Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Freebie

Read It Online Today!

If you homeschool you've probably heard of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.  Have you wondered what the magazine is all about?  Well you can check out the brand new Summer edition totally free with no strings attached - no registration or email address is required to view the magazine.

Take a peek HERE or click on the graphic at the top.  Feel free to share the link with your friends by clicking on the share button at the top of the magazine pages.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up: Summer days

Finally some good old fashioned summer fun!  We are done with "school work" until September and we are living it up.  Ms. Q's schedule keeps us pretty busy still with karate twice a week, guitar lessons on Wednesdays, and homeschool playgroup on Thursdays.  In between all these scheduled activities we managed to squeeze in some swimming, some bike riding, some gardening, some baking, a trip to the zoo, and some just plain playing.

Stamp pad fun

Ms Q baking

Yogurt Ms. Q made with granola she made and strawberries she picked

A wallaby at the zoo

How is your summer going?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Garden Update: Zucchini

My biggest news from the garden this week is the zucchini!  I wasn't sure whether I was going to plant zucchini this year until the last minute.  Last year I planted too many zucchini plants and everyone was tired of zucchini after a few weeks.  Also I wasn't sure if a zucchini plant would fit in the square foot garden we started this year.  But I love zucchini, so I put one in.  This week we had two lovely zucchinis.  I sauteed one in olive oil for lunch one day and then Little M and I made some zucchini bread.  Keep reading for my favorite zucchini bread recipe.

(Sorry about the focus - Little M was helping and then the camera battery ran out)

Here is my recipe for zucchini bread:

1c sugar                           1c all purpose flour
2 egg whites                     1 tsp baking soda
1 whole egg                      2 tsps baking powder
1/2c apple sauce               1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2c buttermilk                  1 tsp vanilla
1/4c vegetable oil              1 1/2c zucchini, shredded
1c whole wheat flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl mix dry ingredients (except sugar).  In a seperate bowl, mix eggs together with oil, buttermilk, applesauce, and sugar.  Beat well then add vanilla.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients, mix well.  Add zucchini and stir until mixed.
4. Pour batter into pan and bake 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then move to cool on a wire rack.

Ms. Q and I started some seeds indoors in preparation for late summer/ early fall planting.  We plan on doing cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, peas, carrots, lettuce, and spinach.

On another note, I am having some problems in the garden lately. Here is a picture of some of my tomatoes.

I think it's chipmunks.  They've eaten 10 13 already!  I've searched the internet for ideas to keep them out of the garden.  The only way it seems is to trap them or kill them.  There's no deterring them evidently.  Anyone have any ideas?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Field Trip: Wetlands Institute

While we were on vacation last week we took a break from the campground to go to the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, NJ.  Although it is not that far from our house we haven't been there since Ms. Q was Little M's age!  We purchased a yearly membership when we were there (it was only a few dollars more than all of us to go once) so no excuses not to go again.

Ms. Q in an osprey nest

Little C checking out a whelk shell

And a horseshoe crab shell

Ms. Q and a sea urchin

Ms. Q and a sea star
Little M was there with us but he was a little grumpy and refused to have his picture taken.  Oh well maybe he'll hve a better time next time.

Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up: Vacation and Recovery

Ahh vacation.  A time for relaxation and rejuvination.  Yeah right.  Maybe if we went without the children.  But then what fun would a family vacation be without the family?

We had a blast on our vacation this year.  We camped, we swam, we played, we went on tours, we ate, we ate, and we ate some more.  We (meaning I) also visited the laundry mat after Baby C's two days of diarrhea and vomiting and we (meaning Little M and I) visited the emergency room after a playground injury that required stitches.  Since our return earlier this week we have been just hanging around the house.  It's exhausting chasing after Little M and Baby C in unfamiliar territory.  Someone is always wandering off or touching something they shouldn't be.  I don't think I sat down for more than five minutes the entire trip!  Our vacation was great but it's nice to be home.

Here are some of the pictures we took on our summer vacation.

Sleepy Brothers




Little M's big playground boo-boo (5 stitches!!)

Beach Water Slide (Ms. Q on the left)

Christmas in July
And of course no camping trip would be complete without S'mores

2011-2012 Curriculum Round-up

So I finally made my choices and placed my orders.  It's been like Christmas around here (at least for me) with all these boxes arriving.  Here's the run down on what we will be using when we start school again in September.

Ms. Q - 4th grade

-History Odyssey  -  Early Modern History
-Math U See - Gamma level
-Noeo Science - Biology II
-Lesson Pathways Language Arts Grade 4/5 (for reading and writing)
-Growing With Grammar
-Soaring with Spelling
-Evan-Moor 7 Continents Series (S. America, N. America, Europe) with Children Like Me
-Electives: Music Appreciation - Opal Wheeler Series (Haydn, Handel, Bach), Music Theory - Weekly guitar lesson, Foreign Language - Rosetta Stone French, Art- Artistic Pursuits, Art Appreciation - Mike Venezia Series (Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Delacroix), Nature Study - Outdoor Hour Challenge

Last year we used Sonlight (secularized) and we really enjoyed all the book selections.  After two years of creating my own curriculum it was really nice to have a planned out schedule.  However, I decided this year to try out Pandia Press History Odyssey.  I really like the Classical approach to history rotation, History Odyssey is already secular, and the book selections are similar to those used in Sonlight.  I really had a difficult time making this decision.  Hopefully I made the right choice.  We are staying with Math U See, Noeo Science, Growing with Grammar, Artistic Pursuits, and The Outdoor Hour.  We needed to add in spelling, reading, and geograghy programs since these were included in Sonlight last year.  I also added in some resources for Art and Music Appreciation, something we have struggled to included in previous years.

Little M - Preschool

I did not purchase any curriculum for Little M for preschool this year.  He will continue with the letter of the week that we started before the summer.  He also listens in to the poetry and world folk tales that we read together in the morning.  Here are links to the websites I use for free resources and printables for him.

Lesson Pathways - Pre-K Language Arts

I'm linking this post up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.  Come check out what others are using this year.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Garden Update: Mulberries

Although it is not technically in our garden, I thought I would highlight the mulberry tree that hangs over our back fence from our neighbors yard.  The mulberry tree has a pretty short berry season lasting only a few weeks in June/July.  We were able to harvest "our" branches about three times this year.

We harvest the mulberries by placing old window screens on the ground under the tree and then hitting the branches with a long stick.  The berries then fall onto the screens and we pick them up and place them into bowls.

Mulberries taste alot like blackberries only sweeter.  We ate them plain, with whipped cream for dessert, and I used some to make my favorite muffin recipe.

When we first moved into this house my husband informed me that the berries in the yard were edible.  All I knew at the time about wild berries was that you shouldn't eat them because they might be poisonous.  So I didn't.  For years he kept telling me that they were safe to eat.  Well I'm sorry now that I didn't take his word for it because we were really missing out.  Can't wait for next season!