A wife of noble character who can find?...She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:10, 26 & 28

Friday, October 28, 2011

Update on Yoghurt

It's been a couple of days now and I've been making yoghurt day and night. The kids LOVE it! Since the first batch I've been taking out 3 tablespoons of the new yoghurt to make the next batch before I put it in the fridge, and adding different flavours to it. I've used honey in one and, because Tim is diabetic I used vanilla and stevia powder in another and they've set fine. So once you've got your first batch of yoghurt made here's what you do:

Take 3 tablespoons of yoghurt and put into the yoghurt maker container, plus 1 and 1/3 cups powdered milk. Add sweetener or other (the one I have setting at the moment is cinnamon and honey) and fill 1/2 way with cold water (I just use water from the tap). Shake well and then fill all the way up and shake again. Fill the yoghurt maker up to the baffle with boiling water and sit the yoghurt container in there. Leave it as long as you would normally, when making yoghurt from the packet.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Making Yoghurt With Powdered Milk

I just wanted to let you know about a new recipe I recently found out about. We love yoghurt in this house but with so many kids it goes so quickly and even making it yourself with an Easiyo Yoghurt Maker it is still expensive. I was googling yoghurt making and found a blog that was really interesting so I tried it out. Here's the recipe:

3 Tablespoons yoghurt maker culture
1 1/3 cups powdered milk
Make like you would in the yoghurt maker (fill 1/2 way with water, put the lid on and shake, then fill all the way with water and shake again then fill the yoghurt maker with boiling water to the baffle)

We've always got powdered milk in the cupboard for emergencies and a bag of powdered milk from Aldi is so much cheaper than several sachets of yoghurt culture.

I made it this way for the first time last night and it set even better than usual. I like the fact that it is less sweetened than other yoghurts and you can add your own fruit to it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Homeschooling While Pregnant

I don't often blog about our homeschooling life, let me correct that, lately I haven't been blogging much at all! I often wonder how other families do it. Sometimes it's so hard to fit schooling in with just life in general, especially a large family. The logistics of running a household sometimes leave little time for anything else except taking a well earned break. Since starting our homeschooling journey I've had 2 babies and am about to have another, which will mean eight children in our family, and one thing I've learned is that there is no correct way to go about it, it's what works for you and your family.

So what do we do when I'm pregnant? We relax. I don't know that I actually plan the 12 months out (9mths of being pregnant and the first few months with a new bub) but at the very beginning, when I'm really sick, I only really insist on the basics: maths and reading. Of course they're learning all the time and there are a lot of home duties in the older kid's day so it's not like they're playing games, computer or watching TV all day. Then when I'm feeling a bit better and have more energy we add more subjects to their week. Towards the end of the pregnancy we tend to get even more involved in book work, knowing that once the baby is here we'll probably relax our homeschooling routine again for a few months.

What are we doing right now? I'm about 36 weeks pregnant now and have been in this house for a month and a half. We've also just started a new school term at the beginning of last week. It's the perfect time to re-evaluate what we're doing in our homeschooling. Earlier on in the year I made a Routine Chart for the family which included time allotted for school work, chores and breaks. I've made a few adjustments over the course of time but it is still working for us.

8:30am Have breakfast, showers, dressed, washing on
9:00am Morning Jobs
9:30am 1st Subject
10:30am Clean loungeroom
10:45am Have morning tea
11:00am 2nd Subject
12:00pm LUNCH
1:00pm Clean family room
Second load of washing
1:30pm Lunch jobs
1:45pm 3rd Subject
2:45pm 4th Subject
3:30pm Clean room for 5 mins

This is by no means a strict routine. I would probably have a breakdown if I felt I had to stick to it like glue. But it's a great guide and I find that having this poster up on the wall for the kids to see, rather than a laminated piece of paper that I used to have, gets them more involved.

On the chart it says 4 subjects during the course of the day but in reality they only do 3 as each of the 3 older children take a turn at occupying the little children to allow the older children to study in relative peace. They have large blocks of subjects as this chart is for the older children who are aged 11, 13 and 14 years. I would not expect the younger ones to sit still at a subject for this length of time when they start their formal learning. I also didn't mention that we only do school work 4 days a week. Our eldest son is studying at TAFE and has been having one day a week off so we make that our day off too. It gives us time to just chill but also to get things like folding up and intense cleaning of rooms done.

For their jobs I used to have a roster system but found that it wasn't really working for us so now they have their set chores that they do day in and day out. That doesn't mean they do them without me telling them,though (I wish).

Well that's how we homeschool while I'm pregnant and maybe by the next post we'll have our new precious little one.