The 2016 Homeschool Omnibus is Here

Last week I shared with you how I excited I was for the 2016 Omnibus. I know that the experience of the homeschool moms who’ve shared their expertise will provide comfort as we begin to homeschool through the high school years. I have really enjoyed listening to the MP3s while I run.

In addition to the MP3s, there are many wonderful PDF resources in the Omnibus. I know the $25 price may seem a little steep at first glance but when you consider all that is in the bundle – over 90 titles valued for a total value of $420 – you’ll see that it is well worth it.
omnibussamples

Free Omnibus Samples

Even better, several contributors have offered free samples of their products so you can see the quality of their work.

If you already bought your Omnibus, then you won’t need to download these samples because you have the full products in your $25 purchase. But if you haven’t bought an Omnibus yet, be sure to get these free downloads. These excerpts from Omnibus titles won’t be available after the sale ends at 11:59 PM Pacific Time, May 8, 2016.

  1. Yearly Personal Planner by Jolanthe Erb of Homeschool Creations
  2. All About Leaves Printable Pack by Selena Robinson of Look! We’re Learning!
  3. 2016 Grace Filled Planner by by Kathy Gossen of Cornerstone Confessions
  4. Love Rebel – Reclaiming Motherhood by by Bonnie Way of The Koala Mom
  5. Master the ASL Alphabet by Rochelle Barlow of RochelleBarlow
  6. Poem Collection Copywork by Adelien Tandian of Blessed Learners
  7. Teaching Music in Your Home (MP3) by Mary Prather of Homegrown Learners
  8. The Organized Homeschool Life by Melanie Wilson of Psycho With Six
  9. Vintage Kids Modern World’s Homeschool Naturalist Planner by Kelsi Rea of Cheeky Bums Blog
  10. Would You Rather – History Questions for Kids by iHomeschool Network

Homeschool Omnibus

Facts About the Fifth Annual iHomeschool Omnibus

Take a peak to see everything included in the 2016 Omnibus and get your own copy.

  • 90 total resources
  • for homeschoolers by homeschoolers
  • total value is $420
  • cost is $25 (with $9 DVD add-on)
  • cost is just 6% of the value
  • PDFs also come in Kindle/mobi format (where appropriate)
  • sale runs until 11:59 PM Pacific Time, May 8.

 

Yes! We DO Intend to Homeschool High School

My friends will frequently ask, “What is your plan for next year? Do you really intend to homeschool high school?”

This question is often a disguise for their doubt or unfamiliarity. My answer is always, “Yes! We DO intend to continue along this journey. We discuss it a lot actually. Neither of my kids have any interest in going to school.”

We Do Intend to Homeschool High School

I don’t generally elaborate unless they inquire further. I thought I would take some time now, however, to explain in more depth our decision to homeschool high school. At least that is the plan currently. It is always open for discussion.

Homeschool High School

As a substitute teacher in the same school district where my husband and I graduated and where I taught full time for six years, I love my local schools. I love the teachers with whom I work and who would be my children’s teachers if they were enrolled. I even use the district’s scope and sequence as a guideline to help me develop courses for my own kids.

In Oregon, we are fortunate to have the option to enroll part time. If my son wanted to take Jazz Band or Drama, he would simply need to fill out the registration form, talk with the instructor, and begin attending classes. The same is true if my daughter wanted to enroll in Art or Spanish.

Thus far, however, neither have expressed any interest in doing so.  They have both explored their respective areas of interest via online tutorials and materials I have purchased on their behalf that they haven’t felt a classroom experience would benefit them. They have become quite adept at evaluating the syllabi. Homeschooling has provided many blessings – the least of which is instilling a love of learning.

Eighth Grade Test Run

My daughter is presently in eighth grade. We have looked upon this past year as a trial year – much the way we looked upon her Kinder year as a trial when we first began on our homeschool journey. Using an online homeschool planner provided me the tools to provide letter grades for the first time. I was able to stay focused on what lessons I expected to be completed.

We chose her coursework together and she even began earning a few high school credits. Our collaboration helped ensure she was personally invested and interested in the coursework, not just dragging through the material because it was a requirement.

Another exciting component we discovered in the midst of the year is that keeping a digital portfolio was a huge motivating factor for her. She loves it when here Mandarin teacher says, “You have done a remarkable job on this project. I recommend keeping this in your portfolio as a sample of your work.

She has spent hours tweaking her digital portfolio to best represent her passions. I love how she has combined her interest in art with her love of nature. With her strong talents in math, science, and languages, I am confidant that she will be successful no matter what path she may choose to follow.

Homeschool Omnibus

Resources & Help for Homeschooling High School

I am also confidant that she and I will find the resources we need to successfully homeschool through the high school years. There are so many resources available online today. I have already purchased some of the curriculum we will use – literature, biology, and personal finance.

The 2016 Omnibus is also full of resources for homeschooling the high school years. I’ve already downloaded the podcasts and am excited to pop in my ear buds on my run this afternoon. There is just so much wisdom and inspiration to glean from these seasoned homeschool moms. Here’s a few on my playlist:

  • Advanced Placement or Dual Enrollment by Connie Albers
  • College Admissions for the Homeschooler by Kendra Fletcher
  • College Alternatives for Homeschool Graduates by T.K. Coleman
  • College Prep – Is Writing on Track by Kim Kautzer
  • Facing the Giant – Homeschooling Through High School by Terri Johnson
  • Homeschool Transitions from Elementary to Middle to High School by Megan Zechman
  • Homeschooling Your Teen the Charlotte Mason Way by Sheila Carroll
  • Project-Based Learning in the Middle and High School Years by Cindy West
  • Putting Together a Four Year Plan for High School by Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau
  • Seven Secrets of High School Transcripts by Vicki Tillman
  • Unschooling for High School by Joan Concilio

You can purchase all of these bundled with 79 additional courses, eBooks, and MP3s for just $25 (optional $9 DVD or $11 thumb drive add-on). It’s an amazing bundle valued at over $420! Take a look at the full catalog to get a better idea of all that is included.

Don’t delay! The sale runs only from April 29th through May 8th.

 

Others have already traversed the homeschool high school journey. I know I can reach out to my friends near and far for guidance along the way. My wonderful Finishing Strong co-hosts are always inspiring me with activities, lesson plans, and sharing their experience with curricula that may use in the near future.

Once day at a time” has always been our motto. I will thereby continue to confer with my children individually. Together, we will make plans that are suited to their individual learning styles and personal interests. And I will enjoy each moment along the way.

 

5 Favorite Nordic Christmas Recipes: Finnish Christmas Stars

It is a tradition in Finland, I understand, to not serve holiday baked goods until Christmas Eve. When these preserve filled stars or Joulutortut come out, it signals the beginning the høytiden.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for more information.

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Finnish Christmas Stars @EvaVarga.net

Finnish Christmas Stars

I read in The Great Scandinavian Baking Book (from where I found this recipe) that the day after Christmas is a day for visiting and comparing the quality of stars from one household to the next! Well, we certainly have not perfected this recipe yet but it is one of our favorites.

Pastry

2 cups pitted prunes
water to cover
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 cup softened butter

Glaze
1 slightly beaten egg
2 tablespoons milk
Pearl Sugar or crushed sugar cubes for garnish
Cover the prunes with water in a saucepan and simmer slowly until very soft. Puree and add the lemon juice and sugar. Cool.

For the pastry, mix the flour and baking powder. Stir into the whipped cream and knead in the softened butter. Shape dough into a ball and chill 1 hour.

On a floured board, roll out pastry to 1/4 inch thickness. Fold dough into thirds, folding first one third over the center, then the opposite third over the center. Roll out to seal the layers. Turn dough and fold again into thirds, making the dough into a perfect square. Roll out, retaining the square shape to make an 18″ square.

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Lingonberry Cardamon Rolls @EvaVarga.netCut into 3″ squares with a sharp knife. Make cuts (approx. 1″ – 1 1/2″ long) from the corners toward the center of each square. Place a spoonful of the prune filling onto the center of each square. Shape into pinwheel stars by lifting every other corner toward the center onto the filling.

Cover baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease them. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place filled stars on the prepared baking sheets. Mix the egg and milk and brush stars with the glaze. Sprinkle with pearl sugar or crushed sugar cubes.

Bake 7 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

~ ~ ~

Thank you so much for joining me this week. I hope you have enjoyed the recipes I have shared – our favorites for the Christmas season and all year!

Lingonberry Cardamon Rolls
Nordic Almond Bars
Lefse
Norwegian Heart-Shaped Waffles

Looking for more inspiration for a Nordic høytiden (Norwegian Holiday Season) … read my earlier posts here and here.

5 Favorite Nordic Christmas Recipes @EvaVarga.net

It’s a holiday hopscotch! Join the iHomeschool Network bloggers for more Christmas themed posts all week!

5 Favorite Nordic Christmas Recipes: Lingonberry Cardamon Rolls

As you may have guessed from my post yesterday featuring Norwegian Heart-Shaped Waffles with Lingonberries, I absolutely LOVE lingonberries. Abundant in Scandinavia, they are a vibrant red fruit known for their tart juiciness. They are similar to cranberries though much smaller – and in my opinion, much sweeter!

Lingonberries are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Magnesium.

The recipe I share today is relatively new to us as it was published in the March 2015 edition of Sons of Norway’s Viking magazine. When it arrived in our mailbox and we caught a glimpse of these mouth watering rolls gracing the cover – we immediately went to the kitchen to try our hand at baking them. We were not disappointed!! So yummy!

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Lingonberry Cardamon Rolls @EvaVarga.net

Lingonberry Cardamon Rolls

Dough

3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
Zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons fresh ground cardamon
1 packet instant yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Filling

3/4 cup lingonberry jam

Glaze

3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Lingonberry Cardamon Rolls @EvaVarga.netMix the flour, sugar, cardamon, lemon zest and yeast together in a large bowl. Combine the water, melted butter, salt, and eggs together and then add to the bowl of flour. Stir until a soft dough forms and then turn out onto a well floured board and knead dough for a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, butter a 9″ x 9″ baking pan and set aside. After the dough has rested, place onto a well floured board and roll into a 8″ x 14″ rectangle. Spread the lingonberry preserves evenly on the dough and roll up jelly-roll style, pressing the edges to seal. Cut the roll into 9 equal pieces and place the slices cut side facing up in the pan. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in size, about 1 hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the rolls have risen, place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow the rolls to cool for 15 minutes while you prepare the glaze. Mix the powdered sugar with the butter and then stir in the milk and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle the rolls with the glaze.

~ ~ ~

In case you missed my earlier posts this week, you will love this easy recipe for Nordic Almond Bars. If you feeling up to a challenge, I encourage you to try the popular Norwegian flatbread, Lefse.

Join us tomorrow as we highlight another Christmas favorite – Joulutortut or Finnish Christmas Stars.

Looking for more inspiration for a Nordic høytiden (Norwegian Holiday Season) … read my earlier posts here and here.

5 Favorite Nordic Christmas Recipes @EvaVarga.net

It’s a holiday hopscotch! Join the iHomeschool Network bloggers for more Christmas themed posts all week!

5 Favorite Nordic Christmas Recipes: Norwegian Waffles

Have your tastebuds been watering? Mine sure have. I love the smells of sweet breads and cookies baking that mingle through the house – especially during the cold months of the holiday season.

Today, I share a favorite recipe that is traditionally for breakfast but also makes a wonderful treat to enjoy with coffee or tea any time of the day, vaffler or Heart-Shaped Norwegian Waffles.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for more information.

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Våfflor @EvaVarga.net

A traditional Scandinavian waffle iron makes individual heart-shaped waffles. You can certainly use a standard waffle iron, though they may be slightly thicker and not quite so light. If you want to stay traditional, I recommend the Chef’s Choice 830 WafflePro Heart Waffle Iron. It is well constructed and takes a beating (my son actually knocked it off the counter once).

Våfflor

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons melted butter
butter for brushing the iron or non-stick spray
powdered sugar
lingonberry jam or fresh berries to serve with the waffles
whipped cream to serve with the waffles (optional)
Gjetost Goat Cheese (optional)

Stir flour and cardamon together and set aside. In a small bowl or electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together at high speed for 10 minutes until mixture forms ribbons when beaters are lifted.

Sprinkle flour mixture over eggs; stir the sour cream until smooth and add to the mixture, folding until batter is smooth. Fold in the melted butter.

Place the waffle iron over medium heat and heat until a drop of water sizzles on the griddle. Brush the griddle with butter or spray with non-stick spray. Spoon in the batter. Bake according to waffle iron instructions or until golden brown.

Remove from iron and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with lingonberry or other jam, fresh berries and whipped cream, or thin slices of gjetost goat cheese.

~ ~ ~

Earlier this week, I shared a recipe for our favorite Norwegian cookies .. Nordic Almond Bars .. as well as a traditional flatbread that is popular in many Norwegian American homes .. Lefse.

Tomorrow, I bring you yet another recipe featuring Lingonberries .. Lingonberry Cardamon Rolls. Mmmmm .. I can smell them baking already.

Looking for more inspiration for a Nordic høytiden … read my earlier posts here and here.

5 Favorite Nordic Christmas Recipes @EvaVarga.net

It’s a holiday hopscotch! Join the iHomeschool Network bloggers for more Christmas themed posts all week!

5 Favorite Nordic Christmas Recipes: Lefse

Each day this week, I will be sharing one of our favorite Scandinavian recipes for the holiday season or høytiden. Yesterday, I shared our favorite cookie recipe, Nordic Almond Bars. Today, we try something a little more complicated.

For many Norwegian-American families, the biggest Christmas treat isn’t foil-wrapped chocolate or sugar-dusted cookies. It’s lefse, a simple flatbread. It is made with potatoes, flour, butter, and milk or cream. It is cooked on a griddle.

Lefse are sort of like soft tortillas, made mostly out of mashed potatoes (with a little fat and flour mixed in to form a tender dough). They’re usually spread with butter and sugar, or rolled up with a bit of lingonberry jam.

When we make them, we make them by the dozens. They freeze well and are the perfect way to eat up leftovers at Thanksgiving and Christmas – we simply roll em up.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for more information.

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Lefse @EvaVarga.netLefse

The following recipe comes from the Sons of Norway website; lodges across North America utilize a variation of this basic recipe each year for their annual lefse and bake sales.

Ingredients

10 Lbs. Russet Potatoes, peeled
1 Lb. Unsalted Sweetcream Butter (room temperature)
Salt
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Materials Suggested

Electric Lefse Griddle by Bethany Housewares
Pastry Board and Cloth Set
Corrugated Wood Rolling Pin and 3-4 Rolling Pin Covers
Lefse Stick
Potato Ricer

Recipe

Step 1

Bring a large stock pot full of water to a boil. Cut your peeled potatoes 2-3 pieces depending on size and cook until they are tender. You may need to do multiple batches if you are using a smaller pot.

Step 2

Rice the cooked potatoes into a large bowl with your potato ricer. Once you have riced all of the potatoes cover and let them cool overnight in your refrigerator.

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Lefse @EvaVarga.netStep 3

Remove your potatoes from the refrigerator and let them warm slightly. Move approximately half of the riced potatoes to a smaller bowl. Add the flour in 1/4 cup increments, along with 1/2 stick of butter in chunks and 1 Tsp. salt. Knead the mixture until everything is well mixed. Test the consistency of your dough, you are looking for a texture similar to light pie dough. It should form into a ball without sicking to your hands and hold its shape without cracking if you press the dough ball lightly with your thumb.

If the dough feels too sticky add a little more flour, if it is too dry or is cracking when pressed add another couple pats of butter. Taste the Lefse dough as you go, it should taste like potatoes not flour. The dough should be slightly salty and buttery, but be careful not to over-do-it on the salt.

Warm your griddle to 400°F/200°C. If you are using a traditional lefse griddle remember to place it on a surface that will not be damaged by the high level of ambient heat. The heat from your lefse griddle could cause your stone counter top to crack or your laminate counter tops to delaminate. It is recommended that you use something to cover your countertop to help dissipate the heat.

5 Favorite Christmas Recipes: Lefse @EvaVarga.netStep 4

Form the finished potato mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball. Flour a pastry board covered with a pastry cloth and rub the flour into the cloth. You want enough flour so that your lefse will not stick, but not so much that your lefse is completely covered in flour. Roll out your lefse on your pastry board until it is 1/8 inch thick. Using your lefse stick transfer the lefse to your griddle. Cook on the griddle until bubbles form and each side has browned. Place the lefse on a damp towel to cool slightly and then cover with a damp towel until ready to serve.

If you are storing the lefse, after it has cooled fold it in quarters and place 8-10 sheets into a 1 gallon freezer bag. Store in your freezer for upto 3 months. To thaw – remove from freezer, place on a plate covered with paper towels and allow to come to room temperature.

Tips

Making lefse takes practice. It may be helpful to watch a video tutorial or two. I have also written a Hub Page describing the process, How to Make Lefse. Better yet – contact your local Sons of Norway lodge. They may offer classes. 🙂

~ ~ ~

Join me tomorrow when I share our annual tradition of making Norwegian Heart-Shaped Waffles!

Looking for more inspiration for a Nordic høytiden … read my earlier posts here and here.

5 Favorite Nordic Christmas Recipes @EvaVarga.net

It’s a holiday hopscotch! Join the iHomeschool Network bloggers for more Christmas themed posts all week!