Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks - Exploring Creation with Botany Lapbook

A Journey Through Learning

Alyssa is studying Botany this year using our new review product, Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany Lapbook from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks. This lapbook can be found on the Apologia Curriculum Page which offers several curriculum lapbooks that correspond with the Apologia Young Explorers Textbook Series. They also offer many high-quality topical lapbooks. My daughter is a fan of the lapbooking technique so we were thrilled to be chosen as reviewers. We haven't covered Botany much over the years. It was honestly a topic I was avoiding until now since I don't have a green thumb. I had a strong desire to cover it, because Alyssa has shown an interest in learning the topic over the years.
Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany Lapbook

Apologia Exploring Creation Lapbook Series
  • Exploring Creation with Botany Lapbook
  • Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day Lapbook
  • Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day Lapbook
  • Land Animals of the Sixth Day Lapbook
  • Exploring Creation with Astronomy (1st and 2nd Edition) Lapbook
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Lapbook
We received a 98-page digital copy of the Exploring Creation with Botany Lapbook in black and white and in full-color to instantly download. We were given the black and white and full-color options so that Alyssa could decide whether she wanted to color or not during each session. She always chose to color the graphics from this lapbook. You will need Adobe Reader to read the pdf file. I suggest saving the file on your computer before opening it. You must have the Exploring Creation with Botany textbook in order to utilize it in conjunction with the lapbook. This lapbook is intended for children in 2nd-7th grade, but the textbook is geared for children in K-6th grade. There are 12 lapbook lessons to cover. They were divided into four different sections or units of three.

Each chapter is thoroughly covered and contains a mini-booklet emphasizing a key concept. Many concepts have been addressed so far such as the Definition of Botany, Importance of Latin in Science, Taxonomy, Vascular and Non-Vascular Plants, Seedless Vascular and Non-Vascular, Seed Homes, Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, Seeds, Plant Needs, Testas, Plant Part Functions, Germination, Flowers, Seed Making, Plant Reproduction, Parts of a Flower, Flower Families, and Carnivorous Plants. We still have many more topics to cover this year. Topics to come include but are not limited to Animal Pollination and Other Pollinators, Bees and Creationism, Flower Color and Nectar Guide, Wind Pollination, Self-Pollination, Pollinated Flower, What is a Fruit, Seed and Animal Dispersal, Types of Fruit, and more. As you can see the lapbook is thorough. I was worried that the vocabulary would be too advanced for my daughter. However, I was wrong she caught on quickly and easily understood the concepts.
Gluing in Lapbook Pieces

The lapbook file contains placement guides which indicate the location of the lapbook component in the form of an illustrated diagram for each mini-booklet in the top left corner of the page. Built-in lesson plans indicate which textbook pages must be read prior to completing the lapbook mini-book. Clear instructions for assembling your mini-books are provided at the top of the page. They also describe what the child is expected to record inside the mini-booklet. This information is noted in bold print. The lapbook also states when an activity will take more than one day to complete. The placement guide is found on the same page as the clear directions. I absolutely love that answer keys are available for the mini-booklet responses.
Lesson Plan Directions and Placement Guide

How We Used the Botany Lapbook
I used the Exploring Creation with Botany Lapbook with my nine-year old daughter as her core summer Science curriculum. She recently started 4th grade and it was a perfect fit. I purchased the Notebooking Journal to use with the lapbook and Apologia textbook. I already owned an older version of the Exploring Creation with Botany textbook written by Jeannie Fulbright. This text is required in order to complete the comprehensive and complete lapbook component.

Before beginning, I gathered the supplies needed such as the 8 colored file folders, stapler, glue sticks, crayons and colored pencils, pencils, hole punch, brads, scissors, white paper, and ink for my Mac OS X 10.11.6 computer. Chrome was used as our preferred browser on a 2008 computer. Colored paper and plain manila folders can be substituted if desired. We preferred using white copy paper for the mini-booklets so that the colors would pop off the page better.

I printed out the lapbook components for each module lesson one at a time. You can also print as you go. Our goal was to cover one module over a two-week time period as suggested by the company. She worked for approximately 30 minutes to an hour each session. Science was scheduled 3-4 times per week. She attempted to complete 1-2 mini-books each session depending on the amount of reading required. We used the accompanying Apologia notebooking journal that corresponded with the lapbook and textbook topics so it took us a little longer to work through the modules. The completed lapbook components were stored in a hole punched manila envelope until we were ready to glue them in place.  

After downloading and saving the lapbook on my computer, I printed out the lapbook cover page for Alyssa to color. She used her gel pens to color it. It was glued to the front of the lapbook.

Then, we used the Folding a Lapbook Base directions to assemble the file folders. We may store the entire lapbook in a binder later upon completion. Binder assembly directions were also provided. Duct tape, a three-hole punch, and a three-ring binder are needed.

First, Alyssa and I would read the textbook pages together. We took turns reading paragraphs. My daughter also narrated what she learned. Then, she independently completed the lapbook piece as directed in the instructions. We completed the lapbook components in sequential order following the textbook material.

A variety of mini-booklets are provided throughout the study including flap, flip, layered, shape, pocketed matching game, etc. Alyssa matched the definitions to the plant vocabulary words. Check out the photos below to see a few examples of mini-booklets included in this lapbook.  
Non-Vascular Plants Mini-Book
Peanut-Shaped Booklet
Inside the Seed Matching Game
and Testas Mini-Book
Inside the Seed Pocketed Matching Game
Flower Part Diagram Booklet

Additional reading and website suggestions were listed for children wanting to extend their learning. Our library didn't carry many of the listed books, but you can also access the books through your Inter Library Loan System. I owned a few of the recommended books. We read several books aloud and Alyssa also read independently during her free time.

The lapbook download also contains Enrichment Pages including a Book Log, Plant Book Report Form, and two Narration Forms. Alyssa used the Book Log to track plant-related books she read independently. These books were based on topics covered in the lapbook and were considered extra, separate reading from the textbook. She wrote down the date, title, author, and genre for each book read on the Book Log. This form can be printed several times for repeated use.

I assigned a Narration Form on several occasions when indicated in the textbook. Alyssa would verbally narrate what she learned after we read the textbook pages. Then, she wrote what she learned in her own words. Two versions were available. A younger version for reluctant or beginning writers and an older version for children with strong writing skills. My daughter wrote what she learned about each specific topic read that day using the form for younger children. I chose this form, because the artist in her loves to draw matching illustrations. You can see an example below.

I wanted Alyssa to learn more about and further research particular plants during our Botany study. Alyssa chose to research information about sunflowers for her first report. After researching and jotting down notes, she completed the Plant Book Report Form.  

What We Love and Appreciate 
  • Useful Placement Guides
  • Built-In Reading and Lapbook Lesson Plans
  • Manageable Amount of Reading
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Thorough Coverage and Comprehensiveness of Content 
  • Hands-On Learning Component 
  • Simple Clear Directions
  • Everything in One Place - No Flipping Back and Forth
  • Extra Forms for Narration, Plant Book Report, and Book Logs
  • Helpful Answer Keys Simplifies Checking Work
Mini-Booklet Answer Keys

Recommendations and Results
I highly recommend creating the Exploring Creation with Botany Lapbook from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks while reading through the textbook content. I was impressed with the amount of material covered. We will continue using the lapbook with the other Science components throughout the year as her core Science curriculum.

A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks can be used in a variety of settings including in the classroom, in a Science co-op, in small groups, or by one individual. Homeschool families implementing an eclectic, unit study, delight-directed, or topical approach may find the Exploring Creation with Botany Lapbook appealing and use it successfully with their children. This lapbook adds in a hands-on component to any Botany Science curriculum therefore it may appeal to individuals who prefer a hands-on approach. I've noticed a change in Alyssa's confidence level when showing her lapbook to others. She's becoming more independent as well.

Alyssa definitely retained the material better using the lapbooking technique. The lapbook topics reinforce the lesson content. We hope to add more lapbook projects into our homeschool schedule. She was thoroughly engaged in each activity and attentive during the reading sessions. The factual content was fascinating and based on a Creationist viewpoint. The topics addressed in the lapbook encouraged her to further explore and enrich the study. The lapbook was easy-to-use. She now has a memorable keepsake which serves as a visual reminder of her Botany study that she can share with close family and friends.

We haven't finished the lapbook yet. We're finishing up Lesson 3 and will start Lesson 4 at a slower pace now that the new school year has begun. I want to go back and complete experiments and projects from the textbook and notebooking journal related to the previous lapbook lessons.We will continue our Botany studies throughout the school year. I do believe that students in 6th and 7th grade could use this lapbook as a supplement to their Botany studies, but they will most likely need more challenging modifications or additional tie-ins to make the study more relevant and age appropriate.
Mini-Books Covered in Lessons 1-3
Close-Up Shot
Up Close Lesson 2-3
Missing the Carnivorous Plants Booklet

Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany Lapbook has several different purchase options including instant downloads, Cd's, or the printed version ranging from $15-$35. You can also choose whether you want black and white or full-color images. The full-color lapbook consists of vibrantly bright colors in a professional format.

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Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read reviews from my colleagues for various lapbooks available through A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.
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Lapbooks for Classical Conversations, Apologia, Inventors & 20th Century {A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Reviews}

Friday, August 25, 2017

Pre-teen Choice Awards Library Program

Our local library hosted a Pre-Teen Choice Awards program. The children made slime, posed with props at a photo booth, listened to music, watched funny You Tube videos, and voted on the best apps, events, books, movies. etc for the year. Cupcakes and fruits chews were served as snacks. Alyssa's favorite part was making the slime. The children also gave the librarians suggestions for future pre-teen programs and events. The librarians had a book raffle and my daughter won a neat book titled, The Lost Hero. It's supposed to be a great book series so I can't wait to hear Alyssa's feedback.  

I only took a few shots, but I wanted to share them with you. I also want to encourage you to contact YOUR local library to find out what kid events are available to your children.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Everyday Homemaking - Everyday Cooking

Everyday Homemaking

I can't tell you how excited we were when our physical copy of Everyday Cooking from Everyday Homemaking arrived in the mail for us to review. I also received the digital downloadable file while I waited for the book's arrival. I immediately started baking and cooking after downloading a few recipes in PDF format.
Everyday Cooking

About the Author
Everyday Cooking was written by Vicki Bentley who is a homeschool mother to eight daughters. Mrs. Bentley also fostered over 50 children. She is the author of My Homeschool Planner, The Everyday Family Chore System, Home Education 101: A Mentoring Program for New Homeschoolers, and several other helpful homeschool and homemaking resources. Everyday Cooking is an expansion from the cooking chapter in the Home Education 101 book.

Cookbook Description
The newly revised and expanded Everyday Cooking cookbook edition contains a whopping 198-pages. I couldn't wait to dig into this resource! As a busy single homeschool mother, I was also looking for recipes that fit my budget and schedule. I also wanted Alyssa to learn basic kitchen and cooking skills. We are both cookbook junkies addicted to cooking and baking. My goal is for my creative aspiring chef to be self-sufficient when she is older and has her own place. I also wanted us to eat more family meals at the dinner table rather than quick, convenient, unhealthy foods.

The paperback cookbook is coiled-bound which makes it convenient to use allowing it to be opened flat. It has a laminated glossy full-color cover with very few black and white recipe photos throughout the text. It contains a collection of tried and true family-friendly recipes including Instant Pot recipes. The author states that the book contains more tips, hints, and recipes than the previous version.

Recipe Categories
The recipes are organized into typical grouped categories.
  • Breakfast Ideas 
  • Appetizers, Dressings, and Drinks (Including buffet tips)
  • Breads and Grains
  • Main Dishes, Soups, and Sides
  • Desserts and Snacks
  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker Favorites (at the end of the book) 
The cookbook begins with a Dear Friend letter and a Table of Contents. Blooper stories are scattered throughout the book and indicated with a broken egg image. I could relate to several of the stories mentioned. Time-saving budget-friendly tips are found in the gray boxes. Blank "Note" pages follow each recipe category for you to jot down your thoughts about the recipe section. Some ingredients are italicized indicating that there is a recipe matching the ingredient in the book. For example, under the Stuffed Shells recipe the Spaghetti Sauce recipe is italicized.  

There is an emphasis on cooking with whole foods and for healthy living yet the author isn't a strict purist she still included many delicious desserts. Sugar and white flour substitutes were sprinkled throughout the book. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of chocolate recipes in this book. She must have several chocoholics like me in her family. The Dessert section contains helpful Cocoa and Baking Equivalents which were useful to me, because it makes it easy to switch out different types of chocolate ingredients.

I really like that the recipes are easy-to-prepare with a common ingredient list and simple step-by-step directions. The recipe titles are in bold print and a decent amount of space exists between the recipes. The cookbook layout is straightforward and user-friendly.

A Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe comes after the Dessert and Snacks section. The recipe contains alcohol so it was placed separately from the rest of the collection so that you can remove it if desired.

Low-Carb and Gluten Free Pantry Helpers are towards the middle of the book. The author offers a book recommendation at the top of the page. In this section, she reveals sugar substitutes and provides the reader with a Baking Blend and Chocolate Syrup/Sauce recipe. She also discusses Egg White Substitutes or Equivalents.

Basic Measurements and Helps can also be found in the middle of the cookbook. The author further discusses her use of specific types of sweeteners, oil, and flour in addition to offering other baking and cooking tips.

Furthermore, Vicki Bentley includes a section about Meal Planning with Shopping Hints. She describes three main factors for food selection as part of our diets. She explains the importance of shopping with a grocery list and shopping within a tracked estimated budget. She discusses what the Bible says regarding healthy food choices. The author also provides the cook with two sample monthly menu plans in grid and chart format in addition to two blank templates to fill in with your own meal choices. The second meal plan has a special note section for prep ahead suggestions.
Monthly Menu Sample

A helpful two-page Checklist of Basic Cooking Skills that could be utilized as part of a basic home economics course is also included. Students can choose recipes from each category to make from scratch. I plan on having Alyssa do this beginning in the fall. I want her to be armed with meals she can cook independently as she gets older. A one-page section of the author's Food and Nutrition Mini-Unit is included in the book. It is a one to two-week unit with a numbered list of activities to complete. It is suitable for students in junior high and high school, but it can be easily adapted for younger children with adult supervision. The unit allows the student to earn a full home economics credit at their own individualized pace.

The checklist and mini-unit are followed by a one-page list of Basic Kitchen Accessories and 7-pages of Kitchen Equipment descriptions and black and white photos including tools such as the grain mill, mixer, cookware, and non-stick skillets. She offers great shopping advice.

Furthermore, there is a two-page Tortoise and the Hare comparison of slow cookers versus modernized pressure cookers. The author contrasts the similarities and differences of the two pieces of kitchen equipment. The cookbook also contains an Instant Pot and slow cooker recipe for Chill-Chasing Brunswick Stew showing you how they differ. Many other applicable pressure cooker tips exist in the book.

A list of Instant Pot parts are mentioned followed by a glossary description of each Instant Pot function. One tip that I appreciated was that time is the same whether you cook a little or a lot in the pressure cooker, but that food still cooks in approximately 1/3 of the time it would in a conventional oven. This is a good rule of thumb to consider when cooking. The book also indicates the common times and functions necessary for a list of specific predetermined foods. Website links and 6 qt DUO Instant Pot recipes are provided. Chicken and Bow-Ties in Sauce and Yogurt are first on my list of recipes to try in the Instant Pot! Making homemade yogurt from scratch sounds like fun. I am just not sure what to do with the whey.

A useful Index of Alphabetized Recipes and Time-Saving Tips is found at the end of the book making it easy to find recipes or tips you are interested in reading. 

Our Experiences with Everyday Cooking
The Everyday Cooking cookbook was utilized with Alyssa (Age 9) as a homeschool home economics class that teaches basic kitchen skills over the summer. Utilizing the cookbook over the summer made life easier, because our schedule wasn't as hectic and busy with school. My daughter loves cooking and baking. She's always been a great helper and constantly asks for more time in the kitchen. She has some experience cooking in the kitchen with me. My hope is that I will gradually release control and after modeling cooking methods I will allow her the opportunity to take control with supervision. I also used the book while she was gone to add more variety to my meals. I read through the contents of the book and glanced at the recipes first. I marked pages of recipes I wanted to try from a variety of recipe categories with Post-It Notes based on the ingredient lists and my taste buds. When my daughter came home, she used a different color Post-It Note to pick and choose the recipes she was interested in making. We shopped together for the ingredients needed on our meal plan as part of the learning process.

The cookbook was propped up in a book stand while we made the recipes. We planned out a few economical meals together. Most of the meals were made together to increase bonding time and for modeling purposes. Family time is of great importance to me and we enjoyed working together. We utilized several of the cooking, prepping, and storage tips offered throughout the book. In the end, Alyssa and I found many new family favorites that we plan on putting in her recipe binder for the future.   

A Few Recipes We Tried
We attempted to try a recipe from each category, but we leaned more towards the Desserts, Main Dishes, Soups, and Breads. The first recipe I made was the Stuffed Shells with homemade Spaghetti Sauce. I also made the Cheese-Garlic Biscuits. Stuffing each shell took a lot of time, but it was worth it in the long run. The meal was absolutely delicious! I added some extra spices to the sauce and ricotta mixture to suit my family's taste buds. I also added a little more fresh spinach and Parmesan cheese (by accident) to the ricotta. I forgot to divide the amount of Parmesan cheese, but it still tasted great. We might be making homemade spaghetti sauce more often which will save money. It gave the meal a more authentic taste. I ended up putting the canned tomatoes in the food processor and then later adding a half of a 15 oz can of petite diced tomatoes. I baked it in a 13x9 aluminum foil cake pan. I didn't use all of the shells, because they wouldn't fit in my container. Crushed red pepper was added to individual dishes for adults wanting to make it a little spicier. The only thing needed to make this meal perfect was a green vegetable so I added a spinach salad with Tuscan Balsamic Dressing. My friend also thought the meal was really good. Remember when making the Cheese-Garlic Biscuits the herb butter goes on AFTER they cook not before. I accidentally put it on before and they turned out fine. Next time I will use less parsley and more garlic. These biscuits were soft and moist. They tasted a little like Red Lobster Biscuits. The recipe made 11 biscuits.  

The next recipe I tried while my daughter was gone thanks to my lovely little sweet tooth were the Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies. The ingredient lists caught my attention . . . coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs . . . oh my. I had to try this recipe! The ingredients immediately reminded me of the Magic Cookie Bars on the back of the Keebler Graham Cracker crumb box. The ingredients and amounts are very similar. I made a batch and shared the cookies with friends. They were very popular especially individuals with sweet cravings. The cookie batter was extremely thick and required no eggs. If you are using this recipe with younger children, then they may need help stirring it. I might add a little peanut butter, peanut butter chips, or PB2 peanut butter powder to the mixture next time. I feel like it might need a little more butter too. The recipe made 40 cookies.

I made the Farmer's Frittata for dinner one night. The layering process was simple. The frittata was layered with veggies, potatoes, meat, and sprinkled with cheese. I added an extra egg (x-large), more meat (turkey sausage and bacon), and additional spices for more flavor. I was surprised by how fast it cooked in the broiler. It tasted pretty good. I was just hoping it would have all mixed together.   

I knew when I saw the Apple Crisp recipe that we had to make it. The flavor was on target, but it seemed a little too dry for my taste buds. It might be helpful to add more fresh apples, less oatmeal, or less dark brown sugar in hopes to decrease dryness.   

Hamburger Stroganoff
The recipe was made with ground beef as indicated in the ingredient list. Onions were eliminated and we chose to use fresh chopped mushrooms. This added so much flavor to the meal. We didn't make the CreamO Chicken Soup recipe from her book. Canned Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup was added as a replacement. The cookbook offered two pasta suggestions. We chose brown rice over hot noodles. This was another successful meal made in a short amount of time.   

Russian Teacakes
This was our first time making Russian Teacakes. I always thought it would be too complicated, but it was a simple process. They were super sweet and delicious. We plan on making them again around Christmas time. We used smaller Pecan Cookie Pieces instead of finely chopped nuts. This recipe only called for a few ingredients. I'm surprised that it took us this long to actually make them. My daughter frequently requests these cookies. 
Making Russian Teacakes

Chicken and Dumplings
This is a wonderful chicken and dumpling recipe! I didn't have any canned chicken broth so I made it using bouillon cubes and water. The recipe was made using celery and baby carrots as the vegetables. I will let you know that we always add more seasonings to most of the meals we make, because we crave more flavor and spice than most people. The recipe will definitely go in Alyssa's recipe binder. One thing I appreciated about this recipe was that my daughter was able to make the Dumplings from scratch instead of using processed or canned biscuits. 

Baked Oatmeal
We made this recipe twice. The first time we made it with apples, but I was distracted and completely forgot to add the milk. That was a big mistake! Don't make the same mistake I made. The recipe ended up being more like a damp granola. My daughter ate it with milk. I was so upset with myself for forgetting it that I didn't eat it after sampling a bite. The second time I made the recipe I remembered the milk, but when I cut the apples they were moldy around the core. Thankfully, instead of apples I added extra raisins and added cranberries as a dried fruit replacement. My daughter said that it tasted great and ate leftovers for several mornings. We both prefer the apples and will make the recipe with apples and milk in the future. We ended up adding 3 teaspoons of cinnamon instead of 1 teaspoon to the oatmeal. I also soaked the raisins in warm orange juice. The author's tip was to soak the raisins in warm water to prevent the raisins from clumping or sinking to the bottom. Pecans were chosen as our preferred nut. I might try walnuts next time. We couldn't find Sucanat so we used dark brown sugar and granulated sugar. We did substitute unsweetened applesauce for the olive oil. I learned that tip years ago even though Vicki mentioned it in her book. I tend to like the recipe more when I use the applesauce. I also always use extra large eggs in all of my recipes regardless of the ingredient list or recipe directions.  
First Baked Oatmeal Attempt
Second Attempt

Chicken Schnitzel
We cooked the Chicken Schnitzel two different ways. We pan-fried the chicken as indicated in the cookbook. Unfortunately, my daughter was placed on a strict diet because the ENT doctor believes that she has acid reflux instead of asthma and allergies. This occurred shortly after we received this cookbook. The diet stated that she couldn't have fried foods so we decided to bake several pieces for her to try. I allowed her to try a small bite of mine and she preferred the baked version. It was served with roasted asparagus and seasoned buttered egg noodles. This recipe was a hit! Alyssa asked me when I could make it again and if it would be sooner than later.  
First Photo: Baked Chicken Schnitzel
Second Photo: Pan-Fried Chicken Schnitzel

Zuppa Toscana
I made this recipe on top of the stove instead of in my Instant Pot. I haven't yet learned how to use it and didn't want to chance it with a new recipe even though Vicki offers useful tips. We used kale and ground Italian sausage. I also eliminated the onions since we aren't fans of them. This was an excellent soup recipe and is a keeper for our recipe collection!

No-Knead Crusty Bread
This is the one recipe that just didn't work out for us. We followed the exact directions, but the bread after rising for more than 12 hours would not even, with extra flour, form a ball in order to bake. It was like slime. I am not sure if it had to do with humidity or the temperature in my home. We ended up  giving up and tossing the batch out.  

Overall Opinion
The Everyday Cooking cookbook is a valuable resource choked full of practical time-saving tips for busy families. For example, we learned tips for making your own self-rising flour and buttermilk. Did you know that to make self-rising flour you only need all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder? Not to mention, the handy step-by-step instructions and black and white photos showing the process and dough consistency of baking bread were awesome.

Everyday Cooking simplifies cooking for all ages with common easy-to-find ingredients. The nutritious budget-friendly recipes will help you plan out your weekly or monthly meal plans. My daughter ate all of the recipes without complaining. The family-friendly meal suggestions were outstanding and could easily be modified for your family preferences.  

Our favorite recipes were the Cheese-Garlic Biscuits, Chicken Schnitzel, Russian Teacakes, and Zuppa Toscana. Our least favorite recipes were the No-Knead Crusty Bread for obvious reasons and I wasn't a huge fan of the Apple Crisp. It was a bit too dry for my taste buds. On the other hand, my daughter said it was perfect just the way it was and no changes were needed. It's your choice so give it a try when you buy the book and let me know what you think.

We will definitely make more recipes from this cookbook this year. In fact, we already have several Post-It Notes in the margins for recipes we want to try. I hope to give Alyssa the checklist and to schedule more cooking lessons as part of her schooling. She's very eager to cook independently.

I HIGHLY recommend Everyday Cooking to new, budding chefs, and experienced cooks. This would be an excellent gift for a new bride, preteens, or for your teenagers. I recommend this book for homeschool families as a basic cooking course. It can be used with both girl and boys. Kids of any age are bound to find recipes that appeal to them. They will most likely find recipes that they want to try making on their own. Some basic cooking experience may be beneficial. If your child has no experience with cooking, then they would need a parent is modeling, supervising, and involved in the process. This cookbook has encouraged my daughter to cook and bake more often.

Vendor Suggestions
  • I wish the author would add more color photos to the recipes to draw in the reader's attention. There are no colorful photos included in the actual cookbook. There are a couple of black and white images in the cookbook of kitchen equipment and the process of baking bread. Photos are NOT included for ALL recipes. 
  • A Whey recipe section or additional tips could be added giving more specific suggestions on how to use it after making the homemade yogurt. 
  • Several recipes are missing relevant information such as measurement amounts or sizes. For example, what kind of apple and what size is needed for the dessert? I know this allows for personalization, but information helps first timers. This was especially true for the Baked Oatmeal add-ins and other apple-based recipes. 
Vicki's books including Everyday Cooking are available through their Everyday Homemaking online store.

Print Version $19.99
Digital E-book Format $15.99 (pdf format)

The cookbook is offered in 2 colored cover options: Red or Blue.

You can use the coupon code TOS10books at checkout to receive a 10% discount through Labor Day.
Everyday CookingEveryday Cooking

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Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read other Everyday Cooking and The Everyday Family Chore System reviews. You can also find reviews for The Everyday Family Chore System written by crew members on the team.
The Everyday FAMILY Chore System
Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}
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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Shoe Taxonomy Exercise

Alyssa and I are gearing up for the new school year. We recently received the Exploring Creation with Botany Lapbook from A Journey Through Learning to review. My review for the lapbook will post at the end of this month so visit us again soon so you can read about our experiences.

I already owned the Exploring Creation with Botany textbook so I decided to purchase the Notebooking Journal to use in conjunction with the two other resources. Alyssa is having a blast learning about botany. 

She recently completed a Shoe Taxonomy exercise. She pretended to be a taxonomist. First, she gathered one shoe from several different pairs and placed them in a pile on the floor. She thought about the taxonomy system. Then, she organized the shoes into four broad kingdoms giving each group a name. After doing that she divided the group into two phyla for each kingdom, two classes for each phyla, and so forth. There was a notebooking sheet found in her journal to organize her thoughts. 

The book challenged her to indicate a genus and species for one shoe using binomial nomenclature This activity encouraged deep analytical and critical thinking skills. She would also look at the shoes and compare and contrast the similarities and differences.

Overall, it was a fun activity. I am glad that I bought the notebooking journal too. It provides the child with notebooking sheets for the corresponding activities mentioned in the textbook.   
What a mess!
Kingdoms Divided
Sneaker Kingdom
Phylums: Laced and Velcro
I will link this post up at Sometimes Wordless Wednesday hosted at Tots and Me. Thank you for visiting!