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Showing posts from November, 2016

We Made This: Roll Dough for Cinnamon Rolls/Christmas Tree!!!

My mom's cinnamon rolls have been a hit with my family and our friends for decades.  Every semester just before finals, my college dorm-mates and I eagerly awaited the arrival of a Banker's Box full of them.  Now, the kids and I have taken over the roll baking duties.  No. 1: 5 y.o., No. 2: 4 y.o., and No. 3: 1 y.o. all help with different steps of the baking process.  Today's post contains the steps for making the roll dough.  In future posts, I'll include instructions on how to use the dough to make cinnamon rolls and baked Christmas trees!

My payoff for writing this post:  As I outlined the baking steps below, I realized that the kids can almost completely take over this job!!!

Ingredients
1/2 cup of warm water
1-1/2 cup of room temperature milk
2 (1/4 ounce packet)s of yeast
1/2 cup of shortening cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs (the larger the egg, the more moist and sticky the dough)
7 - 7 1/2 cups of flour

Things the kids help with:
Step 1…

The Value of Shared Experiences

Then, there was silence except for No. 2's small singing voice pleasantly crooning along...
We made cinnamon rolls a few nights ago.  It's a fun time with the kids helping, but there's always a bit of a ruckus over taking turns.  They help roll out dough, or break the eggs, or mix up the cinnamon sugar.  Our youngest no. 3 has just become mobile enough to help.  She's also just reaching the age where it seems like throwing a fit might be the way to get things changed when they don't go her way.

No. 2 and 3 had just finished helping put cinnamon rolls in the pan.  No. 3, as I've mentioned before, takes in everything.  While placing rolls in the baking pan, she apparently also noticed that her brother No. 2 was mixing the cinnamon sugar.  I told them all that we were done helping, and it was time to go play again.  No. 3 pointed at the cinnamon sugar mix, and began to scream.  There were a dozen different ways I could have defused the moment.  I, for example,  c…

Doom Patrol and Our Dada Adventures

Over the last few weeks I’ve experienced an uptick in the number of “Unschooling?  How does that work?” questions while out and about with the kids .  +Sue Elvis  posted a great example of how unschooling works for her family, and made a very apt rabbit hole analogy.  As a fun  example of exactly how homeschooling works for us, here’s one of our own rabbit holes annotated with the various school subjects that were covered as we pursued it.  You’ll find a topic or two, networking for example, that don’t fit into a traditional school curriculum at all.


No. 1 and I have been reading Doom Patrol.  Saturday night, we noticed a reference to Hannah Höch in the comic book.  Topics: Reading, Reading Comprehension, Art Appreciation



Turns out, Hannah Höch was a famous Dada artist.  Dada, an art movement founded in 1916, gave birth to the surrealists.  Doom Patrol is very surreal in both its story, and art.  For example, the story involves a door in the shape of a mouth.  To get through the door,…

Unschooling with Cartoons and Comic Books Doom Patrol Style

*Spoilers lie below*
Our oldest kid, 5 y.o., No. 1, tried a few weeks of public kindergarten before she decided she missed the outings with her sibs and homeschool buddies.  During her brief stint in kindergarten her teacher mentioned that reading out loud and comprehension were two different things.  I'm still not sure I believe this entirely, but we started trying to be more mindful with respect to comprehension... just in case.

For us, reading comprehension amounts to sitting around discussing the books we're reading.  My wife and I read comic books, and if they're not violent we leave them laying around the house where the kids can reach them.  Similarly, we both enjoy reading the kids' comics that they pick out.  This shared reading material pool has led to really fun reading comprehension discussions.

A few weeks ago after Doom Patrol #2 came out, the kid and I wound up discussing it at the kitchen table.   The comic book is loosely connected to one of our kids&…

Socializaiton in the City

"...Oh, that's interesting.  What about socialization?"

"Wait, what?"

"Do they interact well with others?"

"OHHH! Oh.. yeah, yeah they do."

As a homeschooler, you hear a lot about socialization.  There are about as many different definitions of the term as there are concerns.  We hear it so much that I've come to think of it as the way that publicschoolers have been taught to break the ice with homeschoolers.

It's not that they want to be impolite, or even care about the issue, it's just a common ground with which to begin a discussion.  Prior to starting to home school, and subsequently meeting public school parents, I'd never even heard of 'socialization'.  Here's how my conversations with non-homeschoolers usually go;  stop me if you've heard this one.

"Why aren't they in school?"

"We homeschool."

"...Oh, that's interesting.  What about socialization?"

"Wait, what?"

&…

Why More Hunters Should Parent and More Parents Should Hunt Part Last

The Blood and the Mud and the Crud
As a hunter, you’ll be immunized to the blood, gore, and sleeplessness that comes part in parcel with parenting.  Pooh-filled diapers?  No problem, you’ve ground deer scat between thumb and forefinger to glean knowledge of their feeding patterns.  The kid falls on its head and comes up screaming and streaming blood?  Who among us hasn’t endured a pate wound in the field?  It’s among the bloodiest of injuries, but in the end it’s all thunder and fluff signifying nothing.  While other parents run screaming to the hospital, you’ll simply find a clean cloth, (might I suggest cloth diapers?), and apply pressure to the wound while talking to the little cootermaroo in calming tones.  A few minutes later voila, you’ll be back up and running.  And sleep deprivation?  What hunter doesn’t know about sleep deprivation?  Sure you’ll have to get up to feed the little tyke and clean their butt, but is that any worse than sleeping in the mud under a tree to get the …