Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring Math Work

Hello, thanks for stopping to visit our little neck of the woods.  We have been busy enjoying spring and our unseasonably warm weather.  Here is a look at a bit of what all the children have been working on during math lessons

This is the Montessori Peg Board.  E and A were working on factoring numbers up to 30.  This picture is of A but I had really pulled this work out for E but when he saw the board A wanted in on the action.

K is working with the small bead frame making numbers, adding and subtracting.

Here K is working on her money counting skills using a file folder game.  She can do this folder completely by herself, I so underestimated her abilities.

Here A is practicing measuring skills using a ruler as he follows directions to build a house. This activity is from the book Shoebox Math.  This simple activity based book I have returned to over and over again for each of the children.

Quadrilateral sort for geometry.

B is working on counting from 1-10.  On this day we were using number tiles from the game Rummikub and old marker caps.

 We have faithfully stuck with our math rotation this school year and I am so happy with our progress.  We had 3 focus areas for math: geometry, fractions and operations.  I picked a focus area each month rotating between the 3 subjects and it has worked wonderfully.  We are currently working on geometry focusing on lines, triangles and circles.  Study Jams has been so great to add some video learning to our lessons when  
introducing or reviewing a concept.

I came across these funsheet books on Teachers Pay Teachers that may be helpful for fall or summer review.
Mastering Math Facts: Multiplication and Division
Polygon Explorations
Geometry: Exploring Basics

It is Montessori Monday and I am Linking up.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Quinoa Protein Brekkie Bowl--The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook

I have been sharing on Facebook and Instagram many meals that we eat here at the Middle of Somewhere and have had several requests for recipes.  Breakfast can be so mundane sometimes but I have found a few recipes to keep it healthy and yummie.  This recipe is anything but mundane yet so simple.

 I'll be honest, I was excited to try this alternative cereal but my children were not.  However, with our insistence each one ate it and liked it by the end of the meal.  Yes, I said insistence because sometimes that's what it takes when raising children, our insistence as parents that they do something.  Don't be thrown off track by tears and poor attitudes but insist on your children meeting your family's values.

Here's the recipe:

1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/4 cup golden rasins (i used cranberries)
pinch cardamom
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 TBS agave or maple syrup
pinch salt
unsweetened almond or coconut milk to top it all off

Cook the quinoa according to your package directions. (I cook quinoa the same way I do rice, in the rice cooker.  I have also made this recipe just using left over quinoa from the night before.)

Heat oven to 350  and toast your almonds and coconut.  Watch it, it burns fast.  Or you could also use a pan on the stove top to toast the coconut and almonds.

Now it is time to build your bowl.  Put all the ingredients in your bowl and top with the milk.

Keep in mind the recipe says this serves 2, so for our family I at least double the recipe.

It is fun to try new things and remember don't just try things once because new flavors sometimes take awhile to get use to.  Enjoy!

This recipe is from The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook.

How We Study History--Spotlight on Greece

Hello Everyone!  Today is Monday and I'll be linking up with Montessori Monday.  If you want to see what others are doing in their homes to bring a Montessori, hands on education to life, take some time and check out the links.
Today I am talking about history. I am not an expert but just desire to share what works for us as we have gone through so much trial and error in this area.  Isn't that what so much of raising children and home educating is about? Trial and error and finding what fits for your unique family.  So at this point here is what is working for us in the history department.

We are currently taking a look at ancient Greece but I think this type of plan can be followed for any era in our study of history.  We started out by borrowing Drive Through History Greece from a friend.  This series is very informative, written with an integration of christian and secular history and entertaining.  I hope to add these to our library this summer.  Then the children completed our Europe Geopuzzle for a refresher on where Greece sits in the world.

After our video and puzzle introduction we began reading through A Child's History of the World and completing many of the supplementary funsheets and activities.  Donna Young has a great suggested schedule for reading through a Child's History of the World. We also search you tube videos related to our course of study. We found a video on  The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the children drew notebook pages and copied or wrote their own narrations. They have also completed other notebook pages and writing assignments as they have arisen for example, the Trojan Horse.

We have also been working our way through the book Draw and Write Through History Greece and Rome.  Both  A and E(9 and 10) have been enjoying these books.  A draws the pictures and then narrates to me everything he knows on the given topic and E either writes her own narrations or practices her cursive with the copywork provided in the book.  For our family this series is wonderful and if we miss something this either fills in the gaps or summarizes our readings.

Another addition to our studies is the reading of Cobblestone/Cricket Magazines.  On there website you can order back issues of their magazines, check it out, the topics are endless.  This had been hubs favorite way to hear us studying history when he is around.  The magazines have great pictures and stories.  Many times I have ordered the issues that focus on what it was like to be a child in the time era we are studying.
One last note, we always include an afternoon read-aloud on the era we are studying.  For Greece we are reading Theras and His Town and for Rome we will be reading Detectives in Togas.  Also E daily reads a biography on a famous America and journals about her readings.

So there ya have it, our history method in a nutshell.  I like to keep it simple and interesting bringing in different modes of media when possible.  Let me know if your family does anything similar or if this has been helpful to you.  Blessings!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Euphoria Nuggets

Two weeks ago I was having my own little Instagram/Facebook party to hold myself accountable to eating a daily snack.  An afternoon snack really keeps me well nourished and staves off unnecessary snacking while prepping dinner.  I know all of this in my brain but sometimes, I don't feel like having a snack or time gets away from me so I skip it and usually regret it because I come into mealtime to hungry.  So I took a week and posted several pictures showcasing my snacks and Euphoria Nuggets were one of my snacks.  I found these wonderful treats after our Ultimate Reset in October and they are so, so good.  The nuggets were my first treat after the reset and all the flavors and sweetness were much appreciated by my taste buds.  The recipe is from the Karma Chow Cookbook, which if full of wonderful plant-based recipes.  The Euphoria Nuggets are listed in the dessert section but once you read the ingredients you will see why I think they are also a great snack.  These nuggets are a sweet treat but also packed with protein and when given the choice over a nugget or a protein bar for a snack I would pick the nugget hands down.  I hope you enjoy them as much as our family does.

Euphoria Nuggets

1 C. shelled sunflower seeds
1/3 C. pitted dates

Chop in food processor until the seeds and dates are a fine meal then add:

1/2 C. almonds
1/3 C. raw agave (I have used maple syrup as well)
3 TBS raw cacao powder (cocoa powder would work here as well but I really like the raw cacao)
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Process till blended together then place mixture in frig. for 10 minutes.  Roll into balls and enjoy.  I keep these in the frig. or they also freeze well.  Enjoy!

Don't let the picture detour you from trying this recipe.  I know blogs are a lot about the pictures but I am a homeschooling mom with a single income and that does not afford me a lot of time or money for a camera and the necessary study to make great pictures.  I wish it was different but thanks to you all who hang in there with me even though I don't offer the wonderful eye-candy that can be found in so many other places,.

I wrote about some of our Reset experiences here, here and here.

If you want to follow along on Instagram I am tgarb6

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Playdough in 5 Minutes

Our playdough spontenaity all started with this coupon that the little ladies clipped from the paper

 and ended with this oh so cute cake creation from the Play Doh Cake Makin Station.
If you have been reading here for awhile you know we like play dough.  Some mom's don't because of the teeny tiny bits that are hard to clean up but give a child a hand vac and it is no problem.

We have several Play Doh sets like the one above and the latest set to join the ranks is the Candy Cyclone, seen below.  The children love the Cyclone because it makes Play Doh gumballs.

Well seeing as how the children had a Play Doh coupon and how I was not going to drive 45 minutes to the nearest Target, we made our own.  Our recipe comes from this book:
The Busy Book is a long forgotten gem in our household but when it comes to DIY playdough it is what I reach for every time.  Here is our favorite recipe from the book and it really does take 5 minutes.  The littles love to play with the final product and the older children love to work the stove and mix the ingredients.

Combine in a saucepan and heat until warm:
1 cup water
1 TBS. vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
1 TBS. cream of tartar
food coloring

Remove from the heat and stir in:
1 cup flour

Dump out the dough and knead until smooth.

See it is a very simple and quick recipe.

Now have fun with one of the sets I mentioned above or strike out on your own and make something like this:

Isn't that a cute face to start the week with?

I'm linking up with Living Montessori Now.