Tag Archives: easy homeschool

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.

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. 

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.

A Day at The Farm

Last week SJ was out of town. She got back Saturday night, we went to church Sunday and started up with school again Monday. She was pretty wiped out and after a week of informal school with KJ we needed something to look forward to. So we told the kids we would go on a field trip and today we went to Riley Farms.

It was really fun. We took a nice hike from the main cabin where we picked up a map to the apple orchards. The hike was less than a mile and the kids got to learn the proper way to pick apples. Once the apples were picked they were weighed and we paid for them.

The grounds are really neat. They have sheep on property, colonial toys, a bakery, even a cabin. The kids and I finished reading Meet Addy which takes place during the colonial era and so we got to go inside the cabin giving them a visual to a setting similar to the cabin in the book.

It was a fun, informative day, and its only 15 minutes from our house so I see many visits to this farm in the near future.

Puzzle Mat Fun

I love to combine subjects. The easiest subject to combine with another is reading or phonics. This puzzle mat game allows my kids to use phonics and science to identify and place animals according to their name. In a previous post I told you about finding these wonderful mats at the dollar store. They are awesome!

We have a tile floor so I had the kids place one letter per tile all across the classroom floor.

I then stacked all the animal squares. Each child got a stack.

I had them match the first letter of the animal name with the corresponding tile. 

They had a blast!This is something you can use for beginning and and end sounds of the animal names. I then had them put the mat back together in order. This required them remembering where each letter went as well as working together.

This quick, easy, cheap game was a great way to reinforce their letters, and phonics.

First Day of School!!!

Today was our first day of school!! I read these home school blogs where moms get up at 6 am have devotion time, make breakfast and start school all before 8 am. I admire those women and their ability to adult, let alone parent before the break of dawn but I am not that person.

So this is my schedule with the kids. I wake up carefully around 7:00 and try not to wake the AJ who sleeps with me to make nursing easier for us both. Once I successfully pry myself from my bed (I am not a morning person) I go into the kitchen, make my coffee and start breakfast (today I made pancakes with caramelized apples). By this time both SJ and KJ are up and on my heels. I feed them breakfast, talk to them about their dreams and whatever else the little people may come up with.

I then send them outside to play. I love sending them outside to play! They need the fresh air, imaginary, adventures and mommy needs some quiet time. Did I mention I am not a morning person. Well once they are in the groove of playing I finally get some quiet time with God, its about 7:45 now. I read the Bible, pray and I may read a devotion or book. Right now I am reading Rival by Lisa Bevere so far I love it.

I call them in at 8:45 to get their beds made by now the baby is up so its okay if they are loud. At 9:00 am school starts. We start with reading, geography, have a quick break then do math, science and history. Here is a look at our classroom.

This is one is the has the order of the day. 
At the bottom a string with clothespins hold their favorite pieces of work. 
It can be anything they are proud but they can only choose two I file away the rest of the work. 
SJ loves math and can tell time so she loved that I used clocks for our schedule during breakfast and throughout the day she made it a point to tell me what time each activity should start. 
She is also learning to read so the combination of the two is proving fruitful.

On the left side of the “Today Is…” chart are our super stars! Each star has the kids names on it and represents a subject we are going through. We have one for reading, math, science, history and geography. The last two subjects share a star. As the day goes on and we complete each subject the kids get to put a hang their star up. SJ is on the left, KJ is on the right. The kids love this because it helps them keep track of whats left to do for the day. They also are both very competitive so this way they work hard to get a star rather than to best the other. 
I wanted their classroom to be filled with historical pictures of people who look like them. 
They have had so much fun asking me questions about the various heroes on the wall and are inadvertently learning history in the process. 
I got both the posters and the timeline from School Specialty

I have a state and world map in my classroom (it was remounted after this picture to be flush with the wall). The kids loved hearing the story of how we came to live in California since we have gone through some other states. They also got to make their own flag today and tell me about their made up state which they thought was really fun. My map covers this bookshelf which houses all our homeschool stuff. I need to get more baskets so it could be a little more organized but the kids know where everything is. 
So far I have an… 
Art basket: colored tissue paper, glue, pipe cleaners, finger paint, chopsticks for the glue, and construction paper
A coloring basket: markers, crayons, pens, chalk, and pencils for some reason I also have play doh and a shower curtain in here. (The shower curtain makes for easy clean up when the kids play with the play doh.) 
A math games basket: tangrams, geoboards, string and beads for patterns and dot to dots
Mommy’s basket: curriculum books, and adult coloring books
The kids can access all but the top shelf any time they want. If they don’t want to play outside they can play games in the classroom. 

The last station is the math station. I have base ten blocks in the top drawer and the bottom drawer is where I store their work books. The basket below it houses a math card game, the clothespins from the previous post you can read about them here, flashcards and puzzles.

All this and I forgot to take pictures of the kids on their first day! 
I guess we will have to take second day of school pictures tomorrow. 

Planting Day!!!

We have not officially had our first day of school. I am still waiting for her school supplies from her charter school. Through the charter school I have funds allocated per semester to go towards school supplies and curriculum. This semester I ordered a lot of school supplies that I will be able to use for the next few years. Since the learning never really stops I am still doing fun teaching activities with the kids. 

Our family recently moved into a new home. Prior to that move I’d been buying various plants and seeds that we could put in a garden. The kids have been asking about these seeds but I kept putting it off. Well there was a loose pipe under the kitchen sink where I just so happened to store my seeds which caused my seed packets to be soaked through. So today became plant day, while daddy fixed the pipe. I’d asked my husband to put a cheap desk we’ve had for years outside. We then potted some rosemary, cilantro, dill and basil in pots. I have some pea seeds as well but I’m saving most of those for a pee tepee later on this fall. I did let the kids plant them in a baggie so we can watch it sprout. The baggies were then taped to the table to deter the kids from pouring out the seeds and dirt. 

After we planted the seeds the kids and I talked about what seeds need. I let them answer and ask me questions and found they new most of the basics. Even KJ (3) was able to answer questions about what plants need to grow and how all plants start. I’m hoping that as the kids see their seeds sprouts we can venture into photosynthesis and if we get SJ’s microscope in the next week or so we can even look at leaves on slides. This will naturally lead into the makings of a cell. I don’t want to push it to far. I want them to be able to understand some basic science terms though and science is all about exploration right?

The picture on the left is showing the sun, the run rays, and rain following onto the seed covered by the ground. That one is mine, I wanted them to use they materials in the art basket (shown on the table) to copy my picture to the best of their ability explaining what happens to a seed. 

They had fun. SJ did her own thing and put multiple seeds in her blue ground and KJ  tried to mimic exactly what I did. I love teaching these two!!