Thanksgiving break is a beautiful thing…

We made it to Thanksgiving break. What a relief! For a few days, we get to do what we each enjoy (not that we don’t “enjoy” school, but who doesn’t like a break every now and again?) In any case, for me, ‘what we enjoy’ includes baking and making things in the kitchen! So far today we made two loaves of pumpkin cranberry bread and pumpkin chocolate chip bread. (The cranberry recipe is at the bottom of this post) Our day began today with a trip to the budget salon for boy haircuts, a stop at the grocery to pick up the last minute items I forgot earlier in the week, and a jaunt at the library to check out two dozen books. Hopefully the gaggle of library books will not migrate from our house before they are due back. After our morning errands, it was time to hunker down in the kitchen…and make a gigantic mess. Thankfully, we got the bread baked and also prepared ingredients for tomorrow’s menu items. After that, all that was left was to clean up the wake we had left.

While wrapping up the kitchen activities, I heard Chloe singing a mix of Christmas songs and the timeline song.  I had to at least ask if she’d let me record her singing a bit of it.  To my surprise, she said yes.  Before she could change her mind, Patrick started the music and I started recording.

*Warning*  Worldviews will begin to diverge, like two roads in a yellow wood.  As if homeschooling weren’t enough to cause us to take the road less traveled, we also took another fork within that road into classical Christian education.  One of the best descriptions I have read can be found here.

At five years old, Chloe is the perfect example (though she’s DEFINITELY not alone) that children at this age love to memorize.  They are really excellent at it!  Because we are a classical education family, the young years are spent learning the grammar.  This is not to say we spend all our time learning English, but the grammar of things.  They are learning “just the facts.”   Of course her mind is not sophisticated enough to debate what caused the Punic Wars or why Japan chose isolationism.  She is not interested.  But she likes to sing (ohhh, does she like to sing) and has learned so many facts through her early years of school.  For now, she is hanging what we call pegs.  The pegs of information will go into her brain and hopefully stay there, so that as she grows and matures, and becomes ready to receive more information, she will have the pegs to jump start from.   Her older brothers are learning the same material as she is, but they are more able to not only learn, for example, the parts of a flower, but draw a flower and label its parts or learn what each part does for the flower.    It is a system that has worked for us and our family as we strive to educate our children.

So all that is prelude to Chloe’s first timeline recording.  She needs a bit of prompting here and there (by me, so please excuse the hideous voice) and Patrick, who isn’t even studying the timeline anymore.  Both he and Hannah are beyond the early stages of this program, but they have both impressed me by what they can recite.  Listening to it all the time will kind of do that anyone.   (You can ask my kids.  I play it a LOT.)   In any case, she’s also just so cute singing it!  She just turned five a few weeks ago and we all just can’t get over her.   I hope you can understand most of what she says (it’s rather humorous when she doesn’t quite remember the words, yet still keeps the beat with a few “hmmms” and “lalalas.”).  All in all, it’s not bad for a few months of learning.

Enjoy!

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

3 c. flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
3 eggs
2 c canned pumpkin
1 c canola oil
2/3 c sugar

2/3 c packed brown sugar
3 t vanilla
1 c dried cranberries

Combine dry ingredients. Set aside. Combine eggs, pumpkin, oil, sugars, and vanilla. Stir well. Stir in dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Pour into two greased 8×4 loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50-55 min. Cool 10 min. before removing from pans.

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