Travel for free

no jet lag, no taking off your shoes, no packing …

Panoramas are a great aid to any homeschooling studies related to travel or history.  Muslim families especially will enjoy these, from the Sahih Bukhari site.

Young Sprout recognizes the Kaaba and is already asking when we can go, so I’m planning to do some downloading.  For the time being I simply downloaded the Cave of Hira (where Angel Jibreel first visited the Prophet SAWS) to make sure it’s working properly.

Technical note:  You have to download the Sahih Bukhari panoramas to view them.

A while back on my other blog, I wrote about panophotographies.   This post contains a link to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  It’s amusing that even in 2009 I was ranting on about people who dress up in red hats and purple dresses to express their individuality just like everyone else!



Filed under field trip, Travel, Yet Another Reason to Homeschool (YARTHS)

Red Hat Rebellion Moment


by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens . . .

. . .

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

[caveat:  this is not the whole poem but you can buy posters here

Now I’m in opposite mode, not needing to make up for the sobriety of my youth, and if I had a pension it would go on chocolate not brandy.  And NOT, NEVER going to walk around in a red hat.  But I do feel I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m going to do the important things and express myself, as

Young Sprout came along for the ride, mainly because I was on grandma duty and felt this was too important to miss.  I’ve attended protests off and on since my childhood, although I was about nine on my first one.  Although I thought he wasn’t absorbing very much, at the dinner table he started chanting “Go, go, daffy,” and now recognizes two dictators by their photos.


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The Day Your Kid is NOT Welcome in School …

Something I learned when Senior Sprout was in Grade One — if the school buses aren’t running, they don’t want your kid in school.  Of course I learned this the hard way, tramping through giant snowdrifts and telling him to suck it up, “If school is open, you’re supposed to be there.”  Basically they go into babysitting mode for the parents with no alternative childcare.  So everyone else gets a taste of homeschooling by default.

This was Young Sprout’s first real time to enjoy snow.  Last year a dusting fell once on our city.  The year before was snowy, but he was less than a year old at the time.  After building a snowman and a snow house and lots of sliding down a berm, he didn’t want to come in.

I know everyone else has had wild snow for a while now, but had to post!   And not just because things got busy with this and that last week and I missed the whole week (blush).


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Revolution for toddlers

Here’s my attempt at a stylized Egyptian flag made with jelly beans, the easiest colourful material we could get our hands on at short notice on Friday morning when President Mubarak finally stepped down.  After 18 days of roller coaster stress, times when we were cut off from relatives in Egypt (and knowing that Abu Sprout’s dad was trying to get from Cairo to rejoin his family in Alexandria after the government cut off train service for a couple of days), no one had dared prepare anything for a celebration.

I’m not sure that being able to stay up till all hours to follow the progress of a revolution counts as Yet Another Reason to Homeschool, since you really can’t explain  politics to a three year old.  For older children it definitely would be, though.

Young Sprout now recognizes The Bad Man’s picture.

I remember as a child I thought the word “duringthewar” which I thought was one word that simply meant “any time before you were born” and thought I had missed out on something cool.  I hope Young Sprout doesn’t feel he missed out, because the people of Egypt waited so long and suffered so much more than people realized to reach this point.  I just pray that this will lead to real change in a positive direction.

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Egyptian-style art

The wedjat a.k.a. eye of Horus or eye of Ra is one of the most recognized symbols from ancient Egypt.

Working on ideas for a possible fibre art piece I was colouring this in different ways to see the effects, with help from Young Sprout.  Then he drew his own, which is a pretty respectable attempt, definitely one for the portfolio.

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Filed under Art, Portfolio, Travel

Homeschooling in Morocco

A year traveling in Morocco and homeschooling, does that sound wonderful?

My sister-in-law and her husband took their four children for the last school year, and have promised some guest posts and photos.  My older niece Hind is writing a book and sent an excerpt.


This photo I believe is Saidia, which I remember from back in the day when it was a very small town with a beach and an ice cream shop.  Now it’s being developed and has condos and a golf course.


Anyway, here’s Hind!


I skipped downstairs, black high heel hanging from my hands and entered the big living room near the door. I walked towards the beautiful dresses we got. Leila was out in the small waiting room grabbing her shoes. I suddenly heard, elegant clicky foot steps rushing towards the door. Leila presented herself through the door. She paused as if she were in a photo shoot.

“So do you like my shoes?”  Leila asked as she kicked her foot up to show me her black high heels. It had a huge bow on each shoe.

“Yeah, I can’t wait” I said excitedly. We both switched from our pajamas to the breathtaking dresses.

“Oh, Leila you look amazing!”I said as a big smile grew on my face

“You too!”  She said. And instantly a smile grew on her face as well

“Come on girls!” Mom said as she entered the room, in her blue dress.

“Wow, girls, you look great!”Mom said as she took a good look at us

“And you Mom, you look amazing” I said

“Yeah, you look great Mom!” Leila said

“Thanks! Now let’s go!” Mom said. I quickly slipped my feet through the shoes and tightened them. I walked down to go to the garage door like we always did, and waited for Leila and my mom. I was extremely exited. It was going to be so much fun. We’d get to dance all night. Who wouldn’t want that? Although I’m not a good dancer, dancing for me was so much fun.   Really, it was all for the fun.  Leila rushed behind me.

“I hope Miriam and Esmae will be there” I said as I stepped outside. The lights from the Fruits and Vegetables sign light up across the busy street. We waited for mom to lock the door before we left. Then we started to walk alongside the Hanoots (stores). The big man who gave Leila and I gum all the time smiled at us. He was such a nice person. We smiled back. We walked down the dirty path.

“Yeah they were cool people! We totally had fun.” I said with a giggle and turned a left, to enter the neighborhood. We could hear the music already. It was so exciting. With every step I took the music got louder, the lights got brighter and my excitement level got higher. And there we were facing the open door. I stepped in. Houda stood by the door.

“Salam,” she said with an excited but busy smile on her face. She then directed us to the roof. As I climbed up the stairs, I noticed our uncle standing in front of the mirror. He turned as he saw us climbing up the stairs. We said him and he confirmed that the wedding would be on the roof. Scattered around the stair case that lead to the roof, were the annoying little boys from yesterday, who were playing cards. As we walk passed them, they were quiet, and defenseless. They didn’t make a sound and stood to the side.

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Filed under field trip, Morocco, Travel, Yet Another Reason to Homeschool (YARTHS)

The Skype’s the Limit ~ Egypt

Since I signed up for the Post A Week challenge, every day WordPress emails me prompts and today’s was, What one piece of technology can you not live without?

Up until this week, I would have said the laminator, which was the Eid gift Umm Sprout picked for herself and which we all feel marks the official beginning of homeschooling for the Young Sprout.

Now that the Egyptian government has shut down internet, cell phones, and land lines, I would have to say Skype.  With Abu Sprout’s parents there we are in touch on a daily basis.  Now no one can get through, news crews are unable to gather information, and it’s a big black hole.  We just have to have faith.

Several years ago when Umm Sprout was in grade school our then family survived a major ice storm which left millions of people with no electricity.  We were lucky that ours was only off for five days and that we had a natural gas fireplace and stove.  But that was at least man against nature; this is man against man and much harder to accept.

So to me the most important technology is everything that connects us and lets ordinary people share what is really happening, be it Mounties Tasering an immigrant to death, tanks mowing down peaceful protesters in Tian An Min Square, or any other abuse of human rights.


Filed under Travel