Thursday, February 19

I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover (Art Mooney)

Plan a Saint Patrick's Day party as part of your home school!  Here are some crafts to decorate, and a traditional Irish meal that the kids can help make.

Traditional Irish Meal

corned beef
Crockpot Corned Beef Brisket
  • 1 onion
  • carrots (chopped)
  • potatoes (diced)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • garlic clove
  • bay leaf
  • cabbage (chopped)

  1. Place cut vegetables on bottom of crock pot. 
  2. Place corned beef brisket on the top. 
  3. In mixing bowl combine broth and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over top of brisket. 
  4. Add garlic clove and bay leaf. Cook on low 6-8 hours. 
  5. Add cabbage to top of pot half way through cooking time.

Irish Soda Bread
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ¾ cup raisins
  1. In mixing bowl combine flours, baking soda, salt and sugar. 
  2. In separate bowl combine eggs and buttermilk. 
  3. Pour into dry ingredients and blend slightly, you just want the dough moistened so don't beat to long. Stir in raisins. 
  4. On a floured surface knead dough several minutes. 
  5. Place in a round cake pan. With a knife slice an X on the top of the loaf. 
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until golden.

Crockpot Irish Stew

  • 2-4 lbs. cubed chicken or beef
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 qt broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • carrots (chopped)
  • potatoes (chopped)
  • onions (sliced)
  1. Add ingredients to crock pot or large soup pan making sure liquid covers all meat and vegetables. 
  2. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours.

St. Patrick's Day Crafts

Fruit Loops Rainbow

This simple idea for preschoolers and toddlers comes from One Artsy Mama.  Let the kids sort the different colors and glue them to a piece of paper to create their own rainbow.  Using cotton balls, build 'clouds' to hold it up!

Funny Leprechaun

  1. Paint a paper plate peach and let it dry.
  2. Cut out strips of orange paper and glue them all the way around the plate, as the hair and beard.
  3. Cut out two orange eyebrows and glue them on.  Paint or draw the face.
  4. Cut out a little hat from green construction paper.  Add a black hat band and golden buckle, then glue onto the head at an angle.
  5. Leave it to try, punch a hold at the top, and hang up for St. Paddy's Day!

St. Patrick's Day learning unit :
Join us on March 9th as we hop across the pond to visit family in Ireland!!   

Monday, February 16

She's On Fire (Train)

We're deep into cold & flu season, and staying healthy has become a feat!  Today, we're going to bring you two recipes - one for short-term health and one to promote long-term health.

Fire Cider

Fire Cider is a remedy for upper respiratory infections with a deep cough and severe nasal congestion. It is extremely spicy, and I don’t think there will be very many kids who will want to take this remedy. Take a tablespoon full every day - it's a very potent remedy, so go slowly with it.  We mix it up by the half-gallon, but as you can see, currently have an entire gallon of this spicy-goodness brewing on the counter!  

  •      1 part minced garlic
  •      1 part chopped whole onion
  •      1 part grated horseradish root
  •      1 part chopped & seeded jalapeno
  •      1 part grated ginger root
  •      ¼- ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  •      Raw apple cider vinegar
Place all of the herbs in a glass jar and cover with apple cider vinegar. Make sure to put plastic between the lid of the jar and the vinegar, or else it will create a slime due to a chemical reaction between the metal and the vinegar. Steep herbs for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily, then strain and keep in a glass jar.

If you don't feel up to making your own, you can always buy a bottle.


When I first read about the panacea of benefits of Kombucha, I was skeptical. How could one beverage do so many things? But then I realized that it’s not like a medicine targeted at curing specific symptoms - it’s more that it promotes health. It gives your body what it needs to heal itself by : 
  • 1) aiding your liver in removing harmful substances, 
  • 2) promoting balance in your digestive system, and 
  • 3) being rich in health-promoting vitamins, enzymes, and acids.  

The general consensus seems to be that with regular, daily consumption, you’ll notice improvement in immune system functioning and energy levels within about a week, the healing of more minor ailments within a month or so, and the healing of more radical illnesses within a year or so.  
Kombucha is the sour-dough bread of drinks....and just as easy to make!  All you need is sugar, a SCOBY, unflavored tea, and a glass fermentation jar.  We saved our GTs kombucha jars (this is a great brand to try, if you're just wanting to ease into the beverage) and use them for re-bottling.

Thursday, February 12

Something to Talk About (Bonnie Raitt)

A few months ago, we brought you some free, basic speech therapy resources, hoping to help others as we continue our long walk on the path to better speech.  Today we want to bring you some sound-specific activities and a new speech resource that has become the new favorite!  
The speech wheel is a wonderful way to practice history, geography, science, and current events in the framework of speech therapy.  That's not how we started out, but it quickly morphed into a cross-curricular exercise, as my son latched onto it with fervor.
Some days, he'll tell us what's going on in the United States or across the world (thank you, Little Passports, for the awesome maps!!).  Other days, we'll get the weather report.  Here, he is giving us the standard Oklahoma winter-weather report....including sixty degree temperature swings!  He's very loyal about always pretending to be from the same news station, too, ever since he got to meet their helicopter pilot.  LOL

FREE Speech Therapy Resources