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Family Rituals, History Bee, Healthy Breakfasts

Added by Heather Idoni

Monday, November 12, 2012
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Vol. 13 No. 18, November 12, 2012, ISSN: 1536-2035
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(c) 2012, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net
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Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you enjoy this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend! 

Not a subscriber? Get your own subscription (and a FREE unit study!) here:

http://www.familyclassroom.net

And please visit our sponsors -- they make this publication possible! :-)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nanoogo - Digital Storytelling and Sharing Platform

Nanoogo - Fun, simple, creative

How are your homeschooling students sharing their knowledge now? How are you bringing creativity to them? Nanoogo is an online platform that makes kids themselves active participants of creativity and knowledge-sharing.

Encourage your homeschooling students to APPLY their knowledge, rather than to just consume knowledge. Creativity, simplicity, and fun are the key factors that make up Nanoogo, specifically designed for younger kids (7-13). And there is no better place than home to develop children’s true talents and creativity!

This is all FREE. Sign up your homeschool as a private channel and have complete control over your students’ work. Or inspire your children’s creativity outside of your class. Find out how here.

Visit us for more information.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

=================
IN THIS ISSUE:
=================
Notes from Heather
-- New Family Rituals
Winning Website
-- Nat'l Geographic Fun Science
Helpful Tip
-- National History Bee
Reader Question
-- Healthy Breakfasts?
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

====================
Notes from Heather
====================

Starting New Family Rituals

---

Over the summer, the boys and I started having outdoor "Bible Parties" on sunny mornings. I really wanted to get into the Bible with my kids more than had over the past years (more deliberately anyway), so I had this inspiration to put a colorful poster on the inside of our kitchen door with a "come one, come all" appeal. I promised games, treats and prizes as a hook to get them more excited, and I left lines on the bottom for each to register in advance. My 3 still-at-home sons all signed up -- from ages 12 to 17! Even my 20 year joined us a few times when he was home.

After a few weeks the games and prizes became less and less important and we thrived on simply reading together and great discussions. We finished the whole book of John and started into Acts! Now that the days are turning colder, I need to find a way to move our 'fun' indoors. We haven't had any of our "Bible Parties" for a few weeks now, but the ritual is now firmly established and I know it will be greeted with delight when warm days come back in the Spring.

There have been times I've tried to start good habits with the children, only to see them fall by the wayside. One way to get more of a grip on introducing something new is to make it into a fun ritual. Rituals need to be out of the ordinary -- like the way you stop everything to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas. When it breaks up your normal routine -- or brings your family together in a way that takes everyone's focus off their own agenda -- you might have the makings of a good family ritual.

Rituals don't have to be fancy or complicated. If you are unfamiliar with family rituals, and want to start your own, here are some simple ideas from Ellyn Davis of Homeschool Marketplace (formerly Elijah Company):

  • Eat together.  If you're like many families today, you're busy in the late afternoon going to lessons or sports practice, so it's hard to have family dinner together seven nights a week. Try for breakfast together or snacks in the evening if it's too hard to have regularly scheduled mealtimes together. Relaxed moments of sharing food and conversation allow for bonding and reconnection.

  • Read aloud together.  Some of our closest family times were spend listening to a good book. We would either get audio books or read real books aloud.

  • Recognition night.  A fun way to celebrate your child's achievements is to serve a special meal of that child's favorite foods. You can even have a special, decorative plate reserved for these honoring occasions.

  • One on one time.  It's easy to overlook one-on-one time with our children, particularly if we have large families. Family ties can be improved through more personal attention. Set aside a few minutes each day, or an hour once a week, for one-on-one time with your children. Susannah Wesley, wife of John Wesley, had 17 children and she made it a practice to spend time alone with each child each week.

  • Family night.  Designate one night a week as sacred solely for family members to connect, interact and communicate while having wholesome fun. Play board games, rent a movie with popcorn and candy, play charades or card games, or have a cooking night where family members plan the meal and help cook it as a team. Or go out bowling or roller skating. If you stay at home, make sure the telephone is turned off.

  • Family field trips.  Picnics, hikes, a trip to a farm, a trip to the airport -- anything that is an outing for the kids that they really enjoy.

  • Volunteer day.  Help children cultivate altruism and to think of others less fortunate. Try as a family to do some community service like volunteer at a nursing home or in a soup kitchen, or collect food for a local food pantry. Another thing our family did was audition as volunteer actors in plays at our community theater. One year everyone but me acted in Oliver together.
  • ---

    Excerpted from www.homeschoolmarketplace.com/e-zines/ejournalfeb1412.html.

    ---

    Your feedback is always welcome! Just send your email to heather(at)familyclassroom.net

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Nanoogo - Digital Storytelling and Sharing Platform

    Nanoogo - Fun, simple, creative

    How are your homeschooling students sharing their knowledge now? How are you bringing creativity to them? Nanoogo is an online platform that makes kids themselves active participants of creativity and knowledge-sharing.

    Encourage your homeschooling students to APPLY their knowledge, rather than to just consume knowledge. Creativity, simplicity, and fun are the key factors that make up Nanoogo, specifically designed for younger kids (7-13). And there is no better place than home to develop children’s true talents and creativity!

    This is all FREE. Sign up your homeschool as a private channel and have complete control over your students’ work. Or inspire your children’s creativity outside of your class. Find out how here.

    Visit us for more information.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ==================
    Winning Website
    ==================

    Fun Science from National Geographic

    National Geographic Kids -- Have You Seen it Lately?

    There are fun things for all ages around the website -- explore all the links! :-)

    Here are a few of the simple science activities...

    All Charged Up -- Wiggly Water:
    kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/activities/funscience/wigglywater

    Try to make an ant get lost:
    kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/activities/funscience/ants-science-experiment

    Decipher a Postal service bar code:
    kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/activities/funscience/mail-science-experiment

    =============
    Helpful Tip
    =============

    National History Bee

    Registration is Open Through 12/23/12

    The National History Bee is an individual academic competition for elementary and middle school students that tests knowledge of a wide range of historical topics.

    For the 2012-2013 competition year, the History Bee has expanded their eligibility to allow homeschooled students to participate! Effective immediately, any student, regardless of school affiliation, who hasn't yet completed the eighth grade (and is also under the age of fifteen) is invited to register.

    Have a history-loving kid who is older? There is also a high school division! Check out the homeschool-specific info here:

    www.hs.historybee.com/info-for-homeschoolers

    Wondering what your kids might need to know to compete well in the History Bee? Here is the official study guide:

    historybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/National-History-Bee-Official-Study-Guide.pdf

    Spread the word -- maybe a homeschooled student will win this year! :-)

     

    ===============================
    Last Issue's Reader Question
    ===============================

    "I am really struggling with breakfast this year. The boys and their dad would eat pancakes with fruit and milk every morning with few complaints, but I'm over that! They don't love warm cereal, and boxed cereal is just too artificial. Any good ideas for a good, QUICK, healthy breakfast? Thanks!" -- Brenda

     

    =================
    Our Answers...
    =================

    "I like to mix up breakfast dishes the night before. I can pre-cook the meat while I'm cooking supper if the recipe calls for it, so I'm not cooking again after I clean up the supper pans. Put it all together, refrigerate overnight and pop in the oven in the morning while everyone is getting ready for the day. www.TasteofHome.com has lots of really good 'overnight' breakfast recipes." -- Sheila P.

    ---

    "How about muffins, eggs, biscuits, or yogurt? The muffins or scrambled eggs could be mixed up the night before and put in the refrigerator. Maybe they would like a sausage patty between an english mufin with cheese? French toast or waffles could be made in large batches and frozen to make a quick breakfast and cleanup." -- Cindy

    ---

    "Brenda -- Since my sons were old enough to pour consistently, I have done everything possible to provide them independence in the kitchen. This meant a small lidded pourable container to put milk in (when about 4 years old) so they could pour their own milk. It has meant rearranging our refrigerator shelves periodically to provide spaces they could reach. I also would leave a bag of bagels on the counter for them to 'find'.

    Quick, easy, nutritious breakfasts are not hard -- they just take some planning on your part. Some of our kids' favorites? Our sons are now teens, but they have made most of these ideas since they were each about 7 years old:

    - Hard-boiled egg on toasted English muffin with a slice of cheddar -- portable too!
    - Tuna salad on mini-croissants (yes, I know -- not a typical breakfast, but they thought it very fun to eat 'lunch' food at breakfast -- and breakfast food at lunch!)
    - 'Instant' oatmeal with your own raisins or sunflower seeds or nuts added. (They did chocolate chips once but decided it was a waste of chocolate!)
    - Muffins made the evening before and 'left' out (covered in plastic of course!) Blueberry, cranberry/orange, lemon/flaxseed, pecan/raisin/chocolate chip... make a basic muffin base and add whatever is in your cupboard.
    - Plain yogurt with granola, nuts and/or dried fruits or jelly have less sugar than commercially available and you can change the 'flavors' to fit the mood -- grape or strawberry jelly? or honey? Pecans or almonds? Dried cranberries or dried blueberries?
    - Cinnamon toast with loads of fresh butter they make themselves from cream and a glass jar (burns energy and wiggles and makes it tastier!)
    - Banana with a 'face' of sunflower seeds (can make as a totem pole too!) Fun with food?!
    - English muffin with cottage cheese in the center -- careful, very messy meal! Cottage cheese squishes out and can drip down arms!

    Because of a sugar imbalance in one of my sons, I've found if he has proteins his attention after meals is much better. The other son could eat 'frosted coated sugar bomb' cereal and be fine, but not the other. Hence the weight on protein-heavy breakfasts. Having some basic ingredients in the fridge makes it easier, too. Good luck!" -- Jennifer in Illinois

    ---

    "My family often eats homemade waffles for breakfast, but I only make them once a month. Waffles made with a mix of freshly ground flour and basic store-bought flour, or even regular flour mixed with wheat germ or other health boosters, can make a nutritious breakfast. I make a quadruple batch and freeze them in gallon bags. The children and my husband can pop them into the toaster for an instant breakfast. We have done the same with pancakes -- we have a pancake maker that resembles a waffle maker. Toppings can be basic syrup or fruits, or even peanut butter and honey.

    We also make a basic breakfast egg casserole each week and keep it in the fridge. We can reheat it in the oven or microwave and it's as healthy as we make it, often including veggies. Between waffles, fruit, and casserole, most mornings are covered, although we also keep a healthy cereal on hand as well. Good luck!" -- Anne

    ---

    "Brenda -- Here are some of our breakfast alternatives to keep the morning routine interesting at our house:

    - Muffins (zucchini bread, pumpkin bread or other sweet bread) and smoothies
    - Granola, yogurt, fruit parfaits
    - Bacon or sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches (on toast, English muffins, or croissants)
    - Toasted bagels and cream cheese or jam with fresh fruit
    - Crepes (I thin my pancake batter down and swirl it around the bottom of my skillet to form these) rolled up with cottage cheese and peach slices or yogurt and banana slices
    - Old-fashioned oatmeal with diced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins added in
    - Waffles and sausage links or bacon

    Using different flavors of yogurt and various fruits will add more variety to these menus.

    For smoothies, I use my blender and mix crushed ice or frozen banana chunks or blueberries with yogurt, a little milk, and any other fruit or berry I have on hand. The possibilities are endless!" -- Rochelle

     

    ======================
    New Reader Question
    ======================

    "It is so easy to fill our kids' days with the oh-so-important -- if not the oh-so-urgent! How do you 'balance' study time (8 - 9 'subjects') with free time, which is SO important (as mentioned in the previous article by Barbara Frank)?" -- Jane B.

     

    ==================
    Send YOUR Answer!
    ==================

    Do you have thoughts to share with Jane? Please send YOUR answer!

    Email: hn-answers(at)familyclassroom.net

     

    ====================
    Ask YOUR Question
    ====================

    Our 13,000+ readers have a wealth of experience and wisdom. Would you like to have YOUR question featured in an upcoming issue? Please ask it! :-)

    Send your email to: hn-questions(at)familyclassroom.net

     

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