Welcome! My name is Mary. I help parents educate their children at home one day at a time. This site offers LEGO printablesfree music lessonsunit studies,  and much more. Use the tabs above to discover what Homegrown Learners has to offer. You will be equipped and encouraged to travel a most amazing path in your home!

 

 


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Wednesday
Jan122011

What Makes a Good Education? My Guest Post @ Imagination Soup


I've been reading with great interest the posts at Imagination Soup since the beginning of this year. Melissa, the author of the site, is exploring education this month.... What makes a good education? She peaked my interest when she wrote about not wanting to send her daughter back to school after the Christmas holidays.

I am such a passionate believer in education at home. I just had to submit something to her to try to explain why our family chose this path. Much to my surprise, I heard back from her immediately and she wanted to use my article. So - here it is! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

One Mom Shares Her Decision About School

This post is linked to The Homeschool Village.... on Thursdays moms share accomplishments from their week. This week I feel like I accomplished something - achieving my goal of submitting a piece of writing and someone actually liking it! Visit the Homeschool Village by clicking the button below to see others' accomplishments.


Tuesday
Jan112011

Wednesday - What's for Dinner? Snow Days Cooking

Being at home on these snowy days is so good for your soul. Cooking has been enjoyable, and sitting around the table eating dinner has been relaxed and peaceful. I wish it could last forever. Last night's menu was Baked Chicken Drumsticks, Zucchini Pie, and fresh fruit. I'm not bragging, but it was GOOD! We try to eat in our dining room a couple of times a week (the rest of the time we're at the kitchen table) and set the table like civilized people. Is it just me, or is setting the table and sitting down together as a family getting to be a lost art?

I'm not reinventing the wheel ~ both recipes I used were found online. The first, Baked Chicken Drumsticks came from E-How (really, it did!). I Googled "chicken drumsticks easy baked breadcrumbs" and picked the recipe with the ingredients I had in the pantry. Everyone loved them, and you can't beat paying $3 for 2 lbs. of chicken. Click here for the recipe.

The Zucchini Pie recipe comes from Maggie at A Bokros Kind of Life.... I love Maggie's blog. You should visit when you get a chance. This was a hit because it got one of my children eating some green vegetable that wasn't a green bean! It was really very simple:

1 TBSP butter or olive oil

2 large zucchini or yellow squash, thinly sliced (4-5 cups)

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 prepared 9 inch pie crust

1 TBSP Dijon Mustard

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 Cups (8 oz) shredded mozzerella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the zucchini and onion until onion is translucent (about 10 min)

Press the pie crust into a pie dish and spread the mustard evenly over the crust.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cheese, spices and zucchini mixture. Pour everything into the pie crust and spread evenly.

Bake for 30 min or until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool a few min and then cut into wedges to serve.

Here's everything just out of the oven:


Do you have a certain night that you KNOW everyone will be sitting at the table and you make a big family meal? In our house it happens to be Wednesday (or Tuesday in this case since we're all snowed in! ..... leave me a comment and let me know about dinner at your house!

Monday
Jan102011

Perfect Timing - Katy and The Big Snow

 
It's been a while since we "rowed" a book, but this week was the perfect week for Katy and The Big Snow!

Truthfully, I looked through the activities in the Five in a Row guide and took them into consideration, but as our big snow day unfolded here in the southeast, our lessons just directed themselves. I LOVE it when that happens!!

We read the book last Thursday and Friday, then (in preparation for our winter storm) revisited the book this morning. Daddy got to listen with us (he's not usually home during our school day) and we had a good conversation about the weather. After we read, we looked up "what is snow?" on the iPad. We learn some of the most interesting things this way! We learned about precipitation, fronts, and different types of snowflakes (there are 6 - did you know that?). In this way I could teach up to my nine year old -- and most often my six year old follows!


While we were still in our pajamas, we stuck our heads out the back deck and measured the snow.... just a pitiful 2 inches, while others just an hour away got 6-8! No fair!


I love the way the book lays out the town of Geoppolis, with the compass rose on several of the pages. Katy has to go to each area of Geoppolis to plow the snow. The visuals on each page are great. My kids are pretty good with directions, but this book reinforced their knowledge, and it wasn't until later in the evening that I realized what a great lesson it had been. We were watching a History Channel documentary, and my six year old was building Geoppolis with his Legos..... and pointing out to me North, South, East, and West.

I LOVE Five in a Row!

(One of the recommended activities in the FIAR guide is to construct the town of Geoppolis.... but I loved how my son did this during his own free play time.)

Of course the children did some "hands-on" activities in the snow - like throwing snowballs, trying to play baseball with snowballs, and making snow angels.


When I visited Homeschool Share, I found this cute recipe for Frosty Snowball Cookies. There are also TONS of other great ideas on the site for a lapbook, etc... We had lots of fun today making the cookies.

(And, I peppered in some math questions like "How many tablespoons of butter does it take to make 1 cup if 8 tablespoons equals 1/2 cup? and "We have 15 cookies on one pan and 12 on the other.... how many cookies total? or "Three rows of five cookies equals how many cookies?").

I had no idea how happy such a simple activity like this would make my children!

Running the mixer was a joint venture:

Shaping the "snowballs" became a fine art:


And working with children and lots of powdered sugar is a patience building exercise for mom!

 
When people ask if we have "school" on a day like this (all of the schoolchildren are out of school for two days due to the weather), I have to say yes AND no.... we learned a lot, but it just didn't feel like SCHOOL!

 

Have you rowed this book? 

If so, did you have fun, and what were your favorite activities? Leave me a comment.... I'd love to know!