Oobleck!

During experiment week this one was a hit! The objective was initially to have the kids walk on water. Due to the limited supply of corn starch we did this experiment in a bowl rather than our kiddie pool. 
Here’s what you need:
Corn starch
Water
Measuring cup
Food Coloring
Extras:
Shower curtain (for easy clean up)
Ball and car to explore how they react to the oobleck. 

This recipe is simple 2 parts corn starch one part water. The kids loved exploring to see the progression of consistency. Its extremely messy so here is a teaching hack I have learned. When doing messy learning I tack the curtain or table cloth to my tile floor using my hot glue gun.  
You’re welcome.
The kids had a lot of fun discovering how this liquid behaves (at times) like a solid. They were covered in oobleck by the time we were done. I let them play with it after our official lesson so they could mix various colors. 

Here are some questions and discussion points. 
1. What are the stages of matter? (We focused on three rather than five)
2. What stage is this in?
3. How does each stage behave? 
4. How do you know something is a gas? A liquid? A solid?

Apple Walnut Sticky Buns


Ingredients

Dough:
1/4 -ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional

Glaze:
½ cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Granny Smith apple chopped                                                                                                 
½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.


In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising. Place chopped apples in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add apples, butter, and cinnamon. Cook until sugar is dissolved and apples are soft. Add chopped walnuts. Stir well and place in a 9×13 baking dish.

Once dough is doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut with a serrated knife into 12 to 15 slices. Place into pan cut side down.
Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

Remove from oven and immediately flip onto a serving dish. Allow to cool a few minutes and serve while still warm.

Raw Key Lime Pie

Crust:
½ Cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup date honey
1 cup walnuts
  Filling:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours (or overnight), then drained
 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk, well shaken
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
 3-4 large limes or 6-7 key limes (1 Tbsp zest, 1/2 cup juice)
  1/2 cup date honey (depending on preferred sweetness)
Crust Instructions
1    1.    Combine coconut and walnuts to a blender or food processor and pulse until well mixed.
2    2.    Place mixture in bowl and add date honey.
3    3.    Press mixture evenly into a pie pan and place in freezer


Filling Instructions

1.  Add all filling ingredients to a blender and blend on high (or liquefy) until creamy and         smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime zest/juice for more tart, or more agave for added sweetness.
2. Pour over frozen pie crust
3. Freeze for 2-4 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer for 10-15 minutes to thaw before serving. Will keep covered in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.


DIY Bath Bombs for Kids

This past week was dubbed “Experiment Week”. Day 1 was DIY Bath Bombs. 
Here is what you need:
 Empty Christmas Ornament or a Bath Bomb mold
 1 Cup Baking Soda
 3/4 Cup Epson Salt (Blended until its a fine powder)
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup water
Spray bottle
Wooden spoon
Food Coloring
Essential oils
Coconut Oil




Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.
Next place the water, lemon juice, 1 tbsp coconut oil and essential oil (add per fragrance preference) into a spray bottle. Spray the liquid into the dry ingredients until the mixture has the consistency of sand. At this point we added food coloring. 
Once the mix starts to stick together start placing into the molds. Close the mod and allow to dry overnight. Due the the size of the ornament molds it took a few days to completely dry out. 

We covered the following topics: life skills, science, and math. 
Questions and discussion. 
1. Can you measure out a cup? 1/4 cup? 1/2 cup?
2. Why is it important to rest and relax?
3. What happens when the wet ingredients mix with the dry?
4. What happens when the colors mix?

Wallpaper Border Cover-Up – With Fabric

This past year we moved into our beautiful home. Unfortunately in the kids room there was this horrible wallpaper. My son loved didn’t mind it but my daughter did not approve of the sports themed room. I knew I had to find a gender neutral alternative that fit both my kids personalities. 
My husband was not excited or motivated to go through the tedious process of removing the wall paper and I was not patient enough to wait so I had to come up with a solution.
I used a staple gun, scissors, and four yards of fabric. I folded the fabric in half length wise then in fours horizontally.  This gave me the width I wanted at manageable lengths. 
Here are a few project tips. 
1. Choose a fabric with little to no stretch. 
2. Choose a dark fabric that wont allow the wallpaper to show through.
3. Don’t start a fabric end at the corner. Staple in the corner.

The kids loved the boarder once it was finished. Next time I do a project like this I will use a taller ladder so I can cover all the boarder at the top.
 For my first time on a project like this I think it went well. 

DIY Recycled Car Tunnel

For the past week or so the kids and I have been storing and stocking up on empty food boxes and toilet paper rolls. We knew we were planning for a project but we hadn’t quite decided what. Well while KJ played with cars in the corner of the classroom genius struck. 
A car tunnel!
I quickly pulled out the boxes, a plastic container we don’t use often and a glue gun. 
SJ drew a map of where everything should go then we put it all together. 
Parents I have three words for you: hours of fun! HOURS OF FUN!!
This is a great STEM activity. 
Vocabulary: Velocity, engineering, acceleration and deceleration
Questions:  How many seconds does it take for the car to go through the tunnels? Will it go faster or slower as we tilt the lid? 
You can even have your kids decorate the boxes adding an element of art to the project. When we were done with the project we carefully removed the tunnel pieces and placed them inside the container to use another time. 
Have fun with this project and please share your pictures of your tunnels below. 

Money Math


Today we had some fun with money! SJ(5) is currently working her way through Horizons 1 work book. She learned about money while working through the Horizons K book but for this level they are relating money to place value. 

This was the perfect excuse to pull out the base ten manipulatives. For this activity we used pennies, nickles and dimes. Though she uses quarters, half dollars and dollars in her math book. I think we will wait a little while to introduce them using base ten. 

I placed the money in different increments in front of SJ and she used the manipulative to assign the money value. 


We didn’t leave out KJ(3) though. I just used pennies with him and it was a great chance for him to practice counting and writing. He is having a hard time, confidence wise, writing without assistance but my husband and I have decided not to give in to his fussing about needing help at all. We have seen him control his pencil and though we don’t expect his work to be perfect we do expect him to try. When he is successful, which so far has been every time, he is so proud of himself. 


This was a great activity, the kids really enjoyed it and I think the younger children are comfortable with money they better they will be managing it in the future. 

Coding for Kids

One of the many benifits of homeschooling is the ability to teach your kids random, awesome things like…CODING!!. I stumbled upon this awesome website that teaches children code. 
My kids LOVE it. The teaching is broken into age groups the first group is geared towards kids who are ages 3 to 5. The first few lessons are simple things like teaching children to reach an objective. 
The first activity was about 4 squares. The objective was to move the character to the left one square. Once they saw an example the grid got bigger and I even threw in a few obstacles. You can see in the picture above that it took SJ and KJ the same amount of moves to reach their goal. Which was a lesson on taking different paths to reach the same objective. 

After the kids got the hang of it on the white board we decided to act it out. 
I printed out pictures of SJ and KJ’s favorite characters. I then had one child go into the living room while we placed the character face down along with some blank white pages.  

The child who placed the character had to direct the child who had just come back from the other room to their character using the sign below. They could rotate the sign to reach their objective but could not point to the picture. 

My kids are 5 and 3 and they really enjoyed this game. The next day when they got to start writing code on the computer they were able to follow along easily. We really enjoyed using www.coding.org and I believe my days will be filled with my children exploring new ways to make things happen. 

Busy or Fruitful?

As a wife, mother, caretaker, and teacher I have “busy” down. I know how to do busy. I can take on a million task willingly and sacrifice time, money and sleep to get things done. Unfortunately, one of the easiest things to overlook is my quiet time with God. Its easy to say going to services a few times a week, joining a daily prayer line and trying to commit my daily Bible verse to memory is enough, but the fact of the matter is it, isn’t.

I will use marriage as an example because my husband is the most important person in my life. If I went out with him while in a group, included him in a group conversation and only knew His characteristics by the insights others shared based on there time with him. Our marriage would be fun at times, even enlightening but it would be far from the truly intimate relationship we desire to have. How then is it okay to devalue our time with God. We should seek after Him like a bride stealing glances at her groom. Looking for opportunities to steal away.

In Luke 10:38-42 Martha, frustrated, asks Jesus to reprimand Mary for sitting in his presence rather than help her serve the group. In verse 41 Jesus says, “Martha, Martha you are worried and troubled about many things.” Busyness equates to worry and being troubled. It is not God’s will for us to be worried in fact His word says the opposite. He instructs us to give Him our cares because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Matthew 11:30 tells us God’s yoke is easy, His burden is light.

If you follow God you should not worry. Worry equals fear. Fear equals hiding or covering, more specifically burying. In Matthew chapter 25 we find a story about a man who buried what his master gave him because he was afraid. We cannot act in fear. It goes against the nature of Christ. If we bury our talents, purpose, callings even if it is by doing good things it leads to bareness in a place where God intended there be fruit.

So how then can we as believers be fruitful?

There is really only one way. Spend one on one time with God. I recently had a friend ask me what my time with God looks like. Everyone is different but I love to start with worship. I spend time acknowledging who God is, thanking Him, talking about my hopes, and concerns then I ask His will. I read His word and just sit in silence waiting for Him to give me an impression. Then I confirm if it is God by reading and studying His word.

Luke 10:42 tells us to choose the good thing, which is spending time with God. Romans 8:14 lets us know, sons of God are led by His spirit. John 10:27 lets us know that if we are Gods sheep we follow His voice. 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to study the word of God.

He wants to know us and He wants us to know Him. If what you are doing does not enhance your relationship with God there is no good fruit in it.