Banana Bread…YUM!

Standard

Having bought a bunch of bananas and letting them go brown, I decided to find a new recipe for banana bread. I must say it was such a hit, that I went to the store two weeks later to buy overripe bananas to make a double batch! I found this gem of a recipe at the Food Networks site…enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

Advertisements

2nd Grade Curriculum

Standard

This is our list for 2011-2012:

Math-U-See
Braiden is currently finishing up his year in Alpha (Addition) and will soon be moving on to Beta (Subtraction). He is really enjoying this curriculum.

First Language Lessons
Braiden will be going into level two this year. I have loved this approach to grammar that uses classical techniques of memorization, dictation, and narration. The text covers a full range of grammar topics, including parts of speech, punctuation, sentence diagrams, and skills in beginning writing and storytelling. And best of all each lesson is scripted, which keeps things easy to understand and prepare for.

Writing Strands
This is new to our curriculum list this year. We are starting with level 2, which will introduce the skill of how to put thoughts and experiences into written form. We will have to see where this takes us.

Reading/Phonics
We will continue our use of Explode the Code workbooks for phonics and may start the Beyond the Code books for comprehension. We also try to keep a running book list and have a family reading time as often as possible. In the past we have read The Chronicles of Narnia and The Little House books.

Exploring Creation with Botany
We do science as a family study. This year we will be starting botany from the Apologia Elementary Science curriculum. We finished the astronomy last year and the kids really enjoyed it.

The Mystery of History
This will be another new addition this Fall and it is also a family study. I’m really excited to jump into this book and see how world history and bible history blend.

Additional History
I have decided to add some great character building videos by Nest Entertainment. Our first videos will be on famous inventors. Along with the videos are workbooks for further study and activities. My plan is one a week, but we will see how it goes.

5th Grade Curriculum

Standard

So far we have the following on our list for the coming school year, 2011-2012.

Math-U-See
Bree is currently finishing up her year in Delta (Division) and will soon be moving on to Epsilon (Fractions). This will be our fifth year with MUS and I have loved it from day one!

First Language Lessons
We will be finishing up level four this fall and from here not sure where we are headed. I have loved this approach to grammar that uses classical techniques of memorization, dictation, and narration. The text covers a full range of grammar topics, including parts of speech, punctuation, sentence diagrams, and skills in beginning writing and storytelling. And best of all each lesson is scripted, which keeps things easy to understand and prepare for.

Writing Strands
This is new to our curriculum list this year. We are starting with level 3, which is an independent study to help the beginning writer organize their thoughts. We will have to see where this takes us.

Reading
I have used several comprehension workbooks in the past and will probably continue to do so. We also try to keep a running book list for Bree to read on her own and have a family reading time as often as possible. In the past we have read The Chronicles of Narnia and The Little House books.

Exploring Creation with Botany
We do science as a family study. This year we will be starting botany from the Apologia Elementary Science curriculum. We finished the astronomy last year and the kids really enjoyed it.

The Mystery of History
This will be another new addition this Fall and it is also a family study. I’m really excited to jump into this book and see how world history and bible history blend.

Additional History
I have decided to add some great character building videos by Nest Entertainment. Our first videos will be on famous inventors. Along with the videos are workbooks for further study and activities. My plan is one a week, but we will see how it goes.

Why Homeschool?

Standard

Not everyone finds homeschool their idea of education, but here we find it to be a great choice. If you had asked me five years ago if I wanted to homeschool my children, my answer would have been, “No way! That’s fine for you, but not for me!”

I knew lots of people who made the choice to homeschool, but I had plans to get my kids in school and go back to work part time. There was also the fear of not knowing “how” to homeschool. Don’t get me wrong, there are still moments that I am hit with the thought, “This is my children’s future that I am preparing them for…am I getting this right?” I think the thing that put me and my husband a little more at ease was what a fellow homeschooler shared with us. She felt that the most important aspect of homeschooling your child is character building. You could have the all the knowledge in the world but, if your character stinks then what good is all the rest?!

So, after a not so great kindergarten year for our oldest, we made the decision to give it a try. Poor thing, she was my little guinea pig. The amount of curriculum was so overwhelming. Thank goodness she was in first grade where I knew to focus on the basics…reading, writing, and arithmetic. I can definitely say, four years later, that my thoughts and ideas have changed and developed over the years. Now that my son is in first grade this year, it is completely different! For many reasons: First and foremost, they are so different from each other. Secondly, I have much more knowledge and resources than when I began. And third, teaching two and a half is a totally different dynamic than getting to focus on just one! I say half because my two year old darling daughter wants to be much more involved in our school day than when my son was the toddler. He was content to play with his blocks or watch Elmo, while school went on without him.

As this school year goes on, I find it to be the best year yet! My kids have really gotten into the pioneer studies that we have been doing. And to make it even more exciting, we were able to take a road trip this summer through the Midwest and make some historical Oregon Trail sites part of our journey. To hear my nine year old say that she wants to dress like the girls from the Oregon Trail for Halloween makes me think, “Wow, she’s not only listening, but she is enjoying it!” The funny thing is, I am finding myself learning and enjoying it too!

Now I know what some of you are thinking. It’s the classical question, “What about socialization?” My first response is, “Since when has the focus of school become socialization? Isn’t it suppose to be about education?” Let’s look at the definition of socialization:

noun
1. a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.

Last time I checked, I don’t want my children to pick up the “norms, values, behavior, and social skills” that is a plague in our school systems right now. Being able to homeschool gives us the opportunity to handpick the socialization that our children receive. For us that includes family, church, co-op, sports and other community clubs. And the great thing is they are socialized with people from all generations, not just a class of the same age. I love to see that my nine year old is just as comfortable being around a five year old as she is a seventy-five year old. What a wonderful bridge to a generation gap!

There are so many more aspects that we could cover in the choice to homeschool, but for now this post has gone on long enough. So as we continue on our journey, I hope you will enjoy and grow with us as we share the good and the not so good days of our homeschool lives.