March 06, 2019

so, how's home school going? + granola revamp

Big, fat disclaimer before I begin: I realize that home schooling is not for everyone. It is not for every kid, every parent, or every family. I am also aware that some parents may wish to home school, and are not able. I realize that this is a special blessing for our family, and I am so grateful. I also believe there are seasons for everything, and this may not last for every child in our family through their entire education. We are taking it year by year and kid by kid.

Since September, friends have been asking me how home school is going. Which is a very reasonable question. I just never really know how to answer.

There is all the logistical information- curriculum, schedule (spoiler alert: we don't have one), co-ops, etc.
And then there is the academic: how are the kids doing with their studies? Which I think the answer would be: just great!

But what I believe people are actually asking is: are you surviving? Are you going crazy? Do you wish you had not made the decision to home school, or are you seriously happy about it?

And the honest answer is this: I truly love it. I love being home with my kids, I love teaching them, I love having a flexible schedule, I love watching the relationships between them deepening, I love getting to choose what they learn and learning along with them- I love it all.

Of course, we have difficulties. They are not perfect kids, and I am a looooooong way off from perfection as well. It can be hard to stay on task, or to even convince them to begin their work, and I have second-guessed myself quite a bit (am I really qualified to do this? am I out of my mind?); they become frustrated with me, and I with them. Consequently, so much of this year has been working on character- theirs and mine. And it has been so, so good.

But anyway, here is a granola recipe I posted originally almost eight years ago. It has been adjusted to serve our family for two meals, plus maybe a snack for a couple kids, and also I have made the baking instructions slightly less finicky.

Feelin' the Love Granola
Makes a lot. But only enough for about 2 or 3 servings for our family of 6.

8 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 tbsp whole ground flaxseed meal
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon*
1/4 tsp nutmeg (freshly ground is best, of course)
pinch of sea salt
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pecans
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I like avocado best, olive oil and canola work here too)
3/4 cup real maple syrup
cooking spray
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut shavings (I prefer the large shavings over the small shreds)
1/2 cup craisins (or chopped dates, or raisins), optional

Preheat oven to 300. Combine oats, seeds, spices, salt, and nuts in a bowl and sir. Drizzle in oil and syrup, stir to coat. Spread mixture evenly over two non-stick rimmed baking sheets (if you do not have non-stick, just coat the pans with cooking spray beforehand). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and stir, making sure the edges that are getting crisp are mixed in, and the raw oats in the middle are getting their chance to bake. Bake another 15 minutes, stir. Add coconut. Bake 7 minutes. At this point, you can remove the granola if it is done to your liking, or stir and bake in 5 minute increments, so that it doesn't brown too much or dry out, but also gets crisp enough.
Remove from the oven and add dried fruit.
Sprinkle over fruit and yogurt, eat with milk, or just plain. Enjoy!

* pretty sure I use way more than this, I never measure my spices (really helpful side note, huh?)


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