Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer...aka Canning Season

It's the most wonderful time of the of them anyway.

All that work we've been doing in the garden is beginning to pay off.  Earlier this summer we had spinach and lettuce with our onions too.

The ever present zucchini have made their way into many of our meals and I've been trying lots of new recipes....we've had:
fried zucchini
zucchini bread
zucchini pizza crust (not very good)
zucchini bites (working on the seasoning)
zucchini applesauce oatmeal cookies

I've also made lots zucchini jam.  Google it.  It's very good, easy to make and cheap.

I've been shredding zucchini and sticking it in the freezer.  I use it in the recipes above and also to stretch potatoes in any recipe that calls for hash browns (I use equal parts zucchini and potatoes).

We also have cucumbers.  So far I've just been putting cucumbers and onions in a quart jar with a little sugar, a little salt, half water, half vinegar.  Let them sit in the fridge overnight and then enjoy!  Delicious.

I'll be making dill pickles later this week.  Bear loves dill pickles :)

And a batch of sweet pickle relish.

We've been eating cherry tomatoes (Bear and Abby love those things too).  Finally some of our big ones are starting to turn.  What do I plan on making?
spaghetti sauce
tomatoes and peppers (rotel)
tomato sauce/juice
diced tomatoes

Green beans are blooming so I expect to be picking next week.
We've already been blessed with sweet corn from a family member so I've got a little in the freezer.  Ours should be ready in a couple of weeks.

We are also growing peppers: sweet, cayenne and jalapeno; eggplant, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, okra (I've been freezing some), pumpkins, watermelons and cantelope, broccoli, cabbage, green beans and sweet corn.

It is very satisfying to see the jars lined up on the counter, hear the ping of the seals, walk into a full pantry.  It is a lot of work, but the results are so worth it.  The less I can depend on big business to feed my family, the happier I am.  The more work I do myself, the less our food costs.  Gardening is the ultimate cost saving tool.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Shinn Homeschool 2014-2015

Let the 2014-2015 homeschool year begin!

I'm sure you all remember my "thought process" a few weeks ago in deciding on a curriculum.  I scrapped that plan.  I just didn't have the money.  But that's ok!!!!!  Thankfully I have a lot of books here so for about $60 we will have everything we need to get a great 1st grade and Prek4 education.

Bear will be using:
Singapore math 1A and 1B (ordering)
A Reason for Handwriting 1 (ordering)
All About Spelling Level 1 (have)
Explode the Code books 1-3 (ordering)
Alphaphonics (have)

Abby will be using:
Amish workbooks (have)
Coloring, letter, number pages from the internet (just the cost of printer ink)

Together we will be studying:
Creation/Old Testament, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome (have)
the days of the creation week in relation to natural science topics (have)

Our read alouds for the year include: (have)
Mr. Popper Penguins (started)
Little House on the Prairie series
Winnie the Pooh
Charlotte's Web
Magic Tree House series

I plan to include mapwork that goes along with history and science topics and we will learn the oceans and continents this year.

We are currently working on life skills such as traffic signs, address and phone number memory, and usage of a telephone.  We are studying the Bible together and our character trait of the month is contentment.  This will also include Awana lessons and memory work when the time comes.

I also expect to spend at least one day a week doing nature study.

Abby will be continuing exercises in letter recognition, counting (she does to 15 really well) and some at-home speech therapy.  I will evaluate where she is in January and MIGHT order the Before the Code books for her.  MAYBE.  She is 4.  I will not push her.  We will also work through some of the activities in a Before Five in a Row book I found upstairs (getting books from the library if necessary).  She has made great strides in motor skills over the last few months so I am pleased with that.  If we can get a handle on her speech issues then she will be doing well.  She IS doing well, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

So that is where we are.

I've alotted about an hour in the morning for "seatwork", a short period for Bear to read aloud to me and then 30 minutes in the afternoon and again before bed for me to read to them.  Our first day was a success.  I look forward to many more happy days.