Sunday, November 25, 2007

How many homeschoolers does it take to change a lightbulb?

First mom checks three books on electricity out of the library. Then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison, and do a skit based on his life. Edison held over 1,000 patents, not all obtained fairly. He was a greedy man and not every idea he patented was his own. Goodhome schooling teaches (with specific examples!) that even brilliant men have human foibles.

Next everyone studies the history of lighting methods including dipping their own candles.

Then everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices, and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill. On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill.

Finally, after building a home-made ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed.

And there is light.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

If you give a mom a muffin...

I love this and thought I would share. I am not sure who wrote it.

(Based on "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff)

If you give a Mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
The coffee will get spilled by her three year old.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she will find some dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do some laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over some snow boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan dinner for tonight.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She will look for her cookbook (101 Things to Make With a Pound of Hamburger).
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two year old.
She'll smell something funny.She'll change the two year old.
While she is changing the two year old the phone will ring.
Her four year old will answer it and hang up.
She remembers that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee on Friday.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some.
And chances are......
If she has a cup of coffee......
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Carrot Pennies, Pretend Soup, Salad People and Honest Pretzels

A few months ago, I bought my middle, youngest son (that's kid number 4 for those of you playing along at home) this cookbook called Pretend Soup. I call him my little foodie because he loves food. He likes to grocery shop, he likes to watch me good, and loves a good snack. He'll pick a snack over a toy any day. He also has this incrediable sense of smell.

Three nights ago, we tried our first recipe from his cookbook. We made Carrot Pennies (glazed carrots).

Here's the process:

1. Gather all of your ingredients, cookbook, camera and pull a chair up to the counter.

2. Then after mom has cut all of the carrots into penny shapes, beg to cut just one of the carrots. Compromise when mom allows you to pose with last carrot in cutting position.

3. Carefully toss all of the carrot pieces into the saucepan.

4. Add small piece of butter to carrots in the saucepan.

5. Squeeze a bit of lemon on to the carrots.

6. Add some yummy sugar.

7. Look around with mom for the measuring cups. Then give up, figuring one of the younger siblings must have ran off with them. Use a baby bottle instead.

9. Turn on heat. Stir occassionally. Get bored watching them cook and run off the play until they are done.

10. Get called back to kitchen when carrots are done. Help scrap carrots into serving dish.
11. Pose with finished dish with a goofy grin.

12. Try your best to get out of actually eating them at dinner time.

What I like about this cookbook is that it has the recipe for the adult, and then a easy to follow along with picture recipe for the child. All of the recipes are for things that our kids will actually eat like Blueberry Pancakes and Surprise Muffins (jam filled). There's also some really cute ones like Counting Salad and Pizza Faces.

The author, Mollie Katzen, has a few other cookbooks. I'm thinking Salad People, which is just like Pretend Soup, would make a great Christmas present this year. There's also Honest Pretzels, which is geared toward kids 8+.

This cookbook has been a great introduction to the kitchen for my little foodie. Through our cooking sessions he's learning so much. I've been able to work in the basics like counting, sequence, addition and colors. I think he's also catching on to the idea of responsiblity, organization, cleaning up after himself, and healthy food choices. Not to mention all of the great one on one time we're spending. I also like to think that I'm doing his future wife a favor. ;)