Friday, October 29, 2010

Colonial American Cooking

I have discovered that I really enjoy cooking foods and dishes from other countries and different eras. We have been cooking some colonial dishes, some gross but most really good. We get most of our recipes from Hasty Pudding, Johnny Cakes. We also are using Colonial Days by David C. King. Otherwise I will note.

So far we have made New England Clam Chowder, candied orange peels, colonial apples, maple wheaton bread, and maple cream candy. Most all of these took a rather extraordinary amount of time, and all I had to do was pick up a couple of ingredients at the supermarket. Imagine making your own butter, tapping your own sap, making who knows how many loaves of bread.

The candied orange peels I won't even include the recipe for, as they were, ahem, disgusting. The clam chowder was good, colonial apples were strange but good. The maple wheaton bread had a strange, unfamiliar texture, but we ate it. It took such a long time of kneading, I don't know why I didn't dig out the bread maker, even if just to knead it! And the most delicious was the maple cream candy. It was rich, but so very good.

I got most of them out of the above books, which our library had, but I can share the recipe for colonial apples.

Easy ingredients, which I had all on hand.

Simmer thinly sliced apples with 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup honey until apples are transparent.� When done, top with half and half.� It was strangely delicious!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And More Sorting Still

So we've been counting, counting, counting, and now sorting, sorting, sorting.  I think we've got this down!  Here are some more sorting ideas for 2 to 3-year-olds or whoever likes it.  Actually, our 1st and 2nd graders are often asking me to sort some of the stuff in our orange crate!  :)

This is more of a scooping and pouring activity.

The next 2 are sorting little tiny rubber bands I found at Dollar Tree.  They are for hair.

She had to manipulate them to get them over the marker.  Perfect for strengthening those hand muscles!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Math Fun with Play-Doh

Play-Doh is so good for preschool math, as we all know.  Here are some examples of what we did, and it only took about 10 minutes of our homeschool day, and she was so happy to be included in school.

This next one was just shape matching, making sure to mention which shape is what.

Did it spark any ideas of your own?  I would love for you to share with me!  :)


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Owl Pellet Dissection

For our Sonlight Science, there were owls in our animal books, so we ordered owl pellets from OBD.  We used the lapbook components from Lapbook Lessons.  If the real thing grosses you out as much as it did me, you can virtually dissect an owl pellet here!  Here are some highlights of the actual dissection.  I was such a wreck during this even though the pellets are evidently sterilized, we moved our little project outside.  ;)

Dreamer was in heaven.  She loved this, and didn't mind the grossness of the whole thing, unlike her sister and I!

She looks so disgusted in this picture!  I was too!

Have fun!


Saturday, October 16, 2010


Finally after many months of silence, here are some of the things we've been doing with our 3-year-old.  I have all the pom poms, muffin tins, egg cartons, etc., in separate ziplock bags in a bin so I can just grab something quickly when she's in the mood to do something.  The first one here are just different colored pom poms sorted into a muffin tin.  She loved it!

For this activity, I bought several different types of pasta, took a handful out of each box (used the rest for lunches!) and let her sort them all in an egg carton.

She was proud of her work, having fun, and working on fine motor skills!!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pioneer Farm

In May we went to The Homestead, which is a living pioneer farm.  My camera went dead while we were there, but there were draft horses, oxen, pigs, chickens, sheep, a working garden.  One time we went they were cooking squirrel in a cast iron skillet on the old stove.  They have days when they shear sheep.  The last time we went, we bought some wool and a homemade candle; see picture below.  I was hoping to card the wool to show the girls how it was done.  The people wear clothes of the era, and everything they do is true to the time.

It was so much fun, and I asked a bunch of questions.  I learned that they would have a dirt yard all around the house without grass because there would be no mowing plus, they wanted to keep the snakes away from the house.  The lady of the house would sweep the yard!  Enjoy!

Drying herbs in the kitchen.

Stove where they cooked the squirrel meat!

This picture is taken from the breezeway into the kitchen.

Here is the man hand planting tobacco in the field.  He told us they sprouted the seeds in March, and covered them with pine boughs to protect from frost.  Then, in May they take a bucketful out to the field and plant them on small mounds of soil.  They have a barn where they hang the dried tobacco and smoke it.  Tobacco!

Here are the girls in dress-up clothes they had in the museum.

Here are some fun kits I found at the pioneer farm.  Everything is included, so it was worth it for us!

Here are the wool and candles they gave us.

Any living farm you can get to would be well worth it!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cherokee Mini Unit

I rearranged WP's schedule for the Native American units to match more regionally.  Since exploration of America started in the east, the woodland Indians made sense to me.  We started with the Cherokee and If You Lived With the Cherokee.  As usual, I made some lapbooking components to put in our notebooks.  I wrote some notes about each picture under it.

These are the types of food that the Cherokee had access to.  I made this one.  The things are stored in the basket pocket.

These 2 pics are from the inside of "Tools."  There are 2 tabs in the mini book, Stones and Bones.  We identified each item, then labeled it.

I made this worksheet to investigate the Cherokee way to name children and change names, etc.  This one is Coco's, and she chose her name to be "Flower Girl."

I made these 2 simple mini books.  Inside we wrote what the summer and winter homes were made from.

The flap book on the left are some herbal medicines the Cherokee used.  I made this one.  The pocket on the right is actually from The Courage of Sarah Noble components we did from

This is the inside of one flap of the Herbal Medicine booklet.  Interestingly, the goldenseal was mixed with bear fat and smeared on the skin as a mosquito repellant, and the yellow root leaves were used in a tea for stomachaches.

As usual, let me know if you want a PDF via e-mail.  I hope to start posting some of my freebies possibly on Homeschool Launch or something.  I have to go and figure it out, though.  ;)


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tot Trays


Okay, as I mentioned in a previous post, our 3-year-old is creative in her havoc-making abilities!  I have finally decided to get down to the nitty-gritty and put the work into educational diversions for her.  I made an effort to work with my olders, why not for her?  I did some research on tot trays, and although I'm not going to use trays to store everything or lay it all out for her to look at, we are going to use the ideas, one a day.

So today I went to Dollar Tree with Beeps and had so much fun!  I spent 18 dollars and got all of these items, including but not limited to parmesan cheese jar, foam, colored paperclips, gems, bingo markers, muffin tin, flower ice tray, shot glasses (to sort things into), pompoms.  I already have pipe cleaners, buttons, different pasta shapes, different beans, sequins, and more.

So, I'm going to try to include posts of things we do with her with these ideas, along with our other crafts that she does.  We are doing Sonlight P3/4 with her, along with the book Math Play and very simple lapbooks for some of the P3/4 selections.  We only read about 1 selection a day, and we don't do lapbooks every week with her, but about once every 3 weeks or so.  We took a break, as she was tearing all the components off and tearing the pages.  She really likes it, though, and seems truly repentant.  ;)


Native American Homes

We have made many models and have drawn pictures of Native American homes, some from WinterPromise's Early American Trades and Crafts kit, some from More Than Moccasins.  The girls drew some of them.  So far, we are missing the Far North, Northwest, and Southwest type homes.  I'll update when we do those.


The next 2 are the girls' drawings from Draw Write Now

Dreamer's Longhouse (6)

Coco's Longhouse  (7)


Monday, August 16, 2010

Painted Salt Dough Map of North America

It took me a while to finally update this, but here it is painted.  I found that tempera (poster paints) worked the best.  Some other paint we used (must have been water based) just balled up.  Hope you like it!


Saturday, August 14, 2010



I love hummingbirds.  I don't know why, they're rascally little fellows, they're a tad rude, and they tell me off every time I go on my back deck!

My feeder isn't in the best place (yet), but here's a pretty good shot of our little one.  I was told by a local that a mix of 3 cups water with 1 cup of sugar will attract the most hummingbirds, but not anything more concentrate.

Even when I stand in the window, they blatantly hover right outside my window and look at me.  I can just hear them thinking "Yeah, that's what I thought!" Little cuties.  I want to plant hummingbird/butterfly bushes all over the backyard, but my husband thinks we'll be attacked by the ferocious little hoverers! 


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Columbus Lapbook/Notebook Unit

We finished Columbus this week.  Along with WP's selections (Discovery of the Americas), we read the following:

We enjoyed the d'Aulaire selection and the reader, Christopher Columbus, but had to do some picture study or just summarizing with the Maestro book that WP included.  The pictures are absolutely fabulous in Discovery of the Americas, but the text is a bit daunting for our 1st and 2nd graders. :)

I found and made many printables for Columbus to help the girls understand it all more and to let them manipulate lapbooking components in our notebooks.  Here are some pictures.  I've indicated where I found them or if I made them below each pic.  Let me know if you want a PDF.

The drawing is our 7yo's from Draw Write Now Book 2.  The map I made, and when you close the flap, it covers the Americas, showing how the people of Columbus' time thought the world looked, minus the Americas.

I found this free printable from Evan Moor's site, the Santa Maria!

I love how this turned out!  Via an idea from the WP forums, we tried our 3D maps with watercolors.  Turned out nice, right? ;)

I made these printables.  I like to make them easily readable for the girls.  One is who funded Columbus's journey, another is a barrel filled with what the sailors normally ate while aboard ship, and the last is a painting of Columbus's 3 ships with space inside to write their names (Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria).

I made this too.  The pictures actually go in the treasure chest tri-fold lapbooking component.  He brought back gold, exotic plants, slaves, parrots (exotic animals) to Spain.

Web Sites

I found a few web sites that the girls enjoyed.  Here are some links!

Columbus games - Scroll down to some puzzles and quizzes.  Fun!

Columbus audio reading - This was mildly interesting, but I thought I'd include it, as it's neat.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Vikings Mini Lapbook/Notebook

We studied Vikings for our American History studies for about a week.  We are using WinterPromise's American Story 1, so we used those links and books.  Here is a list of books that we used.

I found many wonderful web sites and lapbooks/notebooks on the Internet.  I will put where I found it (if I can remember) below each picture.  Some of them I made, so if you're interested, contact me.

Mamma Viking

Yiva Viking

Viking Vittles Look under Chapter 2 components, page 1; I compiled the foodstuffs (contact me).

3D Interactive Maps

I made this notebooking page.

How Did They Dress? This is found under Chapter 4 components, at the end of page 2.

There is a pocket we created to store our Viking paper dolls in.

Viking Runes This is found under Chapter 6 components, page 4.

I made this notebooking page.

Web Sites

Thorkel and the Trading Voyage game This whole page is interesting, but there is an interactive game near the bottom.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Counting Orchard

We've been counting, counting, counting in our household!  Counting animal noises, counting jumps, counting claps.

We recently made this Counting Orchard to practice counting.  First cut out the tree tops.  Cut tissue paper in fruit color of choice into 1-inch squares.  Take a pencil with a nice eraser on the end, put in middle of squares, and twist while keeping your thumb and forefinger lightly squeezing the paper toward the pencil.  Glue the fruit on the trees.  Here are pictures.