The NewBec

I'm not who I was.

Better with Butter.

A Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli was the first book that we worked through in our home-schooling adventure. Although it was a little ambitious as a starter because of the old English vernacular (we had LOTS of vocabulary opportunities!), I cannot say enough good things about the message. Here are some quotes:

“Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it.”

“Each of us has his place in the world ” he said. “If we cannot serve in one way there is always another. If we do what we are able a door always opens to something else.”

“Fret not, my son. None of us is perfect. It is better to have crooked legs than a crooked spirit. We can only do the best we can with what we have. That, after all, is the measure of success: what we do with what we have.”

[I could probably stop right there, mull over those quotes and preach to myself for a good long while, but then you would miss out an kid pictures. And let’s be honest: that’s why most of the people reading this even bother to check my blog. Onward with the kidlets!]

Since completing the first book, we have delved into a second: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Which so far has been pretty much a breeze… (but I guess that’s what happens when you go down a whole grade level on book selection, not to mention that we have read it before). This is our first time going through the book with the intention of studying it via our Progeny Press guides. We were in for a happy surprise with this one… this guide has suggested activity options at the end of each section. (A section in the guide typically covers about 2 chapters).

Today’s activity: churning butter! 

It’s super easy to do.  Here’s what you need:

  • an empty plastic container that will close tightly- we used an old peanut butter jar that had been cleaned out.  High-five for the pack-rat mom who held on to this because I just knew I would use it for school somehow. *smack* Also, plastic is important as you won’t want it to break.
  • a few CLEAN marbles. These will do the churning. (Now you know why the plastic container. Glass smacking glass= bad idea.)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

That’s it! That’s really all you need. Put the marbles and the heavy whipping cream in the jar and close tightly. And shake, shake shake!


The Butter Chef


He’s got ups.



When it’s done you will have butter and buttermilk! We probably could have shaken it longer to get more butter and less buttermilk, but our consistency was perfection.  We took turns and it didn’t really wear us out.IMG_5736wmIMG_5745wmIMG_5746wm

Afterward we enjoyed the butter on some bread. And y’all: it’s some GOOD butter.

Later that day, J had a test on the first 12 presidents.  After reciting them in order, she decided she wanted to recognize them out of order. (This was so NOT my idea… confession: I have never memorized all of the presidents myself!) After we were done, Cheeks wanted to play with the flashcards. When I came back in the room, he had arranged them in numerical order (working from where he is, away from himself). What a smart little cutie head.

IMG_5749wm(Side-note: we got these flashcards, as well as United States flashcards, in the dollar spot at Target. They have good. general information on the back.)
I leave you with a quiz for myself:
Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams, Jackson, VanBuren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk, Taylor…

…whew. That was close.
P.S.- Although I do enjoy learning things through song and it is often pretty effective for me, I also use pictures a lot in my note-taking. This story is the primary method we are using to help J remember the order. For visual learners, it’s a great way! You could even draw it out.)


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This entry was posted on September 12, 2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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