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So I'm going to be doing a series of posts on how I handle homemaking while being frugal. Not cheap, I don't sacrifice quality....but smart money wise.
For my first post I'm going to show you how I make chocolate syrup for milk or ice cream. My children love milk. But since they were very young, they would't drink milk unless it was flavored with chocolate. I discussed it with their doctor, but he was more concerned with the fact of the drinking milk and told me to choose my battles. So okay, we were cool with chocolate milk. But not with the price of syrups and powders. So after a little research I discovered how to make my own. I tried to make dry powder at first, but found that it didn't mix up well. So a quick cooking on the stove top fixed that problem.
Start by mixing up all of your ingredients except the water and vanilla.
Next, add your water and cook over a medium flame bringing the mixture to a boil.
Whisk frequently while cooking to prevent clumps.
Once you see it coming to a small boil keep a close eye on it.
Once it boils, shut off the flame and remove it from the heat. It will boil over the pan if left on any longer. (See how high it is in my pan)
Stir for a minute or so and then add the vanilla.
Pour into jars and let cool before storing into the fridge.
This was a double batch that I made.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a small saucepan, add sugar, cocoa, and salt. Whisk together gently. Add water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool. Store in the refrigerator.
I know that I've been missing in action lately. I think its been the winter funk. Or writers block, or maybe just laziness. There are a million reasons that I could come up with, but yay! I'm back!
So today I'd like to talk about schooling in small spaces. I'm sure I've talked about how we live in a tiny apartment. House prices are out of our range here in Rhode Island and rentals are much cheaper. So we have to make do and adapt to our tiny apartment.
It certainly makes for a challenge for everyday living, but throw in homeschooling storage and setup, and now you've got yourself an even bigger job of tackling. We used to be blessed to have an entire room devoted to schooling. But now that our daughter is 4 years old and not rooming with us any longer, it was time to say goodbye to the school room and hello to a new challenge.
Where were we going to accomplish school?
We don't have the luxury of an "extra" room. We are lucky to have a 3 bedroom apartment. Well actually it's a 2 bedroom, but I'm going to share with you what I did.
This room is our main living area. We have made it the Living Room / Dining Room / School Area combo. This would actually be the room you would put your kitchen table and fridge, hutches..etc In case you need a little taste of just how small our apartment is, this is my kitchen. The WHOLE kitchen!
Well, we really need that extra room which would be a living room, I guess, so we have re purposed this room for that function. 3 bedroom apartment; problem solved. But that didn't solve the problem of space for school storage. School is now done at the "Dining Room" table. All seat work is done here.
My sweet husband was nice enough to mount my computer monitor on the wall using a small shelf. We have a wireless keyboard and mouse that the children use when completing a Spanish lesson or other work on the computer. I'm also able to make use of the computer for our lessons, to illustrate points that I want to make by the way of showing them things we are learning about.
See that nice T.V. Ar-moire in the corner? Yup...I've made use of that as well.
I store my teaching hub inside. The desk apprentice. But since I have no desk I drag this out and use it everyday near my chair.
This is our art caddy that gets used everyday.
In the drawer below that is all of the extra art items I can't fit anywhere else.
Above the table is the only wall space in the room. I use this as my reference wall and hang all of the charts for my kids to use here.
Above the monitor is our nature shelf. It holds our microscope, slides, nature treasures and nature guides.
Now, the desk I don't get use of the conventional way holds the massive printer and my bread machine. Spilling over from the kitchen.
This is the nature finds basket that lives on our table. Here all things interesting that are found outside can quickly be dropped off and investigated later. This ensures they can keep playing and do the research later.
As far as books. I have multiple bookshelves in my bedroom, there is one big bookshelf in this room, and some books that I'm not using yet are stored in storage totes.
I'm hoping that this post can help someone else living in extremely tight quarters. It's not always easy, but it can be done.
Wherever your family is....there too is your home. God Bless,
As a proud Catholic 30-something homeschooling mom of 4, here is where you will learn about life with 4 little flowers. Homeschooling and learning with the Charlotte Mason Method, and growing in the grace of God each day. Stick around to grab some freebies, advice, tips, and prayer. Visit often and have a blessed day!