Monday, October 31, 2011

Stone Soup, making memories along the way

Cold rain was drizzling down the windows of our Thursday. The kids started out the school day reading and listening along to "Stone Soup" on tape. A story where an old woman says she has no food for a tired boy, so he asks her instead for a stone to make soup from. She has never heard of it, so she wants to watch him make it. He gets her to add things by saying stuff like, "it's cooking fast now, but it would cook faster with some onions... it's smelling good now, but it would smell better with some carrots... it's thin now, but it would be thicker with some butter and barley" etc. etc. She doesn't catch on that the stone really has nothing to do with it. It's just vegetable soup (& beef and potato) that happens to have a stone in the bottom of the pot. There are many different versions of the story. We used Stone Soup by Ann Mcgovern.
My kids listened to it twice, as I added wood to the fire. It was the perfect day for soup. We decided to make real Stone Soup for lunch and turn it into a small unit study for the day. It took all morning to make. As it cooked, we colored a variety of Stone Soup pages and incorporated Bible verses, too, from We also used it as an opportunity to talk about the Bible story of Five Loaves of Bread and Two Fish with some of the pages provided. We followed the recipe from the book and added a few small things. The kids did nearly all of it. They also had fun comparing that the stone would sink, while the onions would float. The soup was so tasty, and no, we didn't eat the stone. :) (We saved it for dad's bowl, though.)

Stone Soup
Scrub a stone clean, boil it in a pot of water.
Add onions, garlic, celery, carrots.
Potatoes (not in this version of the story, but is in others and tasty! We cut them up and left the skins on)
"Beef Bones" (we added chunks of beef roast)
Salt and pepper
Butter & Barley (and a little bit of milk, from another version of the story)
A tiny bit of beef broth, if needed.
Enjoy, and share! ;)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Egypt Excitation: Our Educational Adventures

"Mom, can we learn about Egypt?" my kindergartner inquired in August. Absolutely! Using multifarious library books, and Susan Wise Bauer's "Story of the World: Ancient Times" curriculum, we were off. Bauer's history text and study guide start off covering archaeology, a fun subject for our house (See my posts Treasure Hunting and Archaeology Dig Day).

From building (and flooding) the Nile River to creating cuisine fit for a pharaoh, we've occasioned ourselves to many adventure over the last 2 months. My kids don't want the fun of Egypt to be over, so we're continuing. The best blessing of all came from our trip down to the Indianapolis Children's Museum this month where our friends invited us to stay. We were able to explore their phenomenal, elaborate "Take me there Egypt" exhibit, as well as their National Geographic "Treasures of the Earth" archaeology exhibit. The entire museum was incredible, and added the most amazing hands-on learning opportunities for our homeschool.

Egyptian Ful Medames
I'm actually going to keep Ful Medames in our rotation of recipes, it was so simple, nutritious and fun for the kids. Hard-boil some eggs, peel and mash them small. Add them into a saucepan of beans (I used pinto), fresh garlic and a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Heat. Serve it on a circle of lettuce (think like a leafy bowl) with bread on the side. Yum!! Thanks, Egypt! :)

^ Reed Boats made of straws

There was a passenger jet at the entrance of the Egypt exhibit in Indianapolis. It was meant to simulate our flight to Egypt where the kids could then explore Egyptian homes, marketplaces, herbalists, transportation, etc. etc. As the "flight" started, my daughter looked over at me with genuine panic and exclaimed, "I'm not buckled!!" It was epically awesome.

It's been absolutely amazing and the fun still isn't over. Where will our home education journey take us next?
"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." -Albert Einstein

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mississinewa: Stepping back in time to 1812

Mississinewa 1812 is the largest War of 1812 living history event in the United States. It is literally like taking a step back in time 200 years to 1812.

British and American Military Encampments and battle reenactments, Indian villages and legends, hundreds of merchants demonstrating 18th Century arts, food and drinks, muskets, candles, soaps, clothing and entertainment, including an old fashion miming clown and a fire-swallowing performer who entertained us in the town square. Even life along the rivers and streams in 1812 was recreated in the longhunter, trapper, voyager, and wilderness camps along the river.

Experiencing Mississinewa is hardly describable. It stretched for acres. The hands-on learning was endless, and the people reenacting the period were happy to talk and teach the kids as we explored their camps, browsed their shops and enjoyed the period food. It was an awesome, historical day. Leading up, we touched on a few books, including William Bennett's "Children's Book of America", that included the story of the Star Spangled Banner, which was written during the war of 1812.

We'll be making reference to the battle reenactment and the entire of experience of Mississinewa 1812 as a learning tool for a long time.