Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Goodies


During the week leading up to Christmas, the making of batches upon batches of baked goodies to share with others has long been a family tradition going back to when I was a teen.  I remember all too well sitting down with my mom and making the list of what we were going to make that year.  There were goodies that we would make every year that were "staples" for our family. You know those "staples" that you only make once a year for the holiday time.  Then there were those recipes that we had found over the coarse of the year that we wanted to try for the first time.  Then we had to make sure that we were not making a bunch of the same flavoring of goodies there has to be balance to the plate.  Not all chocolate and not all peanut butter or mint!

I have tried over the years to keep this family tradition going with my kids.  I will admit that some years have been better than others.  There have been a few different years like the year that two days before Christmas my hubby had major surgery on his leg that goodies have been the last thing on my mind to do.  Then there are years like this year where my daughter is able to do the majority of the baking with a bit of coaching from me on some of the recipes. 

So this year, my daughter and I along with my youngest boy set out to make a some goodies to share with our neighbors. Here is a list of the things we made this year: 

Then we took the original Double Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Nestle Toll House and we used their basic dough but instead of using chocolate chunks in the recipe we used different bags of chips to make the following cookies...

1 stick margarine
3 cups Rice Krispies-crushed

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups of peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

Mix all together. Make into balls. Freeze for 10 minutes or until firm. If the mixture is too dry add a little more peanut butter or 1/2 stick margarine. 

Place on wax paper and refrigerate.

Take 2-8oz Hershey candy bars and a bag of chocolate chips. Melt in microwave candy bar and chips and dip balls in it.
My notes...I made these without the margarine and just added more peanut butter (like 1/4 cup) and they taste fine. I also have used just Hershey candy bars (at least 3-8oz bars). I have used just chocolate chips (2-12oz bags) and put 2-4 tbsp shortening mixed in with chocolate chips.  I use peanut butter over margarine if mixture is too dry. 

  • Sugar Cutout Cookies with homemade daughter found a recipe and did it up.  This recipe is also one that you don't have to chill the dough before cutting out the cookies.   
1/2 cup shortening(Crisco)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 TSP. baking powder
1/2 TSP. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/4 + 3-4 TBLSP. flour (shake and then level off with a knife)
Extra white sugar or colored sugar or frosting or icing(optional)

Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add the egg, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Mix. Add the milk. Mix. Add about 1 cup of the flour at a time to the creamed mixture. Mix as much flour in with the mixer and the remainder by hand. Add extra if needed. Roll the dough using a rolling pin. Cut cookies to be about 1/4 to 1/3 inch think. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes or until the bottoms are slightly golden brown or firm on the tops. (It will take longer for bigger cookies). Sprinkle white or colored sugar on top before baking or frost the cookies after they are baked and cooled. Makes about 56 cookies.  Note: These cookies should be soft. If you know your cooks darker, reduce the cooking time or lower the temperature to 375 degrees F. 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Scholastic Learning At Home

This morning, I came across Scholastic's Learn at Home website and had to share it with you.  They have divided up the learning into four grade level categories. Once you choose a grade level you are taken to FOUR weeks of learning.  Each week then has FIVE days of learning of your choice. In the younger grades you have a choice of reading a story, watching a story, doing an activity, watching a video on the topic that was learned for that day.  In the upper grades 6-9, there are articles to read of the selected topics each day along with activities. 

There is definitely some good material and information within the website. I am sure that kids who loved those Scholastic magazines that they would read at school will love diving into this website as well.

Photo Credits: Adam Van Spronsen/Shutterstock (bear), Kinzie Riehm/Image Source/Getty Images (4 children) Illustration by Allan Davey (Revolutionary War); Courtesy of Lily Hevesh/Hevesh5 (domino sculpture)

Monday, March 16, 2020

Homeschooling Through COVID-19 School Closures

There is a lot of links already here on my blog, along the left column, that will be of great assistance to you.  Currently, I am going through all of them to make sure they are still all functioning and available.  

In the meantime, here are some links that  Joy has gathered to TONS of free fun learning options for all ages from toddlers to AP students to adults. Some are always free and some are only free during this current situation

The San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with amazing videos, activities, and games. Enjoy the tour!
Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover.
This Canadian site FarmFood 360 offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs.
Indoor Activities for busy toddlers…
Play games and learn all about animals
Play with fave show characters and learn too
Travel to Paris, France to see amazing works of art at The Louvre with this virtual field trip.
This Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China is beautiful and makes history come to life.…/great-wall-of-china
Math and Reading games
Phonics skills
This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.
 Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss
300,000+ FREE printable worksheets from toddlers to teens…/
Geography and animals
Math practice from counting to algebra and geometry
Fave kids books read by famous people
Crafts, activities, mazes, dot to dot, etc,
Math and reading games
Math and language games
Hands on Elem science videos
Voice based learning... learn through Alexa
Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities
ClickSchooling brings you daily recommendations by email for entertaining websites that help your kids learn.
Math as a fun part of your daily family routine
Games to get "into the book"
Online history classes for all ages preteen through adults
 Elem Math through 6th grade
Educational games K-12
Digital archive of history
Test Prep for SAT, ACT, etc.
Resources for Spanish practice
Chinese learning activities
Science, Math, Social Studies
Grammar practice for middle grades
Daily free science or cooking experiment to do at home.
Reading passages for grades 3-12, with reading comprehension and discussion questions.
Vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin.
35,000 pages of online content on the cultures and countries of the world.
K-5th Science lessons
Tons of free classes from leading universities and companies
Free printable K-8 Reading and Math activity packs (available in English and Spanish)…
Digital learning content for preschool through high school
A wide range of math content from middle school through AP Calculus.
Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.…/learnathome.html
3 Free Weeks of Maker Stations to keep your children creating at home! Each challenge includes simple instructions using materials around the house, QR code video resources, and a student recording sheet.
Classes for older teens or adults…
Online homeschool platform & curriculum for Pre-K to 12th grade. All main subjects are covered, plus extra curriculum courses.
Printable board games, activities and more for phonics and reading all using evidence-based methods. Can be customized to any student's needs including creating flashcards for other subjects.
K-8 online math program that looks at how a student is solving problems to adjust accordingly and build a unique learning path for them.
Engaging reading game for grades 2-8 that combines strategy, engagement, and imaginative reading passages to create a fun, curriculum-aligned literacy game.
Higher level math series... online video series with detailed solutions to more than a thousand publicly-released College Board SAT Math, Subject Test Math Level 1, and Subject Test Math Level 2 problems.…
Foreign languages
Interactive video earth science based curriculum supplement.
A safe research site for elementary-level readers. They are offering -- free 24/7 access
USERNAME: read (case sensitive)
PASSWORD: read (case sensitive)
Resources for AP students including live reviews, live trivia, and study guides!
Educational brain breaks to help students review essential literacy and math skills, while getting in some exercise. Find over 900 videos to help your child keep learning at home and burn off some extra energy. Our site is best used for ages 4-8.
Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.
7,000 free videos in 13 subject areas
Carmen Sandiego videos, stories, and lessons for all subject areas
Math Videos with lessons, real life uses of math, famous actors
Entertaining & educational videos for all levels and subjects
Online education program for toddler through high school...
Free printables library with activities for children 0-6
Free at-home kids yoga lesson plans
Magic Spell is a carefully crafted spelling adventure.
Resources for AP students
Enter your math problem or search term, press the button, and they show you the step-by-step work and answer instantly. 2nd grade through college.
Elem Math games, logic puzzles and educational resources
3D printing projects and Coding projects, involving math and other K-12 subjects…/EdgertonCent…/instructables/
Introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, exercises, ear trainers, and calculators.
Scads of free resources, games, learning resources, and lesson plans for teaching personal finance
Improve your typing skills while competing in fast-paced races with up to 5 typers from around the world.
Illustrated recipes designed to help kids age 2-12 cook with their grown-ups. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science.
Online curriculum that builds better writers.
Daily lessons and educational activities that kids can do on their own
Adaptive curriculum in Math and ELA for Grades K-8
Novel Effect makes storytime a little more fun for kids (and grown-ups too!) As you read out loud from print books (or ebooks!) music, sound effects, and character voices play at just the right moment, adjusting and responding to your voice.
Quick & easy at home projects curated for kids 2 and up
Teaches students how to write a paragraph through interactive online tutorial
PreK-12 digital media service with more than 30,000 learning materials
Curricular content hub specifically designed for K-3 students.…
Science and math labs and simulations
An online physics problem and video bank designed for conceptual, standard, honors or AP1 physics.
Prodigies is a colorful music curriculum for kids 1-12 that will teach your kids how to play their first instrument, how to sing in tune & how to understand the language of music! 21 for free
Free videos from around the world from grade 3-12
QuaverMusic is offering free access to general music activities to all impacted schools, including free student access at-home
For students to practice and master whatever they are learning.
ReadWorks is an online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12.
Critical Thinking resources for K-6 students
Music Based Spanish Learning
Science simulations, scientist profiles, and other digital resources for middle school science and high school biology
The Shurley English program for grades K-8 provides a clear, logical, and concrete approach to language arts.
Sight reading and sight singing practice exercises.
Music practice transformed
Spellingcity is free right now with code VSCFree90
Kid-friendly workouts — choose from Strength for Kids, Agility for Kids, Flexibility and Balance for Kids, Warm-Up for Kids, Cooldown for Kids, Stand Up and Move for Kids, OR create your own custom kid workout.
A collection of hundreds of free K-12 STEM resources, from standalone models and simulations to short activities and week long sequences of curriculum materials.
Course sets (Levels 1–5) that combine and thoroughly cover phonics, reading, writing, spelling, literature, grammar, punctuation, art, and geography—all in one easy-to-use, beautiful course.
At home OT, PT, and ST resources designed to build skills in children through movement and play.
Science projects that can be completed with or without Internet access
Next Generation Science video game focused on middle school where students directly engage in science phenomena as they solve problems.
Short videos and readings that answer various burning questions for students. There are vocabulary challenges and comprehension questions.
K-5 curriculum that builds deep understanding and a love of learning math for all students
A quick start resource to help families pull together a plan for surviving the next 1-2 months at home with their kids, but it can also be a time of slowing down and enjoying kids as they learn.
Preschool through 8th grade…
450 Ivy League courses that you can take…/ivy-league-free-online-cou…/…
Spelling 1-4 grade
2,500+ online courses from top institutions
22 languages to learn
Learn to code
Miscellaneous games for all subjects k-8
Phonics and learning to read
PreK - 5 games for all subjects
Online digital coloring pages
Every course you could possibly want to homeschool preschool - 8
Every course you could possibly want to homeschool for high school
Phonics worksheets for kids
Free stories online ages 3-12
National Geographic Young Explorers is a magazine designed specifically for kindergarten and first grade students. Children can listen to the magazine being read to them as they follow along with the highlighted text.
Learn all about earthquakes
Learn all about the periodic table
Farmer's almanac for kids... Date, weather, moon phase, etc.
Guide to gardening for kids
Website allows students to play basic games to reinforce math skills and compete against the computer or others
Space science for kiddos
Math Games, Logic Puzzles and Brain Builders
Games, quizzes and fact sheets take kids on a journey through time.
NGAkids interactives offer an entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history.
News and more for kids
Randomly generates 356,300,262,144 story starters
Immerse yourself in cryptography
Math games galore
Tons of science experiments that you can do at home
An interactive way to learn history
Just explore, have fun, and learn some science along the way.
Interactive games based on the book series
Work on the 8 parts of speech
Learn all about cells
All sorts of learning here if you dig in
Scratch draws students of all types into coding and lays a foundation for future learning.
A wonderful, endlessly detailed way to get kids engaged in the world of art.
Tests kids’ geography skills. Using images from Google’s Street View, it plops players down in the middle of the street and asks them to figure out where they are.
Allows students to type in any city, state, or country to view an archive of historical photographs and other documents. It’s a unique way to help them learn about history.
Short videos about numbers that help kids explore complex math topics and make math more fun.
A human visualization platform that allows students to explore the human body in really cool ways.
Helps kids learn to appreciate the arts by providing them with the opportunity to play games, conduct investigations, and explore different forms of art.
Lets kids play instruments online. Instruments include the guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, and bongos.
Crafts, activities, bulletin board designs, and finger plays for early education teachers and parents to use with kids.
A large selection of fun songs to help teach preschool and kindergarten students
Resource section includes free flashcards, coloring pages, worksheets, and other resources for children, teachers, and parents.
Life skills curriculum for students in grades K-12. Their resources include strategies for teaching social and emotional skills.
Coding for ages 4-10
No need to travel to one of the Smithsonian’s zoos or museums — this website brings your child everything from live video of the National Zoo to the Smithsonian Learning Lab right to their screen
Cool Kid Facts gives your child access to educational videos, pictures, quizzes, downloadable worksheets, and infographics. They can use these to learn about geography, history, science, animals, and even the human body.
This interactive website, hosted by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, allows your child to see the ins and outs of the U.S. government by taking a series of learning adventures with none other than Benjamin Franklin.
This NASA initiative covers a wide range of topics including weather, climate, atmosphere, water, energy, plants, and animals.
Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University. Kids can send Dr. Universe any question they may have about history, geography, plants, animals, technology, engineering, math, culture, and more.
Your child can play games, learn fun facts, and find out how to turn coin collecting into a hobby.
From rainbows to tornadoes and winter storms to tsunamis, meteorologist Crystal Wicker breaks down the fascinating world of weather.
Kids Think Design explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theatre, architecture, animation, and environmental design.
This educational website hosted by the Smithsonian Museum takes a deep dive into ocean life.
Brainscape offers over a million flashcard decks for every subject, entrance exam, and certification imaginable.
The Theta Music Trainer offers a series of online courses and games for ear training and music theory.
Banzai exposes students to real-world financial dilemmas to teach them the importance of smart money management.
Innerbody explores the 11 bodily systems in depth. With interactive models and detailed explanations, this website will help them learn more about the internal mechanics of the amazing human body.
Alcumus is specifically designed to provide high-performing students with a challenging curriculum appropriate to their abilities
Find and fix learning gaps
Algebra games for kids
Education for kids all topics
Math and logic problems for ages 5 and up to adult
Science podcasts to listen to with your kids…/19-great-science-podcasts-you-can-list…
Coding with Star Wars
Tons and tons and tons of games some learning some just fun
Crafts, projects, science, recipes for young children
Engineering challenges with things you have at home…/
Online photograph jigsaw puzzles You can set the pieces from 6-1000+
Toddler and preschool age ideas