A2Z Homeschool – Ann's Blog

Homeschooling From Ann's Perspective

Valentine’s Day Dinner All in Red


If your kids remember the joy or pain of getting around 30 Valentine cards from their former classmates and a big class party with lots of sugary items, how do you adjust to celebrating Valentines Day at home – or do you just pretend it isn’t happening?

Our big deal was to have as many red-colored foods for dinner as we could think of. We’re not vegetarians, so a nice juicy steak was usually called for. Then I loved canned sliced beets, so I’d cut off little bits of each slice to make them heart shaped. Red potatoes are easy. Sliced tomatoes with a red vinaigrette dressing.

A red jam on homemade heart-shaped biscuits.

Tomato juice for a drink. Or maybe cranberry-apple juice or pomegranate juice.

Strawberries on strawberry ice cream for dessert. Slice each strawberry once from stem to point to make each heart shaped.

A neat photo of red fruits and vegetables

I am not responsible for the color of pee the next day!

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Hot Gift Ideas for Kids Christmas 2009


A survey of friends of my daughter and grandson’s friends came up with repeated requests this year for the following gifts for the Holidays. If you’d like to suggest a gift idea, please comment below.

Grandparents of homeschoolers can’t go wrong with these gift ideas, or games to go with the gaming stations.

Ages Gift Idea Description Because
8 and up Ripstik Best described as a cross between a skateboard and a snowboard, the Ripstik caster board is the perfect ride for kids looking for the next big thrill. The board is distinguished by its pivoting deck and 360-degree inclined caster trucks, which offer a snowboard-like carving ability. A simple weight transfer lets you turn or accelerate without pushing, just like when you’re carving down the slopes. Helps kids develop coordination and balance. Great athletic challenge.
7 to 14 Playstation 3 With the PlayStation 3 120GB system, you get free PlayStation Network membership, built-in Wi-Fi and 120GB of hard disk drive storage for games, music, videos and photos. And every PS3™ system comes with a built-in Blu-ray player to give you pristine picture quality and the best high-definition viewing experience available. Whether it’s gaming, Blu-ray movies, music or online services, experience it all with the PlayStation 3 system. Keep the kids entertained with the educational games available for this system – Mind Quiz, Hot Brain, Spelling Challenges and More.
8 to 14 Legos The ultimate building set is a great place to start or a great addition for any existing set. Boys are also requesting Star Wars Clone Wars sets. Building and playing with legos encourages and builds logical thinking, creativity and imagination.
7 and up Nintedo DSI Nintendo pioneered handheld entertainment in the ’80s and famously made it fully mobile and accessible to millions around the world with the Game Boy and DS video game systems. Now, Nintendo is taking things to the next level by transforming the way people access, experience, create and share content with the new Nintendo DSi system, the third iteration of the world’s best-selling portable video game system. Lots of educational games are available for this system – Brain Age, Big Brain Academy, My Word Coach, Scrabble, Etc.
2 and up Play-doh Add style to all of your modeling compound masterpieces with this cool case of colors! Ten cans of different colored compound open up the creative possibilities and a rainbow of excitement!Set includes ten 2-ounce cans of modeling compound. It has been around for decades, but Play-Doh has withstood the test of time. It can get messy, but letting your kids play with it can bring forth imagination like few other things can. Your child will make all sorts of things with it and you can help by providing tools that make interesting shapes and textures.
3 to 6 Kids Digital Camera The award-winning and best-selling Kid Tough Digital Camera was the first preschool appropriate digital camera that was tough and easy enough to stand up to rough preschooler use. The Camera has an easy-to-use format and simple buttons while also featuring a 1.5” color LCD preview screen which allows kids to instantly see the picture they’ve taken and view or delete previous shots, Image resolution of 1.3 or .3 Megapixels(user selected) for quality 4”x6” prints, Auto-flash, 128MB of Flash memory for storing up to 500 pictures, USB Cable for computer connection, dual handle grips, and a 2-eye view finder that makes it easy for kids to take great pictures. Photography fosters creativity and teaches children to look at their world in variety of new and interesting ways.
12 up Kindle Wireless Reading Device This is the reading device I take with me. I have it loaded not only with free and inexpensive books, but also several newspapers, magazine, and blog subscriptions. You can even browse A to Z Home’s Cool on it now. Taking notes as you read helps those with assignments. A great way to have all one’s reading material in one place, ready to go with you where ever you go.