Friday, April 30, 2010

Late Talking Child Resources

Years ago I used Dr. James McDonald's(father of an autistic child) speech resources online(no longer free), and I learned quite a bit about how to go about helping my late talker with at-home speech therapy. I noticed recently that he published a book, Play To Talk: A Practical Guide to Help Your Late-Talking Child Join the Conversation It has gotten very good reviews.

Product Description
Play to Talk is a hot new parenting resource you won't want to miss! This award winning book has been recognized by iParenting Media Awards as a 2008 Best Product, and is a Gold Award winner in the 2008 National Parenting Publications (NAPPA) Parenting Resources competition. Based on 30 years of clinical research, Play To Talk empowers parents with proven strategies and step-by-step instructions to help children of any age learn to talk and develop essential skills for conversational relationships and social interactions. Guided by the belief that families have the greatest influence on a child's social and communicative development, Play To Talk will help you create closer and more fruitful relationships with the children in your life. This approach turns everyday play sessions and social interactions between your child and family members into opportunities to foster language development, relationship skills and positive behavior - without taking the fun out of being together.

Also helpful are these naturalistic speech therapies(free) from Dr. Camarata(father of a late talker) of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute. I used these at home with my son(eight years ago) and presently with my late talking preschool daughter.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spicy Ginger Chicken Stir Fry Recipe

This came out very nicely tonight with a deep spicy flavor. This is my own recipe, so measurements may be approximate.

Make a pot of rice flavored with some Adobo, or some other seasoned salt. I like to use chicken stock in lieu of water. One cup(dry) will do, but two will stretch the meal. 

In a pan stir fry the following together over medium heat:
  • One medium onion(sliced) and a spoon full minced garlic(jar). Caramelize these first in oil and little butter. 
  • About half a bag frozen pepper stir fry(chopped green, yellow, and red peppers with onions)
  • A cup of cooked shredded chicken
  • A good helping of frozen broccoli(chop into smaller pieces while cooking in pan)
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar
  • A good heavy helping of powdered ginger, to taste
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Sugar(or honey), about a tablespoon. I used a squirt of agave nectar.
  • A dash of Spice Islands' Spicy Pizza and Pasta Topper, Hot and Spicy(on sale at Save-A-Lot, great stuff!!)

When above ingredients are thoroughly cooked, stir in the cooked rice, top off with some good quality soy sauce(the real stuff), and serve.

Saint Catherine of Siena

 Bumped up from last year's feast(4/29/09)

"Then in her sacred saving hands
She took the sorrows of the lands,
With maiden palms she lifted up
The sick time's blood-embittered cup,
And in her virgin garment furled
The faint limbs of a wounded world.
Clothed with calm love and clear desire,
She went forth in her soul's attire, A missive fire."

~ A. C. Swinburne, Songs Before Sunrise

Today is the feast day of Saint Catherine of Siena, one of my favorite 14th century European saints. I really grew to love her after I read Louis De Wohl's book, Lay Siege to Heaven: A Novel of Saint Catherine of Siena. (Customer Reviews)The 14th century was such an interesting time period in Italian history. DeWohl ties in the historical background of Saint Catherine's time making for a very interesting semi-biographical historical fiction. Saint Catherine was very much a part of history in that she positively influenced Italian politics and the Church. Just reading about her strong and stubborn mother was interesting. What she had to endure from her mother in order to follow God during her younger years! Such devotion to God.

From Saint Catherine of Siena by Edmund G. Gardner(free at Google Books):

... a study in Italian history centered in the work and personality of one of the most wonderful women that have ever lived — the successor of Dante in the literature and religious thought of Italy, the connecting link between St. Francis of Assisi and Fra Girolamo Savonarola in the strange pageant of the progress of the mystical chariot of the Spouse, which the divine poet saw in part on the banks of Lethe in the Earthly Paradise. While devoting my attention mainly to Catherine's own work and her influence upon the Italian politics of her age, I have endeavoured at the same time to make my book a picture of certain aspects, religious and political, of the fourteenth century in Italy — the epoch that immediately followed the times of Dante, the stormy period in the history of the Church of which Petrarca and Boccaccio witnessed the beginnings. It may, indeed, be said that so much attention has been paid to Italian history of late years, and so many fresh sources of original information made accessible in every direction, that a new life of the woman who was the truest and most single-hearted patriot of her age seems not only permissible, but even — from the scientific point of view — necessary.

Some free children's readings referencing Saint Catherine from my Google Book library:

History Stories of Other Lands by Arthur Guy Terry

Guide for Catholic Young Women

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints

A Child's Book of Saints

Kindergarten Lessons for Church Sunday Schools: A Manual for the Instruction

Short Catechism of Church History for the Higher Grades of Catholic Schools

A Short History of the Catholic Church By Hermann Wedewer and Joseph McSorley of the Paulists.

Printing instructions: follow the link to the book, right click on the image of the page, print picture. Entire books are also downloadable in PDF, just click on the download button on the sidebar.

(Repost from last year)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Layered Collard Greens Casserole

This came out delicious. I had a bag of frozen chopped collard greens and added layers of various items in a casserole dish. Layered as follows:
  • 1/2 a bag of frozen collard greens(one pound Save-A-Lot brand)
  • One cup shredded chicken(from .59 cent a pound chicken quarters)
  • Jar of mushrooms(drained)
  • Caramelized onions and garlic(minced from jar)
  • Can of seasoned diced tomatoes(Italian or with green chilies: Senora Verde brand - Dollar General)
  • Cup of homemade chicken stock and 1/2 a cup of milk
  • Remaining half of collard greens
(Poked holes throughout to let soup seep through )
  • One 12 ounce bag of shredded cheese( Save-A-Lot brand pizza mix shredded cheese)

Cooked in oven for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees covered, then 20 minutes uncovered. It would have cooked faster if the collard greens were unfrozen. This tasted even better the second night as a leftover.

I cooked this again, and used seasoned black eyed peas(can) in place of the mushrooms, and 1/2 the cheese. Delicious! 

"Like kale, cauliflower and broccoli, collards are descendents of the wild cabbage, a plant thought to have been consumed as food since prehistoric times and to have originated in Asia Minor. From there it spread into Europe, being introduced by groups of Celtic wanderers around 600 B.C. Collards have been cultivated since the times of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations." Read more here at Tea at Trianon. Collards are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and folate.

Classic Children's Short Stories Online

from Fairy Tales, Folklore, Fables, Nursery Rhymes,
Myths, Legends, Bible and Classics• BARE BONES STORIES
for Storytellers, Teachers, Librarians,
Parents and Grandparents
100 Years of Story Skeletons from Around the World.
Adapted and shortened for easy telling or reading." Click here

HT to Tea at Trianon .

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

South America Geography Quiz

I found this twelve question online quiz, a nice supplement to Rod & Staff's Understanding Latin America, grade six. Click here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Make Your Own Tangrams

Primer of Industry
Author Austin Craig
Publisher World Book Company, 1912
Length 80 pages
Overview(see chapter on Tangrams, scroll down at link to table of contents.
Free to read online and download, and in public domain .

Refashioning a Thrift Store Dress

MJ got this dress off the "Free" rack at a thrift and with a
little ingenuity, she made a custom dress with personality.
See here.

15 Healthy Foods to Have in Your Kitchen

"...Are you stocking your fridge and pantry with the right healthy foods—as in, the ones that give you optimum nutrition for your buck (and shelf space)? Here are the foods to put on your grocery list—and keep there—for a healthy diet." See here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

With a Whole Heart

"O God our God, grant us grace to desire you with a whole heart,
so that desiring you we may seek and find you; and so finding you, may love you; and loving you may hate those sins which separate us from you, for the sake of Jesus Christ." St Anselm of Canterbury(11th century, during William the Conqueror and Henry I)

The Life and Times of St. Anselm: Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of the Britains
By Martin Rule
Kegan Paul, Trench, 1883
Free to download or read online, and in public domain here.

HT to Micki at A Blessing to Read

Friday, April 23, 2010

Feast Day of St. George

St. George is England's patron saint, as well Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Germany and Greece; and of Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa and Venice . He's also patron saint of soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy, plague and syphilis. In recent years he has been adopted as patron saint of Scouts.

"He was a soldier in the army of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, and he was one of the Emperor's favorite soldiers. Now Diocletian was a pagan and a bitter enemy to the Christians. He put to death every Christian he could find. George was a brave Christian, a real soldier of Christ. Without fear, he went to the Emperor and sternly scolded him for being so cruel. Then he gave up his position in the Roman army. For this he was tortured in many terrible ways and finally beheaded.

We all have some "dragon" we have to conquer. It might be pride, or anger, or laziness, or greediness, or something else. Let us make sure we fight against these "dragons", with God's help. Then we can call ourselves real soldiers of Christ." ~ Catholic Online.

A few interesting free ebooks referencing Saint George in public domain over at Google books and the Baldwin Project:

St. George for England By George Alfred Henty, Gordon Browne, main page here, high school reading level.

Saint George By Elizabeth Oke Gordon, main page here, high school and above.

Heroic Legends By Agnes Grozier Herbertson(Saint George and the Dragon), main page, middle school-high school.

The Book of Saints and Heroes By Andrew Lang. late elementary(The Patron Saint of England) - middle school

The Seven Champions of Christendom By William Henry Giles Kingston, see Table of Contents for several references, middle school and up.

Children's Stories in English Literature from Taliesin to Shakespeare(EDMUND SPENSER AND THE FAERY QUEENE

"...the cross of St. George has in a manner become identified with the idea of knighthood, and even in Elizabeth's days, Spenser, at the beginning of his Faerie Queene, tells us of his hero, the Red Cross Knight:
But on his breast a bloody Cross he bore,
The dear remembrance of his dying Lord,
For whose sweet sake that glorious badge we wore
And dead (as living) ever he adored." ~ Catholic Encyclopedia

The Book of Legends Told Over Again(Saint George and the Dragon), elementary school, about fourth or fifth grade level.

Saint George and the Dragon, elementary school.

Saint George and the Dragon, third grade reader

For the Children's Hour By Carolyn Sherwin Bailey(Stories of Heroism, Saint George and the Dragon), elementary school

In God's Garden by Amy Steadman, Saint George and the Dragon, elementary school(zip file at Librivox)

English Fairy Tales By Flora Annie Webster Steel(St. George of Merrie England), elementary school.

Navigation Tip: If you ever want to get to the main page, click on, "About this book" at the links.

Also search Librivox for these books in free audio form.

Bumped up from last year.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kitchen Garden

I am working on this little garden a bit at a time. A few of the baby plants that I grew from seed withered and died while I was sick. Most of them recovered after a good watering. I planted the Roma tomatoes today. Tomorrow, I'll plant the squash.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Homeschool Lesson Plans: 19th Century Lesson Plans for One Room School Houses

I listed this book over at my ebook homeschool library, and thought I'd share it here as well. *Many of the references mentioned within can be found online, and are free to download or read online. I primarily use Google Books to find vintage texts due to the ease of searchability. We use vintage books for elective reading. So many books, so little time! This resource is chock full of ideas for study.

A Course of Study for the Eight Grades of the Common School /Google Books
The work of the studies in sixth grade consists of a body of closely related materials from literature, history, natural science, geography, and language. Each teacher in this grade should examine the whole course for the year, and, as far as time permits, make a closer acquaintance with the material of the different studies. There is a certain unity which binds them all together and makes them dependent upon one another. On the principle of concentration the topics in the different studies are selected along parallel lines. The history stories of the fifth grade and the colonial history of the sixth grade are closely associated with the literature of the colonial period used as reading matter in the sixth grade. The geography of Europe is intimately linked with the stories of the pioneer explorers in the fifth grade, with the colonial history, and with the literature of Scotland, England, and other countries of Europe used as reading matter in sixth grade, and even earlier. The science lessons at many points touch the geography and history of the same grade closely. The language and composition work should be brought into touch with the most interesting topics in literature, geography, and natural science, so as to make it more real and less formal. Keep in mind always the fitness of the material for the children.

*I've begun working off the lesson plans for each grade, listing available books online in my homeschool library. Just use the search engine on that blog to find particular books.

Eco-Friendly Household Bug Killer

Spring means the ants come marching into our kitchen via the window and through our front door. By chance I sprayed them with some Green Works multi-surface cleaner, and they stopped crawling instantly. Now I spray the counters and door threshold before I go to bed, and they have not come back. Last night a large garden roach made its way into the kitchen. Those things are so big! It took a few sprays, but it took down the huge roach as well. It feels safer using this around children and pets. I need to clean the floors and counters anyway, so I get a head start spraying this on surfaces in the evening.

I buy my Greens Works at Family Dollar. I got a huge stock pile of the stuff when they had a clearance sale, 50% off. A large dilutable bottle usually runs about $3.00.

Printable 50 cent off coupon here.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Catnip and Lemon Mint Tea

Our lemon mint is coming up everywhere this year, and our small patch of catnip mint came back. Both lemon mint and catnip make wonderful natural cups of hot tea. The catnip is best drunk in the evening as it can make you quiet sleepy and relaxed.

I use freshly picked leaves, at least seven large ones, and simply pour hot water over them in a cup. Steep for about a minute and a half. Remove leaves and serve.

I've made tea combining both mints, just double the recipe for the leaves(seven each). They are compatible, and the flavors complement one and other.

For a garnish, add some lawn violets (from a chemical free lawn) to your cup.

Edible Plants