So yesterday I was informed by The Brothers that last year, Summer Homeschool was more fun than this year. Bummer.
Every summer, me and the boys do a little homeschooling in the mornings for 2 hours a few days a week. It keeps them structured, and it helps me work on skills they struggled with during the school year while reinforcing their other skills to reduce regression when the school year begins. This is particularly helpful because the transition is such a stressful time (for all of us) that their energy is freed up to only wig out about the socialization, instead of wigging out about that AND academic skills.
When we first started, these “academic” skills were more like OT – cutting/drawing on the line, gluing things together without a freak-out, yoga and calming-strategies, etc. But last summer, we actually worked on writing and reading and math, etc.
Sounds real fun doesn’t it? I like to think I made it fun since I’m pretty fun and all…
This past school year, their teachers had no suggestions on skills they needed to be working on. Not even social skills or anger management! #proudmama
So I thought I would make Summer Homeschool more “fun” this year (obviously only by my definition). We still write and read and do flashcards, but I added a Character Building unit. I got tools from various places and people, but have based it on the Fruit of the Spirit in Galations 5:22-23. The thing is that they have loved everything about the unit. The worksheets, the Bible study, the videos, the “crafts” (its just coloring and cutting – The Younger should teach the crafts portion. He has more artsy genes than all of us put together!), and especially the music! So I was really scratching my head on this one. We haven’t been as hard core on the writing and math this summer. As a matter of fact, I felt like I was too diligent last summer on academics and resolved to be a little more laid back this time around.
So what did I do differently last summer that was sooooo fun?
I found out that it wasn’t what we did during school hours that captivated them. It was what we did after we dismissed. We had a Cooking Class (that was code for “lunch”). They helped me make lunch and they would write down the recipes. Nothing fancy. Sandwiches, spaghetti, “good meat” and rice (will post that recipe another day). Some days, I would give them a “test” and they would have to make the rice all by themselves (rice + water + rice cooker).
I learned that it didn’t matter how much I drilled them last summer or how hard they worked to try to figure out that analog clock nonsense. What they remembered, and ultimately labeled the entire program, was the fun they had making a mess in the kitchen together. Therefore, this morning I announced that we would start school with Cooking Class today and they got to vote for what they wanted to learn to make.
The verdict…Breakfast Casserole…
This made me a little nervous because I “hide” good-for-you stuff in this recipe and secretly put onions in it even though they swear up and down they hate onions. But it worked out! We had a nice brunch (with leftovers) and now we are off to the pool!
And so “fun” has been reinstated into the curriculum! Maybe now I can pull out those flashcards without feeling like a math nazi.
how we made our Breakfast Casserole
Allow me to translate…
1. Fry 2-3 strips of turkey bacon and set aside. (Since we use uncured turkey bacon, we have to add a little coconut oil to get it to brown and look like bacon and produce bacon grease.)
2, 3, 4. Finely chopped 1/2 an onion and saute in the bacon grease until translucent.
5. Add 2-3 cups hash brown potatoes and brown.
6. Cut the 3-4 bread slices to fit the bottom of a casserole dish. Ours is from Pamela’s gluten-free bread mix.
(The Elder added Step #7 in his notes: Eat Extra Bread).
8-12. In a bowl, beat 4-5 eggs with about 1/4 cup milk (we used unsweetened coconut milk), salt, garlic powder, and any dehydrated/powdered veggies you want to hide (today it was “spinach” – code for anything green).
13. Crumble bacon (we cut into strips with shears)
14. Layer the potato/onion mix on top of the bread.
15. Layer more veggies you want to hide.
16. Layer the crumbled bacon.
17. Pour the egg mix evenly over the entire dish.
18. Top with freshly ground pepper.
19. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees oven for 20 minutes.
20. Yeah, I was the only one washing dishes here…Oh but The Younger did wipe up spilled eggs off the kickstool!
21-22. Layer cheddar cheese on top and bake an additional 5 minutes. (we used Daiya Foods Cheddar Shreds)
Me: Do you think you’ll know how to make this on your own now?
The Elder: Yeah, now that I have the list of ingredients and the steps.