Friday, May 13, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal - 2

In my life this week:
This week I spent a lot of time planning for our next unit. We are going to be studying New World Explorers using Homeschool in the Woods' Time Travelers series. It has notebooking and lapbooking components, so I've been busy printing pages for those. It also has many fun hands-on activities, so my goal for next week is to make lists of the all the supplies I need. I would love to start gathering them now, because I know that will increase the likelihood of us actually doing all of those activities. Sad, but true. :)

In our homeschool this week:
More phonics for the little guy. He especially liked adding different consonants to the '-at' ending, using magnets and our easel. Another highlight was doing a word search puzzle he got at the restaurant on his Pie Date with Daddy this week. It was too difficult to do on his own, so I helped him a lot. We turned it into a fun letter and sound recognition game.

Lots of reading and math for the older two. We are just about finished reading Robin Hood aloud.

We visited a local children's museum. One of the exhibits has a 'lie detector' display. I must be related to George Washington because I just cannot tell a lie. My husband and the kids knew every time I was trying to hide the number I guessed. It was funny because my kiddos didn't want to lie about the number they guessed. I guess Ted and I have done a good job reinforcing that honesty is the best policy.
My favorite thing this week:
Mother's Day! While it technically was not a school day, we had a great day hanging out together. We ate at our neighbor's new restaurant. Besides enjoying the fabulous food, we had a good time socializing. Our neighbor's kids were there so all the kids had a fun time hanging out, with the added benefit that my husband and I were able to have some conversation time while the kids were busy. The kids ate quickly, then started working on making codes. They did that for like 45 minutes straight. How do they come up with these things?

What's working/not working for us:
Planning is working for me right now. Being in the planning stage is the easier place to be; let's see how I feel when I'm in the application stage! 

I'm trying to simultaneously plan for the summer and fall, all while trying to keep up with our current lessons. It's a juggling act, for sure, but I'm motivated to finish what we are doing now so we can move on to the fun stuff I'm planning for the summer.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have:
It's Friday night--no questions or thoughts allowed! :) Maybe next week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Just another day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. But it was also just like most other days.

Eating together, hunting for small treasures at Goodwill, laughing at silly jokes, admiring artwork and creativity.

Teaching older siblings how to speak nicely to younger ones, saying no to endless begging for 'just one more Webkinz', convincing tired children that brushing their teeth before bed is, in fact, necessary.

What's that old TV show theme, "You take the good, you take the bad..."

That is what motherhood is all about: taking the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and accepting them as what God wants for me right at that moment. Through His grace and mercy, I am able to cherish the ordinary, to grow closer to my children, and learn from the greatest Parent of all.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


We live within walking distance of a fabulous Greek cafe. And our neighbors just opened up a Greek restaurant a few miles away. I *puffy heart* Greek food so you will find no complaints from me about either of those facts.

I have had such a craving for the chicken-lemon-orzo soup (or avgolemono) but didn't want to go to one of those restaurants for the second third fourth time in under two weeks. I thought I probably had the ingredients to make the soup at home but figured it would probably be too difficult or time-consuming or I'd end up with inedible glop.

I've never been so pleased to be absolutely wrong. This soup is easy, quick, and delicious. My only complaint is that it doesn't make a lot, so take that into account if you plan on serving it to a large group. You don't want a fight to break out over who gets a bowl of this!

Avgolemono Soup
slightly adapted from

1 32 oz. carton chicken broth
1/4 c. orzo
3 eggs
4 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. shredded cooked chicken breast
Salt and pepper to taste--I didn't measure but would guess I used 1/2 t. salt and 1 t. pepper. I like pepper a lot!
Greek seasoning (optional)--I have some from Penzey's so I threw a bit in.

Bring the broth to a boil. Add the orzo and cook to al dente.
While the orzo is cooking, whisk the eggs and lemon juice together until smooth.
When orzo is al dente, lower heat to simmer. Add a cup of hot broth to egg mixture and stir until incorporated. Then add all of egg/broth mixture into pan with broth/orzo. Add chicken and seasonings. Simmer until thick and creamy.

If you are me, it makes two servings--lunch and dinner. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 1

In my life this week:
This week has passed by in a blur. Lots of hockey--N playing and the guys going to the Lightning playoff games. Plenty of cooking--five loaves of bread (two regular, three mini), chipotle chicken tacos, avgolemono soup, homemade yogurt, and poached chicken to freeze for later.

In our homeschool this week:
Among other things, these were three areas of emphasis for us this week:
Multiplication--We worked on review of concepts. Next week we will move on to drill work.
Home economics--We are working on keeping the house tidy throughout the week. My oldest two did a great job working together.
Free reading for the biggers, phonics for the little guy.

My favorite thing this week:
My little guy lost his first tooth. He is so excited! He loves anything that makes him feel like a big boy. Another tooth is loose, so he's been trying hard to get it to come out as well.

What's working/not working for us:
Supplementing our regular curriculum with units from other programs has been a huge success. We're currently doing this with handwriting and math. It has helped create some excitement during a part of the year when the 'blahs' can set in. It has also worked to hone in on areas in which my kiddos need more reinforcement. This is one of the things about homeschooling I love: being able to see the needs of my children and make changes to meet them right away.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have:
Will the school year ever end? Ha! We are year-round schoolers, so that's a trick question!

Sometimes I question our choice of calendar, but for the most part it works for us. Lucky for me there's a little rest ahead, as we will be taking a break this month to travel to my little sister's graduation.