Posted by: angiefm | January 10, 2012

And Now Back to Our Regular Programming

Come 12 Jan 2012, it will be a WHOLE YEAR since we moved to Montreal because of Tee Chiou’s work!  That’s in just 2 days!  I looked back (don’t we all at the beginning of a new year?) and realised how pathetic this blog has been this past year.  Not only were there too few posts (I used the “too busy” excuse too often), there was next to nothing about homeschooling, which was the original intent of this blog.  Sigh …

I know that the solution to writing more lies in canning that need for perfection (and for photos!) and learning to write shorter blog posts.  So in order to start the year right on the blogging front, I have decided to write a SHORT post about CURRICULUM.  I hope this satisfies those of you who have been patiently waiting for something … anything … about homeschooling.

Here goes:


We live in limbo where the school year is concerned because we still cannot get away from thinking calendar year (Singapore style), but want our children to be able to say what school year they are in when they talk to people here, or go to the right class in Sunday School, etc.  Fortunately for us, we do very little at “grade level” apart from math.  So to reduce the confusion, we started our children on their new math curriculum in September last year.

We made the switch to Saxon Math and they are now doing Saxon 6/7, Saxon 4/5, Saxon Grade 2.  We switched from Singapore Math (which we brought from home) to Saxon Math in order to prepare them for any Canadian standardised testing we may want them to sit for in the next year or so.


We read a chapter a day of the Bible as a family every evening and share our “favourite verses”.  I would like to re-start singing hymns and have ordered The Christian Life Hymnal from  We are also reading Trial & Triumph for Church history and will revive the Hide ‘Em In Your Heart CDs by Steve Green for the benefit of the younger ones.


We started using Mystery of History and the kids are really enjoying it.  We are not doing the activities at the end of each chapter (no time lah!), but we put our timeline figures into our timeline book (both from after every three readings.  We have just completed week 12 of the first book and hope to finish books 1 and 2 of the series by the end of the year.


I will be using Galloping the Globe with the preschoolers in our weekly homeschool group meeting and will do the same lessons at home with our kids.  The programme is targetted at grades K to 4, but you can easily take it up a notch for older kids.  I would like to get some mapwork in as well, but I think that would be ambitious to say the least.


The homeschool Co-Op we attend is using R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey (I cannot spell Odyssey without checking!) Chemistry from  I kinda influened the decision for selish reasons.  🙂  Confession is good for the soul.  We started on the Life Science one on our own and got about halfway through before we got distracted.  We also bought Exploration Education from which I LOVE LOVE LOVE, but we have not been able to find the time to be diligent with this.


We have just started using a programme you can find online here:  Called the Overseas Language and Culture Education Online, it is a series of textbooks and workbooks which our resident Chinese teacher has taken a great liking to.  🙂  We are using the “zhong wen” series if you’re interested.


When in Rome … or Montreal … learn FRENCH!  🙂  We have a tutor who comes over for 5 hours of French every week.  On one day, she does individual hour-long sessions with each child, then on another day, she spends two hours with all three together, reading, singing, playing Monopoly, etc.  She is using locally bought workbooks for the kids.  We are also doing the L’Art de Lire programme from  This programme is great for us because it is written in ENGLISH!  Ha ha.


We are continuing to use the Charlotte Mason method for teaching English (for teaching everything, really), and are using Spelling Wisdom from for copywork/dictation.  The children also narrate from various books we read but I have become less diligent about requiring it of the two older ones over the years.  I am working more with Nathalie (just turned 7) who seems to have more difficulty with this.  Alethea is working independently from Writing Strands and I hope will be a regular contributor to the Singapore Homeschool Gazette e-zine at


Together with another homeschool family, we are doing Year 1 of Music and Moments with the Masters from, doing picture studies (I know I don’t need it but I am seriously eyeing the Picture Studies Portfolios from, and working through Beginning Public Speaking from the Institute of Cultural Communicators


Our homeschool co-op is using Artistic Pursuits from, and we have a WONDERFUL theatre trained Mom in the group who is doing such fun stuff with the kids and preparing them to put up a play!  WOO HOO!  🙂

THERE!  Blogging that wasn’t so difficult!  🙂  Here’s to a brand new year of teaching our own!  It will be our 8th year!


  1. Hey Hi there Angie and family
    Blessed New Year 🙂 thank you for keeping us updated with whats happening on your end. Thank you for your candidness in sharing. You are missed!
    God’s Blessings to all that you set your HEART in doing.
    Hugs : Carol Tan-Soh

  2. Hi! I wanted to share how much your blog has been a blessing…. My oldest boy was in P1 in Singapore when the Lord led me to your blog in 2009. It was interesting to read about how you homeschooled. Little did I know that the Lord was preparing me for the journey ahead. In Sep 2010, we moved to the New York & guess what… we chose to homeschool! You do not now how much I’ve referred to all that you’ve posted, book lists… etc. as a guide because I’m completely new to this. And when I read about you moving to Canada & your sharing about homeschooling there, there was a resonance in my spirit because I can totally identify with the challenges & exciting adventures you face (being a Singaporean homeschooling in North America). I just want to say “Thank you!” for sharing your lives & your journey. Do keep up with the good work that the Lord had begun & may He continue to use you to bless many.

  3. […] case you read the previous post and was absolutely floored at how much it SEEMED we were doing, here is a follow-up post to show […]

  4. Hi Angie, thanks so much for sharing.
    Could you also share how you work through Beginning Public Speaking from the Institute of Cultural Communicators

    • Sorry for the late response. We did this one with another family. 5 kids in all. There are no ICC chapters in Montreal or we would have joined one. There are a couple in Singapore if you’re keen. We met once a week to watch a lesson and present our assignment to the rest of the class. For some, the moms presented also and it really wasn’t easy, but it was fun and it was good to lead by example. For tougher assignments which needed more preparation, we would take two weeks for a lesson and use the one in between to research and help each other with ideas. The video format of the class made it very easy to organize and most weeks we just jumped into it without any preview or prep. Hope that helps!

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