Thursday, September 18, 2014

Banana NOatmeal Cookies

I miss oatmeal, since we started our gut healing re-boot in the spring we have stopped eating it. It really doesn't agree with AJ's tummy (or mine for that matter). This morning the kids wanted to have a tea party and I was craving oatmeal cookies...I think this concoction comes pretty close!

1 egg
4 Bananas
1/4 tsp Almond extract (5or 6 drops)
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1ish Tablespoon Cinnamon
Unsweetened Shredded coconut

Directions: in food processor mix *3* bananas with 2 cups of shredded coconut and 1 egg. Pulse until blended well.
Mix in other ingredients an combine well, **add final banana and chop coarsely **
(I just mixed with a fork).
Put on parchment paper line cookie sheet.

Bake at 350° for 20-25minutes until edges are golden brown.

Monday, September 8, 2014



My lesson of this school year: baaaallaaaaalance. It's not always pretty. I have my goals for every child. I have so many fun and creative ways to meet those goals! I have the ideas, stories, and concepts I want to expose them to.

But on the flip side is the desire to balance it with genuine learning: playing. And not "educational playing", or "sneaky games that are teaching". But "go out, get dirty disagree and work it out with kindness, deep imaginative, dirty, all in PLAYING" the kind that is and leads to all other learning. 

I feel like our days are crammed and packed full, and in the center is this line I am tiptoeing on: exposing them to good books, connecting with them through games and activities, introducing them to the concepts and themes that are in-line with my hopes and goals for our school year.

I tiptoe along my plans, aiming at my goals... trying to  be sure I am making our school days as enriching as possible, scouring the library for a fun book to drive home the ideas and make the concepts more real to them. Honey Bee's aren't just little bugs that sting, but a real journey with "The Honeybee Man".

And then it falls flat (well that didn't, but other plans are quickly abandoned because there is 1 of me and 4 of them... or it isn't the right time of day). Or it isn't working and I feel like I am pulling a move PJ likes to do in her "dances", reeling off balance almost upside down trying to figure out what comes next.
I don't have the adorable toddler legs and Dora underwear to make it look cute. Some times the swinging of trying to find my balance between play, and meeting goals, getting stuff done, and being their Mom... well it makes me feel frustrated and cranky. Other times it's just too much for me. They're asking all their questions and wanting to read all the things and tackle all the projects NOW.

Home schooling is my favorite, I love the freedom. I love meeting my kids where they're at, finding ways to make it right for *them*. Always reaching find the balance of wanting them to know and learn the things they need to know, wanting them to grow strong righteous characters, and embracing the fact that they're all still so very little. Balancing my expectations too.

Up and down, tiptoeing through the day trying to figure out which end us up and what will be best for everyone.

It's a challenge!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Backyard Unit Day

Our Theme: Geography and Adventure
This is supposed to be our "Easy Day", I strive for a 4 day school week... this was our first week of school so we decided to just go with it, embrace the fact that we CAN take it easy!
We played Math Games together
We did our Preschool/Kindergarten activities and reviewed "A" and "1" and watched YouTube videos about them again.... created paper dolls and a giant less of crafts (mess not pictured this time...).
We played with alphabet puzzles
and made Baking Soda Dough and cooked outside most of the morning!
we also baked a real cake which stuck horribly to the pan (cannot figure it out!!) but tasted deeeeeelicious!
Blueberry Banana Cake
dry ingredients
1/3c arrow root starch
2/3c rice flour
1/2 c coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1Tbsp cinnamon
A dash if nutmeg
In blender or food processor combine
6 eggs
4 ripe bananas
1/4 maple syrup (or sugar whatever)
1-2tsp of vanilla extract
Blend well
2T of oil (I use coconut oil)
Pour into greased cake pan (bundt if you have it)
Add 1 cup blueberries and stir into batter.
Bake 45-55 minutes at 350degrees.

Backyard Habitat Unit 1/ Day 4

Our Theme: Science and Nature Day!

This Day we headed to the park AJ was having a "seeky" morning and there was no way we could stay home with the disintegration at every turn. We headed out early while it was still cool.
We sketched and ate snacks. Pip started drawing PEOPLE for the first time ever. People with eyes, nose, mouth, hands, feet, legs, arms... she's 2!!
 We did "shows" and played and played!



and then we walked the 1.3 miles home with my Griswold Mobile of a stroller! The kids got Tired and I got to push 2 of them, wear 1 on my back, and play challenge games with which ever older kid was walking to encourage them to keep up their strength. :D

That was pretty much Science and Nature Day: we got outside!!!

Backyard Unit 1/ Day3

Our Theme Art and Music Day!

  • Ribsy by Beverley Cleary
  • Bible Reading
  • The Living Clarinet: Mozart (we listened to CD and read a tiny bit about Mozart over lunch)

Investigation Activity
We started looking at elements of human habitats today! We built houses out of brown paler bags and construction paper and made "diorama's" of a human house, with water source, and food sources included.

Preschool/Kindergarten Literacy Activity
  • A is for Aardvark p 90 of DC Animal Encyclopedia
  •  A and 1 review and finger play
  • ABC Animals by...I returned it to the library- pick one there a bajillion. :D 
  •  we built a blanket fort and pretended to be puppies, alrighty!
A good day!

Backyard Unit Day 2

 Our Theme: Math and Life Skills Day!
  • Ribsy by Beverley Cleary
  • Bible Reading Genesis 3-4 (Egermier's Children's Story Book)
  • One Small Square p. 10-11 (Core Curriculum)
  • Read about Anteater on p. 95 of DK Animal encyclopedia 
  •  Secrets Of  the Garden Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld (Core Curriculum)
Other books to enjoy together...
If All the Animals Came Inside by Eric Pinder
McDuff Comes Home by Rosemary Wells
Poems to Read to the Very Young by Eloise Wilkin
Check out your local library, there are so many sweet animal stories!

Investigation Activity

  • Draw from One Small Square pages activity
  • Look underneath and down low in your square can you find evidence of anyone living here? 
 Preschool/Kindergarten Literacy Activity 
  • Our letter A (HOD finger play)
  •  Number 1 (YouTube playlist **previewed, but adult supervision recommended**) 
  • With our Math theme we played Memory with dominos.  
  • StarFall "A" on the tablet, the toddlers had fun taking turns tapping the A.
Arts and Crafts
Coloring pages...Sesame Street ands farm animals, simple.

Continued working on animal categories.

Back Yard Unit Day1

Okay here we go...Day 1
Our Theme: Literature Day!
  • Reading: 1 Chapter of Ribsy
  • Genesis 1&2 ( Egermier's p. 11)
  • One Small Square p. 3-9 
Other Books to enjoy together:
  • My Garden by Keven Henkes
  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury
  • Poems to Read to the Very Young by Eloise Wilken
Investigation Activity:
We headed outside and each picked ours square looking high, low, inside, and underneath for signs of life. We found spiders, beetles, worms, ants, we carefully pulled up some soil to observe inside our glass jar.

Pre-School/Kindergarten Literacy Activity
Our Letter of the week is "A" and our Number is "1"
  •  read about Albatrosses on page 91 of our DK Animal Encylopedia
  •  HOD finger Play for letter "A"
  • Fine Motor Activity (Painters Tape Letter A to floor, have children decorate A's with Pom Poms, legos, or blocks while listening to Bible Story)
  • Letter 1 Activity (I had children find "1" thing to show and tell me about)
Arts and Crafts
 (my other playlists are very much a work in progress. *Also please note: youtube is not a child-friendly place. I previewed all the videos in my playlist to be sure they were safe and appropriate. Even so, **Careful supervision is recommended**)
  • Fill in Notebooking Animal Profile page for one animal we found that morning
  • Begin decorating divider pages (if children enjoy that sort of thing, my kids live for "art" and drawing!)