Thursday, May 29, 2008

Peanut Butter Round 2

Here is how to make yummy peanut butter.

Start with one cup of shelled, ROASTED peanuts.
Add 2 TBSP of oil.
I added just a smidgen of honey for sweetness, but not necessary.

The roasting is the important step that I missed before. To roast peanuts, simply put in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes (laid out flat on a baking sheet).

Have Fun!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter may seem like a strange thing to blog about, but here I am. My oldest child went to public school for Kindergarten and 1st grade. Plus he was in preschool for nearly 3 years before that. When I started teaching him for 2nd grade, there were many things he already knew. But I am also still, 2 years later, discovering things he should have learned but didn't. That is not the point of my story. The point is, that with my little one, he has never gone to any school other than here at home. As he has gone through preschool and now Kindergarten/1st grade it is like my first time teaching all over again. He has to learn things that I never thought about teaching, because his brother already knew them. Where am I going with this story? Well, the instructions in the first grade mathbook today were to make peanut butter. Huh? What does peanut butter have to do with math? Well, it has to do with measuring and following a recipe. The blessing of homeschooling is that they get to do a project like this at all. Schools would not be able to do anything of the sort due to peanut allergies. So, we head off to the produce store to buy peanuts. Then, we head home to start shelling peanuts. I am not really much of a nut person, so I don't know about all the different types of peanuts. Apparently the ones I bought, are not the best tasting ones. The boys love eating peanuts, but tasted these and spit them back out. But we trucked on anyway. The second step called for 1 tsp of vegetable oil. I figured why not make it healthier and use EVOO. I don't know if that affected the flavor or not, but it was the worst peanut butter I have ever tasted. Here's my question. Does anyone know what kind of peanut I should use to make peanut butter? Also, I've heard almond butter is really good. Does anyone have a recipe for that?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Asteroid Belt

Some scientists believe there may have at one time been a planet between Mars and Jupiter. There are some other theories as to why there are so many asteroids in between Mars and Jupiter. We will probably not know the truth in our lifetime. I am learning so much with this book. I hope the kids are learning even a fraction of what I am learning. For this lesson we did not use the book project. I got some posterboard and some paints. I had the kids make a picture of the solar system that we have learned up to this point. In other words, from the sun to Mars and the asteroid belt. It was very interesting to see 7 different interpretations of this (and one rainbow). We had one picture where the sun ended up looking like a pizza. One where the sun looked a little like a heart. The 5 and 6 year olds had to draw all the planets, they could not understand a solar system with only four planets. The 3yo was the one that made a rainbow. Some drew the sun in the middle of the paper, some drew part of the sun on the edge of the picture. Great time.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Ancient Egyptian Mummy

Mars and Olympus Mons

Olympus Mons is the solar system's largest volcano. It is located on the planet Mars. So of course the project for this week was building and erupting a volcano.

Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of it painted and erupting. But let me tell you, if your kids are bored, take them outside and let them play with baking soda and vinegar (or diet coke and mentos). The boys and girls from 3 to 12 were immensely entertained by playing in the dirt and erupting volcanoes.

The Moon and Telescopes

I am behind in posting our science units. We studied the moon a couple weeks ago, so let's see how much I remember. Hopefully the kids retain better than I do. The moon really is amazing. It is exactly the perfect size to control our tides. Without the moon's gravity to churn up the ocean, it would get stagnant and the beaches would get dirty. By accident, you say. I don't think so. After learning about the moon, the kids made their own telescopes using a paper towel tube and two magnifying glasses. We had to look up later why the image is upside down whereas regular telescopes are not. I remembered in the middle of the night, that telescopes normally use mirrors to flip the image. I still am not sure what causes it to be upside down. It must have something to do with the curve of the lenses.