Friday, August 26, 2011

Homeschool Co-Op

With School back in session I thought it'd be appropriate to blog a bit about what the kids and I have to look forward to this school year. It happens to be my favorite aspect of homeschooling.

Yes we homeschool... some might be thinking:

What's a homeschooled child to do all day but lounge around in their pajamas while watching endless amounts of uneducational television and play mindless video games all while being trapped in from the rest of the world. Or that other awkward homeschooler that is locked in their confining room staring at piles of boring books and studying til the sun goes down and never getting the opportunity to... Socialize.


I said it... The "S"'word.

Maybe the picture I described above is what many people think homeschooled children fill their days with. Hey, I'm not going to lie, at one point in my life I thought the same thing. On the contrary homeschoolers have a massive amount of activities and yes social opportunities that fill their days.

One of my faavorite weekly activies include our homeschool co op! Which gives the kids plenty of positive "socialization" with their peers;)

A homeschool co op is when a group of homeschool families get together and pitch in with enrichment activites. I'm part of a co-op with 3 other mom's. We get together once a week, and alternate who hosts and teaches the activty. So one week I host at my house and have an art lesson planned, another week another mom hosts and does a science lesson, another mom will read a story and we have show and tell on this day, and another week another mom will have a geography lesson... my favorite part about this lesson? We all bring a dish that coordinates with the place the kids learn about that day! So when we learned about Mexico, I brought enchiladas, and we had a feast with all the other mexican food my friends brought! It was really neat because the kids really got the experience that different culture, and I'm always happy when foods around;)
Art Lesson with Our Homeschool co op
When we meet up each week, we usually do the lesson first before the kids get to distracted. After the lesson the kids play, while the mom's chat. This is such a great time to reconnect with others that have encouraging words, and advice about homeschooling and you can just have a few good laughs. Around 11:30 we eat lunch. Each week everyone brings a dish to share so we can enjoy a potluck lunch together. We used to just bring snacks but by the time the co-op was over everyone was rushing home with hungry grumpy kids. So eating lunch together has worked out great, and we all look forward to it each week.

With our homeschool friends making "goo"!

Are you in search of a homeschool co op? Check out your local homeschool forums and see if there is an opening in one. If you are having a hard time finding one in your area, then you can start one! It's really simple, all you need is 2-4 other homeschool families that can commit. Choose the subjects you would each like to cover and alternate who hosts. If you have an extra day in the month without anyone to host, this is a fun time to take a field trip or just have a casual playdate.

I love our homeschool co op, in all seriousness I don't know what I'd do without their support. It's so important for both your children and you to have a good foundation of friends you have so much in common with.

Have you always been curious about homeschooling but didn't know where to start? I remember when my husband first mentioned homeschooling, this is how I felt. Once it sank in I wasn't sure where to start, if you are unsure on what to do now that you chose to homeschool, this might help, and check out this post on what to teach.

Are you involved in a homeschool co op? If so what are some of your favorite aspects of your co op?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tortilla Recipe

 I haven't eaten tortillas in such a long time...
Not because I don't like them but because I hated to buy the tortillas that had all the preservatives and extra ingredients that looked like a paragraph on the side of the package. I was intimidated to make my own but since mastering other breadmaking I figured I could handle it. Turns out it's really simple and it's honestly a bit addicting! I don't know if its because the texture of the dough reminds me of my childhood when I played wih playdough or just the fact that you can make them so quickly. I love seeing fast results, lol. I also love this version because it is vegan since I use coconut oil instead of butter. I make a big batch of these, so I can store them in the freezer and pull them out when I need them.

You could use the tortillas in place of bread and make yummy nut butter and jelly rolls, veggie rolls or even fill them with this yummy Healthy Taco Salad!

I always double this recipe, because with my large family we go through them pretty quickly.

* 1 cup unbleached white flour (I just found unbleached flour in bulk at my local health food store, love it!)
*3/4 cup of whole wheat flour (you can use all white flour if you want them super flaky and light)
* 3/4 tsp sea salt
* 1/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
* 1/2 cup very hot water
* coconut oil for cooking

  1. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl, add the softened coconut oil and work into the flour until' you get a crumbly texture.
  2. Mix the hot water in slowly until combined
  3. Put mixture on lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes
  4. Shape dough into a ball and place in lightly greased bowl and cover and let rest for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 balls and then flatten. (I have more than 8 balls in this picture because I doubled the recipe) I found that if I smushed the ball under a glass bowl, then rolled out with my rolling pin I was able to get a pretty thin consistent shape. Make sure they are really thin so they turn out right.
  6. Preheat oiled skillet with some coconut oil on medium heat. Cook the tortilla for about 30-45 seconds on each side. They are done when they start to turn brown and puff up a bit. Be careful not to cook them over a very hot heat or they will burn.
  7. Let the tortillas cool down and freeze.

What will you do with your tortillas?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Raw Chocolate Pudding Recipe! It's actually Healthy!

Check out my latest video post! It's a raw chocolate pudding recipe! You'll never guess what the secret ingredient is, and did I mention it's actually healthy?
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