Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week Ending Jan. 17, 2010

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This week was a very good week in school. We didn't do work all 5 days this week being that I had a migraine. But 4 outta 5 ain't bad.

For Kindergarten, Kyle and I are reading fairy tales. He doesn't enjoy too many of these stories so far. I want to finish the book that I am reading to him and we will move onto something else. He has enjoyed a few of the stories.

He loves learning! It is so neat to watch him when he knows something. During math, when he knows the number on the flash card, his smile breaks out across his whole face and he just giggles and giggles while he is telling me. The same when he gets his sounds right for his letters. It is so contagious also! He does a great job writing his name in cursive also.

Amanda and started the Story of the World last week. This week we started chapter 1 which covered Nomads. This is a very interesting book and I'm glad that my friend sent it to me.

We only had one day to use our new Language Arts, Writing, and phonics lessons from A Beka but she seemed to really like the worksheets. They are colorful and that is neat for her.

For our Bible study this week we learned about Noah's Ark.

All in all, this was a successful week. I actually wish that sometimes I could get the kids to do a little more school work than I have assigned because I am enjoying it so much!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Homeschool Highlights

This is my first posting to Homeschool Highlights. I suppose that I should start with a little bit about myself.

I am a Christian homeschooling mom. I love to teach and that is God's gift to me. The best candidates of my gift would be of course, my children. I also teach a Sunday school class for 1st-2nd graders, AWANA for Kindergarteners and rotate teaching Kids church for preschoolers.

We are using A Beka materials this year, but I think I am going to switch to My Father's World next year. I am also teaching history out of The Story of the World series. We have just started that this week.

We are currently using my own plans for Language Arts because I just ordered the A Beka reading and phonics (I wasn't able to afford them all at the same time). Since the math curriculum does it's units in themes, she is doing the zoo theme. We are reading about zoo animals. This week was Lions and other big cats. This theme is going to tie in with our Bible study for next week in some ways because we will be doing Noah's Ark. We just spent a week on Creation.

I started Kindergarten with my son a year early because he wanted to start school and we've gone through all of the preschool stuff. So because of that, I took this week off from Kindergarten and focused on 1st grade and housework.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cooking Lessons for the Deckers

I came up with these lessons for myself but thought that it would be great to share. These are aimed for young children, but older children can also learn from it and help. I think that I will start them today since my kids want to start it and it didn't take me long to write the lessons out. Of course, after the lessons are over, I will keep the lessons up by cooking different dishes. Maybe they will have to choose one night a week to help with dinner or something. And I will have them choose recipes and do the shopping on their own also. It helps to reinforce that this is "their" dish. Happy cooking! I will share on how these go!

Print out Kids Kitchen Safety rules for Amanda. Read these rules to go along with it. You may also to print out this safety worksheet
Kids Kitchen Safety
· 1. The most important rule in the kitchen is SAFETY FIRST. If you think that an action can hurt yourself or someone else—don’t do it. Pretty simple. Be aware of what is going on around you. Know where your little brother is. Make sure he is not going to tip over the hot pot of soup. Make sure that your mom isn’t going to cut herself because you put a knife in a sink of soapy water. Be aware of all the activity in the kitchen.

* No sharp knives for small children. Keep them out of reach and out of sight.

· Teach children that the stove is hot! Even when turned off, it should not be touched or played around.

* Make sure all handles on pots and pans are turned inward.
* Cook hot soup or hot food on a back burner if possible.
* Teach children about proper sanitation of foods. Use clean hands. When done cooking, wash hands again. Clean counter tops and dishes well after cooking, to prevent contamination of foods. Always clean items that were in contact with raw meats and eggs immediately after using.
* No licking mixing spoon or fingers -sample when it is done cooking.
* Always turn off stove top and oven when done.
* Keep appliances away from water.
* Don’t put cooked food on a plate or surface that had raw foods on it.
* Put ingredients back after using. (Makes clean up easier also)
* Always use supervision.
* Give a kitchen tour of what is safe and not safe. Tell them what is not to be touched and any other advice for your kitchen.

3. Read through the recipe BEFORE you start. For example, if you were making chocolate chip cookies, you would be very sad if you worked very hard to get almost all the way through the way through the recipe and then find out that you didn’t have chocolate chips in the house. Believe me, I’ve done this before and I was really upset.
4. Make careful measurements. Careful measurements mean the difference between yummy and blechy. I've done this before too. Learn from my mistakes.
5. Clean up after yourself. Do you like to clean up other people’s messes? You do? Cool! Come to my house! Oh, you don’t? Well, I bet no one likes to clean up after you—so to make cleaning easier, clean up as you go along. That way you’re not facing a kitchen full of dirty dishes when you’re very tired after cooking.

Show kids measuring cups and spoons. Let kids use water to practice different measurements. Have kids do measuring worksheets that I got from I used the teaspoons identification worksheet and ounces and three quarters cup worksheets. I also used the math worksheet from

Cooking project:
Personal pizzas
Skills used- spreading, baking

Safety Sheet
1. No sharp knives.
2. Turn handles in.
3. Always wash hands.
4. No licking spoons or fingers.
5. Pick up and wash dishes and counters when done.

Safety Sheet
1. No sharp knives.
2. Turn handles in.
3. Always wash hands.
4. No licking spoons or fingers.
5. Pick up and wash dishes and counters when done.


For this lesson go over the safety rules. Ask questions about them to encourage the kids to participate. Such as “Should the pan handles be turned in or out?” “Is it ok to lick the spoons?” and for the older kids they should be able to list rules they remember. After reviewing have the children wash their hands.
Remind them that when they are starting a new recipe, they need to read the recipe first to overlook it. Read through recipe with kids. Have all ingredients ahead of time. If you have older children and the time, you may use fresh fruit and let them slice the fruit themselves. The recipe for this lesson is found here If the link is not available it is your basic fruit salad.
After the fruit salad is done, show the children how to fill the sink with water and soap (or however you do your dishes at your house) and teach them to wash dishes. Be sure to remove everything sharp before they start.
Skills used:

Lesson 3
It’s time to learn some cooking terms. The following list and definitions is taken from
Cooking Terms
To Bake: when we cook in the oven.
To Boil: when we make liquid really hot on the stove so there are lots and lots of big bubbles. We boil water for tea.
To Simmer: this is almost boiling. The difference between boiling and simmering is that boiling has big bubbles and simmering has small bubbles. We simmer things that are too delicate to boil. Milk is a good example. We simmer milk when we make hot chocolate. What else might be good to simmer instead of boil?
To Drain: you already know this one. It means to pour the liquid out of a container.
To Grease: this means to lightly coat a pan with some butter or other grease (get it?) so that after you bake, let’s say cookies, the cookies won’t stick to the pan. Have you ever greased a cookie sheet?
To Melt: to add heat until the stuff no longer is the same shape. What happens to an ice cube when it melts?
To Fry: to cook in grease. For example we fry French fries. Have a parent with you when you fry things. Grease heats up very quickly and it gets super hot.

Read more at Suite101: Cooking with Kids - free Suite101 course
Today the kids can practice their measuring skills again by making this nummy treat!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Treats

* A sauce pan
* A big stirring spoon
* An 8" x 8" cake pan
* 2 cups milk chocolate chips
* 2 tablespoons shortening
* 1/2 cup butter or margarine
* 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

In a medium sized saucepan, combine butter or margarine and peanut butter.

1. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted (4 to 6 minutes).
2. Stir in confectioners' sugar and graham cracker crumbs until it is really super mixed.
3. Press evenly into the cake pan with a big flat knife.
4. Wash out saucepan and dry it.
5. Combine chocolate chips and shortening in a large bowl.
6. Microwave the mixture for thirty second periods, stirring after each time, until everything is completely melted.
7. The chocolate and shortening are very hot, so be extra careful as you pour the mixture over the peanut butter.
8. Let this chill until cool, but still soft enough to cut into squares.
9. Cut the mixture into squares, then put them into the fridge to finish setting up (get harder)!

10.While you are waiting for them to finish setting up, clean up all the mess.

Read more at Suite101: Cooking with Kids - free Suite101 course

Lesson 4
Let the children go through cookbooks and recipes that are appropriate for their age level to choose recipes to cook. Depending on how many children you have this lesson will be done differently. I have 2 kids and I am going to have the oldest child choose a dinner to plan and my youngest will choose the dessert for that meal. Once kids choose what they want to cook, allow them to decide upon whom to invite to a small dinner party (or just for your family). Allow the children to make invitations.
Read through the recipes with the children and decide on what you need to buy from the store to be able to accomplish this dinner. Write a list, having the children write it if they are able. Take a trip to the grocery store and encourage the kids to do their own shopping. You are there to assist and aid. Have them keep in mind the different prices and sizes.

After the basics of cooking are learned, allow children to keep using their skills so they won’t forget them. There are many recipes out there for kids to use and have fun with. Now it’s your turn to cook away!