Farmer Boy Unit Study

Farmer Boy Unit Study

Looking for ideas to incorporate Farmer Boy into your homeshool? We grew up reading the Little House On The Prairie series of books, and Farmer Boy was always a favorite.  Check out this Farmer Boy Unit Study that is perfect for introducing this book to your children.

farmer boy final

FARMER BOY UNIT STUDY

I couldn’t wait until I had little girl and  was she big enough to read my favorite childhood  books with me- The Little House on the Prairie series. I had pinned all my hopes on sharing Laura, Mary, Ma, Pa, and baby Carries adventures with her, but she is only 3, and while I have read some of the chapters aloud we are not there yet. But then I realized- “Wait! I have a boy of 6 now, he is big enough, why am I saving it for a girl?” However my boy runs from anything with any girly theme whatsoever so it was a no go until I pulled out Farmer Boy and promised him it was full of boy adventures, even a fight, and well farming. ( I am telling ya’ll I barely snuck this gingham cover past him!) Once we made it through the first chapter he was hooked on learning about life on the farm and Almanzo a boy of not quite nine years old. It certainly made him appreciate his little chore list more!

First we read through the book over the course of a couple weeks ( we read two chapters a day on average) which led to many discussions about the differences in the way things were then as opposed to now.  We talked about how modern conveniences had changed the world so much- grocery stores meant that most people no longer HAVE to grow their own food.  Electricity and large appliances like freezers keep food preserved until you are ready too cook it.  Nowadays Families are often  busy watching TV, playing video games, and checking their Facebook status -no longer are our only amuse ments -sledding, sitting around a fire with our family enjoying popcorn and milk, making homemade candy, and the simpleness of county fairs. Sad right?

At the end of our reading we decided to spend a day living like Almanzo and his family.  Sometimes the best way to learn about a subject is to immerse yourself in it, and live it out!  We picked a day to commit to no technology such as tv, tablets, or cell phones ( we did use our electricity for cooking and lighting but you could grill and use flashlights and lanterns if you really want to get even more in character. Here are a few of the activities we included in our Farmer Boy mini unit study.

Write on “slates”- We used our  chalkboard slates to write new words we encountered during our reading as well as for writing out  simple math problems. Then I let the kids just free draw and write on their chalkboards for awhile, they became a favorite activity throughout the day since we had no T.V. We made our slates by taping off the edges of a Dollar Tree cookie sheet with painters tape and spraying on several coats of chalkboard paint-these will serve us throughout many studies!

farmer boy slate

Apple Cider and Popcorn Snack/Activity-Early in the book the family is enjoying popcorn , apples and apple cider around the  fire (sounds dreamy right?)  So for a snack we had the same- Apple Cider, apples, and salty, buttered popcorn. They were delicious but we also had to try Almanzo’s trick of putting a full cup of popcorn into a full cup of milk to see if it worked- It did! That was a fun experiment and also tasty!

farmer boy snack

Farm Life- We actually have chickens next door on my mother in laws property, this is a great simple taste of farm life for the kids. We gathered eggs and threw cracked corn to the chickens and talked about how this was a daily chore for the family along with milking cows, and feeding the rest of the livestock. Ask your child if they think they would enjoy that kind of life. Why or why not?  If you don’t have or don’t want to have any kind of farm animals consider a visit to a petting zoo or working farm for a field trip.

farmer boy chicken

Here are some other activities that would be great to go along with Farmer Boy:

Make Butter- This is one of our favorite activities and we have done it several times for various studies, and it couldn’t be easier! Just place some heavy cream in a jar-a mason, or baby food jar work great. Add in a marble and a pinch of salt, then shake…for a long time.. Like 20 minutes , this is a  great activity to take turns with. Your butter is ready when it is pretty solid, and separated from the liquid- pour this liquid off ( this is buttermilk). Store in fridge to firm up and voila!

Plant Potatoes- Here is a  great tutorial on growing potatoes in a container to conserve space from simply frugal .  This will take awhile to see results

Plant a milk pumpkin- Try planting pumpkins and trying Almanzo’s prize winning trick of cutting a slit in the vine and placing a wick from the slit into a bowl of milk. This obviously is a much longer project again, but how rewarding at the end!

Make Ice Cream- How fun for the kids and how tasty to make homemade ice cream like the Wilder  children did when tending house.  Making it in a baggie is the simplest way and is really a ton of fun for the kids. If found a simple tutorial here at Tasty Kitchen.

Sledding- If you live somewhere with snow you can spend the day sledding and throwing snowballs like Almanzo enjoyed during the winter months.

Bake Potatoes- If you are going to cook outside on the grill or have a fire pit going, make potatoes like in the book. Wrap them in foil (not in the book but I just cant toss potatoes directly into the fire and eat them) and let them roast away for a while.   Try it directly from the fire plain and then fill them up with butter, sour cream and whatever toppings you and your child will enjoy. This makes a great lunch or dinner!

Whatever items you choose to do with your Farmer Boy Unit Study, you are sure to have fun reading these books with your kids again.  Sometimes it is great to simply step back in time and enjoy things like they were “back in the day”.

Looking for other great Homeschool studies and tips?  Check out some of our favorites below!

Using Legos In Your Homeschool

Using Television In Your Homeschool Curriculum

7 Tips For Cheap Homeschool Curriculum

Free Transportation Worksheets For Early Readers

Posted in Christmas, Homeschool

Shark Rocket Vacuum Cleaner Review & Video

With 2 cats, a little boy and of course us adults in the house – vacuuming is done on a regular basis.  We have been in the market for a new vacuum for quite awhile now, but have been rather picky and just kept waiting until we could find just the right one for us.  When we had the chance to review the Shark Rocket Vacuum Cleaner, we were thrilled!  Not only had this vacuum been on our list of top vacuums, it came just in time.  Our old standard vacuum had finally decided to say it’s final goodbye leaving us with an immediate need.  So, we waited expectantly to receive this popular vacuum and give it a try.

As we waited for the Shark Rocket Vacuum to arrive, Cash took to the infomercial channels to study up on his new vacuum.  You see, vacuuming is one of his chores.  While we supervise and typically I will make sure to go over stuff, he loves to vacuum and is quite good at it.  He had been begging us to get a new vacuum, and had seen the commercials for Shark products before.  In the week it took for our vacuum to arrive, he had practically everything about this vacuum cleaner memorized.  I had been out of the house the day it was delivered, but when I got home, he was beaming with pride that “his” vacuum had shown up.

Shark Rocket Vacuum

The Shark Rocket Vacuum Features:

  • 32 Foot Cord makes vacuuming multiple rooms easier to do without so much stop and go to unplug/replug cord
  •  Lightweight (around 8 pounds) makes it easy to use – even a child can lift this!
  • Never loses suction or power when changing from bare floors to carpet!
  • Works great on bare floors as well as carpeted areas
  • Advanced Swivel Steering makes it easy to get around corners, under furniture or cabinets and more
  • Comes with great attachments for easy cleaning: Wide Upholstery Tool, Dusting Brush, & 12″ Crevice Tool with cleaning wand.

Shark Rocket Vacuum 2

Our first sweep through the living area with the Shark Rocket Vacuum proved just how badly we had needed a replacement vacuum.  With 2 cats in the house, cat hair can be a big problem.  In no time the easy open dust container was full!  We emptied the canister multiple times on our first time vacuuming with the Shark Rocket Vacuum.  It was almost embarrassing to see how much dirt had been left in our carpets!  Cash immediately had to test it out, and was thrilled to find it really was lightweight.  He also did several tests with the attachments.  He was determined that we would give it a thorough review.  Not only did the wide upholstery tool work great to remove cat hair from our futon the kitties like to nap on, the dusting brush was great for those tops of curtains and even up on our walls.  You truly can take this lightweight vacuum from floor to ceiling with ease.

While we love this vacuum, we do have one complaint.  Why didn’t we buy one sooner?  In all seriousness – you know I don’t give props lightly.  I am a tough person to impress, but I was and still am very impressed by the quality of this vacuum cleaner.

Cash wanted to share a little information about the Shark Rocket Vacuum with you – and here is his version of their awesome infomercial.  Forgive the flubs, he is only 7 you know!

If you are interested in buying a Shark Rocket Vacuum, make sure to check out their site at sharkclean.com for great offers, bonus deals and more!  We are thrilled to include this product in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide with the highest ratings.  This is a worthy household investment you won’t regret!

Thanks to Shark for the opportunity to review this vacuum.  Regardless of compensation mentioned above, we only give our honest reviews on all products mentioned here at You Brew My Tea.

 

Posted in Christmas, Holiday Gift Guide 2014, Holidays, reviews Tagged with: , , ,

DIY Olaf Wreath

DIY Olaf Wreath

Do you wanna build a snowman? No really let’s build one-for the front door or to hang on any wall in the house. If you have been breathing this last year you know about Frozen and the adorable snowman Olaf -lover of warm hugs.  This adorable DIY Olaf Wreath is a great fun winter door hanger!  It would also make a wonderful gift to give to your Frozen loving friends!!

olaf wreathDIY Olaf Wreath

Supplies Needed:

white foam wreath form

white glitter tulle on the roll

2″ wide grossgrain ribbon

craft foam-white, orange, and black

2 googly eyes

1 black chenille stem

1 brown chenille stem

snowflake ornaments, or buttons

craft paper tag

black, red, and white markers or paint pens

hot glue gun/glue

Directions:

Wrap tulle ribbon loosely around foam wreath form, secure ends with hot glue-be careful not to touch metal tip of gun to foam or it              will melt it.

olaf wreath wrap

Wrap glue in ribbon of your choice, it can be a solid or patterned in a “wintery” color, secure in back with glue.

Randomly glue on snowflake embellishments.

Cut the following pieces from craft foam- 2 small round circles for “feet” , a small orange carrot nose, a  black mouth, white tooth, and Olaf’s head about 2″ tall- to do the head I just kept looking at him on the movie to get the general shape.

Cut 3-4″ off a brown chenille stem,  use the small piece you cut off to wrap around and form hands on the opposite ends of the large piece.

Cut 3 short pieces of hair from black chenille stem.

olaf wreath foam parts

 Cut 3-4″ off a brown chenille stem,  use the small piece you cut off to wrap around and form hands on the opposite ends of the large piece.

olaf wreath arms

Wrap arms around bottom of wreath, secure with hot glue.

Assemble Olaf’s face like this

olaf wreath faceWhen you have it like you want it, glue it down.

Attach to the inside back of the wreath as if he was peeking around.

Hot glue his feet to the front like the are wrapped around from behind.

Add a fun tag- I wrote Warm Hugs Welcome and decorated it with x’s and snowflakes, tie to wreath.

Create a hanger but cutting a 12″ length of tulle ribbon, wrapping it around top of wreath and tying it off in a knot.

olaf wreath hangerThis great holiday or winter wreath is a fun project to do with your kids this weekend.  Not only are they going to love “building a snowman” , it is super easy for you to supervise too!  Make this DIY Olaf Wreath this weekend and share with your friends for the holiday season!

Check out our other great DIY Crafts!

DIY Wooden Block Pumpkin Patch

DIY Fall Burlap Pillow

DIY Felt Playmat

DIY Denver Broncos Upcycled T-Shirt Scarf

Posted in DIY, Easy Crafts, Uncategorized

Easy Crockpot Roasted Chicken

Easy Crockpot Roasted Chicken

We love chicken.  We use it at least 3-4 times a week, but I also love easy recipes and prepping foods in advance.  One of my favorite ways to cook chicken is to use this Easy Crockpot Roasted Chicken recipe.  Not only is it quick to toss into the Crockpot, it is super tasty and versatile.  You can eat it as is, shred and season for tacos, enchiladas, casseroles, chicken pot pie – just about any chicken dish!  While I use a basic set of herbs for this roasted chicken, you can adjust and add any of your favorite seasoning blends.

Easy Crockpot Roasted Chicken

EASY CROCKPOT ROASTED CHICKEN

Easy Crockpot Roasted Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Large Whole Chicken
  • 1 Teaspoon Rubbed Sage
  • 1 Teaspoon Marjoram
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Rosemary
  • 1 Cup White Wine
Instructions
  1. Turn Crockpot to medium or high heat setting
  2. Mix seasonings together
  3. Place chicken into Crockpot and sprinkle seasonings liberally on both sides. Use any extra to put inside carcass
  4. Pour white wine over chicken.
  5. Cook on medium to high heat for 4 hours. Cook on low heat up to 6 hours.

We love using this chicken in a lot of our most popular recipes here!  It is great for tossing into salads, serving with mashed potatoes and vegetables or any dish you would want shredded chicken for.  This is also the perfect way to cook 2-3 whole chickens for monthly freezer meal prep.  These chickens whole are often much cheaper than buying individual parts of the bird.  If you live near a The Fresh Market, you can often find them for as low as $1.49 per pound in antibiotic and hormone free varieties too!  We love stocking up when they are on sale.  I will put 2 chickens in the Crockpot and then shred one for immediate use while I shred the other for future meals and freeze.

Crockpot Roasted Chicken Prep

Check out our other favorite Chicken & Crockpot recipes!

Weight Watchers Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

Weight Watchers Roasted Poblano Chicken Enchiladas

Crockpot Weight Watchers Sloppy Joes

Crockpot Pinto Beans

 

 

 

Posted in Crockpot, recipes

Modern Organic Fruit Cake With Newman’s Own Organics

Modern Organic Fruit Cake

A few weeks ago, we had the chance to review some of Newman’s Own Organics products.  As we know how much we love the company, we weren’t surprised at the quality of their dried fruits, cookies and even their gourmet organic chocolates.  When we received these to review, I knew I would be using the dried fruits in our oatmeal and for snacks, but with the holidays coming up I had a feeling I could make something new and modern, but with a traditional twist.  That resulted in this Modern Organic Fruit Cake.  This is not your grandma’s fruit cake.  This is an elevated spice cake with great dried fruits that is satisfying, hearty and healthy.

Modern Organic Fruit Cake

MODERN ORGANIC FRUIT CAKE

Modern Organic Fruit Cake With Newman's Own Organics
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Organic Unbleached Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1 Cup Cocount Palm Sugar
  • ½ Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • ½ Cup Organic 1% Milk
  • ¼ Cup Dried Cranberries Chopped
  • ¼ Cup Dried Apricots Chopped
  • ¼ Cup Dried Berry Blend Chopped
  • ¼ Cup Raisins Chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In large bowl, blend together palm sugar, coconut oil and yogurt and milk until smooth.
  4. Gently fold in flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and chopped fruits until just blended. Don't over blend.
  5. Pour ½ batter into each loaf pan
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

We absolutely loved this modern organic fruit cake!  Not only was it rich in flavor, but it was super moist and healthy!  We have loved using Newman’s Own Organics products in our cooking.  Not only are we sure we are eating organic and good for us foods, the flavors are out of this world.  Their dehydrated fruits are some of our favorite snack foods.  I love that my 7 year old enjoys snacking on the dried apples and apricots.  I love their Berry Blend, Cranberries and Raisins tossed together with some nuts for my own homemade trail mix snack throughout the day.

Make sure to check out Newman’s Own Organics on their website and Facebook for great new organic products, sales and special promotions! While the products we used in this cake were given to us to review, all opinions about them are 100% ours.  We simply love this brand and are glad to find quality at great prices in organic snacks and treats!

Modern Organic Fruit Cake 2

Check out our other favorite muffins and breads recipes below!

Organic Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Organic Coconut Lime Muffins

100 Calorie Moist Pumpkin Muffins

Posted in recipes, reviews Tagged with: , , ,

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