Monday, August 23, 2010

YouTube homeschool resources

So, YouTube is good for something other than funny videos? Who'da thunk it???

I have spent a bit of time compiling some playlists on YouTube I wanted to share with you. You can also just visit my YouTube page to see everything.

For American History, we are going to watch America: The Story of Us.

On the World History playlist, you can watch a documentary on WWII.

On the Grammar playlist you'll find SchoolHouse Rock videos covering the parts of speech.

There are tons of videos on the Hebrew Learning playlist covering everything from numbers to animals to foods.

There are more School House Rock and Multiplication Rock videos in the Math playlist. I remember the Multiplication Rock songs from my own childhood. They are great for nailing down the facts.

Do you use YouTube in your homeschool? Have any good resources to share?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kosher Menu Plan Monday #2

Shalom, dear friends. Last week I wrote a bit about our Kosher diet. This week, I want to direct you to one of my favorite blogs for Scripturally sound meal choices, Tammy's Recipes. I highly recommend you hop on over and check it out. But then come back, of course ;)

BREAKFAST: banana pancakes
LUNCH: turkey BLTs w/ homemade onion rings
DINNER: spaghetti & meatballs w/ garlic bread

YOM SHENI (Monday)
BREAKFAST: breakfast tortillas (tortilla w/ turkey sausage, onions, eggs, cheese, peppers)
LUNCH: bagel sandwiches with cream cheese & green peppers, corn pudding
DINNER: fried whiting, cole slaw, baked potatoes

YOM SH’LISHI (Tuesday)
BREAKFAST: breakfast bars & smoothies
LUNCH: quesadillas
DINNER: mini hamburgers w/ homemade buns, french fries, corn

YOM REVI'I (Wednesday)
BREAKFAST: homemade raised doughnuts
LUNCH: chicken salad w/ grapes
DINNER: homemade pizza (maybe we'll try grilled pizza)

BREAKFAST: griddle cakes (turkey sausage & pancakes)
LUNCH: chicken nuggets & seasoned french fries
DINNER: steak/ chicken fajitas (with leftover steak & chicken) w/ homemade tortillas

BREAKFAST: homemade granola bars with dried fruit


stone soup
-chicken & dumplings

-(the best!) chocolate chip cookies

BREAKFAST: challah french toast (*prepared ahead of time)


leftovers :)

DINNER: **fellowship dinner potluck**

Friday, August 6, 2010

Planning Your Homeschool- Part One

WHO WHAT WHERE WHY WHEN & HOW-- The Questions to Ask

Remember 3rd grade book reports-- recapping the book answering the classic questions- Who? What? Where? Why? When? (and don't forget the obligatory 'How?') Well, I have found that this simple method works for much more than book reports, and it has been an ideal way for me to organize both my thoughts and papers when I'm planning for homeschool. So, I thought I would share it with you all.

Below is a basic summary of the types of questions you should be asking yourself as you plan your year. I will expound on these 6 individually in subsequent posts.

Unlike the old book report setup, these steps begin with 'Why?' Perhaps we would have gotten more out of what we read had we taken the same approach in third grade ;)

1. WHY?
WHY are you homeschooling? What are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish by bringing your children home? Sit down with your family and create a family mission statement. What experiences do you want to share with your children? What beliefs and values do you want to impart on them? What does Scripture teach about rearing and discipling our children and how can that manifest in your homeschool?

2. WHO?
WHO are you teaching? Evaluate each child's strengths and weaknesses. How do they learn? What are their interests, what are their dislikes? What about you, as the teacher? Ask yourself the same questions. Do you want to have to plan your schedule or do you want that built into the curriculum you choose? Do you want to spend more time teaching or having the children work independently? Considering these variables is crucial to deciding which resources to use. Much of homeschool is trial and error, but much frustration can be avoided with a little prayerful planning ahead of time.

3. WHAT?
WHAT are you trying to teach your children? What subjects? Which topics? And, just as importantly, what do they already know? Again, consider each child's strengths and weaknesses This is the time to sort out the nuts and bolts-- what will your child's weekly planner (and yours) look like?

Check out World Book's Typical Course of Study and your state's standards if you need help getting started. (Florida's are here). Another great resource is the What My ___ -Grader Needs to Know book series, which you can find at most libraries.

4. HOW?
HOW are you going to accomplish this? After assessing your children's needs and your beliefs about homeschooling, you must choose which resources you will use to teach each subject. Curriculum Choice is a fabulous resource to learn more about homeschooling methods and philosophies. Make sure you know the homeschooling laws in your state so to make sure you meet their requirements.

Try and connect with like-minded homeschoolers in your area. While the socialization issue has been beaten to death by critics, it is still important to have fellowship, and for your children to have fellowship with people with whom you and they can share the struggles and joys. It will also allow you a wonderful outlet to discuss, share and trade resources.

Other great places to find resources cheaply: Homeschool Classifieds, Amazon, Paperback Swap, thrift stores, and of course, your local library.

5. WHEN?
This is the time to schedule. What time parameters do you want to give to your homeschooling day? Account for events such as naptime and meals. Do you want to get everything done in the morning or would you not mind having lessons spread out over the day?

Donna Young has fabulous printables for all areas of planning and organization, including subject and scope & sequence planners.

This is the fun part--WHERE are you going to be schooling? This is the time to choose a room or space, to decorate, make it your own. Do you want your children at desks? A community table? Do you need a chalkboard or shelving? Containers? Your space will be most useful if it is both inviting and effective.

And, there you have it. I pray this helps bring a little method to the mayhem. ;)

On to PART 2. . .

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Favorite Chicken Salad (with grapes!)

There is a lovely little French restaurant near my parents' house. On occasion, when I felt like splurging, I would purchase a 1/4 pound of their fabulous chicken salad for about $6. That chicken salad spoiled me-- I haven't been able to find anything better, and until recently I never tried to recreate it.
But, there is hope. For my wedding I received How to Cook Everything, which is in my humble opinion the BEST covers-all-the-basics cookbook ever. And I've been attempting recipes I was too intimidated to try before. One evening (yes, I admit to being a late night cooker ;) I decided I WOULD make a good chicken salad.

And, I think I did. Let me know whatcha think.

  • 3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped- about 3/4 cup
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c seedless grapes, cut up
  • pecans (if you want nuts)
  • 3/4 c mayonnaise
  • 3 T cole slaw dressing (click the link to see my favorite homemade recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon each- paprika and seasoning salt
  • pinch ground pepper

Mix. (Not too hard, huh?) Serve on lettuce, in avocado slices, on toasted bread, french bread, pita, crackers, croissants, whatever :)

So there ya have it, simple simple simple. And even yummier. Shalom~

Monday, August 2, 2010

Kosher Menu Plan Monday #1

We are a Scripturally Kosher family. Our diet is guided by the food laws in Leviticus & Deuteronomy. I do my best to make both healthy and well-rounded food choices for my family, but this is a new process, and I am not infallible. Our family continues to grow in our faith and learning.

You may not notice any change in most of our meals, as the changes are slight, however, there are some things to be noted. I use kosher salt or sea salt. We do not eat pork (or products containing anything made from a pig), and shrimp, lobster or any other bottom-feeding sea creature. All of these things we had grown accustomed to eating, some were certain family member’s favorites, but we are adjusting, and I especially (as the main grocery shopper and cook) enjoy learning creative, healthy ways to cook.

BREAKFAST: challah french toast
LUNCH: meatball subs
DINNER: beef hotdogs w/ chili, breadsticks

YOM SHENI (Monday)
BREAKFAST: baking powder biscuits with pb, honey or jam
LUNCH: “Mark-aroni & cheese” (my brother's yummy recipe)
DINNER: lasagna, garlic bread

YOM SH’LISHI (Tuesday)
BREAKFAST: apples and cinnamon oatmeal
LUNCH: homemade corn dogs, tater tots
DINNER: bbq chicken, baked potato, green bean casserole

YOM REVI'I (Wednesday)
BREAKFAST: Homemade cinnamon rolls
LUNCH: quiche
We do not use ham. Instead try veggies, turkey or beef, potatoes, cheese- I will put my recipe up soon but I use turkey sausage, onions, mozzarella, and mushrooms.
carrots with homemade ranch dressing
DINNER: roast beef & cheese melts, tomato soup

BREAKFAST: homemade granola and yogurt
LUNCH: chicken fingers and fries
DINNER: tacos

BREAKFAST: blueberry pancakes & eggs
LUNCH: chicken salad w/ grapes (**my favorite- let me know if you are interested in the recipe & I'll post it)
-Chicken spaghetti
I sometimes substitute fresh diced tomatoes, green peppers & onions for the cans of tomatoes & green chilis called for in the recipe. The chilis create a spicier dish. I like the taste of both equally, but prefer using fresh veggies.
-apple pie with this crust
Learn how to make a lattice top.

BREAKFAST: challah french toast (*prepared ahead of time)
LUNCH: tuna noodle casserole (*prepared ahead of time)
DINNER: leftovers :)