Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kitchen Helps: Cream of Sorghum

Discovery for the Day

Cream of sorghum tastes just like cream of wheat. 1 part coarse ground sorghum to apx 4 parts milk. Bring to boil and cook until desired consistency. (If you usually make your cream of wheat with water, you could probably do the same with the sorghum.)

I like butter and brown sugar in mine.

Experiments in the works:

Sourdough bread with soft white wheat
Gluten free chocolate chip cookies with amaranth, teff, sorghum, buckwheat, arrowroot, tapioca
Cream of Amaranth and Teff

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spell to Write and Read Expanded

This week I made plans for how to reimplement Spell to Write and Read without the boring factor. (I know others do not have this issue but we have several times. I love SWR conceptually but implementation that sustains in the long run has been rocky.) We took a detour and did All About Spelling Level 3 for a bit and now it is time to go back to SWR. But I know for my sanity that it must be more than just dictating and marking word lists with a few enrichments thrown in. So I pulled out my Writing Road To Reading notes to review The Writing Lesson and The Reading Lesson to get some ideas. (I feel that SWR does a good job with The Spelling Lesson.) Then I pulled out my Classical Writing Homer notes because I love how they organize their weeks. Day 2 is working with words, Day 3 is working with sentences, and Day 4 is working with paragraphs. Dd is only in 2nd grade so I am not adding paragraphs in at this point, and the word and sentence work will get more detailed as she gets older. But taking all those collective thoughts I came up with a plan that I think will be workable. I want to add in WRTR Reading Lesson as well but have to put some more thought into that.

I realize with straight SWR that more words per week is what is recommended. But sustainability is what is most important with any program a person uses. So if adding in the extra language components keeps the program alive for us while still laying the strong foundation that SWR provides, the goal has been accomplished

Day 1 
WISE Guide Preliminaries: Rules / Phonograms
Rule Page (if applicable)
Dictate word list (If rule page, dictate on Day 2)

Day 2 - Word Work
Read list
   One-syllable words - read/unglue sounds/read;
   Multi-syllable - read / think to spell in syllables / read
Vocabulary - What do the words mean
Person, place, thing, idea, action, being, descriptive (Part of speech)
Nouns: Common / Proper; Singular / Plural 
Verbs: Tense (past, present, future); Singular / Plural

Day 3 - Sentence Work

Read list
   One-syllable words - read/unglue sounds/read;
   Multi-syllable - read / think to spell in syllables / read
Write sentences for all words
Pick a couple sentences for further analysis
Parse (Nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs)
Diagram (Subject / Verb for now)
Change sentence type (declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, imperative)
Change singular to plural and plural to singular
Change sentence tense
Replace nouns with pronouns
Expand - Add descriptive words
Condense - Take down to sentence shell
Replace as many words as possible with stronger words
Rearrange sentences

Day 4 - Test

Additional Information:

It has become obvious to me as I start to implement this plan that Day 2 is definitely going to take longer than a single day for my 8-year old. But that's okay. These are skills that she needs and I am excited that we have an easy way to reinforce them. So we will take each day as it comes and spend as many days as needed to keep the learning going.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Is Courtship Really More Spiritual?

I read an interesting statement this week in an introduction of a speaker. It said that this speaker and his wife were joined together in marriage without dating.  I thought that was quite odd as I would be surprised if it was an arranged marriage where the couple had no interaction until their wedding. But it also brought to mind how saddened I am by the idea that seems so prevalent in conservative Christian circles that “courtship” is somehow more spiritual than dating. If courtship works for a couple, then great. But how is it more spiritual than a couple whose lives are led by the Spirit of God but do not follow some man made model of what the road leading to marriage should look like? We really put God in a box when we say that things have to be done by this or that system to be legitimate. What happened to allowing couples to check their actions against the Word of God instead of a list of dos and don’ts? What happened to allowing God to control their lives instead of man trying to control them? I think as a church we have a wrong focus. Instead of being so concerned that our children only court their future spouses, why not concentrate on teaching them the Word of God so they can live a life of walking in the Spirit as it commands in Galatians 5:16? If they learn to do that, they will be in line with God’s plan no matter what road they take toward marriage.
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