Saturday, October 27, 2012

Texas Economic Geography

What's Schoolin'?

I've uploaded the cards that dd-10 is using for her big Texas felt map.  The cards are a little big  because her map is big, so if you want the open office file to readjust the sizes let me know.  You may need to copy/paste this url in your browser:   

I used the Stories in Time Intermediate Atlas (by Harcourt Brace) as my guide and control.  I copied the appropriate page on cardstock and trimmed it.  Then I taped the control on the outside of a brown envelope and put the cards (also printed on cardstock) inside the brown envelope.  This is kept in her Texas box on top of the geography cabinet.

I found this other atlas online and from the preview it appears to have comprehensive state by state economic geography maps within the political maps:
National Geographic Kids United States Atlas

I hope this file helps you in your study of Texas or inspires you to study economic geography of your state.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken Sandwich Spread

What's Cookin'?

Chicken!  There is a new Fran's Fryers co-op in our area so I got a few.  Yesterday I cooked 2 pounds of dark meat; 5 pounds of legs with thighs; and 3 pounds of breast tenders.  I still had some cooked thighs from when Albertson had Sanderson chicken on sale (I got a family pack that lasted for several meals).  We used 2 or 3 of those thighs to make 2 chicken pot pies and we ate from the Fran's Fryers legs with thighs for dinner (with rice and apple crisp).  Now I have this great cooked chicken in the refrigerator ready to divide and freeze (and 2 pot pies!).

Chicken Tenders:  I originally got this thinking of chicken on lettuce for my lunches (think homemade "Wendy's" salads).  However, once it was cooked and loosely shredded I started seeing chicken nuggets, chicken salad, chicken sandwich spread, chicken sandwiches... and my original idea.  By the way, I covered this baking dish so they wouldn't dry out and they cooked great even though they were just piled in on top of each other.

What to have for lunch today?  Hmm... Today we'll have a simple chicken sandwich spread.  Yes, I have posted about this before; however, it seems to be different each time I make it and is evolving into one of my favorite "throw in whatever you have" recipes.  Put the following in a mini-chopper or food processor (or add in anything else that you have on hand or fancy):

1 C cooked chicken
2 teaspoons mayonnaise (yogurt would also work)
1/8 tsp Real Salt (or other UNrefined salt)
1/2 celery rib
1 small apple
any other spices that you like

Give it a whir to desired consistency and use it as a spread on sprouted, soaked, or sourdough bread of your choice.

This is enough for 4 of us to have a sandwich for lunch.

This 'recipe' is so versatile that it's hardly a recipe :).  You could even toss in some cooked beans or rice to stretch the chicken.

Before I clean out the food processor I might as well make a batch of chicken nuggets, using a mix of the tenders and the dark meat, maybe?...

School Lunch Ideas:

Look at these mouth-watering lunch ideas.  They make me hungry even though I'm stuffed with our chicken sandwich spread!

The above recipe is linked to:

Real Food Wednesday:

Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange

Books and Movies [Heidi; Captains Courageous; and more]

What's Schoolin'?

I realized today while I was previewing (and enjoying!) Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling that we seem to be surrounded right now with books and their respective movies.  These are the pairs that we are currently reading (or soon will be) with the movies already ready to watch:  Heidi, Captains Courageous, Old Man and the Sea, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Man Who Would Be King, and Swiss Family Robinson.  Some are for all ages and some are just for the olders.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri ~

Books:  I checked out several versions from the library.  They had the Illustrated Classics version but we chose an unedited version for dd-10 (she had already read a younger version over a year ago).  You can get a free Kindle download of the original book here.  Our library had this Puffin Classic version but she preferred the print of this Illustrated Junior Library version (and so did I!).

Movie:  I borrowed the version with Shirley Temple from my mom (I borrowed a VHS but there is a DVD of this movie available also).  I also checked out this version with Jane Seymour from the library.

Cultural Snapshot:  When I was about 10 living with an aunt for a year in Central America (or was it later when I went back??) I would watch a Heidi cartoon.  This is the opening song.  It has the words below so I'll show it to dc during our Spanish time:
There are some episodes of this old cartoon version uploaded as well.  Here is part of episode 1 (in Spanish):

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling ~

Book:  I checked out the LP (large print) version for my eyes :).  The dialogue is tricky, yet it really adds the authentic flavor to this maritime adventure.  I am really enjoying this story so far.  You can get a free Kindle download here.

Movie:  I checked out the movie with Spencer Tracy.  We haven't watched it yet but I'm looking forward to it.

~ Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway ~

Book:  I don't think I ever read Hemingway in high school or college.  I personally really enjoyed this book , probably because of personal experiences (see cultural snapshot below).  It's not very long.  There is one curse word if I remember right so you may want to preview it.  It kind of ruined it a bit for me regarding the dc reading it but we'll go ahead since they are 15 and 17...  I have it ready for an independent study.

Movie:  I found the complete Spencer Tracy movie on youtube here:
[Update:  This is now blocked but I'm leaving the link in case WB unblocks it later]

There are some excerpts here:

Animated version:

Cultural Snapshot:  I wrote about this in an earlier post here:

~ To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ~

Book:  The library had several copies so I checked out a smaller edition and a larger print edition .  I preferred reading the larger print but dds (15 and 17) both liked the smaller book (I have no idea why!).

Movie:  The classic movie with Gregory Peck had a hold on it the first time I tried to get it.  As it turned out my mom had an unwrapped DVD of the movie. We do so much together as a family (especially movies) that it's hard to separate youngest out.  However, she does love to play in her room and understands that some movies aren't for her yet.

~ The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling ~

[Yes, we sort of ended up doing a Kipling unit with younger dd doing some of the Just So Stories and some of The Jungle Book (free Kindle here) while the olders read The Man Who Would Be King (a short story) and Captains Courageous (much more to their liking).  Honestly, I didn't choose very many of the Just So Stories and am still previewing parts of The Jungle Book to see what youngest will read.]

Book:  There is a free Kindle version here. We read this short story in a book entitled The Man Who Would Be King and other stories from Amereon House; however, there are numerous editions, including Dover Thrift and Penguin Classics versions.

Movie:  The library had a DVD of this book starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine.  I have only previewed half of it so far.  I'm wondering how gory it will be but so far it's fine.

~ Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss ~

Book:  We have been using a free Kindle download available here .  Unfortunately, our "routine" bedtime story time is rare this year (and last year) so it's taking us forever to get through our family read-aloud.  On the other hand, the dc are writing some very creative spin-offs from this story.  There is a Great Illustrated Classics version, a Classic Starts version, as well as a Treasury of Illustrated Classics version.  We are reading the original on the Kindle but I have this paperback also on hold at the library.  I'm trying to figure out the difference in author (both Wyss) between our Kindle (public domain) and the other books.

Movie:  The first time I tried to check it out from the library it was already taken, but now I have it on hold ready to pick up this week. Our library has this older version (I prefer older versions) but there are many others available and several have good actors.

I hope that you've enjoyed the book/movie reviews and comments and that it will inspire you in your family reading enjoyment (whether you are a homeschooler or not!).

Any referral fees generated from affiliate links help to support our home school. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

This, That, and the Other...

What's Cookin'?

Youngest dd and I made Laura's wonderfully easy truffle recipe at  The idea was to make them ahead for our All Saints celebration ("St. Lucy's Truffles").  However... I'd better get them in the freezer fast because my magnesium deficiency is making me eat too, too many!  I thought my days of chocolate cravings were over :).

Peanut butter recalls (manufactured by Sunland, sold under different names):

Free Viewing of Genetic Roulette (until Oct 17th).  Please take a bit of time to watch even a bit of this for your health's sake and our children's sake... and please consider voting yes on Prop 37 if you are in California ~ we are all depending on you! (It's information, not regulation)  A fictional spy thriller may have less intrigue and subterfuge than this GMO issue:

Albertson grocery stores have Sanderson chicken on sale right now.  No, it's not organic... but better than regular chicken.

What's Schoolin'?

Great Books Readings for the Anglicum Academy 4 year Great Books program.  I printed it out as a resource but we will not be following it exactly.  I was affirmed by seeing some books in there that we are already reading with the olders:

They recommend Grammar for Writing Complete Course - Level Gold for 12th grade.  We do grammar instruction as a natural part of writing instruction along with the Montessori R and D manuals.  However, this may be good to have in their portfolios; although they would only need to do the last part since they do other writing and are beyond what the book teaches in that aspect.

Curriculum Planning sheet for Texas residents (thanks to T for sharing!):

Curriculum Planning sheet for other states:

History in His Hands: A Christian Narrative of the West was recommended by M on the Catholic History forum:

And the Other...

Free viewing of Under Our Skin .  As a Lymie I can't wait to watch it ~ maybe uninterrupted?  I can't believe that I've never seen it:

Age of Opportunity was recommended on a loop during a discussion about teens.  I haven't read it yet, but since I have 2 teens and one is almost a legal adult this book is on my 'read' list:

Any referrals from associate links help to support our homeschool.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

General Geography Montessori-ish Works

What's Schoolin'?

I recently pulled out all of our 'general geography' shelf works to re-present them and hopefully re-inspire my dc to use them.  I set them all out on the school table (but had to pick them up later since dh uses the same table at night for his computer).  The olders walked by a few times and exclaimed things like, "Oh!  I remember that!" before we had shelf work time.  There are a few items even the olders haven't used yet.

From left to right; back to front:
~ Latitude/Longitude work
~ World Biome pin map
~ Control cardstock map for Major Rivers of the World
(middle envelopes and stacks)
~ Geography Vocabulary cards
~ Biome sorting cards
~ Ocean 4-part cards
~ Control cardstock for Deserts of the World
(front row)
~ World Felt Map activities (white box)
~ A dd's Geography notebook that had 'disappeared' and I found when taking it all out of the cabinet :)
~ Pangea maps for them to cut/paste in Geography notebooks
~ Plate Tectonics work
~ Control cardstock for Major Mountain Ranges of the World

... now I need to set them back up for a day or so!  Time, time, elusive time!  It will probably have to wait until after olders' PSAT coming up way too quickly...

Here is a cool geology site I just found.  They also have country maps:

This picture glossary of Geography from A to Z is a neat book and may be available in your local library:

 Middle dd prefers to use this Trail Guide to World Geography curriculum:

I had this in my classroom many eons ago:

There are wonderful activities for a wide range of ages in VanCleave's Geography book:

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BBQ Chicken ~ To Kill a Mockingbird (Not related topics!)

What's Cookin'?

BBQ Chicken:

I boiled some chicken thighs yesterday and, after shredding them, put the chicken in my small crockpot for a few hours in the afternoon with some homemade BBQ sauce.  For the sauce I cooked some onion and bell pepper lightly in some oil (with a few jalapeno slices I have preserved in the fridge).  Then I added one can of organic tomato sauce, a dash of cayenne, 2-3 dashes of powdered garlic, Real Salt, parsley, 3 tablespoons of rapadura, and about 1/8 C apple cider vinegar.  Once the sauce was warmed I put it in the crockpot with the chicken and gave it a good stir.  We served it on soaked/yeast buns with sides of freshly made beans and some green beans.  [My dc sure can go through a lot of beans!  Almost a pound of soaked/cooked beans already gone??? In one meal??]

This recipe is part of Kelly's Read Food Wednesday:

What's Schoolin'?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:

Some books we spend a lot of time on, like Beowulf (soon to be posted) and others not so much.  This is what we did for To Kill a Mockingbird for my 10th and 11th graders.

1 - Independent reading
2 - Without much discussion (I didn't want to influence them yet in their analysis, etc) they free-wrote a summary and personal reflection in their Literature Response Logs.
3 - Still without much input from me, they read an essay from Bloom's Guides: To Kill a Mockingbird .  They need a lot of examples of literary analysis essays before they get competent in it.  Then they wrote about what they learned from the essay or any new insight that they gained regarding the book.  The essay I chose also mentions and compares/contrasts the movie at the end so that was a great lead-in to watch the movie.
4 - THEN we had tons of discussion :).
5 - We watched the Gregory Peck movie from the library on DVD.

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