Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fruit Leather~CW Lesson Plans~Chem Resources

What's Cookin'?

We made our first fruit leather with the last bit of peaches that we had.  I boiled them for just a few minutes to finish cleaning them and soften the skin.  Then I put them in the hand-crank food mill that I'm borrowing.  I had to cut out the pits though (especially since I was borrowing the mill and didn't want to ruin it!).  That left me with some 'peach mush' in the pot.  I added some honey but it wasn't really working - I would need way too much of our precious honey.  I resorted to just plain white sugar until my taste-tester said it was sweet enough.  Of course I happened to be using the child with the sweetest tooth after dh as a taste-tester :).  If you had super ripe peaches I don't think you would need much sugar at all and it would be much healthier than ours.

Once it was sweet enough I spread it out on the sheet of the dehydrator that has no holes [Wait, that's not true... It actually sat in the fridge for a day because: I had to run; and, I didn't want to run the dehydrator with just that (the almonds were still soaking)].  It took about 24 hours.  Along with the fruit leather, I dehydrated pears and almonds which also took about 24 hours.

I told dd that it wasn't healthy but rather a non-poisonous treat :).  Once it was dry we cut it into small pieces and wrapped them individually in plastic wrap ready for lunchbox treats (yes, plastic - I should have tried parchment paper first).  It was an extremely sticky situation.  Funny, just as I was thinking, "I'm glad I tried it but I won't do this again," dd said, "I can't wait until we do this again!"  Dh said it was the best thing we've made yet (sigh).  Did I mention he has a sweet tooth?

So... If you are still transitioning in your food journey, are seeking dye-free treats for your dc, or simply want a homemade special treat for your dc's lunches away from home... give it a go!  My disclaimer though is that it should be eaten sparingly.  This recipe is part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly's blog.

This morning I'll slice up the last of the pears that I got last week and dehydrate those also.  Now I'm ready for more pears :).  I'm getting another 1/2 bushel today but I plan on canning those - I know, NOT NT at all but it will keep us from buying canned pears throughout the year.

I'll be trying these easy taquitos that I found on Real Food Wednesday.  My problem is finding even organic corn tortillas that I can eat.  I need organic nixtmalized (treated with lime) corn tortillas without a bunch of weird ingredients.  My homemade ones just don't come out as thin and wrappable.  I can find non-organic with the right processing/ingredients or organic that's not processed correctly.  Any recommendations welcome.

Civil War Lesson Plans:

IF you use From Sea to Shining Sea, and IF you are using Great Civil War Projects and IF you want a 3 day/week or 4 day/week History plan (if including a project day per week), and IF you are studying the Civil War, and IF you lapbook and will use homeschoolshare's Civil War lapbook, THEN these are the plans for you :).  If you are going to purchase any of those 2 books from Amazon anyway and go through my links it will be most appreciated!

Here are the plans and please remember these are for personal use only:

This is the homeschoolshare link (thank you homeschoolshare!!):

These are the books:

I will probably upload these in the online planner so they will show for that day's work in the weekly plans, but for now they are in the folder with all of the printouts, ready to go.  Each older dc has a copy and set of printouts.  I made the readings on Mondays simply because that's when youngest dd is at enrichment.
Yesterday we started reading Little Women aloud.  I have to say, when I looked at that 2 inch book I deflated a little and thought, "Wow, that's fat!"  I started reading to them and they didn't want me to stop - it was enjoyable.  I also checked out the audio book from the library and may resort to that (although the olders protested that they would rather me read aloud or just read the book themselves rather than hear someone else read it).  The copy of the book I checked out has 2 volumes in one so we will probably only read Volume 1.  I also checked out some books for youngers 'based on' the original.  Youngest dd has already started reading those.  I checked out the movie as well but I'd like to preview it first since it's PG to see if it's completely family friendly or will require some editing.

Once we get through the unit (or after I've finished selecting literature) I hope to post those.  If you find the segmented posts on one topic flustering, I know how you feel :).  On the other hand, nothing would get posted if I waited until I was done compiling a topic.  I use the search box and then find what I need when I need to go back to something.  Hope that helps.

Chemistry Resources:

Colleen had recommended this book in the comment section of a previous post (thanks!) so of course I had look in to it.  It is called The Elements: a Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe.  It looks beautiful and interesting.  My only hesitation in recommending it is that I get the impression that he interjects his ideology.  I don't know what it is or how strongly he interjects it since I haven't actually read it yet; but I don't think it will be a problem for us.  That would be up to each individual family, I think.  Look at the link, read the reviews, and decide if it would work for you.  I've already requested it interlibrary loan and can't wait to see it all of the way through.  Thanks so much for the recommendation!

While I was looking up that book I ran across these cool Periodic Table Playing Cards.  If I hadn't already made some cards I would probably get these.  Our dc have used different sets of playing cards through the years and have learned a lot through them.  Here are the image/links:

If you just need a fun gift for a chemistry buff, here are some regular playing cards with the Periodic Table on the back:


  1. I just (well 2 hours ago!) discovered your blog on Kelly the Kitchen Kops RFW ... Oh. My. Word. I have had so much fun looking at all your home schooling and cooking projects. Your Montessori approach thrills me - I wish I knew more! Can you go a little more indepth on what you have on your shelves and in your boxes, etc?? I also can't thank you enough for your lesson plans on the Science curricula - I have gotten RS4K for my kids and anticipate using them for the several years. Thanks!!

  2. Elaine,

    You made my day :). Thanks for your encouragement and questions!

    I put up a sticky note to follow up with what is on the shelves/in the boxes (I'm so high tech, eh?). Do you have a particular subject, topic, or grade/age of interest? That will give me a place to start.

    There are quite a few blogs about Montessori with littles but I try to incorporate it as best I can with the olders as well. For example, right now I'm making cards for Math Properties.

    You're welcome for the RS4K plans. I'm glad you can use them. I'm excited about Chemistry and school in general this year... I just wish I had a few more weeks before we start!

  3. I am so excited about the Montessori approach with the older ones (I studied about it briefly *years* ago when I was in college) -- I never realized it was for anything other than pre-schoolers. I know you're busy with so many other things but if you get a chance - I would love to sneak a peak at what's on your shelves ... if you just want to take a box and tell me what's in it or what you think about when putting a box together. I've got a 13 and 14yo (both girls) and we're HOME this year. We've been so busy with extra activities outside the home that even though we've always home-schooled - we weren't home very much. That is totally different this year and I am so excited about all the possibilities. But, I'm not too good at thinking outside the box - so any hints, tips, thoughts would be much appreciated!!