Black Bean Taco Salad

Black Bean Taco Salad is an easy quick meal to prepare and has been one of my favorites over the years.  It comes together so fast with fresh flavors and fun textures and is really a treat in the mouth and satisfying to the tummy.

I enjoy this taco salad for lunch or dinner.  It is super delicious and nutritious.  Some suggestions for different diet variations: If you are following a certain diet like Trim Healthy Mama, then you can serve this dish with blue corn chips or homemade baked Joseph’s pita / tortilla crisps / chips.  If you are following a diet like The Fast Metabolism Diet then leave out the chips and instead serve this salad with sliced veggies like cucumbers, jicama, or large wedges of peppers, etc. If you are following a Low Carb Diet, leave out the black beans and chips and serve with low starch veggie slices or just on romaine lettuce. If you are on a Nourishing Foods or Eat Fat Loose Fat plan, add in a spoonfull of geletain powder and a spoonful of coconut oil to your pan while it cooks and serve with full fat sourcream and fermented Pico de Gallo and serve with sprouted corn chips. All of these methods are delicious variations you will not be dissappointed with.

This meal comes together fast and takes less than ten minutes to throw together if you keep a batch of Pico de Gallo in the fridge or freezer and canned beans on hand for quick meals.  If not, then it will take you about another five minutes to chop those veggies and throw in the pot.  If cooking beans from scratch, you will need to plan ahead and soak them overnight and plan to cook for an hour on the stove the next day before using in this recipe as dried beans should always be soaked for at least seven hours and drained before cooking to neutralize the phytic acids.  This truly is a fast food meal.  I like to make a batch of Pico de Gallo ahead and keep it in the fridge and some in quick meal packs in the freezer for fast meals when I don’t feel much like cooking or making a big mess in the kitchen.

The best part of all in making this meal is that my kids enjoy it and they don’t complain about eating it, and that makes the effort of putting this nutritious meal together for them so worth it!

Black Bean Taco Salad

 

 

Black Bean Taco Salad

Ingredients:
1 cup Pico de Gallo (fresh or frozen). Check out my Pico de Gallo recipe at the bottom of this post.
1 can black beans drained and rinsed.
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder or a fresh clove of garlic minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/4 cup shredded cheese

Optional (for crunch) serve with:
1 cup tortilla chips or 1 cup sliced raw veggies

Directions:
In a pan heat the Pico de Gallo on medium heat until the onions are tender, add in beans, garlic and spices till heated through and no moisture from the veggies remains. Scoop the taco filling onto plate and serve with lettuce, cheese, and tortilla chips. Add sour cream or guacamole if desired.

Nutrition Data: Calories 415; Protein 25 g; Fat 11 g; Fiber 20 g; Carbs 58 g; Sugars 8 g; Vit A 6105 IU; Vit C 42.2 mg; Vit K 66.7 mcg; Calcium 303 mg; Iron 5.4 mg; Thiamine .6 mg; Folate 610 mcg; Magnesium 159 mg; and so much more. This meal is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidents and is very nutrient dense. Data figured for the taco salad filling, plus lettuce and cheese, but without the optional chips or raw veggies.

This basic meal is very versatile. You can serve the taco filling in crunchy taco shells, on tostada shells, or inside soft tortillas too. It works for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas if you just change up the sauce or shell you are working with. I also love to add in already cooked rice for a delicious meal of rice and beans or to also fill a variety of shells. The kids love to add the taco filling, rice, cheese, and crunchy corn chips inside a soft tortilla shell for their own homemade version of FRITO BURRITOS from Taco Bell. If you want to use the taco filling as a dip, then just blend it in the blender until desired smoothness or chunckiness and serve with veggies or tortilla chips or spread on the inside of bread or tortillas for variety to sandwiches. Also for a creamy mexican soup, after blending the taco filling, this it with water or milk (real milk, almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, etc) and reheat the soup on top of stove, then garnish the soup bowl with sour cream, or more Pico de Gallo when serving if desired. This basic recipe is very versatile and you can get a lot of different meals from it.

Homemade Pico de Gallo

1 medium chopped onion (red or white)
2 medium chopped tomatoes with seeds removed
1 small chopped jalapeno with seeds removed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 2 Tbsp dried cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt

Toss everything together and store in fridge or freezer and use for adding to meals (tacos, burritos, eggs, soups, etc.) or as a garnish. Pico de Gallo is basically a fresh salad made from uncooked salsa. It is traditional in Mexican cooking, comes together quick and easy and makes meals POP with flavor and texture. I highly recommend keeping batches of this awesome food in the fridge and freezer for various uses. I love to make quick breakfasts by adding a few tablespoons of Pico de Gallo in a skillet, sauteing with chopped spinach and then piling all of that inside a delicious omelet. The best omelets ever!!! If desired, you can also ferment Pico de Gallo in a glass canning jar for one to three days on the counter, and then for another week or so in the fridge before using just by adding in 2 Tbsp of liquid whey when preparing a fresh batch. It will turn out similar to Kimchi (Kimchi is a raw fermented Asian spicy salad) but without the cabbage and red chili peppers. It is amazing what you can do with ferments. The Lactobacillus in the liquid whey helps safely ferment the veggies and activates lots of enzymes and good bacteria that are beneficial to the digestive and immune systems. Whether you eat it fresh, cooked, or fermented, Pico de Gallo is YUMMY!!!

Spanish by Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

My 8th grader is plugging right along learning in a Spanish Course from Middlebury Interactive Languages.

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Middlebury Interactive Languages

Middlebury Interactive Languages curriculum currently offers training in four language Courses: Spanish, French, Chinese, and German. Each course is offered at various age and skill levels from grades K through 12th grade. Each course is a semester long, and can work progressively with the previous course taken. The info graphic below shows the courses offered by grade levels in each language.

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Spanish 1 Course And How We Used It In Our Home:

We were given a semester (6 month subscription) to Middle School Spanish 1 Course, grades 6-8, by Middleburry Interactive Languages for the purpose of trying it out and writing an honest review.

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Middle School Spanish 1 is an interactive beginning Spanish language course designed for students in grades 6-8. It retails for $119 per semester. It is designed to efficiently teach the four key language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The course is aligned to national standards as set forth by ACTFL (the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages).

Using authentic native speaking materials and situations to apply the language helps to motivate kids and build their confidence. Spanish 1 uses multimedia activities, various exercises, vocabulary, grammar and sentences, conversations.

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Kids are self motivated to learn. Kids are introduced to life in Spanish-speaking countries, such as history, food, and literature, conversations, and this helps to cultivate an appreciation of the Hispanic world. Spanish 1 utilizes guided learning to help students acquire language proficiency. Successful completion of Middle School Spanish 1 provides a solid foundation for future Spanish learning and travel to Spanish speaking countries.

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My son practiced everyday for the past six weeks on the program. He really likes it and will definitely continue on and finish the course. There are a total of 90 lessons for the whole semester. The goal was for him to complete a lesson a day, but he did not always complete the full lesson at each sitting, and sometimes the lesson carried over into the next day.  It is challenging for him and I am pleased with his progress and motivation to keep going.

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When he logs in, he gets a list of options on his dashboard for each lesson. He can listen to the computer speak in Spanish, practice warm ups, listen to the native speakers, learn the alphabet and pronunciation of each letter, practice speaking, record your speaking and compare it to the native speakers, various grammar skills, flash cards, conversation, and so much more.

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He can view his lessons from a calendar format, table of contents format, or just simply when logging in the dashboard shows him the next lesson. That is how he usually accesses his lessons and keeps track of his progress.  He does have to remember to click the submit button at the top right corner of the page after each portion of the lesson for it to record his answers and progress.

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Did you know that 40 countries around the world speak Spanish, and that the Spanish language is second in line for the most native speakers, second only to Chinese? Wow, growing up in the USA and speaking English only, without exposure to other languages, one might never know that English is not the dominant language in the world.  One thing that is really cool about this language learning program that it takes you on a virtual journey to other countries and cultures to immerse your learning process in the language you are studying and prepares you to travel to distant lands and speak with native speakers if you desire to do that.

Videos:

Here is an introductory video to Middle school Spanish Courses through Middlebury Interactive Languages:

Here is a student talking about how learning Spanish through Middlebury Interactive Languages program prepared him to take a trip to a Spanish speaking country and immerse himself in the language and culture.

Media Links

Be sure to check out Middleburry Interactive Languages media links for all the latest updates and news:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Middlebury-Interactive-Languages/141015515949753
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MiddInteractive
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/middinteractive/
Google +: https://plus.google.com/b/110371351490550861545/110371351490550861545/posts

Click to read Crew Reviews

Be sure to check out what other families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about these great language curriculum products from Middlebury Interactive Languages.

Crew Disclaimer

SDA For Homeschoolers Review

Looking for a fun and challenging homeschool curriculum option for your students? Then you might want to check out Standard Deviants Accelerate for homeschoolers.

SDA

Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses (SDAccellerate.com) are an easy to use, online, homeschool curriculum for students 8 and older. Courses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online (videos, interactive quizzes, writing, etc) and you can access them through your desktop computer, mobile laptop, and smart device like a tablet too. So this greatly increases your options of where and when you can find flexible time to work on your school work. They can be used as a supplemental program, but also may fit as your main learning program in a given subject too.

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Homeschool Courses:

 

Standard Deviants Accelerate is appropriate for students ages 8 through adult. They currently offer 14 different homeschool curriculum options for middle school and high school age students, and 2 curriculum options are also appropriate for elementary aged kids in 3rd and 4th grades and above.

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Each course offers a full year’s worth of learning materials including videos, note taking, quizzes, written work, review, and exams for your student. Each regular course costs $99.00 for a year subscription, or $24.95 for a month to month subscription. The AP courses cost $14.95 a month. They are currently running a special, and offering you to try out the program for free for 6 months and see if it is a good fit for your family.

Arithmetic – Grades 3+
Fundamental Math – Grades 4+

Nutrition – 6+
Earth Science – Grades 6+

Algebra – Grades 7+
Biology – Grades 7+

English Composition – Grades 9+
U.S. History – Grades 9+
Chemistry – Grades 9+

AP Biology – Grades 11+
AP Chemistry – Grades 11+
AP U.S. History – Grades 11+
AP U.S. Government & Politics – Grades 11+
AP English Composition – Grades 11+

 

How We Used Standard Deviants Accelerate In Our Home:

 

I am very grateful for this opportunity to review this homeschool program. I have taken time to explore all of the classes for grades 3 through 9 for the purpose of writing this review. I have not explored the AP classes yet, but hope to look through them too. I would encourage you to click the link at the bottom of this review to read what other TOS Crew members had to say about the regular and AP homeschool courses and see if this program would work for your homeschool.

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My kids and I each have our own seperate dashboards when we log in. I have the kids log in each day and view the video assignment, take notes as they watch the video and save their notes on the computer program. They complete any related written work and take the quiz. The notes they type are stored in their “locker” which is a filing system they can keep track of all of their notes for classes. On my dashboard, I can view their progress, what areas need more practice or review to improve their understanding. Check out this short Teacher Account Video that explains more how this works.

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Homeschool Algebra:

 
There are so many great features with the SDAccelerate.com Homeschool Alegebra curriculum that benefit the student and the teacher. Here are just a few:

220 minutes of video (with scrolling transcripts)
54 vocab words (with audio playback)
Note-taking
38 critical thinking questions
205 multiple choice questions
14 drag n’ drop graphic organizers
Re-teaching
Automatic grading
Progress reporting
Meets State and National Standards
RTI alerts
Differentiated Instruction
Editable rubrics
Student-to-teacher messaging

algebra

Below is a picture of my 8th grader working on Algebra. He is also working through the U.S. History, English Composition, Chemistry, and Biology courses. He is thrilled with these classes. He is not really a video oriented learner and prefers to read information for himself in most situations. I am very glad the classes include the written transcript of the video lessons. This fella loves to read and work independently and doesn’t need videos to grasp information though he does find it helpful at times. Over all though he loves the curriculum and is self motivated to work on it each day. He sets high standards for himself and strives to get good scores on his work. I feel like he is gaining a solid understanding of the information presented. We do disagree with some things regarding evolution in the biology course work. We believe the earth and all of creation was created by God and our faith plays a big role in our education. The course work is not written from a Christian perspective, but putting the evolution issue aside, the curriculum is done well and the kids like it.

Algebra

Homeschool U.S. History:

 
Some of the great features of the SDAccelerate.com Homeschool U.S. History curriculum include:

149 minutes of video (with scrolling transcripts)
144 vocab words (with audio playback)
160 multiple choice questions
Note-taking
29 critical thinking questions
14 drag n’ drop graphic organizers
Meets State and National Standards
Progress reporting, Editable rubrics, Re-teaching
Automatic grading, and Student-to-teacher messaging

US History

Below is a picture of my 6th grader on the computer working on the SDAccelerates U.S. History course. He is also working through the Nutrition and Earth Science courses too. Even though the U.S. History course is advanced for his grade level, he works exceptionally well with this style of learning. He is an audio-visual learner and works his best and excels when school work is presented in a combined audio video format. He does not like to read a lot of verbage, and will quickly become bored if expected to read all his school work. But he stays attentive to video presentations. His learning style is the complete opposite of his older brother, and I am thankful for SDAccelerate’s fun video style learning program for him to use.

US History

Standard Deviants Accelerate on Social Media


Be sure to follow Standard Deviants Accelerate on their social media links for all the latest news, courses, updates, and teaching ideas, and more:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SDAccelerate
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SDAccelerate
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/SDAccelerate/
Google+: google.com/+Sdaccelerate
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CerebellumCorp/videos

Click to read Crew Reviews

Check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using Standard Deviants Accelerate with their family.

Crew Disclaimer

iWitness Review

I have another great homeschool resource to tell you about today!  We are reading the iWitness series of books by Apologia Educational Ministries in our biblical studies.  We were sent three of the books in this series to review: Old Testament iWitness, New Testament iWitness, and iWitness Biblical Archeology.

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If you have questions about the bible, the iWitness series of books will help you find answers through the investigation and study of facts. The bibles says: “Seek and ye shall find.”

What is the bible? Who wrote the bible? Where did the events take place? What is the difference in the old and new Testaments? Is the bible fact? How do we know the events recorded actually happened?

Each book presents logical layers of questions, and also facts. They take you on a journey to seek and discover the answers about the bible. The iWitness series of books were written on an 11 year old reading level, so students 11 and older should be able to independently study them. But they are a good fit for all ages. You can read them aloud to younger students, and even adults will glean wonderful truths from these books too. I think they would be a great tool in a group bible study too.

My children and I enjoyed using these books. The books are colorful and full of pictures.  Each book is less than a hundred pages long, so it doesn’t take long to read through them, but you will want to keep them on your reference shelf and use them again.

I definitely see how these books will be used again and again in our home to refer back to who is who and who did what. I read these books to my kids, we discussed the information, and I was surprised by how much these reference books helped us. I think that associating a graphic with information helps you grasp it. It is no longer just some random piece of information, but instead there is a visual to associate with those facts.

Here is a little bit more details about each of these books:

iWitness

Old Testament iWitness

old-testament-iwitness

Softcover, approximately 72 Pages

Reading age range is 11 and older.

Retails for $14.00

I really enjoyed how the information is presented. Each page has lots of colorful “old world” graphics. Each of the writings on the pages are presented on a graphic of a scroll or ancient document.

I enjoyed learning about the different Prophets in the Old Testament. The books gives a lot of descriptions about who they were, when they lived, what king they served, and what their purpose was. Different prophets had different purposes.

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New Testament iWitness

new-testament-iwitness

Softcover, approximately 62 pages

Reading age range is 11 and older.

Retails for $14.00

Topics: Councils Of Hippo and Carthage; Cannon Criteria; Athenasius; Eusebius; Church Fathers; Cannons; The Gospel, Apostles, and much more.

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New Testament iWitness explains how the Christian church recognized what specific writings to include in the New Testament. It introduces the reader to Apostles and leaders in the church. It explains who wrote what and how the church made decisions. It also explains how the writings were copied. I didn’t realize before that the churches shared a copy with another church and they copied it and sent another copy on to the next church and so on.

iWitness Biblical Archeology

iwitness-biblical-archaeology

Softcover, approximately 64 pages

Reading range for ages 11 and older.

Retails for $14.00

Topics: The Flood; Noah’s Ark, Egyptian Chronology; The Exodus; Dead Sea Scrolls, Jesus Judges, New Testament Locations, Shroud, and much more.

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I enjoyed iWitness Biblical Archeology the most because of the amazing photos through out the whole book. There are so many amazing artifacts to learn about. The bible contains a record of history that is proven over and over with each artifact found, each community unearthed, and each scroll that was discovered.  Archeology is an amazing gift of proof in biblical facts.

Apologia Educational Ministries is a wonderful curriculum company with a mission to help your students education and your “family to learn, live, and defend the Christian Faith.” Be sure to check out their various curriculum and online class options and how they can benefit your homeschool.

You can follow Apologia Educational Ministries on their social media links for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld

Twitter – https://twitter.com/apologiaworld

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125/posts

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/apologia/

Click to read Crew Reviews

Be sure to check out what others on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using iWitness curriculum in their homeschool.

Crew Disclaimer

Homemade Pico de Gallo

If you have ever eaten Mexican or Hispanic food at an authentic Mexican restraunt, then you have probably enjoyed Pico de Gallo served either on top or on the side of your meal. It is traditional in Mexican cooking, and it comes together quick and easy and makes meals POP with fresh flavor and texture. Pico de Gallo is usually served raw and is the opposite of a cooked salsa. It is basically a fresh uncooked salsa so it is a salad. It is also sometimes called Salsa Fresco “fresh salsa” and also Salsa Bandera “salsa flag” because it’s colors are similar to the Mexican Flag. No matter what you call it, or how you serve it, it is delicious!

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Homemade Pico de Gallo

1 medium chopped onion (red or white)
2 medium chopped tomatoes with seeds removed
1 small chopped jalapeno with seeds removed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 2 Tbsp dried cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt

Toss everything together and store in fridge or freezer until ready to use.

Nutritional Data:

I have figured the nutritional data for 1 cup or about 1/2 of the recipe. This recipe makes about 2 cups of salad. Many times you might only use a tablespoon or two if using this salad as a garnish, or inside of a shell, so adjust the data per the amount you use:

Calories 55
Protein 2 g
Fat 0
Fiber 3 g
Carbs 13 g
Sugars 6 g
Calcium 34.4 mg
Iron .6 mg
Magnesium 22.8 mg
Vitamin K 17 mcg
Vitamin C 28.5 mg
Vitamin A 1224 IU

and much more vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidents.

How I use Pico de Gallo:

I highly recommend keeping batches of this awesome food fresh in the fridge and frozen in the freezer for various uses. It can be used on various diet programs too such as Trim Healthy Mama, The Fast Metabolism Diet, Paleo, Lowcarb, Eat Fat Loose Fat, Nourishing Foods, etc. You just can’t go wrong having a batch or two of this dish on hand.

I use Pico de Gallo for many different meals both as a raw topping and as a cooked base for chili, tacos, burritos, bean dips, breakfast omelets, breakfast egg scrambles, soups, stir fries, spanish rice, etc. and also as a fresh topping or garnish on other meals (steak, salad, cucumber salad, etc). I love to make quick breakfasts by adding a few tablespoons of Pico de Gallo in a skillet, sauteing with chopped spinach and then piling all of that inside a delicious omelet. The best omelets ever!!!

Here is a great idea that enhances the nutritional value too. If desired, you can ferment Pico de Gallo in a glass canning jar for one to three days on the kitchen counter, and then for another week or so in the fridge before using just by adding in 2 Tbsp of liquid whey to the recipe when preparing a fresh batch. It will turn out similar to the Asian fermented Kimchi (you can make Kimchi with this by adding chopped cabbage and red chili peppers). It is amazing what you can do with ferments. The Lactobacillus in the liquid whey will grow at room temperature in the jar and will help safely ferment the veggies and it activates lots of enzymes and good bacteria that are beneficial to the digestive and immune systems.

Whether you eat Pico de Gallo fresh, fermented, or cook it as a base in different dishes, it is YUMMY!!!

Lego Adventures At Homeschool Coop

David and Goliath Lego Adventures at Homeschool Coop.

We had a great time learning about robotics, physics, faith, and retelling a story using Legos at homeschool coop.

David and Goliath with Legos

I chose the bible passage of 1 Samuel 17 for our lesson. This bible passage is about David going to visit his brothers who were in the Israelite Army. They were on the front lines in a battle against the Philistines. The Philistine Army had a warrior named Goliath. He was a giant of a man standing very tall and he was very strong and covered in metal plated armour, and no-one could defeat him in battle. He often said bad things to the Israelite Army and made fun of their God. He challenged them to a fight and if they could defeat him, his army would be their slaves, but if he defeated the Israelite who fought him, then the Israelite Army would be the slaves of the Philistines. David overheard this challenge and the horrible things Goliath said against God. David saw that everyone in the army was afraid, but he was not afraid and knew God would help him defeat the enemy of Israel and the enemy of God. David accepted the challenge to fight Goliath. He trusted in the Lord to help him. He chose five flat stones from a river bed and put one of the stones in his sling, swung it around, and let the stone go into the air. He had learned to fight off animals like wolves, lions, and bears that tried to attack his flock of sheep so he was very good with the sling shot. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead and killed him. David had trusted in God to deliver him from Goliath, and he defeated the enemy of Israel and the enemy of God.

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The kids used Lego’s to retell the story. We also set up a robotic Goliath with Lego WeDo. The Goliath robot is built with Legos, pulley gears, worm gear, lever, motor, axle, and movable joints. The kids programmed the computer software program to tell Goliath to stand up and to sit / fall down. They can time his movements and change the speed, as well as program sound effects. They had Goliath stand up and growl his threats to the Army, programmed the sound of David, and his stone hitting Goliath, and then also programmed cheering by the Army after Goliath is hit with the stone and falls forward.  It is really neat how you can program sound effects to go along with the robot’s movements.

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Everyone took turns manipulating the computer software and retelling the story with Legos.  They also take apart the giant and rearrange the location of motorized lever attachment to learn how placing this in different positions, and rearranging the software commands caused the giant to move (or not move). They could re-engineer the set up and try out different ideas. They also completed a coloring page about the battle between David and Goliath and a vocabulary word puzzle.

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We also did some physics science in the gym.  We used rubber bands for sling shots. We used a large basket placed several feet away on the floor as the target.  We took different kinds of balls (cotton, pompoms, foam, and rubber) to learn what materials would be more accurate to hit a target.  The kids learned about trajectory, mass, stored energy, kinetic energy, and how to aim at a target.  They learned that the more dense their ball was, and the further back they pulled their sling shot, the better and faster the object was able to hit the target.   The kids also spent time playing in the gym.  They played basketball, tag, hide and seek, and raced each other all around.  The gym is such a great place to do a variety of learning, skill building, and physical activities.

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Logos are a great teaching / learning tool that can be used in so many fun ways.  I love teaching and learning with Legos.  I have taught Lego and Robotics Academy Club and several workshops with homeschool and 4H kids in North Carolina for several years, and I have missed it terribly since moving last summer.  I hope in the near future I will be able to host Learn It Build It workshops again in the community, and also start a Lego and Robotics club again and perhaps eventually have teams that can compete in First Lego League.  But right now, started a new class called Lego Adventures and I am blessed the local homeschool coop has invited me to teach these great kids,  and we can learn about science-technology-engineering, and robotics, and use bible stories to build their faith in the Lord.  Be sure to check back each month for more Lego Adventures.

Be blessed!

Preschoolers and Peace Review

I am a homeschool mom of six kids. We have teens all the way down to toddlers in our home. It is a fun and rewarding job, but it can also be an exhausting job at the same time.

Preschoolers and Peace Review

There is a new book out to help homeschool families that we were asked to review by Preschoolers and Peace called Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Ones With Success While Loving Little Ones At Your Feet.

Preschoolers and Peace Review

Homeschooling Older Ones With Success While Loving Little Ones At Your Feet

Homeschooling Older Ones With Success While Loving Little Ones At Your Feet is a downloadable e-Book. This e-Book is a wonderful investment at a great deal! It would make a great resource for you, and to give as a gift to other homeschool moms. For just $2.99 you can download this wonderful 47 page e-Book filled with practical advice for homeschool moms.

The author, Kendra Fletcher, is a Christian homeschooling mom of eight children. She has a lot of helpful advice to share about what helps her be successful in homeschooling in a large family of different ages.

What a Homeschooling Mom Needs
Preparing Yourself to Homeschool Older Kids With Little Ones Underfoot
Planning Around Preschoolers
How Do I Keep Them Busy?
What Does a 2-Year-Old’s Day Look Like?
How Do I Get Any Preschooling Done?
How Not to Just Kill Time
Circle Time: Or How We Pull the Little Ones In
Preschool Boys
When All of Your Kiddos Are Preschoolers
Preschool Chores
Planning for Preschool
When Mama is Worn Out (or Pregnant)
Meal Planning 101
Encouragement
Resources

How I Used This:

E-books are great! I downloaded my e-book and saved it to my computer. I can read my book from my computer, or other reading device if desired. Later I hope to print it and have it bound and put it on my book shelf. It is a handy reference full of great ideas.

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Part of the reason homeschooling can be exhausting, is that it can be challenging at times to manage the needs of so many different learning levels at the same time. Some days it doesn’t feel like I accomplished our goals, because the younger children need a lot of attention, somedays they have ouchies that need attention, or on any given day, any two of them are involved in sibling squabbles, and I feel like I just serve as the babysitter or referee. What I wouldn’t give somedays to know the secret to get it all done and meet everyone’s needs in the process!

Kendra Fletcher is a mom who has been there! She knows many of the same challenges I face on a daily basis. She offers lots of great advice, starting with the most important, putting God first in the little things as well as the bigger things. She encourages me as a mom, and my kids too, to start the day with prayer. That one piece of the puzzle in your day can change everything in creating a peaceful atmosphere in our home.

Another great tip she shares is how to help younger kids start the day off successfully. She suggests they accomplish the same five things every morning: get dressed, make bed, brush teeth, tidy their room, and spend time praying. She suggests using a schedule for multiple ages including mom, as a tool and shows you how to set one up. This schedule shows an overview of what everyone is doing when during the day and is an easy reference at a glance to keep you on track.

She also gives many suggestions for various kinds of busy sensory activities younger children can do that build their skills but at the same time keep them busy so Mom and older siblings can get more done.

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Here are just a few of the toddler / preschool age activities we have used simultaneously in our home while homeschooling older kids include:
Circle Time (we include all the kids together)
Age appropriate chores (easy for little ones to do)
Sensory Activities (we use homemade Sensory Bins)
Quiet Busy Activities (we use homemade Activity Bags)
Duplo Legos
Coloring
Sorting objects and shapes
Books
Water Color Paints
Playing with leftover empty boxes

AND many, many, more great ideas are suggested in her e-Book.

Kendra has already helped her oldest two children graduate from homeschooling and go onto college. With raising and homeschooling eight kids, she knows the challenges mom’s face dealing with the needs of multiple ages and her book is a great resource. I would encourage you to get a copy while it is available at this great price of $2.99 and give a copy to a friend too.

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