Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Menu Monday for 3/27/17

Well, I've put this off long enough. My "guys" are back from Arizona, and I can no longer live off of freezer leftovers. The men require real meals. So I have put together this plan for the rest of the week.

I call myself "Primarily Paleo". My normal eating avoids grains and processed foods. What I post no longer may look that way to the reader... My men aren't following my diet, so I serve three-part meals of which I usually eat only protein and vegetables. When I eat starch, it is usually the healthiest choice: brown rice, root vegetables, whole grain, unprocessed.

Well, here's this week's plan:

Saturday (3/25):  leftovers

Sunday (3/26):  leftovers

Monday (3/27) (Boy Scouts):  leftovers

Tuesday (3/22) (Sr. CAP Mtg.): chili, salad, corn bread

Wednesday (3/23): sizzleburgers, green beans, noodles

Thursday (3/24)(CAP): roast chicken, broccoli, rice

Friday (3/25):  spinach pie, salad, rolls

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bessie's Pillow - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew
In early February I learned I would be part of the Crew doing a review for Strong Learning, Inc.

Strong Learning, Inc.
Members of the Homeschool Review Crew received copies of the book, Bessie's Pillow.
Bessie's Pillow
My son and I have been studying Spanish, and I was delighted to learn there is a bi-lingual version of Bessie's Pillow, and Strong Learning sent me this bilingual version! Unfortunately, for some reason the postal service delayed my book's delivery for weeks, so the English version is all that has been read so far. This was necessary in order to finish the book in time for the review!

The bilingual version is about 10" X 14" and is spiral-bound. The content is presented with one column in Spanish and one column in English on each page.

I had been informed there is a study guide to go along with Bessie's Pillow, so today I hunted around on the website to see what I could find. When you click the Bessie's Pillow link, you can see a menu bar across the top of the page. If you click on the For Teachers link, there are useful links to further your studies. You can get information about radio and movies during Bessie's era, as well as photos from Bessie's life, on the link for  “Bessie’s America.” There is also a link to the Bessie’s Pillow Teacher Guide which gives discussion questions and project and term paper ideas. In addition, Strong Learning offers a Companion Workbook available both in English and bilingual English/Spanish.

Bessie's life rings echos around many aspects of my family's immigration stories, so I have decided to give you stories of Bessie's life and parallel them with snippets from my family histories.

In 1906, when Bessie was 18 years old, she left her family in Glubokoye, Russia to escape the Russian pogroms that were being exercised against the Jews in Russia. This is around the time that my husband's Jewish ancestors fled from Odessa, Russia to escape the pogroms.

When Bessie was leaving Glubokoye, a woman named Mrs. Dreizen approached Bessie with a pillow, begging Bessie to try to get it to the woman's son, Nathan, in New Rochelle. This pillow, "Bessie's pillow", provided Bessie much comfort for many days ahead. In Yiddish the pillow's needlepoint said, "May this pillow bring you peace!" 
Bessie traveled alone, an act relatively uncommon. Young women did not travel alone. They just didn't. Bessie was a courageous woman to do such a thing. I can't tell you how eerie this was for me to read, knowing that my great grandmother, Emma Savilahti left her homeland alone in 1901 and traveled to America, celebrating her 20th birthday while she was on board the ship. Emma and Bessie both entered the United States at Ellis Island, New York. I've been there and I saw Emma's documentation of arrival.

Bessie settled in New York and built her life there.  Bessie eventually found Nathan Dreizen and delivered the pillow. In time they fell in love and married. Over the course of time they had children.

With two young children, Bessie and Nathan were devastated when their children, one by one, contracted Scarlet Fever and died. This was very sobering to me. At the age of 10 I, too, had Scarlet Fever. I was quarantined and treated with a medicine that was relatively new in 1968, penicillin. As you see, I recovered.

I already feel like I've revealed too many spoilers in my attempt to show parallels, but let me just reveal one more. Bessie and Nathan went on to have four more children. Sadly, Nathan dropped dead of a heart attack at age 44, leaving Bessie a widow needing to find a way to provide for four children. My grandmother, Esther, with four children, had to become a business woman to provide for her four children after her husband died when my mother was 9, in 1942.

Nathan's pillow again became Bessie's pillow and a source of comfort. In time of mourning, Bessie would hug the pillow tightly as she cried.

Bessie was an amazing woman. She was a successful business woman who, because of her love and compassion for others, often used her resources to provide for others. In her earlier days she visits the Hebrew Orphan Asylum with dreidels, candles and a menorah. Later it is bread or meals to the needy. As a successful older business woman she provides mortgages to people the banks refuse to lend to! She was quite a woman!

Bessie's Pillow is a compelling book. It is a fabulous launching tool for early American social studies. “Bessie’s America” provides links to radio shows and lists of movies from Bessie's time, many of which are some of my favorite all-time movies! I highly recommend this book to you for your personal enjoyment and for the benefit of your home school. I am looking forward, now to going back to the book to work my way through the content in Spanish. 

Other members of The Homeschool Review Crew have also written reviews of Bessie's Pillow. To see more reviews, please click below:
Bessie's Pillow {Strong Learning, Inc. Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, March 20, 2017

Creating a Masterpiece - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew
In early February I learned I had been selected to be part of the group of the Homeschool Review Crew who would be reviewing an online art program called Creating a Masterpiece
Creating a Masterpiece
Crew members received a six month subscription to their Monthly Plan. I was blessed to be permitted to be the student for this review. If my son's life ever eases up from its present pace, I hope to get him to do some of these projects as well.
Creating a Masterpiece

As I began to peruse the available lessons, I really got excited! I have, over the years, inherited and acquired many, many art supplies, some I didn't even know how to use! In Creating a Masterpiece I was seeing lessons that would teach me new things, things I wanted to know, and how to use materials I had in my art supply arsenal.

Unfortunately it seemed like every single lesson, every single art method, needed something I didn't own! I would have to order supplies. ::sigh:: I was prepared to spend money on supplies, but I was not prepared to wait for them to arrive!

So the first impulsive thing I did was follow the directions for the free sample lesson to do a soft pastel mountain scene on black pastel paper. I had lots of paper, but none that was specifically pastel paper. The only black piece I had appears to be some sort of poster board. I didn't care -- I cut it down to the size required and I created my first piece of art!

This piece is beautiful! This is the first and only photo I took of this piece, though. Being as I used the wrong paper, the pastel was not holding. I always thought a sealant would help with that, but I also didn't have the proper sealant. I used hair spray to try to seal the pastel. Big mistake! The moisture in the hair spray changed the colors of the pastels and did it inconsistently. The picture is no longer as pretty.

My supplies had not arrived yet, and I wanted to make something beautiful. I decided to make an acrylic painting. I did not have a stretched canvas, but I did have a pad of canvas pages. It was smaller than was called for, but it worked. It turned out beautifully!
Because it is a canvas sheet instead of a stretched canvas on a board frame, I haven't figured out how to mount it yet. I'll have to figure it out.

This would be a good place to tell you about how the Creating a Masterpiece program works. The Caribbean Lighthouse project is broken down into four lessons. When you click on Lesson 1, you immediately see the clickable picture for the video to Lesson 1. If you first scroll down the page, though, you find the list of supplies that you need, helpful hints, and lesson highlights.

The Lessons on a project can be completed one lesson per day, one lesson per week, or if you are on a roll you can do multiple lessons at the same time. Sometimes you must wait between lessons, though. After Lesson 3 on the Caribbean Lighthouse, the paint should be permitted to dry before beginning Lesson 4. The Caribbean Lighthouse is painted using acrylic paint. Projects painted in oil paint require more time to complete than those in acrylic paint. Acrylic paint can dry in one or two days, whereas oil paint needs about one week to dry.

After I painted the Caribbean Lighthouse, my order of art supplies arrived. A bottle of ink had broken in my box of art supplies and had gotten on much of the stuff. Fortunately much of my order was items that were individually wrapped in plastic, so I only needed the ink and a pad of paper replaced. I contacted the art supply company, and then moved on to decide what to make next.

I settled on doing another soft pastel picture. My adult daughter has chickens and a rooster. I settled on a soft pastel project called Country Rooster. It turned out wonderfully!

I didn't know roosters can smile, but mine looks like it is smiling!

I can't wait to do more projects! When life slows down for my son, I'm hoping I can interest him in doing a few projects.

Projects included in Creating a Masterpiece include projects in:

  • Acrylic Paint;
  • Alcohol Ink;
  • Batik;
  • Block Printing;
  • Carving;
  • Charcoal;
  • Colored Pencil;
  • Conte' Crayon;
  • Copper Tooling;
  • Glass Mosaic;
  • Gouache;
  • Ink;
  • Mixed Media;
  • Oil Paint;
  • Oil Pastel;
  • Pencil;
  • Relief Sculpture;
  • Sculpture;
  • Silk Dying;
  • Soft Pastel;
  • Watercolor;
  • Watercolor Pencils;
  • Woodburning.
Such an amazing variety! I can't wait to do more. I still don't have the supplies to do every project available, but I can do most of them. I'll add photos as I am able.

This is a really incredible art program! Depending upon the student, this program can produce great outcomes for budding artists from Kindergarten to adult. The video method is wonderful. You can pause the video whenever you need to, back it up, replay it. When I get more experienced I look forward to creating unique works of my own using the techniques I have learned. I hope I get that good!

You can see more about Creating a Masterpiece by following their Facebook page.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed Creating  a Masterpiece. To read more reviews click on the picture below:
Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Menu Monday for 3/20/17

Another week down! As I write this page, it is the first day of Spring! We made it through winter! Yay!

At my Jenny Craig weigh-in on Thursday I had lost 1.6 pounds for the week! Good week. As I write this I am half-way into the new week (weigh-in wise), and it is not going as well. We'll have to see if I can pull it back together adequately to lose again by weigh-in.

This week will be a unique week for me cooking-wise. One night out at a restaurant, one night out at a dinner/annual meeting, and then son and hubby away for five days (bleeding into next week). I will only cook twice! Other than that, I'll eat leftovers. I will NOT cook for one person (me) with all the individual meals I have stored in the freezer.

So, as unhelpful as this will probably be to any reader, here is my plan for this week:

Saturday (3/19):  leftovers

Sunday (3/20):  Dinner Out

Monday (3/21) (Boy Scouts):  pan fried chicken breasts, broccoli, rice

Tuesday (3/22): spaghetti & meatballs, salad, TX toast (spaghetti squash)

Wednesday (3/23) (MCAF Annual Dinner Meeting): leftovers

Thursday (3/24)(CAP): leftovers

Friday (3/25):  leftovers

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Week in Review - 3/17/17

Well first of all, happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm not Irish, but since Patrick was actually British (and I'm half British), I'll celebrate anyway! His life should be an example to us all.

My student has been on spring break this week. I, as the mom, have not. Products currently brewing in my homeschool (watch for two more reviews next week!) are:

Monday night was Boy Scouts. My Life Scout had his Scoutmaster Conference for Eagle Rank. Now he needs to finish up the paperwork on his Eagle Project, complete his Eagle Rank Application, and get approval signatures. After that he goes to his Eagle Board of Review. We are aiming for April -- he will be out of town when they do Eagle BORs in March.

Tuesday we had a family night and played Settlers of Catan. I WON! I never win! What fun for a change!

Thursday part of our Scout Troop attended a Cub Scout Blue and Gold Dinner to welcome some Webelos to our troop as they bridged from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. Scoutmaster (my husband) drove to blue and Gold Dinner where he met four of our Scouts and more of our adults. Meanwhile, Assistant Scoutmaster (me) drove our Civil Air Patrol cadet and friend (another cadet) to their Civil Air Patrol meeting. After I met our CAP Wing's new commander and visited a few minutes, I booked cross-town to the Blue and Gold Dinner to help out.

When the Bridging was over I got to go home. Scoutmaster booked it across town to pick the cadets up at the end of their meeting. It had been PT (Physical Training) night. I knew that our cadet needed only to pass his PT Run to qualify for advancement to Tech Sgt. We think he did it! He'd been looking at the Cadet Super Chart wrong and thought he needed to run the mile much faster than he actually did (speed needed varies by height/weight/age ratio). We think he's done. But he can't advance next week when they'll do advancements - he'll be out of town.

Friday my high school Junior and I visited Patrick Henry College in Purcilleville, VA. 

He loves it. I don't know if we can swing it financially. We'll be seeking scholarship(s), but still don't know if we'll be able to afford what would be left. So we will still be visiting other colleges as well.

Friday night and all day Saturday my church hosted an If Gathering for women. I went but was exhausted. Kept falling asleep during Friday night's meeting!

What was your week like?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Celebrating Manhood - A Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew
At the end of January I learned I had been selected to be part of the Homeschool Review Crew team reviewing products for Home School Adventure Co. I received a digital copy of Celebrating Manhood: a rite of passage guide, which I saved to my iPad.

I found Celebrating Manhood to be a "quick read". It did not take long to read through the first time, then I went back to reread and consider further.  Celebrating Manhood is 37 pages long. The author begins by telling her story behind writing this rite of passage guide. She tells the story of how, as her oldest son approached adulthood, she created a plan to enable her husband, and certain other men in her son's life, to give her son a memorable rite of passage event he would always remember. This evening was to be inspirational and memorable, and would mark the turning from childhood to embrace becoming a man.

In my own family my husband celebrated his bar mitzvah, a ceremony with similar symbolism in the Jewish tradition. A child born to a Jewish mother is Jewish. I am not Jewish, so my son is not Jewish, and he did not have a bar mitzvah at age 13 as his father did. So I read Celebrating Manhood with this in mind, considering whether this rite of passage evening might be something we will do with our son.

The second chapter in the book gives the blueprint for creating the rite of passage evening for your son. It discusses planning the evenings agenda, who to invite, what to serve, what activities you might plan, how each men might give your son a blessing, and questions The men might answer for your son. These questions have a print out at the end of the book so that they are printed out as question cards. And a most important instruction is given to the mom on her part in the evening, regarding serving but trying to be invisible.

Chapter three gives a template you can use to make invitations to your special evening. It is very well thought out and well worded. Three to five spiritual men of special importance in your son's life are requested to consider being a part of this memorable evening for your son. These might be pastor, youth group leader, Boy Scout leader, grandfather, uncle, family friend -- whoever is a part of your son's life.

Next come the question cards I mentioned earlier. There are 24 different cards. The group can discus all or part of the questions. A man selecting a question that doesn't work for him can pass on to the next question.

The book ends with a page is suitable for framing. The poster can be enlarged to the size you wish and printed at high quality, framed, and presented to your son at the end of the evening. The poster expresses, "Welcome to the World of Men!" and a scripture. It will always remind your son of his special evening.

The book concludes with information about the author and other products she has created for the home school community.

This seems like a great book to purchase when your son is 13. That way you could read the book in advance and have plenty of time to consider when to have this special evening and which men to invite.

Adolescence passes quickly. Before you know it your son will be a man. If you (or your son) are having a difficult time traversing the gap between childhood and adulthood, this book might be just the thing you need.

I think this is a very worthwhile book. I do not know if we will do a rite of passage in our situation. My 

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed this and other products by Home School Adventure Co. You can read additional reviews by clicking the button below. 
Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Menu Monday for 03/13/17

Thursday I weighed in at Jenny Craig. The bad news is I didn't lose any weight. The good news is that I didn't gain any weight, and I am at my lowest weight since before my last pregnancy (in 1999). I'm good with that for this week!

Here are my plans for dinners for this week, with one recipe below:

Saturday (3/11):  leftovers

Sunday (3/12):  Rotisserie Chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans

Monday (3/13) (Boy Scouts):  
Vegan Minnesota Wild Rice Soup, salad, rolls

Tuesday (3/7) (Sr. CAP Mtg.): beef stew, rolls (salad) 

Wednesday (3/8): dump teriyaki chicken, rice, broccoli

Thursday (3/9)(CAP)(Cub Scouts Blue and Gold): baked ziti, salad, TX toast

Friday (3/10):  out or leftovers

Vegan Minnesota Wild Rice Soup
 Adapted from Byerlys


  • 1 C wild rice, uncooked
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 C white whole wheat flour, generous
  • 8 C hot vegetable stock
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 1 T dry cooking sherry {optional}
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Begin by preparing the wild rice.  To do so, measure out the rice in a dry measuring cup, you’ll need about 1 C.  Place the required water into a medium saucepan.  Then, add the rice. 

Cover and cook according to package directions – this usually involves bringing the rice to a boil and then reducing the heat to simmer for about 45 minutes.  

Heat your 8 C of vegetable broth/stock in a saucepan or microwave it until warmed; once warmed through, continue to leave over the heat so that it is hot when you are ready to add it to the soup.  

In the bottom of a large stockpot, saute the onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots in water or vegetable stock for about 3 minutes, or until veggies are starting to get soft.  

Sprinkle in the generous 1/2 C flour, stirring until the veggies are coated in the the flour.  Be careful not to burn the flour.   

Next, add in the vegetable stock, slowly, stirring as you add the hot stock. 

Continue stirring and adding the stock slowly, until the butter, flour veggie mixture is well blended.   

Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, until carrots are tender.

Then, add in the wild rice.  Season with salt and pepper and continue simmering for 10-15 minutes.   

Separate half of soup out into second pot so one can be vegan and one can have meat. 

Add in 1-2 cups cooked, diced ham and cooked chicken.  Simmer for 10 more minutes.  

Finally, add in the 1 C almond milk (1/2 in each pot), along with the dry sherry, if desired.  
Heat the soup gently for an additional 10-15 minutes, but do not allow the soup to come to a boil.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

How We "Did" Tapestry of Grace

Many Ways to Homeschool Many
In the Spring of 1997, my oldest student was finishing 6th Grade at home and my 2nd was finishing 3rd Grade. (Sixth Grade was the year of our 4-H Llama Project.)

A friend at church, who had six kids, was talking about a high school co-op she was putting together so that her daughter could build some deeper friendships.

My daughter was young, but she was as smart as a whip and wanted to participate. My friend, Marcia, said that she could be part of the co-op as long as she kept up with the high school level assignments. We formed a co-op for the grammar aged students as well.

At this time, Tapestry of Grace (TOG) had not been written yet. My friend wrote it week by week and handed it to us in the lobby at church on Sunday morning. At that time it was called "HIStory" (as in HIS story). We would acquire library books for the topic of the week and I would read them aloud to the two girls at home. My oldest would complete certain additional assignments to prepare for class. (If she did not do her homework she was not permitted to participate. How's that for a flip! They did their school work because the WANTED to be allowed to participate in co-op!)

Once a week each group met to discuss history for one hour, had a brief break, and then they discussed literature for one hour. Composition assignments were turned in and graded. On a second week day the group met to do subject related art projects. We did weaving and soapstone carving, paintings of Egyptian gods and cuneiform. We did so much hands-on stuff!

Year 1 we studied Ancient Israel, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece and other Ancient Cultures. Year 2 we studied the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation and early American History. Year 3 we studied the 1800's and Year 4 we studied the 1900s. Each unit we completed was culminated with a "Period" celebration where we all dressed up to mimic the era we had been studying.

Daughter #1 completed her four-year cycle of Tapestry at the high school level, and then daughter #2 did her four-year cycle of Tapestry. I took turns teaching the Koran, Huckleberry Finn (or was it Tom Sawyer?) and various other works of literature. I also taught lots of art, but we eventually determined we needed two hours Wednesdays for history and two hours Fridays for Literature and Composition.

Once each year the co-op group went on a big trip. I remember trips to Philadelphia (Valley Forge), Plymouth, Harper's Ferry, New York, Williamsburg... and even Europe! My 2nd daughter went to Italy, Rome, Greece! It should be a wonderful memory, but for me not so much. While she was gone my dad died suddenly. That is MY memory of her trip to Europe, topped only by my memory of the day she graduated high school, which is the day my mom died. (That poor child! No graduation party here... no celebration... ::sigh::)

Tapestry of Grace was a lot of work, but a wonderful program. It well prepared my daughters for acceptance into college. They also thrived in the co-op setting. Their desire to be there encouraged them to work hard each week to present themselves at class with their assignments completed.

In the earlier years of our Tapestry studies, I read our assignments out loud while both girls listened and colored. As we studied Egypt, my girls worked on pictures of flora and fauna (plants and animals) of Egypt. This poor under-educated mama had to learn that Egypt is part of Africa, where hippos and lions live! I had to learn the difference between alligators and crocodiles (crocodiles live in the Nile!).

As the studies became more intense, though, I could not keep up. Reading out loud is much slower than reading to yourself. I had to start getting two levels of books so the girls could read their assignments themselves, each at their own level. We often still read certain assignments together -- anything Science related, like Science in Ancient Egypt. When a baby arrived, though, the girls really needed to stay on task on their own -- Mama was busy!

Tapestry was never a good fit for child #3. He didn't want to be in a co-op, so there was no motive to get the assignments done. We attempted Tapestry on our own several times, but a different curriculum seemed a better fit and we always went back to it. But the girls and I will always remember our Tapestry Co-op days fondly, and I'll always be thankful to my friend, Marcia Somerville, for letting us be included in the first co-op!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Integrating Your Homeschool Lessons

I have been homeschooling since my oldest, now 30, started Kindergarten. When I began, I had a class of one student. That sounds easy, but when you don't know what you are doing, it is scary. When your bright oldest is taking only 30 minutes a day to complete each day's work, you feel like you must certainly be doing something wrong. I was juggling a non-stop 2-year old with planning, lessons, and my own learning in order to teach, and was struggling to get laundry done, dishes clean and meals served.

I would go to home school support group meetings, and home school veterans (who had been schooling for five or six years) would laugh at my angst. Back then the veterans I had access were doing "school at home" with three school-age children simultaneously--different lessons in every subject at three different grade levels. No wonder they couldn't take my Kindergarten concerns seriously.

As time went by and #1 began to read confidently, I learned the blessing of having #1 read to and play with #2 to free me, at times, to get important tasks done.  More importantly, though -- I was already learning that education rarely occurs in a vacuum. Whenever I worked with #1, #2 was trying to be involved as well. When we had #1 in a Science Fair in 1st Grade, #2 was only 3 years old but had her own part of the experiment to demonstrate and explain as well!

And when possible I would include both of them in my homemaking tasks.The girls both loved laundry day -- all the laundry of an entire week had to go down two flights of stairs. We had open stairways, and I used the "dump" method. First all the laundry was dumped from the upstairs banister rail to the middle floor hallway, then it was dumped over the middle floor banister rail to the basement hallway. They would help me at both dump sites, and the reward at the end was the huge pile of laundry on the basement carpet. They were allowed to jump into the laundry pile until they tired of it, and then I started the laundry.

By the time #2 started classes I had stumbled onto an integrated method without even realizing it was a "thing". #2 and I would work together on Math, Phonics and Reading, but any subject possible our subject studies were combined affair. Initially I was doing combined studies using KONOS unit studies. KONOS pretends it is gender neutral, but the fact that it was written by a mom of boys is clear in the activities presented in the lessons. We studied pioneers, tracking, made moccasins and "possibles" bags out of leather. We created teepees out of tree branches in the back yard. We learned to identify animal tracks down by the creek. We used mudclay from the creekbed to make thumbpots.

Even as I phased out of KONOS studies, certain subjects were largely shared subjects. We read Bible together and memorized Bible verses. We read biographies together (mom read while the girls colored). 

We tackled history, science and literature together. For awhile #1 focused on learning to spell every word under the sun, winning many spelling bees. I'm sure #2 was learning how to spell some of those words as we went over spelling lists orally, day by day!

We went on lots of field trips in the early years! The Amy Farm in Denver, Historic Littleton, the Denver Natural History Museum and the zoo. We moved east and went to all the Smithsonian museums and museums in Philadelphia. We joined 4-H and were part of a llama project!
As my oldest started studies at the high school level, we continued to pursue this style of integrated studies. Using Tapestry of Grace, we wove our way through Egypt, Rome, Greece and other ancient cultures.
We worked our way through the Renaissance and Reformation the next year.

One week after our Medieval Feast, a son was born!

So now I had three! Unlike other homeschooling moms of three I have known, I never educated three at the same time. My oldest graduated in 2003. My son started Kindergarten in 2005. My 2nd daughter graduated in 2007, but she attended a private school her senior year. The only year I "home schooled" two was 2005-2006, and my daughter was on auto-pilot by that time. She was taking history, literature and composition in a co-op, and she was taking Spanish and her science through a small class where the home schoolers pay the teacher to teach the class.
So theoretically I haven't been using the integrated method of homeschooling since student #1 graduated. With only one student, my home school still looked similar, though. While I read out loud the lad liked to work on Legos, whereas my girls had liked to knit and crochet.
We spent many years with me reading aloud. I used Ambleside Online. It was hard to get my son to do school on his own, so by reading aloud I knew what he had actually covered. He always loved the nature study aspects of a Charlotte Mason education!

Now #3 is almost done with his home education. Next year is his senior year, and he now takes four to five classes per year at the community college through dual enrollment.
We don't do much read-aloud any more, and there is no need to integrate studies any more. Twenty-five years of home schooling gone by, and I'm happy to say I am confident all of my students have fond memories of the many years we all had together while we pursued their educations in our own way.

There are many ways to educate many. How do you do it in your home?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Menu Monday for 03/06/17

March has arrived, and the days continue to fly by. 

On Thursday I weighed in at Jenny Craig. I had skipped two weigh-ins because I wasn't sticking to plan and I didn't want to weigh in when it would show a weight gain. So again I managed to "pull it off"! I lost 2/10 of a pound! I'll take it.

Last week one of our planned meals did not get prepared -- I had leftovers instead. So ham served Saturday was a meal bumped from last week. Here's the plan:

Saturday (3/4):  ham steak, scalloped potatoes, green beans

Sunday (3/5):  Out (surprise party for a friend's birthday)

Monday (3/6) (Boy Scouts):  spaghetti, meatballs, salad, TX toast

Tuesday (3/7):  chicken tortilla soup, salad, Tostitos

Wednesday (3/8): rib eye steaks, salad, baked potatoes

Thursday (3/9)(CAP): Chicken broccoli farfalle

Friday (3/10):  dinner out with a group from church

So those are my plans. Have you planned your dinners for this week?