Archive for the ‘homeschooling’ Category

Making

Elderberry Syrup (recipe in their free catalog) for keeping the sniffles at bay

Rosemary Garlic Crackers for delicious snacking (sorry, no recipe available, but such a fantastic course)

Baby’s Bath Bundle for nourishing sensitive skin

food, homeschooling, nature • Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 • 6 Comments »

The Warmth of Bread

Baking bread is about so much more than nourishment. Sure it tastes great, and fills up hungry bellies, but it is as much about the process for me as the end result. I have made my own bread occasionally for years, not every loaf, but quite often. In the last month I started making all of our bread, I used the bread machine to knead and rise the dough, but then would take it out, shape it, and bake it in the oven. I loved the result, but have wanted to get into baking my own truly from scratch for a while now. A couple of weeks ago, we made bagels, and they could knock the socks off of any store-bought bagels. I found I truly enjoyed the process of working the dough by hand, feeling it change from lumpy to smooth, fragile to elastic.

Seeing the dough rise in a bowl and gently pushing the air back out to shape it and let it rise again. Putting the loaves into the oven and the smell of bread baking, and the warmth from the oven warming the kitchen. I also love that I can make enough dough for two loaves in one batch, which means that I won’t necessarily have to make bread every day, or at the very least all that hard work won’t be gone in one sitting. Not to mention the side effect of a good workout, kneading dough for 10-15 minutes is very good for the arms.

I am looking forward to getting into the rhythm of baking bread from start to finish with my own hands, or like this morning, with the help of my two girls. I think I’ll put the boys to work on the next batch.

family, food, green, homeschooling • Monday, January 30th, 2012 • 5 Comments »

Fun Learning

I love finding fun ways to learn and/or reinforce learning for my kids. Games are always a popular way to spend time, especially in the dark and dreary winter when it’s too cold and windy to play outside. Here are some of the games that my kids love, and I love too. Multiplication War is a great one. The stack of cards gets divided between two kids and they each turn one card over at a time. They then have to quickly work the multiplication problem in their head and the child with the greater amount wins both cards. There is a cheat sheet card in the game which my six year old uses when she plays with her oldest brother. She is picking up a surprising amount of multiplication just by playing this way. The Alphabet Puzzle by Eeboo is also a great game, especially for the babe. She likes to sit for quite a while and pair up all of the letters and numbers. The cards are very sturdy and stand up well to little hands playing with them. They are beautifully designed, I really love their products. Blink is another fantastic game. My six year old loves this game, and she’s really fast too. Again the stack is divided into two and one card is flipped over in the middle of the players. Each player then needs to discard all of their stack of cards by matching either colour, shape, or number of shapes on the card. It is seriously fast paced and loads of fun. So these are a few of our favourite educational games, do you have any that you love?

family, homeschooling • Monday, February 28th, 2011 • 2 Comments »

Ordinary Moments

books, family, gardening, home, homeschooling, knitting, nature, Ordinary Moments • Thursday, February 17th, 2011 • 3 Comments »

Books and Audiobooks

We love books, and they are a massive part of our learning around here. Our eldest can read well and reads part of his chosen book every day. He also reads other books, but I showed him a handful of books that I wanted him to read this year and he can pick which order he reads them in. My seven year old is doing pretty well with reading, but still needs a little help on bigger words. The girls and I read together, in fact we all read together, a lot. Each child has their own book that we are working on, and then we work on some together as a family. We have shelves of books, baskets of books, and quite often books all over the floor. We learn from nature books, historical books and biographies and even cookbooks (got to love learning measurements and fractions by baking cakes). We also love audiobooks. Everyday the kids have a quiet “resting” time where they play in their rooms and listen to stories. We also listen to them on car trips, as I get motion sick from reading while we are moving. Often when the kids are working on art projects we put one on as well. Here are some of the audiobooks we are loving at the moment. The boys are really enjoying The Chronicles of Narnia, and seriously who wouldn’t like to listen to Kenneth Branagh read tales of amazing far away places. Next up on the boys’ list is Our Island Story (I did get this one cheaper at Audible.com). They all enjoy Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, again with Judi Dench and Stephen Fry reading, what’s not to love. The girls are also loving A Bear Called Paddington and More About Paddington also read by Stephen Fry. So, these are the audiobooks that are in heavy rotation these days and I look forward to sharing more of the titles in our audiobook library in the future. These are some great stories, even if you don’t have kids. Do you listen to audiobooks, and if so, what are some of your favourite audiobooks?

books, family, homeschooling • Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 • 5 Comments »

Philadelphia, Part 1

More holiday pics for you today. Here are just a few from our days in Philly. There is some of the most beautiful architecture in the buildings, even the sidewalks. Also some delicious food, and an Ikea. What’s not to love.

family, homeschooling, travelling • Thursday, June 24th, 2010 • 3 Comments »

Adventures with Sea Shells/Rocks

This was one of my finds on my thrift store run on Saturday. Aren’t they great? I just love the boxes as well, I have a thing for vintage illustrations. Adventures with Sea Shells has both the specimens to look at and the book. Unfortunately the Adventures with Rocks is missing the book, but the kids are still loving the rock and mineral specimens and we have several other books where they can look up the information. They were both a steal at $1 and 50 cents (because of the missing book), and the kids (and I) are really having fun with them. On a side note, I did get some of my braces off on Thursday (the receptionist was as sweet as could be), though they were only the back ones that you can’t see anyway. One more week and I get the rest of them off, wohoo! Hope everybody had a great weekend, anyone have anything exciting going on this week? Just more of the usual here.

books, homeschooling, nature, thrift store finds • Monday, March 22nd, 2010 • 6 Comments »

Invisible Ink

I am a huge fan of Jane Brocket. I love her books, her blog, and always turn to The Gentle Art of Domesticity when I feel I need a boost in inspiration. I am about halfway through Ripping Things to Do, and really enjoying it. A couple of weeks ago, after the boys learned that invisible ink was used in the early history of America to pass messages back and forth, I pulled out the lemon juice, paper, some q-tips and a candle. I learned how to make and use invisible ink in Jane’s book and the boys thought I was the coolest mom ever when I showed them how to write secret messages (thanks, Jane!) The boys used q-tips to write messages in lemon juice, and left them to dry on the table. After their papers were completely dry, they took turns holding the paper very carefully over a candle (always supervised by me). Jane suggests using an iron, but my boys aren’t quite tall enough to do that safely. They were so excited, and it was a fun new skill for us all. You never know when you will need to write a secret message.

books, family, homeschooling, kid's art • Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

Outdoor Reading

Two days ago, the weather was gorgeous. Well, still a little chilly, but not so cold and windy that we couldn’t play outdoors. I bundled the babe up and took the kids out to play. They all had lots of fun, and I sat on the porch wrapped in a blanket reading a book with a mug of warm milk. I don’t get outdoors enough in the winter. If it’s not too cold, the kids go outside and play, but me, I’m usually inside trying to get laundry, cooking etc. done while they are out. Boy, it felt really good to be out there. Sitting and reading, which doesn’t happen much during the day, with the sunshine beating down on my face. I need to get out more. I know it seems kind of silly that some days I don’t even step outside of the house, but some days I don’t. We homeschool, so I don’t have to take the kids somewhere every day, and with the windchill dropping the temperature by 20 degrees most of the winter, it’s not that brilliant for being outside. That wind can be brutal, one of the downsides of winter in Wyoming. As with the 20 minutes of crafting each day, I am going to try to spend 20 minutes outdoors. I’m not sure if it’ll happen every day, but I’m going to try. I think can do twenty minutes. Other news around here, our big guy did a great job with getting his tooth pulled. I had such traumatic memories of the dentist when I was a kid, but I shouldn’t have even worried. I love our kid’s dentist, and they do too. They had it out in a matter of minutes and he came bounding out with his tooth in a little tooth shaped container. Our kiddo has been wearing a night guard as part of a series of nightguards to hopefully avoid full on braces. Today we got the bad news that he will have to wear real braces for a while as the permanent tooth that was growing in behind the baby one will need some work to be pulled forward. I also found out that my lovely braces will now be on till March 29th. Ugh! They were originally supposed to be off last September, and it has been dragging since then. So, for a little while here, me and my kiddo will both have braces on at the same time. He is really excited at the thought of having blue bands around his brackets. The kids are always disappointed when I refuse to get hot pink ones. I try to explain that that is more for kids, and not mommies. Good news though, our van is fixed. What we thought was going to be a whole transmission problem was just one little part. The dealer was going to charge us $170 to switch it out. Hubby ordered the part for $35 and switched it himself. Yay! That was a huge relief. Don’t forget to leave a comment on yesterday’s post for a chance to win some cloth bags. It’s nice to meet some new people. Hope you guys have a great day. I’ll see you tomorrow.

books, family, home, homeschooling • Friday, January 29th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

Learn Your Lessons Well

I just love this beautiful old postcard, I found it at an antique store for 50 cents. I just love that the flowers on the front are slightly raised and and textured. It’s beautiful, and so well preserved since it was written in 1908, which means it is over 100 years old. Learn your lessons well, is all it says. A great message, and what we are striving for at the moment. Sometimes it’s a little tricky to focus everybody in the right direction when there is a babe who is getting into everything ( it seems to take so much energy and focus away). Despite this, I am glad for her curiosity and we will continue to learn out lessons well. Hope you all have a great start to the week. What is your favourite subject now that we aren’t formally in school? Mine is definitely history. I’m not quite so sure how all of my teachers made it seem so boring.

gifts, homeschooling, thrift store finds • Monday, January 11th, 2010 • 10 Comments »