Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hopping on the Homeschool Bandwagon, sort of!

After a lot of internal debate and a seemingly endless supply of Pinterest posts about it, I have decided to jump in the homeschooling bandwagon, sort of. I will begin homeschool preschool for my two kiddos next week. Jackson will be 4 in a little over a week and Brooklyn is 2 and a half. We debated back and forth about sending him to 4K this year even though his birthday was past the deadline. I am sure we could have "push" him in and he would have done fine. After a lot of research and talking to a few people, we decided it would be better for him to be one of the older ones in his class instead of the baby of his class. He is very smart and I'm sure he would have done fine, but I am happy with our (okay, mostly my) decision. I also want to wait until we have a house bought so we know what school district they will attend. I would hate to start him in 4K this year and move next year.

I did decide I would start a more structured homeschooling schedule this fall with both of them. We have been doing a lot of projects and they love it. It is usually one of the only times during the day where the two of them play nice together. We have also been checking out activity packs from the library and they are wonderful. They consist of a few books  about a central theme and a few activities/games to do at home. I also started making worksheets for Jackson to practice writing his name and he is really good at those. After talking with Jackson and listing to him shriek in excitement about "school" and start rambling a mile a minute about it, I got the feeling he was into it.

Since I am still at home with them everyday, it will be easy to work with them on a daily basis with this. Once I go back to work, depending on my work schedule it might not be as easy. In that case, we will figure something out. But until then, we will start with our themed weeks. I can not stress how much I LOVE Pinterest. I decided that starting a board for each themed week would work well. You can find my board HERE about our first week, Ocean/Fish themed week. We are lucky to have a state of the art fish hatchery in our little town that just had a multimillion dollar renovation so that will be our field trip for the week. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fill the Freezer/Pantry - {Week 1}

Ever since we acquired a [large] chest freezer last fall, I have been working on trying to fill it. I love the idea of freezer cooking but haven't gotten up to that yet. I have been working on making extras of this and that and freezing those. It has worked marginally. Since I am already cooking for 4 adults and 2 toddlers I am usually doubling most recipes so we have leftovers for lunches. So I have been working on freezing mostly baked goods. Last week I made several loaves of zucchini bread and muffins and froze those. My mission for September is to work on filling my pantry and freezer with homemade mixes and staples that we use. I have began making a lot more of our favorites from scratch and it is great. Not only does is save us money, but it limits the ingredients and what we are putting into our body. 

Here is what is on my to-do list for the first week of September:  I think I might skip the cookie dough too this week as my mom ordered 3 boxes of cookie dough from the neighbor boy selling it for his football team and we now have 2 boxes of oatmeal raisin and 1 box of peanut butter chocolate chip in the freezer. [click links for recipes]
I already made the burritos. I made some chicken, bean, salsa, and cheese burritos for my husbands lunches and some Denver omelet burritos for breakfast. I flash freeze my burritos on cookie sheets them individually wrap them in plastic wrap and store in plastic shoe boxes in the freezer. This time I got fancy and made sticky labels to put on the burritos that listed what was in them. I also made the pancake syrup. We had it for breakfast yesterday. I was too stuffed up from my allergies to actually taste it but my kiddos loved it and my husband said it was "different" but it tasted really good when mixed with the butter on the pancakes. I also made the stuffing seasoning mixes, but haven't portioned out and cut up the bread yet.