Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Home Education Week: Recipe For Success

Dana at Principled Discovery is hosting fun writing prompts and real world activities to celebrate Home Education Week. Today we are sharing our recipes for success (assuming we have been successful lol.) It is also National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! So share a recipe…figuratively, as in two parts love, one part creativity, or literally, as in a super quick, nutritious meal your kids scarf up. Think about what you do in the day, what helps keep it organized and you sane (or how you got past that need for organization and saneness!), and curriculum materials you find effective.

Well, my recipe for success would be to plan, plan, plan, and then fly by the seat of your pants lol. Kind of like looking up a recipe and then adding or subtracting ingredients to suit your family's tastes. We have been homeschooling for 9 years now. In the beginning I had detailed lesson plans and time schedules...and then someone would have the audacity to get sick, or some other life event would happen and I'd have to start all over. With our young and growing family this scenario played out often. After a few years I gave up on planning...anything! I hated having plans "ruined" and just decided not to have anymore. I convinced myself that this is what worked for us. I now realize that life's little unexpected events didn't "ruin" my plans...the way I reacted to them did. And with 4 children and a home to manage my "no plans" way of doing things just wasn't cutting it! I slowly started planning again and have gotten into a comfortable groove now that is working for us (for now lol.) I make lesson plans but no longer date them. I make up two weeks of menus but don't assign them to specific days...we eat what we feel like on whichever day, but everything we need for the meals is there. I have a list of chores that have to be done everyday like laundry, dish washing, etc. and a list of what I want to get done during the week...and I do the chores as I am able. My children are getting educated, their tummies are full and my house is clean enough for me. It's not a perfect recipe, but I'm getting better at making it up every year.

Now for some real recipes, in honor of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Here is a treat I've been making since before I had kids! And now my kids love it, too. Toast a piece of whole wheat bread and slather some peanut butter on it while it is still warm. Ummm. Slice a banana in half lengthwise and width wise and pile that on the toast. Sprinkle with wheat germ, flax seed or granola, whatever you have on hand. Enjoy!

Let's not forget the jelly. This is my family's favorite sloppy joe recipe.

Sensational Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup tomato soup

1/2 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons grape jelly

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 hamburger buns

In large skillet, cook beef and onion; drain. Stir in soup, ketchup, jelly, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until heated through. Serve on buns.

I look forward to seeing everyone's recipes for success! Julie


  1. I like your idea of making lesson plans but not dating them and making meal plans but not assigning them to specific days. I tend to plan lessons and meals a day ahead. If I have something for the next day, then I feel organized for the moment. I started using a weekly housework schedule also, which keeps me motivated (that and having company).

  2. Love this entry!

    And the sloppy joes sound delicious.

  3. Plan....and fly by the seat of your pants. I like that advice. I think I'll adopt it. :)

    I do well when I sit down and write out my broad goals and work each week to sort of plan from that. Things seem to fall apart when I get down to really detailed lesson plans because it is inevitable something will happen and I'll stick to my plan as if our lives depended on it.

    But you might have noticed that from yesterday's entry. :)

  4. Oh, I can so relate to the planning phobia! DD keeps me in line though asking me every week to fill in her assignment book!

  5. "I now realize that life's little unexpected events didn't "ruin" my plans...the way I reacted to them did." Oh, did I need this truth right now! I am such a planner, and I often get upset when things don't go my way. You are exactly right, it's all about attitude. And flexibility.

    Great recipes! The sloppy joe one with grape jelly is intriguing! :)

  6. Your planning sounds perfect to me. THat is exactly what I had done, I quit planning because it just wasn't working. so I thought. Not planning works even less well. So I am now implementing the plans again. Better and more flexible.

  7. Hmm...I may be going through the same process. I made so many lesson plans my first couple years of homeschooling and this year I realize that I haven't been planning enough.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love how you wrote this post. It's very informative. Today, I had one of those days where the plans just didn't work. It's impossible to plan for emotional breakdowns. And I had 2 girls who each experienced one. I felt it was more important to be an understanding and listening mom to them today, then to force the girls to do their worksheets.


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