Pears! I am attempting to make pear sauce as I type. The good ole ugly farm pears are simmering right now. I'm using the recipe from pickyourown.org. It was weird not peeling/coring them but I'm borrowing a hand-crank food mill right now (thanks, J!!) and hopefully it will come out okay. Pictures will be later...
US Civil War Study:
My goal for Science and History plans this upcoming year is to make them as independent, or self-directed, as possible for the olders (to make sure we stay on track). That way, when things get a little crazy around here, especially with me working part-time, and I am not available immediately, they won't get behind. The main lessons will still be teacher directed as needed but they will have all of the materials and plans in their own possession. I happened to be reading a book about homeschooling high school this summer in which they recommend more self-directed, independent learning so I feel affirmed :).
To that end, I'm starting with the Civil War study using the following resources (roll over for a link):
From Sea to Shining Sea (chapters 16 and 17)
Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself
Homeschoolshare's Civil War Lapbook Unit
Many library books!
I'm fighting against making it more complicated (as I tend to do... you know, every unit is a thesis!) but this will be a great framework for this study and the library books will round it out nicely with fiction/non-fiction.
20th Century Spine:
As much as we love our spine (From Sea to Shining Sea by Catholic Textbook Project) it ends too early! Now I'm scrambling around to find the "perfect" spine for the 20th Century. I thought I had it with this timeline teacher resource book but I don't like it for that purpose after all (but will use as a reference throughout the year). I really, really like Dinah Zike's Social Studies book and it has a section that will help me; but I need an informational text for a spine.
Thanks to some wonderful online forum help I've decided to go with Bill Bennett's history book and just use the part that covers the 20th Century. Now if I could only get my hands on one...