Monday, January 30, 2012

Gregory's Shadow!

Today we started Gregory's Shadow in celebration of Candlemas and Groundhog Day which are both on Feb. 2.  We learned about bravery and used Psalm 27:1.  We then looked at the pictures and noticed they were done with pencil and acrylics and busted out the art supplies for some impromptu drawing.

We learned about shadows and cast our own shadows using a lamp.  We learned about the calendar and used Around The Year by Tasha Tudor to talk about the 12 months.  We also keep a calendar that I draw every month and we talked about that.  We watched Punx. Phil on groundhog day and we're bummed to find out we'd have 6 more weeks of winter! (although we've had a really warm and nice winter).  We learned about groundhogs using The Handbook of Nature Study and we happen to have a groundhog in our yard so we talked about that ALOT.  Including the fact that we have seen our groundhog in the TREES!  so they can also at most of my square foot garden so he's not my most favorite animal.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children Audio

Love when I find a book I use that's on audio...

This is from Old Fashion Education First Grade

Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children

The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter

Tale of Brownie Beaver

Monday, January 23, 2012

Katy and the BIG snow

We're starting this week with Katy and the big snow although we haven't seen any snow in the last couple of weeks...

Here's some vids I let the kids watch so they could see a BIG snow

Here's pics of building Geoppolis

We did 55 horse power and counting by 5's but I didn't capture that moment since we just talked about it.

and here's mapping Geoppolis

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chore Chart on Popsicle Sticks!

From Whatever Deedee wants check this out!...

Colored Popsicle chore chart


Popsicle Homeschool Planning!

This is an AWESOME idea from mommyx12
They begin in Mama Bears big, white container...

And they end up in all the Baby Bears' itty bitty containers!! Then back to the white container.

All of the school age children have their own jar and set of sticks with their color. (Of course Mary isn't 'school age' yet but she's still old enough to know if she's being left out!) At the beginning of the day all the sticks are in my container. In the morning I place each child's sticks in their jar. Written on each stick are their various school subjects and chores that I would have them do that day. When they have completed what is on a stick they simply place it back into my container. In this way, I can see at a glance who has finished and who hasn't. Plus, another bonus about the sticks that paper check lists don't have is the convenience of putting into the jars only subjects and chores I wish for them to accomplish for the day. For example, if I have plans of an outing later in the afternoon I may only put half of their sticks in their jars. If we plan on a long day at home it may get more!! This works especially well for our weekly subjects. Science, geography, poetry, biography, and history are not done every day of the week and are normally taught by me with all the children together. It also helps keep me to be accountable to see to the weekly core subjects because if it's in the jar then they will expect me to get the class taught so they can "check" it off!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Discipline & Authority?

In our homeschool group we have several large families.  And when I say large I don't mean more than 2 (the national average).  I mean LARGE.  I've noticed that these kids are always well behaved ...

so I've been thinking about the topics of discipline and authority and was told about a GREAT website and author Raising Godly Tomatoes  Obviously if you don't believe in God this book isn't going to be your "thing" but if God is....this thing is full of wisdom from a mom of 10. 

I've made a post here about a discipline book circa 1833 that is right along the same lines...

Learn to discipline your children so you can enjoy them :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Emergency Menu Plan

I've perused the Hillbilly Housewife blog for years and since times are tough for a lot of people I thought I'd repost her Emergency $45 menu.  The cost is now $75 for these because the original was done in 2006.  Pretty sad that food has gone up that much.....

You can sub a olive oil, fresh fruit, sweet potatoes & reg potatoes if you have the $$.

The recipes are located here

$45 Emergency Menu for 4 to 6

I’ve seen various places around the web claim that in an emergency you can feed your family for only $10 or $20 a week.  While I appreciate their intentions, I have noticed that they all assume you have certain supplies already on hand.  In my experience this isn’t always the case. Forty-five dollars will seem outrageously abundant to some, while it will seem minuscule to others.  It is the smallest amount I was able to come up with that will provide enough supplies to an empty kitchen to feed an entire family for a week.  The servings are ample and a few adjustments allow you to increase the quantities from 4 servings to 6.  Newly added nutritional information makes it clear that except for sodium, these recipes are nutritious and healthy.  They are low in fat and cholesterol, high in protein and rich in fiber.  To reduce the sodium you can use half as much salt and bouillon as called for in the recipes, and purchase store-brand reduced sodium canned vegetables instead of the regular variety.
You may also want to take a look at the ebooks and resources provided by Living On A Dime – their ebooks are well worth the small fee they charge for all the money saving tips and ideas that you will get out of them. I usually make up the money I pay on the ebook within less than a week (often in one shopping trip) from purchase. Take a look and see for yourself at
PDF File (right click; save as)

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks Nutrition
Monday Pancakes; Syrup; Orange Juice; Milk; Hot Tea Lentil & Vegetable Soup  with Dumplings; Milk Pinto Beans; Onions; Hoecakes; Collard Greens; Iced Tea Cinnamon Toast; Milk for Children; Tea for Adults 1656 Calories; 33g Fat (17.5% calories from fat); 71g Protein; 275g Carbohydrate; 42g Dietary Fiber; 54mg Cholesterol; 3312mg Sodium
Tuesday Oatmeal; Toast, Margarine & Jelly; Orange Juice; Milk; Hot Tea Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwiches; Macaroni & Cheese; Carrot Sticks; Milk Bean Burritos with Homemade Refried Beans & Homemade Tortillas; Fried Onions; Iced Tea Plain Muffins with Jelly; Milk for Children; Tea for Adults 1826 Calories; 50g Fat (24.1% calories from fat); 73g Protein; 279g Carbohydrate; 32g Dietary Fiber; 37mg Cholesterol; 2812mg Sodium
Wednesday French Toast; Syrup; Orange Juice; Milk; Hot Tea Batter Bread; Margarine; Spinach; Milk Creamed Tuna & Peas over Rice; Garlic Toast; Iced Tea Peanut Butter Tortillas; Milk for Children; Tea for Adults 1771 Calories; 55g Fat (27.7% calories from fat); 76g Protein; 245g Carbohydrate; 12g Dietary Fiber; 187mg Cholesterol; 3213mg Sodium.
Thursday Hot Rice in Milk; Toast, Margarine & Jelly; Orange Juice; Hot Tea Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwiches; Macaroni & Cheese; Carrot Sticks; Milk Black Bean Soup with Carrots, Celery & Onions; Cornmeal Muffins; Iced Tea Cinnamon Toast; Milk for Children; Tea for Adults 1737 Calories; 52g Fat (26.7% calories from fat); 61g Protein; 262g Carbohydrate; 20g Dietary Fiber; 51mg Cholesterol; 2631mg Sodium
Friday Oatmeal Pancakes; Syrup; Orange Juice; Milk; Hot Tea Leftover Black Bean Soup; Biscuits; Milk Hot Dog & Veggie Stir Fry over Rice; Iced Tea Peanut Butter Tortillas; Milk for Children; Tea for Adults 1781 Calories; 52g Fat (26.1% calories from fat); 73g Protein; 259g Carbohydrate; 20g Dietary Fiber; 140mg Cholesterol; 3202mg Sodium
Saturday Hot Rice in Milk; Toast, Margarine & Jelly; Hot Tea Ramen Noodles with Carrots; Celery & Onions; Oatmeal Muffins; Milk Butter Beans; Scalloped Tomatoes; Garlic Toast; Iced Tea Biscuits & Jelly; Milk for Children; Tea for Adults 1727 Calories; 52g Fat (26.6% calories from fat); 59g Protein; 261g Carbohydrate; 24g Dietary Fiber; 43mg Cholesterol; 3281mg Sodium.
Sunday Pancakes; Syrup; Orange Juice; Milk; Hot Tea Lentil Chili; Corn Bread; Baked Custard Corn Fritters; Steamed Carrots; Macaroni & Cheese; Iced Tea Cinnamon Toast; Milk for Children; Tea for Adults 1796 Calories; 47g Fat (23.1% calories from fat); 70g Protein; 282g Carbohydrate; 28g Dietary Fiber; 247mg Cholesterol; 3527mg Sodium.
Averages for Week 1756 Calories; 29g Fat; 69g Protein; 267g Carbohydrate; 25g Fiber; 108mg Cholesterol; 3140mg Sodium.

Shopping List
PDF File (right click; save as)
2009 Prices 2006 Prices Items
10 lbs all purpose flour
3 pack of yeast
Baking Powder
3 lbs long grain white rice / 5 lbs rice in 2009
2 lb bag of cornmeal
5 lbs sugar
Vegetable Oil
2 cans frozen orange juice concentrate
20 quart box of instant nonfat dry milk
2 pounds lentils
2 lbs pinto beans
1 lb black beans
1 lb lima beans
3 boxes Macaroni & Cheese
3 packs of Ramen Noodles
2 dozen eggs (2.5 dozen in 2009)
2 lbs margarine
1 lb hot dogs
1 28-oz can tomatoes
1 15-oz can tomatoes
15-oz can green peas
15-oz can corn
15-oz can greens
15 oz cans spinach
5 lb bag carrots
3 lb bag onions
1 bunch celery
6-oz can tuna
18-oz jar peanut butter
Pancake Syrup
Garlic Powder
Chili Powder
Bouillon Cubes
100 Count Box of Tea Bags
$70.37 $45.16 Note: The prices were gathered in February 2006 and March 2009 from Dollar General and Walmart. Your prices may vary.
If you receive WIC, Food Stamps or have food from a local food bank, you’ll be able to do much better than this menu plan. It is based on bare minimums.
There isn’t much meat in these menus. That’s because meat is expensive and beans aren’t.  Beans provide lots of good protein for growing children and hard working adults.  When beans are combined with certain other foods their protein increases.  The amino acids in grains like flour, pasta and cornmeal or milk products cooperate with the amino acids in the beans to make an extremely high quality protein. Don’t worry about the lack of meat, there is more protein in this menu than you can shake an expensive protein bar at.
The milk may seem overpriced to some, but it is vital for growing children and mom’s who are pregnant, nursing or who may become pregnant.  It is also very high in protein especially when combined with grains or beans (see above).
Orange Juice is served every morning but Saturday.  The plan assumes 4 servings of 1/2-cup each for every morning it’s served.  Orange Juice supplies Vitamin C and Folic Acid, once again, necessary for pregnant mothers and growing children.
In the recipes that call for buttermilk use regular reconstituted milk soured with a tiny bit of vinegar.  This works just as good as buttermilk in cooking.
For the recipes that call for dried onion, substitute a small amount of finely chopped fresh onion.
For the recipes calling for fresh garlic, substitute a small amount of garlic powder instead.
To serve a hungry family of 6 you’ll need to make the following changes:
  • Increase the flour to three 5 pound bags & bake 6 loaves of bread at a time instead of 4.
  • Buy 3 cans Orange Juice Concentrate instead of 2
  • Double the Macaroni and Cheese served for lunches making 2 boxes at a time instead of 1.
  • Double the cans of Tuna, Peas, Corn, Greens & Spinach.
  • Double the recipe for Creamed Tuna & Peas.
  • Double the recipe for Corn Fritters
  • Double the recipe for Lentil Chili, adding 1 more can of tomatoes to the shopping list.
  • This will increase the total spent to approximately $51.

Daily Work
Sunday Night: Mix up the dough for Overnight Bread.  Set it aside to rise.  Mix up a gallon of milk and a gallon of Tea. Put both into the fridge to chill.  Clean the kitchen.  Go to bed.
Monday: Begin the week with a hearty breakfast.  After the breakfast dishes are done, prepare the vegetables for Lentil Soup, and put the Lentils on to cook. Soak 2lbs of pinto beans in boiling water to cover for 1 or 2 hours.  Half of them are for supper tonight and the other half for supper tomorrow.  Punch down your bread dough which should be nicely risen by now.  Divide it into 4 loaves.  Allow it to rise for 1 or 2 hours and then bake.  After soaking the pinto beans, boil them until tender and refrigerate.  Reheat half of them for dinner and use the other half for tomorrow.  Check the milk & iced tea supply, prepare more as necessary.
Tuesday: After breakfast prepare enough tortillas for dinner tonight and for 2 snacks during the week; 16 to 20 tortillas should be enough.  Store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.  Prepare a dozen Muffins for snacks later in the day. Check the milk & iced tea supply, prepare more as necessary.
Wednesday: When preparing the rice, make enough for dinner tonight and breakfast in the morning.  2-cups dry rice, cooked in 4-cups of water should be enough. Prepare the dough for Overnight bread before going to bed. Check the milk & iced tea supply, prepare more as necessary.
Thursday: Soak the beans in boiling water to cover for about an hour or two.  Simmer until tender.  Prepare the soup as directed and chill until supper time.  Divide the bread dough into 4 loaves and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk.  Bake as directed. Check the milk & iced tea supply, prepare more as necessary.
Friday: Make enough rice for supper tonight and leftovers for breakfast in the morning.  2-cups dry rice cooked in 4-cups of water should be enough. Check the milk & iced tea supply, prepare more as necessary.
Saturday: Soak the lima beans in boiling water to cover for about an hour or 2.  Simmer until tender and season as directed.  Chill until supper time.  Check the milk & iced tea supply, prepare more as necessary.
Sunday: Put the lentil chili on to cook and prepare the custard and cornbread to bake at the same time.  Check the milk & iced tea supply, prepare more as necessary.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Printing And Binding An E-Book Tutorial

This AMAZING tutorial is brought to you by a fabulous 
homeschooling mom of 15!  She know her stuff and you 
can find her at McGuffey's World and at Lady of Virtue.  
She has an amazing ebook called Homeschool Sanity
that I HIGHLY recommend!

 There are so many wonderful, old, and mostly free books 
online--one just can't help but download them and pour over 
them from one's hard drive. But reading these and sharing 
these, especially with children for their education, is another story.

I have decided I want to read these, not in their electronic form, 
but in as close to the look and feel of a "real book" as possible. 
I also want to make sure that if I go to all the trouble of printing 
and binding, these books will last as long as possible, so that 
as many of my children as possible can enjoy each one.

I have done general how-to's for printing and binding options before,
 but here is a step-by-step breakdown of how I print and bind mine.

To begin with, I have an auto-duplexing printer, meaning it automatically 
prints on both sides of the paper. This has been a blessing for me! I use 
the HP Office 8000 Pro. Besides its auto-duplexing feature, I chose this 
one because the cost of ink was so low--just over 1 cent per page! (the 
cartridges have a 2,200 page yield, and yet cost the same as cartridges 
for any other HP inkjet meant for personal use).

After bringing up whatever book I want to print, whether in pdf version or 
in Microsoft Office, I pull down the file menu and click on the print option.

Within the print window I click properties. In the next window 
I select "booklet printing". I then check the "OK" box. When the 
original print window returns to the front of the screen, I plug in 
the pages I want to be printed.

This is a very important step. Even if a book is 400 pages long, 
it is best not to print any more than 20, double-sided pages at a time. 

Printing just that many pages allows for any errors, because when 
you print in booklet form the pages are numbered in a very specific 
way so that they will be in sequence when they are bound together. 
Also, printing just a few pages at a time allows you to bind them 
together so that they look and behave more like a book when you 
are finished.

I keep a tally sheet close to the computer and list each set of pages, 
such as:

61-80, etc.

I put a check on the left hand side of the number as I begin 
to print, and on the right side of each number as the printing 
has been completed. This simply tallying system has saved me 
so much grief as I am often interrupted while going through 
this process.

After I have printed all of the "booklets" and stacked them in a 
staggered way so they will not become confused, I begin the 
process of stapling each booklet in the middle. I try and stagger 
the staples, which helps the spine of the book to be more even 
when I finally glue all of the separate booklets together.

I then proceed to fold each carefully along the stapled middle. 
I use some sort of instrument (in this picture I am using the barrel 
of a marker) to make sure the fold is crisp and precise.

 After folding I stack the separate booklets up in order. Then 
I use two rulers with some binding clips to hold the pages as 
I use a hot glue gun and a popsicle stick to glue the pages together.
 After the pages are glued, I measure the spine.

I then take a manilla folder, which has fold lines already in the middle, 
and measure just how many folds will be necessary for the spine of my 
book. In this instance, I find I will have to add another crease, so I use 
a ruler and the blade of an open pair of scissors to score the folder so 
that the crease is neat and crisp.

I use my paper cutter to cut the length of my book cover to just a smidgeon 
over 8.5". I then proceed to measure the sides of my book, making sure I 
allow for the spine, to a little over 5.5" each.

I then use my hot glue gun in the gutter of the manilla folder which I have 
just cut, and quickly apply the booklets I have previously glued together. 
I use my fingers to make sure the spine of the book is well-adhered to 
the folder.

For added security, I apply a bead of hot glue just inside the front and back 
covers, where the pages meet the spine.

I like to take some of the time between printings to design front and spine 
covers for the finished book. I use Microsoft Publisher to do this, but one 
could use PrintMaster, or even the open-source program GIMP.

I like to create a sort of "sticker" to put on the front of the book by using an 
interesting image from the pdf of the book itself. It is easy to clip one of these, 
copy it using either by pressing down the control key and the letter "c" at the
same time, or right clicking the image and selecting "copy". I then open up 
the graphic design software and paste the picture (again, using the control 
key and the letter "v" at the same time, or by right-clicking and selecting "paste"
 in the drop-down menu).

I have been able to enhance my cover designs by taking advantage of the 
many black-and-white vintage images at Clip Art Etc. I have especially 
enjoyed their decorative letter section, which make my otherwise bland 
covers look a bit more "Victorian" and appropriate!

The spine cover is done by using one of the banner designs from Clip Art Etc
and filling it with the title of the book and the author or publisher, where 

Of course, it is important to estimate the size of each of these "stickers" 
before saving and printing them!

After I have printed and cut out my labels, I place them on the book where 
I would like to see them glued, then draw a light pencil line around them. I 
then put a light coat of Elmer's rubber cement on the front of the book and 
the back of the label. After both of these dry, I put the label on the book 
(this is an old graphic designer's trick--it is a much better method than simply 
applying and pasting a paper object).

My last task is to cover the whole book in clear plastic laminate; if I am 
going to this kind of trouble to print and bind a book, I am going to make 
sure it lasts through more than a couple of children!

Measuring the clear paper.

Cutting off the corners helps when wrapping the plastic around 
the cover.

Folding the plastic under.

Adding a bead of melted glue on the ends helps with security 
and longevity.

Opens and feels like a "real" paperback book.

Two finished products--printed from Living Books Curriculum

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