Butternut Squash Black Bean Soup
Today, I'm unapologetically eating my feelings.
School started on Monday, and I jumped in with both feet, ready to tackle anything! My first quiz, I scored a 90, my second quiz was 100... and then this morning I failed my first quiz... EVER.
It went down like this: I woke up two hours before everyone, read and studied in quiet, and then take the quiz or write after I'm finished with the days reading. Today, I started my timed quiz while me 3 year old was watching her morning show and my one year old was playing quietly. As soon as I went to my computer, my son decided he was hungry and proceeded to repeatedly bite me while I struggled to take the quiz. I tried to feed him yogurt and other snack foods, and then he took the yogurt out of his mouth with his hands and put it all over my favorite couch.
So, my time ticked away while I was being bitten and freaking out. But, I'm trying to work through this with grace for myself. I can only do what I can do in the moment, and now I need to shake it off and eat this yummy soup.
To make it, start by cutting and peeling a butternut squash.
Add it to a soup pot with one carton of chicken broth and two cups of water.
Add in 1-2 potatoes and 3 cloves of garlic
Cook until soft, about 20 minutes.
Add one can of drained black beans
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
Let simmer about 10 minutes
And blend with an immersion blender.
Then sprinkle with a garnish of cheese, or a handful if you just failed a quiz, and enjoy!
Homeschooling is all about options. Parents are able to pick from a plethora of material and find what works best for their child and family. If you tend to be a bit indecisive like myself, this freedom can feel paralyzing.
Over the last year, I've been working with the Homeschool Review Crew to try out and review many different curricula and I wanted to break down what we've used for 1st grade and some of the pros and cons of each curriculum to help you find ideas that might work for your family!
First Grade Math
First Grade English
The Good and The Beautiful
Pros: We jumped into this curriculum because I had heard about it from many different moms, all boasting that the content was amazing and it was FREE. The curriculum has not disappointing. I love how the material is clearly presented and the curriculum lives up to it's name: Good and Beautiful.
Cons: Well, we've yet to encounter one. This program has suited two of my children, with very different learning styles.
Memoria Press offers a variety of resources that can be used in first grade. They are a favorite of mine because they offer simple, clear, classical material at an affordable price. For first grade, we used book D and E from the Classical Phonics First Start Reading Program. The earlier books are amazing for starting your child's on a journey of reading!
We also practiced spelling with their Simply Classical Spelling Program, which is a great supplement for working through spelling words. The books are simply workbooks with spelling lists and a suggested plan to help children memorize the spelling words. It's not essential if your student is learning to spell easily through their main curricula, but can be used for extra help in that area!
Easy Grammar System
If you're looking to focus in on grammar, we enjoyed the Easy Grammar System, which offers a simple one page lesson to complete each day. The lessons build upon each other and reinforce simple grammar concepts. The Pros are that the program is extremely simple. The cons were that I'm not sure how necessary this book was at this level. But, to learn more about the scope and sequence, check out our review!
First Grade History
Drive Thru History
Pathway to Liberty
Story of the World
First Grade Science
Generation Genius has been pure fun for my kids! They offer science videos, worksheets, and quizzes to test your knowledge! The topics are presented in a fun engaging way, and it's perfect for unit studies or diving into a specific topic. The only Con I've found is that I wish there were more videos! We watched them all during our free trial period, but I'm looking forward to seeing more content they develop!
Dinosaurs in the Bible
Keep in mind that so much science can be learned by observing the world around us, nature walks, and books!
Whewwww, I'm out of breath, we covered a lot of ground and learned a ton last year! I hope you'll enjoy some of the above recommendations and am happy to answer questions in the comment section! Also, tell me about your favorite programs so we can check them out!
Banana AVOCADO Baby Food Recipe
There's something so rewarding about making your own baby food. Except if your little one refuses to eat it, which was the story of my older three kids.
I'd puree carrots, sweet potatoes, garden fresh produce and they would refuse to eat it. It was frustrating to say the least.
With my one year old, I've mostly purchased organic baby food puree, but I've made one easy recipe that he loves. The best part is it doesn't require cooking, only blending.
To make this puree, simply slice an avocado in half and place one half in a blender or food processor. For this puree, we're only using half an avocado, so I use the side of the avocado that doesn't have the pit and tightly wrap the other piece for later.
Next, add one full banana and your half of an avocado to a blender. I use a nutribullet because the small cups are a great size for a single serving of baby food!
Add 1 tablespoon of water, and blend!
Because this has avocado and banana, it's best to eat quickly after making as both will brown with air exposure- but the taste won't change!
What's your little one's favorite baby food puree to eat? Tell me about it in the comments!
Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
This time last year, I was about to embark on my very first year with the Homeschool Review Crew. Little did I know that an amazing journey was awaiting my family, checking out incredible curricula and recording it all to share with you! The first review I completed was for SchoolhouseTeachers.com, so it’s only fitting that I start my second year reviewing SchoolhouseTeachers.com and sharing about the curricula we enjoy from them! We’re using the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership, which grants families access to 460+ courses, a video library, Worldbook, and AppleCore record-keeping service.
We use SchoolhouseTeachers.com to conveniently explore topics we’re interested in- at our own pace! If I start to feel like we need some more science in our day to day lessons, I can log in and browse through the assortment of curricula that are grade-level appropriate, and then access different programs at the click of a button. I might pull one lesson from Living Geography to do with my kids, and then add in a little of Everyday Explores to expand on a specific location. There’s no more buying a curriculum and then white-knuckling through because you paid for it! Families can easily print out one lesson, or entire curricula at the click of a button. Need handwriting practice? Print out a unique lesson each day, and pick and choose from hundreds of options!
Because we enjoy Charlotte Mason homeschooling, we also benefit from the Focused Learning Center which links to all different curriculum options that align with Charlotte Mason’s ideologies. The Focused Learning Centers can also direct your curricula searches based on educational needs like math, reading, foreign languages, or special needs. Through the center, we found some awesome curricula that we’ve been enjoying like Living Geography, Bold Explorers, and my son’s personal favorite: Dinosaurs in the Bible, which is a video teaching series with accompanying worksheets and quizzes!
Dinosaurs in the Bible can be found in SchoolhouseTeachers.com video library, which has been a lifesaver for our family during chaotic weeks! Our favorite series, Drive-Thru History, is available to stream from the video library absolutely free. For us, just that feature alone makes the SchoolhouseTeachers.com Membership financially worth it! We also love the Torchlighter videos series which are incredibly moving for the whole family!
SchoolhouseTeachers.com also helps keep you organized with lesson plans and record-keeping services. The lesson plans accompany many of the free curricula and break down the programs into daily activities. This year, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of their record-keeping service, AppleCore. At our stage in homeschooling, I’m not incredibly concerned about grades, but it helps me to organize and record the different courses and learning experiences that we’ve accomplished.
Overall, SchoolhouseTeachers.com has been an amazing addition to our homeschool curricula. The range of material is incredible and the ease of accessing and using it is superb! The entire homeschool review crew has reviewed SchoolhouseTeachers.com this time around, so be sure to check out the rest of the crew’s review!
Prophetic Word For 2020
Happy New Years, friends! I don't normally write these types of blog post, but God has been pressing my heart about a specific topic and I wanted to share about it this week,
Over the last few months, I've been writing up a storm and having a blast on my first historic fiction book, which is loosely based on my grandfather's early years. I've shared before how my grandfather was dropped off at a police station Christmas Eve, 1923, and never saw his mother again. The circumstances surrounding his early years have been a mystery, and we're told they just might involve a former president. I've been filling in my own details and crafting a story, which probably has another 9 months of work before you'll hear more about it!
Anyway, as I've been diving into this story, God has been stressing how important one life is. My g. grandmother died young, leaving her child in the care of a cruel world. It's a heartbreaking scenario, and many people these days would say, "Hey, she should have had an abortion!" She was in no position to have a baby and care for him, but she did. And the results,
My grandfather had 6 children.
Those 6 children have combined 15 children.
And at the current time, there's 14 great grandchildren- including my kids, a number which will continue to grow over the next years...
and even one great-great grandchild.
That one life my great grandmother gave birth to developed a lasting legacy that carried into the next century and beyond.
The message for 2020: God's releasing vision to sustain long-term and generational assignments.
Tragedy and brokenness can give birth to life and beauty. We see our world in part, but God sees in full. God knows the beginning from the end, and He's not afraid of our minuscule [or big] mistakes because they can't mess up His plan. It might not always look the way we'd thought, or match up to our earthly plan, and it might be downright painful, but God has it worked out.
One day, your great great grandchildren just might want to thank you for your part that you played in the story!
Here's to a blessed year, friends!
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.