02. July 2018 · Comments Off on Blueberries for Sal · Categories: Blessed Virgin Mary, Books, Homeschooling, July

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey was originally published in 1948.  It won the Caldecott Honor Book award in 1949.  This is such a lovely book with a sweet story and beautiful illustrations

When teaching especially preschool-grade 4, this is a great book for many different themes, seasonal studies or unit studies. Children older than 6 might be able to read it on their own, but it is a wonderful read a-loud.  Themes include: blueberries, black bears, summer time, Blessed Virgin Mary (blue is Her color, of course!) and you might throw in a small chat about obeying your mother.  With older children, talk about where you will find blueberries (wild and cultivated), varieties of blueberries (especially high and low) and methods of consuming blueberries (fresh, in a cold or hot recipe, frozen, preserved, dried).  And if you are lucky enough to live in the vicinity of New England, take a drive to Maine in July and buy some fresh blueberries.  There is just something special about Maine blueberries!

If you look on Pinterest, there are art projects, crafts and recipes galore.  Here’s the link to my Pinterest Blueberries for Sal board.

Read the book aloud!

Make blueberry crisp and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.  YUMMY!

We love Betty Crocker’s recipe for apple crisp so I use it as my “go-to fruit crisp recipe”.  I exchange the apples for blueberries and sometimes a variety of berries.

Here is my revised Betty Crocker apple crisp based recipe:

Ingredients:

4 cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries

3/4 brown sugar (packed)

1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of oats (old-fashioned or quick-cooking)

1/3 cup butter softened

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (you can also use a touch of nutmeg as well, I’m just not a fan)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees, prepare an 8×8 pan with cooking spray or butter.  Spread the blueberries in the bottom of the pan.  Stir the remaining ingredients together and spread evenly over the blueberries.  Bake 30 minutes (or until brown and bubbling).  Serve warm with ice cream!

I highly recommend reading this book every July followed by a bowl of warm blueberry crisp and ice cream.

 

 

20. December 2017 · Comments Off on My Troubles with the Morning Basket · Categories: Books, Homeschooling, Morning Basket, St. Anne's Academy at Balsam Woods Farm

Are you familiar with the morning basket?

It is an awesome concept.. for morning people.  I am not a morning person. Technically, I think God meant me to be a coffee drinker.  Let me clarify further; a coffee drinker as in one of those people that always have a coffee cup in their hand.  The only problem is, I really do not like coffee. I can drink it disguised as a mocha, but I’m only just tolerating it. I’ll drink copious qualities of hot tea during fall/winter/spring and I drink iced tea by the gallons year round, but there is so far not enough caffeine in a few cups of hot tea to turn me into a morning person.

Getting myself motivated bright and early in the morning to actually pull off a morning basket is probably not going to happen during this lifetime.  I am old enough to know myself and my limitations.  However, I really, really want to do a “morning basket” with my son.  Here’s were I have been for a very long time, not capable of pulling off a morning basket, but unable to figure out where to fit it into the rest of our day.

Lately, I have also been listening to Pam Barnhill’s Morning Basket podcast.  I would highly recommend listening to her podcast series from the very beginning.  She and her awesome guests really get you thinking.  If morning baskets are new to you or something you have wanted to incorporate into your homeschool day, her podcast is the place to start.

Between kicking myself for being a early morning slacker, having morning basket guilt and a conversation I had with my husband the other evening; I had an epiphany!!  Do “morning basket” in the evening when the whole family can participate.

One of Barnhill’s guests spoke about how morning basket can create a family culture.  Well, when it’s Mom and a lovely bunch of children, that sounds like the most beautiful thing ever. God graced us with a son; one child.  It just did not seem fair to be creating this “family culture” between my son and I only.  Our family is so small that if we do not include my husband in creating that “family culture” we are not being fair to our little family.

It occurred to me that including my husband in our “morning basket” would give us a chance to have everyone’s insights, shared experience, shared knowledge, and shared faith.  And when we read make emotional connections with a book, it is not going to be just between my son and I.  It also really does make education something everyone participates in everyday.  Win-Win-Win!

So last evening was our inaugural evening “morning basket”.  (Seriously, I will come up with a better name for it!!).  For an hour and a half, we read, we prayed, we listened, we saw, and we learned TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!

I mean to encourage you with this post, really!  If you do not already do a “morning basket”, can not figure out where to put it into your day or whatever your hang-up is, keep trying to work it in.  There is great value in sharing your education with the whole family, to the best of your ability.

As we continue to do our “evening, morning basket”, I’ll let you know how we as doing.  In the meantime, God Bless and Keep Learning!

UPDATE:  I drafted this post sometime ago (September), and I am happy to report that “morning basket” in the evening with our whole family, is going awesomely!  It has turned into such a connection point for the whole family.  Now for a better name…read-aloud basket, evening basket, learning basket…I’d take suggestions.

01. April 2015 · Comments Off on Two Blue Jays by: Anne Rockwell · Categories: Books, Homeschooling

We borrowed this book from the library and loved it.  It beautifully showed how to do a nature journal entry without telling you that is what it was doing.  Two Blue Jays is a great book to show preschool-kindergarten children examples of drawings and entries to make for a new-to-nature-journaling child.

30. January 2014 · Comments Off on New England IHM Conference Announced · Categories: Homeschooling · Tags:

Last year was my first year to attend an Immaculate Heart of Mary Homeschool and Parent Conference, it was AWESOME!  Lovely folks hosting, fantastic speakers and some great vendors made for really nice experience for this first time homeschool conference attendee.

I just received an email that they will host another New England conference this year.  Did I mention the conferences are free?!  Yup, free!

So here are the details from their website:

UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center

50 Warren St.
Lowell, MA 01852

FREE ADMISSION!

Friday August 8th, 2014 @ 2:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday August 9th, 2014 @ 9:30am to 3:30pm

SAVE THE DATES!

This conference is for everyone, not just homeschooling families. All religious are especially welcome.

This will be IHM’s second year in New England! Our first year was such a success that we decided this conference deserved to be a 2-day event, so we are adding a Saturday to the conference and bringing in an extra speaker or two.

There is free parking provided you follow these instructions (otherwise you may be charged): There is a parking garage next the the UMass Lowell Inn and CC, but you have to enter this garage through the UMass Lowell Inn driveway and park on the 1st or 2nd levels (if you enter from the main street, there will be a charge even though it is the same garage).

08. October 2013 · Comments Off on Late Start to Pre-School · Categories: Homeschooling, Pre-Kindergarten, St. Anne's Academy at Balsam Woods Farm

St. Anne’s Academy is finally in session, for real.  We were doing some schooling stuff during September, but we are now into the real stuff!

We decided to go with Catholic Heritage Curricula’s preschool package.  The daily lesson plans are for preschool and kindergarten.  Getting two years in one package is a nice bonus and will help keep costs down next year.  The “reading” component is “I Can Find Letter Sounds“.  The math component is “I Can Find Numbers and Shapes“, both by Nancy Nicholson.  The religion component is from the Image of God Series.  “Who am I?” is the name of the Preschool workbook.

Very soon we’ll also purchase Making Music Praying Twice for a music education component, but I needed to start small and add elements slowly.

My next step is to figure out our schedule, especially in regard to when Monkey learns best.  I have learned the hard way that if he has any video game time prior to school time his attitude to horribly negative.  So I have to schedule those activities for later.