Thursday, October 23, 2014

Literature Extension: Seven Blind Mice

What's Schoolin'?

My dd-17 has been doing lessons with the first graders at a homeschool enrichment program.  I've had a blast subbing in her room and letting her take the reins (instead of me being main teacher and her the second person - we flip-flopped the roles).  This is an activity she did for Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young that we put together.  She led the creating of the activity while I tried to mainly just be support and helped her create it.  The kids enjoyed it and each literature extension connects them to reading.

~ We found an elephant coloring page that we printed 125% size for each child.  This is the background page put behind the page with flaps.  We used this one:

~ We made a template to cut out the little flaps to lift up each section as described in the book.  The center was cut out completely.

~ We used a mouse coloring page to creat little mice for the children to color/cut/glue on the appropriate flaps (7 little mice per child).  She liked this one.  We pasted into our word document, resized, and copied/pasted to make enough mice.

A picture of one of the children's finished product [still pending - I had to borrow someone's cellphone since mine doesn't send photos]:

What's Cookin'?

Another big pot of beans is simmering on the stove.  They soaked yesterday and last night. I changed the water before bed last night when I realized I was too tired to cook them... beans are so forgiving!  This time I put a bunch of Real Salt, granulated garlic, and dried onion in them while they cook.

This post has some affiliate links.  If you purchase through the links I may get a tiny compensation with no extra cost to you.  Thanks!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Beans, Beans, Glorious Beans! [Part 1]

What's Cookin'?

Homemade beans are so much better than canned for 2 (actually, possibly 3) reasons. 

1) No can to worry about (is it BPA-free?  What else is in that liner?  Did I get shards in the food when I opened it?  Better make sure and skim everything!).

2)  Soaking in an acidic medium neutralizes the aflatoxins (per Nourishing Traditions) and makes the nutrients more bioavailable.

3) You control the ingredients, tenderness, and flavor.

4) It makes organic beans more affordable... Okay, that's 4 reasons.  I'm sure there are more :).

Here is my weekly or bi-weekly regime:

1.  Put 2 pounds dry organic beans in a big stock pot.  We prefer the little red beans but right now I'm soaking kidney beans.

2.  Squirt the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (strain the seeds as you squeeze) or about 1 tablespoon of organic lemon or lime juice over the beans.  In the picture you can see the darker beans where I squirted the juice over them.

3.  Add enough water to cover the beans and then that much more... so twice as much as needed to cover the dry beans.  They will swell and absorb a lot of water.  If the water level goes down to the beans during soaking, add more water.

4.  Soak overnight or soak all day.  With me it just depends on when I finally get around to doing it!  I've been known to soak all day and all night!  If it gets frothy you can skim off the froth or dump some of the water and add a little fresh water.

5. Drain, rinse, drain.

7.  Cover with fresh water (filtered preferred), again doubling the amount to cover them or to the top of the stock pot.  I fill it almost to the brim because one of the meals we get out of this batch of beans is usually bean soup (quasi-Salvadorean style).

8.  Cook on Medium heat until a low boil starts and then turn it down to low or medium low depending on your stove.  Cook on a low boil/simmer until done.  This usually takes me about 2-3 hours if I don't mess up the temperature gauge making it too hot, too cold, too hot, too cold!  How do I know they're done?  I stir the pot and take out a few.  I very gently push down on them with a fork.  If they give easily and are not grainy then they are done to our liking.  I've gotten to where I can generally tell by just stirring the pot if they are even close to being done.

Crockpot:  The crockpot is my preferred method but it's been in storage for about a year now.  I like to cook it on low for all night and the next day for it to be ready just in time for dinner.  Other times I would cook it all day and then all night and the kids would gobble it all up for breakfast if I didn't stand guard!  They make a really good breakfast, by the way!  You could try high for all day (or just all night) and test it.

This is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Deal Alert: Cowgirl Dirt Lipstick 20% Off!!

What's Green?

Lipstick withOUT nano particles is difficult to find.  Years ago I tried a Cowgirl Dirt lipstick, before they repackaged their lipsticks.  I also got samples from them and the shipping was, I think, less than $3 for everything.  It was great until I had a "Lipstick Blowout" from leaving my purse in the car for an hour (no kidding, just an hour, maybe less).  Lipstick exploded all over the car when I took the cap off!  Now I make sure to take my purse out if it's over 100F, even if the car is in the garage!

Right now their lipsticks are 20% off as they introduce the new matte colors.  I much prefer matte - which is mainly why I haven't gotten more of their lipsticks after the first order.  So... I'm ordering the Hidalgo and samples of the other mattes.  My daughters need samples of some of the others so we can see which colors work best.

No coupon necessary.  I didn't see a date for the end of the sale.

No, I'm not an affiliate of Cowgirl Dirt... but maybe I should start :)...  I'm just sharing a deal with you!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

First Day of School Staff Meeting

What's Schoolin'?

Labor Day is the first day of school here at St. Jerome Academy. 

Therefore, there was a general staff meeting in the teacher's lounge late this morning to discuss the direction of the school this year and to decide on the curriculum needs of the students.  The meeting was attended by the school principal, counselor, coach, ag teacher, test administrator, and core subject teachers for 7th and 12th grade.

There was quite a bit of discussion and disagreement throughout the meeting.  Fortunately, after about 40 minutes of chaos during which everyone talked at once and agreed with no one, consensus was reached for 1 major school decision:  It was time to adjourn and take the traditional First Day of School Field Trip to get ice cream/frozen yogurt.

PS:  The children asked me later why I was talking to myself in the back bedroom earlier today, but enjoyed going out for frozen yogurt! :)

Happy Labor Day! :)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Deal Alert Reminder: Green Pastures Back to School Sale

What's Savin'?

Green Pastures is my one health splurge.  I am a big baby and just take the FCLO/BO caps and so now that's what my kids take too.  They use to take the plain with raw local honey drizzled on it with no problem.  I don't think they would want to go back to that now, though!  I tried a friend's cinnamon gel and... well... like I said I'm a big baby! [Hi, K!!]

Green Pastures CLO (before they had the fermented cod liver oil) was instrumental in helping with symptom relief of a chronic issue I have.  Instrumental.  Majorly so.  Unbelievably so.  It still helps it stay somewhat at bay.  I would do better if I took the full dose, but I only take 1 cap so the children can have more and stretch the bottle further.

This is their awesome once a year back to school sale.  Unfortunately I'm not sure I can take advantage of it but maybe some of you can :).  I would save, literally, over $10 a bottle. 

The one we use is the Fermented Cod Liver Oil with Butter Oil.  I also have a few bottles of just the Butter Oil that we take more spaced out to help with dental health.

See here for details:

Happy Savin'!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Deal Alert Reminder: FREE Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils

What's Savin'?

August is almost over and my little August promo for Young Living sign-ups is almost over as well.

In reality I won't order the books until Saturday, September 6th, so I can technically extend it until then.  The last enrollee's acct showed up almost immediately; however, just to make sure you're included in the deal, let me know and I'll wait for your enrollment to show.

YL Oils have helped me in numerous ways throughout the years and I hope this little gift will help others as they delve into the world of essential oils.

Here are the details:

Eclectic Living Crafts and Such's Young Living August Deal:

Free Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils upon enrollment using 1634316 (use that number for both sponsor and enroller). Once enrollment is verified I will mail you your free book. This is my own little promo, not a corporate promo.

Here is the link to my current YL webpage and the tab to join says "Sign up here."

Here is the direct link to the sign-up page with my number embedded:

Disclaimer:  The Amazon links are affiliate links and I just might get a tiny commission if you purchase through them at Amazon at no extra cost to you.  I am a Young Living Independent Distributor and would be your upline if you choose to enroll with my member number.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More Physical Science Prep

What's Schoolin'?

Here are some resources I've come across as I prepare for the first day of class and some random thoughts... 

I got each student a quadrille (graph paper) composition notebook to use for their Lab Notebook.  They are only $1 at Wal-Mart right now [Sorry, I got the last 8 at my store!].  Years ago when I spent h-o-u-r-s looking for the perfect lab notebook for my olders I settled on quadrille paper.  Actually, there was the most perfect paper at the dollar store but I could never find it again when we ran out.  It was lined on the front side with graph paper on the back.  Too cool!  Anyway, we found that it works just as fine as the fancy ones I found online.

Here is a great idea of using a 5 subject divided spiral with sections for vocabulary words, on your own questions, study guide questions, and labs (with an extra section):

Very good description of setting up a lab notebook:

I really like this explanation and example of a lab write-up.  I'll adjust it and use it for class:

A nice schedule/lessons with notes.  Mine is already made but I found this helpful and will print it to keep with mine.
An updated version of the same:
This is where I found them:

By the way, these schedules are fantastic.  I've printed a few in hopes of following them, lol... but I will try again :).  Youngest really likes to have things laid out, planned, scheduled, and trackable.  Go figure!  Mainly I will print them out for her for Teaching Textbooks.  Last year she had me go through Excel Math and write down where she needed to be when in order to finish the curriculum at the end of May.  Again, go figure!

Here is her core foundations schedule for Apologia's Physical Science.  I may print this out as well to keep on hand.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Home Science Tools

What's Schoolin'?

I will be teaching Physical Science at a local homeschool enrichment program this year to middle schoolers.  The text we're using is Apologia's Exploring Creation with Physical Science I am really jazzed about it.  This will probably be the easiest class I've ever taught because it's planned out and I'll be following a curriculum... okay, so I'm already tweaking the first lesson but then I'll follow the book... maybe?

I was prepping and listing out the materials I would need for the first class' experiments.  After figuring out the items I would need to gather or the program would need to buy I got a wonderful surprise.  Last year they had invested in the Home Science Tools box for Physical Science. I've seen them online through the years but they were too pricey for me.  I would just fumble through our Science courses gathering as we went.  That has worked out fine, actually, it just took some extra planning and letting go of some activities when I couldn't get the materials.  However... Now that I've seen how helpful it is $35 seems fair.

It was so nice to have the copper wire, 9-V battery, etc that I need for Thursday right there waiting for me in the box :).

This is the link when I did a search on their site for "Montessori Kit":

I have never used this type of coupon, but in case anyone can use them:

Here is a blurb about them at HSLDA

[Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with Home School Tools, have not been given any sample to review, and will not get any compensation from Home School Tools.  I am sharing something that I am finding useful.  Any affiliate links to Amazon may possibly generate a small commission with no extra cost to you.]

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The End of the Trail? A New Beginning...

What's Schoolin'?

Nothing.  That's the strange part.  My schooling of my oldest is over.  Done.  Finished.  I'm not hauling out all of my materials for her.  I'm not conferencing with her about her goals for this upcoming year, how we'll meet graduation expectations, or what curriculum she wants to use for Math.  I'm not thinking about her learning style and what will be a good match pedagogically.  I don't have stacks of school supplies for her.  They are all boxed up and... gone... with her... to college.

Yes, there's a void.  I homeschool.  It's what I do.  It's my life.  My children's schooling is my life because our lives are our schooling.  Make sense?  It does to me :).  Especially with a Montessori slant on schooling the line is sometimes blurred between life and schooling.  And, thanks to being the overthinker that I am, I can think about school at all times when I'm jazzed or planning units.  I am not thinking about her schooling.  It's weird!

And yet it is a new beginning.  I am excited for her as she faces new experiences.  I'm thrilled that she cares what I think and calls to share or touch base.  Now that she's a 'college student' my role has shifted.  From guiding and leading to guiding and supporting/encouraging.  From informer to listener.  From Mom and Friend to Mom and Friend.  Wait - that hasn't changed!  Our relationship will continue to grow and flourish as we delve into the world of young adult and beyond.

I feel soooo blessed to have her for my daughter.  To like and enjoy one's child is a joy beyond description.  Missing her is a pain I cherish because it underscores the love and enjoyment between us.

It is also a new beginning for my other children.  The dynamics of a family shift when one is absent.  They miss her as well and are not a part of each others' daily lives any more.  I also feel soooo blessed to have them for my daughters.  It warms my heart to see how much each sibling loves the others - and how they like each other!

I have another senior this upcoming year.  We'll treasure and cherish each others' company as we put closure to this stage in her life as well.

[SIGH]  Okay... so now it's time to get refocused and actually start planning for the other 2!