Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pork Scallopini with Tomato Red-Wine-Vinegar Sauce

This is a simple and quick entree, that my whole family loves. 

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 2.5 lb pork loin
Salt & Pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup red-wine-vinegar
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh torn basil

Thinly slice your pork loin, and sprinkle both sides with salt & pepper to taste.

Heat skillet over medium heat, add olive oil to pan, and cook pork 3 minutes per side, or until nicely browned and cooked through.

Arrange pork on platter, and allow to rest, but keep warm.

Add a drizzle more olive oil to pan, and scrape the bottom. Add onions and garlic to the skillet, and cook 2-4 minutes, until nicely browned.

Pour vinegar over onions and garlic, and cook until liquid is reduced by about half.

Now, toss in the tomatoes and a dash or two of pepper. Cook about 4 minutes, or until the tomatoes just begin to shrivel and produce liquid.

Pour sauce over cooked pork, sprinkle with basil, and serve. Yummy!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How I Plan Our Homeschool Year: 3 Easy Steps

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I'm no good at "how-to's." Every homeschool mom has their own way of doing things, that works for them. This is mine.

Step 1- Researching Grade Level Requirements and Discussing Electives Options
             I start by doing a little discovery work, to find what each child should be learning that year. This is especially essential with my high-schooler, as transcripts and college applications are at the top of his ultimate agenda. Once we've covered the basics (this includes language arts, math, science, social studies/history, and foreign languages), we discuss electives. This year, my 5th grade daughter wants to concentrate more on her computer skills, and my tenth grade son will be taking a business management course, as well as a film making/film history course. They both will continue to take private art lessons, and my daughter will continue with her drum lessons.

Step 2- Purchasing Textbooks and Other Needed Materials
             Next, I jump on and read tons of reviews from customers, many of whom are fellow homeschoolers. I select the textbooks I find best, for each subject, and any other materials (science kits, special calculators, etc.) that I think we may need. I do what I can to get the best deal, buying most of these items used. The kids and I hit the dollar store and Wal-Mart, for notebooks, pencils, and other back-to-school essentials.

Step 3- Planning Each Course's Pace and Planning Lessons
             My favorite step is doing an overview of each subject, and trying to pace the course to fit the school year. This simply entails looking over each textbook, doing the math of how many lessons versus school days, and figuring in field trips and projects that correlate. This is just an outline of our year, not set in stone, and very much subject to change. Then, I plan the first couple of weeks' daily lessons. Planning a couple weeks in advance allows me to be in the moment, yet prepared for what's to come.

That's it! Our school year begins in a little over 2 weeks, and I am ready!