All About ‘A’

Since Elias sees all of his friends going to school everyday (they are all homeschooled actually), he wants to be big like them and “do school” too.  So, we have started doing preschool together.  I do not have any formal preschool curriculum and so Pinterest and YouTube are my BFFs.

My goal in preschool is mostly to have Elias get used to the routine of school and also having Mom as a teacher.  Since there is no English school option in Nabire, our only option is homeschooling.  If doing preschool together accomplishes nothing but those two things, we’ll call it a win…but I do hope that he learns some other things too.  I never thought I would be a homeschool mom, but I’m kind-of nerdily excited about it!

We are keeping things simple for preschool.  Each week, we study a letter of the alphabet.  There is gobs of stuff out there on the interwebs to do letter based preschool, so no need to reinvent the wheel here.  Naturally we started out with the letter A.

A is for Apple!

Apple Stamps

Apple Stamps

First we cut an apple in half and made apple prints.  Elias loves to paint way more than coloring, so I try to incorporate painting as much as I can.

Apples Up on Top

Next, we “read” the book “Apples Up on Top.”  Since I don’t actually own this book, we watched a video of this being read aloud on YouTube.  I told you that YouTube is my BFF.  There are soo many read aloud books available on there!

After watching the video, Elias glued apples “up on top” of this little guy’s head and then counted them.  We only made it to 7 even though it goes to 10 in the video.

Ants go Marching

 

Ants go marching

Ants go Marching

On the next day of school (we try to do school Monday, Wednesday and Friday), we talked about ants.

First we watched a little video (YouTube!) with the song “The Ants Go Marching.”  Then we made these little ants with popsicle sticks, black paper circles and googly eyes.  Elias loves the googly eyes.  Once all our ants we made, we lined them up one by one and then two by two, etc. just like the song.  We only made six ants, so our little guys only marched up to three by three.

q-tip ants

q-tip ants

Next, we made an ant painting using a q-tip to paint the ant bodies.  Red ants were also added after I took these pictures because “red ants bite and black ants tickle.”

All About A

A is for Apple!

The very last thing we do is make a little A book.  I cut out several shapes of objects all beginning with the letter ‘A’ (apple, airplane, ant, arrow and alligator) and let Elias paint them.  Once they were dry, he glued one shape per page and then we could read the book we created together.  To make the book itself, I sewed several pieces of 5 inch x 5 inch origami paper together.  This book is only 5 pages, including the cover.  I hope that by the end, he has one book for each letter of the alphabet!

All and all, I’m really loving doing preschool together.  We just spend about an hour working together each time we do school and I’ve already seen progress in Elias being able to recognize letters.  Yay!

Dishes

Dishes

 

I used to hate doing the dishes.  For years I had a house helper (it is super common over here to hire someone to clean your house everyday) mostly so that I didn’t have to do the dishes.  And then I had this two-year internal debate as to whether or not I actually wanted a house helper.  Sure it felt weird to have someone else cleaning up after me all the time.  I would look for excuses to leave the house while she was there…but she did the dishes!  After two-years, my desire to have my house to myself won out (I’m an introvert, yo.) which means I would have to suck it up and do the dishes myself (as well as all of the other household chores).

Y’all.  I love doing the dishes now.  Love. It.  It’s not the actually the act of doing the dishes, but it’s the sort-of mindless washing of dishes that allows my brain to wander.  It is the 45 minutes of my day (yep, takes that long!) where my 3 year-old will somewhat happily entertain himself while I listen to the podcast of my choice and scrub last night’s dinner off of all of our utensils.

It is the sense of accomplishment in taking care of my home that I was missing when someone else was doing the job.  It is the dishes put away in the right place and a clean kitchen, at least until lunch time rolls around.

This may just be a season.  The time may come again, when I am trying to homeschool Elias and wrangle another kiddo, that I may have house help again.  But for now, I am loving having my house all to myself.

Homemade Potato Chips

Potato Chips

This possibly falls under the category of a dangerous recipe because homemade potato chips are super delicious and you’ll want to make them all the time.  All. The. Time.

Potato Chips are one snack (well, one of many) that we have trouble finding around here.  Unless you’re ready to settle for Seaweed or Barbecue Beef flavor all the time.  Neither are terrible, but sometimes you just want plain ol’ potato chips, ya know?

Homemade Potato Chips

Ingredients:

Potatoes (as many as you want)
Oil, for frying
Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Scrub potatoes and then slice very thin.  I use the thinnest setting on my slicer/shredder attachment for my Bosch.
  2. Rinse potatoes slices until water runs clear (this helps remove some of the starch, very important!  Don’t skip this step)
  3. Lay out slices in a single layer on a tea towel and pat dry (also important, don’t skip!)
  4. While potatoes are drying, heat oil to between 350-375 F.
  5. Once oil is hot, drop potato slice a handful at a time into oil and allow to cook until golden brown (2-3 minutes).  Remove to cooling rack and salt immediately.  Repeat until all potatoes are cooked!

If you actually have leftover chips, do not store in plastic bag or container as they tend to take on the flavor of plastic.  I just put some cling wrap over my glass bowl and we ate them over the next few days.