Southwest Black Bean Chicken

Southwest Black Bean Chicken

ISO: A Dinner That Cooks Itself. I’m feeling desperate.  We’re getting into another busy sports season in our family {four kids in basketball . . . YIKES!} and that means crock pot dinners at our house.  Either that or pizza every night, and I can’t handle the mom-guilt that comes by pizza night #3.  By the time we’re winding up our school day I’m simply too tired to figure out what we’re having for dinner anyway, so it’s better all around if I’ve got that particular hurdle squared away early in the day. Enter Southwest Black Bean Chicken. Yes indeed, it practically cooks itself.  And it’s ready whenever we are, just a-waitin’ in the crock pot for us in between homeschool and dashing off to sports. Southwest Black Bean Chicken Ingredients: 1 small bag frozen corn or 1 can of corn 1 can black beans 2 large frozen boneless skinless … Keep on reading

History Detective

History Detective

Try out this history detective approach for your next history lesson.  Let your kids sleuth out the truth about a historical event. I’m a big believer in keeping a historical framework and teaching the history of the world in the order it happened, but that doesn’t mean my kids have zero choices when it comes to learning.  Each unit we do has all kinds of events that happened during that time period.  I almost always sit down with my kiddos as we start a unit and we glance through it together.  They choose some explorations and books they are interested in and we begin to form a unit.  As my kids get older (I’ve got a middle schooler and a high schooler now), I want them to do more of their own research and independent learning instead of relying so much on our read alouds and discussions.  Don’t get me … Keep on reading

Layers of Learning Unit 4-3

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Come explore Layers of Learning Unit 4-3. History: Industrial Revolution Geography: U.S. Landscapes Science: Energy The Arts: Romantic Art I Description In this unit you’ll find sections on history, geography, science, and art.  First, put together a printable notebooking page that teaches about Capitalism and Cronyism.  Next, cut and paste as you learn about the mountains of the United States.  Make a miniature 3-D diorama of a swampland.   Then do an activity that will help you actually see a Joule of energy in action.  Finally, create a paper collage to learn about techniques used by the Hudson River School of art.  Layers of Learning Unit 4-3 has all of this and dozens more ideas.   It will keep your kids learning with hands-on fun.  This is a PDF. In each unit you’ll find a recommended library list, important background information about each topic, and lots of activities to choose from. … Keep on reading

Homeschooling an Extrovert

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Public school is tailored quite well for extroverts, but homeschool can provide a unique challenge for an extroverted kid.  Extroverts get energy from people, so being home and quietly tending to the tasks of schoolwork can feel draining for an extrovert.  While your introverted child will sit quietly with a book, doing research, and writing thoughts out, your extrovert will likely struggle with the monotony of these quiet tasks.  They’ll likely long for the social life of public school. My husband is an extreme extrovert.  Me?  An ambivert – smack dab in the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum.  I have two extroverted kids and two ambiverts like me.  My particular flavor of ambivert is that I like having a changing, stimulating environment, thrive in discussions, and enjoy group gatherings, but I also crave calm, peaceful, alone time and have an intense need for things to be organized and in their … Keep on reading

Homeschooling An Introvert

homeschooling the introverted child

I am the parent of six introverts.  I am strongly introverted so it’s no surprise that my kids are too.   Homeschooling an introvert is, in general, easier than homeschooling extroverts.  This is because two of the hallmarks of introverts are quietness and a desire to be at home.  Your extroverted children may clamor to go to school for the social life, but your introverted children will probably be much more content with the homeschool lifestyle.  Still there are a few pitfalls of this personality type that the homeschooling parent should watch for. What is an Introvert? An introvert needs quiet, alone time to recharge and feel comfortable and content.  Too much stimulus from their environment and they are going stir-crazy.  It’s like the opposite of cabin fever. Introverts are not necessarily shy.  Shyness is a fear of what other people think and say about you (or what you think they … Keep on reading

Playing Store For Math

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Learning about money is about more than just knowing what each coin and bill are worth, it’s about actually using money confidently to do everyday things.  Money is of course used primarily in financial transactions, especially when we go to the store.  So playing store for math makes sense. I’ve been doing math intervention, going back over basic principles of arithmetic with all four of my younger kids, because the older two were struggling with algebra.  You can read more about our math intervention. Money Basics First of all, kids need to know the basics.  You should learn or review these things before you begin this lesson. Names and values of coins and bills How to count money amounts How to count money amounts using different coins, like making 75 cents with 3 quarters or making 75 cents with 7 dimes and a nickle. How to make change.  The video … Keep on reading

Layers of Learning Unit 4-2

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Come explore Layers of Learning Unit 4-2. History: Expanding Nation Geography: Pacific States Science: Motors & Engines The Arts: Tall Tales Description Make a Trail of Tears mobile as you learn about the expulsion of the Southwest tribes from their homes.   Go surfing for facts with our Hawaii surf board printable.  Build your own pop can hero engine as you learn about steam power.  Make your own illustrated map of Paul Bunyan’s exploits in America. Unit 4-1 has all of this and dozens more ideas to keep your kids learning with hands-on fun.  This is a PDF. In each unit study you’ll find a recommended library list, important background information about each topic, lots of activities to choose from for kids of all ages, and sidebars with a bunch more ideas including Additional Layers, Fabulous Facts, On The Web, Writer’s Workshop, Famous Folks, and Teaching Tips.  Printable maps and worksheets are … Keep on reading

Layers of Learning Unit 4-1

  History: American Government Geography: U.S.A. Science: Heat & Temperature The Arts: Patriotic Music Description Create your own government based on natural laws.  Craft a “filmstrip” page to show the parts of the Constitution.  Build a photo collage as you learn about the regions of the United States.  Monitor the temperature of a pot of heating water as it turn from solid to liquid to gas and learn about latent heat.    Play a guessing game as you listen to martial anthems of America.  Unit 4-1 has all of this and dozens more ideas to keep your kids learning with hands-on fun.  This is a PDF. In each unit you’ll find a recommended library list, important background information about each topic, lots of activities to choose from for kids of all ages, and sidebars with a bunch more ideas including Additional Layers, Fabulous Facts, On The Web, Writer’s Workshop, Famous Folks, and Teaching Tips.  … Keep on reading

Circuit Training With Kids

Circuit training with kids can be fun for them and you. The stations are short and the pace varies, keeping the interest of kids for the duration. I started doing circuit training with my kids this spring because three of them had Boy Scout merit badges or achievements they were working on for physical fitness.  The first day they whined a bit, but by the end of that first workout they were hooked. Here’s what we do First of all we have five stations each day because there are five of us, the four kids and me.  Then we rotate through the stations. Each rotation takes about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. We vary the stations each day. But every day includes the running portion, that’s a given. The time for each rotation depends on the runner.  When the runner gets done with his course, we move to the next … Keep on reading

Antarctica

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Antarctica covers about 14 million square miles surrounding the south pole of the earth.  Because of its distance from the equator, it receives very little sunlight and it’s very cold there, too cold to support the growth of trees.   It’s much colder even than the North Pole.  The land is largely covered by ice.  It is mostly uninhabited, except for researchers and tourists.  Compared with other places on earth, it is very much an untouched continent.  Sir Peter Scott, founder of the WWF, said this about Antarctica: Antarctica is the only continent without any indigenous people.  It has no independent government and no economy.  It is governed only by an Antarctic treaty which many countries have signed and that governs how the land is used.  Thousands of scientists from all over the globe do research there, so even though we call it untouched as compared with other continents, the research facilities … Keep on reading