Wednesday, May 18, 2011

From Garden to Table

Corn and Beans
We got home from vacation Sunday afternoon and the first thing we did was check out the garden. Two weeks ago we planted beans, corn, squash, tomatoes, peppers, and peanuts so we were anticipating lots of new plants. We were not disappointed!  Almost everything was up and growing well!

We found lots of Sugar Snap Peas ready to pick, several large potatoes, and plenty of onions ready. We added the overgrown lettuces to the compost pile – they were as tall as FRitW! The smaller lettuces looked great so one came in for supper. Maggie also found a purple pepper on her plant.
One of the overgrown lettuces

Lots of Sugar Snap Peas

Maggie's Purple Pepper

Sunday's pickings!
So far this week, we’ve had some garden produce with each supper meal. Sunday night, we made a chicken stir-fry with sugar snaps and onions and that purple pepper. We also had some of the lettuce for a salad. Monday we mashed some garden potatoes to go with our meal. Tuesday I made spaghetti with fresh onion and basil, thyme, and oregano from the garden.
The first carrot - a Purple Dragon carrot (it's orange inside)

The perfect carrot, a nice length and thickness

A little bit short and stubby, but he's happy!

MT loves picking the onions.

Wednesday's Haul

The herbs the boys and I picked.

Today we pulled 6 carrots that looked big enough to eat! I have never, ever successfully grown carrots and was so excited to find that this year is ‘the year of the carrot’! Maggie, FRitW, and MT each pulled two carrots. I wanted to have them with supper, but 6 short carrots don’t make much of a meal.  Looking around, I decided that potatoes and onions added to the carrots would make a nice root vegetable bake. FRitW and MT helped me pick more basil, oregano, thyme, and sage and we mixed everything together with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper for a delicious (and colorful) side dish! We also picked lots more sugar snaps, so tomorrow we’ll have those with supper. Any suggestions for using sugar snaps?

Potatoes, carrots, onion, herbs, and a little olive oil. Yum!


Monday, May 16, 2011

TOS Review: WonderMaps from Bright Ideas Press

Wondermaps Logo

This year, both Kirk and Maggie are studying Ancient History. One of the most difficult things about history or geography studies is finding accurate maps. This is especially true of Ancient history. Look at a current world map. You just might be surprised at how much boundaries have changed since you were in school. Now, just add a few thousand more years of change and that will give you an clearer idea of how difficult it can be to map events in Ancient Greece. The WonderMaps program from Bright Ideas Press has made a huge difference in our family’s history studies!


Do you need to know who and where the Axis and Allies were? Would you like it with color coded and labeled with country names?– WonderMaps has that. Would you rather have your student color and label it? – WonderMaps can do that too. Perhaps you are studying China and want to compare the borders of the Tang and Han Dynasties – WonderMaps has you covered there as well and while you are at it, overlay China’s modern border for a comparison! The variety of maps is amazing!

screen shot of world map selection

Maggie has used WonderMaps extensively over the last several weeks. She can print the map she needs in black and white or color, with labels or without, and even compare current borders with historical maps. She is working through Mystery of History, Volume One right now and has been able to print maps in a postcard size to add to her timeline. She has also enjoyed being able to use the ‘modern overlay’ tab to see how modern day boundaries compare to historical boundaries.


A Teacher’s Guide tab offers suggestions for unit studies, activity ideas, and a user’s guide. There are specific maps to align with Mystery of History, Volumes One through Three and All American History Volumes One and Two. The program is extremely simple to navigate, Maggie figured it out with absolutely no instruction from me. WonderMaps is presented from a Creation standpoint which makes it an ideal mapping program for our family and the $49.95 price is very reasonable for a product you will use over and over for all of your children.

I love this quick video demonstrating the features :

WonderMaps is available from Bright Ideas Press for $49.95. If you subscribe to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine - check your latest issue for a 20% savings on WonderMaps!

See what other TOS Crew members thought of WonderMaps by clicking here.

**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.