Disclosure of Material Connection:

Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Little Passports New Years Eve Traditions Around The World

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...Happy New Year! 

As people in the United States start the new year with fireworks, parades, and resolutions, people around the world are also doing everything they can to welcome 2014. Join Sam and Sofia of Little Passports as they visit friends in other countries to see how they start the year!



Colombia

Are you looking for travel and adventure? In Colombia, they say that if you grab your suitcase and run around the entire block as fast as you can at exactly midnight on New Year’s Eve, you will get to travel in the new year. Sam and Sofia love joining their Colombian friends to participate in this tradition—they are always looking for their next adventure!



Greece

Sam and Sofia join their friends in Greece to celebrate New Year's and St. Basil’s Day on January 1st. The Greeks start the year off with a fun-filled day of food, festivities, as well as time with family and friends. One favorite way to celebrate is eating the Vasilopita or St Basil's cake, which is similar to a pound cake and is baked with a silver or gold coin inside. Whoever finds the coin in their slice of cake will have a very lucky year!

Japan
When it’s cold outside, you might want to slurp down a giant bowl of steaming-hot noodles! But for the new year, not just any bowl of noodles will do. Little Passports always enjoys joining their Japanese friends to eat “long-life” noodles. Imagine a dish piled high with long, winding, uncut noodles! Many Japanese believe that eating these long noodles will bring health and longevity. What a yummy way for Sam and Sofia to start the new year!



Scotland

Do you pay attention to who enters your house first on New Year’s Day? In Scotland, on January 1st, people keep a close eye on the door because whoever enters first determines the family’s luck the next year. According to tradition, the “first-foot” must bring gifts—such as coal to wish others’ warmth and shortbread to wish everyone full bellies throughout the year. When Sam and Sofia visit their friends in Scotland on New Year’s Day, they always bring gifts!

Bring Little Passports into your child's life in 2014 to teach them about all of the fascinating cultures around the world!

Monday, December 30, 2013

M is for Magnanimous (Word for 2014)

Word for 2014

Taken from the Latin roots magnus (great) and animus (spirit).

Magnanimous
1. generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness: to be magnanimous toward one's enemies.
2. high-minded; noble: a just and magnanimous ruler.
3. proceeding from or revealing generosity or nobility of mind, character, etc.: a magnanimous gesture of forgiveness.

Why I chose Magnanimous:

I don’t think that I’m an unforgiving or non giving person, but there is always room for improvement in every aspect of life.  I thought it would be a great word/goal to strive for in the coming year.

I hope to be a lot more understanding, particularly to my family members.  I feel that I lack a lot of patience with my children.  It is always so easy to be friendly and giving towards others, but less so towards those that we are closest too.  I strive to be more giving, caring and understanding towards those I’m closest to in my life. 

I hope to not judge quickly other people and/or their actions.  I want to be more forgiving of wrong doings I encounter in the world.  May I constantly remember that I do not know their story, and strive to help more and judge less. 

May I always have kind words to speak of others, be forgiving of wrong doings and share freely my blessings with others.

May we all be more MAGNANIMOUS this coming year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gluten and Dairy Free Cookies

Gluten cookies

So I have a couple of friends that have Gluten and Dairy allergies, and I wanted to be able to provide them with yummy treats this year.   I was able to find three recipes to make, and all were pretty good.

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1.  No Bake Cookies – I used Coconut Milk

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2.  Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies – I followed the recipe as written, but the dough seemed too dry to me, so I added 1/4-1/2c of applesauce.

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3.  Grain Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites – I could not find vegan or dairy free chocolate chips, so I used macadamia nuts instead.  These were not my favorite, but my friend (who also cannot have sugar) said they were good, and she was so happy to have a treat she could eat!  I made a couple with chocolate chips so I could try them (because I’m allergic to macadamia nuts).

Monday, December 23, 2013

L is for Love

nativity_13

John 3:16 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Christmas is upon us, a time to reflect on the most precious gift that was ever given, Jesus Christ. 

Let us do our best to keep Christ is CHRISTmas this year, by doing all we can to exemplify the example of Jesus Christ himself.

We are not perfect, but we can do our best to live our lives as he wants us to live.

May we remember Christ this holiday season and everyday and teach others of him through our examples.

1 John 4:10

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

John 15:9

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

John 13:34

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

1 John 4:16

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:18

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:19

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

*All scriptures are quoted from the KJV of the Bible.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Share it Saturday

*This weeks link up will run for 2 weeks, there will not be a new link up on the 28th, we are taking a Christmas Break!
Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop

 
new share it saturday hosts
Please visit my co-hosts:

Karyn from Teach Beside Me
Colleen & Leann from Sugar Aunts
Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day
Kate from Laughing Kids Learn
and Tiffany from Life & Lessons From a Country Road



 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Kiss Cookies

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Ingredients:
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 vegetable oil
2 t peppermint extract
4oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
4 large eggs
2 c all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c powdered sugar
Peppermint Hershey Kisses (about 6dz)
(another variation you could use the mint filled Hershey Kisses)

1.  Mix granulated sugar, oil, vanilla and chocolate in large bowl.  Mix in eggs, one at a time.  Stir in flour, baking powder an salt.  Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

2.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease cookie sheet with shortening or spray with cooking spray (or use a stone like I do)

3.  Drop dough by teaspoonful into powdered sugar; roll around to cat.  Shape into balls.  Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet (these cookies do not spread a whole lot)

4.  Bake 10 to 12 min or until almost no indentation remains when touched.  Place Hershey Kisses in center of cookie immediately after removing from the oven, then place on a wire rack to cool. 

*recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, Bridal Edition.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Quick and Easy Christmas Wreath for under $5!

 

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What you need:

pool noodle

packing tape or duct tape. serrated knife to cut pool noodle

Christmas garland (I used one strand, but I think two would have been better..I bought it on after Christmas Clearance last year).

ribbon

Directions:

Cut your pool noodle and shape into a circle

Wrap with the Garland

TA-DA!  Super Easy!!

Here is a tutorial on making your noodle into a wreath to help you out!

I did not cut my ends diagonally…and it worked fine (at first)…but now it’s losing it’s round shape and has become sort of oval…lol.  I think I’m going to redo it like the video.

Monday, December 16, 2013

K is for Kalikimaka: Hawaiian Christmas Books

Living in Hawaii calls for some Hawaiian themed Christmas books.  If you are not in Hawaii, why not bring a bit of ALOHA to help make your Kalikimaka Mele and bright!


The traditional story of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas, told with a Hawaiian twist.  This book does not include pronunciation (it has a lot of Hawaiian words)…but once you get the hang of Hawaiian, it is not too difficult.  Mele Kalikimaka to all and to all ALOHA!!


This is a fun book!  It’s based on the fact that the humpback whales migrate to Hawaii every winter from Alaska.  So this is not only a fun story, it’s can spark a great unit study on humpback whales! 


What is difference about Christmas in Hawaii?  This is a cute story about an elf named Merry that finds himself in Hawaii, where he meets an elf named Mele.  Merry learns that even though Christmas in Hawaii doesn’t have snow, it has ALOHA! 

*We don’t actually ‘do Santa’ in our house, but the kids still enjoy these fun stories.  On the note of not taking in part in Santa tradition, we have this book

This is a great book to explain the history behind the tradition of Santa Clause, and the true purpose of the holiday…celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Christmas Books

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Share it Saturday!

Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop

 
new share it saturday hosts
Please visit my co-hosts:

Karyn from Teach Beside Me
Colleen & Leann from Sugar Aunts
Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day
Kate from Laughing Kids Learn
and Tiffany from Life & Lessons From a Country Road



 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Science with Crayons (makes great gifts too!)

 

What you need: 

old crayons (with wrappers removed)
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a silicone candy mold (we used a Lego one)

Steps:

Place broken crayons into molds – smaller molds you may need to chip the crayons into smaller pieces, this mold was nice b/c I could put them in in bigger chunks!

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Put on a baking tray in oven at 250 degrees for 30-45 min (until the crayons have all melted and they are a liquid).  This is where the science comes in!  I have to say, not all crayons are made equally, some do not melt as nicely, Some the wax separates, etc.  It’s fun for the kids to  make observations.  Some may even want to watch through the glass front on the stove.

Remove from oven and allow to FULLY cool before removing from the molds. (another science observation)

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These make great gifts too, bag them up in some cute baggies and tie with ribbon!  Little kids will love them!  My son will be gifting these to his preschool co-op classmates. 

You can even make this more science involved by filling out a science lab form or documenting in a science notebook.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

J is for Jesus - Keeping Christ in Christmas

I was hesitant to go ahead with my J is for Jesus post since Ben and Me Blog did it already…but, it is the season of His birth; so what better way than to honor him?!

jesus nativity

We try really hard to remember that the TRUE meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the amazing gift of Jesus Christ from our Heavenly Father.  Some ways we have found to this are:

1.  Limit gifts to 3 per child, Jesus Christ was brought 3 gifts at his birth from the wise men.  Make sure your children understand the symbolism of the 3 gifts.  Discuss the story, read it from the Bible, have nativity scenes they can play with and see the 3 wisemen, etc..

2.  Focus on giving and service.  Give whenever possible, toys for tots, angel tree, Salvation Army bell ringer, make/give gifts to family, friends and neighbors.  Go Christmas Caroling, visit the sick, etc…  Involve the children in these events.  This year we are making several batches of cookies to give to a list of people that my children helped make.  We have friends with food allergies, so we researched and found recipes that they could eat as well.  I’ll post more about this in the near future.

3.  Advent Calendars – There are many wonderful ways to celebrate advent, read a scripture a day, read an inspirational story a day, give a gift of service a day, so many to choose from.  Check out my Christmas Advent Board on Pinterest. We do several advent activities…this year one of them is the 12 days of Christmas Carols and Ornament Crafts. 

Proverbs 3:6 “In all thy ways acknowledge him…”

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cranberry Banana Oat Muffins

2013-12-04 09.01.21

If you follow me on Facebook, here is the recipe I promised from last week!

Ingredients

1 c whole wheat flour

1/4 c white flour

1 c oats

2/3 c granulated sugar

1 1/2 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1/4t cinnamon

1 egg

1 3/4c mashed banana (over ripe is best)

1/3 c applesauce

1 c fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 c choc chips (if desired)

NOTE:  Batter was pretty thick in my case, so I added 1/4c water

Directions:

Combine the first six ingredients in a mixing bowl

Mix well

Beat together egg,banana and applesauce until smooth

Combine with dry ingredients.

Stir to blend.

Stir in cranberries and chocolate chips

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan (about 3/4 way full)

Bake at 375 for 20-25min or until the top springs back when lightly touched.

ENJOY!!

And speaking of cranberries – try this Cranberry Christmas Cake – it is YUM!!  I made it for our church Christmas party, and will have to make it again…soon! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Share it Saturday

Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop

 
new share it saturday hosts
Please visit my co-hosts:

Karyn from Teach Beside Me
Colleen & Leann from Sugar Aunts
Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day
Kate from Laughing Kids Learn
and Tiffany from Life & Lessons From a Country Road



 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Reading the Alphabet

Reading the Alphabet Bundle Pack photo ReadingtheAlphabetbutton-new250_zps4839f8ad.jpg
Reading the Alphabet is a FREE reading curriculum designed by This Reading Mama.  It can be purchased for $10, in an easier more compact downloadable program.  (The FREE version has to be downloaded one letter at a time).
We have been using Reading the Alphabet with my 4yo.  Honestly, I was not interested in this program for teaching reading, but for improving on speech.  My 4yo is speech delayed, and has been receiving speech services off and on since he was 2.5yo.  When I found this program I thought it would be a great way to focus on the letters that he has difficulty with.  I have shown the program to his speech therapist; she was quite impressed with the program and has recommended it to several of her other students. 
There are several consonants that my son struggles with annunciating when speaking.  This program has allowed me to print off reading materials and activities to focus on those consonants.  Most programs I have found focus on the vowel sounds, which are not a problem for Z.  This program, focuses on a different consonant in each lesson.  It has been perfect for his speech therapy, and has helped him make many strides in speech. 
I highly recommend this program to others, for us it has ‘killed two birds with one stone’, we are working on reading and improving speech!  There are many speech and reading programs available out there, and for $10 it is worth getting the program in the more easy to download batch.
Each lesson is based on one letter and one sight word.  There are several activities (multi-sensory) for each lesson.  I love that it’s a hand on program.  You can use which ever components of each lesson that meets the needs and interest of your child. 
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Disclaimer:  I received the full downloadable product (worth $10) for FREE in order to do this review.  This in no one affected my honest opinion of the product.

Reasons We Homeschool: I is for Individualize

Part 2 in the Why We Homeschool Series, you can find Part 1 HERE

I’m not anti public school by any means.  I went to public school, I have a MA in Early Childhood Education.  There are a lot of really good teachers in the school system.  However, in certain things, teacher’s hands are tied.  Things like The Common Core have tied them even further.  For this reason, we homeschool.

Homeschooling allows me to INDIVIDUALIZE the curriculum.  I am able to adapt and adjust based on the learning needs and interests of EACH of my children.  This is something that is just not possible in the public school system, no matter how passionate or how great of a teacher one is. 

My 7yo is a great reader, he was reading at age 4 and currently reads at probably a 4th grade level.  However, he hates writing, isn’t that great at it, and still flips numbers and letters occasionally, even when writing his own name.  He is fairly good at math and ahead of his grade level.  I am able to adjust our curriculum to the level he is at in each subject. 

I can spend more time on certain subjects based on his interests.  I can add in topics that interest him.  I can pick curriculums based on his interests. 

I’ll admit, I still have to remind myself on a normal basis that THIS IS WHY I homeschool, having a teaching degree, being a product of public school myself, it’s quite easy to fall into the brick and mortar mentality…I have to pull myself off regularly.  This is our 3rd official year homeschooling, and I have relaxed a lot more, and I STILL have to remind myself.  Don’t feel bad if you have to remind yourself too!

Individualization is a MAJOR benefit to homeschooling, and another BIG reason WHY WE HOMESCHOOL!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Carols

This is a curriculum I wrote sometime ago, but life got busy and it got put on the side burner.  I’ve pulled it back out and put some finishing touches on it.  Now it’s ready to provide to you!

christmas carols collage

christmas carols collage2
*The link to the Santa color page on Day 1 is not working, use this one instead. The link to the Christmas Tree color page on Day 4 is also not working, use this one instead. Also the link for Rudolph and Frosty videos will not play on mobile devices…I will work on fixing these two items in the actual document.  Sorry I set this up awhile ago and am finding the kinks as I implement it with my kids.

The curriculum is available FREE of CHARGE for you!  Each set contains 12 carols, some information/history on each, words to song, coloring pages and or other activities, link to listen/watch the carol, book suggestion.  The Ornament Craft kits are available for $15 each (shipping included).  I only have 10 kits of each set available for sale. Priority mail is available for $3 more per kit.

The craft kits are not required to enjoy the curriculum, but they add to it.  You can get by with one kit per family or you can purchase one per child.  Most kits include small parts, so best for children OVER age 3, skill wise most of the ornaments are suited also for that age, but some are best for 6+, ages 3-6 would most likely require assistance.

I know Dec 1st is HERE already (where does time go??)…but since this curriculum is only 12 days of Christmas there is still time to get them shipped out!  Email me your requests, I accept payment via paypal.  Please put in the subject line “12 days of Christmas Carols”  Thank you!

Here are some ornaments we did last year….the ornaments for this curriculum are NOT THE EXACT SAME, however it gives you an idea of what they are like. 

We will be starting the religious set on Monday and will posting pictures on the Facebook page daily and on the blog each week.

Share it Saturday

Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop

 
new share it saturday hosts
Please visit my co-hosts:

Karyn from Teach Beside Me
Colleen & Leann from Sugar Aunts
Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day
Kate from Laughing Kids Learn
and Tiffany from Life & Lessons From a Country Road



 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Field Trip #110 Friday Blog Hop


Field Trip Friday!
Photobucket
A Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts

(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)
 

Please stop by and visit my co-host’s blog and give them a shout out!

Lisa @ Our 4 Kiddos

This week was a ‘just for fun’ trip to GLOW PUTT in Windward Mall.

PicMonkey Collage



**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE

    Wednesday, November 27, 2013

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