Friday, March 26, 2010

Our Homeschooling Journey

We've decided to homeschool Aidan next year for preschool. For the past two years we have taken classes through the public school system; but, we'd like to try something different next year. The program we'll be using is called Five In A Row. This is a literature-based curriculum using classic stories with studies in Language Arts, Science, Math, Social Studies and Art.

For the remainder of this school year, I decided to use a program called Before Five In A Row. It's the same type of program; but, for younger children. We're not really doing an official "school" program. I just want to get into the habit of planning, preparing and following through on a lesson. I also wanted to take some time to figure out what will and won't work for our family school time.

We've done several stories already: Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?, The Snowy Day, The Runaway Bunny and The ABC Bunny. Aidan has really responded to this style of learning and I like spending time pulling as much out of the stories as I can. We've been exploring new styles of art like watercolor and charcoal drawings. Our new felt board has been a big hit, too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Youngstown Bread Gets Some Bread

Spring feels like it may actually be here to stay. The sun is shining, birds are chirping and our neighbors are out enjoying the warm weather. We, however, are in the house. Aidan came down with a stomach virus last night after our mini St. Patty's Day party. Hope it wasn't the corned beef and rainbow cupcakes. I found the recipe at They were enjoyed by all; but most of them were enjoyed by me.

So, what's a girl to do when she's stuck in the house on such a sun-shiney day? Time to come up with a new project. I've been feeling very domestic lately, what with all the knitting and sewing and cooking. We've also been spending a lot of time at the library preparing to start homeschooling next year.

Last week, I checked out James Beard's Beard On Bread, written in 1973. I've been wanting to REALLY learn to bake bread. I've been pretty disappointed with most of my past attempts and the bread machine bread leaves MUCH to be desired. So, I thought I would check out this classic bread book. I spent this sunny afternoon reading through the recipes and notes and found it to be really straightforward and slightly entertaining. So, I've decided to bake my way through the recipes in written order. I'm also going to attempt to do this before I run out of library renewals. I suppose I could BUY the book; but, I'm not committing any money to it until I turn out some good loaves.

Day 1: Basic White Bread

Seems pretty straightforward and I had all of the ingredients on hand. I didn't get it started early enough in the day to have with our dinner; but, it will make a nice treat this evening. It already looks better than any of my previous attempts. You can see that the bread rose more on one side than the other. The book says that I didn't have it positioned properly in the oven. I'll have to work on that; but, we're still going to enjoy it in all its uneveness!