Archives

Breakfast Ideas for Your School Day

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 12.01.19 PM

With all of the details of homeschooling, it’s easy to throw something in the microwave and call it a meal. But, by carving out some time and a little bit of planning, you can have some pretty tasty meals for you and your family. I thought I’d start out by offering some breakfast ideas and recipes that can either be made the night before or are quick to put on the table for when your scholar arrives at the table, ready to eat.

Smoothies are my breakfast staple since a variety of veggies can be hidden within the drink and it still tastes good. The expert in our house in creating delicious smoothies is my husband, so here is one that he is currently serving. It is loaded with lots of vitamins and sweetness so even your picky eaters will enjoy it. Add a piece of whole grain toast or fruit bread to compliment this creation.

Dale’s Sweet Kale Smoothie

Servings: 2

1 handful of kale (torn bite sized pieces)

1/2 c. berries

1 carrot

1/2 c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/2 avocado or banana

3 Medjool dates (or 2 Tbs. honey or sweetener of your choice)

1 c. milk (cow, almond, hemp, or cashew)

Optional: Superfoods such as white mulberries, hemp seed, chia seed, or flax seed may be added, but not necessary.

Blend well and then add 10 ice cubes to give thickness to your shake. Divide drink among two cups.

Of course, you may take out the kale and add an apple or peach instead to your smoothies. Your daughter may turn up her nose at the color since it will have a slightly green tint. 🙂

Healthy Baked Oatmeal 

Even if your son usually bulks at oatmeal, this tasty breakfast oatmeal recipe will be sure to hit the spot! Serves 12

  • 3 c. rolled oats
  • 2eggs (beaten)
  • 14 c. oil
  • 1 c. milk (your choice of type of milk)
  • 14 c.  brown sugar
  • 12 c. applesauce (or 1 mashed banana)
  • 1tsp. cinnamon
  • 1tsp. baking powder
  • 1tsp. vanilla extract

    Directions

    1. Mix together oil, sugar, and eggs.
    2. Add rest of the ingredients and thoroughly mix together.
    3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes in a greased glass 9 x 12 pan
    4. Serve warm and it is delicious topped with milk and bananas or with yogurt, berries, and other fruit.                 Source: http://www.food.com

Breakfast Pops

Here’s a great way to use those popsicle molds you have buried in the pantry. 🙂 yields 10

Ingredients

  • 2 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. strawberry jam
  • 1/2 c. blueberry jam
  • 1/2 c. chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 c. blueberries
  • 2 c. Honey Nut Cheerios or granola
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt, milk, honey, and vanilla until fully combined.
  2. Fill pop molds, alternating yogurt mixture with jam, fresh fruit and cereal, about 1/4 cup of each at a time.
  3. Freeze for 6 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Remove pops from freezer and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Remove from molds and serve.                                      Recipe and picture source: delish.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting School

images

When thinking about the first week of school, consider easing into routines and subjects. Sometimes setting a new routine can be one of the most difficult things to do after you have had a break from school.

Consider starting school midweek. As far as setting a routine for school, I always began school on Wednesday.  That way we had three days of school instead of a full week. It was an easier transition for the children AND for me.  We could get used to the routine in a more gentle way than hitting the school year full force.

Get a good night’s sleep. The day will be much better if you allow time for everyone (including you, Teacher) to get a full night’s rest. Going on little sleep makes it difficult to concentrate and focus. I know from personal experience! 🙂

Start every day at the same time. Whether you plan on starting at 8:00 or 9:00 (or later), have everyone ready to begin school and stay consistent. The first week may be begun an hour later since you are easing into things, but I actually found that when I did that, my sons were not happy with me when they had to get up early the following week. Instead, I shortened the day that we finished school, and I made sure that emphasized that. lol

Eat breakfast. For years I would skip breakfast and then have to listen to my stomach gurgle, keep my mind on my work,  while always wishing it was lunchtime. That was not that smart and now I have my husband to thank because every morning he makes us a delicious, nutritious smoothie that he either puts on my desk or hands to me as I am flying out the door to teach. Breakfast breaks your fast and sets you on the road to teaching and learning.

Go over your schedule. I think it is good to preview the day with your daughter or son, even if you just say, “This morning we are going to be learning our numbers and practicing our ABC’s.”  Your child knows what is going to be happening and you have said it, providing some accountability to yourself as well.

Begin with a few subjects. As far as subjects are concerned for the first week, I just concentrated upon reading and math. I found a good read aloud book to begin our day. With everyone beginning the school day on a pleasant note, we then went into math. Reviewing formerly learned concepts and providing successful experiences will set a positive tone for the year.

Celebrate the beginning of your new school year. You can end the day with a fun activity, a special dinner, or a board game your son or daughter likes to play.  Relax before going to bed so that you are ready to begin again.

You are a remarkable teacher and mother. You are going to have a great year!

~Lisa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning Your School Schedule

images-1

Books: check!

Planner: check!

Calendar: check!

Something to write with: check!

You are off to a great start. Now, it’s time to begin planning your school schedule. Without warning, you come to a sudden and violent screeching halt. Your brain turns into a blob and no thoughts of how to even begin this process are coming to you. Does this sound familiar? Well, don’t worry, this post is to help you overcome being stuck and getting you back on the right track. I will give you some ideas on how I organize my week and please take what you can use and use it for your own schooling situation.

Look at your calendar Check to see when you are going to start and when you are going to finish. Ohio schools are in session for 180 days, so this will help to keep that in mind when you are planning.  A rule of thumb for many homeschool families is to generally follow the local school district’s calendar, but you are not required to do that. Consider times you will want to off time for holidays such as Thanksgiving, or anything that you know is going to happen that you will not be schooling, such as the arrival of a baby. 🙂

Take a big task and break it up into smaller tasks. My suggestion is that once you have looked at your academic calendar and have the beginning and ending dates set, that you only plan for a week or two at a time and write it in pencil. Plans change, and the unexpected happens. Great opportunities arise, or your student buzzes through one topic and gets stuck in another area, someone gets sick,  and you need to rearrange things, that’s OKAY! If you have only have one or two weeks planned you can rearrange your schedule easily.

Look at your curriculum Perusing through one subject at a time, how many chapters, units, pages, are there for your child to complete the subject being studied? For the sake of keeping this simple, let’s say the math book has 360 pages, 2 pages of work will be completed each day to finish the book. (360 pages divided by 180 days). Do that for all your subjects and write each of those subjects in your planner.

Plan for co-ops and extra-curricular activities. If you know you are going to be gone to a co-op all day and no one is going to do any work before or after, don’t plan anything academic for that day.  You can plan a four day school week, just keep in mind your student will need to double up on the work somewhere. So, instead of 2 pages of math per day, you add 2.5 pages on lighter school days.

Plan your time Consider what time you are going to begin your day and approximately how long it will take you to finish. At the beginning of the year things move slowly because everything is new.  But, as you get into the routine and repeat topics and routines, the time will decrease. The alphabet song that took 10 minutes to sing?  Later it will only take 2 minutes as your daughter learns the letters.

Okay, that’s enough planning for today! Take a break and enjoy the fact that you have just completed planning your school week. Way to go!

 

 

3 Great Homeschool Planners

August is quickly slipping away which means that school will soon begin. I don’t know about you, but I work more efficiently and feel better if I have a planner.

I would like to offer some tips with regards to planners. To save you money you can look for a planner that you can use from year to year. After you print off the pages place them in page protectors so that your planner doesn’t get food or drinks spilled on it. Use fine tipped dry erase markers to write assignments on so that you can erase at the end of the year and reuse for the next year. If you think all your hard work will be lost, then take pictures of each week’s work and create a file for future students. This also would provide additional documentation for your portfolio review should you choose to do it that way.

Organizing work assignments for your students will help them to know what is expected and what needs to be completed. So, with that in mind, investigate some of these websites that have school planners for you and also your student(s).

The Homeschool Planner from Free Homeschool Deals has a planner that not only has lesson plans, but a place to write down appointments and meal planning. You just need to make sure you don’t  lose your planner!

Homeschool Planet has an online planner that you can edit and also print off if you like. The online planner is nice because if you need to change things around because life got in the way, you can do that! The link is to a free trial, so there is no obligation to purchase it unless you like it.

Over at Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool she has so many options such as cover design, calendars and appointment keepers, goals, planning sheets, and more!) for you to print your own planner. There are also extra school helps such as co-op class scheduling, multiplication facts, grade trackers, and field trip reference forms. You choose the colors you want, and the fonts. It truly is a customized planner and it’s FREE!