Monday, October 5, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

I am keeping it very simple this week, and we will be eating lots of leftovers. 

Monday: Crockpot Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Cooked Mixed Veggies, Cabbage Salad

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Birthday party supper

Thursday: Mennonite Style Turkey Soup (using leftover turkey from the freezer)

Friday: Leftover soup

Saturday: BLTs

Sunday: Thanksgiving

Breakfasts around our house are very basic. My husband eats bread with jam pretty much every single day for breakfast, and he never really gets tired of eating the same things day after day. The kids usually have cereal (rice krispies, honey nut cheerios, or frosted flakes), toast, or oatmeal with whatever fruit we have around. Occasionally they eat scrambled eggs if I make them for myself. I eat the most variety for breakfast, depending on what I feel like eating. If I'm low-carbing it, I usually have 1 or 2 eggs, 1-2 slices of bacon, and coffee with cream. Other times I have oatmeal, or Greek yogurt & berries, or toast. Sometimes I make up a batch of muffins the night before, and we have those for breakfast.

Lunches are also very simple. The kids and my husband usually eat sandwiches (pb&j, egg salad, tuna, or ham and cheese) with veggies & fruit or leftovers. Lately I have been making a big pot of "skinny borscht" (cabbage, onions, celery, canned tomatoes with chicken broth and a package of lipton onion soup mix, dill, and sriracha) and eating that for my lunch most days.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Reason #146...

 Reason #146 why I love home schooling (most of the time!)...
 I get to hear all sorts of funny comments from my kids.

When Elianna was practising printing her letter "q"s today, she said, "You know, a q looks just like a seahorse except that instead of a pointy head, it has a round head, and I guess its tail needs to be a bit curlier, too."  That kid has animals, critters, or sea life on her mind I love her. :-)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Plan

I wasn't planning on starting "school" until next week, but yesterday Elianna was really wanting to "do school", so we did. Today we took the day off to go to a "not back to school" party and meet some fellow home schooling families.

 Here is the plan for this year (Grade 1) in case you were interested. I also want to do a few "day in the life" posts this year with pictures as I personally love reading those kinds of things.

For the most part, we are using Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory as our main guide/lesson plan and supplemental activities.

  • Science
  • Social Studies/History
  • Bible
    • Reading through the Bible plan for Heart of Dakota
    • Devotions for the Children's Hour (as outlined in Heart of Dakota)
    • Hide em' in Your Heart cd 
  • Music/Art/Drama/French/Phys Ed
    • I will be teaching Elianna piano lessons using Music for Little Mozarts
    • Draw.Write.Now Book 1 for drawing lessons
    • Arts/Crafts activities that correspond to daily lessons (as planned in Heart of Dakota)
    • Dramatic play as outlined in Heart of Dakota guide
    • French youtube videos & free resources
    • Phys Ed - free play, extracurricular sports, etc.
That is the plan for this year. It takes only about 1 1/2 to 2 hours a day, 5 days a week of  actual "school work" to get this all done in 35 weeks or so. The biggest challenge is keeping the 18 month old and 3 1/2 year old out of trouble during "school." I am also working through Little Hands to Heaven (prek) with Nathanael to try to keep him somewhat involved and occupied. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Milk Allergy & a Rough Day

Last night I got 3 hours of sleep. This is not all that unusual, although it is a bit worse than usual. I *attempted* to nap this morning as I wanted to be as coherent as possible for the kids' paediatrician appointment. Well, the first 2 hours were spent breaking up fights between my oldest two. Then, Elianna informed me that Brielle (who was in her playpen) had gone "number 2" and ripped off her diaper and had thrown it on the rug. It's her newest skill. Nice. So I spent the next hour cleaning that up and bathing B. At 11 am I still hadn't drank my coffee and thus was feeling the ill-effects of my caffeine withdrawal. I feel like a bit of a bear-cat before my morning coffee. Just keeping it real, here.  I took a minute to scarf down my coffee with a piece of cake for breakfast since I was too lazy/tired to make toast. I hopped in the shower because, well, the combination of my greasy 3-day hair and the morning's unpleasant events made it necessary. At this point, I was starting to run late for the appointment, so I quickly fed the kids a couple of leftover biscuits to tie them over until after the appointment. Our appointments were running late, but thankfully the children managed to refrain from acting like a bunch of hooligans in the waiting room. They saved all their hooliganism until after we were in the doctor's office, and I was trying to have an important adult discussion, which I have little experience with these days. Okay, it wasn't quite that bad...I'm sure he's seen it all. During the doctor's appointment, Brielle managed to fall off a chair (a toddler chair) and scream, bang her head on the corner of the doctor's desk and scream, make strange at the doctor and scream, all while Nathanael and Elianna argued over whose turn it was with some dinky toy. I hate dinky toys.

 "Oh, and is Elianna going to be going to school. Grade 1?"

"No, actually we are home schooling this year. Nah, make that road-schooling. We figured we should take our circus act on the road this year..."

Okay, so I didn't respond quite that way. Oh, but I wanted to.

All this to say Brielle will be entering the ranks of the dairy-free. I have long suspected a milk allergy may have something to do with her major sleep issues. I had cut her milk way back, especially in the evening, but it still didn't seem to be helping that much. Today at the pediatrician's we found out that her blood test showed a milk allergy. Thankfully, it's not too severe, but it is definitely enough that we need to go dairy-free for her. I cook with lots of dairy, so this will definitely add a bit of meal planning stress. However, if this fixes her sleep problems, I will happily welcome some minor inconvenience in the meal department. She didn't show any issues with eggs or wheat, so that's good.


We'll live and learn and life will go on.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

I'm am still lamenting the star of the end of summer. I can't believe that we will soon officially kick off a new homeschool year. Most public school kids are back to school in one week around here. I am not planning on officially starting until after the long weekend (later than public school kids). We may fit in some school here and there in the meantime, but I'm mostly focusing on getting some character charts and chore charts/routines in place. We also want to take some time to just hang out as a family, enjoy the last of harvest, take some combine rides, etc. The flexibility of home schooling is definitely a major plus, so we will try to make the most of the remaining warm weather.

Monday: Tuna Stroganoff (a new frugal and fast favourite), corn on the cob, green beans

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza, carrot sticks

Wednesday: Southwest Chicken & Rice Wraps (another frugal & fast favourite) using leftover chicken from the freezer, Corn on the Cob, Veggies & Dip

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner (pancakes, eggs, bacon or a frittata)

Friday: BBQ turkey (I'm going to attempt to bbq a turkey for the first time), Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Veggies

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Something simple or out to eat

Friday, August 21, 2015

Faith Stretching - Part 3

Well, the answer was no. Another door, window, crack in the wall, whatever it was closed.  Read part 2 here. Honestly, we are pretty disappointed. This really did seem like such a good thing for us. That's where faith and trust and hope come in even when I feel very crummy. Pressed but not crushed...perplexed, but not driven to despair. Perplexed. Yes, that about sums up the way I feel about my life right now.

Somewhere behind the clouds the sun is still shining, right?
Sometimes, though, it is hard to keep hope alive.
I feeling pretty bummed today, fighting back the tears of yet another disappointment. Two significant doors closed in two weeks.  On second much for fighting back the tears...

God is still good...even when the answer is no....and I don't understand why it couldn't have been yes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

(Not) Back to School Bootcamp

I received my parcel of home schooling goodies last week, which is always really exciting for everyone. I was so, so pleased to see Elianna grab the first reader (First Steps, which is the first of three Pathway readers for Grade 1), open it up, and READ it. She even took it to bed with her to read at night. I was kind of shocked, actually. I knew that reading had started to click with her, and we had been slowly working through the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book. However, I was unsure of how much of it was really sinking in until this past week. It is a huge relief for me to see her starting to enjoy reading and getting better. My approach to phonics/reading for this year (Grade 1) is to not push her too hard since she has already mastered the phonics basics. Instead of ordering Grade 2 phonics/spelling/language arts, I stuck with Grade 1 choices that would really emphasize what she has already learned and build her confidence. As far as education goes, reading is one of the most important things to really master, in my opinion, and I want her to not just "get by" but develop exceptional reading skills and a love for reading.

Oh yes, back to the title of this post...

Though I am a bit perfectionist, I'm not very organized. I'm not very neat. I'm not terribly structured, either. I have horrendous penmanship. It is chicken-scratch to the extreme. All this to say, I need to create some structure in my life. Elianna is now in Grade things are getting serious this year...haha.

(Not) back to school boot camp will consist of the following:

A Blessings Chart (rewards for good behaviour)
If/Then Chart (for consistent discipline)
Some sort of chore chart
Some sort of routine in place for school

I plan to create and then implement the Blessings chart and If/Then chart for the first week, chores and intensive chore training the second week, and then back to school after that. I hope to ease the kids into this all and get this in place before we officially start school. Of course, "life" might get in the way of my plans. Regardless, I will at least try.
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