Tuesday, February 25, 2014

K12 homeschool 2013-Idaho Virtual Academy

In thinking over the things that have gone very well for us in our first semester of homeschooling the kids, many things come to mind.

First, I love the fact that you set the days schedule, the weeks schedule and are given goals for completion. Since we are awaiting the sale of our home in Idaho, I have been pushing the kids to complete more each day. Once we well, we are not allowed to participate in IDVA. We will have to transfer to Washington if we are not complete.

Second, I love the fact that the kids get a good nights rest and the evenings are not hurried with massive amounts of homework, stress, crying and frustration. We can watch a movie, basketball game or read as a family. This time spent as a family will never happen again, we are not missing it. With the busy schedules of public school, activities, swim team and not being a family took a toll on our family. We did not see this till we were a unit here on the farm. Just the four of us, no where to go, no commitments beside school and a feeling of freedom.

In addition, I get to spend the whole day side by side with my kids. I see the engagement, the learning, the wonder, the fun, the giggles, the bad days and good days! Before, I would prepare them with a good breakfast and greet them at the end of school, then off to the business of life, swimming, and commitments. I would not trade our new situation for anything.

Some of my most favorite activities are the ones I can plan and share with the kids. The activities are most likely not taught while in traditional school. We can teach how to prepare laundry, cook, clean, play a game, fix lunch, make cookies, take pictures etc.  We can plan vacations, field trips, and visit family. Jeff loves to help with the science and geology. There is a freedom in planning the week. You can look at days you need to have lighter due to other commitments and adjust the lesson plan. You can work weekends to get ahead. You can challenge a topic, if the kids do well on the concept and assessment, you don't need to spend time teaching something they grasp easily or already know.

Finally, I love that Nicholas can move at a speed he is comfortable with. He often will tell me how much he loves something because its not like at school. He did not verbalize how difficult a day was for him till we removed him from the situation. He was bullied daily and did not do well with the expectations of a "Normal student". He tells us stories that will break your heart. I am thankful he is comfortable and doing well at home. We are helping him catch up and helping him grasp main concepts he missed in the Third and Fourth grade. It gives me peace to know he is safe, learning and growing in comfort.

We are thankful for IDVA, the Willard Farm, and my ability to stay home to teach the kids. Jeff goes to work and works hard. We are home for him when his day is done. Our family is adjusting to our new temporary home while our  Idaho home is now a vacation home. We look forward to what God has in store for us next.  Mostly, we miss our swim family and swimming. Here are a few pictures from Summer Championship in Boise last July.
Nicholas age 10 Breaststroke

Paisley age 7 Breaststroke

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

April's Gluten free Flour blend

In cooking and baking, I use this blend cup for cup. I do not like the ratio as well in raised breads.

April's Gluten free flour blend

GF Flour Blend 
Mix the following:
8 cups white rice flour
2/3 cup potato flour and 
1 1/3 cup tapioca flour
Store extra mix in an airtight container.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chocolate chip Pancake Donuts

GF baked doughnut pancake

¾ cup milk
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg
1 cup April’s GF flour blend
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp lime fresco sea salt
2/3 cup mini choc chips

Mix all in batter bowl. Don’t over mix. Pour in greased Norpro donut baking pan and bake for 15-20 min or till top set and edges are light brown. Makes 6 donuts.
Nick enjoying breakfast!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

April's GF Nutella Donuts

April’s Nutella Donuts (Gluten Free)

Makes 6

I purchased  6 piece Norpro donut pan at Prepared pantry in Idaho and use it often! I also purchase my potato flour there. Great store by the way!

1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup Greek honey yogurt
1 tsp soda
1/8 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 cup April's GF flour blend
Nuts optional, ¼ cup

Mix sugar, egg, and yogurt. Add nutella. Add dry ingredients, mix well. Add nuts. Bake in greased donut pan at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Donuts will be firm to touch and brown on sides, not top. I frosted these with a powdered sugar glaze, great plain too.