All posts by Leanne

Recent acquisitions

books-education-school-literature-48126The following items have recently been added to the catalog:

  • Prairie Primer
  • Sassafras Science – Volume 1 Zoology (Johnny Congo & Paige Hudson)
  • Changes (Luke & Trisha Gilkerson)
  • The Talk (Luke & Trisha Gilkerson)
  • I really really like fossils (Ruth Carter)
  • Discovering Evidence for creation and the Biblical Flood (Michael Oard, Tara Wolfe, Chris Turbuck)
  • What really happened to the dinosaurs (John Morris & Ken Ham)
  • Life in the Great Ice Age (Michael & Beverly Oard)
  • Dinosaurs by Design (Duane T. Gish)
  • Artistic Pursuits Grades 4-5 book 1
  • Ancient Civilizations and the Bible audio book (Diana Waring)
  • Christians with Courage (Ruth Jay Johnson)
  • Treasures of the Snow (Patricia St. John)
  • Story of the World activity books
  • Alexi’s Secret Mission (Anita Deyneka)
  • Grandpa’s Christmas Gift (Sarah Hopewell)
  • Johannes Kepler – Sower Series (John Hudson Tiner)
  • Awesome Science DVD’s (Noah Justice) – coming soon






The Value Tales living book series now available in the RVHEA Library

Age-range: kindergarten (as a read-aloud) through to upper middle school (as an independent read).

valuetalesThese books were a favourite for my sister and me when we were kids. When we saw the new one arrive each month, we jumped for joy and begged our mom to read it to us right away. She did, and we later devoured each story over and over again on our own.

Each book presents a real person in story format, emphasizing a particular character trait along the way. For example, The Value of Facing a Challenge: The Story of Terry Fox emphasizes how Terry faced each challenge that came his way with determination and perseverance. I was inspired as a child to emulate these characteristics in my own life. If they could do it, so could I!

Thankfully, my mother kept all these books and passed them down to me for my kids. There was no way I would have parted with them so I was thrilled when I saw this collection posted on a swap group on Facebook. I purchased them for the library and am so excited that they are ready for check-out. You can see the titles that we have available here:

A roundup of math curriculum reviews

Did you know that March 14, 2015 was the pi day of the century? (3.1415….) To celebrate this special day, let’s talk math!

A recent RVHEA survey asked what math curriculum our members used. Here are the responses:








Math-U-See (

Math-U-See was the most popular curriculum.

“My daughter is almost 12. We have used Math-U-See as our math curriculum since the beggining. When asking her what she likes most about it, she replies “I actually understand it”. What I like the most about it, is that in less then 30 minutes a day, five times a week, she has become very good at math. There are 3 practice sheets with only the lesson in mind, if she gets the first one right, she does not have to do the other two. There are 3 other sheets that have the lesson and previous lessons practice. It is great because like that, she does not forget…The weekly tests and unit tests are also great. The correction book is clear and my daughter does the correcting her self, all I ask is that she can explain to me her mistakes. I only correct the test, so it helps my daughter be independent. I do sit with her for the 5 to 10 minute DVD lesson at the beginning of the week to make sure she gets it. It is great for me, I am re-learning a lot. And this time, it makes sens! it is very logical. Wish I had Math-U-See when I grew up. Things would have made a lot more sens! I don’t think I would change anything about it, it works just great!” – Edwidge, RVHEA member

“Our kids are 7, 9, almost 11 and 13 1/2. We have been using MUS since the beginning of our homeschooling journey. All kids started at the Primer level and oldest son is now at the Algebra 1 and also working through Stewardship. What I like the best about MUS is that it is multi-sensory – there is manipulations, visual, writing, and reading. If I could change something I would like to have a bit more word problems in it. But the kids are exposed to these as well. The DVDs are based on American standards but we have the Canadian books. I am grateful that the newest edition of the Teacher books contains the whole solution of problems not just the answers. It is great to have for upper levels because I can easily identify where the miscalculations are when there are errors. The only thing that I would like to say is that MUS is fabulous for our family. Back in the days when we were investigating homeschooling they had a DVD you could get for free in order to determine if it would be a good fit for the family. Watching this DVD helped us to decide for our math curriculum. Wish there was something similar in French to be honest. The rep of MUS that comes at RVHEA Conference is great and would help you.” – Isabelle, RVHEA member

If you’d like to check out samples of Math-U-See, the Alpha and Beta levels are available at the RVHEA library.

Life of Fred

applesThe Life of Fred has proven to be the most borrowed series that the RHVEA library has. You can read my previous review here:


Singapore Math

The RVHEA library has a number of these books available for your perusal:

Other possibilities

Check out all the math resources in the RVHEA library here:

Math reviews from Canadian bloggers:

Annie Kate is one of my favourite homeschool bloggers. She has this to say about different math resources:

Joelle from Homeschooling for His glory has these:

Lisa Marie from The Canadian Homeschooler:

Happy pi day!

Teaching multiplication with Times Tales

times-talesTimes Tales are stories created with numbers to help kids (and adults!) remember multiplication facts. The RVHEA library recently acquired the DVD set and an accompanying review notebook after the purchase was suggested by a member.

I’ve been testing the DVD with my kids (ages 9 and 7) for the last week or so and I’m really impressed with it. It’s a completely different way to look at multiplication memorization! We’ve already done the drill approach with our regular curriculum and had some good success. I was hoping that this DVD would help fill in the facts here and there that my kids still hesitate with, and it’s working.

The person who suggested this purchase mentioned that it’s endorsed by Susan Barton (an internationally recognized expert in dyslexia).   I think it could be a good fit for any child who needs some help memorizing their multiplication tables, whether they have dyslexia or not.

Did I mention that the library has it? Borrow it for a month (that’s probably as long as you’d need with it), and return it. No cost, and you don’t have to store it when you’re done! Just borrow it again when your next child is ready. If you’d like to place a hold on this item, please click here.

Or watch the video from the publisher to learn more:

Resource highlight: Good Pictures, Bad Pictures by Kristen Jenson & Gail Poyner

gpbpfrontcoversmlI really wish that homeschooling were a way to guarantee that my kids will never be lured into pornography’s trap of devastation. But alas, it’s not. Several moms who I respect and admire have related accounts of the struggles their homeschooled teens have faced. That got me thinking of how I, as a mom of a 9 and 7 year old, can start to protect, educate, and empower my kids before they are faced with pornographic images.

My favourite resource that I have found so far on the subject is the book Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn-proofing today’s young kids by Kristen A. Jenson and Gail Poyner. This book is brilliant! It defines pornography in an appropriate way and gives kids a “CAN-DO” plan so that they know what to do when they see it. Like the stop, drop & roll that we all know from our fire prevention education, “CAN-DO” is a memory trigger in the form of an acronym for what to do if images are put in front of you by whatever means (a computer screen, friend’s home, etc.)

Before putting this book into the RVHEA library collection, I read through it with my children and we had some good conversations.  Another mom borrowed it from the RVHEA library and read it with her 13 year old. She said it sparked some good dialogue with him. Obviously the conversations that she had with her 13 year old were different than what I discussed with my 7 year old, but that’s one of the things that makes this book so great. It can be used with different ages – you just take the conversation to the level that is appropriate for your child.

I plan on re-reading this book with my kids on an annual basis for now and perhaps more often when they hit puberty. Yes, we have filters on our computer. Yes, we monitor what they watch, read, and listen to. We will continue to be diligent and intentional in these areas. However, nothing beats empowering a child to make good choices and protect themselves. This book is a great start to this process.

If you are an RVHEA member and you’d like to place a hold on the book to borrow it from the RVHEA library, please click here.

Resource highlight: Life of Fred

applesWhen I asked for purchase suggestions for the RVHEA library last year, many members requested the Life of Fred books. I’m so glad they did! I bought Apples through Mineshaft (the first 12 books in the series) last spring. While they sat in my home office waiting to be catalogued, I decided to start reading them with my kids – ages 9 and 7 – while continuing on with our current math curriculum.

Fred (the main character in the books) is a 5 year old math professor at Kittens University. This premise in itself was enough to get my kids giggling right away. Fred experiences many adventures that just happen to teach math and other concepts along the way. The stories are really funny for both kids and parents and the learning is real. I absolutely love how the author teaches advanced vocabulary in a simple way that kids understand. For example – brushing your teeth and washing your face are commutative, but putting on your socks and tying your shoes are not. Fantastic!

Even though my kids are beyond addition in their math skills, we started with the first book Apples in order to get the whole story. Right from the first chapter, the kids were begging me to keep on reading (seriously!). I had to cap them at 3 lessons each time we sat down to read the book or we would never have had the chance to do anything else. For younger kids who are just starting to learn the concepts, 3 lessons at once would be way too much to absorb. However, for older children reading the earlier books for story flow purposes, it was not a problem to go that fast. Each book has about 18 lessons, making it the perfect type of item to borrow from the library and return when I’m done well within the 4 week lending period.

Life of Fred is advertised as a complete math curriculum, and those who are Charlotte Mason enthusiasts may agree with that statement. However, we are choosing to use it as a supplement. It’s a great complement to our mastery-based curriculum. My kids are seeing different concepts in action in the stories. For the skills they have already learned, it’s a quick review and fun application. For the ideas they haven’t seen yet, it’s getting their appetite wet to learn more.

If you’d like to use Life of Fred in your homeschool, click here to put your name on the waiting list for the Apples book. A library volunteer will notify you when the book is available for check-out.

You can also check out the full list of titles available at the library here:

New catalog is here!

Photo credit:  Kayla Sawyer, Flickr, used by Creative Commons License
Photo credit: Kayla Sawyer, Flickr, used by Creative Commons License

Our amazing team of volunteers has been working hard over the summer to update the RVHEA catalog online.   We appreciate them so much!

Our new catalog contains images of items (when available) and detailed descriptions.  You can now search by title, author, and keyword.  A keyword search will return results with the search word contained anywhere in the item’s title, author, or description.  We hope that this will help you search for items that will support your homeschooling journey!

You can access the catalog here: 

It is also linked from the library welcome page.

If you see an item without a description, we’re still working on it.  If you’d like to help, please let us know.  🙂


Purchases in progress

The following items are on my purchase list and should be available for borrowing within the next few months.  If you have used copies you’re willing to sell to the library, please e-mail me privately:
Story of the World Volume 4
Life of Fred math books – elementary series
Mighty Macs DVD
The Living Page:  Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason
Little Britches series by Ralph Moody
In addition, I have already purchased the Wonders of Creation series:  Fossil, Astronomy, Ocean, Geology and Weather (Creation Science perspective).
More titles to follow – still working through the great list of suggestions submitted.

Now open Thursday evenings!

book stack

A huge thank you to Parkdale Baptist Church for allowing us to access the library on Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 8:00.  The Thursday evening time slot will be staffed by our new team member, Zdena.  Thank you, Zdena!

Note:  Please bring a copy of your RVHEA membership card to identify yourself at the door and to check out a book.  Enter by the West stairs (closest to the parking lot on Tyndall), go down into the basement and up the other set of stairs on the other side of the building.  DO NOT go through the sanctuary.

You can access your membership card by logging into the RVHEA site at  Then click on “My Profile” and “Membership Card.”

To borrow an item from the library, please see these instructions.