Thursday, January 20, 2011

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater no one in this house is actually named Peter, and this nursery rhyme has actually nothing to do with this post.  BUT, the activity we did this week that my kids most enjoyed DID involve pumpkin......and every time we do this activity (usually in the fall), I think of this rhyme.  Because I am WEIRD.  And I homeschool, so I'm entitled to be weird.  Most homeschoolers are, you know.  ; )

Linking up with the Homeschool Village to share our schooling accomplishments and activities for the week.

Math:  We multiplied, divided, reduced fractions, added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided fractions, worked with measurements, labeled geometric shapes, and did word problems.  I have to add that in doing some word problems with my 7th grader, I had to teach her the most round-a-bout, confusing method of solving them that I have ever encountered (Saxon 8/7)!  I didn't say much about it as I was teaching it ~ just kept plowing ahead, keeping most of  thoughts to myself  (aside from a "Hmmmm, I don't remember doing it this way when I was in school" because it's what the book said to do.  Finally, towards the end of the lesson, my exasperated daughter says in her exasperated voice, "This is confusing!  What's the point?!" to which I started laughing and said in MY exasperated voice, "I have no idea!  It confuses me, too!".  She wanted to know why she couldn't do it the way I do it because it makes more sense to her.  If you've encountered this with your curriculum, please tell me the answer to this dilemma because it's not the first time we've encountered this issue.

Spelling:  Yep, we did it!  I've found that my boys are often done with their schoolwork much earlier than my daughter, so in Spelling I often let them read each others lists, dictation, etc. to one another.  It gives them extra reading and spelling practice that they don't realize they're getting, and keeps them busy for a little bit longer while I help Ashlyn with more difficult things (see above).

Language Arts:  We diagrammed sentences, practiced our punctuation and capitalization, worked with subject/verb agreement, compound subjects and compound verbs.....sometimes with the company of The Very Bad Cat, who has a way of making the mundane a little more bearable. ; )

Jacob made the bed, covering it with his favorite blankets.  At this point, I take all the help I can get and try not to complain about the results. ; )

We completed all our work for co-op in Science, History and Writing as well. Last week, I mentioned that I had to help with a Turtle project.  Robert had to do research and make a display board on Australian FlatbackTurtles, as well as make a model out of clay:

The finished board:

 He had some help from his cousin on the clay turtle:

And, what about the pumpkin?

This lovely little pumpkin has been sitting  decorated my kitchen since the week of Halloween when I bought it, intending to carve it.....and never did because I am a Very Bad Mom.

I finally found the time to gut the gourd-like squash (yes ~ it was still good!  Perfect, actually....these babies last for a LONG time!)  This kind of thing is right up 2 of my student's alleys and they were quite eager to help (esp. my little chef on the left).

This led to much discussion on what nutrients the pumpkin and its seeds give us, how much pumpkin we could get out of this one compared to what comes in a can, and the benefits of composting the guts as well as the shell after it was done roasting (we wasted not one bit!)

Approx. 12 cups of pumpkin

After we washed the gunk off our hands, Robert grabbed this book off the shelf:

It has a huge listing of everyday foods, herbs and spices and provides tips on how to select the best,  how to store and best use them., nutritional info on each one, health tips on what ailments they are best for and treatments suggestions, as well as recipes.  They find it fascinating to look up foods we may be enjoying and see how God provided for our needs through them. (They don't do this all the time.....the curiosity hits them randomly.)

They were also rewarded for their efforts with a pumpkin dessert after dinner that night.  : )  Since I'm feeling the urge to be extra sweet this week, I'll share the recipe with you ~ and it's not even Friday (the day I usually post a recipe)!  It's one of their favorite pumpkin desserts....tastes like pumpkin pie, but easier to make because you don't have to make a pie crust (I'm not a fan of the store-bought variety) and goes further than one pie does, too. One pie around here is good for about one evening......this dessert is good for two.  : )

Magic Pumpkin Buckle:


1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


3 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger, cloves and nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons sugar


Pour butter into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

In a large bowl, beat the pumpkin, milk and eggs. Combine the remaining filling ingredients; add to pumpkin mixture. Pour over crust mixture (do not stir). Dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Yield: 12 servings.



"Say What?" said...

Great pics. The board is awesome and something I'm sure my boys would love to attempt!

~Stopping by from The HomeSchool Village~

Jennifer said...

Wow! You've been busy this week! Your homeschool looks exciting!


Linda said...

The Flatback Turtle project...WOW!! And the Pumpkin Buckle....YUM! Sounds like a really fun week! So glad you linked up. I'm linked here!

I Live in an Antbed said...

What a great week you had!!! Good job! I love the turtle project. :)

Susan Evans said...

Yes, I totally agree with you about the kids' math. When I explain it to my son, he says, "But the book said to do it this way." Then I don't know what to say. LOL!