We have a Tiger Cub!

Bayus has been anxiously counting down for the past few years until he was old enough to be a cubscout, the time has finally come.  Elias prepped Bayus in the van on the way over and then grabbed his hand and escorted him in for the ceremony where he would officially join the pack!





World Geography- its whats for dinner!

I want to share with you one of my favorite home school finds, a cookbook called Eat Your Way Around the World (make it to the end of this post for another link and a coupon deal).  This tasty little cook book is divided into continent chapters and each continent has a selection of countries with about 3 recipes each, selected for their ease of cooking and finding ingredients and ability to make a yummy complete meal!  Included with this book is a passport which is formatted for your kids to earn ‘passport stamps’ from each of the countries they visit during meal time and to rate their experiences with that food.  We’ve used this cookbook in combination with our world studies as a kick off or grand finale to any particular place study and so far we’ve enjoyed everything we’ve tried- its a winner!  This year instead of doing all the cooking myself I’ve opened the doors of the kitchen and made the whole experience part of the school day (my kids love to cook, but had not yet been a part of the list making/ingredient checking/grocery shopping process in whole).


Here they are reading through the ingredients listings of the Brazilian recipes and filling in a grocery shopping worksheet I made for them to use.  Next I had them take their finished lists into the kitchen and work through the list to mark off what we already have on hand.

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Off to the grocery store!  I had the kids push the cart, find their items and debate together what their best choices were for their recipes.

  They handled the checkout line and loaded the car with our groceries to head home.

IMG_3620 IMG_3621 Back at home it was time to hit the kitchen and get to work!


IMG_3623 IMG_3624The kids even decided that some table decor was in order for our Brazilian dinner.


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Shown here is Feijoada (a Brazilian meat stew), Couve (collard green dish) with fresh sliced oranges.  For dessert we had a Brazilian Ambrosia which looks and tastes much like a traditional flan but made with orange juice.  It was SOOOOOO good!




This and many other great books and resources are available from Geography Matters, check out their facebook page for a 20% off coupon!

A tasty building project

In May we were invited to a friend’s birthday party, his theme- Architecture! It was a completely fun and imaginative party including giant cardboard building projects and this tasty take home gift, gumdrop domes!


Bayus was surprisingly capable of making his domes after a small amount of instruction. He seemed the most interested in the details of his domes and hypothesizing what would make his the strongest.  We had a great time testing the strength of our domes to hold library books (after letting the gumdrops dry out over night) and now the kids are begging for gumdrops in bulk so they can make bridges and other structures!  Here’s a link that is similar to the instructions we received from the party


Our NEW School Room!

A lot has changed for us in 2011, in particular we’ve moved to a new home and with it have the joy of a new and improved school room space!  Come on in!



As you enter the room and look to your left you will see our ‘classroom pets’, Apple and Carrot the guinea pig brothers. I have big plans for this big blank wall, but I’m taking a mental break from the to-do lists before I tackle it.

IMG_3562 Apple says ‘hi, thanks for visiting’

IMG_3563 This is my reading chair that I hope to one day recover in some fun funky fabric. I got the chair at a thrift store for $5 🙂 Beside this chair on the wall is where I plan to put some shallow bookshelves (think raingutter bookshelves only out of wood) for library books

IMG_3564 This is primarily where Hannah and Elias work. Lots of natural light and a few visits from friendly birds throughout their day. I’d like to put some feeders outside their window (this is the front of the house)


On the right hand wall we have our classroom pet fish named Floppy….or as I like to call him ‘Cannibal’ (he ate the other fish once when we were on vacation and the vacation feeder malfunctioned). You can see the trofast system there under the countertop which I have 2 deep so that each kid has 12 boxes ala workbox system (Bayus only currently uses 6 of his boxes daily). This is the end of our school day which is why you see boxes stacked rather than put away entirely. I need to refill boxes with assignments for tomorrow.

IMG_3566 Floppy says ‘hi’ or ‘my you look tasty’ (Bayus drew the fish tank backdrop)


Now you can see the rest of the counter. The white trofast bins hold craft supplies and such, they are also two deep. The upper cabinets hold current school supplies as well as one whole one is puzzles and another is board games. The stool is in front of a cabinet that will have a sink installed eventually.


Here you can see the kids computer desk as well as my laptop sitting on the counter next to the printer. I made this my standing station throughout the day with my water bottle, phone, planner and calendar and to-do list. I alternate between my own office work (house stuff, doula stuff, photography stuff) and with helping the kids through their lessons (some of their workboxes are marked ‘work with mom’ and some they are expected to read the directions and work through on their own. Bayus does everything with me)

IMG_3569 That concludes the tour of the room, thanks for coming!