Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Create an Activity Box for homeschooling preschool-kindergarten

You find the element of fun,
and snap! the job's a game.
~Mary Poppins (film)

My son loves his activity box. It's just an old recipe box I re-purposed for our activity box. But it's his, and it means a lot to him.

He feels like he can have control over what he choses to do when. At the same time, since I organized it, I know these activities are things I want to do with him. It's also special to him because he knows if he pulls a card out he'll get to do an activity with me, one-on-one.

If it continues to be a success I will use it again next year for PreK and very possibly for kindergarten as well. Cards would just have the kindergarten subjects/activities on them instead of the preschool activities from Flowering Baby.  

I put labels on it, one for each day of the week. At the beginning of the week I write an activity on an index card with a little drawing indicating what the activity is since he can't read yet.

When he wants to do an activity, or I want to do one with him, he opens up his box and chooses the card he'd like to have us do together.

It's really simple
  yet it gets the job done.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Menu Plan Momday: Cheesy Taco Bake recipe

Well, it appears my abdominal aches were a severely strained muscle. So relieved. I can resume exercise now! Get back to a normal routine! Exercise again! So happy!

Of course part of my normal routine is getting food on the table. Have you ever had a taco bake? I found the recipe in a post on the Cooking For Your Family forum. It's quick, easy, and inexpensive. I included it in this week's menu plan. Oh, it's tasty too.

Linking up at Org Junkie's menu plan Monday hop! 

Sunday: Cheesy Taco Bake Casserole
Monday: Cuban Ropa Vieja
Tuesday: Mushroom Cheesy Bread with Butternut Squash Soup
Wednesday: Paella
Thursday: Yakisoba
Friday: Mango and Pepper Chicken Over Rice
Saturday: TBD

Cheesy Taco Bake Casserole

24 Tortilla Chips (+ additional for serving)
1/2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 lb. extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
3 TBSP Taco Seasoning
1 can Black Beans, drained
1 cup Salsa
2 cups ShreddedCheese
Other toppings to taste - avocado,  tomatoes, sour cream, and shredded lettuce 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat oil and add onion and garlic - saute for about 5 minutes until soft.  Add meat and taco seasoning, cooking until meat is browned.  Add beans and salsa.  Mix well and cook to thicken.

Line the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with tortilla chips.  Gently press down the chips to break into bite-sized pieces.  Spread the meat mixture over the chips.  Top with cheese.  You could also add jalapenos or green chilies as well.

Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.