Wednesday, October 24

Poetry, Math, and Food

I came across this poem last week, as I was weeding through the many Homeschool Today magazines that I have accumulated over the past 2 years, and it really hit home. This is the reason why we homeschool. I thought I would share it with you.

The Man to be
By Edgar A. Guest

Some day the world will need a man of courage in a time of doubt.
And somewhere, as a little boy, that future hero plays about.
Within some humble home, no doubt, that instrument of greater things
Now climbs upon his father's knee or to his mother's garments clings
And when shall come that call for him to render service that is fine.
He that shall do God's mission here may be your little boy or mine.

Long years of preparation mark the pathway for the splendid souls.
And generations live and die and seem no nearer to their goals.
And yet the purpose of it all, the fleeting pleasure and the woe.
The laughter and the grief of life that all who come to earth must know
May be to pave the way for one - one man to serve the Will Divine
And it is possible that he may be your little boy or mine.

Some day the world will need a man! I stand beside his cot at night
And wonder if I'm teaching him, as best I can, to know the right.
I am the father of a boy - his life is mine to make or mar -
For he no better can become than what my daily teachings are.
There will be need for someone great - I dare not falter from the line -
The man that is to serve the world may be that little boy of mine.

Perhaps your boy or mine may not ascend the lofty heights of fame;
The orders for their births are hid. We know not why to earth they came;
Yet in some little bed tonight the great man of tomorrow sleeps
And only He who sent him here, the secret of His purpose keeps.
As fathers then our care is this-to keep in mind the Great Design-
The man the world shall need some day may be your little boy or mine.

There is a lot of wisdom to be taken from this poem, and as I typed it through just know I felt the energy I needed to complete another day of teaching, just as I felt the first time I read it a week ago. Don't you feel it? Purpose. That is what I am sure it is. It keeps us on track when we feel like quitting, or throwing in the towel. When we feel insecure, or feel we are a failure. We can do it. It is by a Higher Purpose; We are teachers of the most important people in our lives. Not other people's kids, but our kids. I believe there is no other vocation as rewarding as this.


How do we make it work? What do we use? A fellow homeschooling friend asked me this some time ago, and I feel I didn't give her the information I could have at the time because of distractions. We were embellishing parasols.

With Skaterboy, who is easily distracted, we found that Saxon math works the best. First of all, this is the text he was using at the public school he attended. Secondly, because we got it on loan from another homeschooling family. We have a great community of friends in our homeschool group, and we swap books as much as we can to save money. This is a great asset.

Saxon breaks math down into simple terms. Last year Skaterboy used Saxon 87. This year he is using Saxon Algebra 1/2. Skaterboy has much difficulty taking a long math assignment to his room and completing it on his own. So this is what I do. When both little boys are down for a nap, Skaterboy does his math. He needs my complete attention during this time. One thing that confuses him, and it used to bother me as a child, is not having enough room to do the work on the paper. To solve this problem, we purchased a large dry erase board. (Wal-mart, $15.) and various colors of dry erase markers. I sit in a chair with the textbook, and read him the lesson, as he figures on the dry erase board the problems. After each lesson, there are review questions. The questions not only cover what you have just learned, but the last few lessons as well. Even numbered lessons, he does the even numbers; odd numbered lessons, he does the odds. I verbally give him each problem, and he figures the problem himself, on the dry erase board. I tell him if his work is correct or not, and he refigures it until it is correct. I have him do math every day. At his old school, they only did math on Tues. and Thurs. With math, I feel that repetition is the key, and he doesn't seem to mind since he gets to use the dry erase board.

I also use the dry erase board for Truthseeker. We are using the A beka kindergarten course Skaterboy used when he was in kindergarten at Calvary Baptist Academy. I saved every paper and book he had. Then I purchased the teacher's manual and curriculum guide online. The only difference between the books Skaterboy used and the new teacher's manual is that A beka is currently teaching cursive writing in kindergarten. Skaterboy's books reflect standard printing. All the other books are exactly the same. I prefer that Truthseeker print before he learns cursive anyway, so this is fine. Some of the teacher's materials I am missing, so I use the dry erase board to draw the pictures and sentences that I don't have available to me.

To make the papers Skaterboy already completed, look like new, I scanned them into my computer program, and erased the lines. Then I print out a brand new sheet. I don't think I am supposed to do this, but since it's for personal use only, I figure I am within my rights. I purchased the complete package already when Skaterboy was in kindergarten.


Most nights when I cook dinner, I don't use a recipe. I do get ideas however, from cooking shows like Rachael Ray, Ina, and Robin Miller. They are my favorite cooking celebrities. Occasionally I will watch Paula Dean, but I don't usually make her recipes. She did have a great one I tried a few weeks ago, that was really good though.

A few nights ago, I think it was Saturday, I was watching "Ina" (The Barefoot Contessa), and she was making pork tenderloins in apple cider. This looked really good to me, and we had about 1 cup of apple cider left in the bottom of the jug, last night. So I breaded the pork tenderloin in seasoned breadcrumbs, put them in my Pyrex casserole, and poured the rest of the apple cider over the top. Baked at 350 for 1 hour. They were fabulous. They coating was so unique and good.

I am always making Rachel Ray dishes, it seems. There has been an occasion or two, that I had no clue what I was making for dinner, and then 30 Min. Meals comes on at 5 p.m. and I have dinner on the table at 6. If she is cooking something, and I have the ingredients on hand, that is usually what we are having for dinner. I have Food Network, listed as a favorite, so I pull up the episode, print out the recipe, and it's done. Sometimes when I don't have a certain ingredient, I improvise. Everything has always turned out yummy.

I am printing Robin Miller's dish I made a few weeks back for you here. It is awesome.
My husband loves hot wings. I on the other hand find them greasy, and usually end up with stomach pains after I have eaten them.

Here is Robin Miller's Healthy Hot Wings. You will love them. They are so easy to prepare. And the fries, OMGosh, this is the only way I make fries now.

Cooking Spray
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6 boneless chicken breasts ( I use chicken tenderloins, I buy at Aldi. 3/4 bag feeds a family of 5, so if you have a larger family, the whole bag should do it. At $5.99 a bag, who can beat that?)
2 tbsp hot chili oil ( I use hot chili olive oil, Kroger sells it under is Special Selections label.)

2 large sweet potatoes
3 large baking potatoes
(I mix the sweet potatoes and the white potatoes, for the color effect, and my dh doesn't like sweet potatoes, so it satisfies us all.)

Dip: Optional
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 stalks celery

Preheat oven to 400F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine salt, chili powder and black pepper.

Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Brush chicken all over with chili oil. Sprinkle salt mixture all over chicken and transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet. Roast 25 minutes, until cooked through.

Peal sweet potatoes (I leave skin on the white potatoes) and cut all into steak fries. Arrange on separate baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Spray fries with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper. Roast 25 to 30 minutes, until tender.

I just put both in the oven at the same time, and about 30 minutes later, everything was done.

For the dip:
Combine blue cheese and sour cream. Cut celery into strips to dip.
May use as dip for chicken as well. We feel it didn't need the dip.

Have a Great Day!

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