Letter Sorting

If you are here, you are either wondering how we homeschool kindergarten or are looking for printables. If you are just here for these printables, they are further down this page.

Homeschooling Kindergarten is super fun and is a great way to instill enthusiasm to learn into your children for your many years to come. We focus on learning the phonetic alphabet, numbers and counting to 10, colours and shapes in our minimalist homeschool.

Once we have played all our Letter Recognition Games, you can see the list of games we play here, we start sorting the letters into uppercase and lowercase with the following games or actvities:

Activity One: Sort the magnets on the fridge onto the Letter Sorting & Recognition Page.

Activity Two: Hide post-its with uppercase AND lowercase letters and have them place on the Letter Sorting & Recognition Page.

Activity Three: Say the letter sound and have the child recall how to write it in Uppercase on the Uppercase Letter Sorting Page.

Activity Four: Say the letter sound and have the child recall how to write it in lowercase on the Lowercase Letter Sorting Page.

Get these Letter Sorting & Recognition Printables Here!

Monthly Calendar Printable

The beginning of a new homeschool year gets all of us homeschool moms in a frenzy! Am I right?!

Today I am sharing this simple and modern printable. It contain all 12 months in a very simple, clean and minimalist design to keep you focused on your schedule!

What is so awesome about this Monthly Calendar Printable is once you have downloaded it once, you can print it off year after year! Amazing right?!

This 12 Month Modern Blank Calendar is available in our Etsy shop as an INSTANT downloadable PDF.

You can print it out as many times as you like and start your homeschool planning right away!

Get yours here!

Letter Recognition

One of the foundations of our homeschool curriculum for preschool and kindergarten is letter recognition and learning the phonetic alphabet rather than the letter names.

I had no idea how much time this was going to save us! Having to teach letter names THEN when we start working on letter sounds... For our minimalist family, I was a no brainer to teach our kids the phonetic alphabet!

Today I am going to share some printables I created to casually teach letter recognition, and all the activities we use them for.
And they are great for casual learning through play, which is what we are all about. Keeping it simple!

Activity One: Match uppercase letter magnets with the Uppercase Letters Printable.

Activity Two: Match lowercase letter magnets with the Uppercase Letters Printable.

Activity Three: Match scrabble tiles or bananagrams with the Uppercase Letters Printable.

Activity Four: Trace the letters on the Uppercase Letters Printable.

Activity Five: Match lowercase letter magnets with the Lowercase Letters Printable.

Activity Six: Match uppercase magnets with the Lowercase Letters Printable.

Activity Seven: Trace the letters on the Lowercase Letters Printable.

More fun activities are:

Eight: Write letters on little post-its, or stickers and have them match them.

Nine: Write letters on post-its and hide them throughout the house, like Hide and Seek Letters!

Aren't they fun! Well, a lot of them are the same activity and just switching up the lowercase and uppercase but it's so simple. Another great tip is to say the letter sounds as they are matching to help those connections stick.

 

If you would like these printables, they are available for purchase on our Etsy Shop as an INSTANT downloadable PDF for just $2.25CDN  for both of them which is practically free and helps us create more fun content and shenanigans.


Cooking Pumpkin for Pie

We have two kidlets, and we've always tried to shelter from the spotlight because.. I'm not really sure! I suppose because they aren't really old enough to make that decision on their own yet and I'm terrified of being a 'bad mom' (aren't we all, though?). I will refer to them as S and J. This story is about the younger of the two, which is J.

When we started picking out seeds for our very first vegetable garden, J grabbed a package of pumpkin seeds and proclaimed he wanted to grow 'huge' pumpkins in our garden. I didn't know much about growing pumpkins but I did know they took up a lot of room and they were prolific. Terrified there wouldn't be any room left to grow, we agreed he could grow pie pumpkins so we could actually eat them!

At the end of the season we harvested 6 pie pumpkins! 3 we kept for Halloween and the others, we baked for pie and roasted the most delicious pumpkin seeds! Even Lobo II was able to enjoy the fleshy stringy part of the pie as he eats homemade raw dog food.

Pie pumpkins are small pumpkins that are sweeter making them great for pies, breads or even a pumpkin cheesecake. Are you drooling yet? You can still roast the seeds inside these small pumpkins but if you are looking to make pie, be sure it is in fact a 'pie pumpkin' and that it has cured for at least two weeks since it was picked.

To cook a pie pumpkin for pie, I slice off the top of the pumpkin where the stem is because we don't need that part and it makes a nice flat spot for cutting the pumpkin in half.

Once the stem is removed, place the flat spot on your cutting board and carefully cut the pumpkin in half. This was really tough, and my husband felt the need to take the big knife away from me and do it himself (thanks honey!) to ensure I didn't loose a finger.

Next, using a spoon I scooped out the stringy pulp and seeds which I sorted and either fed to the dog or roasted for use humans. To cook the pumpkin, I placed them round side up on a handy zero waste silicone sheet (you could use parchment paper) and baked them at 350F for an hour. I cooked three pie pumpkins, or six halves, on one cookie sheet.

After the pumpkins have cooled, remove the skin and it is ready to use! Since I wasn't cooking pie the same day, I put my pumpkin in the freezer.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

We love our little traditions in our home. From snow ice cream, yearly camping trips to roasting pumpkin seeds around Thanksgiving and Halloween. I am a romantic this way and since I am building my family from the 'ground up', so to speak, creating family traditions is really important to me. I feel like these traditions will keep bring our family together year after year.

Although, my pumpkin seeds usually turn out chewy or too hard, I am going to share a recipe with you because it is a game changer! My goodness, these were tasty and disappeared quick! But there is a trick to making the perfect roasted pumpkin seeds!

You see, when we are about to roast pumpkin seeds, we are usually cutting up a pumpkin! Whether we are carving a Jack-O-Lantern, or cooking a pie pumpkin for pie, we are roasting the seeds at the same time. But this is where we always get it wrong!

You can cook seeds from any pumpkin. Simply cut open your pumpkin and start scooping out the stringy flesh and seeds into a bowl. Pick through this mess for your seeds and rinse them with clean water. I like to give the fleshy and stringy bits that are leftover to our pup, Lobo II, who eats a homemade raw food diet.

Once your seeds are clean and in order to enjoy the perfect roasted pumpkin seeds, you need to let them dry on a clean tea towel overnight! Crazy, right?! I have been doing this so wrong for so long and the only reason why I figured this out was because I was so busy, they had to wait!

After the seeds have been sitting overnight to dry, I toss them with a tablespoon of olive oil and some sea salt to taste.  They are then roasted at 250F for 90 minutes, turning them halfway through the cooking time. They were seriously good! And, we can't wait to make them again!

Saving Beans for Seed


If you are following our blog you are probably seeking self reliance like ourselves. One of the easiest ways to become self reliant in the garden is to seed save! It is one of my garden goals to save as much as my own seeds, including beans for seed. In fact, I planted a special patch of heirloom Green Bush Beans just so I can seed save!

Easy Zucchini Bread Recipe


Today I am going to share my zucchini bread recipe and why it is the best zucchini bread recipe out there!

Seed Saving


Seed saving is an ancient tradition of gathering seeds is making a comeback in a world where homesteaders are everywhere. Even urban homesteaders, like myself and apartment homesteaders are catching on to the trend of growing or raising their own food among many other money saving vintage skills, in addition to seed saving.