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Showing posts from March, 2018

Homeschooling on a Budget

Homeschooling your children doesn't have to cost a small fortune, infact it can be done very affordably. In this post I will share my best tips for homeschooling on a tight budget.

Use Your Local Library:
Skip buying expensive text books and just check out lots of books on whatever topic you are studying from your local library. A stack full of library books written by a variety of authors from a variety of perspectives is always going to give a more rounded view of a topic than a single text book anyway.
Libraries often also have educational DVD's, audio books, educational magazines, story time for preschoolers, and many other resources available for free or low cost. We LOVE our local library's weekly story and craft time. We went every week when my older daughter was preschool and kindergarten age and will probably start going again soon now that my younger daughter is old enough to sit still for a story.

Use Free Online Resources:
I find tons of free printables and workshee…

The Naked Egg Experiment

In this post I will share how to do one of mine and my daughter's all time favorite experiments, making naked eggs! It's really simple but the results are so neat!

For this experiment you will need: -An egg -A cup -A few cups of vinegar (we used white vinegar) -Patience 

Making A Naked Egg:
Start by placing the egg in the cup and add vinegar until the egg is fully covered.  Almost right away you should notice a reaction taking place. If you look closely you will see tiny bubbles forming around your egg. This is carbon dioxide forming from the reaction between the vinegar's acetic acid and the calcium carbonate that makes up the egg shell. 

Acetic Acid + Calcium Cabonate = Calcium Acetate + Carbon Dioxide+ Water

(This is the same reaction that happens with the acid test in my Mineral Identification Experiment)

Leave the egg in the vinegar overnight. In the morning carefully change out the vinegar in your cup for fresh vinegar. If you use a brown egg, like we did, you will notice a …

DIY All Purpose Herbal Salve

In this post I will share my recipe and step by step instructions for my all purpose healing salve.
First though, I need to tell you about an amazing backyard herb I like to harvest for this salve called plantain.

Plantain- A Magical Backyard Weed:
The plantains (there are several varieties)  are a medicinal herb that can be found growing just about anywhere.  Chances are you have some growing in your yard or near your home. Plantain is anti-inflammatory and has both antimicrobial and analgesic properties. It's soothing to minor wounds and insect bites and can even help stop bleeding. Plantain reduces mucous production, making it a good choice for colds and other respiratory issues.  For more information and to learn how to identify this awesome little herb, check out this post from Gwen's Nest.

If you can't find any growing near you or would rather just order some, Mountain Rose Herbs sells dried plantain leaf. You can order some here.

All Purpose Herbal Salve Recipe:

Nine Activities Inspired by On the Banks of Plum Creek

On the Banks of Plum Creek and all the books in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House collection are a fantastic way to teach your children about the pioneer era. I've been slowly reading them all aloud to my 7 year old. We read Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie last year. This year we did On the Banks of Plum Creek and I think it's probably my favorite book in the collection. I spent some time scouring my brain and the internet for fun and educational activities to go along with book while we read it. 
In this post I'll share all the On the Banks of Plum Creek themed activities we did and instructions or links so you can do them too.

Paint a Prairie Mural:
Laura very vividly describes the prairie around her family's homestead in the first several chapters. Get a large piece of cardboard and some paint and paint a mural based on her description.

Learn About Prairie Wildflowers: Laura spends almost an entire chapter describing the wildflowers …

Make A Simple Compost Bin (a fun way to teach kids about soil)

We did a fun unit on soil last year and our big culminating project was setting up our own backyard compost bin. It ended up being much more simple to do than I originally thought it would be. In fact it's so simple, everyone should consider starting one! It's a great way to reduce your household waste, teach kids about soil and composting, and you end up with some excellent soil for your garden out of the process.

Setting Up A Compost Bin:The first thing you need to do is pick a place for your bin. The best location will get a few hours of sun a day (the heat will help speed up the composting process) but not too much sun because you want your compost to stay moist. You also want to pick a spot somewhat close to the house so adding kitchen scraps is easy. 
Once you've chosen a location, it's time to actually set up your bin. Your compost bin can be as simple as just a pile in your yard (I personally don't use this method because we have too many critters around here…

How To Build A Leprechaun Trap

One of my favorite traditions our family has is building a leprechaun trap each year for St. Patrick's Day. This is a tradition I originally started with my after school program kids way back before I had kids of my own. The kids and I always enjoyed it so much, I was excited to be able to continue this fun tradition with my own kids. We've tried a lot of different designs over the years. Some have worked out better than others. In this post I'll share step by step instructions for one of our all time favorite traps. 

How To Build A Leprechaun Trap:

For this project you will need:

-An empty oats container or an empty coffee can or another container of similar porportions.

-Several sheets of green construction paper



-Popsicle sticks

-Hot glue gun

-Black marker

-Something to use as leprechaun bait (shinny pennies or lucky charms ceral work well)

The trap we are making looks like a leprechaun's green top hat. First, trace the end of your container on a piece of green…

The Amazing Health Benefits of Bone Broth (and how to make your own)

Bone broth is an amazing super food that has been a traditional part of the human diet since ancient times. In this post I will tell you about some of it's amazing qualities and then I'll share my personal recipe.

Bone Broth Health Benefits:
Bone broth contains lots of vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, glucosamine, and many other beneficial compounds in an easy to digest form. It can sooth cold symptoms and even help heal leaky gut syndrome and IBS. Plus it's delicious and makes an excellent baby food.

One of the most amazing benefits of bone broth is it's gut healing capabilities. Bone broth contains high amounts of both collagen and gelatin which are both useful for healing gut damage. Some say there is no scientific evidence to back such claims but The United European Gastrointestinal Journal published a study in 2014 demonstrating the gut healing abilities of gelatin in mice. Bone broth is also a good source of the essential amino acid, L-glutamine which su…