Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fun food

If you read last week, you know we have been doing a unit study on the United Kingdom.  If you've never done a unit study I highly recommend it.  I really like unit studies by Amanda Bennett.  They have a good format and are full of interesting information on tons of fun topics. 

Our study is a geography unit study so there is a good deal of mapping involved, but when we did the first day of the study I was so pleased to see a page dedicated to interesting foods of the area.

I love to cook so food projects are more my forte than a previous project we did which you can read about here: I have to make what? 

The first food we had was Bangers and Mash. If it sounds strange don't worry, if you like sausages and mashed potatoes then this is a meal for you because that is exactly what it is.  Very easy's funny to see look on peoples' faces when you tell them what you're making for supper.  The interesting tidbit we learned about this meal is that the sausages are called bangers because during wartime they had so much water in them that they would explode while being cooked.  lol. 

Bubbles and Squeak was what we found on the food page the next day.
A fun name for a fun food that uses up leftovers.  It is made with potatoes and a green veggie plus what ever else you throw in. Really it's like a potato pancake. So yummy!  We made it for lunch with eggs and bacon and the girl asked me to make it again at dinner time. Here's a recipe if you want to give it a try.  I think it will be added into our regular meal rotation even if it's only so we can say "bubbles and squeak". 

Scones were next on the list, but I was a little short on time so what did I do?  I hopped in the car and headed straight for my trusty Publix.  Because, well, Publix has an awesome deli and they carry fancy things that this southern buttermilk biscuit girl wouldn't usually eat.  With that being said, I really liked the scones!  The kids liked them too.  We got the blueberry ones, if you have a Publix and haven't tried them you should. 

Do your kids like to help you cook? Have you cooked any fun foods lately?  I love being able to incorporate what we are studying into everything, even dinner. :)

The Homeschool Village

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Salt Dough Map

Salt Dough.  

What kind of dough? People make this on purpose?  Can't we just color a coloring page map instead?  Those were my thoughts after reading the instructions in our unit study on the United Kingdom.

The silly words "fun family project" kept screaming at me from the page though and I relented and said "ok let's make a salt dough map!"  Which caused delighted squeals to erupt from my hands on learner. (the other "not really a hands on" kid was excited too because this project was the last thing on our assignment list for the day. (-;)

You see, I'm not good at projects. Actually if I am being honest I loathe them. When my kids were in public school and had projects to do my husband would take the reigns because he is the one who excels at feather covered turkeys, volcano building and any kind of diorama you can think of. I on the other hand would rather make the snacks that are needed for such hard work. :-)

Since said husband was busy working this project fell into my lap. So what did I do, I fell to my knees covered my face and screamed "Nooooooooo" of course.

Ok not really, it was more along the lines of "if this is a big flop it better be a fun one".  I did, however, inform my artsy girl who likes to color and paint, that I was sorry in advance for the failure that might be our salt dough map. She assured me that we could it because "I like to paint and you like to cook mom!".

Uh yeah. We'll see...

So we dove right in.

I sent the kids to the garage to search for a piece of cardboard and I pulled out the flour and the salt.

Then we traced the outline on to the cardboard.

The dough was actually pretty easy to do. I followed Kris's directions over at weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.

Then we our hands got a little sticky pressing the dough into our traced country.

We let it dry for a few days. Ok, so it was dry the next morning, but we got side tracked doing some other projects that included cooking which is much more my forte.

Anyways...we let it dry for a few days and the girl painted it.

All in all it turned out great for our first adventure into salt dough mapping.

It was messy and fun and we will be doing more of them.

Have you had to do any school stuff that is not really your thing? Remember it can be fun to try new things, plus you never know, you may enjoy that one school thing you are dreading so...go for it. Make a mess, laugh and giggle with with your little people.

Moms Mustard Seeds
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Monday, April 29, 2013

It is ok!

New routines. Sometimes, one small change throws a kink in the chain of a smooth running homeschool routine!  ;-)

The small change for us this semester has been adding classes at one of the local coops.

Good classes, only 2.5 hours every Friday. Who knew they would throw the week off so much!  Now, don't start thinking that school is not getting done, because it is.

It is just that tons of other things have gotten put on the back burner...

For instance, dusting.  Oh come on don't act like that pretty trinket or picture frame in the room where you are currently sitting isn't covered with dust!  But, on the off chance that there is no dust to be found then come on over because I need ya!

And don't forget laundry.   Yes I know laundry must be done, but why do we have to wear a new set of clothes everyday?  How 'bout we change clothes every couple of days instead?  Ok your right, because we would start to stink that's why!  So maybe that idea is only good in theory!

The real point is that life changes and you have to adjust your not only your actions, but your thinking.  It is ok to put off dusting that pretty angel figurine to make Irish Soda Bread with your kids on the day you study Northern Ireland.  

It is ok, that your son had to get clean underwear off the top of the dryer this morning or from the pile of clean clothes in your bedroom floor, not that I have a pile of clothes in my bedroom floor but I just wanted to throw that out there in case you do - either way... it's ok that instead of getting laundry put away yesterday you went on a field trip to the Historic house downtown where the state constitution was written.

It is ok!  Dusting and laundry there will always be, but little people who want to make homemade sidewalk chalk with you will soon enough be hard to find! 

April - who is going to go put away some laundry that may or may not be in the bedroom floor! ;-) 

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Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28

Wow!  I have gotten way out of the habit of blogging in the past few months. When things get busy I guess this is the first thing that gets moved to the bottom of my to do list - oh who am I kidding, it's laundry, laundry is always at the bottom of my list. Just ask my family!

We had a great Holiday season.  We were actually at home this year. It has been a long time since we were at our house on Christmas so that was a treat for us.  The time flew by at warp speed like all breaks do and we hit the books again the first week of January.

We did a little curriculum change for math with my "not a math" guy.  We switched over to Saxon, and it seems to be working ok for the moment. It is a little more parent involved/prep workish for me, than Teaching Textbooks was, but I am seeing understanding creep into the eyes of my best guy so it fine with me.
Around The World In 80 Days 

We have also found a new book to listen to:
Around The World In 80 days by Jules Verne.
Phileaus Fogg and Passepartout have already pulled us into their story. This week we are going to trace their planned route out on our map.  - yep, gonna throw some geography learning in with our listening this time.  Surely, I get extra "good mom" points for that! 

I guess since I have spent some time on the task that is second from the bottom of my to-do list I should go and do the thing right below it. -dumb laundry!  Come on, clean socks are overrated people!  That is why I think I'll just have another cup of coffee instead. 

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Harry Potter, the end of an era...

     After 6 months of listening, we reached the end of our journey through Harry Potter.

     It's definitely the end of an era for us.  It is a little sad to leave friends behind, but sometimes the story is over, finished and all that is left is goodbye...

    I realize that only those who truly love books will understand the little sadness that comes with moving on from a favorite character's story.  That is ok. Call me crazy.  I will admit that I can become attached to characters, especially when 6 months of my time was spent in their world. 

    What a great 6 months it was though.  I will always be grateful to the Harry Potter books for the conversations and questions they inspired in my kids. 

    When I decided to check out the first Harry Potter book on Cd from the library, I never imagined that it would begin a journey through learning about the Civil War and Slavery, WWII and the Holocaust and Civil Rights.  Funny how a modern day story about a magical boy can spark conversations about prejudice and racism.  Nothing beats being able to teach your children about the underground railroad, Anne Frank and Hitler, and a lady riding a bus in Alabama all because of questions they have from a story. 

So here's to you Harry Potter, Hermione and Ron.  Thanks for the adventure!  

Now I'm off to find the next great story for us.  :-)


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chugging Along

Another week has come to a close on the homeschooling home front.  Shew!! (yes I am doing the happy dance)

It was not a terribly eventful week.  We are just chugging along, I guess. 

The boy is getting a little more confident in math.  Thanks to the "Mean Math Mom" having him do a little math everyday.  Well, it probably has more to do with the fact that we finished the lessons on word problems and have moved on to fractions.  Those darn word problems will be the end of both of us!  If anyone has any helpful tips for mastering word problems feel free to share them. 

Graphic novels have grabbed the attention of my sweet girl.  We have made several library trips to pick out more because she is devouring them quickly. 

We picked a late September harvest from the garden. 
I am so thankful to have such a successful little garden this year.

We ended the week with a "Bounce Into Fall" party at a local bounce place.  It was a great time for the moms to chat and catch up while the kids ran and jumped and climbed a rock wall.  I just love relaxing times to catch up with friends!  It was really a great way to end the week. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

WWII and Mean Math Mom

Another busy week has come to a close here in East Tennessee.

The last time I had a chance to post anything we were coming up on my sweet girl's 9th birthday  sleepover. The girls had a great time, and I survived...Well, only after making the ultimate mom faux pas of sitting in the room with the girls so they would be quiet and finally go to sleep.  Oops bad mommy!  She has forgiven me though, I think...

Our weather is definitely getting a "Fall" feel, with cooler evening and morning tempuratures.  Which makes for excellent morning and evening porch time.  It actually makes for great outdoor school work days too.  (which I will take any day over being cooped up inside)

We are trucking right along in all of our studies.  We are actually bouncing around in History this year.  Which has been kind of fun.  #1 son seems to really like studying about wars so we are learning about WWII at the moment.  We are learning about Anne Frank and the Holocaust and will watch the Anne Frank movie next week.

A few weeks ago I ordered Reading books and workbooks from Christian Light to use this year.  I have been so pleased with them.  The kids seem to enjoy the stories and I love the questions and vocabulary stuff in the workbooks.  The boy even read a poem titled Rebellion In September that he really liked!  It was fun having him come up and say "Mom, you have to hear this!"

I think I have turned into the Mean Math Mom.  I am having the boy do a math lesson everyday for a while. (even weekends - I know, I know Mean Math Mom).  Hopefully, the everyday practice will increase his confidence.  He has improved so much in the last few months, but constantly questions himself - even the things that he knows how to do.  We'll see in a couple weeks if it has helped.