Thursday, September 30, 2010

an autumn walk through the book stacks


Yesterday was our weekly walk to the local library, not the worlds best library but we always find books to love 


some of this weeks read alouds








Wednesday, September 29, 2010

yummy science :)

We have been studying the Sun with Apologia Science. This week is our experiment week. The Official name of the experiment is "Magnifying the Sun" but the kids call it "melty chocolate bars" hehe. Science is so much better when it is both fun and yummy! So the kids used magnifying glasses to melt candy bars with sunbeams, they had to decide whether a large sunbeam (glass far from chocolate) or a small sunbeam (glass close to chocolate) would melt the candy bar. There was of course a "control" candy bar sitting in the sun to test non-magnified melting time {I sacrificed and ate the control for them :) }

I would tell you the results...but I think you should try it for yourself.... :)


setting up the experiment


the chocolate melters


looking for a sunbeam


found one


melty success 


oh, was I supposed to melt this???


Holey candy bar


happy with her results


how to eat a melty candy bar :)

Yum yum! Love Science! 








Monday, September 27, 2010

lookie what I made

{pat on the back :) }
I figured out how to make a linked blog button, yay. So now we have our very own button for you to grab and display on your blog.



<img src="http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e182/matz_academy/pileup2-1.jpg" /> <br /> <textarea style="text-align:center" rows="4" cols="22"><a border="0" href="http://http://lifewith5monkeys.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e182/matz_academy/pileup2-1.jpg" /></a></textarea>

its on the side bar if you are so inclined to grab one for yourself. If you want to make a grab button for your blog you can find a great tutorial HERE

the monday blahs....

Is it just me or are Mondays the hardest day to homeschool??? I'm tired, the kids are dragging, taking extra long with their lessons. We need a serious kick in the pants on Monday mornings. Not sure if we need to change our Monday morning routine, or just truck along hoping it gets better {like we get used to it...} Sundays are hard on us so we often start an hour late, by the looks of the zombies in my class room we should have done that today!

{I miss my bed this morning...}

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

where in the world are the matz monkeys?

Ah, the hectic joys of being a homeschooler :) So where in the world (school) have we been? We have been studying the Sun, Noah and the flood, making art collages, watching fiddler on the roof, with a little math, grammar and phonics thrown in.
I have been researching how to teach a right-brained thinker....this year is full of new experiences. The world of APD (audio processing disorder) Dyslexia and Dysgraphia is cloudy and hard to grasp. So many claim to have just the right program to help my kids.... How do I know which really is the right one? Well, it will be through trail and error, with lots of prayer. We are starting HERE .  Hopefully our new reading program will be here soon. At this point I am totally up for suggestions, does anyone know what I should be doing???

Well, in the mean time, we have been learning! The boys just mastered the first level of Hooked on Phonics for this year, L just mastered a whole grade level of math and is excited to move on, She also decoded and read a book for her ES yesterday.....a tough feat for a kids with APD, she is SOOO proud :)

S had a sick day yesterday and in between naps had fun making collages with found objects.



T is working on a timeline of Noah and the flood


we started a timeline for this years Mystery of History, not quite a masterpiece, but we are having fun :)



We are enjoying the solar system with Apologia, currently we are studying the Sun

I am determined to make this year fun for all of the kids. I cried for 2 days after getting L and S tested for learning disabilities, then I woke up and realized that God didn't make a mistake on either of them, the are perfectly how he created them, and just how I love them! I never want them to feel dumb or behind, just loved, nurtured and creative. Seriously what could be better than being a right-brained thinker :) 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

fun with math facts

Our school schedule has been crazy, completely wiping us all out. I am trying to make sure the kiddos get something "fun" to do everyday, while still learning. So learning your math facts isn't something that is usually considered fun, but B had a blast spreading his flashcards out on a big table.



Here he is after finding all the "sister" facts 


and organizing by the "sum"



besides being fun, B memorized a bunch of facts with out knowing that he was working :)

My very eager mother just served us nine pancakes ;) {& yummy enchiladas}

I have been trying to blog, but blogger has been giving me fits.....hence I am slightly behind. We just finished chapter 1 in our Astronomy book. Last week the kids had fun making up silly sentences to remember the planets, like the one in the title. We also made a "not quite to scale" model of the solar system to hang from the ceiling of the classroom.


This week we started a 3 week study of the sun, staring with illustrations for their note books. 

Last night I dug into my life saving (well at least dinner saving) freezer meals........and made White Chicken Enchiladas. OHMY can you say yummy! This is a new family fave! I found this recipe on a weight watchers recipe blog, this blog is amazing!  And this recipe worked amazingly as a freezer meal



Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde


Chicken and White Bean Filling:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 15.5 oz can Navy beans (or Cannellini beans)
  • 8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1/3 can water
  • 1 chicken bullion
  • 1 tsp cumin
Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 7 oz can chopped green chile
  • 2 jalapeƱos, chopped (I used jarred)
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • 8 medium low carb tortillas
  • chopped fresh cilantro or scallions (or both!)
Preheat oven to 375°.


For the Filling:
In a medium pan, heat olive oil on low. Add onions, garlic and saute until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add green chiles, beans, water, bullion, and cumin. Mix well and cover.Simmer on low 15 minutes. Remove cover, add chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until it thickens and liquid boils down. Set aside.

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:
In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Whisk until the sauce becomes smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add green chiles, jalepeƱos, and salt to tatse. Cook another minute then remove from the heat. Stir in the sour cream.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish.Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken/white bean filling. Roll the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling remainder of the tortillas.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover with aluminum and bake 20-30 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with fresh cilantro or scallions. 




{enjoy :)   time to wrangle the monkeys off to school!}

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Moon Sand in the Garden of Eden


I went to the store to buy some play-dough for our history project {making Adam, and then using his side to make Eve} I had the play-dough in my cart....and then I spied moon sand! I thought...."how cool, sand! Just like "the dust of the earth" that Adam was formed from......" and the package claimed..."no mess, easy to clean up, tons of fun" I was hooked :) 

Well, its not as mess free as it claims, and its crazy hard to form {which in itself went well with the lesson, we are not God, so forming a man from sand should be hard for us :)} 
So the kiddos had a blast.... and the mess cleaned up fairly fast! While, if given the choice of moon sand or play-dough on my next shopping spree I would go with the latter, though moon sand was a great choice for todays lesson!


Here's Dad reading to us Genesis 2-3 while the kiddos make man












Taylor and her People

Benny's people and their garden (see the flowers)

CJs people

Grace's people, and her messy hands :)

Lizzie's people, standing on the serpent :)

Go buy your kids some moon sand! 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

freezer cooking

This weekend I got together with two friends {and our awesomely helpful bigger girls} and we stocked our freezers with dinners, to help out with dinnertime during the school year. We planned on having 36 meals each but ended up with more :)

Here was our Menu

Tator tot casserole
pasties
white chicken enchiladas 
chicken bundles
Mexican meatloaf
beef stroganoff
pizza kits
pork caloupas
Mexican stuffed tomatoes
zesty Italian casserole
shredded chicken (for casseroles) 
swiss chicken














(every tot had a perfect place :) ) 












my nice full freezer :)
I also made a bunch of peach freezer jam, and homemade chicken stock



so we were all exhausted by the end of the day, but it was so much fun! Can't wait to do it again (well in a few months....) 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

dragging, but happy

okay, so the first week of school is totally kicking my butt! I have never been a morning person, 7am is normally when I am finally getting some really good sleep! So needless to say, getting up at 7am every morning has not been easy for me....but I am getting there. I am still trying to get a good schedule down with the kids, but for the most part it is going smoothly. And...I think they are really enjoying themselves this year :) during their 1hr lunch break both Liz and Grace rushed through lunch and then asked permission to go back to their schoolwork, and then Taylor chose to do another 90mins of aleks.com (math) after she was done with all her work for the day.  I do need to find away to work in some more outside time for the youngest 3, I took them grocery shopping after school today and they were bouncing off the walls.

Here they are, happily at work







Praying that it continues to go smoothly, and that thinks really click for the youngest 4 this year...especially Liz. CJ is just whizzing through his math, and keeps asking for more :) and Benny is such a happy worker. I am so blessed!
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