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Of Books, Bookwork, and the Rideau Trail

This has been an incredibly varied week.  Lacking the energy to do much physical work, I sat down much of the time, homeschooling and working at my computer to the point where I feel guilty. 

The children did a lot of bookwork, and we’re slowly catching up to where we had planned to be by the end of week 6.  We’ve set ourselves a catch-up deadline:  November 13, just in time for our annual reading week.  That’s when I allow the children to take out as many library books as they wish, with absolutely no limit.  We’re in and out of the library all week, and avoid schoolwork because we’re too busy learning.    

Speaking of books, I had three boxes of homeschooling books that we no longer needed.  We are blessed to have a homeschool consignment shop nearby, so that’s where the books went.  Since the consignment shop was having a sale on novels, we dragged home two boxes’ worth of them, everything from The Littles and Enid Blyton to Tolkien and G. A. Henty.  A huge number of calculations went on, because the Little Misses were limited to spending their birthday money from Grandma.  The older children showed good taste in their book choices, and I found a few things for my Christmas stash including a hard-cover, boxed Hobbit, illustrated by Tolkein himself.

This was also the week we started on a dream.  With a dear friend we are planning to walk the 387 km Rideau Trail, all the way from Ottawa to Kingston! We’ll do it in short weekly walks and it will take us several years, obviously.  Years ago my two oldest children and I started the trail from the Kingston end.  It occurred to me one day, while we were crawling over enormous rocks in the back country, that perhaps I was not wise to be doing this with a 2-year old and a 4-year old while being seven months pregnant.  Now we are all older and I’m so excited to be starting again! 

We parked one vehicle at each end of our chosen hike and set out in windy 5C weather.  Now, the Rideau Trail is marked by orange arrows. After the first orange arrow, we just couldn’t find any others.  However, my friend had a map so we tried to follow it through some woods, ending up in a country back yard.  Oops!  It turned out that we had been so busy looking for orange arrows that we missed the detour signs!  The next section was along a road—not quite as exciting but at least we didn’t get lost.  We saw deer, played with milkweed pods, carried a damsel fly along for a kilometer, and noticed the season’s last  flowers:  a few purple asters, some white yarrow, and even a cheerful buttercup.  This week we walked about 4 km, the first one-hundredth of our challenge.

As an aside, we’re beginning to prepare for Christmas; there’s a stash of gift books waiting in my cupboard, and I’ve finally got something to put on my wishlist:  the Rideau Trail Guidebook!

To see what other families have been up to, visit Canada Girl and Jamie who’s taking over for Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers this week.


  1. That all sounds so cool! Love the reading week!

  2. Annie Kate says:

    It IS cool. I can hardly wait!

    Annie Kate

  3. joelle says:

    That is so cool and exited. Wish I could do it with you.

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