Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homeschool Fun

Just thought I'd share some fun homeschool happenings we've enjoyed lately. In September, we learned about the first settlers in the New World and the pioneers. We talked about how they left cities in Europe that had roads, stores and bakeries to live in a new unsettled land with just wilderness. They had to grow their own wheat and grind it into flour to make bread. The Indians taught them how to grow corn and grind it into cornmeal for cornbread. We learned how they cooked the bread on hot rocks before they had their ovens. We learned how the Dutch settlers who founded New Amsterdam (now New York) brought cows, sheep and pigs over on boats! None of those animals are indigenous to North America. The settlers were so excited to have their cows for milk, cream, cheese and butter.

Our curriculum is so neat, because it provides not just lessons, but hands on experiences across the subject areas. When we learned about the pioneers making bread, we learned in science about yeast and did experiments with the yeast learning about the release of carbon dioxide. Then we took a field trip to a bread shop/bakery, Breadsmith. Our friends from church own the branch here and Mr. Mark graciously took the kids on a tour of the bakery. He showed them all of the different grains that bread can be made from. He taught them about yeast and short breads that do not have yeast. He let them taste test lots of different kinds of breads. He showed them the equipment and the ovens. It was really fascinating and fun! And our Bible lessons all week were about bread- manna in the desert, Elijah an the widow, Jesus the Bread of Life, the feeding of the 5,000, and the Last Supper and Communion. How cool is that?!?

Then the next week, we actually churned our own butter! When we learned about the dutch cows, our curriculum had instructions on how to make your own butter from cream. It was really fun and shockingly actually worked! We made about 3 tablespoons of butter and put it on our biscuits and bread. Caleb loved it! And frankly, so did I!

This is one of the reasons I love homeschooling. After having been in the classroom for 4 years, I know there is no way a classroom teacher could do the things that we are able to do to make the lessons come alive. So much of what we do is hands-on, real life, conversational learning that is so authentic. I love educating in this way. And I love being the one who gets to watch my children learning and growing in their knowledge and understanding. It's certainly not easy, rarely convenient, and many days are not nearly that much fun, but it is so worth it.





We love bread!!

Thanks, Mr Mark!

Freshly churned butter!

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