Monday, July 25, 2011

Free Webinar Series: How To Prepare Your Children To Be Influencers Who Can Lead

I got this link today in one of the many homeschool newsletters that come in my inbox and thought I would share this with everyone. There are two speakers on the roster that I always enjoy and that is Doug Philips from Vision Forum and Andrew Pudewa from IEW(Institute for Excellence in Writing). Here is a brief discription of what this webinar series will cover.

5 Christian Leaders. 5 Exclusive Webinars. One Mission: Leadership
Homeschool families know a little something about high expectations. One of the biggest expectations is that your homeschooled children become leaders and culture influencers. Talk about pressure.



But what does true leadership look like? And is there a difference between being in leadership and being an influencer who can lead? A person cannot lead if nobody is willing to follow.



For the first time ever, Doug Phillips, along with trusted Christian leaders like Chuck Bentley (Crown Financial Ministries), Dr. Jeff Myers (Passing the Baton & Summit Ministries), and others, will converge to present a powerful and focused series on children and leadership, from a homeschool perspective.



This webinar series will give these leaders, who understand homeschooling, a platform to cast a vision for what it means to be one who leads. And to give you deep insights, and practical, real-world action steps you can use to lead your children to become people who lead in thought, character and action.



The first webinar, in this series of five, is with Doug Phillips. Doug’s webinar is on Tuesday, August 2, 2011. When you register now, you will get free access to all five webinars in the series.



Space is extremely limited and will fill up fast.



Your time is valuable, and you want the very best for your children. So, if seeing your children emerge from high school or college with the skills and competencies to lead and dynamically impact the culture is your desire, don't miss this unique opportunity.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Back to(Home) School Blog Carnival!



I have decided to particpate in Classic Housewife's Monday Blog Carnival for Back to Homeschool.
The particpants will be sharing curriculum advice, organizing ideas, record keeping tips, etc...
As you guys know I have already done some of those things in the past few weeks so I will just continue to add tips and info to help get folks ready for this coming year. If you get a chance take a hop over to the link and add your own blog if you have something to share as well.


Friday, June 24, 2011

The Super Mom Myth!



After homeschooling for a few years now I notice that I am no longer being hit with the socialization questions anymore. The focus is now on how much of a "Supermom" I am for taking on all that responsibility. So many moms like to say how they could never do what I do cause they are not "Supermom" like me. They tell me how they struggle with what they think are the smallest of task like potty training or cooking meals and they somehow think I have never been where they have been and I have it all together. My response to this is are you kidding me. I am a real life mom I don't play one on T.V. Every mom has her struggles. What I really think folks neglect to realize is that every mom has there strengths as well. We really need to to as women and mothers stop comparing ourselves to others cause the area that I am blessed in might not be the area you are blessed in. But you know what we are all blessed and we can all be a blessing to our husbands and children.

I am a big believer in playing to ones strengths. I am a very analytical thinker and I am good at planning and creating structure. So I have been able to bless our homeschool with this gift to help us reach our goals. But at the same time I struggle with clutter and completing household task in a timely fashion. I may be able to create a homeschool curriculum from scratch for free or make homemade bread but my laundry sits for days before I get around to putting it away. I also struggle with staying consistent with my prayer time as well. But you know that may not be my strong suite but that doesn't mean I can't learn or acquire new skills to help improve on what is already naturally there. I have some sister friends who are good in these areas where I am not and we are able to pick each others brains and lift each other up in encouragement.

I think we all have something to offer and at the same time we need to realize its never too late to learn either. "Supermom" is a myth. Just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny we have to let go.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More Used Curriculum Finds!

So I was able to get another used curriculum sale this past week at a local church. I love when I get around to a sale ran by a church that supports its homeschool ministry cause you can find so much great and popular curriculum and low prices. So I just wanted to share with you what I found. I was getting things on my curriculum list that I talked about in other post this year.I was staying withing the boundaries of what I actually needed which felt good. I did find some things that were not exactly what I planned on using but turned out to be a blessing in the end. So a tip is if budget is your decision maker with curriculum shopping always be prepared to substitute an item for something else to save on price. I also go for things that are non consumable verses consumable so I won't have to buy new pieces to it when I get ready to use it for the next child. I paid a total of $58 for items that would have been over $200 if I would have bought new and I would have had to pay the shipping.




Here is the list of what I was able to get:

Five in a Row Christian Character and Bible Supplement by Jane Claire Lambert
Stories About God's People Rod and Staff Reader Series level 2 Teachers Guide
Rod and Staff English Grade 2 teachers guide and student text( got this off the free table)
Rod and Staff English Grade 3 teachers guide and student text
Pathway Readers Grade 4 w/ teachers text
Pathway Readers Grade 1 w/ 1 workbook
Abeka Aesop's for Young Readers
Rod and Staff Music workbooks grades 1,2, and 3
Green Leaf Press Guide to Old Testament History
Life on the Indus River Valley
Rocks and Minerals easy reader
Rocks and Fossils teachers suppliment worksheets
God's Design for Heaven and Earth Our Planet
God's Design for Heaven and Earth Our Weather and Water
Singapore Math 3A textbook
Singapore Math 3 Challenging Word Problems

In all for next years curriculum I have spent $154. It is my goal to keep things under $300 for all three children. This includes school supplies(which I wait for back to school sales) printer ink, and whatever else misc I have to get. I am also considering frugal clothing options for this coming year as well. I was thinking of going to the thrift stores and other outlets to get different color polo shirts for everyone and khaki pants and skirts. Its seems a little uniformish but I think in the long run if will save money and I can have the kids coordinated pretty well on field trips. You can always finds polo shirts and khakis at the thrift stores all the time and I think they go from casual to dressy pretty well.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Steps to Creating Your Own Curriculum!

After many a request and conversation with new and even seasoned homeschooler friends and subscribers I decided to put together some easy to follow comprehensive steps to making your own homeschool curriculum. I also took the liberty of including some instructional videos to go along with the worksheet.
Here are the:

Steps to Creating Your Own Curriculum Worksheet

Methods of Homeschooling

Top Curriculum Choices Elementary Level

Top Curriculum Suppliers and Stores ( the stores are localized to GA but other suppliers are on the web)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Frugal Kitchen: Easy Maple Granola!




Easy Maple Granola

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats
2 TSP flax seed
1/3 cup chopped walnuts(optional)
1/3 cup Coconut oil
1/3 cup Maple Syrup
1 TSP Vanilla Extract

Directions: preheat oven to 350 degrees. I mix all dry ingredients together then mix all wet ingredients and add them into the dry mix and stir thouroughly. I spread the wet granola mix onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 18- 20 minutes till mixture is dry and golden brown. Stir it a few times during baking to make sure edges dont burn.
For this recipe I double to feed my family of 5.

Variations: After mix comes out the oven I add cinnamon and raisins. You add your favorite spices and dried fruits after it comes out the oven.

Homemade Dairy Free Milk Alternative!

Homemade Rice Milk




With me growing up lactose intollerant and my kids being raised on dairyfree milks I was happy to start finding ways to make them myself. I mean 1 quart of the least expensive Rice or Almond Milk cost me about 1.79 each so when I found this recipe on youtube I knew I hit the jack pot. It came out right too.So I think we areo going to keep this recipe in the family book.

Here is the video I got it from:



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Curriculum 2011- 2012



3rd Grade(7yr)- Girl

Hebrew Studies- Various Resources

Math- Singapore Math 2A and 2B

Reading-  Pathway Readers 3rd Grade and Required Reading List

Spelling- Sequential Spelling level 1(finishing up last few lessons) and level 2

Grammar-  Rod and Staff English Grade 3

Latin- Song School Latin(we didn't start Latin this last school year like we thought so we are going to start with this program that got such great reviews)

History/ Geography- Asian History Cycle 2, Kingfisher History Encyclopedia(spine text)

Course of Study Asian History Cycle 2

Middle East
  • Hittites
  • Babylon
  • Assyrians
  • The Hebrews
  • Babylon Revived
  • Persian Empire
  • Judea
  • Parthians and Sassanids
  • Islam 622- 750 A.D.
  • The Seljuk Turks
  • Israel 1948- 1949
India
  • Indus Valley
  • Aryan India
  • Maryan Empire
  • The Gupta Dynasty
  • The Moguls
  • India in Transition
  • The British in India
  • Indian Independence/ Gandhi
China
  • Shang Dynasty
  • Zhou Dynasty
  • The Qin Dynasty
  • Han Dynasty
  • Sui and Tang China
  • Song Dynasty
  • The Mongol Empire
  • Ming Dynasty
  • Qing Dynasty
  • Trade in China
  • The Opium Wars
  • The Boxer Rebellion
  • China 1911- 1935
  • China and Japan at War
  • Communist China
Japan
  • Japan 300 B.C.- 800 A.D.
  • Fujwara Japan
  • Shoguns and Samurai
  • Japan and China 1467- 1644
  • Japan in Isolation
  • Japan and Southeast Asia
  • Japan 1853- 1913
Russia
  • The Ottoman Empire
  • Russia 1462- 1613
  • The Ottoman Empire 1602- 1783
  • Russia 1917- 1924
  • Russian Expansion 1613- 1725
South East Asia
  • The Khmer Empire
  • Southeast Asia 1800- 1913
So we are going to do history 3 days a week. 1st day is reading from the history encyclopedia and doing mapwork, 2nd day will be extension readings we get from the library or education videos or trips, then the 3rd day will be notebooking and lapbooking.



Science- Earth Science and Astronomy Cycle, Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy, Usborne Science Encyclopedia, DK Rocks and Minerals, Galileo for Kids God's Design for Heaven and Earth

Handwriting- Handwriting Without Tears Grade 4 cursive
(this was a success from last year that we are sticking with)

Writing- Writing Strands Level 3

Art- Discovering Great Artist

Music- Usborne 1st Book of Recorder and Rod and Staff Music Grades 1 and 2


First Grade(4yr)- boy

Hebrew Studies- Various Resources

Math- Singapore Math 1A and 1B

Reading- Pathway Readers Grade 1,  Easy Reader Reading List(building fluency since buddy boy finished is phonic already) also some Literature Lapbooks

Grammar- First Language Lessons level 1 and Explode the Code level 2

Handwriting- Handwriting Without Tears 1st Grade

He will be sharing Latin, History Geography, Science, Art and Music with his older sibling so that is the same as above.



Preschooler(2yr)- girl

Her curriculum is going to be more Montessori based and focused mainly on life skills and basic letter and number recognition. I joined some great Montessori make your own Yahoo Groups as well finding some step by step instruction sights that are going to be helpful with this endeavour.
Here they are:
Montessori Makers
Montessori by Hand
Wikisori
Montessori Primary Guide

Practical Life-

Button, zip and buckle
lacing and beading
setting the table
fixing snack
cleaning up

Language Arts-

letter sounds
short vowel words
letter recognition
classical children's read aloud's w/ lapbook activities

Handwriting

Writing in rice, sand or beans
forming letters with play dough
cookie letters
cutting and pasting paper
drawing lines, circles, swiggles and zig zags
tracing letters on paper

Math

number recognition( sand paper letters)
patterns(blocks, cubes, and toys)
sequence
counting with manipulatives
abacus math
shapes
colors

Science

creation
seasons
days of the week
months of the year
animal life cycles(butterfly and frog)
sprouting seeds
animal habitats

Geography

Our World
Continents
Oceans
Countries
States
Cities
Communities
Maps

So this is the "PLAN" hopefully we follow something close to this. I have most of this stuff bought already with the exception of a few that I am waiting on Grandma to pitch in and get the rest for us. Those used curriculum sales really helped a lot.And I have a friend that helped me discovery Ebay and Half as well that might have to be the works. If I cant get the final items though there is always supplementing with my all time favorites Lesson Pathways and the Public Library.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Frugal Kitchen: Barley Soup(vegetarian)



I made this delicious soup last night on the fly. I kind of just threw some things together that I had that needed to be used in the fridge and threw the barley in to bulk it up and make it more hearty. This was my first time cooking with barley as well. I have had barley bread when I made it into a flour but I haven't gotten around to using it as a grain. It turned out pretty good. Here is what I used:


Barley Soup(vegetarian)

2 cups pearl barley(hulled)
4 medium potatoes(yukon gold)
4 carrots(diced)
1/2 onion(chopped)
2 stalks of celery(chopped)
2 cloves of garlic(minced)
vegetable broth or water enough to fill pot
2 tsp thyme(dried)
2 TSP parsley(dried)
1 TSP garlic salt
2 TSP olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes(8oz)
1 can kidney beans(8oz)
1 can chickpeas/ garbanzo beans(8oz)
salt and pepper to taste

First I take all the veggies and  the fresh garlic and saute them at the bottom of the pot with the olive oil till the onions soften and they sweat a little. Then I add in the spices except for salt and pepper(save that for last). Then I add in the tomatoes, and beans and add the stock or water. Let it come to a boil and add the barley. I then covered the pot and simmered on medium low till the barley expand and all the veggies soften. Then I sprinkled in some salt and pepper to taste. I used a large pot so its enough soup for my family of 5 for 2 days.


I also served it with cornbread.




Cornbread

1 1/2 cup cornmeal( fresh mill popcorn makes cornmeal in the wondermill)
1 cup flour( used hard red but any all purpose will work)
1 TSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 TSP sweetener
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter


I mix all dry ingredients first then mix in all the wet. I take the butter and put in the cornbread pan to melt in the oven. I then take and pour the melted butter in the rest of the batter and then put the mix into my pan. I bake on 400 degrees for about 15- 20 minutes.

Birthday Cupcake Fun with my Big Girl!




My big baby turned 7 this past week. I can't believe how time flies right. But we just had a little family dinner and cupcake party. It was a very hot 90 degree weather day so we did all indoor things till the sun went down. Which is why you see the kids riding there bikes in the dark. But its funny cause I had a "You know you are a homeschooler when..." moment on her birthday cause she got a visa gift card from grandma and excitedly proclaimed she wanted to go to Barnes and Nobles! LOL! We are such geeks right! But she found a cute little art set and got a few chapter books for fun reading and got her brother and sister a book as well. My little man of course found a Star Wars easy reader and my baby girl got The Very Hungry Caterpillar. So when we got back to the house I was wiped out cause I am about 32 weeks pregnant now and just going from one chair to the next makes me tired. lol! But my birthday girl wanted baked pasta with red sauce and cheese with salad. This was her request. And by some miracle I manage to get up enough strengh to make her the best Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting ever.




Here is the Cupcake and Frosting recipe:

Cupcakes:

1 1/2 cup flour( soft white wheat)
1 cup sucunant( cane sugar)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 TSP vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all dry ingredients first. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Bake on 350 degrees for about 25- 30 min.


Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 8oz pk cream cheese(soften)
1/2 cup butter(soften)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional: food coloring for to add color

whip all ingredients with electric mixer on high till smooth.



Friday, May 13, 2011

Loaf Bread or Bun Recipe!


So as you know I have been enjoying my wondermill for a few months now. Well I am trying things out and building up my recipe arsenal. I have finally came up with a great loaf or Bun recipe. The bread comes out soft and moist. Now keep in mind I am no kneading expert as of yet so I still use my Sunbeam bread maker to mix and kneed. But this is what I use:


Loaf Bread or Bun Recipe

4 cups  Flour( fresh milled hard white or hard red wheat )
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
2 TSP Honey\
1 packet Dry Yeast(not sure of exact amount cause I just buy packets)

Now once the bread is done kneading and rising I pour on the floured counter top and form into my loaf shape or hamburger buns. It makes either 2 loaves of bread or about 9- 12 burger buns. I then place in greased loaf pan or cookie sheet and place a damp cloth on and let it proof for about 20- 30 more minutes while I preheat the oven for 350 degrees. I just bake until golden brown which I think is about 25 mins or so. depends on your oven I guess. Delicious!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Think About it Thursday: Who is the Authority of Your Homeschool!


So it's that time of year when I start to see and hear more and more post about homeschool parents feeling like they are "Falling Behind", "Missing Something", "Failing there Children", and so on and so forth. It seems like right as the year comes to a close  is when the demon of Self Doubt rears his ugly head and even some of us seasoned homeschoolers can't manage to escape his possession. You would think a group of parents who stepped out on faith and took the plunge into the pool of home education have to be some of the most confident parents on the face of the earth. Well that is just not true. We are all human and we are all subject to insecurities. Especially in a culture that is against the family its hard to be Set Apart at times. But this is why I pose the question today to my fellow homeschoolers "Who is the Authority of Your Homeschool?".

 Based off what your answer is should reveal exactly where these emotions of self doubt come from especially if you are unsure of the answer. If you don't rightly know that is okay its never to late to have a Vision/ Mission for your homeschool but I do think that it is imperative that every family have a goal in mind and stay true to that vision throughout there home education journey.Everyone is measuring themselves up to some standards. The question here is "Who's standards are you measuring your family against?".

I am going to give some examples of where I have found most homeschoolers to fit into when it comes to there measurement standards.




  1. Public School Standards- For some families they homeschool only to have there children at home and so there educational standard is measured by what the local Public School is doing cause they are still the authority of education in there home even though the schooling takes place in the home. In this scenario the parents have not fully taken advantage of the freedom of homeschooling to create there own goals and vision. This could be for many reasons from thinking they are not an expert in education so they couldn't possibly make the standards or it could be that its just not of any importance to them they just want to be at home and not have to focus on anything else. The problem with this method that parents run into is that if the "Homeschool" based curriculum they selected for the year is somehow not adding up or covering everything on that local Public Schools scope and sequence than there begins the panic and race to catch up or fill in the gaps to measure up to that Public School Authority. Well I have lots of friends who have taught as PS teachers are still are PS teachers and they always make sure to tell folks that they never finished a textbook or curriculum by the end of the year. That is whey most Public School Text repeat the same info from the year before for the first 3 months of the new school year. Its basically a review of the year before. Think about all the snow days, teacher institute days, holiday breaks, spring breaks and so on that they take during the year yet us homeschoolers feel guilty for taking a day or two off for a personal day or what ever. We just need to put things in perspective.
  2. Academic Standards-  For some of us homeschoolers we are totally engulfed with a educational philosophy or method rather that be Classical, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Unit Study, Unschooling, etc... I  started out homeschooling with a strictly academic vision in mind that eventually evolved into something much more in the end but I think its typical for some parents to start out with purely an academic goal in mind. Having a educational philosophy or method of homeschooling is a positive thing it gives some basic curriculum guidelines to follow usually even a year by year break down. That is great. Usually the problem comes in when you stop looking at the philosophy as just a set of guidelines and start placing it on  a pedestal of must do must follow rigid rules. I think for some parents this starts when we fall victim to "Comparing our Children to Others". You might read an article in a homeschooling magazine or have a friend in a COOP who uses the same homeschool method as you yet you look at there child(who might not even be the same age as your child) and you see how they are covering all these subjects, playing the violin and piano, volunteering at the food pantry, acing the SAT's and can write a college level thesis and you start to go into heart palpitations.Then starts the we need to do Latin, French, play the french horn, do nature study everyday, homeschool 6hrs a day and go do all these other things so we can be just like so and so or else we are not doing it right. You look over at your kids who are playing around with Lego's and army men while you are trying to read aloud your history lesson, he only did a half a math worksheet and you wonder how will I ever get him into college. This is when you start to feel like a failure. It is my hope by illustrating these scenarios you will begin to see how silly we look sometimes. I have to laugh at this cause I have been there.
  3. Mom and Dad's Standards- Now I do admit I love when I see parents who have set down together and come up with a list of reasons and goals as to why they are homeschooling there children. I find this to be the clearest way to understand and define your homeschool goals when you sit down as a couple an establish your homeschool Vision/ Mission. But even with starting out with something this strong I have still seen parents feel like they are not making the mark even when they set the mark. This could stem from setting the mark too high or not realizing that since you are in charge of the standards you can reform and make changes to that vision at anytime. What if you started out with goals when your children were little and as time went on you realized that you had a "Special Learner" who required special attention in academic areas or even social areas. This could change that vision. You may need to adjust that vision to fit the changes of your family. Or sometimes I find that parents who set goals together might begin to feel imaginary pressure  or real pressure from there spouse to measure up to the vision. Like for instance a wife might feel like every time she is not meeting the goals on the list perfectly she is somehow failing her husband and kids. Don't be so hard on yourself. These goals are just an idea of where you want to go not necessarily where you are at. Its just a maker to help lead and guide you not to make you feel inadequate in anyway. And realize when you have aimed too high and feel pressured and sit down again as a couple and make adjustments where they are needed.
  4. God's Standards- The Homeschool Movement in this Country as we know was Pioneered by those looking to raise there children with a God centered education. And the majority of homeschoolers even till this day home educate for this very reason to have God be central in there child's education. I find that when convicted to homeschool for a higher calling its less likely that on a year to year basis that folks go back and forth with the same self doubt trials. But even with God at the centered and scripture leading the way I have seen parents feel the woes of what am I not doing enough of. Once again I think this could be stemming from Comparing oneself to others. Maybe your family has a heart to be mission minded and travel the world spending the Gospel but you haven't quite made it there cause you have a new baby every year and your husband can't find work to save enough for the trip. Well maybe your mission field is your local community or maybe even your own family. Maybe raising Godly children who love the lord and can read his word is enough. Sometimes I think we don't understand when the holy spirit takes over and directs to where we need to be when we need to be. Also since the movement has become so diverse and folks are homeschooling for more than just Spiritual reasons even the most God driven family can get caught up in measuring themselves against the standards I have listed at the top. You might find yourself now questioning whether or not your children know enough of other things outside of biblical training. But maybe we need to learn how to put things in perspective. We need to see that Scripture memorization is :Language Arts, Reading the King James Bible is studying Literature and History, we need to see that observing God's creation in nature is the root of Science, and so on and so forth. Having a child who is strong in faith and can go to God in and his word in time of need goes a much longer way than a child who can recite the capitol cities of Europe. Not saying that these things aren't important but don't worry if these things didn't fall into your agenda. Your child has tools in his tool belt to help fix anything he hasn't been formally trained to do.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Years Homeschool Conference and Used Book Sale Finds!


Well this past weekend was our annual State Homeschool Conference. I truly feel like this year was my best planned year and I came out under budget and with things I am actually going to use. lol! If you have ever gone to a curriculum fair than you know what I mean about getting what you need. I think that a lot of moms have there experience with what I call a case of the "OHHH and AHH's" you see all that shinny new curriculum and gadgets and whatnot and you loose all sense of practical need and budget. lol! But this year with money being the way that is for my family like most other Americans right now I had to go in there with a rock solid game plan. I first made my list of what I needed for this coming year along with a back up choice. I also knew I wanted to spend the bulk of my budget at the Used Book Sale that they have at my Conference on the first day. I actually got my list from Donna Young's website. The form is called Curriculum Fair Battle Plan. Very well titled if I don't say so myself. I totally made out like a bandit in the Used Book Sale Hall. I spent $97 for items that has a retail value over $350.
We are starting formal writing this year, we are going into Earth Science and Astronomy, and we are heading into Asia for History and Geography so I tried to focus on getting this for these areas. Here is the list of what I ended up with:

Learning Resources Base Ten Starter Set
The M&M Math Book
The M&M Counting Book
Addition Facts Songs CD and book
Subtraction Facts Songs CD and book
Singapore Math 2B Home Instructors Guide
Singapore Math 3A Home Instructors Guide
Singapore Math 3B Home Instructors Guide
Singapore Math Intensive Practice 2A

Primary Language Lessons
Writing Strands Evaluating Writing
Writing Strands Level 2
Writing Strands Level 3

The Magic School Bus Out of This World( a book about space rocks)
Usborne Space

Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis
Island of the Blue Dolphin by Scott O'Dell
The Chi- Lin Purse by Linda Fang
The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert Dejong
Daughter of the Mountains by Louise Rankin
Dragon's Gate by Laurence Yep
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia






On top of what I found at the Conference I was able to gather some literature titles for my two youngest from a local Used Book Sale. I spent about $26 and got at least close to $100 worth of things. Here is a list of what we got there as well:

Wooden Abacus w/ movable addition set
Connect Cubes
Aesop's Fables Coloring Book
Aesop's Fables Storybook
Make Way For Ducklings
The Three Bears
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
The Story of Ferdinand
The Little Engine that Could
The Big Balloon Race
Wagon Wheels
The Drinking Gourd
Stone Soup








I also wanted to take a moment to count the Blessings that others have given to our homeschool as well this year. With the help of a friend and the Grandparents I was able to get a few more things as well. I got Apologia Astronomy from my friend who also uses a classical model and here kids are on a different cycle than mine so they already finished up with Astronomy for the Grammar Stage they won't be back on  for a few at least 2yrs I think. But she said I am welcome to have it for this year.That really saved me at least close to $90 I think.

And for the Grandparents I made a Amazon Wish List for when they got that grandparent urge to send a gift I told them to peel off this list. And so far Granddad has made a great dent in the list and I think my mom is going to add her gifts after she come back from vacation. I am so happy they are finally coming around to being supportive of our homeschool efforts. So he was able to get quite a few things as well:

First Language Lessons Level 3 Workbook
Ancient India
Gandhi
George Washington Carver
Mae Jameson
Galileo for Kids



Monday, May 9, 2011

Frugal Kitchen: Left Over Oatmeal Bake!

So I was on a hunt for ways to save money in the kitchen and not be wasteful with leftover food. I came across a wonderful blog called New Life On A Homestead. She had a Baked Oatmeal Recipe on her site. I had never heard of baking oatmeal before besides making cookies but I thought it would be a great way to reuse my leftover oatmeal. You know how sometimes you make to much or people don't eat as much as you think they are. So here is how I tweaked the recipe a little.





2 cups left over oatmeal
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 stick melted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup raisins
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 TSP baking powder
1 cup milk( i use Almond milk)
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Bake on 350 degrees till brown on the top.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vote For Me! For the Top 25 Homeschool Blogs Please!



Circle of Moms is holding an awsome blog contest for homeschool bloggers. If you get an opportunity please get over there and cast a vote for The Well Trained Homeschool. Thanks to all my subscribers and there support.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Think About it Thursday: Screen Free Week!


So this week we have been participating in screen week with our local homeschool support group. It basically having your children not watch TV for a week. Now we didn't watch much TV anyway but its been a good experience so far turning off the tube.

During an average week my children would get an hour of TV during the weekdays and on the weekend they could get up to 2hrs on Saturday and Sunday. So compared to our nations average of children watching 4+ hours a day I say we were doing pretty darn good. But you know just 4 days into our screen free week I can see we could have been doing better. In that hour I was letting my children have it was usually while I was trying to fix dinner. So now instead this week the children and I have been more creative with that time. I have invited my kids into the kitchen more and they have come up with some things to do themselves.

If you decided to go Screen Free for a week here is a list of ideas to keep your family entertained:


  1. Go for afternoon walk around the neighborhood or local park
  2. Start and garden
  3. Listen to Audio books of the Classics
  4. Do an arts and craft project
  5. Start silent reading hour
  6. Create a production of your children's favorite story
  7. Draw while listening to Classical music
  8. Play in the yard
  9. Pull out the board games
  10. Train children in doing a new chore

Here are some pics I took of this weeks Screen Free Week.

Starting Seeds

Reading in front of turned off TV!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Well Trained Wednesday: Grammar Stage- Language Arts Pt.3


We have now made it to our 3rd installment on our series about Grammar Stage language arts. So today we are going to discuss what writing looks like in the Classical Education model.
At the Grammar Stage writing starts at its earliest as developing penmanship skills later on transferring to writing well written sentences and toward the end of the grammar stage introducing the composition. A major way most Classical homeschoolers build good penmanship skills in there young learners is through Copywork I already gave an explanation of copywork in Language Arts pt. 2. So you can refer back to that if need be. I must point out the fact that Classical if not anything is a holistic approach to learning. You will constantly see the overlapping of certain skills and methods through the curriculum helping to bridge the gap between subjects till it one day comes together as a whole. Copywork is a handwriting exercise as well as an exercise in grammar and spelling.

Now there are many arguments that I have heard for whether or not start with print or cursive and both arguments are valid. I personally begin with print(manuscript) and go along with TWTM recommendation to start cursive at the beginning of 2nd grade. My 2nd grader began this year with cursive this fall with some copywork of just basic lettering and then we started halfway through the year with an excellent program called Handwriting Without Tears. We are doing the 3rd grade cursive book cause in traditional education programs they begin cursive in 3rd grade. TWTM recommends the Zaner- Bloser Grade 2C student book to start out in with cursive.

Susan Wise Bauer had this to say in regards to beginning copywork:

"Look at his work, praise what he's done right, and then correct his mistakes with a red pencil so that he can clearly see the correction. Ask him to compare his work with the original. Do this two or three times per week. Put the child's paper in the notebook under copying. Does this stifle creativity? No- it builds the skills the child needs in order to be truly creative. When a first grader copies a sentence from Charlotte's Web he's learning spelling, mechanics(punctuation and so forth), basic grammar( subject- verb agreement, adjective use), and vocabulary from a master of English prose. He'll need all this information in order to write down the sentences he forms in his own head."

The next step in building and developing writing skills in the Classical method will be to introduce dictation. You want to start with short sentences dictating slowly as they write. Check for punctuation, capitalization errors and have them make corrects.  But keep in mind that at first it will take some time to do dictation. Try not to frustrate the child give them a little to go in if they need some help figuring out proper spelling till they get used to it. TWTM says:

"The child who's spent the first grade copying will already have a visual memory of common words. But during the transition from copying to dictation, you'll need to help him develop the skills of sounding out and writing down words without looking at a model."

Dictation will help the child develop the rules of good style and expression necessary for writing compositions later on.

Another suggestion is to have the child do letter writing( thank- you notes, letters to grandma, etc..) as soon as possible to being using the writing skills. TWTM does warn against requiring the child to be creative in the grammar stage cause they are still absorbing and taking things in. This is not to say to stop a child who is naturally creative but not make it a mandate. It will come eventually when the child has acquired more skills.

So I guess you are wondering when should we start a formal writing program. Well if you are like myself you would feel as though your 2nd grader was just not quite ready for formal writing so you held off another year and continued to grow with your grammar and spelling program in the meantime. But in a traditional classical model you would start formal writing in 2nd grade. I think this is adjustable though. Look at your child for clues of readiness. There is no need to rush them into something they are not prepared for cause you can cause them to grow to hate it. Once a child hates writing its a hard thing to get to point of loving it. TWTM recommends that you being a formal writing program in supplement of your grammar program. The Wises suggested Writing Strands as a good start for formal writing. I am considering it for next year for my oldest. But its a debate between Writing Strands and IEIW( Institute for Excellence in Writing). I think that IEIW combines a lot of the language arts into one program which is what makes it so appealing. The creator of the program Andrew Pudewa has a nice selection of free audio seminars that explains the IEIW approach very well.

So that is it in a nutshell. I will return next week for my last installment in the Grammar Stage language art series with Reading and the Classical Model.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Think About it Thursday:Summer Service Projects For Kids!


With so much that has occurred in our World this year in the realm of disaster from the Earthquakes in Haiti to the Tsunami and Earthquakes of Japan I have seriously been considering having my children get actively involved. Both tragedies effect family and friends we know. At first I was not sure how to get such young children involved in service but I then I just had to think about what they can do instead of what they can't do. I feel like we should rotate a new project every two weeks to give them a broad prospective on service so maybe when they get a little older they can choose one summer service project for themselves.

So here are some of the things we were going to try and work on this Summer:

Volunteer at a Church Food Pantry

Volunteer at Soup Kitchen(maybe just my oldest cause my other two wont be able to work with the food)

Make Hygiene Kits for Homeless and Disaster Victims using coupons(been watching that Extreme Couponing show in TLC. Its got me a little excited. LOL!)

Join a Community Garden or CSA that helps turn empty lots into something beautiful


Book Drive for Children's Home


Have any of you guys done service projects with your children. I would love to hear what kind of things you guys have done. Please comment!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Well Trained Wednesday: Grammar Stage- Language Arts Pt.2

Before beginning formal grammar lessons your child should at least be able to write simple words with ease. For your young elementary student you should expect to cover parts of speech, proper relationships of those parts of speech, and the mechanics of the English language. Basically at this phase you are in the process of creating memory pegs in your child's mind in which they can later hang further exploration of English grammar and writing. Its not so much mastery of grammatical usage that you are looking to achieve at this phase as it is memorization of the processes that will help them to expand upon things later.

One of the many ways Classical Education overlaps other homeschooling methods like for instance Charlotte Mason is through the use of copywork, narration, and dictation as primary tools to teach grammar. But one of the big differences between Classical and Charlotte Mason Education is when to introduce formal grammar lessons. Classical Education begins the use of copywork and narration early on in the grammar stage of learning slowly transitioning to the use of dictation by the 3rd grade or so. Charlotte Mason however uses copywork throughout elementary to teach spelling and grammar not really moving into dictation till the middle grade years.

So lets explore what exactly copywork, narration and dictation are. We will start with copywork. I found this wonderful explanation at a website called

From Wonder...to Wisdom


What is copywork? Quite simply, it is writing out by hand, or copying, words from a written model. In the very early stages, children may trace or copy the letters of the alphabet, but once they have had some practice with this, they progress to words and phrases. Later on, sources for copywork include a great variety of written materials: poetry, Bible passages, other writings of great men, to name just a few. Some people equate copywork with handwriting, and this is certainly part of it – but there is far more to copywork than just handwriting.


Copywork carries with it a number of benefits.
  1. With regard to young children, the most obvious one is that it is a good means of introducing and practising the mechanics of written English: spelling, punctuation, grammar, and handwriting. If children are taught from the outset that only their best work is acceptable, and that they must pay attention to detail, these mechanics will quickly become second nature. But do not be tempted to abandon copywork as soon as the child can write neatly, and has achieved a basic proficiency in spelling, for the benefits go far beyond the simple mechanics of writing.
  2. Copywork is a valuable addition to any memory work programme, as it involves more than one of the senses. Children learn so much more quickly when their hands and eyes are involved in the learning, as well as their ears and tongues.
  3. Excellent copywork models lead to increased familiarity with different forms of written expression and with a variety of styles. Results may show up before long in the children’s speech or writing: in allusions they make, or in modelling their own work on that of others. This is one area in which the benefit is an on-going one, as older children choose to model their writing on some of the great writers of English poetry or prose.
  4. Charlotte Mason, in the Original Homeschooling Series, had a lot to say about ideas being the proper diet for our children’s minds. Copywork, carefully chosen, can be a source of such ideas. It can also be a window into the minds and thinking of others. This is another benefit that can continue throughout life, and it is partly for this reason that even older children should continue to do copywork – though for them it need not be such a frequent activity as for their younger brothers and sisters.
Now according to "The Well Trained Mind" narration is explained as follows:

"Narration is a way to develop the child's understanding and story- telling skills. The process is simple: the child tells you what he's just heard or read. You start this process in preschool, when you ask your child questions about the stories you were reading together. In the first grade, you begin to ask the child to summarize the plots of short simple stories... Read the child the story, close the book and ask, "What was the story about." Write down the child's narration, and then read it back to him. Ask him how it differs from the original story. Narration lets you know how much the child retains and understands. It also develops vocabulary and powers of expression, and lays the foundation for good writing later on."

I look at narration as a way of training your child orally to do essay style questions and writing that they will utilize later on in there academic careers. But this way makes it approachable and fun. Who doesn't love a to tell stories especially small children.  When I start narration with my younger ones I let them sometimes draw me a picture of the passage and narrate there drawing. My older child writes down there own narrations when we do notebook pages in other subjects.

Here is a video from Susan Schaffer of Simply Charlotte Mason that explains the way Charlotte Mason homeschoolers approach narration.





And now lets explore dictation.

Dictation is the process where the parent speaks while the child transcribes exactly what the parent is saying.
Dictation is primarily used to reinforce grammar and spelling skills.

Now that we have gone over what grammar looks like in the Classical model lets go through some of the best programs out there to get you a solid foundation in Grammar Stage grammar.
Now in TWTM they recommended in older editions that you start with English for the Thoughtful Child
This was before Susan Wise Bauer established Peace Hill Press and started producing her own language lesson volumes. We use her First Language Lessons. First Language lessons goes all the way to level 4 as of now. I have so far used levels 1 and 2. We are starting on 3 this coming school year. I have found the lessons to be quick and easy but very sequential and challenging. I really feel like it has given my oldest a good grasp on grammar so far. The First Language Lesson series includes the a little copywork, narration, and dictation exercises as well as poetry memorization and recitation. They even throw in some picture study as well. She also named in later editions moving on from "English for the Thoughtful Child" which has two levels to a good program like Abeka's God's Gift of Language A: Writing and Grammar or for a secular alternative just as strong G.U.M levels 3- 5 by Zaner- Bloser.

Once again I threw so much info out there I am going to continue on with Language Arts Pt. 3 next week when we wrap up Reading and Writing in the Grammar Stage.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Think About it Thursday: Home Libraries!





With the technological explosion that just recently hit the publishing industry with Kindles and IPads us bookworms need to start considering building our own home libraries. I think as a society we can sometimes take for granted Public Library. We assume it will always be there. And we also take for granted that the Great Books will always be on the shelves as well. If you go into some branches of my local library system you will find that close to 30- 40% of the Children's section are media items. And lets not get on the new invasion of Cartoon- like series that are taking over the chapter book section with all the poor grammar and lacking vocabulary. I believe Charlotte Mason called these sorts of books "Twaddle". Just think back to when you were a child and think about the books that stuck out to you even to this day. They were usually the great well written stories like The Lion, the Witch, and Wardrobe, The People Who Could Fly, and The Velveteen Rabbit.

Last month I read an article online  that was about the top 11 things our children won't know about. Well along with the VCR and wired telephones the most frightening thing on the list was " Printed Books". I was like What! Yes, Books! This author was convinced that with technology changing the way we view literature in the future their will be no need for printed materials. Now I know what you are thinking. This sounds a little to extreme but you know maybe not. But this is why I think we should as homeschoolers especially begin to build up our own home libraries.

It doesn't have to be a costly endeavor. You can gather little bits at a time. I have found great luck with finding titles at thrift stores, yard sales, library sales, etc... I love the Dover Thrift Edition cause you can get a lot of the Classic books for less than $3.00 most of the time.
Maybe you are not a bookworm type person and have know idea what is considered Great works of literature to invest in. Well I have made a list that I compiled over the years from many annotative book list. I have even borrowed some titles from literature based curricula like Sonlight, Veritas Press, and My Father's World. I am sort of a catalog junkie.
So below I have my List of Great Books for Children and if you go to my resource section I also have a List of Great African- American Children's Books. But I have included those titles in the list below as well. I just know how hard it is to find list of Good books about or for African- American children so I separated it out for people looking for just that.

List of Great Books for Children




Also there are some great resources for homeschoolers on starting and organizing your home libraries.

Books Bloom

Christian Children Book Reviews
Lifetime Books and Gifts
As well there was a great video I recently watched on homeschool home libraries. Take a look.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Well Trained Wednesday: Grammar Stage- Language Arts Pt.1

Language Arts is a fairly modern term used to describe the study and usage of English grammar and writing. The foundation of a great Classical Education is the mastery of the language arts. A child who can't read can't spell. A child who can't spell can't express themselves in writing. Writing skills are the keys to being able to convey ones argument in a logical manner. One thing that should never be secondary in your homeschool schedule is the language arts.

In "The Well Trained Mind"(WTM) Susan Wise Bauer points out that "Before you can put a word on paper, you have to know what letters to use." This is why a solid foundation in phonics us necessary before proceeding with formal spelling or grammar programs. I personally have found great success with my hand me down Hooked on Phonic program. I do want to state that I use the program without the audio Cd's and the CD ROM. I just use the workbooks, flash cards, and readers. I went through the entire program with my oldest and I am halfway through it with my son(4yrs). There are other less expensive even free phonic programs on the market and online. The WTM recommends "Phonic Pathways" in which I own a copy of that as well. I got it for like $10 at a used curriculum sale. Sometimes you luck out like that. Now if you do go with "Phonic Pathways" you have to purchase a set of phonic readers to go with it cause they don't come with a set. I highly recommend the "Bob Books" set.

A word of caution when selecting a phonic program in general beware of the ones that come with too many bells and whistles. These can be major distractions from your child developing fluency. Words do not jump around on paper. It's just something children have to get use to. The entertainment will come later on when they are delving into a great book full of mystery, suspense, or drama.

Phonic is one of the those non- consumable curriculum's so you can use it for as many children as you need to. Its a rewarding investment but like I said before in previous post homeschooling doesn't have to break the bank. Here are some links to a few free online phonic programs you can use:

McGuffey Eclectic Primer

ABC Fast Phonic

Progressive Phonics



Word of caution: Stay away from phonic programs that include writing at the same time as reading. Writing is a separate skill that uses a different part of the brain. Focusing on both can just delay progress in mastering reading and becoming fluent. Your child may be like my son where he is totally flying through reading but has not yet developed the fine motor skill coordination necessary to write the words that he can read. I wouldn't dare want to hold him back till his hand catches up with the rest of him.


Now the WTM recommend starting spelling once you are halfway through your phonic primer. I have found this to be great advice. Usually by then the child should have moved on from single short vowel words to blends. Starting formal spelling before then wouldn't be that beneficial and might even cause frustration. If the child struggles when you first start spelling hold off until they get further along in their phonic. They just may need more time to hit that particular milestone. So basically spelling should begin around 1st grade year but starting in 2nd is fine as well.

For spelling I have found that the most logical approach is to use a pattern based program. That can help strengthen the phonics skills. The program we love is Sequential Spelling. It was designed by using patterns in the English language. I have found it to be the most well suited for my family. The WTM recommends Spelling Workout in earlier editions. I have read mixed reviews on it though. But you have to pick what fits you and your child's learning style not anyone else.

The other skills that make up the language arts are Grammar, Reading, and Writing. I will continue exploring these subjects and how they are framed in the grammar stage of classical education next week.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Think About It Thursday: Wondermill Grain Mill!!!







I am so excited to announce that our family has began to mill our own wheat and grains to make all of our own breads. This journey towards wanting to mill my own wheat started about 2 years ago at my local state homeschool conference when I came across a woman's booth who had some nice smelling back goods set out. At the time I didn't think much of what she was selling you know just famished and digging into the free samples while I continued to shop the exhibit hall. lol! But this woman had given me a free audio CD called " Do not Eat the Bread of Idleness" I popped it in while in the car one day and I have to tell you it changed my life. She went into the whole history of white flour and why so many health problems are related to this so called bread most of us are consuming. I was all hyped up and set to by a bread mill and a bread maker and all the other gadgets. But of course my husband pulled me back in off the edge. He had a habit of telling me when he thought I was being fanatical. So I backed down and forgot about it. It wasn't until this pollen season that just started that the idea of milling our own wheat came back up.

Since the first inspiration 2 years ago my husband did let me get a bread maker and he has made our pizza and biscuit dough. So some things did change. Just not fully the way I wanted to. But you know God works in his own time. We were still using store bought flour and although it said whole wheat I now know that to not be true. But this allergy season really got me back to thinking that we need to make that change cause for the first time in my life I felt like I had pollen allergies. And my little one(2yr old) nose just wouldn't stop running. I mean over all we have pretty good nutrition so the only thing I could point out as the culprit was all that store bought bread sitting on the counter top and in  the freezer. So I went and looked up the company from the homeschool conference from 2 years prior. By the way they are The Bread Beckers down here in Woodstock, GA. Low and behold they had some free live stream videos of some of the nutrition classes that they teach over at there store and my husband and I spent two days watching these pretty lengthy videos till he became convicted as well. So we planned for Monday(this Monday) to take the hour drive out to Woodstock and purchase our grain mill and 2 7gallon buckets of Hard Red Wheat(breads) and Soft White Wheat(pastry). I highly recommend you get the free audio CD from The Bread Beckers and to watch or read as much of the information as possible about milling your own wheat at home. This is something that I feel not only is a blessing to our health as a family but it is also an economic blessing and it adds to our self sufficiency and Preparedness Storage.

So something I think we should consider on this Thursday is rather or not we should be Milling our own Grains and Making our Own Breads.

Here are some pictures of what we have made so far.

Spelt Banana Nut Muffins

 Hard Red Wheat Buns or Rolls

Zucchini Bread

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Well Trained Wednesday: Grammar Stage- Grade Levels

It's always around this time of year that I begin to see more and more homeschool parents posting on the forums and the blogs about there question on curriculum choices and annual testing. The post come off more like a plea for help than an inquiry.Year after year so many of us new and veteran homeschoolers  alike begin to question our methods and ways because we wonder if our children are on "Grade Level". They are worried about "Falling Behind" or "Catching Up". Well I must pose the question behind whom?

 The early years of schooling should be focused on mastering reading, writing, and arithmatic. These are the foundations of all higher level learning. So if these things are not mastered it makes it very difficult to move to the next level. The problem that I have found with most other curriculums is that they are set up in such a rigid way that it makes it hard to focus your child into the righ levels of learning. That is something I have found to be the complete opposite in the Classical Education Grammar Stage model. Since adapting more of a Classical Homeschool philosophy I find myself focusing less and less on grade levels, falling behind, and catching up. We don't just plow through a grade level curriculum. We go through the skills necessary to master higher level in the future instead. Here is a quote from "The Well Trained Mind" that sums this philosophy up.

" In the early years of school, children vary so widely in their development that assigning a child to a particular"grade" can be extremely difficult... material isn't divided into grades, but rather into levels. You should always spend as much time on one level as you need and progress on to the next level only when your child has mastered the first level, whether that comes before or after the "normal age"... Adjust the time you spend on each subject so that you can concentrate on weaker areas."

I have totally found this to be true in our homeschooling experience. My oldest(6yr old) 2nd grader is on various levels throughout her curriculum. For instance we use recommended reading list geared toward 4th or 5th grade students. She is on the 2nd grade part of First Language Lessons grammar book. We are now at the end of Singapore Math level 1B. Math has been a trying subject for us up until this year when we switched to Singapore. I am grateful to homeschooling that enabled us to take the time to help my child through her challenges and find an approach that works. We follow the Classical science timeline which we didn't start until this year. The Classical outline for science starts with Life Science, Earth and Astronomy, Chemistry, and then Physics. Of Course with the  Classical model just like with the history you cycle through the sciences 3 times once in each phase of the Trivium. Now we are still in Life Science and typically a 2nd grader would be on Earth Sciencce and Astronomy by now but I understand from excerpts like the one above that I shouldn't feel the need to adhere to a rigid schedule especially since these topics will reintroduce themselves again. At this age the science is more focused on classifying, learning the scientific method through experiements, and reading materials on a subject.  The materials we gather from the libary are on all reading levels. In handwriting we are doing Handwriting Without Tears 3rd grade cursive. Now most curriculum(not all Abeka and SWR start with cursive) even those of the Public Schools don't introduce cursive until 3rd grade. Now in "The Well Trained Mind" they recommend starting cursive in the 2nd grade especially if the child has a tendancy to reverse the common mistake letters p,q,d, and b. Now for spelling we use Sequential Spelling level 1. It happens to be a program based on leveled learning rather than grade level learning rather than grade level learning. we have found it to be a perfect fit for my oldest cause it is a pattern based program and she can use her strengh in phonetic awarness to excell in the program. I am not going to go into our history cause that is where the "Eclectic" side of our curriculum comes into play and I don't follow strictly with the Classical Model.

I am sure that you get the picture by now that education is not so cut in dry. Very rarely will you find a child who fits into to a grade level on all subject matter. This is nothing to worry about. Just meet your childs needs where they are at. This outlook always reminds me of the bible verse:

"For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little"
Isaiah 28:10

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Think About It Thursday: Homeschool Gardening

One benfit we have as homeschool families is that we get the opportunity to influence our children just from the shear amount of time we get to spend with our children. Well most homeschoolers take the opportunity to train there children spiritually, some take it as an opprtunity to work on character and other social related issues. Homeschooling also presents an opportunity to help our children develop a healthy lifestyle. You have the chance to take field trips to local gardens, farms, factories, etc.. And show your children where there food comes from. Why not take it a step further and take the opportunity to grow some of your own food. We already know as parents that kids love to get down in the dirt so this can be a good way to show them how to be constructive with an activity they already love.

This endevore does not have to be overwhelming. Trust me I was totally overwhelmed at the thought of growing a garden. I mean  I am from that new generation that doesn't have a green thumb between us. My grandmother keep a garden but that was the extent of my experience with food growing was watching her in the yard as a small child. My mother(love her very much) was a buy from the store don't show me where it comes from type of gal. So I really didn't begin to gain my food knowledge till I was an adult. I want my children to grow up with this lost knowledge of our not so distant past. So we are going to grow a small gardern.

Now a word on space before we get started. We live in a townhouse and have a shared backyard with our neighbors so we can't grow anything in the ground but you know we have a deck and can put a couple containers out there. And like I said before I am coming from zero experience so this is going to be an adventure for the whole family. I these easy pop up containers at Sam's Club for under $40 that I am going to get and we will go from there. Its a little more online cause they include the shipping but they have them in stores. I also found this cool little video on youtube that shows you have to sprout your seeds in toliet paper rolls. Take a look:





So consider growing a garden for the Spring/Summer. Its a great homeschool project the whole family can enjoy. I will defintely post pics and updates as we get started on the project this coming week.
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