make a pledge this ramadan to make your iftar a Zero-Trash Iftar

i’m a typcal homeschooling mom.
i have a litte home-based business on the side
to make pocket change to fund my homeschool dreams for my children.

i sell muslim t-shirts, onesies & bibs.
fajr_infant_creeper_light_blue_green
i sell colorful “i’m fasting” mini-buttons.
fasting_mini_button_redyellow
i sell magnets to reminding Muslims to eat responsibly.
onethird_food_drink_water_magnet

add Zero-Trash Iftar Kits to the list.
my goal is the help Muslims decrease the amount of waste
— paper, plastic and styrofoam plates, napkins, cups, forks, knives and spoons —
we throw away after every iftar during Ramadan.

ZeroTrashIftarKit400

for just $1 a day — less than a disposable cup of name-brand coffee — you can make a positive and sustainable impact during the blessed month of Ramadan and demonstrate that you care about one of the greatest blessings we all share: the Earth.

buy a Zero-Trash Iftar Kit and get inspiration about how to green your Ramadan at GreenRamadan.com.

november at the navy museum: math by the mouth

the girls discovered what it take to feed the US Navy by multiplying recipes.
they also reviewed nutrition guidelines for children,
spent a day in life of a boy who consumed too much sugar via his poor drink choices,
and then planned a healthy meal of their own.

chef signGirl plans a delicious nutritious meal.

a great follow-up to these projects is
a free homeschool curriculum for nutrition and health:
Nutrition for Healthy Kids: You Are What You Eat.

three-prize giveaway at living montessori now

living montessori now has teamed up with alison’s montessori to give away some high-quality montessori tools: a land and water form cabinet, a leaf cabinet and a geometric cabinet.

just click here
http://livingmontessorinow.com/2011/11/15/giveaway-alisons-montessori-materials-worth-480/
see the quality wood tools that would definitely be a hit in your homeschool toolkit.

if i had my choice i’d pick the leaf cabinet described as “A mahogany finish cabinet with 3 drawers containing 14 leaf shaped insets in green and red.” ooooh.

hurry because the giveaway closes 10:01pm MST on Tuesday, November 29.

from scraps to paper

we’re studying the development of language,
and as an extension made paper like the Chinese first did.
(the Egyptians were the first to make paper,
but they used a layering technique with papyrus
while the Chinese used pulp from cloth.)

we used two Ikea frames:
one became our mold,
the other — doctored up with screening and duct tape —
was our deckle.
next we tore up colored paper scraps from our recycling bin.
we put our scraps in the blender with warm water and then…

making pulp in the blender
making pulp in the blender
our bucket was too narrow for the deckle and mold...
our bucket was too narrow for the deckle and mold...
...so we had to pour the pulp
...so we had to pour the pulp
pulp in the deckle
pulp in the deckle
removed the deckle
removed the deckle

we flipped the mold over onto felt and newspaper (to soak up surplus water) and…

sponging off excess water
sponging off excess water

removing the mold
removing the mold

allowing paper to dry
allowing paper to dry

the pink flecks in the blue paper above are flower petals that were added in the pulp
between blending and pouring.

here’s a good video to watch before you start:
http://video.about.com/familycrafts/How-to-Make-Paper-With-Kids.htm

and an excellent book to read after you’ve made paper the first time
and want to upgrade the look and feel of your paper:
paper making for kids: simple steps to handcrafted paper by beth wilkinson

this what we call hands-on history!

quick-start montessori homeschooling with NAMC

even a homeschooling-rookie like me is often asked:
“where do i start?”

North American Montessori Center (NAMC) is providing another option
for those who want to get rolling quickly.
NAMC has been on my montessori homeschooling radar
even before they offered this new
comprehensive and quick-start primary homeschooling program
providing the step-by-step curriculum AND the montessori materials.
check em out: montessori-home-schooling.com

NAMC Montessori Homeschooling

diy montessori using catalogs

montessori tools can be quite an investment,
but the good thing about many of them
— especially the practical life and sensorial exercises —
is that, using inexpensive supplies, you can make them yourself.

one of the things i like to do
is browse catalogs like the one from montessori services.
i may not buy anything,
but i’ll go through with a highlighter
and circle exercises i can easily put together myself
or books to check out from my local library.

while it can often be convenient to let someone else do the running around for you,
i decided to put together this lacing exercise using inexpensive supplies from my local craft store.
montessori services - lacing exercise

another example, the description of this book, “the story of salt”,
looked so interesting that i searched my local library for it.
montessori services - the story of salt
i found out why this book was a part of the montessori services catalog:
it was an entertaining and informative read, even for me.

i have purchased from montessori services before.
they have quality products and excellent customer service.
request their free catalog,
but when you browse it
keep in mind that you can not only use it to purchase tools to
prepare and enrich your homeschool environment,
but also use it make some things with your own two hands.

images courtesy of montessori services.