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A Friday Dinner: Homemade Enchiladas


 So we thought we would give enchiladas a try! This turned out to be a cultural experience our children won’t easily forget! Needless to say, Mama added much chili pepper to the homemade sauce, Papa played Spanish music on his Spanish guitar, and the children swore they could never eat Spanish or Mexican food again! Next time, less chili powder.

How to make the dish?

STEP ONE: Fry the tortilla for a few seconds on an iron skillet. Then dip the tortilla in hot homemade enchilada sauce. We used canned tomato sauce and added chili powder and cumin.

STEP TWO: Place the dipped tortilla on a cutting board and fill it with desired ingredients. This was a Friday, so we added cheddar and garden chives (common and garlic). Roll the tortilla and place it in a baking dish, crease side down.



STEP 3:  Continue steps 1-2 until the pan is full. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.

STEP FOUR: Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until bubbly (about 20 minutes).

SIDE DISHES: Sour Cream, Refried Beans, Refried Rice!

FREE Art Lesson for Ancient History and Our First Co-op Day!

Homeschool Ideas

This week in art students created their own mini-cave painting. The idea was taken from For details about the artistic principles and skills to reinforce at home this week, please see your ART 1 Handout. Students were instructed to rip the edges of their paper after the paintings dried. For those of you who opted to leave the artwork till next week, all pictures are safely stored away in the Schola Rosa Cabinets until next week. Here are some pictures of their work!



Our first week went quite smoothly. I guess I expected the worst, so was naturally surprised when our only injury was a paper cut. Most children were smiling when I checked on them, and spirits were high for everyone. May God continue to bless our little homeschool cooperative with such good spirits. Here is more information on Schola Rosa Homeschool Cooperative.

Hiking Cottonwood Trail and Wildcat Ledge

Homeschool Ideas

After Mass today, we enjoyed a lovely afternoon hiking in the Shenandoah River State Park. We hiked on two trails. First, the Cottonwood Trail is rated as an easy trail, and most of the trail is a boardwalk. This would be a great choice if you planned to use a stroller. Second, at the end of Cottonwood was Wildcat Ledge Trail, rated difficult. It is only .2 mile, so we thought everyone could handle it. A steep climb to the top, then a beautiful view! The only child who gave up was #3 (2 years old). These two trails together were just right for all of us: Papa, Mama, 5 year old, 3 year old, 2 year old, and 1 year old. Of course the 1 year old did not hike, but rode on Mama’s back.

While hiking, the kids and I looked closely at many things. #2 was interested in finding acorns and walnuts. When we came upon a broken walnut shell, we talked about what kind of animals may have opened the nut. When we found a half-chewed acorn, we again tried to guess the animal that bit it. Bear? Squirrel? Deer? Raccoon? This was fun! On top of Wildcat Ledge we found trees growing out of the rock. Moss and Lichen was also of plenty. These will be great fodder for minds that discern between living and non-living things this week.

After hiking, we went down to the water’s edge to relax a bit before returning home. We found quite the spider! A Mama spider who was protecting all her baby spiders. This was a great up-close encounter for the children who are about to spend a year on Animal Life for science.

Tomorrow in home school we must read about spiders and their young in our Seaside and Wayside Nature Reader!

Activities Inspired by our Homeschool Co-op!

Homeschool Ideas

In our home the children are still quite young. The four Rolling children range in age from 5 to 1 at present, so thinking we’re doing history in an in-depth way would be an exaggeration. They simply get to enjoy learning ancient history through story-telling and illustration this year! We will continue with our regular reading program at home and review the Picture Study from Primary Language Lessons at least once per week after the co-op meeting. For Science we will continue learning about animals by finding things that are living and non-living! This means at least one nature walk this week!

What are we doing at home for WEEK ONE after our regular school time (after the 3 R’s)?

  1. Daily: Listening to Memory Work on Classically Catholic Memory CD; we listen to this just after school time when everyone is winding down to draw in their free time.
  2. Daily: Read Aloud Time. In the a.m. Mama Rolling reads stories from our favorite illustrated children’s Bible, Unser Bibel (Sorry, it’s in German!). In the p.m. Papa Rolling will be reading The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis.
  3. 2-3 Times per Week: Listen to Jim Weis’s Old Testament Stories and Jewish Traditions CDs. We can all listen while Mama nurses or changes a diaper.
  4. 2-3 Times per Week: Coloring Pages from A Coloring Book of the Old Testament.
  5. Read once this week: Archaeologists Dig for Clues (There are some words in this book that could have been replaced with better vocabulary… for example, the word “urinate” could have been used instead of “pee” when talking about types of soil stains in an archaeological dig. I just gloss over them for now.)
  6. Do one fun activity from: Old Testament Days.
  7. Go on a nature walk to discuss the differences between living and nonliving things. Read Nature Readers as animals emerge. The Fall is great for the study of animal life!
  8. Review Picture Study from Primary Language Lessons, and have oldest child practice narration.
  9. 3 Times per Week: Music with Mama or Papa. We will focus our singing instructions on breathing technique.
  10. Daily: Art! Some days I provide paper and crayons only for free time. 2-3 days per week we use water color or oil pastels. The children love to do picture studies for art by looking at a beautiful piece of artwork for inspiration!
Seems like too much? Try writing down the list by spreading it out on your calendar. I find that these short activities fill-in the gaps in our day, a filler which has become more important now that we have non-nappers.

How We Survive a Co-op Day without Tears

Homeschool Ideas

The first week of a homeschool co-op can be overwhelming and stressful for many mothers, but there are some things you can do to prepare and to avoid the worst. Here are some of our tried and true suggestions:

  1. Gather your supplies this weekendand put them in a safe place to grab Monday morning and to load directly into the vehicle. I like to put my supplies in our trunk on Friday, so I have time to remember all the things I have forgotten between Friday and Monday.
  2. Pick out clothes for EVERYONE the night before the co-op day, put them in a safe place, and inspect all children the following morning well before departure time. (Leave no room for the unexpected missing shoe as everyone is walking out the door!)
  3. Review the Co-op Rules with your children over the weekend.The #1 rule and virtue we will be covering the first week is: DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING BEFORE ASKING FOR PERMISSION. The facility is not our property. We demonstrate patience and charity when we follow this simple rule.
  4. Pack plenty of snacks for the car trip to and from the co-op.If the natives are restless, all is lost!
  5. ARRIVE EARLY! See this postfor tips on arriving on time.
  6. Make sure you have a quick dinner already plannedor already in the crock-pot. There is nothing worse than getting home later than expected and still having to cook!
  7. Plan to relax with the kids when you get home. Some time to reconnect, chat, and rest is great for the entire family after such an eventful afternoon. Time for some snuggles and stories.

Rolling Acres School Doubles Enrollment!

The Rolling Acres School
R.A.S. — Home of the Traditio Nostra History Cycle for Grades 7-12

We are very pleased to announce that our student enrollment this year is double last year’s enrollment! And it is still not too late to enroll! If you have just found out about us, give our 2012 Course Catalogue a perusal here:

May God continue to bless our family business!

St. John Bosco, ora pro nobis!

Science:How do Spiders eat?

Homeschool Ideas

In the home school, often science just happens! This night we were about to go to bed, when I decided to peek outside the back door. My daughter exclaimed: “Mama, spider!” I looked up and most assuredly there was a spider. Not just a spider! A spider eating its dinner.

I called the other children and Mr. Rolling into the room, so we could experiment. Mr. Rolling explained how spiders digest the inside of the bug before consuming the bug. Then, we searched the house for any live bugs we could find to throw into the net to see how the spider catches its prey.

As we were doing this, we were surprised to see a moth fly into the web. The spider very quickly pounced on the moth and wrapped it in silk. After this excitement, the children went to bed with great hopes of seeing the spider the next morning.

Alas, a bird must have eaten the spider in the early morning. That’s the food chain!

Painting the Kitchen Cabinets White

The Rolling Acres Farm

We have decided to paint our kitchen cabinets white, which we think is proving a nice improvement to our home.

How to?

  1. Remove cabinets and hardware.
  2. Sand cabinets and doors.
  3. Paint white using a natural fiber edging brush. We used a Satin finish, but Semi-Gloss would be a good choice, too!