Welcome! I am using this blog to share our family's homeschooling thoughts and experiences.

THIS SCHOOL YEAR (2018-2019): Our oldest child, EL, finished her formal education in May 2017. She remains at home due to her special needs, and continues to learn with us when she is able. JJ is in 10th grade this year. We intend to homeschool him through High School, and are using a variety of different curriculum choices to complete this goal.

Please feel free to follow along....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Early American Settlers, Birds and Chipped Beef Gravy

QUESTION OF THE WEEK:  What crop was America founded on?
ANSWER:  Tobacco
For HISTORY this week, we focused more on the early American settlers, the sale of tobacco, and the use of African slaves. Here is an interesting video that talks more about this...

ANOTHER QUESTION: What is the game of "Nine Pins?"

ANSWER:  It's a game that was played in colonial times, similar to bowling, only it was played outdoors on the lawn. They used a wooden ball and 9 wooden pins, and they were set up in a sort of diamond shape.

We tried our own game of "Nine Pins" here, improvising with 9 empty plastic water bottles, and a little rubber ball.

FOR SCIENCE:  We focused on birds this week - their beaks, their feet, their feathers, their food, and the way they digest.

One day, we made a BIRD FEEDER out of an empty soda pop bottle and a special attachment we purchased from MY FATHER'S WORLD. We hung it up on our clothesline and hope to see some birds using it soon. Unfortunately, the weather is getting chilly now, so we haven't seen too many birds around.

We also made BIRDS NEST TREATS. Birds use grass, twigs and mud to make their nests, so we used Shredded wheat cereal (crushed up to make about 1/2 cup) for the grass, 2 cups chow mein noodles for the twigs, and 1 cup chocolate chips mixed with 1 cup Sunbutter for the mud. Melt chocolate chips and Sunbutter in a small saucepan. Add to chow mein noodles and shredded wheat. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Put in refrigerator until hardened.

Completed Birds Nest Treats.
ALSO IN THE KITCHEN:  JJ used kitchen shears to cut up chipped beef lunchmeat to use in Chipped Beef Gravy on Toast. This is a quick, easy, and inexpensive meal that our family eats quite often. See recipe below.

4 pkgs. (2 oz. each) chipped beef, cut into small pieces
5 cups skim milk
6 1/2 TB cornstarch
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
Combine milk, cornstarch and seasonings in large saucepan or deep skillet. Mix well to dissolve cornstarch. Heat and stir until thickened. Add chopped beef and stir until heated through. Serve on toast.
This makes enough for our family of 4 with a little bit left over.

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