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Posts from April 2011

How to Stock a Family Library

You can save a lot of time and money by stocking your family library with books that can be used throughout your homeschooling years. Here's what I look for when I go book shopping:

I look for biographies that make learning about famous people fun for kids. I especially like Childhood of Famous Americans, Opal Wheeler biographies, and Rookie Biographies . I know these are wholesome books.

I look for classic literature published with interesting illustrations. Because much of the classical literature is written in vocabulary that is often no longer used or difficult to understand, good illustrations help hold a child's attention. (I also keep a dictionary handy! Try reading Robinson Crusoe in it's original version and you'll see what I mean.)

I look for science and history books

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Six Steps to Creating Your Own Unit Study

Six Steps to Creating Your Own Unit Study

Most children learn better from using a variety of senses -hearing, seeing, and touching - than they do from reading textbooks and filling in worksheets. This is not to say that textbooks and worksheet should not be used. Rather, a good textbook and appropriate worksheets are essential for learning math, phonics and handwriting skills. But the use of hands-on activities, visual and audio materials, and good books make teaching and learning much more effective. Literature-based unit studies are an excellent way to incorporate enjoyable reading and activities that use all of the senses. You can buy Unit Studies already prepared or you can create your own to suit the needs of your family. Here's a simple way to create your own unit study on any

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Edible Rocks Recipe: Sedimentary Rocks

Edible Rocks Recipe: Sedimentary Rocks

This is a fun hands-on project and snack for a unit on rocks! I'll add an actual photo next time I make it.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cups crushed flake cereal
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup chocolate or butterscotch chips
  • 1-1/4 cups coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)

Directions:

1. Melt the margarine.
2. Mix with the cereal and the sugar to make cereal layer.
3. Press into an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan.
4. Sprinkle the chips over cereal layer.
5. Sprinkle the coconut over chips.
6. Sprinkle the nuts over coconut.
7. Pour condensed milk over the layers.
8. Bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees. 

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Edible Rocks Recipe: Metamorphic Rocks

Edible Rocks Recipe: Metamorphic Rocks

This is a fun hands-on project and snack for a unit on rocks! I'll add an actual photo next time I make it. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shortening or margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup well-drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Cream the shortening and the sugar.

Add the beaten egg and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients and mix.

Stir in the fruit and the nuts.

Drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 7 minutes at 375 degrees.

Note: Chocolate chips, coconut, wheat germ, etc. can also be added for more layers!

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Edible Rocks Recipe: Igneous Rocks

Edible Rocks Recipe: Igneous Rocks

This is a fun hands-on project and snack for a unit on rocks! I'll add an actual photo next time I make it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can evaporated milk (6 oz.)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1-1/4 cups tiny marshmallows
  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Grease an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch pan.

Combine evaporated milk with sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring for 5 - 9 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients and stir gently.

Pour into prepared pan. Let cool. (Refrigerate) 

1 pan (8 x 8) makes 30, 1-inch squares. 

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Edible Spiders

Edible Spiders

Ingredients:

  • Sandwich Bread (Pumpernickle bread makes a nice "black" spider, but you can use any variety.)
  • Cream Cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pretzel Sticks (thin)
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Circle Cookie Cutter

Directions:

Cut sandwich bread into circles. Spread cream cheese or peanut butter between two circles. Insert eight, short pretzel sticks into filling. Top with chocolate chips for eyes.  

Perfect hands-on project and snack for a unit on insects or spiders!

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Gummy Worms

Gummy Worm Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 small pkg. unflavored gelatin
  • 2 small pkgs jello (with or without sugar)
  • 1 pkg Kool-aid (sweet or not)
  • 1 cup boiling water

Directions:

Mix all in bowl. Pour into pans about 1/2" deep. Refrigerate until set. Cut into strips to make "gummy worms." If you use a scalloped edge rotary cutter, you can get "ridges" in your worms.

Make several batches in different colors for a variety of colors and flavors.

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Ants on a Log

Here's a yummy science project for an insect unit:

Ants on a Log

Ingredients:

  • Celery
  • Cream Cheese or Peanut Butter
  • Raisins

Directions:

Cut celery into "logs." Spread cream cheese or peanut butter down each log. Place raisins along the "log" to create ants on a log!

Lots of fun and yummy!

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