Crockpot Ham and Beans

Do you have leftover ham from a holiday get together?  Why not use it in slow cooker ham and beans on a busy day?

I soak dry navy beans overnight.  Add ham to taste.  We like our ham and beans seasoned with seasoned salt and pepper.  As long as a I soak the beans, I can cook all day on low in my slow cooker and it’s ready for our evening meal.

Do you have a slow cooker recipe to share?


Managing Extracurricular Activities

I’m often asked how I manage my child’s extracurricular activities, homeschool and work.  Right now, outside of church, we have on athletic extracurricular, piano lessons and participate in 4-H.

I worked our schedule where the athletic activity and piano lessons are on the same night in the town we live.  (The athletic activity is not a competitive sport, so while they do have some “performances” we are not gone every weekend with it.)  So, I am only gone a chunk of one evening for two activities.  On this night, our meal is usually from the slow cook (or lets be real, it’s sometimes carryout).

We attend church one night each week too.  The meal is provided there.

Our 4-H club meets on a weekend afternoon once a month.  We attend workshops and other 4-H events as our child is interested and it fits in our schedule.  I have one day off each week and we try to work on a project (or part of one) each week.  As a matter of fact, she finished one while I was off for Thanksgiving break.  I’ve written about this before, but I sometimes tie 4-H projects into schoolwork.

Do we sometimes say no to activities?  Absolutely.  You have to do what works best for your family.  We live in a rural area, so what is offered for children here is somewhat limited- which is sometimes good, sometimes bad.

How do you manage extracurricular activities?


Our Geography

As you may have read, until recently, we were part of the classical education model.  I still think it has many benefits, but due to some life changes, we have went to a more traditional model.

However, I have stuck with the classical model for geography.  We are using the book Draw the USA.  With this book, your student memorizes how to draw all the states in the USA.  We are working to learn about the states this year, so this fits perfectly with our other materials.

As a homeschooling, yet working mom, this also works great because it’s something my child can do on their own with little guidance from me.  Most of the time this is something she works on while I am at work.

There are other books in this series too.  I encourage you to check it out!

What are you doing for geography?

Weather Resource


We recently checked this book out from the library.  Weatherwatch has lots of neat facts and several somewhat easy and interesting experiments.  If you are doing an elementary study on weather you may find the book helpful!  Be sure to see if your library can get this book for you!

I always appreciate when other moms recommend resources to me as it simplifies my time.  Do you have a good weather resource to suggest?

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What we are reading this week…

We survived our first week last week!  These are a few books we plan to read this week:

Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body  (This is much younger than my daughter’s reading level, but I hear it goes well with Classical Conversation science this cycle.  I’m excited to find out!)

Who Was Walt Disney?  This is a fun read for my daughter before everything becomes related to Classical Conversations starting next week.

Do not forget to use your local library for books as well!

What are you reading this week?

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Homeschooling and Participating in 4-H

(Let me start this post by saying, outside of the church, my participation in 4-H had more impact on me in my youth than any other organization.  I learned leadership, citizenship, organization, public speaking- well, the list could go on an on.  My husband is a 4-H alum too.  Both of us are in career fields that 4-H helped us learn about and in my case, sparked my interest.  So, to us, this is an important program.)

As our daughter wrapped up her time as a clover bud, at our recent County show, she was taking in projects and trying to decide what she would like to show next year.  She has quite the list.

As she is telling me what she would like to show, I’m writing down the projects she mentions, and I start to look in our local project guidebook for the requirements.  While I have worked Cloverbud projects into our homeschool days, I have yet to do so with the projects beyond that.

I realized how easy it will be for her to combine some projects for 4-H as she is already going to be doing it in our homeschool program.  Take reading for example.  We have a county project where you keep a list of books you read and then do a report on one.  We do lots of book reports and she can easily keep a list of books.

If you homeschool and participate in 4-H, let me encourage you to find ways to combine as much as you can.  As a (part time) work outside the home mom, it’s important to me to find ways to be able to do both homeschooling and 4-H well, but still save time.

And if your family does not participate in 4-H, call your local Extension office and check it out.  I’m guessing something will be beneficial to your family.


Classical Conversations Science Weeks 13-18 for Cycle

For Classical Conversations Science weeks 13-18 I plan to use the following resource. Again, I may add in something different each week too, and I’ll share that as we get into weekly resources.

The Periodic Table of Elements Coloring Book

Do you know of a elementary friendly Periodic Table book I could look into?

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