Sweet Bella Vita

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

November 21, 2017
by LisaA
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Tarifa part 1

The nicest beach we saw in southern Spain!

The sand was so clean and soft and my boys loved playing in the waves.

~Lisa

November 20, 2017
by LisaA
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Gibraltar part 2

We drove all the way to the tip of Gibraltar and had an outstanding view!

So strange how this cloud is almost always looming over the rock … a local told me that it is a good thing as it keeps the toxic crap from the refineries in Algeciras away.

Also kids got a kick out of the fact that we drove across a airport runway to drive into Gibraltar.

If you are in southern Spain I highly recommend a day trip here! Kids will love it!

~Lisa

November 15, 2017
by LisaA
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Gibraltar part 1

We took a day trip to Gibraltar and it was amazing.

One of our highlights of our trip to Spain. ( although Gibraltar is not in Spain)

We went on a boat ride to see wild and free dolphins. Most amazing experience! It was so amazing there were so many of them and they all looked so happy. They surrounded the boat and followed us out to open sea. Apparently they love doing this , it is fun and it is a lazy way for them to get around as they catch the current of the boat. It was a very choppy day so hard to get good pictures but I was so emotional seeing so many of them … and so many babies with their moms… the males apparently stay out in open waters more. We tried looking for whales but we were not that lucky that day. Maybe next time!

~Lisa

June 6, 2017
by LisaA
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Chamomile tea

Amazing how something so simple can bring back so many emotions and memories.

My mom used to make me a cup of chamomile tea in the evening when I had a sore stomach or just felt sluggish.

Just the smell of it wraps me in comfort as if she were right here giving me a hug and I find myself making it more and more just to feel that sensation.

Cheers mom! 


~Lisa

May 18, 2017
by LisaA
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I am now an amazon affiliate :)

May 17, 2017
by LisaA
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Happy Birthday Montreal!

Happy 375th Birthday Montreal!

~Lisa

April 28, 2017
by LisaA
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water

I got a water filter about 2 years ago now .

I used to have such a hard time drinking water; it just tasted bad to me . I could smell the chemicals in it;  especially the chlorine… and so drinking water was difficult.

And then I ended up with a kidney stone 🙁

For those of you who have had one, you know how horrible it is. For those of you haven’t, I hope you never get one!

The best way to avoid getting a stone obviously is to drink water. I knew I never wanted another stone again … and I know the importance of drinking water … WATER IS LIFE!

So I set off on a quest to find a water filter that would make my water taste good and hence I would want to drink it … and I found it …

the berkey water system is amazing!

Also as a bonus we had a water boil advisory just recently … and I found out it was due to e-coli … I discovered that  my berkey filters e-coli 99.9999 % so I wasn’t freaking out too much when I learned about the boil advisory a day into it.

here is a link to go check out the berkey water system 🙂

go drink a glass of water and have a great day 🙂

~Lisa

I am affiliated with them … as I truly love this water filter!

April 27, 2017
by LisaA
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physical education & health

This is probably one of my favourite “subjects”…
although we don’t practice it as a subject but a way of life.
During the summer, we join a summer pool where they do diving,  swim team and water polo. They play tons of games in and out of the pool with their friends and the awesome lifeguards.
During the “school year” they take aikido. My oldest is now a proud new orange belt 🙂 While my second just got his first yellow stripe 🙂 and my third is having fun learning at the moment.
 
They like taking gymnastics on and off. As well as Ballet classes.
 
We love to tour the parks. There is this great website in montreal area for parks, find it here. We try to look at the map and find a new park to go discover every couple weeks.
 
My oldest  son’s  favourite pass time is biking .
So as soon as the weather is semi warm, we hit the road with our bikes 🙂 or they are learning to skateboard.
As for health I feel this topic is very important.
We eat all organic foods and we talk a lot about GMO’s and pesticides.
Lately we have been focusing a lot on sexual education. My kids are fascinated with how babies grow and are born and the changes the human body goes through.
In my next post I will share an awesome list of books on this topic 🙂
~Lisa

February 22, 2017
by LisaA
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spelling

How do I teach my kids to spell ?

Honestly, I haven’t really put much effort or thought into this … I have let this kind of happen on it’s own.

I had started trying to do spelling drills with my oldest a few years back ; where I would ask my oldest to spell out a word on our chalk board , but this only worked out for a few days as he quickly said he disliked it .

I have a great board with letters on it and they sometimes like to play with them and make words.

I have found the best way is just through play. We borrow games from the library that help to teach to spelling;  like boggle and scrabble. And they sound out words with the letters and sometimes they get them wrong but most of the time they get them right.

Another advantage of homeschooling today as opposed to decades ago is technology. There are many apps that can help. My son likes playing one called word scramble; where he has to find all the words with the letters in the circle.

I also feel that many apps even if not spelling related directly help to show spelling indirectly.

I feel that spelling is easier just learnt through life rather then as a subject itself; also my feeling is not to push a child to learn to spell. I vividly recall being forced to learn to spell and the anxiety it gave me.  I think each child learns different things at a different pace and personally I see how my boys are very different here. My 9 year old loves writing and spelling; whereas my 11 year old not so much yet. But he is starting to show interest and is getting there slowly , whereas he is an amazing reader and reads faster and better then I do, so I am really not concerned  🙂

Do you have any neat spelling games or tricks ?

Go see my fellow Canadian homeschooler blogger team to see what they say about Spelling here 🙂

~Lisa

January 25, 2017
by LisaA
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Math

One of the most asked questions I get about homeschooling is “What do you use for math”?

Well to start off with … I try to make learning to count fun and we don’t use a book, but objects. Anything from toys, to food, even when are about and about we use the world around us. I try to do this also with learning to add and subtract.

Then we chose to go with the Math Mammoth program and I bought the complete set and my oldest has completed all of it and it went very well.  My oldest literally flew through it, averaging 2 grades a year.

So I can tell you that math mammoth is  a great program that really worked well for us and I really like the way Maria designed it; UP to grade 7. Then I found my son  struggled as she stopped giving the explanation at that point … I have wished many times that she would extend her program to cover all of high school.

As her grades 1-6 are really well designed and she gives a great explanation on each topic; the few times my son needed a little extra help we googled a few sites and videos to get a better grasp of the concept.

Now that he has finished all math mammoth levels, he has started Teaching Textbooks  (pre algebra), So far he loves it and finds it very fun and interactive (as we bought the CD version of the program ) but he has also said that he is finding it somewhat boring as it is covering a lot of stuff he has already done. But I am certain it will soon start to get more interesting as he will start to cover new topics. I think becuase Math Mammoth covered pre algebra a little, he is excited to move on to more challenging material.

What do you use for math?

Go see my fellow Canadian homeschooler blogger team to see what they say about Math here 🙂

~Lisa

(please note I was not paid or asked to review any of these items. This is my own personal review after purchasing the items)