Recent Posts by Tera Bare

Homeschool Mid-Year Check up

It’s time for a homeschool mid-year check up!  Just like you get check-ups, your homeschool needs them too.

Do you go to the doctor when you’re not feeling well?  Hopefully you’re better about it than I am.  I typically wait until I feel like I’m dying before I call the doctor and that’s usually one of the worst things I can do.  If I would have gone sooner, not only would I have felt better faster, it also wouldn’t have gotten as bad as it did.  All those years of not going in for a checkup isn’t the best thing either.  What if something was wrong with me and I didn’t know it yet?  You would know if you did a homeschool mid-year check up!

A check up could alert the doctor and myself to something that’s wrong before it gets serious.  So why do we put them off?  It’s no different for my homeschool or yours.  Even homeschools need checkups,  and doing a homeschool mid-year check up is a must.  Why bother?  Especially if everything seems to be going really good.

It gives you a chance to review your goals – are you meeting them, or not, or sorta kinda. Maybe homeschool is going great, but could you spice it up a little more?  Are your kids really learning?  Is everything going great because the work is too easy and not challenging them?  Maybe you’ve just found a really great rhythm and nothing needs tweaking.  Congratulations!  Enjoy this phase while it lasts!

Why do a mid-year homeschool review?   By the time you reach the Christmas break you’ve been using your curriculum long enough to hopefully now if it’s working or not.  This is the best time during the homeschool year to make change.  You can start fresh after the break.  There is still enough time to tweak what you’re using if it’s not working for you.  Can’t order new curriculum?  Then just tweak what you’re using or go back to what was working.  Make it work for you, not the other way around!

Review your goals for the homeschool year.  Are they obtainable?  Have you met your goals?  Make some new ones.  Look carefully at your kids grades, is the work too hard?  Is it too easy?  Or is it Goldilocks?  Are you having any discipline problems that need to be addressed?  This can be a reflection of the curriculum, learning style and many other things.  Take time to think and pray over these things now before it becomes worse.

How’s your record keeping?  Are you keeping up?  If not, take this time to get caught up.  Do you like your record keeping or would you like to switch next year?  Make notes!  Take time to really assess your whole homeschool, the curriculum, classes, projects, extras and make notes of what you’d like to change for next year.  Are there fun projects or field trips, movies, anything that you forgot about or would still like to do?  Try to see if you can work them in.

Talk with your kids!  Ask them how they feel homeschool is going.  Are they being socialized enough?  Are there things they want to learn that you didn’t know about?  Do they feel like they’re struggling anywhere or would they like a little more of a challenge?  You’d be surprised at what your kids will tell you when they feel like they can open up to you and they should be able to be honest with you about homeschool.  But be prepared, we need to be critiqued too, and sometimes that pill can be hard to swallow.  But if we need to make changes, then they should start with us.

Think about a mid-year review like a review at your job.  Some companies only do annual reviews and some do both.  This gives the employer and the employee a chance to find out the company as a whole is doing and if it’s moving along the projected path.  It also does the same for the employee. Are you still heading in the right direction, how’s your attitude toward the company and fellow employees, etc.

It’s really no different for a homeschool.  We need to know as teachers how we’re doing.  We need to know how our homeschool as a whole is doing and are we still on the path we set at the beginning of the homeschool year?  How does the principal of the homeschool think we’re doing?   If that’s your spouse, are they fully aware of what’s really going on?  And what about our students, how do they feel about the homeschool as a whole, their work, curriculum, attitudes, etc.

Now is the time to fix what needs to be fixed for the remainder of this homeschool year.  Above all, take time to pray over your homeschool, yourself as a teacher and your kids as students.    Then take time to reflect and review.  You could do it a home, Starbucks or do it retreat style and go away for a weekend.   Wherever you will have some quiet time.  Just remember this is not the time to beat yourself up.  It’s just a mid-year checkup!  Blog Signature

 

Free Printable History Syllabus

Just for you today! A free history syllabus!

Today I’ve been working on my plans for History and I just finished laying it all out and I thought I’d share it with you as a free printable history syllabus. It’s Emily’s senior year and I really want to cram it all in. It worked out that she is finishing up year 4 of Tapestry of Grace. But whether or not, you use this curriculum you can still use this plan of study or syllabus (if you need the fancy-shmancy word).

We split up our years differently than Tapestry of Grace, but this takes you through Modern Times or 1920 through present. Feel free to download and use as a guide for your homeschool. Where you see 1920’s or 1980’s I’m using videos about those decades. I use a lot of videos and movies for history! Happy Homeschooling!

To download your free copy Click Here!

Effortless Homeschool Planning

Did I say, “Effortless Homeschool Planning?”  Yes, I did!  Well, maybe you have to put a little effort in, but with a few tips, it sure will be a breeze!

Time to break out the coffee, chocolate and snacks again, and send the kiddos to grandma’s house and the hubby to work!  It’s time to plan for another homeschool year!  I still can’t believe this will be my last year planning for our own homeschool.  Believe me, time does fly!  To help your homeschool planning go smoother, here are some of my posts to show how I plan my homeschool year.

It’s really not hard to plan your whole homeschool year.  If you use a traditional textbook method like Abeka, then it’s really easy because the whole year is already planned.  You just have to copy what you’re doing each day from each subject into your planner.  For example:  Math-Day 1, page 5, problems page 6; Science ready pages 6-10; English test 1, etc.  That’s it!

Then you can add fun stuff to go with it, like a history movie or a lap book!  If you’re like me and you kinda do your own thing, then it gets a little more complicated.  But it also stretches your creativity, too, which I really like.  Don’t feel like you have to plan every minute detail at this point; before each school week, take time to look your week over and get more detailed.  This week and next week, I’ll take you step by step as I plan for school, but for right now, just get the nuts and bolts down.

Here’s some posts to get you started, just click on the picture to go to the posts from my archives! Enjoy the old pictures from my planners!

Homeschool Planning 101 – Course Projections

Homeschool Planning 101 – School Calendar

http://girlfriendsguide2.com/homeschool-planning-101-daily-schedule/

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Quick & Easy Chicken Noodle Bowl

Ok, ever since Panera started advertising their chicken noodle bowl, I’ve been dying to try one.  Problem is…

I never have time to get there, and today I had a teeny, tiny stomach bug.  I started craving a chicken noodle bowl and I’ve never had one!  How does that happen?  Really great advertising on their part I’d say!  So I started a little Pinterest research, looked into my pantry and made one using the leftovers I had on hand, like yesterday’s grilled chicken and it was delish!  I still don’t know what Panera’s noodle bowls taste like, and it doesn’t even matter because this was so good!

And the best part, I used what I had on hand and it took around 2o minutes or so.  I didn’t really time it, because it tasted so good, I forgot!  I didn’t measure the seasonings exactly so start small and adjust, being careful to go easy with the oyster and soy sauce. Doesn’t that make you hungry?

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Bowl

Ingredients:

1 pack of ramen noodles (discard flavor packet)

3 or more cups of chicken broth depending on how much broth you want

2 tbsp. finely diced onion

3 baby carrots sliced thin

a small handful of baby spinach with stems removed

1 small thinly sliced pre-cooked chicken breast (mine had been grilled and was sprinkled with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders)

10 very thin julienne

red pepper strips

4 dashes of garlic powder

1 heaping tbsp. oyster sauce

1 -2 tsp. soy sauce (low sodium if you want  control the salt)

a few dashes ground ginger

a dash of pepper  sriracha sauce

Directions:

Pour chicken broth in a pot on high and let boil.  Add onions and peppers and carrots.  Let boil for about 10 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Add ramen noodles and stir occasionally.  Add seasonings and stir.  Taste and adjust to your liking.  Everything should blend together.  You should taste the soy sauce/oyster sauce but they should not overpower.  If you really like heat add more sriracha sauce!  I allowed it to cook for about 15 minutes on medium to reduce the broth and let the flavors come together.  When everything has been added and the noodles are done, then add the spinach and let cook until spinach is just wilted.  It’s done!

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Free Printable Graduation Planning Countdown

Get ready for Senior Graduation with this free printable Graduation Planning Countdown!  From my book Girlfriend’s Guide 2 Graduation Planning.

Ready or not, it’s graduation time!  It’s Senior Year and you don’t want to miss anything.  Please enjoy this graduation planning timeline from my book.  Graduation Planning Timeline

To download and print a copy please Click Here!

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Free Printable Catering Guide

Hot off the presses and free from my book Girlfriend’s Guide 2 Graduation Planning, a free printable catering guide just for ya’ll…

I thought I would share this free printable catering guide for all of you that are planning any type of get-together, or catering event.  I know from catering many events that it can be difficult to figure out how much food to make, so hopefully this will make things a little easier.  Enjoy and don’t forget to check out my book!

Free Printable Catering Guide

To download please Click Here!Blog Signature

Eggs Florentine

Eggs Florentine won’t seem so intimidating anymore!

Today was my first time in the whole world eating these eggs.  I’ve never, ever had Eggs Florentine and man, have I been missing out!  Also, this is  my first time having a Hollandaise sauce.  Before you freak out on me, remember, I’m a Southern girl and down here, we don’t fancy up our eggs too often.  Typically I just scramble, or fry them up,  but I wanted something different.

My twist was based on Bobby Deen’s recipe from his cookbook “From Mama’s Table to Mine”.  Awesome cookbook!  I’m in love!  For his recipe, buy his cookbook!  You won’t regret it!

 

Since I’m a newbie to this and usually the thought of soft, or runny eggs makes me want to run for the hills, I cooked my eggs a little longer than most of you probably do.  I also put mine on a multi-grain bread instead of an English muffin. But it turned out beautiful and it’s super healthy!  I think I’ll have them again!  Blog Signature

Toasted Bbq Ham and Turkey Sandwiches

These toasted bbq ham and turkey sandwiches are so quick and easy and I need to remember to snap a picture of one!

They makes a quick lunch or supper and you can put them together in a matter of minutes. Since you can mix and match the meats and cheese, you can make everyone happy.  My girls will even take a knife and trace a heart or their initials on the top of the sandwich in the butter so they know which one is theirs.  They’re based off a recipe from Kraft.

Ingredients:

Bread ~ Soft white bread, you need just enough for your family

Meats ~ ham, turkey, roast beef

Sliced cheese ~ Provolone or Swiss

Mayonnaise

Your favorite barbeque sauce

butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare your sandwich with mayo, and layer your favorite meat and cheese.  Then add the barbeque sauce and top with the other slice of bread.  Spread a thin amount of butter on the outside of the bread; you must do both slices. Trust me!  Then put sandwiches on a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Cook for about 5 minutes per side.  Be sure to flip them over when the top is golden brown.  Watch carefully so they don’t overcook.  They are done when the cheese is melted and they’re golden brown.

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Simple Chicken and Dumplings

This recipe has taken me almost my whole married life to perfect.  Really.  This is supposed to be so easy that any Southerner should be able to do it in their sleep, but not me.

Give me something hard and it’s no prob but this has kept me up at night and to make it worse, it’s one of my hubby’s favorites.  His great-aunt was amazing at it. But I think I’ve got it!  It’s probably still not perfect, but it’s darn close.  I kept it as simple as I could.  It is warm, comforting and delicious.  Again I started really easy with the seasonings, because I like to adjust as things cook.  This way it becomes your recipe. You can use a whole chicken and the broth from it which would be amazing. But tonight I just had boneless, skinless chicken and it worked just fine.

People also argue over whether to do rolled dumplings or drop dumplings.  I do drop most of the time.  Mainly because it saves a lot of time and I don’t have to get flour everywhere.  There’s no need to argue and debate the type of dumplings, both are amazing!  So no more arguing people!

Broth:

2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 bouillon cube

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 tbsp. butter and 3-4 tablespoons of flour

Dumplings:

2 cups of flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

/4 cup of shortening

1 tsp. butter

3/4 – 1 cup of milk

Directions:

Boil chicken in a large pot covered with water.  Add the seasonings and bouillon cube.  Cook chicken till done.  Then remove chicken and save the broth in the pot.  Shred chicken and add back to the pot with the broth.

a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients for the dumplings together.  Add the shortening and butter and cut in with a pastry cutter. Work together until it’s evenly mixed, but don’t overwork.  Add in 3/4 cup of the milk and stir gently until you have a nice dough. If it’s too dry add in the rest of the milk.  Too wet add a little bit of flour.  Set to the side and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes.

In a small pan melt butter and add the 1/4 cup of flour.  Allow the flour and butter to cook for a few minutes to get rid of the flour taste.  Mix together adding broth with a whisk until nice and smooth.  Add to broth pot and mix.  I added it about a tablespoon at a time till I got the desired thickness of broth.  I wound up using about 1/2.  Bring pot to a boil.  This is the time to add the soup and adjust seasonings.  I added about 1 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. more pepper and 1/4 tsp. of onion powder.  Adjust till you get the taste you want.

Take dumpling dough and either roll out on a floured surface and cut into thin squares or drop by tiny spoonfuls into the broth.  Every once in a while stir the dumplings very gently while adding them in.  After all dumplings have been added, reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Do not take lid off!  When dumplings are fluffy in the middle they are done.

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