Monday, July 13, 2015

My Curriculum 2015-2016

Now that we are in our 3rd year of homeschooling, we have pretty much settled on the various curricula that work well for our family, at least for our core subjects.  We do core subjects individually and all other subjects as a family.  I consider us eclectic Charlotte Mason homeschoolers if that is even a thing.  We use Mater Amabilis (a free online Catholic Charlotte Mason program) as our spine, and adjust where necessary.

Michaela - 2nd Grade
Michaela is a 2nd grader and is at grade level for most subjects except for being a year ahead in Grammar, and a year below in Handwriting.  I am so happy that she is reading well so she can do quite a bit of independent work while I work with Rafael this year.

Math: MEP Year 2
Phonics: Prescription for Reading Level 4 and 5, reading practice
Spelling: All About Spelling Level 2
Grammar: First Language Lessons Level 3 AND Primary Language Lessons (Half of each)
Handwriting: Writing Our Catholic Faith 1 Manuscript and 2 Manuscript
Catechism: Faith and Life 2, St. Joseph First Communion Catechism
Literature: Book lists from Mater Amabilis Level 1a

Rafael - Kindergarten/1st Grade
Rafael is technically in Kindergarten, but for various reasons is above grade level in most subjects.  He has a late November birthday so is pretty old for his grade.  He also is a second kid, and as often happens with later children, learned quite a bit in his earlier years by watching Michaela and sitting in the room while she had her lessons.  On the other hand, he very much has the physical attributes of being a 5yo boy - namely being fidgety and a bit hyper at times!  I pay close attention to make sure that is not struggling with any of the subjects, but so far he is completing the advanced levels with ease.  He IS slightly behind on handwriting, as is Michaela.  My fault for not making that a priority and for not helping them develop their fine motor skills as much as I should have!

Math: MEP Year 1
Phonics: Prescription for Reading Level 1 and 2
Spelling: All About Spelling Level 1
Grammar: First Language Lessons Level 1
Handwriting: Writing Our Catholic Faith Pre-K Basic Strokes and K Manuscript
Catechism: Rosemarie Gortler Books
Literature: Book lists from Mater Amabilis Prep Level

Gabrielle - Tot School
Gabrielle is a whirling 3yo bundle of energy!  She BEGS to do school like her siblings, so I am letting her participate by doing Tot School.  We did tot school with the other two when they were little so I am pulling from my old blog and from Pinterest to put together some tot boxes that she can work independently on while I am helping the older two.

Basic Skills: tot boxes that work on basic skills such as counting, shapes, colors, alphabet, etc.
Handwriting: Tot Boxes that develop fine motor skills
Catechism: Leading the Little Ones to Mary
Literature: Five in a Row and other books from Mater Amabilis preschool literature list

Family Subjects
Bible - My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories
Virtues - Program for Achieving Character Education (PACE)
Family Catechism - Tell Me about the Catholic Faith

Social Studies:
History - Connecting with History - Ancient
Earth Studies - Rivers and Oceans Plans from Mater Amabilis Level 1B
Geography - We'll be using Galloping the Globe in the homeschool co-op through our church

Science - Plants and Animals Plans from Mater Amabilis Level 1A, Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU) in our co-op
Nature Study - Handbook of Nature Study Blog Monthly Newsletter prompts

Fine Arts:
Art - The Seven Elements of Art
Artist Study - Art History overview/appreciation in the first semester, Impressionists in 2nd Semester (various sources - post to follow)
Composer Study - overview/appreciation (various sources - post to follow)
Music - Making Music, Praying Twice

Spanish - Flip Flop Spanish
Habits - Laying Down the Rails

Does that seem like a lot?  Come back tomorrow to learn how I fit it all in!  Thanks for reading!

I'm Linking Up!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Week in Review July 12th - Week #2

In Our Homeschool
Still sticking with mostly the basics for the first month of school. I'm hoping to start adding in our extra subjects once August hits. 

In Our Life
Lots of rain around here so we've been enjoying the break from the sun. Monsoon season is my favorite.

Around Town
We loved our trip to the Jemez so much that we had to return!  I love having a 4 day schoolweek!
We went to a fun science demonstration day at the library this week and learned all about sound and light. 

My Kitchen
Made some delicious soup

I'm Working On
I'm helping with VBS this week so have been busy decorating my room for that. I also am doing some administrative work for the co-op we'll be starting at our church this fall. 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Green Chile Chicken Cheddar Soup

It's been raining all week now that we are solidly in our area's monsoon season. One particularly rainy day, I had a craving (or as my mom always called it, a "granito") for some warm comfort food. For me, comfort food is what I grew up with - New Mexican cuisine. I started to make some green chile chicken enchiladas and realized that I didn't have time.  Instead of layering my sauce in a casserole to make that delicious dish, I adapted it a bit for a yummy soup that was done in half the time.  The result was a creamy delicious dinner that the whole family enjoyed. If your littles are chile wimps like mine, leave the chile out and add a bit individually to the grown up bowls.

3-4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, boiled and shredded
4T butter
4T flour
4c milk
1c shredded cheddar
Green chile, roasted, peeled, and chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a saucepan, heat butter until melted and add flour to make a roux. Simmer until light brown and slowly whisk in milk. Simmer on low and continue to whisk until creamy and thick. Add cheese and whisk until incorporated.  Stir in chicken, green chile, and salt and pepper. Let cool a bit before serving. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Week in Review July 5th - Week #1

In Our Homeschool
We started our new school year on Monday and had a pretty fantastic week.  We are starting our 3rd year of "official" homeschooling and we definitely have our groove set.

This year we are adding in some Tot School activities for Gabrielle.  She insists she is a big girl and no longer falls for me telling her that a coloring book is "school".  I have a little bin of Busy Bags for her to work on while we are doing school and she seems to enjoy them so far.
Philip has been helping out a bit by keeping Gabrielle busy when she has hit her wall with the busy bags.  He also taught the kids a science lesson this week - all about gravity!

Around Town
We stayed at home most of the week so that we could get into a good school routine, but we still had some great fun out of the house.  We only school 4 days a week, so we used our day off this week to take a family trip up to a new-to-us hiking spot in the Jemez Mountains.  It was an adorable little half-mile trail that ended in a small waterfall and natural swimming hole.  We wished we had brought our bathing suits, but that didn't seem to stop the kids from having fun in the water!

On Saturday, Michaela participated in the 4th of July Parade with her American Heritage Girl troop, and then we watched the city's firework display later that evening.  On Sunday, we found a cool new pool and spent a few hours having some summer fun.

My Kitchen
I tried a few fun recipes this week.  I made a chicken pesto pizza with leftover rotisserie chicken, pesto, and this 30 minute pizza crust.  I also made Chicken Paella and Flan for the feast of Bl. Junipero Serra.

I'm Grateful For
I'm so glad that my husband (a teacher) is off for another month.  It is so lovely to have him around to hang out with.  Not to mention he helps with school and cleaning!

Things I'm Working On
I've been having a lot of fun with my new-found peg doll obsession.  This week I made my first set of non-saint dolls.  I signed up to do a geography-based swap and painted a set of dolls from Hawaii.  I had a hard time making the grass skirt look good, so I ended up painting the bottom a solid green.  I still think it came out all right thanks to the lei's I made with a toothpick tip.

I'm Linking Up
Weekly Wrap-Up

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

30 Minute Homemade Pizza

Yesterday, we had one of those evenings where nothing sounded good at all.  If we weren't watching our budget, I would have suggested ordering a pizza or going out for fast food.  Trying to control that instinct, I searched the fridge for an easy meal and came up empty handed.  When I noticed some leftover rotisserie chicken, I decided to make a quick pizza.  I hopped onto Google and searched for an easy at-home pizza crust.  While my husband is an excellent baker, I limit myself to quickbreads and cookies.  I have never tried to make bread or use yeast in any way.  Thankfully my husband had some leftover yeast in the pantry so I was able to pull this crust together quickly.  This is not a gourmet pizza crust by any stretch of the imagination.  But if you need a quick, easy dinner that will satisfy both parents and kids, this is a great option!

30 Minute Homemade Pizza Crust
1 (.25oz) package active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 c warm water
2 1/2c bread flour
2 T olive oil
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let rest for 10 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Beat until smooth and let rest another 5 minutes.  Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface and transfer to pizza stone or baking pan dusted with cornmeal.  Add toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Source: All Recipes

July Saints and Feast Days

10 July Activities for Catholic Families @ Real Life at Home

July 1st – Bl. Junipero Serra
Franciscan missionary from Spain who became a major figure in California history.  He founded 21 missions in California and converted thousands of Native Americans.  If all goes as planned, he will be canonized during Pope Francis’ trip to the U.S. in September.  Read more about him at Catholic Culture or Holy Spirit Interactive.

Coloring Pages:
Blessed Junipero Serra @ Catholic Playground
Blessed Junipero Serra @ Little Jesus and Me (scroll)
Mission San Juan Capistrano and Swallow @ Little Jesus and Me (scroll)

Draw a California Mission @ Youtube

Chicken Paella @ Catholic Mom
California Mission Foods @ Catholic Cuisine
Fig Raisin Cake @ Catholic Culture (or to make it easier on yourself, buy some fig newtons!)
Mexican Chocolate Bread Pudding @ Catholic Cuisine

July 3rd - St. Thomas, Apostle
One of Jesus’ twelve apostles famous for doubting that He was raised from the dead until he physically touched Jesus’ crucifixion wounds.  Took the gospel to India.  Read more about him at Catholic Culture.

Coloring Pages:
Jesus and Thomas @ Raising Our Kids
St. Thomas the Apostle @ Catholic Playground

Copywork @ Shower of Roses
Milk Carton City of God @ Equipping Catholic Families

St. Thomas Fingers @ Catholic Cuisine
Grilled Chicken and Rice Salad @ Catholic Cuisine
Chaldean Coconut Cookies @ Catholic Cuisine
Rice Pudding @ Catholic Culture

July 5th: St. Elizabeth of Portugal
Named after her Great-Aunt (St. Elizabeth of Hungary).  Married to King Denis of Portugal, who was often unfaithful, she lived a life of extreme piety and virtue.
Coloring Pages:
St. Elizabeth of Portugal @ Life’s Little Adventures

Go to Mass @ Today with the Saints

July 6th – St. Maria Goretti
At the age of 12, she fought against a rape attempt, which ended in her being stabbed.  She forgave her attacker on her deathbed, who many years later repented.  Read more about her at Catholic Culture.  This is such a hard story to tell young children.  Equipping Catholic Families has a wonderful, simple explanation for the younger members of your family.

Coloring Pages:
Maria Goretti Illustration @ The Catholic Illustrators Guild

Handprint Lillies and Forgiveness Tag @ Shower of Roses

Flames of Forgiveness Cupcakes @ Catholic Cuisine
Lily Sandwiches @

July 11th: St. Benedict
Abbot who established a monastic community centered on the divine office.  Read more about him at Catholic Culture.

Coloring Pages:
St. Benedict @ Catholic Playground
St. Benedict & Scholastica @ Real Life at Home

St. Benedict Medal Craft @ Equipping Catholic Families
Memorize Psalms @ Equipping Catholic Families

Little Pizza Italy @ Catholic Cuisine

July 12th: St. Veronica
St. Veronica is the woman who took pity on Jesus during his walk to Calvary and wiped his face with a cloth.  Read more about her at Catholic Online.

Coloring Pages:
V is for St. Veronica @ Saints to Color

Handkerchiefs @ Many Mercies
Veronica’s Veil @ Catholic Playground
St. Veronica Craft @ Catholic Icing

Poulet Veronique @ Catholic Cuisine

July 12th: Bl. Louis and Zelie Martin
Parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.  Lived an incredibly pious life and raised 9 children.  They will be canonized October 18th.  Read more about them at Louis and Zelie Martin.

St. Therese and Family Paper Dolls @ Sacred Heart Books and Gifts

Florentines @ Catholic Cuisine
Lace Effect Sugar Cookies @ Catholic Cuisine

July 14th: St. Kateri Tekakwitha
Mohawk Native American who converted to Catholicism as an adult against her family’s wishes.  Read more about her at Catholic Culture.

Coloring Pages:
St. Kateri @ Happy Saints
Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha @ St. John the Baptist Religious Ed.
Pack of St. Kateri Coloring Pages @ Holy Heroes (Free)
St. Kateri Tekakwitha @ Catholic Playground
K is for St. Kateri Tekakwitha @ Saints to Color

Copywork @ Writing Wizard
St. Kateri Paper Roll Doll @ Family at the Foot of the Cross
St. Kateri Comic Book Pages @ Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact
St. Kateri American Girl Doll Costume @ Equipping Catholic Families
St. Kateri Homemade Costume @ Catholic Icing
St. Kateri Rosary Craft @ Familia Catolica
St. Kateri Crossstitch @ Do Small Things with Love
Stick Cross @ Catholic Inspired
Cross and Beads Necklace @ Catholic Inspired

Edible Indian Corn @ Shower of Roses
Mohawk Corn Bread @ Catholic Culture
Mohawk Milk Cake @ Hi Cookery
St. Kateri Cedar Plank Salmon @ My Catholic Kitchen

St. Kateri Audio Glory Story @ Holy Heroes

July 16th: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock on Mount Carmel in 1251 and gave him the brown scapular.  Read more about her at Catholic Culture and about the brown scapular at Shower of Roses.

Coloring Pages:
Multiple Coloring Pages @ Catholic Icing

Wall Scapular Craft @ Catholic Inspired

Mount Carmel Steamers @ Catholic Cuisine
Caramel Iced Coffee & Milk @ Catholic Cuisine
Caramel Applesauce Crown Cake @ Catholic Cuisine
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Meatball Sandwich @ Catholic Cuisine
Carmelite Sunday @ Catholic Cuisine
LOTS of scapular shaped treats (cookies, cakes, brownies, etc.) @ Catholic Cuisine

July 22nd: St. Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene is the “loose” woman whom Jesus tells to sin no more.  In the Latin tradition, she is also Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus.  She is also, along with the Virgin Mary and St. John, one of the few that remained at Jesus’ side at the crucifixion, and was the first to see the Risen Jesus.  Read more about her at Catholic Culture and at Fish Eaters.

Coloring Pages:
Jesus Forgives Mary Magdalene @ Catholic Etc.
Mary Magdalene at the Tomb @ Hello Kids
Mary at the Tomb @ Ministry to Children

Mary and Martha Hidden Objects @ Lessons 4 Sunday School
Mary and Martha Puppets @ Sunday School Zone
Mary and Martha Cartoon @ Youtube

St. Magdalene Fingers @ Catholic Cuisine

July 23rd: St. Bridget of Sweeden
Mystic who was zealous in serving the poor and sick as a princess.  She is the mother of Catherine of Sweeden.  Read more about her at Catholic Culture.

Coloring Page:
St. Bridget of Sweeden @ Women for Faith and Family

Sweedish Meatballs @ Catholic Cuisine

July 25th: St. James, Apostle
St. James, the brother of John, was present at the Transfiguration and the Agony in the Garden.  He was beheaded in Jerusalem, the first apostle to be martyred.  Read more about him at Catholic Culture.

Coloring Pages:
St. James the Greater @ Little Jesus and Me (scroll)

St. James Cross and Shell Candle @ Shower of Roses

Tarta de Santiago @ Catholic Cuisine
Coupe St. Jacques @ Catholic Cuisine
Nacho Stuffed Shells @ Catholic Cuisine

July 26th: St. Anne and Joachim
Mary’s parents.  We don’t know much about them, other than that they had Mary when they were advanced in age, and that they dedicated her in the temple as a child.  Read more about them at Catholic Culture.

Coloring Pages:
St. Anne @ Waltzing Matilda

Cards for Grandparents @ Two Os + More

Crème Sainte Anne @ Catholic Cuisine
Watermelon Lemonade @ Catholic Cuisine
Mariners Mussels @ Carrots for Michaelmas

July 29th: St. Martha
Martha was a friend of Jesus, most remembered for working busily to show Jesus hospitality in her home while her sister Mary sat and listened to Jesus.  Martha is the patron saint of homemakers, and reminds us to take time out of our busy day to keep Jesus at the center of our lives.  Read more about her at Catholic Culture.

Coloring Pages:
St. Martha @ Catholic Playground
Jesus Visits Mary and Martha @ Sermon 4 Kids

Hospitality with Martha and Mary @ Meaningful Mama
Mary and Martha Cartoon @ Youtube
Mary and Martha Hidden Objects @ Lessons 4 Sunday School
Mary and Martha Puppets @ Sunday School Zone

Prepare a simple meal as suggested @ Catholic Culture

July 31st: St. Ignatius of Loyola
Spanish saint who helped found the Jesuits.  Read more about him at Catholic Culture.

Coloring Pages:
I is for St. Ignatius of Loyola @ Saints to Color
St. Ignatius of Loyola @ Herald Entertainment
Coloring Page and Paper Doll @ Paper Dali

Spiritual Exercise @ Sadlier

San Ignacio’s Nachos @ Catholic Cuisine

You can find most of these activities on my Liturgical Year - July Pinterest board:
Follow Andrea's board Liturgical Year: July on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!