Vegan Homeschool

Our adventures as vegan homeschoolers…

05/19/2014
by VeganMama
1 Comment

Alpha Phonics Indepth

This is a sponsored post (I received materials for free in exchange for my review). I have talked about some of this companies materials already. This post is from the company. I thought that would better serve you to understand what it’s about because I don’t have a little one that needs to learn to read. There is a link towards the bottom to see what other parents, that have used the program, think of it. 

 

Alpha-Phonics

 

To those interested in teaching someone to read, a familiarity with phonics is essential. Although there was some debate regarding the superiority of phonics, especially in the last half of the 20th century, it is now clear the preponderance of convincing evidence has landed squarely in its favor. Those who have used phonics to teach reading have known this all along and have wondered what the big deal was – phonics works and works well!

 

Phonics vs What?

 

As always, there will be attempts at finding a new and better way to do something. In teaching to read English, the strongest contestants to replace phonics have been the “look-say” and “whole language” methods.

 

There is no doubt that the so-called “look-say” method, so popular in the early 1950’s, did indeed work for many (I’m proof of that) but it suffered from the lack of a method to “decode” words, or break them down into their basic parts to discover their meanings and learn how to pronounce them. Up to a point a child could indeed learn and memorize many words from sight but there are just too many words in the language for this method not to have a severe, inherent limitation.

 

In the 1980’s the “whole language” theory of teaching reading reached some prominence, taking a completely opposite direction than phonics. It’s premise was more complex and complicated than what I would even care to attempt to explain here. Its approach was ‘holistic” and its adherents believed the best method to teach reading was to begin by recognizing words as whole pieces of language that must be interpreted according to their relationship with other words, and certainly not by breaking them down into letters and groups of letters as is taught in phonics.

 

Like many other attempted reforms of American education, it tragically resulted in lost time and needless experimentation on children, many of whose lives were irrevocably handicapped as a result. What’s more, kids with dyslexia and other language disorders experienced their problem becoming even more acute as a result of being taught to read by the whole language approach.

 

Eventually it became obvious (again) that phonics students could learn to read with much more speed, ease, and success than with any other method. If you are interested in a non-proven, convoluted, and potentially harmful method, look into “whole language” by all means. By the time you think you understand it, you could have taught your kids to read with Alpha-Phonics, and they would be well on their way to the joys and rewards of functional literacy.

 

Why Alpha-Phonics?

 

The number of children who have learned to read with Alpha-Phonics is so vast that it is probably useless to even guess at it. Developed by Samuel Blumenfeld about 30 years ago, it has not changed since its first edition. If you came across a used copy of one of the first editions, the only major difference you would see would be in its condition. It worked so well from the very beginning that it just hasn’t required updating or changing. Oh yes, there was one functional improvement that was made: the addition of a spiral binding that allows the book to lie flat on a surface.

 

Alpha-Phonics reduces the phonics approach into a number of easily digestible lessons in such a logical way that the student will be able to read simple sentences after as little as three lessons (possibly the first day!). The student just needs to learn the 44 basic sounds of English as communicated by the various groups of letters. One they are learned, he will then be able to “decode” any new words he comes across. As we know, English is such a dynamic language that this valuable ability to decode words will come into play on an almost daily basis. The simplicity of Alpha-Phonics also results in an ease of presentation for the tutor as well. Anyone can successfully use Alpha-Phonics to teach reading, which makes it a basic and valuable tool for the homeschooler as well as the parent that wants to give their child a head start.

 

To see what many parents have said about Alpha-Phonics, please visit us HERE. [Insert URL: http://www.alphaphonics.com/reviews.htm ]

 

 

There are only 44 basic sounds that a child has to learn.

 

Reading is really simply learning to sound out words, using the 44 basic sounds.

05/16/2014
by VeganMama
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Free ebooks and apps – May 16

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through a link I may receive a small commission. This won’t cost you anything, but it will help support this site. Please see my Disclosure Policy for full details.

 

Here is the list of free ebooks and apps for the week! These books were all free when I was writing this post. Some are only free for Amazon Prime members. Please, please be sure to check the prices before purchase!! The prices on these things can change in the blink of an eye. Literally! I would hate for you to think that you were getting something for free only to discover that the price had gone up/sale had ended. Especially if you have one click purchasing turned on. :)  I’m especially excited about the Sixth Grade games app!!! I have a sixth grader this year and I’m always looking for free educational apps for their Kindle. 

You can view all of these ebooks on your computer with the free Kindle Reader. However, Kindles are extremely affordable now! You can view all of the Kindles for sale on Amazon via this link. Have a great weekend!!

Free Ebooks

Free Non-Fiction

How To Knit For Beginners

$1 Per Pound Grocery Shopping

How to Grow Plants

Frugal Cooking for Simple Living


Organic Gardening the Beginners Guide

Free Fiction

 

In Search of a Love Story

Total Victim Theory

It Had to Be You

New Math is Murder

Seadrift

Free Cookbooks

 


Incredibly Delicious Vegan Recipes from the Mediterranean Region


30 Easy Weeknight Dinners


Thai Cooking in 30 Minutes


Fruit Popsicles


Slow Cooker Recipes in 15 Minutes

Free Kids Books


A Collection of Crazy Poems


Dog Aliens 1


Storms, a Weather Book for Kids


The Principal’s Son


Bell’s Big Move

Free Android Apps

 


Cubis® – Addictive Puzzler!


Red Herring


Raz-Kids


Sixth Grade Learning Games

05/14/2014
by VeganMama
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Online Resources to Educate Our Kids About Veganism

Today’s post is about online resources to educate our kids about veganism. Yesterday, I shared some children’s books about being vegan. While I have quite a few links in this post, only one of them is really a lesson plan. And it’s about vegetarianism, not veganism. This tells me that there is a need for a vegan lapbook or notebook or something! Hopefully, I can get something together. We’re coming up on our next move (I’m already packing this house) so I don’t know how much free time I’m going to have. I really have a TON of updating to do! We found out that I have fibromyalgia along with the arthritis we already knew about. Now I understand why I’m so tired all the time and why I hurt so bad I cry! Anyway, this post is about educating our kids. I’ll catch you all up on me soon. :)

 

*Brendan Brazier had a free online course back in 2012 called “Plant-Based Performance Nutrition: How to unlock your mental and physical potential through food“.

Here is the class description:

Learn how to boost mental and physical performance on a plant-based nutrition program. Topics will include:

- High net gain nutrition: what it is and how you can benefits from it
- Biological debt: what it is, why it’s rampant in North america, and how to ensure you’re not a victim
- Boost energy holistically, without stimulants
- Enhance sleep quality (and therefore reduce amount of sleep needed to function at your best)
- Reduce recovery time needed between workout and therefore improve athletic performance
- Building a biologically younger body: how you can do it
- Alkaline-forming nutrition: How you can ensure what you eat will enhance your body’s efficiency and conserve energy with every move
- How to enhance mental clarity and improve focus and productivity

Now, this one is definitely something Mom needs to be present for. It’s a Q&A session with Brendan about being a plant-based athlete. I think this is great information for kids (and Moms)! Here is this great athlete who doesn’t eat animal products. He’s super fit and cool. I just really think this will appeal to kids. The course is an hour long. Breaking it up is probably a good thing because it’s not geared toward kids. Their mind may be mush if you have them watch the whole thing at once. I recommend stopping every few minutes and discussing what you just heard with the kids.

 

*PETA Kids 30-day vegan pledge has some info about being vegan and it’s geared towards kids. I’m not a fan of PETA. I don’t like their tactics at all. But they do have great info.

 

*PETA2 is the teen site for PETA, but it has some good info! Please watch the videos before you show your kids. They are graphic. My boys are a bit too gentle and animal loving to see them. They are the typical videos of factory farming that I’m sure we’ve all seen (and cried about).

 

*Teach Kind (another PETA thing) has free curriculum packs for teachers. Homeschool teachers included. Now, these are more about animal cruelty and living the kind life. Not really vegan living, but great FREE resources. That’s why I’ve included them here.

 

*TeenVGN is a great social site for vegan and veg teens! As with any social site, please check it out thoroughly before letting your kids on there. And please keep tabs on them. I’m not saying I think we should spy on our teens or invade their privacy, but I do think we need to know what’s going on in their lives and make sure they’re on the right path. :)

 

*The Vegan Society’s page “Why Go Vegan” has some good information and their page for “Raising a Vegan Family” has some good insights, too.

 

*This one is veg, not vegan but it’s a really good site! Young Veggie has it all and it’s all geared towards the kiddos.

 

*Generation Veggie is going to be an AWESOME resource for veg and vegans in the future. Their IndieGOGO just ended in March. I cannot wait for this to go live!

 

*I thought this was cute:  Top 10 Cool Ways to Celebrate Veganism With Your Kids

 

*Here is an actual lesson plan to teach kids about vegetarianism! There’s a bit a veganism, too.

 

*Ok, this is awesome! This is a list of kids that are vegan and their moms were vegan while they were pregnant with them. This one is GREAT for helping kids feel connected to others!

 

Ok, that’s what I came up with for online resources to educate our kids about veganism. I’m sure there are more great resources out there. If you know of any, please link them! I think I really should put together a true lesson plan to teach kids about being vegan. If you have any insight, I’m all ears!

 

 

ThatsWhyWeDontEatAnimals

05/13/2014
by VeganMama
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Vegan Education Materials for Kids

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through a link I may receive a small commission. This won’t cost you anything, but it will help support this site. Please see my Disclosure Policy for full details.

I had someone ask me about vegan education materials for kids on the Vegan Homeschool Facebook page. I can’t believe I haven’t talked about this before! It’s always just been a part of our day, so I haven’t really done a lot of research on the matter. I know of a few things, but that’s not good enough for you guys! So, I spent yesterday and this morning online searching for all of the free and paid resources I could find. I will absolutely let you know which ones were free at the time I found them and which are ones you will need to purchase (or maybe score at the library). Today’s post will be books. Tomorrow I will post any online resources I’ve found. I started out putting them all in one post and it just ran way too long! :)

Now, the woman that asked for this has a third grader that wants to eat like their 17 year old omni big brother. What kid doesn’t want to be like their big bro?! I think that having the brother tell the little one that he thinks it’s awesome that the little one is vegan would go a long way in keeping the third grader vegan. And maybe it will make the 17 year old think a bit about going vegan! Or at least veg! :)  

Not all of the resources I found are going to be quite at the third grade level. But I think they’re all totally doable with Mom’s help and guidance. 

First up is the hottest vegan book for kids ever. It is supremely awesome!! Lots of controversy (which totally got the book in front of people that never would have known it existed, which is awesome!) over this one. Meat companies weren’t happy. Dairy peeps were not thrilled. ;) The book is called “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things” by Ruby Roth. Ruby has a few books on veganism for kids. I’ll be linking to them all. This is available as a hardback or paperback. No Kindle version.


 Here is the description from the Amazon page:

That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals uses colorful artwork and lively text to introduce vegetarianism and veganism to early readers (ages six to ten). Written and illustrated by Ruby Roth, the book features an endearing animal cast of pigs, turkeys, cows, quail, turtles, and dolphins. These creatures are shown in both their natural state—rooting around, bonding, nuzzling, cuddling, grooming one another, and charming each other with their family instincts and rituals—and in the terrible conditions of the factory farm. The book also describes the negative effects eating meat has on the environment. A separate section entitled “What Else Can We Do?” suggests ways children can learn more about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, such as:“Celebrate Thanksgiving with a vegan feast” or “Buy clothes, shoes, belts, and bags that are not made from leather or other animal skins or fur.” This compassionate, informative book offers both an entertaining read and a resource to inspire parents and children to talk about a timely, increasingly important subject.

 

Up next is another of Ruby Roth’s books called “Vegan is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action“. This book goes a bit beyond “That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals” in that it tells kids how their actions spread the love. This is a great activist book for kids! This one is only available as a hardback.

Here is the description from the Amazon page:

In Vegan Is Love, author-illustrator Ruby Roth introduces young readers to veganism as a lifestyle of compassion and action. Broadening the scope of her popular first book That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, Roth illustrates how our daily choices ripple out locally and globally, conveying what we can do to protect animals, the environment, and people across the world. Roth explores the many opportunities we have to make ethical decisions: refusing products tested on or made from animals; avoiding sea parks, circuses, animal races, and zoos; choosing to buy organic food; and more. Roth’s message is direct but sensitive, bringing into sharp focus what it means to “put our love into action.” Featuring empowering back-of-the-book resources on action children can take themselves, this is the next step for adults and kids alike to create a more sustainable and compassionate world.

 

Our next book is “Steven the Vegan” by Dan Bodenstein. This one is all about how to explain to your friends what it means to be a vegan. And maybe a bit about how to bring them over to the Dark Side. ;) This is a really cute little book! Some of the information is a little too “kidified”. As I understand it, there’s one part about how eggs would hatch into baby chickens. Well, no. Laying hens lay eggs period. If there’s not a rooster around, she’s still going to lay eggs. I understand the point he was trying to make, but I would explain to your kiddo how that really works. I would say that this one is for K-2. This one has a Kindle and paperback version. The Kindle version is not available to borrow.

 

And here’s the description from Amazon (there’s a typo that I corrected):

On a field trip to a local farm sanctuary Steven’s classmates learn that he is a vegan. Steven proceeds to explain to them what that means and why animals are his friends, not his food. The story teaches children where their food comes from, and why Steven has chosen not to partake of foods that come from them. It is a lightweight tale that teaches one aspect of a vegan lifestyle, and help vegan children learn ways of explaining their lifestyle to others.

 

Next we have “We’re Vegan!” by Anna Bean. The reviews for this book are absolutely glowing! Preschoolers through grandparents all love “We’re Vegan!” and it’s message of compassionate living. This one is free for Kindle owners to borrow!! There is a paperback version as well as the Kindle version.

 

Here is the description:

Petra and John are vegans. But what does that really mean? And why are so many people going vegan? And what DO vegans eat? This book makes it all clear.
The vivid drawings and rhyming verses will delight children aged three to eight, and explain the vegan philosophy clearly to both vegans and non-vegans of all ages.
This book addresses THE social justice issue of the century: how humans treat the non-human animals that they share the planet with.

The reviews really sum it all up. Take a look!

Our final book for today is another by Ruby Roth called “V is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind“. This is an ABC book of veganism. This one says ages 3-7/grades P-2. This one is not free on Kindle, but there is a Kindle version as well as the hardback.

 

And the Amazon description:

Introducing three- to seven-year-olds to the “ABCs” of a compassionate lifestyle, V Is for Vegan is a must-have for vegan and vegetarian parents, teachers, and activists! Acclaimed author and artist Ruby Roth brings her characteristic insight and good humor to a controversial and challenging subject, presenting the basics of animal rights and the vegan diet in an easy-to-understand, teachable format. Through memorable rhymes and charming illustrations, Roth introduces readers to the major vegan food groups (grains, beans, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits) as well as broader concepts such as animal protection and the environment. Sure to bring about laughter and learning, V Is for Vegan will boost the confidence of vegan kids about to enter school and help adults explain their ethical worldview in a way that young children will understand. 

 

I hope this list of vegan education materials for kids was helpful to you! Remember, these are just some of the books that are available. Tomorrow I will bring you online resources!

04/18/2014
by VeganMama
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Free e-books and apps for April 18th

Free e-books

Non-fiction

Non-Fiction-books

Economic Survival Pantry for Beginners

Vertical Gardening: Grow Your Garden Up to Harvest Beautiful Fruits, Vegetables, and Plants in Small Spaces

The Joy Of Minimalism: How To Simplify Your Life With Less

Easy, Elegant and Adorable Easter Treats

Prepping on a Budget

C.S. Lewis: A Life Inspired

 

Fiction

Fiction-ebooks

Secrets

One Chance To Love

The Misadventures of the Laundry Hag: Skeletons in the Closet

The Tourist Trail

Vanish

Cookbooks

CookBooks

Never Buy Condiments Again! Deliciously Cheap Recipes and Tips for Homemade Condiments

Paleo Slow Cooker Soups and Stews: Healthy Family Gluten-Free Recipes

Rhubarb Delights Cookbook: A Collection of Rhubarb Recipes

Plant Based Dinner Recipes

Home Baked Bread: How to bake bread at home and get perfect results

 

Kids books

Kids-Books

Buster’s Undersea Counting Expedition 1 to 10

Why Kimba Saved the World (Cats in the Mirror)

Treasure from the Past, Big Honey Dog Mysteries Easter Special Edition

101 Facts… STARS! Amazing Facts, Photos & Videos

Henry Burp – Mind Your Manners

 

Free Apps

Free-Apps

Mini Drivers – Learn to count and recognize numbers for toddlers and preschool

Rain Sounds Relax n Sleep

Fourth Grade Learning Games Free

100 PICS Quiz

12/20/2013
by VeganMama
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Free Ebooks and Apps

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through a link I may receive a small commission. This won’t cost you anything, but it will help support this site. Please see my Disclosure Policy for full details.

Free Kindle Ebooks

Fiction

Tales from the Crib

Forever His: A Time-Travel Romance

Death by Desire

A Texas Legacy Christmas

When Girlfriends Make Choices

The Secret’s in the Sauce

A Christmas Mystery (A Short Story)

Non Fiction

We Use Coupons, You Should Too! How Couponing Saved My Life

Can, Preserve, Survive: The Prepper’s Guide To Canning, Preserving, and Food And Water Storage

How to De-clutter and Make Money Now

The Instant Genius: An Indispensable Handbook for Know-It-Alls

My Journey to Heaven: What I Saw and How It Changed My Life

Essential Oils For Skin: A Simple Guide & Introduction To Aromatherapy

Vertical Gardening for Beginners

Cookbooks

Everyday Vegetarian Family Cookbook

Paleo Cookbook For Beginners

Christmas Value Pack III – 200 Christmas Cookie Recipes

Vegan Slow Cooker Recipes

Frugal and Delicious: Secrets to Saving Thousands in the Kitchen

My First Smoothie Recipe Book

Muffin Tin Meal Recipes: The Complete Guide For Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and More

Kids Books

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Tip of the Toes

AMAZING PANDAS: A Children’s Book About Pandas and their Amazing Facts, Figures, Pictures and Photos

The Magical Christmas Reindeer

A Christmas Carol (Enriched Classics)

_____________________________________________________________________________

You don’t have to have a Kindle to read these books. You can go here to download a Free Reading App so you can read any Kindle book on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Amazon has a selection of Kindles here (prices start at just $69).

Please note: Amazon pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change at ANY time without notice. Please confirm the price before completing your purchase!

Free Android Apps

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner Pro  (I am in love with this one! Totally worth the price if it goes off of the free list. It has great options for vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc.)

Jetpack Joyride

Doodle Jump Christmas Special

Santa’s Naughty or Nice Scanner  (my boys have been running around with this thing like crazy!!)

Santa’s Naughty or Nice Test

12/13/2013
by VeganMama
0 comments

Free ebooks and apps for the week

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through a link I may receive a small commission. This won’t cost you anything, but it will help support this site. Please see my Disclosure Policy for full details.

Please note that some of this week’s free ebooks are only free if you are an Amazon Prime member. We have Amazon Prime and love it! It’s especially handy during the holiday’s because of that quick free shipping. ;) That’s how we ended up with a free trial. Once we saw how much we used it, we kept it. You can find out more about Amazon Prime here. I just didn’t want you to wonder why there were some paid ebooks. I’m not trying to pull one over on you. :D

Free Kindle Ebooks

Fiction

The Christmas Shoppe

The Christmas Shoppe

Too Close to Home

Too Close to Home

Good, Clean Murder

Good, Clean Murder

The Gift of Hope

The Gift of Hope

Night of the Assassin

Night of the Assassin

The Getaway

The Getaway

Non-Fiction

Green and Clean

Green and Clean: Getting Started with Natural Cleaning

Chasing Superwoman

Chasing Superwoman

5 minute business

5 Minute Business – Growth Hacking Secrets Revealed

Body Lotions: The Ultimate Guide

Body Lotions :The Ultimate Guide

Organic Gardening: A Quick Start Guide

Organic Gardening: A Quick Start Guide

Cookbooks

How to Cook Vegan Breakfast in a Hurry

How To Cook Vegan Breakfast In A Hurry

Gluten-free Slow Cooker

Gluten-Free Slow Cooker: Easy Recipes for a Gluten Free Diet

Freezer Meals

Freezer Meals: Delicious and Easy Make-Ahead Meals

The Sneaky Green Mom Cookbook

The Sneaky Green Mom Cookbook

Vegan Chocolate

Vegan Chocolate: Vegan Desserts and Treats for Conscious Sweet Tooth (The Vegan Diet)

Kids books

Lucky's Christmas Miracle

Lucky’s Christmas Miracle

Charlie the Tree

Charlie the Tree

Hello My Name is Rose

Hello My Name is Rose and this is My Christmas Story

The Last Santa

The Last Santa

Vegetables for Kids

Vegetables for Kids

______________________________________________________________________

Please note: Amazon pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change at ANY time without notice. Please confirm the price before completing your purchase!

You don’t have to have a Kindle to read these books. You can go here to download a Free Reading App so you can read any Kindle book on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Amazon has a selection of Kindles here (prices start at just $69). Find out more about Amazon Prime here.

Free Android Apps

Christmasville LITE: The Missing Santa ADVENTures

Christmasville LITE: The Missing Santa ADVENTures

Garfield Saves the Holidays

Garfield Saves the Holidays

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star

Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles

Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles

Sponge Bob Diner Dash

Spongebob Diner Dash

Ice Age Village

Ice Age Village

Gingerbread Run Free

Gingerbread Run Free

12/12/2013
by VeganMama
0 comments

Vidalia Chop Wizard – Review and Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through a link I may receive a small commission. This won’t cost you anything, but it will help support this site. Please see my Disclosure Policy for full details.

 

I had to buy one of these because the one I have is from Princess House. I wanted to get one for my Mom anyway and I wanted to make sure that this was a great product like mine! I use mine multiple times a week. It’s seriously huge time saver and, as homeschool Moms, we need all of the time savers we can get! :D


Doesn’t look like it would be a huge addition to the kitchen, does it? To be honest, I ended up with one because I went to a Princess House party at a friend’s and I needed something to order that wasn’t $100! This was on sale for half price if you bought something at regular price. So, I bought a container of their Daily Stainless Steel Cleaner. (It’s awesome!) My Vidalia Chop Wizard was still almost $40! The only difference that I could see was the color of the lid and the Princess House one was a bit bigger. That’s the only real difference I can see.

The Vidalia Chop Wizard comes with two plates: a chopping plate that has 1/2″ squares and a dicing plate that has 1/4″ squares. You also get a little cleaning tool. The cleaning tool is for the tiny squares on the lid that push the food through the openings. It is actually very handy! Even though the Chop Wizard is dishwasher safe, I don’t want any little chunks that may get caught to clog up my dishwasher. I don’t have to use the little tool often, but I’m glad it’s there for what I do. Those spaces between the squares are tiny! 

The 1/2″ openings on the chopping plates are PERFECT for potatoes and carrots. The length of the slices depends on how big the chunks are that you put in there. So, if you want squares of chopped potatoes for a stew, cut your potato into 1/2″ or so slices. You can put a stack of them on there to cut at once or you can do each slice individually. (When you’re cutting something pretty hard like potatoes and carrots, put the heel of your hand on the pivot point of the lid while you push down with the other hand. This takes any stress of the lid. I can see that part maybe breaking after a few years of use. Push down on it a bit with your other hand will remove the stress from that joint.) If you want to make french fries, simply put a thicker chunk of potato in there! You will get a longer cut of potato that will still be 1/2″ thick, allowing for even cooking. I use my Chop Wizard to prepare veggies just about every time I cook. I use the chopping plate the most when I’m making a stew or soup. I know all of the potatoes are going to soften up nice and evenly because they’re all the same size! Same with carrots.

I use the dicing plate for things like onions and garlic. I don’t like huge chunks of onion unless it’s a stew or soup that’s going to cook for a long time. One tiny bit of crunch from an onion and I’m done. We’re talking gag-worthy. Nasty. Garlic is my favorite thing to use the dicing plate on. There’s no waste whatsoever and it’s in these beautiful, tiny little bits. Perfect!

I made this recipe for Moroccan Stew last week. I used the Chop Wizard for all of the veggie prep except for the carrots. For those, I wanted rounds for a bit of visual texture. Like 90% of the stew was square and I wanted to have a little something different. So I used my handy dandy mandolin slicer for those. (That’s another awesome kitchen gadget!) I did make some substitutions on the veg. I didn’t have any sweet potatoes, so I added more potatoes and some broccoli. I also didn’t add the honey or apricot. I’m sure the apricot would have been nice, but I was after some heat! I did do chunks of onion because it was going to cook for awhile and I wasn’t serving it until the next day. Plenty of soften time!

You’re going to love this stew. Up the cumin, turmeric, curry and pepper a bit. Fantastic flavor! Serve this stew with some toasted basil butter bread and a dollop of vegan sour cream on top. Definitely a winter worthy meal!

I’m going to list out the ingredients here for you, but you’ll need to follow the link for the instructions since it’s not my recipe. :)

INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cups finely shredded kale
4 (14 ounce) cans organic vegetable broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
1 tablespoon honey
4 large carrots, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans,
drained
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
1 tablespoon water (optional)

12/11/2013
by VeganMama
0 comments

Vordak the Incomprehensible – Book Review

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through a link I may receive a small commission. This won’t cost you anything, but it will help support this site. Please see my Disclosure Policy for full details.

 

Today’s review is about one of our boys’ favorite books for Daddy to read to them. Now, our boys are 12 and 9 years old. They love Star Wars, Minecraft and Mark Twain. Our whole family loves just about anything geeky. :D For SWL‘s 12th birthday he had a HUGE group of friends over for a “Guy Night”. Some of them spent the night and a few went with us on a surprise outing. We took them to a small Comicon near us! It was awesome!! While we were walking around the booths, we came across Vordak. In comic convention style, he was in complete costume and character. LL got a kick out if it! We bought the book he had at the booth and Vordak signed it for him. That’s where their love affair with Vordak began. 

Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World

 

If you’ve never heard of Vordak, take a minute to check out the site. You will quickly see that it is ALL BOY. And ALL HILARIOUS! Vordak is going to teach the kids how to grow up and rule the world in this book. He teaches them their evil laugh, how to choose their costume, picking out their evil name, how to raise money for their evil empire, etc. What every good little villian set on taking over the world needs to know! It’s like the supremely funny evil villain textbook. You can see Vordak’s bio down below.

 

Vordak bio

See the full bio page http://www.vordak.com/bios.html

 

When Daddy reads any Vordak book to the boys, it is done in his “Vordak voice”. That’s a must. I can hear the boys laughing all the way downstairs! With their bedroom door shut!! They beg him to read it to them constantly. It is by far the best book we’ve bought for Daddy to read to them. I can’t recommend them enough. Honestly, they enjoy the time reading with J that much. 

I think that books for Dad to read to the boys should be silly guy stuff. Comics and Vordak and crazy boy books. Dad is the super funny one in our house. I’m not saying that he doesn’t discipline or isn’t serious, but you can always count on Dad for a laugh. Or a good light saber battle. He’s always up for a light saber battle. ;)

Now, if you don’t like books that poke fun at bad guys by being the silly bad guy, this is not for you. And there’s nothing wrong with that! He calls people sissies and jerks, but our boys know that we don’t do that. They know that it’s just being silly and that it’s not ok to do in real life. This has never been an issue for our kids, so these books are nothing more than awesome fun. If you’ve had problems with your kid calling people names or bullying in other ways, you may want to skip it for awhile. 

LL will tell you that his favorite book is The Prince and the Pauper, which it is. But he will tell you that ANY Vordak book is a close second! LOL! As soon as Dad finished reading Vordak the Incomprehensible, LL was ready to go to the library to find more Vordak books. Literally as soon as it ended. There are three Vordak books that we know. They boys have read, and been read, two of them:

 

Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow up and Rule the World                              Vordak the Incomprehensible: Rule the School

There are two other books, Vordak the Incomprehensible: Double Trouble and Time Travel Trouble, that may or may not make their way under our tree for Christmas. ;) They weren’t at the library, but as many times as they’ve read the other two, I have no problem buying them!

 

 

Vordak the Incomprehensible: Time Travel Trouble

Vordak the Incomprehensible: Double Trouble

 

These books are great ones to get a boy back into reading. Like how Harry Potter got millions of kids to love reading! These are sure to jumpstart your reluctant reader. Our boys have one classic novel and one “for fun” book at all times. There are other things they need to read for school, like a book on the Inca when we studied them, in addition to the other two. The classics are read during their reading time during the day and the fun books are read whenever they want and at bedtime. They can read their classics whenever, too, but they are assigned one hour of classics each day. 

So, Vordak. Our entire family HIGHLY recommends these books.

Have your kids read any of the Vordak books? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them! Let people know what you loved, or didn’t love, about them! :)

 

12/10/2013
by VeganMama
4 Comments

NEA Trojan Horse in American Education – Review & Giveaway!

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I was sent a copy of NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education in exchange for a review. No promise was made for a positive review, and there was no expectation of one. Like I’ve said before, I’m not going to insult you by lying and I’m not going to ruin your trust by doing so either. 
NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education

Today’s review may be a little controversial. Well, the subject is controversial for sure. ;) I’m not one to shy away from controversy, so let’s get to the nitty-gritty!

NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education is written by Sam Blumenfeld. He originally published it in 1984, once he found someone that would actually publish it! The publishing houses, even then, were all too afraid of the NEA (National Education Association) to put their name on the book. That should give you a little insight into the power of this group. I guess this is as good a time as any to let you know that I have zero respect for this group. It stems from way before I ever read this book. That’s why I was more than a little excited to read it! I promise to not let this review turn into a rant on my part. ;)

This updated version of NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education comes to you either on disk  ($17.95), as a pdf download ($12.95) or in a Kindle version ($9.99). Mine was on disk. I have to admit, I really like the delivery method! Yes, I like to snuggle up with a book in bed, but having it electronically is just so much easier to multitask. I saved the book as a pdf from the disk and uploaded it to our home server. Then I could open  this on my laptop or whatever computer I near and was able to read while working with the boys or working on my sites. When there were bits that I wanted to remember: highlight, “take a photo” and paste into an Open Office Writer document! I definitely do no mind that it is not a physical book. If you really need that hardcopy, you could print it out. Just use that toner saver mode!

Here is Sam Blumenfeld’s description of the book. It’s a quick little video.:


I knew we would homeschool our kids before they were born. My husband needed just a little convincing. ;) I know how the public school system let me down. I was an advanced student, bored out of my mind in public school. But, putting everyone on an equal footing is what the public system is all about! They were trying to “dumb me down”. I didn’t want that for our babies. I wanted them to be able to flourish! To love learning. Mr. Blumenfeld is a huge homeschool advocate. I actually have some of his books that I will be reviewing. Anyway! Back to NEA.

NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education gave me the history behind the research I had already done on my own into the teacher’s unions and why America’s public education system was so broken. Let me warn you that this is not a quick read. You are going to need to take your time with this book! There is a LOT of information to digest. You can’t just breeze through it. I encourage you to take breaks while reading to research the information you were given. You will quickly see that Mr. Blumenfeld is right on the money! You’re also going to find out that it’s only going to get worse.

I want to share a few quotes with you.

 “[Why is the NEA effective?] It is not because of creative ideas, it is not because of the merit of our position, it is not because we care about children, it is not because we have a vision of great public schools for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power and we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people [members] who are willing to pay us millions of dollars in dues each year because they believe we are the union that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.”

- daytonos.com May 11, 2011

 

I’m a teacher and I read this book years ago, shortly after it first came out. At that time I was working in a school system that required either joining the NEA or paying almost the exact same amount of money to it and not having a say in it. For two years, I mindlessly paid my dues and was a member. Then, I decided to read the material I had been given by the NEA. It was a 75-page, very fine print 8 1/2 x 11″ book(let). I read every word of it and was amazed at some of the thing the NEA was supporting. Then I heard about this book on a radio program and when I read it, I saw that this man was pointing out the very things I had already seen.

The NEA is not a harmless group that merely wants the best for the education of our children. The changes that are happening in education are part of an overall agenda and that agenda is NOT to produce the most intelligent and well-educated children we can.

If you are an educator today, please read this book! Don’t give your money mindlessly to this organization. You expect your students to research their facts and you need to do the same yourself. You owe it to yourself and the children you teach. Joining the NEA is NOT the best way to educate our youth!

This author has excellent documentation for what he says. It is well worth your time to read. Even though it was originally published in the 80’s, the NEA has only gotten worse. (Did you know the NEA was sued a couple of years ago for misappropriation of funds?)

Once you read this, you’ll wonder how intelligent people like teachers have been duped into thinking this is only a pro-education group. (Did you know teachers are now referred to as “agents of change”? After reading this book, you’ll know why.)

- review on Amazon by Chalkbrd

If you are not infuriated by the first quote, maybe you didn’t understand it. It’s saying that they are all about the power they have! The power to achieve whatever they deem to be in their best interest. Not the best interest of the kids, their best interest. That is NOT what our country needs from its teachers. That’s not what the kids in public school need. There’s a documentary you may find interesting called The Cartel. It’s a “watch it now” on Netflix. It’s about the NJ teacher’s union. It’s extremely eye-opening. I think Mr. Blumenfeld would approve.

When reading this book, you are going to come across a lot of talk of socialism and the leftist agenda. Don’t blow it off. I have really done a 180 when it comes to socialism. It sounds so nice as a teenager! I can only thank God that I grew up and realized what it really was. Mr. Blumenfeld is passionate about his beliefs, and it’s evident in this book. Don’t be offended by it, just read it with an open mind. Do your own research! Educate yourself and learn how to better educate your children. I think that’s what he’s really after here.

I already knew the public school system was broken, but this book really told me why. I already knew that phonics was the absolute best way to teach kids to read and that dyslexia numbers were huge in the US but, once again, this book told me why. As homeschoolers, we know that we are on the front lines of the battle for a good education for our kids. We have to fight the State. We have to fight the Federal government. We have to fight the local school board. Well, I now know where the real power is. And I thank Sam Blumenfeld from the bottom of my heart for the countless YEARS of research he did to bring me these answers.

And now, the giveaway!!!                              (The winner of the giveaway was Entry #5 April W.!!!!)

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