activities, work sheets and lesson plans. But I wanted to introduce you to the chaos first.

My partner owns his own highly successful and popular hockey training school in the Greater Toronto Area, and just over a year ago, I quit my job in retail to help him manage the school. After a very successful season, the opportunity to bring his son to live with us presented itself, and of course a young adolescent son should be with his father, so we welcomed him "back home" so to speak (before this point, he had only spent summers with us as his school and mother were on the other side of the country). Of course the question of education came up. The boy, K, had attended a Christian private school out west, and wanting to respect his upbringing, we looked into private Christian schools in the area. My partner and I weren't too keen on taking on a second mortgage, or donating major organs, so we toyed with the idea of home schooling.

Now, ironically enough, my original plan was to be a teacher. But with the market saturated with teachers, and a huge wait list in all school boards in and around the Toronto area, I decided not to go that route. But the passion was there! We quickly jumped on board with the concept of home schooling, and with less than 10 days to the "first day of school," I scrambled to get all the essentials and packages, and materials I would need to get K to absorb ALL the information that he could!

Of course, the "education industry" is a huge market, supplying the economy with millions, if not billions of dollars annually. $40 for a math work book; $80 for a science work book; and french, and grammar, and history... EVERYTHING costs money! We were better off putting him in the private school! But I figured that there had to have been a cheaper route... and of course there was - why should I pay for an elementary workbook, when 1. majority of the information is all online via useful resources; and 2. how do I know that the way the information is outlined in the texts, is going to be helpful to K? I know this child better than anybody over at Scholastic or Nelson is going to know him. So, I decided to create a completely custom curriculum. Yes, we still follow the guidelines of the Ontario provincial curriculum, but now, we're not limited to JUST the curriculum, and we can expand on any topic he wants to expand on.

From learning how to do long division, to conjugating french verbs, to the conspiracy theories in Ancient Egypt, I have been able to put together months of work and lessons all for my eager grade 4. Much of the information came from my own research, as well as tailoring activities that specifically suited K's interests. And, after 6 months of this, I have to say that I am quite please with K's progress.

So, this blog is meant to help other home schooling parents in Ontario with worksheets, activities and lesson plans; and also offer a support system for those trying moments. Teaching is one of the toughest jobs out there - and it's not just making sure 20+ kids get the information you're presenting to them, it's also teaching them life skills, developing their personalities. But trying to control 25 rowdy pre-pubescent children should definitely come with hazard pay.

I hope that some of you are able to walk away with something, if not a lesson plan, but at least knowing that if your child doesn't get long division right away, that it's not the end of the world, or that it's totally acceptable to have a field trip to Starbucks because you need the wifi