A Virtual Trip around The Acadian Shore of Soutwest Nova Scotia

Due to a series of bad winter storms and back to back illness in our home we were unable to go anywhere for March break this year.  In fact we will be schooling right through our March break due to the sickness factor but that’s very unusual for our family.  This all seemed like a downer so I brought up the idea of making pictures and doing a write up of their favorite local places to visit.  As we started to discuss these ideas excitement grew in everyone!  The children were all shouting out there favorite spots and stories started exploding for each of them.


We currently live on the South West shore of beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada.  We have stunning ocean shore lines that wrap around this whole end of Nova Scotia and yet you go inland just minutes to find picturesque lakes and rivers that run like veins though the land.  I’m always amazed when we go on a scenic Sunday afternoon drive at the diverse landscape and abundant bodies of fresh and salt water everywhere.  The diversity continues with large and hearty softwood trees on the coast and tall, lush hardwoods inland which in the fall decorate the landscape with vibrant earthy tones. spring2012 023

The area’s natural setting blends well with the people and cultures that call this area home.  The area is home to a rich Acadian culture and heritage which has thrived in the area for centuries.  The fishing industry is the backbone of this of this area and there is evidence of that where ever you go.

The favorite places my children described and the art work they created are a reflection of all of this, so come with us on a virtual tour of The Acadian Shore’s, mind you this is just a taste of what is offered here in Nova Scotia.

Le Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse is located in Lower West Pubnico, Nova Scotia and is the place to go to see how the settles lived off the land in the early 1900’s.  Our local home school group did a field trip here a few years ago and it was a big hit with everyone.  The boys and girls were split up and taken on separate tours showing each group what life was like for the girls of the time and of the boys.  The girls had a chance to tour the house and see how families lived and worked; they baked biscuits and made candles.  The boys learned how to stack fire wood, they used tools to garden and saw how men repaired nets and traps for fishing.  This is a place you can come spend the day, learn about a charming place and a time in history and enjoy a picnic with ocean views.  Le Village has created lasting memories for our family and we look forward to our next visit there soon.  https://levillage.novascotia.ca/

 Carl's Store

Not far down the road from where we live is the community of Tusket ,NS here you’ll find the quaint old fashioned general store, Carl’s.  You can find just about anything at Carl’s general store, really its more then I can list but its fun to go and check out.  Across the street you’ll find the oldest court house and goal in Canada.  During the summer months they offer tours and have a lovely gift shop.  http://www.argylecourthouse.com/content/

Lickety Splitz

Continuing on a day adventure in Tusket, you can get a frozen treat at Lickety Splitz Ice cream Shop, find a unique or locally made gift at Cindy’s Home Décor and experience a local phenomenon called Frenchy’s.  http://www.guysfrenchys.com/about-guys/shopping-at-guy-s


 Basically shopping at Frenchy’s saves you money yet it’s become a favorite pass time for the young and old alike around here.  It took me years to truly appreciate this local pass time, I’m not one for sifting through bins of clothes or wading through shelves of what sometimes looks like junk but when you find that special item for next to nothing its easy to get hooked especially when you’re a family of nine .  Our children are always asking to take a trip to their favorite Frenchy’s located in Tusket to spend their hard earned money.

 old world bakery

The town of Yarmouth, NS is the South Shore shopping destination.  It has great places to eat like our favorites, The Old Mill Seafood and Dairy Bar, The Shanty Café and The Old World Bakery.  Yarmouth has unique shops, larger box stores, several museums, parks and hotels.  A museum in town we would highly recommend is the Sweeny’s Fisheries Museum, there is a lot to see, and it’s very interactive to keep everyone interested.  The Firefighters Museum is another favorite located on Main street in Yarmouth that they enjoy best when their grampy, a deputy fire chief, is visiting.

firefighter museum

In the summer we spend several days a week at Port Maitland provincial beach located in the community of Port Maitland, NS.  This is a popular beach but never feels over crowded and we always find friends there to play with when we go.  http://www.novascotia.com/see-do/outdoor-activities/port-maitland-beach-provincial-park/2022

 Port Maitland beach

Ellenwood Provincial Park is a great place for a day trip and picnic but is also where we camp with friends.  Some of us homeschooling families also have hobby farms so it keeps us close to home most of the time so we can attend to animals but we all still love to go camping together as families so we have a local central camp ground that we go to.  Ellenwood Provincial Park offers an 87 site campground, two picnic areas, boat launch, a supervised beach, and hiking trails.  We have some great memories with our homeschool friends camping and day trips spent together at this park.



It has been fun reminiscing of good times over the years of places we have visited, some once and many others over and over again. This comes at a time where we are getting ready to move to a new province in a few short months, where we will find new places to explore. We look forward to coming back here on our vacations after we move and enjoying all of these great locations and more.

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Click here to check out other virtual field trips across Canada!!

When illness strikes over and over again

We’ve all been there before ,in the wee hours of the morning someone wakes with a fever ,achy body, cough or possibly the stomach flu . In our house, what ever that sickness may be that child gets daddy’s recliner chair in the living room with what ever pillows and blankets they wish, the t.v that is normally put away comes out and they get to pick what ever they want to watch. Everyone else goes on with their normal school routine, chores  and always help wait on who ever is sick.  This has worked well for our family because having a break from school and watching all the t.v they want with rest seems to get them back on their feet again pretty soon. I think the big reason everyone who is healthy is so good about staying with the routine despite knowing there is t.v and pampering happening during school time is that they know their time will come , its almost inevitable.

Having any number of sick kids is hard but it will certainly always feel endless depending on how many children you have. About a month ago the stomach flu took down a child every two days until it went through most of the house. It had been only two weeks before that, it had just gone through our home in the same way, one or two per day every couple of days. Now in the month of March we were hit again (third time since January) but this time a nasty virus that when done would turn into chest or sinus infections. Personally I have had it the worst and longest of all ( I’m just going into my third week with no sigh of it leaving). Not one of us nine were spared ,everyone had it to some degree and we are all at the end of our rope.

What do you do when sickness brings you down time after time? How do you stay on track when there are lessons that have to be completed ? When do you say enough is enough?

This time with everyone being affected we did not sit around all day watching t.v , there were to many of us sick to get special treatment, we did rest and in between taking medications school work got done. Very small amounts got done, some math , cursive, language arts, pretty much work that could be done independently. My throat was to sore to teach so I would sit in my chair and correct when needed. We did our best but didn’t force or make a fuss over anyone who wasn’t up to it. Our family has always done our best to “go with the flow” when these kinds of things threaten our homeschooling over and over again. We just do our best in the moment to get through and evaluate and make a plan after its all done. We are currently still just getting through but I know like everything else it will pass and become a distant memory.

Remember to look for the joy in it all, the extra cuddles, the excuse to slow down and a chance to make the normal routine feel fresh again once it’s all over.

Hello homeschool world!

My name is Ellie and right now as I sit typing this I can look around my crowded dinning room to see 7 children of various ages and stages doing what we call home school. The baby is in his seat eating Cheerios, the two year old is crawling around under the table searching for tipped over crayons, the older children are doing math, handwriting and creating beautiful works of art. One is humming a tune, there’s a screamer and few who are deeply focused on their task.  It’s not glamorous nor organized most of the time but its our life and we want you to join us on this real life home school journey.

Homeschooling creeps into most areas of our life,  so this blog will not only discuss curriculum choices, scheduling (or lack of), field trips and record keeping but so much more.  I will discuss meal planning, home organization, the importance of connecting with other homeschooling families in your area or online, family chores , basically the list is endless. The other important thing I want to share with my readers is this is real life and sometimes it’s messy.  I will never claim to be an expert because after 8 years of homeschooling I have learned that it is ever changing. I will never have it down to a science and the only consistent factor after all these years has been Christ, he is the center of it all and He never changes.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and tomorrow . Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)

So please join me on this journey and possibly laugh, learn and be encouraged.