Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day in the Life: Our Typical Homeschool Thursday

This is the fourth installment in this series. I'm enjoying sharing our days with you.

This was our day, on April 24, 2014. It was a very typical Thursday.

My day started with coffee and making a stack of pancakes. Each kid woke and ate at their own pace. 

Once everyone was up and at 'em, my 9 year old and I worked on her grammar, while my 14 year old showered, and my 4 year old finished his pancakes and watched Bubble Guppies.

Next, I gave my daughter her math lesson. She then worked on problems from her textbook, while my oldest did his algebra, and my youngest played on

Then, my 9th grader and my 4th grader worked on their science, while my preschooler played with some of my stamps.

I quickly made and packed a lunch, of quesadillas and frozen grapes, which they ate in the car, on the way to art lessons.

The "big kids" had a private art lesson, and the little one and I ran errands.
(photo courtesy of Kathy Bunn)

Then, my oldest had some physical therapy, while we waited.

The doctor said he couldn't believe how well behaved and patient my kids are. So, I treated them all to milkshakes!! (Don't worry, I'm parked!)

After a quick wardrobe change for the little one (the milkshake wasn't the wisest choice for a snack in the car), we headed outside. The older ones worked on a geography project, while my 4 year old enjoyed some well deserved play time.

That's where our homeschool day ended, and our family evening began. I'm working on dinner, as I blog (another not so wise choice, lol). Then we have some packing to do, for a weekend trip. It's been a good Thursday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easy Cheesy Taco Rice Skillet

This is a SUPER quick kid-friendly dinner, that the whole family loves!

1.5 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups brown or white instant rice
2 cups water
2 cups shredded mexican blend cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 fresh tomatoes, diced

Brown the beef with the onion, drain, and return to the skillet.

Stir in the spices, water, and rice. Cover and simmer 5-7 minutes.

Stir in the cheese, and let simmer one minute longer. Boom! You're finished.

Serve topped with lettuce and tomato. Yummy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day in the Life: Our Typical Homeschool Wednesday

I thought by now I may regret deciding to do this series, but it's not so hard to just take pictures throughout your day, and write a quick post to go along with them. This is installment number three.

It was a chilly day, for April. We had been having beautiful 75-80 degree days, but yesterday it stormed, leaving today in the 50's and windy. We didn't let it deter us though. We've been doing "fun school" this week, in stead of taking an entire week for spring break. I really didn't want to lose all of those days, so we're taking off Friday and Monday of Easter weekend, and that's it. This way, summer break comes sooner!

This was our day, on April 16, 2014. It was a typical "fun school" Wednesday.

My day started with coffee and a round of Candy Land, with this cutie.

Once the older two were up, I made them all some breakfast.

Next, while my oldest was doing his chores, my daughter worked on her typing.

Then, while my daughter was working on her chores, my oldest did his online Spanish lesson.

Afterward, we met some fellow homeschool pals at a local park.

But the wind was too much, so we made our way to our friends' house, for some more play time for the kids, and more chat time for us moms.

Everyone was having so much fun, that we didn't want to leave. So we stayed, snacked a bit in lieu of lunch, and the kids played some more, while we moms continued gabbing.

Once we returned home, we jumped on an engineering project, an egg drop competition.

After having my youngest test several locations, with just a plain egg, we settled on our tennis court. 

My daughter's contraption didn't fare too well, so it was back to the drawing board, for her.

My oldest son's apparatus did very well, not a crack.

My daughter tried again and.....success!!

Then a quick snack (watergate salad)....

...and outside for some reading. The afternoon turned out rather pretty, once the wind died down.

This is when our homeschool day ends, and our family evening begins. We're having some left over chili-mac. My husband has a friend over, helping him drain the pool, so we can clean it. I'm heading out, once I finish this post, to do some top-secret Easter shopping. Then, we'll do the usual hang-out, watch tv, get everyone bathed and off to bed routine. It was a good Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day in the Life: Our Typical Homeschool Tuesday

I promised to do one of these, once a week, for 5 weeks, highlighting a different day each time. This is installment number two.

It was a wet and yucky day, which changed our plans, but that's part of life. It was still a fairly typical Tuesday, so it meets the criteria I set for myself, in this 'Day in the Life' series. 

This is our day, on April 8, 2014. It was a fairly typical Tuesday, or at least a typical rainy day.

My day started earlier than the others'. After getting breakfast in the oven, I sat on the back porch, watching the rain, sipping coffee, and checking the news.

Once the kids were up, they had breakfast (baked oatmeal with bananas and a drizzle of maple syrup), did their morning chores (feed the cats, empty the dishwasher, and take out the trash), and washed up for the day. I declared it pajama day, so no one got dressed!

Then, it was down to business. My daughter started with spelling and language arts, my oldest son did his algebra (with the help of an online tutor program), and my youngest son worked in one of his workbooks.

Next, my daughter had a math lesson, followed by answering some problems from her math text book. My 14 year old knocked out some civics. My preschooler put out a few pretend fires in the play room.

We had planned to meet some fellow homeschoolers at a local park, for some PE and a picnic lunch. However, even though the rain had stopped by lunch time, it was far too wet. So we moms rescheduled for later in the week, and my kids did some basic calisthenics (jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, bear crawls, lunges, etc.), in the hallway for PE. 

Lunch was easy, as I already had it packed for our scheduled afternoon at the park. Homemade chicken salad, wheat crackers, slices of cheese, and frozen grapes were on the menu.

After lunch, my daughter had an online drum lesson, my oldest had an online Spanish lesson, and my youngest sat on his sister's bed, watching her drum lesson. Lol!

Then, we did a little anatomy. 

After science, I whipped up some cheddar popcorn and we watched a great documentary by National Geographic, titled "The New World: Nightmare in Jamestown", as part of the Colonial America unit study I've pieced together, in preparation for our upcoming field trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne.

We ended our rainy Tuesday, as we end all our homeschool days, with some reading.

This is where our homeschool day ends, and our family evening begins. I have a few chores to knock out, then I'll cook dinner, we'll eat as a family (once my husband arrives home), do some dishes, spend some time together, maybe a little tv, wash up, and head to bed. It was a good Tuesday. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nikujaga (Japanese Beef & Potato Stew)

Nikujaga literally translates to meat and potatoes, in Japanese. This stew is as good as it gets. My kids and husband always want seconds, and my daughter claims any leftovers, for lunch the next day! Seriously. She writes her name on a sticky note, and places it on the container. It's that good.

1 & 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 lb. stewing beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
4 large mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 cup petite baby carrots

Allow beef to sit out, until it reaches room temperature. Heat sesame oil in large pan, until really hot. Place the beef in the oil, and cook until mostly browned on all sides, but not cooked through.

Place beef, chopped onion, mushrooms, beef broth, white wine, soy sauce, sugar, and salt in a large pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the potatoes and carrots, raise heat, and wait for reboil.

Reduce heat back to low, cover, and let simmer for 2 hours, stirring about every 15-20 minutes.

Allow to rest 10-15 minutes, before serving. Yummy!!!