Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's In Our Read Aloud Basket

I've been getting some homeschooling questions lately and I thought it might be helpful to post pictures of what is in our read aloud basket right now. We don't read from all of these every day but we usually read from three or four of them each day.

The kids each have their own personal reading from different books in addition to our read alouds. The personal reading is also from a variety of subjects such as geography, history, science and literature. Most of the kids read from two separate books a day.

I have a basket next to my chair that contains the following books:

Using real books instead of dry, boring textbooks is one of the reasons I love homeschooling!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Two New Hobbies

I figure with each child that leaves home I should come up with a new hobby. This year it's medicinal herbs. So far The Complete Book of Herbs has been the most helpful along with this medicinal herb course from Sweet Hollow Farm.

I'm not growing any vegetables this year because of last year's bug invasion. The squash bugs annihilated anything that grew on a vine and the Mexican bean beetles destroyed my bean crop. So, I'm hope that by not planting the foods they like they will all starve to death and I'll sick my chickens on the ones that insist on living.

Instead, I'm adding more herbs to the garden, specifically medicinal herbs. We've added horehound, English thyme, bee balm, catnip, purple sage, purple coneflower, quite a bit of lavender and also some stevia. We'll also be watching the fields for passionflower, muellin, red clover and honeysuckle. I have lots of little brown bottles, 1/2 gallon mason jars, various tins, bees wax, and vodka (for tinctures) all ready for the summer harvest. Already some horehound was gathered, made into a syrup and used for Annalise's cough.

The other fun project around here is artisan bread. With this great book, it's so easy and fun. So far we've tried the boule, light whole wheat, 100% whole wheat and olive oil dough. This morning I made the sundried-tomato and parmesan bread with the light whole wheat dough and I'm taking it to the church potluck. This kids are constantly oohing and aahing. And it really does just take 5 minutes.

So next time you come for a visit, expect to smell some earthy herbal potions along with the fresh baked bread!