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Cooking With Kids: Easy Freezer Meals

My kids help a lot in the kitchen.

I like to consider it part of our "life skills" curriculum. 

Cooking with kids is such a perfect way to have my children learn alongside me.

Cooking with kids gives me the opportunity to teach them a variety of skills that go well beyond the task of cooking such as planning, mathematics, and it also develops healthy eating habits.

Take cooking with kids to the next level by teaching them how to prepare easy freezer meals! We often are making meals for people in need, and I quickly discovered it was easiest to find a great freezer recipe and cook for two families - that way my load was lightened, too!

 By throwing in easy freezer meals, we can plan and prepare some delicious meals for friends, for our busy week, or even the entire month!

Cooking with Kids: Easy Freezer Meals

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Shopping For Easy Freezer Meals

I like to stay organized by using Plan to Eat - we've been using this tool for five years now.

Plan to Eat allows me to save and store my favorite recipes online, share recipes with friends, and it also allows me to create shopping lists based on my menus. 

Honestly, Plan to Eat has been the best $5 I spend each month! 

Easy Freezer Meals

  • Ravioli Casserole: I don't think meal prep could get much easier than this recipe. A real crowd pleaser with a few simple ingredients. (try this one with beef or cheese ravioli - they are both good!)
  • Italian Chicken Roll-Ups: This is a great recipe to use for introducing kids on how to cook with raw meat. Not only is it an easy recipe to follow, it calls for thin chicken, which means kids will be able to flatten the chicken. Something that has always been a blast for kiddos. 
  • Black Bean Taco Soup: Give Taco Tuesday a new spin with this hearty soup recipe. Make a little extra for a few easy lunch meals throughout the week!
  • The Easiest Baked Mac & Cheese: You can't go wrong with kids and mac and cheese! I like this recipe because there are a few surprising ingredients that will allow you to add a little more nutritional value to the meal. This is also a great habit to pass down to your kids. 
  • Orange Glazed Pork Chops: No more over cooked pork chops! This recipe shares a fool proof way to get moist chops every time. 
  • Sausage-Egg Rollups: These guys will come in handy on those busy mornings. Not only are they quick and easy to grab and go, they are also a great alternative to sugary cereals first thing in the morning. 
  • Simple Meat Loaf Recipe: (My kids' FAVORITE meal!) With just a few ingredients, you can have a wholesome and warm meal. Double, or even triple, the recipe to really stock up your freezer. 
  • Slow Cooker French Dip: French Dip sandwiches are a favorite go to meal in my home. Warm, simple, and delicious. Thanks to this recipe, you can now freeze it for later! 
  • Orange Apricot Slow Cooker Pork Chops: Using a slow cooker is a great skill to teach kids. I especially like it because it takes the danger out of using an oven and the stovetop. It also gives kids the ability to prepare a meal without any help from their parents. This recipe is great because the end result is beyond delicious. It is also gluten and dairy free. 
  • Buttered Maple French Toast Casserole: Another family favorite! French toast is a great way to feed several people without the hassle. Add a fresh fruit salad (you can freeze those too) for a well balanced meal. 
Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Cooking with kids by introducing them to freezer meals is an idea that will help you manage your meal planning and prep time.

When you teach your kids to prepare these recipes, double them, and freeze the extra servings for an easy to make meal. You have the convenience of an easy and nutritious meal all while teaching your kids the valuable skills of cooking. 

Do you have any freezer recipes you'd like to share?  Let me know if the comments below?

Cooking With Kids: Easy Freezer Meals

Harry Potter Activities (Notebooking Download & More)

I have JK Rowling to thank for my daughter's love of reading.  No matter your thoughts about the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling has inspired a GENERATION of children to read.  

When we made the decision to ditch the ideal of public school, the very first thing my then 8 year daughter did was READ. She read the entire Harry Potter series within the first two weeks of homeschool. It was a glorious time of deschooling and wonder in our home.  

I decided to take her love of Harry Potter and turn it into a little more... read on to see what we did and to download free notebooking pages at the end of the post.

Notebooking and Harry Potter - a free download

Expanding on Harry Potter

As she read the books, we also listened to the soundtrack (It's one of my favorites). 

The next thing she wanted to do was learn how play some Harry Potter music on the piano. I found an Easy Piano Harry Potter book and ordered it for her. 

She learned it within a few days. 

JK Rowling Biographies

We decided to learn a little more about the author:

Vocabulary Building

We also found a wonderful Harry Potter vocabulary book!  You can learn over 3,000 words from all seven of the Harry Potter books.


For more ideas and information about JK Rowling and teaching with Harry Potter you can visit my Harry Potter Activities Pinterest board.  


Harry and Friends Notebooking Pages

Whenever we approach a new study in our homeschool, I like to see if there are notebooking pages available.   I had a hard time finding specific Harry Potter pages that fit our needs, so we created our own.

Harry & Friends Notebooking Pages were created specifically for my children.  I never wanted to immerse myself in the world of Harry Potter.   I had tried to read the first book when it first came out, and I have to admit I DID NOT LIKE IT.  

I am so very glad, however, that my daughter picked them up. The sense of imagination, suspense, drama, and overall fantasy captivated me as I saw them through her eyes.  I'm so happy to share in this world with my children now.

Please enjoy these in your homeschool.  They include copywork, alphabetizing, grammar exercises, drawing, and more.  

 

Download Harry & Friends Notebooking

Do you have Harry Potter fans in your house?

You might also like:

Immersing Ourselves in the Chronicles of Narnia

The Hobbit: A Unit Study


Harry Potter Books & Resources

Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, Special Rehearsal Edition ScriptHarry Potter: Collectible Quidditch SetThe Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards (Unofficial Cookbook)Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original ScreenplayHarry Potter Coloring BookHarry Potter Playing CardsThe Unofficial Harry Potter Insults Handbook: 101 Comebacks For The Slytherin In Your LifeHarry Potter Time Turner Metal Fashion NecklaceThe Tales of Beedle the Bard, Standard Edition (Harry Potter)Harry Potter Gryffindor Hardcover Ruled Journal (Insights Journals)Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film CollectionThe Unofficial Harry Potter Vocabulary Builder: Learn the 3,000 Hardest Words from All Seven Books and Enjoy the Series MoreThe Complete Harry Potter Film Music CollectionWho is J.K. Rowling?Conversations with J. K. RowlingHarry Potter -- Sheet Music from the Complete Film Series: Easy Piano

 

 

 

 

The Truth About Homeschooling High School

No one ever really told me how DIFFICULT homeschooling high school would be.

And, I don't think anyone could ever have prepared me for the tremendous weight I was going to feel - knowing that my child's ENTIRE high school education rested on my shoulders.

Everyone always used to tell me why they COULDN'T homeschool, and it was generally because they didn't feel they could teach their children upper levels of math and science.  (Believe me, that is the least of my problems.)

Oh - and the ATTITUDE?  Some days I think it might kill me.

But you know what?  

The truth about homeschool high school is something much different than all of these nagging worries I have day in and day out.  The truth about homeschool high school is about something so much deeper than Chemistry or Physics , PreCalc or Latin.  The truth about homeschool high school supersedes the best teenage eye roll on the planet. 

This truth is something I am discovering day by day, minute by minute.

(*This post was written with express permission from my homeschool high schooler. I don't share much about her here on the blog because I want to honor her privacy and teen years. She is 100% ok with this post!)

The Truth About Homeschooling High School

The truth is that I'm learning there is great value in doing HARD THINGS. And the truth is that I'm being refined on a daily basis.

The truth is that I'm so glad we've stuck it out this long, and I'm excited for what the future holds. 

The truth is that we need to approach homeschool high school with JOY rather than dread. 

The Dreaded "High School"

Let's face it, society doesn't have a very positive image of high school. And, if you look around, many public schools are laden with drugs, sex, and any number of things children that age have no business dealing with.

The Truth About Homeschooling High School

It seems to me that for all of the criticism about homeschoolers not being "socialized" that there is exactly too much SOCIALIZATION in high school. 

Of course there is also the fact that high school is geared towards cranking out students who will PERFORM ON A TEST.  Children are placed into tracks of courses that pigeon hole them into college, tech school, or remedial studies.  

Where do we ever consider the child's HEART and GIFTS in our modern American high schools?  

We don't.  

And that is precisely why we homeschool high school. 

Thank goodness my child doesn't have to deal with MEAN GIRLS, endless social media obsessions, and bullies each day.  Instead she deals with us - her family - who can guide her through these most formative years.  We can choose mentors through church and community that help us nurture her passions.

She has a few trusted friends - sweet girls she has known for many years.  In many ways I think homeschoolers make BETTER friends because they have time to cultivate relationships and are generally kind and caring to one another. (I won't lie to you - there have been lonely days in our house, but those are learning opportunities, too. There are times in life where you will be lonely and will need to learn how to handle that.)

Thank goodness my child doesn't have to walk like a zombie from class to class, complaining about how much she "hates school."  Instead,  my child can help determine her own schedule and classes - geared towards what she LOVES. 

(I could write a whole post about how she wants to be a music therapist and how we are nurturing this love of music and people with special needs... that's for another day.)

But...How Do You Homeschool High School?

This is a VERY real question.

Honestly, I've been going on faith quite a bit.   

I also spend A LOT OF TIME planning, supervising, and just keeping up with everything. 

I know what my state requires in the way of credits for graduation. I've been researching about high school classes and college admissions.

Our first two years of high school have been spent in the Classical Conversations Challenge program - which has been an EXCELLENT foundation for my Anna since the 7th grade. 

We've also taken advantage of online resources like Memoria Press Online Academy and Mr. D Math  (oh how we love Mr. D Math!). 

Homeschool High School: The Truth

Next year Anna will be in the 11th grade. We have decided that she needs to step away from Challenge to take advantage of some dual enrollment opportunities our state offers.  She wants to take sign language in a local co-op (this will help her as a music therapist one day). She wants to get a job and be a bit more independent. 

She's learning to play the guitar in addition to continuing her piano studies. She's volunteering with a local special needs group - last week she started leading her own small group! 

While part of me mourns that we won't go through Challenge IV, the other part of me is so happy that God is guiding us to new adventures. The world is WIDE OPEN for homeschoolers and that is very exciting! 

She's learning how to manage her own time and how to deal with quiet and space, something we believe is necessary to develop the habit of attention and productivity.

So the answer to "How do you homeschool high school?" is this:  

Pray a lot. Research a lot. Talk to people just a bit ahead of you on the path. Be prepared to make changes and adjustments. Listen to your child. Don't be too hard on yourself.  

Everything will be ok.


The TRUTH

So there you have it.

I bet it wasn't quite the salacious truth you'd hoped for, but it's a truth I've been wanting to share with you for quite some time.

Even on the HARD days (and there are many of them - but I guess life is like that, right?) I believe to my very CORE that homeschooling high school has been the best decision for our family.

 

What about you?  Do you plan to homeschool high school?  Are you homeschooling high school now?  I'd love to hear about it!

The Truth About Homeschooling High School