"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Sharing Monday: Meet the Group of Seven

As part of our look at Canada this year we are 'meeting' The Group of Seven! A group of artists who banded together with the express purpose of bringing the landscape of Canada to life through their paintings. Their art work is incredible and I love the way they represent Canada's seasons, territory and beautiful lakes and rivers.  The kids are having a harder time with the way the art is done.  They enjoy art that is more like a picture, with smooth lines.  The Group of Seven uses choppier, larger brush strokes.  We'll see how they like it by the end of our study though! :)  Sometimes, it just takes more exposure to art like this to have them appreciate it.  But we all have what we like best about art, which is the beauty about having so many different artists in our world!

This book is part of what I am using to go through the Group of Seven with the kids.  It has background on the artists themselves, how The Group of Seven formed along with pictures of their paintings. Visually, it's a  a wonderful book and helps round out what we are studying in respect to Canadian art. We have been picking the art pieces to view as we go through each province!  I am also using The Group of Seven ArtPak by Cyndi Regeling.  It is also a wonderful resource.  

The Cover

I love those little maple leaves, brings out the Canadian touch to the book.

The information is just enough to help the kids understand the reasons The Group of Seven  painted Canada's beautiful landscape!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Club Monday: The Silver Chair

The highlight of this week was our book club!  We absolutely love our book club; so I will share this as my weekly wrap up. :)

February's Pick for Book Club:  The Silver Chair

C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair was an excellent book!  The Silver Chair is the sixth book in the Narnia Series and as usual Lewis did not disappoint.  What an incredibly talented author.  His books are full of Biblical imagery that engage the readers attention from start to finish.  We used the book ROAR to help guide us through the chapter readings in The Silver Chair.   There were new and old characters in this book but it still held all the magic and mystery of Narnia, the old age battle between good and evil.  I was constantly amazed by how much of the Bible the kids drew from the chapter readings.


We had a fantastic book club for this book!  The kids dug really deep and had some incredible insights to share about this book.  I usually begin by asking questions like:  "Who was your favorite character/least favorite character and why?"  "Tell me about your favorite parts of the book etc.".  I used the ROAR book this time to ask 'meatier' questions and stimulate further discussion.  We chatted a lot about how sin can look so good at times and the further we walk from the Lord's words the easier it is to accept the sin.  I was so pleased at how much the kids shared and how they were able to apply this to their relationships with the Lord.  


After our book discussion we enjoyed some home made snack and hot chocolate and then started in our activity.  The kids made Diaroma's of one of their favorite scenes from the book.  See here for images of Diaroma's.  They are almost like a shadow box with a 3D scene in them.  We bought sturdy cardboard boxes from the dollar store for $1 each - great for this activity!  One of the Mom's made some plain play dough so the kids could form their characters from.  They also used construction paper, paint and glue to create their scenes.  The kids really took their time and did fantastic jobs.  I have posted lots of pictures!  I wanted to share them because they worked so hard!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Silly Yak Bake Talk: Home Made Broth and Soups!

We had a wonderful Gluten Free meal tonight called Curry Chicken and I wanted to share the recipe! First, I want to talk about the ingredients that went into the meal, one being the home made chicken broth, the other a home made cream of chicken soup made from the chicken broth.  Whether you are GF or not home made chicken broth is an excellent thing to make!  Secondly, I will give the recipe for the GF meal.  This meal takes some planning but once you become accustomed to making broth and home made soups this habit will be hard to break!  And you won't want to because Home made stock and soups are so delicious and hold many health benefits!

Home Made Chicken Broth
Chicken broth not only tastes good but is highly nutritious! Making broth is one of those lost arts. (see THIS article for more information).  I make chicken broth at least once a week.  I try very hard not to waste any food in our home, so when I made a whole chicken for dinner I utilize as much of it as I can.  For one of our weekly meals I put a small chicken in the crock pot in the morning . I stuff the chicken with onions, celery and throw a carrot in for flavour.  I put it on high from about 8am-12pm then turn it on low until dinner.  Once our meal is done, the chicken in picked off the bone and saved. The bones and the giblets are added to the crock pot along with the left over drippings from the chicken I cooked for dinner, and any other steamed veggies I had for that meal.  Sometimes I add more onion and a bay leaf.  I fill the crock pot up with cool water and put some vinegar in it (maybe about 2 tbsp).  I allow this to soak for an hour.  The vinegar will break down the chicken bones so that the nutrition contained in the bones makes its way to the broth. I then put the crock pot on high until I go to bed.  Before I go to bed I set the crock pot to low until morning. I strain the broth with a mesh strainer into a glass bowl and throw out the bones and anything else that is not apart of the broth.  This gives me a nice savory, rich broth, which also has no added sodium (salt)!  I wait for the broth to cool and place it either into the fridge for soup that week or the freezer for future use.  FYI: The more congealed your chicken broth the more nutrition packed it is!  The congealing indicates that the process has drawn the nutrition out of the bones. 

Gluten Free Cream of Chicken Soup 
This is my own recipe, feel free to use and pass on!

6 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of 1%, 2% milk or heavy cream
1 tsp onion powder
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of chicken cut up (I used the chicken I had left over from the above meal)
3 tbsp of arrowroot flour or corn starch dissolved in a 1/4 cup or so of water
1/2 to 1 cup of cheddar cheese (if so desired)

1.  Place the chicken stock, milk, chicken pieces, onion powder & garlic into a stock pot and heat until boiling.
2. Pour arrowroot and water into the stock mixture, stir until thickened to desired consistency.  If you need to add more arrowroot mixture go ahead and make more!
3.  Add in cheese if you like!

** You can add anything to the stock mixture, like celery, onion or mushrooms.
** You can serve this soup as a nice lunch or add to a dinner time dish!
** You can also freeze this soup in 2 cup glass containers for future use/

Curry Chicken

4 chicken breasts cut up into cube like peices 
2 cups Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup mayo
1 clove garlic; minced
2 Tbsp of lemon juice, fresh or in the bottle
2 tbsp of curry (more or less depending on taste)

1. Cook chicken in coconut oil (or olive oil) on a stove top pan (I use a stainless steel frying pan). Drain excess water
2. Mix together cream of chicken soup, mayo, garlic, lemon juice and curry.
3.  Pour mixture in with chicken and allow to simmer for a half hour or so.  
4.  Serve with a side dish of mini potato, quinoa or rice, and of course some steamed or raw veggies!

Curry Chicken! YUM :)

Left over Cream of Chicken Soup, I froze for future use!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up: Board Game Afternoon!

For the past couple of weeks we've been battling the flu in our house.  It took us out, and although we schooled on and off for the past week and half; this is the first full week we have been back to the complete swing of things. :)   We're just finishing up British Columbia in Geography this week, using the WOW Canada Book.  They have been creating post cards about BC, which I will post once the kids are finished  doing them.  

We finished up the section on The Fur Traders in Canada.  It took longer then I would have liked because we had been sick.  They worked on their history timelines and we read out loud from the Discovering Canada Series: Fur Traders, doing some of the activities in the book as well.  

Book Club Book: The Silver Chair
We finished off our read a loud for book club.  As always I am completely amazed by CS Lewis' works.  The Biblical imagery in his books is incredible and the kids have been able to identify it quickly.  Not only can they identify it, but they grasp it and talk about it frequently.   We used the companion book: ROAR to help guide us through our chapter readings.

Board Games
We ended our week with a board game afternoon with another home school family.  We spent the afternoon playing board games and eating lots of snacks! lol  It was a great time and I would like to do that more often.   We shared a meal together afterward as well!  It was a wonderful way to end the week. :)

We are linked up with Hammock Tracks and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers this week!