Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics

Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

This post is a long one, but it’s PACKED with goodies! Scroll down for both a FREE printable {Marketing Scavenger Hunt} as well as a GIVEAWAY!!! 

I’ve shared in the past a little about how we homeschool. One of the things we do in our homeschool is that we have 1 elective each year that rotates. The reason I do this all goes back to my first year of homeschooling…

Connor was 5, and we were doing Kindergarten. I also had a 3 year old, a 1 year old, and I was pregnant with Finn. In addition, it was the year we moved from Tennessee to Germany. To say it was a crazy year would be an understatement. On top of all that, I was terrified that I would somehow screw up this homeschooling thing, so I was teaching my five-year-old over TWENTY SUBJECTS. We were literally trying to do it all. Reading, writing, math, spelling, art, music, history, science, sports, Spanish, German, Arabic, health, geography… and more. 

Then I met Jennifer, my first homeschooling friend, who is now one of my closest friends. I look to her often for homeschooling and parenting advice. She quickly eased my fears and helped me to learn that I don’t have to do it all at once! 

So now, we switch out our elective each year. Last year we did health. Next year it’s going to be art. But this year we’re doing Home Ec.

Right now, my {school-age} kids are 5, 7, and 9 — so I knew that whatever we covered would have to work for those ages. However, it wasn’t quite easy to find curriculum on this subject for younger ages. Most of what I found was for high schoolers.

I considered what I wanted to cover, and came up with 6 subcategories: sewing, etiquette, cooking, baking, personal finance, and home management. Since our school year is 36 weeks, it was easy to divide it up into six 6-week sessions. These are the materials we used and my plan for each category!

Etiquette

Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

The books I used for teaching etiquette and manners were these two from Emilie Barnes, called A Little Book of Manners: Courtesy and Kindness for Young Ladies, and A Little Books of Manners for Boys: A Game Plan for Getting Along with Others.

This is what we covered in our 6 weeks of etiquette:

Week 1: Greetings & Introductions

Week 2: Talking to adults, answering the phone, respectful responses

Week 3: How to treat guests, how to be a respectful guest, and how to deal with conflicts

Week 4: Dinner etiquette, table manners, proper table settings

Week 5: Saying thank you, writing thank you notes

Week 6: Self-control

Sewing

Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

The main core of our sewing unit was this book, called Sewing School. The other materials we purchased to go along with it were a needle threader, needles, embroidery floss, stuffing, ribbons, and fabric.

Week 1: we worked on threading needles, types of fabric, sewing basic stitches (straight stitch and whipstitch), and we picked out our projects for the following five weeks. This book has tons of projects, each rated 1-star (easy), 2-star (medium), or 3-star (hard).

Week 2: each child chose a 1-star project.

Week 3: another 1-star project.

Week 4: 2-star project

Week 5: another 2-star project

Week 6: final project, a 3-star project

Sometimes they would need help (especially Sophie, my 5-year-old), but for the most part the did it all on their own! By the end of the 6 weeks, they were sewing like pros. Now the book and all of their sewing supplies are in their own sewing bin, and they keep sewing for fun in their free time, even long after the classes are over.

Home Management

Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

Our home: 3 floors, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1600 sq. ft., paid in full!

The only “curriculum” I used for this unit was our house! I wrote up a plan for what we were covering each week, and it looked like this. It involved a lot of housework, but also learning! The main things I wanted them to learn was how to take care of the home, including how to clean properly, how the inner functions work (insulation, plumbing, electricity), and why we do certain maintenance.

Week 1: How to clean windows, baseboards, & curtains; basics of electricity; periodic home maintenance items, such as changing furnace filters, flipping mattresses, changing smoke detector batteries.

Week 2: How to clean walls, floors, & furniture; how to do laundry

Week 3: How to clean the kitchen; how appliances work and how to clean/use them

Week 4: How to clean the bathroom; plumbing basics

Week 5: Exterior home care (gutters, foundation, other maintenance); lawn care (mowing, weeding, trimming)

Week 6: Vehicle care (what all the gauges on the dashboard do, how the engine works, how to check fluids, how to get gas)

Cooking

Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

For our cooking unit, we used The Children’s Quick & Easy Cookbook. It has an assortment of appetizers, sides, entrees, and desserts. It also has an introductory chapter, all about rules of the kitchen and how to get started. There is also an index, with instructions (and photos) on how to do things like basting, blending, beating, mixing, whipping, etc.

Week 1: We went over the introductory chapters, read instructions in the index, and chose our menus for the other 5 weeks.

Weeks 2-6: Each week, each child prepared a part of the meal (appetizer, entree, side, or dessert). So every week, they all had their own dish to prepare. I made a chart so that each one would prepare each type at least once. They made lots of delicious things, like Spicy Chicken Burgers, Peppermint Creams, Thai Kabobs, Tiramisu, and more!

Personal Finance

Homeschooling Elementary Home Economics ~ Our Cozy Den

For our personal finance unit, we used Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Jr.  {This link goes to amazon.com, which is currently the cheapest place to buy it, at $19.99 plus free shipping. Occasionally, daveramsey.com runs sales that make it cheaper, especially around the holidays – so check there too!} I teach his grown-up Financial Peace University classes often, and I’m a huge believer in the principles he teaches! I also went to the kids & money section at my local library, and we read TONS of books about money, banks, saving, spending, investing, and more!

Week 1: Lesson 1 (working);  books about the history of money, plus we looked at money (both U.S. money, and our collection from our world travels) and discussed the images on it

Week 2: Lesson 2 (giving); books about giving back and volunteering, Bible verses about tithing

Week 3: Lesson 3 (saving); books about banks, how they work, activity about compound savings and how it adds up

Week 4: Lesson 4 (spending); books about spending, discussions about making good spending choices

Week 5: Field trip to the bank – we learned about the parts of the bank, how it works, and the bank let the kids go look in the vault

Week 6: Field trip to the mall, where we did a fun Marketing Scavenger Hunt — to learn about all the different tricks that stores use to entice us into spending more.

{FREE DOWNLOAD!!!}

CLICK HERE to download a FREE copy of my Marketing Scavenger Hunt — along with a Parent’s Guide full of marketing strategies you can discuss with your kids!

{GIVEAWAY!!!}

How to enter ~ leave a comment below to enter the giveaway. Each comment is another entry. Earn additional entries for sharing this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and becoming an email subscriber!

Win a full Financial Peace Jr. curriculum set from Our Cozy Den!!!

Giveaway rules: open to residents of the US. Winner will be drawn Sunday, September 27th and notified soon thereafter by email. Failure to claim prize within 48 hours forfeits your rights to the prize. This prize was purchased by me (Christy) and was in no way sponsored by any company. It’s simply a product that I love and wanted to give away to my lovely readers!

Baking

Baking is our last unit — perfect for the cooling days of fall, and the season of apple pies, pumpkin bread, and lots of yummy baked deliciousness. For our 6 weeks, each of the big kids (Connor, Lia, and Sophie) are choosing 2 items to bake. They can choose out of the Children’s Cookbook we used for cooking class, or out of my own arsenal of recipes. Then each week, all 3 kids will help make the baked good of the week, while we learn about measurements, cook time, preheating the oven, how to blend ingredients (wet first, then dry), and professional taste-testing!

So what do you think?

Do you teach Home Economics with your elementary school kids? Which subjects do you want to cover but haven’t?

Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy (with FREE printable food pyramid!)

Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy (with FREE printable food pyramid!) ~ Our Cozy Den

I was getting fed up. My kids were asking me for food constantly, and my response was always, “What did you already eat today?” Then they would list foods, while I dissect which food groups they were lacking. Then I would make a few snack suggestions. It got old, and it took up a lot of my time. But I also didn’t want them to have free reign on snacks, because they would choose carbs about 150% of the time.

So I decided that we needed individual food pyramids that they could use to track their daily intake. All of the food pyramids I could find online were the outdated (and wrong) 1950’s version that encourages all that wheat. This is my own recommendation for my family, based on my many years of reading book after book and blog after blog about healthy eating and dietary recommendations. (disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, just a mom. If you have concerns about it, ask your doctor.)

So I printed out our pyramids, laminated them, and hung them on the refrigerator… IMG_2848

Then each child used dry erase crayons to check off their boxes as they ate throughout the day…

IMG_2846

And they easily chose a more well-rounded diet, without any prompting from me!

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CLICK HERE to download your own copy of my Healthy Eating Pyramid! I printed 2-per-page for my family, so they would fit easily on my refrigerator door. Hope your family enjoys it!

Happy Snacking!

Road Tripping with Kids – √ Success Plan!

Recently, we went on a BIG road trip. From Ohio to Texas and back, it was 46 total hours on the road. That’s a LOT of time to spend cooped up in a car with 4 kids.

These are the things we did to prepare for our trip:

1. Invest in a DVD player.

I know they are expensive — that’s why we didn’t get one earlier. But we decided that now was the time, so we got the fancy installed kind that flips down from the ceiling. We got a great sale, in conjunction with a military discount so the whole thing installed was under $450. And it was worth every penny.

Their faces when they saw the new DVD player. They knew that other people had them, because sometimes they would scream, "THOSE KIDS ARE WATCHING FROZEN IN THEIR CAR!?!?" They never thought that would get to be them.

Their faces when they saw the new DVD player. They knew that other people had them, because sometimes they would scream, “THOSE KIDS ARE WATCHING FROZEN IN THEIR CAR!?!?” They never thought that would get to be them.

2. Scour the internet for ideas.

Pinterest was my best friend here. I pinned a bunch of ideas, and made lists of the ones that would be best for my kids’ ages and interests. At the end, I had a list of 14 fun and unique activities.

3. Buy some basics online.

We got a few things on amazon.com – a lap desk for Finn, travel bingo cards, and some Melissa & Doug travel games. I’m in love with this whole line. They are great for both home and on-the-go. They have a license plate game, hangman, bingo, memory, and more.

We had SO much fun playing this game. There's a big sticker on the back that lists tons of different ways to play.

We had SO much fun playing this game. There’s a big sticker on the back that lists tons of different ways to play.

4. Buy everything possible at the dollar store.

To save money, we bought everything we could at the local dollar store. I spent less than $40 and got TONS of things to keep the kids busy.

Click here for a FREE printable dollar store shopping list!

5. Collect free and cheap movies.

I used my Disney Movie Rewards points to get a few new movies, we got several multi-packs from the Walmart $5 bin, I cashed in other points and gift cards for a few more, and the grandparents bought some too.

6. Pray.

We prayed over our home, our van, our travels, and our queasy stomachs. Prayer works!

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So when it was time to hit the road, I put all of our activities and new movies on tickets, and taped them onto a piece of construction paper. I put little dots to differentiate between the movies and activities, and I saved half for the way home. All I had to do was say “Choose an orange ticket!” or “Pick a purple one!” We had enough movies and activities to keep them busy every minute of the trip. They literally didn’t have time to say “I’m bored.”

High tech, huh? The other side said "Let's Go Home!"

High tech, huh? The other side said “Let’s Go Home!”

Here is the list of our activities:

* Aluminum foil modeling (give each kid a sheet of foil, instruct them to build a sculpture)

* Hangman

* New coloring books ( x2 )

* Road trip Bingo

* Draw with chalk on black paper

* Lacing cards

* Washi tape pictures (give them a little roll of washi tape and a sheet of construction paper)

* Decorate sock puppets

* Decorate hats

* Pipe cleaner sculptures

* Letter plates (Write the ABCs around the perimeter of a paper plate. Cut them apart so the letters are on tabs. Fold the tabs down as you play. We played this one two different ways: find the actual letter, like on signs or license plates; or find something that starts with the letter.)

* Guess Who (Get some little strips of paper, write down characters from the kids’ favorite movies & tv shows. Then play the classic guess who game, asking yes/no questions until you guess who the person with the paper is. You could also play this with relatives or friends, which would be especially fun if that’s who you were on your way to visit.)

Aluminum Foil Modeling

Aluminum Foil Modeling

So that’s it! That’s how we survived DAYS in the car with all these blessings.