Sweet Bella Vita

a dash of motherhood… a sprinkle of homeschooling… and a pinch of photography ( with a side of compassion )

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educating the heart through nature art

My friend Marghanita Hughes had a contest giveaway a while back and I won some of her beautiful art work.

For those of you that know me and know  how passionate I am about elephants you could imagine my excitement when I opened up my mail and found these…


This one in particular is my favourite


She is a very talented wonderful artist. She offers workshops and even has a shop with the cutest dolls and stories  to encourage children to interact with nature 🙂 and I absolutely love reading about her amazing nature art creations.

Go check her out here at http://www.marghanita.com/ “Educating the heart through nature art”

and here is her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marghanita.hughes




Favourite Canadian Book (s)

It is too hard to just pick one … so I have decided to name several books that we love.

My oldest who is 9 years old really enjoys the books Canadian flyer adventure series; they are great chapter books that teach some history of Canadian events.


My 7 year old enjoys the short stories in the two books by  Canadian author Ian James Corlett; E is for ethics and E is for Environment. Great short stoies that get kids to think about ethics and how to be kinder to the environment.


My 4 year old  currently loves all books by Canadian author Melanie Watt. The scaredy squirrel series  is particularly entertaining to her. Actually I have to be honest all three of my kids and myself included love her stories.


Then I have to have an honourable mention which are more work book type books rather then story books.

The map books by George Quinn and Debbie Sherman; they are absolutely awesome and my kids love the worksheets in them and they have learned so much from them.


This is a small sample of some of our favs.

Do you have one favourite in particular or many? Honestly I am not sure I could ever pick just one favourite book.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway  for the books  ‘Disaster Strikes’ by clicking right HERE 

and visit the rest of the blogging team posts for favourite books this month HERE




quizzing homeschoolers

As a homeschool mom I spent a couple of years completely freaked out that my kids had to be ahead of the average kid the same age but in school. This was mostly brought on by exterior factors, as I have encountered many people over the years questioning my kids and what they know. I find it rather funny, as one would not likely say hey kid your in grade 2 , so do you know addition ?… really, what is 4+5?

Yet it seems funny to me that people, mostly complete strangers, think it is appropriate to test a homeschool kid.

I am finally happy to say that I have thrown it all out the window in the last year or so. I think it took seeing my kids get to where they are for me to realize that I really don’t care where they ought be as they are exactly where they should be !

My oldest who is 8, thinks it is kind of amusing when people quiz him … I think it is rather amusing when he starts talking about stuff that the person has no clue about, for example animals the person has never heard of  such as a yeti crab, the environment and the major problems going on with it, or the the eruption of Krakatoa  ( just to name a few examples) … love the reaction from the people when they are amazed.

So the next time you come a across a homeschooler, don’t quiz them on what you think they should know or where you think they should be at … have a conversation with them instead, you might be surprised and actually learn a few things from them 😉

have a great weekend!





homeschool … what ?!?!

 Yes, we homeschool! 


I get one of 2 reactions… 

WHAT?!?!? You homeschool??? Why would you do something like that ? Is that even legal?  Are you insane?!?


oooh that is soooo cool!!! Tell me more!!!

ok, I do get reactions in the middle range  but not very often


Yes, it is legal …  and yes we actually enjoy homeschooling… and no, we do NOT spend our days at home. And when we are home, no my kids do not watch tv… in fact we don’t even have t.v. ,  to which I usually get a GASP !!!! no t.v. ??? are you from this planet look (or some people actually come out and  verbally ask me that ).

a peak inside my homeschool, art, creativity, reading, and play room …


So what do my kids do all day ???  well, when they don’t have  planned class outside the house (such as swimming/ art/ music  etc…) or when we don’t have an outing to a museum/ library / theater or other really neat place)   they play !!!  Yes play; legos and snap ciruits, are 2 of their favorite toys.


My oldest who would only be in grade 2 does curriculum  work. This year he has been working on geography of Canada and the world, we have done science, enviromental studies, ethics studies, art, french, italian, cursive writing,  lots of math and tons, did I say TONS of reading.


My 5 year old is now learning to read, has started doing math, is learning to tell time, tie his shoes,  and loves to color and write me love notes such as this one 🙂

          note from my 5 y.o.

And my 2 year old … well she loves to do everything ! She copies her brothers  and plays pretty much all day . What else should a 2 year old be doing besides playing?  She is learning her shapes, colors, numbers and letters along the way  all while taking in 3 languages.

the word “it” can be soooo exciting! 😉



So how did I come to this decision?

Well I was pregnant with my first and having already embarked on a ‘crunchy granola’ road long before my pregnancy,  homeschooling  seemed to just fit right in with my lifestyle.  I have say that the first time I did hear about it, my reaction was is this legal?  But the more I researched it the more I felt like it was exactly what I wanted to do.


There are many reasons we homeschool , but I will list a few here

I think learning happens every day, all day … and not in a classroom from 9 to 3.


I also feel that kids have a natural desire to want to learn and are naturally curious  … and I think school can kill this desire at times .


I think that a classroom with lots of kids is not an ideal learning environment for a child and I like the one to one ration way more.


I  believe the world is full of learning opportunities everywhere, from the grocery store to museums to the beach  to a hike on a mountain there is always something to learn.


I like that my kids are growing up together , my oldest shows the younger ones stuff he knows, and he reads to them a lot.


I like that my kids interact with all sorts of people and not just kids their own age or teachers.


I like that my kids are getting more time to be kids instead of being pushed to grow up faster (by peer pressure).


I like that they don’t have to worry about what they are wearing while they are reading or doing math or simply being creative.

IMG_2260 2

I like that I don’t need to worry about bullying.


Okay and now a few of my selfish reasons;

I am not tied to a school year calendar and schedule …

I don’t need to wake my kids up to get on a school bus at the crack of dawn …

I get to spend more time with my kids (they grow up way too fast as it is ) …

and I love seeing them learn 🙂


I have some friends who tell me they don’t know how I do it … honestly I don’t know how they do it…either way, raising/educating  kids is a lot of work.


Oh and for those who really want to know … we are eclectic homeschoolers


I started a facebook group to network and connect with homeschool families from around the world, so come and join us if you are homeschooling.


And if you homeschool and have a homeschool blog, please share 🙂

see you soon!