Friday, February 12, 2010

We are learning!

Well, I am so far behind. I decided I am going to attempt to start blogging on some fun things we have been doing together and how we have been learning through doing. So, here is installment one...something everyone can relate to....FOOD!

Anne Marie has been reading The Little House in the Big Woods and we have been taking full advantage of learning the differences in how people would live in day to day life early in this countries history. We have done a couple of fun projects. The first here is Molasses candy in snow!

Here is Emma...happy to be making candy in her own pan of snow!

The girls took full advantage of the snow day that they had been waiting for and collected 4 pans of fresh snow from the back yard.

Anne was very excited to actually get to stir on the stove. First time for everything right???

And yes, snow day projects were done in Pajamas!

So, what we did was take the above ingredients (1 cup of molasses and 1/2 cup of brown sugar) and cook it in a pan to 245 degrees. We then very quickly poured the candy into the snow pans and let it harden. The girls then broke it into pieces and put it on a pan. (I would suggest wax paper!) So, now Anne has not only read about this but we made our own Christmas molasses candies.

Next we were able to take advantage of our bread machine (given to us by an awesome friend!) and we made butter. I had great memories of this from school as a kid so once Anne read about that I thought....let's do it!

The results were delicious....and shaped like stars and trees! Hm. That part might not be authentic.

We put heavy cream with a little bit of hot milk colored by grated carrot on the stove and shook, and shook, and shook, and shook, and did I mention shook the jars.

The butter came into a ball and after we strained and pressed the liquid out we added a pinch of salt and ate it on our homemade bread. Delicious!!!

I tell you, what we have learned from all this "doing" will help them remember, in this case, a bit of history and experience a bit more of what is being read and studied. BUT, more importantly hopefully they will remember the experience together and pass it along to their little girls (or boys).

Monday, February 01, 2010

Well, do you ever feel tired....I mean REALLY tired. The laundry is piled to the ceiling, the house is slowly being destroyed, there are kids to care for, teach, bring to lessons and classes. This makes you even more tired....and then you begin to doubt whether or not you are doing the right thing at all. Should I be homeschooling? Should I be doing things differently? Am I really any good at what I am doing? What happened to all those plans I had in my early 20's? Do I even remember my early 20's? Well, I'm What do I do about it? Not sure yet. I'm thinking it over and trying to figure out if it is possible to add another 8 hours to the day, if there is in fact a patience vaccination, and if I can acquire caffeine pills! : ) I don't think any of those things are possible. So, until I come up with an alternate plan I will just have to perservere. If you have any secrets to share I'm willing to listen! Have a wonderful day!