Easy Playdoh Recipe

A quick and easy playdoh recipe to get your kids involved in the kitchen!

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2 cups of Flour

1 cup of salt

4 Teaspoons of Cream of Tartar

2 Cups of Water

Combine all the ingredients in a large sauce pan and heat through on medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.

Then toss it in your stand or hand mixer and mix in :

1 Tablespoon of Vegetable oil

Essential oils of your choice

and your favorite color

Let your kiddos do the measuring and dumping of ingredients and put all that childhood energy to work kneading in colors and oils if you like.

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2018/2019 Planning

Although most of the world schooling families you will encounter are unschoolers, the Bradburys are not per say. We unschool certain subjects for certain seasons depending upon location and resources, but we are primarily a home schooling family. With that being said, I have been gathering our curriculum for the 2018-2019 school year. Because the boys and I will be out of country for most of the year I’ve spent the last few weeks compiling and reading all of the things we would like to utilize in our home and classroom. 

In our classroom, our main source of curriculum comes from the Global Village School, with a vast online classroom and a brick and mortar in California. We only pay for the curriculum list right now, but we love it. It is a curriculum based on thematic learning. All of the recommended books are books that you can find on amazon and in your library, it is up to you as the parent to make the books intentional in the classroom. What I mean by this is outside of classroom context the book ‘When the bees fly home’ is just a story book, but inside the classroom you are making bees wax figurines, trying out candle making, learning about the hive and the life cycles of bees, planting bee friendly flowers, building bee houses, etc. You, as the teacher/parent, transform the book from a bedtime story to a tool.

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Some of our curriculum supplementation comes in the form of familiar names; Charlotte Mason, Steiner and Waldorf. This school year we spent a lot of time with the Charlotte Mason concepts and in building good habits. The issue I have found with any one curriculum is that they are all lacking one concept that the other has. The Global Village School is the closest I have ever gotten to perfection for our family, but it lacks the structure of habit. Charlotte Mason gives me the habits and structure, but lacks the ideas. Waldorf and Steiner give me the forest school and ideas, but lack the discipline for us, Waldorf gives us the handi-crafts. So I USE THEM ALL! I don’t use them all everyday, but I do draw inspiration and ideas from them all as supplementation to our base curriculum. None of them give us foreign language so I immerse us and add Greek, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch when we are beginning to immerse in those places. I offer the boys the opportunity to use the little language skills they have, I offer them opportunities to count the money, to pay the cab fare, to purchase the groceries, to read the map. Living with intention offers a much more in-depth experience in our travels and in our classroom, this aspect of our family is very much “unschooled.” Below I have included a few links to a couple of these resources (disclosure I make a few cents if you purchase through the amazon link). If you have any questions, need ideas for crafts/projects/units please reach out via email. Also, if you’d like to discuss curriculum in general please don’t hesitate to contact me, it took me quite awhile to find a conglomeration that worked well for us so don’t be discouraged!

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Grandeur and Guanajuato

 

The kids and I have been in Guanajuato (GTO) Mexico for 16 days now and tomorrow we will hopefully be catching a bus to Mexico City to begin our journey back to North Carolina. Guanajuato far surpassed any expectations that I could have dreamt of. We love it here. The boys want to stay forever. We have made some lifelong friends and likely would make more out of the locals if we stayed.

This Mexico trip was a foot in the water to try out a longer abroad stay and learn some new things from fellow world schoolers. The world schooling summit itself left a lot to be desired. Honestly, I will probably not attend it again unless it’s ridiculously close to me. I did however learn about another summit that is ran by someone I highly admire that I would really like to attend in the future, but the summit that brought us to GTO did three things;

1) introduced me to some incredible people

2) opened my eyes to some new ways of living and very new ideas

3) brought me to a city that I may otherwise have never ventured to

That is all I am giving the summit credit for the rest was GTO in it’s entirety and the most incredible population of people I’ve ever met. Everything about the people here screams happiness. They ALL smile at you. They ALL talk to and touch your children. They ALL engage you in conversation despite neither of you speaking the other’s language. The love of children here is so loud and cherished here that it blows me away every single time.

When we were climbing out of the mine, I was wearing atlas on my back, and a man said to me “you’re climbing out with the greatest riches of all, solid gold in the weight of children.”

The people are so genuine. They truly try their very best to help you. They greet you. They acknowledge and speak to you and your children with ease. There is so much the American society could learn from the Mexican people, especially in regards to how it views it’s children.

There were lots of lessons learned this trip. Some small ones like letting kids sleep. Some larger ones like the dire need for a kitchen and the need for a lighter weight backpack, but if I were to write you a guide to Guanajuato it would look like this;

1) Valenciana is over looked and it was one of our favorite places. GO.

2) Eat foods that you don’t recognize and ask waiters and chefs for recommendations if you aren’t sure.

3) Walk the streets and alleys and stairwells for endless hours with no particular destination in mind.

4) Bring things that make the altitude more comfortable for you (i.e. lotion, chapstick, conditioner).

5) Tour the mines, as many as you can they are all different.

6) Ride the funicular to El Pipila just because it’s fun.

7) If you can catch music in the gardens GO.

8) Eat Mexican bbq.

9) The Diego Rivera museum is over rated, but the children’s library inside is superb and tutu gelato down the street is divine.

10) Go to the Mercado hildalgo and take in the views from the second floor.

11) The mummy museum is very touristy, but an absolute must see.

12) If you can walk you should. There are so many shops, people, alleys that you miss entirely from inside the taxi.

13) Speak to everyone who makes eye contact with you, which will be almost everyone.

14) Eat street food and eat in restaurants that look questionable they tend to be the best.

15) If your mango juice is served in a resealed reused old coca-cola bottle it will be a thousand times better than what you can find at the store. Drink it. Better yet when you see juice in reused bottles, order extra.

16) When you see other American looking people wandering around, say hello, ask how they are enjoying GTO. You can go days here without hearing English and on the days that the language barrier is excessively present you will carry that familiar vernacular with you and enjoy it.

17) Alley of the kiss, though small and uneventful, is the most precious spot. GO. Kiss each other, kiss your children and if you’re at a loss for a set of lips there are plenty of locals within a close proximity willing to help a sister out. Say yes and go.

See a more rural side of Mexico if you can. There is so much beauty and adventure to be had here. So many phenomenal people to learn from. Ask questions, play the game of soccer, ride the donkey, do whatever it is you won’t regret it.

Our return to Mexico is still to be determined, but it will happen. It will be for much longer so we have a better chance of learning Spanish. It will be in a house near friends. It will involve Spanish speaking school. It will involve immense volunteering with regional women. The biggest lesson I learned on this trip by far was to NEVER BUY A ROUND TRIP TICKET. If time is not a factor for you then do not put a time restraint on your exploration. I am kicking myself for giving us such a short deadline to get back to Mexico City when we would rather be with friends south of here watching the monarchs migrate.

The best thing that I can leave you with is to follow your inspiration and spend your time doing all things with Intention, Attention and no Tension (stolen from my new friend Zoelle). There is so much joy in simply being in a place.

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Learning Lessons

This is the not so positive post. No matter how wonderful a location is, no matter how much fun you are having, there are times when the cons are loud. In an attempt to be transparent and honest with you all I’m writing this post, which should be entitled “the things that really pissed me off.”

1) Despite the beauty of this city, and it is truly gorgeous, if I were to point the camera at the side walk and not at the steeples you would see a tremendous amount of trash and animal feces that we were dodging constantly. Kids do not dodge poop well.

2) I am so thankful that in a moment of genius I packed reusable grocery bags. Though a small thing, the grocery bags here hold almost no weight without ripping open and that’s when you’re lucky enough to get one with handles.

3) The lack of vegetables. In the Mexican people’s defense, if you put salsa on all of your food you are subsequently getting your vegetables, but they do not serve vegetables. I am desperate for some veggies.

4) Three year olds. Many of you have heard me say at some point that Rhodes introduced me to my least favorite age. Three has been a very real struggle for Rhodes and I. Insert picture.

5) it’s been as cold as an ice cube fart. It is seriously cold. For some reason bad weather follows me. Everytime this family goes anywhere we get “it hasn’t been like this in 30 years.” I checked the weather vigorously up until i handed greg our heavy coats in raleigh assured that the temps in mexico would be above 70 degrees the whole visit. Today has been our first day of sunshine in quite a few days.

6) Mexican time, I knew going into this trip that we would experience a lack of urgency to accomplish things once we got here. Not by myself, but by locals. It is just part of some cultures, Mexico is definitely one. I have gone back and forth a thousand times with the laundry mat lady. Her door says she’s open 8am to 8pm but I can never catch her in there prior to 1030am, during lunch 11ish to 2 so I’m not sure when she works. Anyway the same goes for the expats here, all the Americans that live here have adopted this characteristic and my on time meant that I was alone in the building with my kids waiting for the presenter to show.

A little blurb about this photo of lux and the fountain, in regards to Mexico time, the huge Sunday market was supposed to open at 9am, we got there at 1015 and almost none of the vendors were open. So we wandered around trying to find things we hadn’t seen, taking pictures for the sake of pictures.

7) the kids and the summit conference. That experience has gone better than expected, but of course I’m still pulled in 4 directions tending to their needs while trying to listen to speakers. Luxor was committed to kid camp, he didn’t want to stop to eat, drink, go to the bathroom, etc. Rhodes was going back and forth between being inside with me and outside at kid camp. Atlas was with me inside where the speakers were, but much happier to be outside. They have set up a small kids area inside, but that doesn’t stop the baby from dumping people’s coffee, eating the random food he finds, freaking out when he forgets where he put me, etc. I take the most of the conference in when atlas is asleep on me or nursing. Today I’m missing most of the conference because i chased Atlas around all morning missing most of the first few sessions and this afternoon lux fell asleep during lunch thus missing two afternoon sessions. There’s a lot of give in take going on. I’m trying hard to make it to my top two or three speakers a day and choosing not to care if we don’t. This conference is different than most; the speakers are other world schoolers so if there’s something I’m dying to know that I didn’t get to hear then I’ll just email them. The world keeps spinning.

exhausted and have a baby constantly hanging on me. It isn’t pretty, but it’s my reality.

8) not all world schooling families are friendly. My neighbors in the hotel are less than pleasant. She seems to not remember her children younger than age 12 so they are doing their best to drive me insane, but my control over the volume of a 5, 3 and 1 year old is minimal at best. So her constant complaining isn’t helping me achieve this measure.

9) this is the last booger of a thing that is a bit overwhelming right now, we are over eating quesadillas. The food is delicious, but a person can only eat tortillas for so many meals. Two weeks is apparently our mark. We are desperately regretting staying in a hotel versus an airbnb. The kitchen would be such a blessing right now.

I hope you all found some humor in this and not just negativity. This was my attempt to let you all in on a raw real life post. The positive rainbow farts and butterflies are in another post. Stay tuned.

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