From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


2/16/2012 4:11:40 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Toddlers to Tweens: Got the Winter Homeschool Blahs

HSLDA's Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens Newsletter
February 2012 -- Got the Winter Homeschool Blahs

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Dear Friend,

Last month we gave you some HSLDA help to keep those New Year's
resolutions! But maybe you're already in need of some motivation? Here
are a few suggestions to help you avoid the mid-winter homeschool

If you're having trouble getting back on track after the holidays, you
may need to re-visit your daily routine. Many moms find that having a
household routine and
their daily learning goals or lesson plans in writing gives them
accountability, as well as built-in reminders. Tamara Eaton suggests adding an exciting
read-aloud to start off the morning, or some "penny math" drills to
liven things up. If you overplanned or planned a little
unrealistically, this is a perfect time to re-evaluate and make
adjustments. Jill Dixon has
some great diagnostic tools
to help you determine if you are where you want to be, academically.
Or maybe you had great plans at the start of the school year, but life
broadsided your homeschool--there is help for those trying to
re-establish "normal."

If winter storms have kept the family inside, be sure to keep moving.
A pedometer is a fun
motivation for kids to measure their movement, and you can work on
graphing and other math skills at the same time! Skip-counting videos
or audios combine multiplication drills and aerobic exercise (and help
burn a bit of that excess cabin-fever energy). Even letting the
children progress up or down the stairs or across the room for each
correct answer to an oral quiz or drill can be a productive physical
outlet and change of pace. For more ideas on how to keep kids moving
and learning, check out Carol Barnier's The Big WHAT NOW Book of
Learning Styles.

Speaking of winter storms: Consider organizing your own version of a
family winter-Olympics-style competition . This can be a stand-alone
event or part of an Olympics unit study.

Getting cabin fever? Bring "the outdoors" inside! Creation Illustrated is a colorful, 68-page
nature magazine for the whole family, with Bible-based nature lessons,
activities and puzzles, plus a homeschoolers' instructional guide in
every edition to help you teach character-building lessons from
Did you resolve to add some spark and fun to your learning lifestyle?
Sign up your family to receive daily grammar nuggets , a vocabulary word of the
day (elementary or junior
high ), or homeschool
freebies via e-mail. Plan a
short, budget-friendly family trip or field trip to excite your children
about an upcoming topic, learn with games in your
homeschool, or focus a lesson
or two on a holiday each
month to extend that holiday anticipation and excitement throughout
the school year.

Be on the lookout for those daffodils--spring will be here before you
know it!

Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens consultant


12 Extol the LORD, Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. . . .
16 He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy
18 He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the
waters flow.

Psalm 147:12-18 (NIV)

After you pop this stew into the crockpot, let the kids help you make
some 60-minute dinner rolls or a few bread loaves (they can even shape them!).
Then round up the troops for a family read-aloud. Need ideas? Here's
my daughter's "winter favorites" list:

> Little House in the Big Woods (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
> The Long Winter (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
> Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (Robert Frost/Susan Jeffers)
> The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats)
> The Missing Mitten Mystery (Steven Kellogg)
> Owl Moon (Jane Yolen/John Schoenherr)

Chill-Chasing Chicken Stew

2 uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
or smaller (or cut cubes from breast meat removed from the bone; in a
pinch, use rotisserie chicken!)
6-8 cups water (depending on cooker size)
1 - 15 oz. can tomatoes with liquid (preferably petite diced, or
1 - 15 oz. can corn
2 cups frozen baby limas (or a 10 oz package)
1/4 to 1/3 cup honey barbecue sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp vinegar (white or cider)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp chicken broth powder or 6 bouillon cubes
2 large potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (white or sweet, or one of
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup potato flakes or 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes (optional)

Combine all ingredients except the potato flakes into the crock of the
slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
If stew needs further thickening before serving, stir in potato

To pressure cook:
Combine all ingredients but the potato flakes in 6-quart pressure
cooker. Seal and bring quickly to high pressure; reduce heat but still
maintain pressure for about 15 minutes. Depressurize using
quick-release method. Stir in potato flakes to thicken slightly.
Serves 8.
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