Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pumpkin Flan Recipe

This pumpkin flan recipe would be great any time of year, but really shines around the holidays. This pumpkin flan uses low-fat milk for a much lighter version than the traditional cream-based recipes.

Makes 8 Individual Pumpkin Flans
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 80 minutes


Recipe here. Still fattening even with the low-fat milk, but so good! Flan is my daughter's favorite dessert.

Weekly Advent Scripture Readings

Every season of the Church(Catholic) year has a certain theme or themes. During Advent, the Church turns to the Old Testament book of the Prophet Isaiah. There are many themes in Isaiah's prophecy, but some of the most important are:
  • The need for repentance
  • Spiritual conversion
  • The extension of salvation from Israel to all nations
Weekly readings and  more here.

Passing on Organized Team Sports

We had found a balance between socializing and academics, but then came a new question, one uttered with a combination of surprise and horror:  “They don’t play organized sports?” .

As a mother to a son who dislikes organized sports, this post by a homeschool mother of two boys was validating. We too have felt the pressure to have our son join team sports for proper "socialization". We tried swimming, soccer, and T-ball, but he wasn't enjoying any of them. I didn't see the point if he was miserable, so now we play hard in the backyard, take walks/hikes, canoe in good weather, bowl, and rock climb at the city athletic center. His dad is home three to four times a week during the day, so there is a lot of wrestling and boisterous fun. He's happy and has an outlet for all his boy energy.

This interesting Christian article at HomeschoolingBoys.com discusses alternatives to organized team sports. This article has given me some ideas to share with my husband for pairing our son up with age appropriate labor intensive volunteer or learning opportunities.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Vintage Autumn Nature Art Tutorials

See here at Design Squish. There are a good number of clever ideas! This snake is made of an acorn and acorn tops. It looks as though the eyes are made of seeds.

Stocking Up with Holiday Sales

Tonight we had a simple dinner of baked potatoes(frozen in early November) with cheese, sweet potatoes, and homemade cranberry relish. Delicious! And all where from the freezer, gleaned from extreme holiday sales.

I've been having a great time stocking up the pantry with super inexpensive post-Thanksgiving grocery sales. Nothing makes my day like finding a tower of canned sweet peas and green beans for .29 cents each! I'll be returning to the Bottom Dollar grocery store to purchase more tomorrow. Sweet potatoes have been .39 cents pound, and yellow onions, a dollar a bag. I've been cooking and baking loads of onions and sweet potatoes every night for the freezer.

I also stocked up on canned pumpkin. It has been scarce at the grocery stores this past year. I found one good coffee deal at Save-A-Lot - .13 cents an ounce, where the usual price hovers around 15 cents an ounce for store brand coffee. Reportedly, coffee prices(among other foods) are on the rise. It may be a good time to stock up on sales while prices are still low.

Saint Nicholas Day is fast approaching, and the Dollar Tree didn't disappoint. I got some Christmas chocolates and glitter glue pens for my daughter's Saint Nicholas shoe which is put out the night before December 6th for Saint Nicholas to fill with treats. My son is at the age where he settles for an IOU or cash for his favorite books and games - easy. Also found at the Dollar Tree: six ounce jars of marinated chopped gourmet mushrooms, 28 ounce cans of chopped tomatoes, six ounce boxes of organic California raisins, 32 ounce box containers of all natural chicken broth, 6.5 ounces of cinnamon, and 2.5 ounce bottles of pure extracts of vanilla, lemon, and orange.

The sales and discounts have been much less prolific this year. Turkey and ham discount deals have been sparse or non-existent. Stores are being more conservative with their stock, but I can still find a few excellent deals.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Share and/or Make Your Own Flashcards

Quizlet is the largest flash cards and study games website with over 3 million free sets of flashcards covering every possible subject. It's the best place to play educational games, memorize vocabulary and study online.

Advent

It's hard to believe Advent is already here! Just as soon as Thanksgiving was over, I shifted my focus to Christmas. All the autumn decorations came down, and I dug out some Christmas items from the attic. December always seems to sneak up on me. At our home, we try to keep things simple, peaceful, and low key during Advent, and focus on the coming of our King. It's a time of joy, but also of peaceful reflection. By directing our attention to the reason for the season, all the craziness of the secular Christmas season just melts away. What we are left with is the King of Peace, the beginnings of our salvation, the joining of the old and the new(testaments), a witness to prophecies fulfilled, and the nascent promise of everlasting life.

Take Time to be Aware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac, p. 196
"Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.
"An old abbot was fond of saying, ‘The devil is always the most active on the highest feast days.’
"The supreme trick of Old Scratch is to have us so busy decorating, preparing food, practicing music and cleaning in preparation for the feast of Christmas that we actually miss the coming of Christ. Hurt feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos—the list of clouds that busyness creates to blind us to the birth can be long, but it is familiar to us all."
Memory Awakens Hope. . . . . . . . . Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which Is Above,1986


"Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…
It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."

Read more here.

Children's Winter Craft: Make Glitter Paper Houses

Cute! See here for directions and templates.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Blessings











For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Heavenly Father, on Thanksgiving Day
We bow our hearts to You and pray.
We give You thanks for all You've done
Especially for the gift of Jesus, Your Son. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Classic Thanksgiving Poetry and Stories

Copy and paste at links:

Paul Laurence Dunbar writes: "The sun hath shed its kindly light, / Our harvesting is gladly o'er, / Our fields have felt no killing blight, / Our bins are filled with goodly store."

Rebecca Harding Davis writes: "On Thanksgiving morning a light flutter of snow fell on the woods and carpet of red leaves below. Jane stood at her window, looking into the bright, silent Heaven beyond."

Lydia Maria Child, Over the River and Through the Woods

and Louisa May Alcott's rendition on Thanksgiving.

Courtesy of
 About.com Classic Literature

Monday, November 22, 2010

Low Calorie Pumpkin Cookies and Muffins

I found this recipe for pumpkin cookies at DeeDee's Weight Watchers Recipes. Check out her other low point muffin and pumpkin recipes.

These pumpkin muffins are only 1.5 points if you leave out the oil, chips, and replace the sugar with artificial sweetener. I'll be making these today, and bringing some to my sister-in-laws home for Thanksgiving. I'm glad I can indulge and not break my diet! Pumpkin desserts are my favorite. Update: These were very good! I'm be making more. Cinnamon apple sauce would taste even better.

Pumpkin bread can be made lower calorie simply by substituting plain apple sauce(no sweetener added) for oil and using artificial sweetener. The bread is a bit soft and chewy, but still delicious.

Other oil substitutes: sour cream or plain yogurt.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Family Movie Night: Amazing Grace

I finally ordered Amazing Gracefrom Netflix. Someone had recommended this movie in the comments last year, and it lived up to its good review. Not overdone or overly dramatic, this movie lets the subject matter speak for itself in an artfully woven true story of the famous 18th century British abolitionist, William Wilberforce who spent twenty years in the British Parliament fighting to end the British slave trade. What's touching is his strong relationships with family and friends throughout his struggle, clearly a man who was well respected, despite his unpopular position as an abolitionist.

Review from Amazon:
In this inspirational costume drama, Michael Apted (49 Up) recounts a period in British history sure to be unfamiliar to most Americans. In fact, his eye-opening biography of 18th century abolitionist William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd)[Horatio Hornblower] is likely to come as a revelation to many Britons, as well...The title comes from John Newton's hymn "Amazing Grace" ("I once was lost but now am found"). Newton (Albert Finney) was a former slaveholder, who became a clergyman and spent his days repenting. While America had John Brown, England had Wilberforce, and Newton is one of many who helped the [ministers of parliament] MP to abolish slavery in the UK. The story begins towards the end of Wilberforce's mission when he's sick with colitis and addicted to laudanum. Apted continues to alternate between 1797 and 1789, when Wilberforce was fitter and more idealistic, and ends in 1807 as his efforts come to fruition. Apted and writer Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things) do right by their hero. Unlike Amistad, however, slaves are largely off-screen, with the exception of author Equiano (Senegalese vocalist Youssou N'Dour). Amazing Grace reserves its focus for the politicians who risked their reps for the greater good, like Wilberforce and Prime Minister Pitt (an excellent Benedict Cumberbatch), and those more concerned with the income slavery provided their constituents, like Lord Tarleton (CiarĂ¡n Hinds) and the Duke of Clarence (Toby Jones). --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Art History Study: Rosa Bonheur, 19th Century French Realist

Biography and Story Study(fifth and sixth grade), Good English, 1917

Famous Pictures(Animals), Saint Nicholas Magazine,1912

BONHEUR, Marie Rosalie (rosa), celebrated animal painter, died at By, near Fontainebleau, France, May 25, 1899. Mlle. Bonheur achieved a fame unsurpassed by any woman artist, and in her own department of animal painting is placed in the front rank of painters. She was the daughter of Raymond Bonheur, a drawing teacher living at Bordeaux, and was born March 22, 1822. At an early age she gave evidence of artistic ability. This was trained and developed by her father, so that when still very young she acquired a fine technique. Mme. Bonheur died in 1833, and the father and children moved to Paris, where Rosa improved her opportunity of studying the pictures in the Louvre. The family was poor and for a time the. girl was apprenticed in a dressmaker's shop, but she soon returned to her copying in the Louvre. Here she worked regularly, and not infrequently sold her pictures to advantage. More here.

The Art-literature Readers, Book 3(grade 3), 1903, Rosa Bonheur Biography

Great Artists, 1899, Biography(middle school and up)

Interview with  Rosa Bonheur, 1859:

"Have you given the Women's Rights question any attention?" we asked.
"Women's rights!—women's nonsense!" she answered. " Women should seek to establish their rights by good and great works, and not by conventions. If I had got up a convention to debate the question of my ability to paint "Marche au Chevaux" (The Horse Fair), for which England would pay me forty thousand francs, the decision would have been against me. I felt the power within me to paint, I cultivated it and have produced works that have won the favorable verdicts of the great judges. I have no patience with women who ask permission to think!"   

Stories of Famous Pictures(third - fourth grades), 1904

Lives of Girls Who Became Famous(fourth - fifth grades)

Historic Girlhoods, 1910.

Image gallery

Friday, November 19, 2010

Free Thanksgiving Children's Activity Print-outs and Stories

Vintage Children's Thanksgiving Poetry for Those in Colder Climates

Free Printable Vintage Children's Thanksgiving Poems and Stories

Free Notebooking Thanksgiving Pages

Free Thanksgiving ebook: Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Vintage American Indian Thanksgiving Hiawatha Cut Outs

Another Children's Vintage Cut and Paste Thanksgiving Project and Coloring Page 


The above posts are from years past.

November Multi-grade Short Stories, Poems, and Clip Art

Thanksgiving, A North American Holiday



Bumped up from 2007

For my friends from other continents, a little about Thanksgiving.

How we celebrate:

It is customary to have turkey and dishes featuring North American autumn fruits and vegetables. It's a time when extended family gets together to share each others company and give thanks for God's abundance and mercy. There is a contemporary tradition to watch football, and fall asleep in an easy chair after making a glutton of yourself. We don't watch football here, ack, did I say that out loud! Sacrilege! My husband loved sports as a young person, and excelled at it, but curiously he doesn't enjoy watching it on television.

We usually have my out-of-town parents over, but this year they have other plans. Dh has to work Thanksgiving day, so we'll be going to the fire station for a tasty homemade meal over there. No cooking for me except a dessert dish.

Excerpted from Wikipedia:

"Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks for the things one has at the end of the harvest season. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The period from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day is often collectively referred to as the "holiday season" in the United States."

The first Thanksgivings were celebrated by early settlers in the New World.

"The Pilgrims were particularly thankful to Squanto, the Native American who taught them how to catch eel and grow corn and who served as an interpreter for them (Squanto had learned English as a slave in Europe and travels in England). Without Squanto's help the Pilgrims might not have survived in the New World. The explorers who later came to be called the "Pilgrims" set apart a day to celebrate at Plymouth immediately after their first harvest, in 1621. At the time, this was not regarded as a Thanksgiving observance; harvest festivals were existing parts of English and Wampanoag tradition alike."

The story of the Pilgrims is a popular Thanksgiving tradition, and the children often put on plays, and make little crafty things related to autumn harvest and the Pilgrims.

Also check out this post at Laudem Gloriae, a small bit of history regarding the Pilgrims, Democracy, Thanksgiving, etc. HT to Tea at Trianon.

Free Thanksgiving and Pilgrim Paintings and Artwork

Click here, lots and lots of images in public domain.

Free Printable Vintage Thanksgiving Postcard Place Cards


Click here for more, so nice!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cut and Color Table Top Turkey

We are making this tomorrow for grandmom's/aunties Thanksgiving table. See here for template and directions. Instead of card stock, we are using recycled dry food boxes.

Image is from site.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Simple Ways to Slash Your Grocery Bill

and other basic frugal living tips at About.com Frugal Living. If you are just beginning a frugal lifestyle, this is a good basic list of strategies.

Check Your Receipt for Mistakes
Mis-rings are common and costly. Bring all receipt errors to the store's attention, and you may just get your mis-rung items for free!


This is one I continue to tackle. I find double rings on items a few times a month, although I've never gotten anything for free this way.

High School Level Courses: The History Guide

The History Guide has been created for the high school and undergraduate student who is either taking classes in history, or who intends to major in history in college. The purpose of The History Guide is to better prepare yourself for your history classes and to make your time in class more enjoyable and proficient.

The History Guide contains the complete content of three undergraduate courses in European history which will certainly be of use to those of you studying such topics at the college level or in A.P. European history classes. The History Guide contains ninety lectures in European history from ancient Sumer to the fall of Soviet-style communism in 1989. In essence, what is presented here is an online textbook in western civilization, with special reference to the western intellectual tradition.

Parents engaged in home schooling their children will find much that is of interest and I urge you to contact me if there are any details I can help provide to you.


I read through the section on the Crusades which contained a good general overview with the back story to explain the social and political climate. This is a nice resource which I'll come back to again.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Printable Vintage Preschool Cut and Paste

I got weary of looking for free printable young children's cut and paste activities for my daughter(the cut and paste queen), so I used ClipartEtc for free images to cut into pieces. Today we did E is for Elephant, and she reassembled and pasted together a few elephants. One of them has got his back legs pasted in the front(giggle). She seemed to enjoy this, so I'll probably pick another animal tomorrow. The elephant on the left was the easiest to cut apart.

Where possible, I cut away the tail, legs, ears, and head for re-assembly onto the torso. Afterwards, we had a chat about elephants and practiced writing the letter "E". ClipartEtc has an Asian working elephant pushing a log - great for social studies and a geography lesson. Free printable maps here.

Printing tip: Of the three download sizes offered, the largest one seems to do best for this activity. It comes out nice and sharp on a full page printout.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wish List: Indoor Greenhouse

Indoor Greenhouse. Grow light is not included. I've already started cucumbers in a sunny window, but they will need more room and light soon.

I would like to try this light stick, but I'm not sure whether this would give off enough light for vegetables:

"The LiteStik uses energy-efficient LED technology, soaking up sun by day, and then its innovative light sensor allows it to come on automatically when the light dips below certain levels."

Veterans Day



Thank You.

Printable Early Math Cut and Paste Shapes/Tangrams

We worked on a few of these this morning: circles, triangles, rectangles, pentagons, hexagons, and octagons. These are fairly easy tangrams, suitable for preschool-early K.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recipe: Grilled Radishes

Radishes sweeten up a bit upon cooking. I also add them to stir fry. See here for recipe.

Printable Template and Instructions for Three Bears Theatre(3 Acts)


Free and in public domain. Manual Training Magazine, 1913, pages 115-128. Book is downloadable and/or individual pages can be printed by right clicking on the images of the pages at the link.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Printable Children's Poetry: The Pumpkin by Whittier







From Poems by Grades(1-4),1904, pages 223-224, free and in public domain. To print at link, right click on the image of the pages. This one is listed under grade four, but could be used by older children as well.

This is a wonderful melodic read-aloud poem for Thanksgiving. Easy to read, understand, and enjoy.

Preschool: Treat Your Cat Gently - Cut-out and Poem



I Love Little Kitty
I love little Kitty,
Her coat is so warm,
And if I don't hurt her,
She'll do me no harm.

So I'll not pull her tail,
Nor drive her away,
But
Kitty and I
Very gently will play.

She shall sit by my side,
And I'll give her some food;
And she'll love me because
I am gentle and good.

I'll pat pretty
Kitty,
And then she will purr;
And thus show her thanks
For my kindness to her;

But I'll not pinch her ears,
Nor tread on her paw,
Lest I should provoke her
To use her sharp claw.

I never will vex her,
Nor make her displeased -
For
Kitty *doesn't like
To be worried or teased.

- Anon



See here for printable version.

*There's a grammatical error at the end of the printable version at the above link. It should read, "For Kitty doesn't like to be teased.",  or maybe, " For kitties don't like to be teased.". 

Update: I found the original which is actually by Jane Taylor(not Anon)  in public domain, and it has the proper grammar at the end. See Poems by grades(1-4), 1907. To print this page, simply right click on the image of the page at the link, and print or save. If you don't right click on the image of the page, the entire screen will print.

You could also just copy and paste the one here on my post. It's in public domain.

Check here for cute vintage cat clip art. We've used this resource to cut and paste pictures on worksheets, stories, poems, etc. It's free for non-commercial purposes.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Food Inflation Expected into 2011


U.S. food companies have already started to raise prices to blunt price spikes for a number of commodities, including corn, wheat and coffee.
“Although inflation has been relatively weak for most of 2009 and 2010, higher food commodity and energy prices are now exerting pressure on wholesale and retail food prices,” USDA food economist Ephraim Leibtag said.
Read details here.

It's a good time to stock up on sales. If you canned during this past year, pat yourself on the back. You'll have saved yourself some money in the coming new year.

Flexible Spending Account Changes for 2011 and Beyond

"Starting in 2011, OTC medicines will no longer be eligible for reimbursement unless you are expressly directed by your doctor to use them.
Looking a bit further ahead, another big change will be a federally-mandated $2500 cap on FSA contributions starting in 2013. This new limit is part of the healthcare reform legislation that was passed this past spring."
Read details here.

I Thus Warmed Myself by the Still Glowing Embers

In Walden, Henry David Thoreau tells us:
"Like the wasps, before I finally went into winter quarters in November, I used to resort to the northeast side of Walden, which the sun, reflected from the pitch pine woods and the stony shore, made the fireside of the pond; it is so much pleasanter and wholesomer
to be warmed by the sun while you can be, than by an artificial fire. I thus warmed myself by the still glowing embers which the summer, like a departed hunter, had left."

Image from the northeast sitting area of my backyard in mid-September .

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Kindle eReader - Old Fashioned Learning with New Technology


We've been using vintage public domain texts, published before 1924, for ancillary learning since my son was in kindergarten, and I use it with my five year old daughter. The Robinson Homeschool Self-Teach Program, using vintage texts, has always interested me; however, I'd like to begin having the children read e-books(free) on a regular basis for school. The Robinson CDs are set up for printing, per Dr. Robinson's no computer learning philosophy, and are not ebook friendly(older TIFF versions). I like the new ebook technology, so we won't be ordering the Robinson CDs, but I will use his book list as a resource.We have a mini-laptop with which we currently read ebooks, but its backlit screen is hard on the eyes. I looked at the Kindle ebook reader; it is not backlit and uses electronic ink. Excerpt from Amazon on the Kindle:

Reads Like Real Paper, Not a Computer Screen
Kindle's wireless reading device uses an electronic ink display is ideal for reading because it does not create the same eyestrain as reading on traditional backlit LCD tablets or laptops.
Clearer Text and the Sharpest Display
Electronic ink uses actual ink to create crisp, print-like text similar to what you see in a physical book. Kindle's proprietary, hand-built fonts take advantage of the special characteristics of the ink to make letters clear and sharp.
No Glare, Even in Bright Sunlight 

Kindle's screen reflects light like ordinary paper, eliminating the glare created by backlit LCD displays on tablets or smart phones. Kindle can be read as easily in bright sunlight as in your living room.

Kindle also has a USB port, so I can download books from my PC, if needed. There is a native PDF reader in all new versions of the Kindle. The first generation Kindle had a SD card reader for external storage, but the newer Kindles do not. Current Kindles hold 3,500 books, but I still wish I could transfer books via a SD or stick memory. Supposedly PDF downloads from my favorite Google Books(free public domain texts) download easily and view well. In addition, there are a good number of free classics for download at the Amazon Kindle book store. Project Gutenberg public domain texts have always been fairly ebook friendly.  

I'm thinking about using vintage texts for Reading, Religion, and History. Math and English will probably be via Christian Light Education, and Science is still up in the air.

I'll wait for Black Friday to purchase a Kindle. They are likely to go down in price; however the least expensive version without the Wifi or 3G is relatively inexpensive at only $139.00. I'm looking at the Kindle DX for its larger screen and 3G, although it is not as reasonably priced. My husband prefers ebooks, and may be borrowing the Kindle for the text-to-speech option which is a standard Kindle feature. If he likes it enough, we'll probably be purchasing one for him as well.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Homeschool Humor

Tips for Frugal Grocery Shopping

Something new I learned:
"Weigh everything. A ten-pound bag of potatoes might actually weigh up to 12 pounds and a three-pound bag of apples might weigh four to five pounds. You get more for your money. "

I love learning new tips!Too bad my daughter isn't taller(or the scales lower); she'd like weighing the bags to compare weights.

Read more tips here.

Printable price book for comparison shopping(PDF)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Inexpensive Company Pork Roast Recipe

Pork Shoulders are one of the least expensive roasts due to toughness; however they have a fabulous taste and texture when slow roasted. The outer layer will be deliciously crispy with a tender center. This recipe uses cream sherry; however cider vinegar is very good as well:


Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder from Sunset Magazine.

Image from site

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Homeschool in Transition


We have had it so good for these past seven years. My son has sailed through the Rod & Staff curriculum, loving most of it. We also used Climbing to Good English and the Pathway Readers. There is something about those Amish/Conservative Mennonite texts and workbooks that really appealed to him. All were very much to the point, yet thorough and without a lot of distracting color or illustrations. Topics flowed well and were logically organized. It also blended well with our vintage Catholic texts because of it's generic Christian tone. Once he learned to read well, he was able to work through these books with minimal instruction. Rod & Staff texts are good for independent learners - they pretty much self teach, each grade builds upon itself in a fluid manner.

Rod & Staff texts only go through eighth grade(full curriculum), and the last grade begins to lean heavily toward Mennonite doctrine and history. So, I've been exploring options for eighth grade and beyond. We'll most likely transition to mathematics with Christan Light Education, similar to Rod & Staff. We may even use their Bible study if it's free of doctrine. Rod & Staff Bible study(K-7) has been excellent - so interesting with many bits of ancient history and culture. Since my son has been leaning in the direction of self directed learning for a while now, I've decided on the Robinson Self-Teaching program. He's an independent learner who likes to research things which interest him. He also loves to read, so I think this reading heavy curriculum would be a good fit for the rest of his schooling.

Robinson uses vintage texts in public domain. We have used these sources for ancillary learning. He seems to prefer the mature tone of the older books. We will probably be reading most of these on our mini lap top as we have in the past with public domain texts. I download them to a Sansdisk compact flash memory card(AKA: Thumbdrive) stick for easy access. We don't have the Kindle ebook Reader; however, I think you can use this device to read the books as well. Best of all, it's a very good value with only a one time purchase for all twelve grades(doesn't include math).


Robinson Self-Teaching main website

From phonics to physics, these 22 CDs and a set of Saxon math books are all that you need to give your children a superior education. You can use this curriculum to supplement your children's current schooling or as a stand-alone education using the included self-study methods.
The Robinson children teach themselves (as do the 60,000 children now using this system) ­ so well that their 11th and 12th grade work is equivalent to high quality 1st and 2nd year university instruction in science, history, literature, and general education.
They also teach themselves study habits that do not depend upon planned workbooks, teacher interaction, and other aids that will not be available later in life.
They teach themselves to think.
Dr. Robinson has spent less than 15 minutes per day teaching all six children...
Many home schools are limited by the burden of teaching that is placed on parents. Dr. Robinson has spent less than 15 minutes per day teaching all six children ­ ages 6 through 18. Yet, both of his oldest students scored over 1400 on the SAT (over 1500 on the new SAT) and received two years of advanced placement in college. The younger children are doing as well.
Teach your children to teach themselves and to acquire superior knowledge as did many of America's most outstanding citizens in the days before socialism in education.

Independent Robinson Resource Site - freebies, tips, links, etc.
Books Sorted by Reading Level 

Happy Hearts Homeschooling Library

Reviews:
Personal review
HomeschoolReviews.com 

An Old Fashioned Education has a similar approach using public domain books, only all the lesson plans and helps are free.

Samizdat Express has a mind boggling amount of books by subject on CD. I purchased the children's set for my niece years ago. His prices have gone up quite a bit; I think he has realized the value of his collections, especially with the popularity of Amazon's Kindle. Samizdat lists all the books in each CD collection, all are in public domain, so it's a good reference as well. If you'd like to pair this will some auditory learning of a dramatic flavor,  OTR Cat offers old-time radio show collections on CD at a very low cost, a super time saver. Some are live recording of wartime coverage, others are historical shows. Free downloadable versions here at Internet Archive, Old Time Radio. Also see: Librivox Free Audio Books.

A huge archive of children's history books organized by reading level and historical period. Free to read online, or order collections of CD. Some of these books may be found online in public domain as PDFs - try a Google search as well.

Update: I just noticed that Robinson files are actual scans of book pages(not PDF or plain text), so we may go another route, but still using the vintage texts. They are serious about not wanting the curriculum to be read on a computer screen.

All Souls Day

In commemoration of all the faithful departed, especially my father's cousin who passed away last week from cancer. Prayers for her soul; may she rest in peace, and join the Church Triumphant (Ecclesia Triumphans).

Horseradish, Pork, and Potato Dish Update

This casserole was fabulous! My husband especially liked it - it's all gone.

A few changes:
  • Shredded pork instead of diced(about 6-8 ounces)
  • Added caramelized onions and garlic(one onion and two spoons of chopped garlic from a jar)
  • Added hot sauce, sage, and allspice to taste
  • Used a little bagged shredded cheese - sprinkled on top
I had some frozen pre-baked(skin on) potatoes - forked down(lightly mashed). This went in the bottom of a small casserole with the onion and garlic, then came my pre-made shredded pork(crispy top pieces), a small jar of horseradish, and lastly some milk poured over the top. I mixed it lightly with a fork, seasoned it, and baked uncovered for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees. I added the shredded cheese, and baked for another 10-15 minutes until it was melted and crispy.  My version of the casserole served four.

It has got a slight kick - a twang and some heat, but really tasty. The ingredients were frugal as well. I get a pork shoulder for .99 cents a pound, and cook it down to shredded pork. It gets frozen in 6-8 ounce packages. I do the same with the potatoes - buy many bags of them on sale, steam them, and freeze.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Horseradish Ham and Potato Casserole Recipe

Somehow I ended up with two bottles of horseradish, and I only use it sparingly. I'll be using it up with this recipe for Horseradish Ham and Potato Casserole. I just prepared a huge pork shoulder and have a few bags of potatoes(on sale) to bake and freeze. Although not a part of the recipe, I'll toss in some sliced radishes for a little color and taste. Hopefully this will be good.

Here is another for chicken which sounds very good: "Flat" Chicken. It uses balsamic vinegar, orange juice, and the horseradish - yum!

DIY Grout Fixes

This is on my list of things to do soon: Fix Minor Grout Cracks This idea using latex will fix the cracked grout caused by the moving floor issue in my bathroom. Other fixes also mentioned.

Make Your Own Acorn Coffee

See here for recipe. Just watch out for your competitors.

The Solemnity of All Saints(All Saints Day)...

for the known and unknown saints. We venerate(dulia) our special friends in heaven. Worship (latria) is reserved for God alone. Like a pastor or friend would, they prayer for us, and their witness to Christ on earth teaches us to overcome ourselves and live in Christ. Read more here.

"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. " ~  St Alphonsus de Liguori 

A Prayer for Saintly Grace:
Almighty and Everlasting God,
who dost enkindle the flame of Thy love in the hearts of the saints,
grant unto us the same faith and power of love;
that, as we rejoice in their triumphs
we may profit by their examples, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Gothic Missal

Father, All-Powerful and ever-living God,
today we rejoice in the holy men and women
of every time and place.
May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Liturgy of the Hours