Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Our Homeschool Curriculum for 2017-18...and a coupon for YOU!

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and that helps me keep this blog up and running!  
I hope that the products bless your family as much as your shopping from my links blesses mine!

As a homeschooling mom, this is the time of year that I am praying and searching for just the right curriculum and supplies.  And it is SO. MUCH. FUN!

There is nothing like the smell of new books and notebooks or a fresh pack of my favorite erasable pens!

Over the years, we have tried many different things--some were a hit and some were a flop.  One of the things that has remained the same for us year after year, no matter which curriculum company we go with (or quit halfway through the year)....we love to do school the Charlotte Mason way!

Charlotte Mason was an educator in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and one of her primary philosophies is that a child is a whole person.  To educate "the CM way", we read a lot of living books, narrate what we read, and we spread a whole feast before our children in a variety of subjects.  Some of those include composer study, artist study, and nature study, which are in addition to the usual history threads, natural history (or science), math, and language arts subjects. 

The CM way is a gentle but rigorous way of educating our children, and it brings great peace not only to our homeschool, but also to our home itself. 

Charlotte Mason said, "education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life". 

I am so excited to tell you about a Charlotte Mason curriculum that I just learned about this summer, and even more excited that I have a coupon code for you to save on your purchase for your own family if this is the right plan for you!


A Gentle Feast was created by Julie Ross, and she describes it this way:

"A Gentle Feast is a Charlotte Mason curriculum for the entire family...
designed to ease parents as they provide a living education for their children, 
filled with books, beauty, and biblical truth."

I am so excited that Julie has created A Gentle Feast, and I'm even more excited to tell you more about our experience using it in a month or so!  Until then, you can read more about it at her website!

Since we have a 5th grader, a 4th grader, and a 2nd grader this year, A Gentle Feast is going to allow us to combine what we can do together while giving each child the level of work that they need.  No matter which Form your children are in, you can get plans for them to study the same time period as the others, but with personalized books and work! 

Julie also has wonderful "Morning Time" plans where you can enjoy some of the beautiful extra subjects of a Charlotte Mason feast together to begin your day! 

I am more than excited to start our new school year next Monday using A Gentle Feast for our lesson plans!  If this plan is what you have been looking for, you can get yours here, and Julie has been so kind to offer all of my readers a coupon!  This is an already affordable program at full price!  But Julie is offering all of you a 20% discount this week!!

Between today through August 14th, use the code "RUBIES" 
to get your 20% off at A Gentle Feast!

I know that this program will be a blessing to your family and homeschool!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Stargazer Cast Iron - A Review!

When I was about fifteen years old, I got a wild hair and decided to help my mom by deep cleaning in the kitchen.  The first thing I tackled was the biggest task I could see...cleaning her cast iron pan!  It was caked on THICK and no amount of dish soap or scrubbing worked.  So what did I do?

I got a flathead screwdriver and a hammer and I began to chisel away that caked on mess!  (I can hear the gasps and shudders from those of you who know that I'm talking about years of seasoning here...)  HOURS later, I only had half that pan chiseled clean.  And, as you'd probably guess, my mom was less than thrilled with my efforts.

Thank goodness that I've learned the value of cast iron cookware, a good seasoning, and the proper tools to care for it!  (Hint: it does NOT involve a hammer, a screwdriver, or any form of chiseling!)  Now my kitchen is outfitted with my late grandmother's stainless steel pots and pans...and my late mother-in-law's large set of cast iron pans!  I do not own any of the harmful non-stick pieces anymore.  My cast iron is pretty much non-stick!

So you can imagine my excitement when I asked Stargazer Cast Iron if they would let me review one of their pans...and they said yes!  It took some time for a pan to become available for me (this company is so good--they have had a waiting list!), but this one was worth the wait!

This pan is now my first choice--my go-to pan--when I am cooking in the kitchen!  Whether I am browning meat or making scrambled eggs, I grab this pan!  (Yes--you read that right--I make scrambled eggs in a cast iron pan!  And NO sticking!)

The pan I received is a 10.5 inch, preseasoned pan.  It is a beauty!  One of my favorite parts is the large handle.  It is larger than the handles of all the other cast iron pans I own, and the shape makes it easier to get a good grip when moving it.  This is important to me because I have somewhat weak wrists from injuries as a teen and carpal tunnel when pregnant with my children.  But with this wide and long handle, I can get a good grip so my wrists do not give out from the heavy weight.  There is also a second handle on it for when I need to use both hands to carry it.

When I first received my pan, I washed it with hot water and dried it on my gas stovetop.  I scrambled some eggs first--and they did stick a little in the center.  So I thought I would do what some of their customers said they did--I seasoned it some more!

I did three rounds of seasoning in my oven.  Unfortunately, I think I may have done it too many times, or left the oil coating too thick before putting in the oven, because my food stuck worse after these seasonings.

So, I took my scrub bud and scrubbed it all off under hot water.  This made the pan super slick!  And guess what?  My next batch of scrambled eggs did not stick--at all!

There are a few things that make this pan a favorite that I do not want to forget to mention.  First, these pans are made right here in the U.S.A.!  They are made slightly lighter in weight than competitive companies' products.  And their handle is called a "stay cool handle".  It will get warm (or even hot after a long time over a gas stove flame), but it stays cooler much longer because of its design!  I am usually done cooking in it before it gets too hot for me!

I must say that I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to keep this pan in exchange for this honest review!  Stargazer Cast Iron has set out to fulfill their vision of "creating the best cast iron cookware around".  In my kitchen, they have far surpassed the rest! 

Look at this beauty!  Get your own from Stargazer Cast Iron!