Friday, September 25, 2015

Eating for a Day the Trim Healthy Mama Way

You can read my Trim Healthy Mama overview here.
And you can read about my own 6-month THM journey so far here.

I mentioned earlier in the week that one of the reasons I believe THM is a sustainable plan for me (and anyone) is because it's a balanced plan of eating - you aren't cut off from entire food groups, you aren't required to say no to a second helping, desserts aren't banned.  Of course there are seasons of life (in the Church year and in family life) when self denial is called for, and there are seasons that lend themselves to joyful, gratitude-infused indulgence (Thanksgiving, I'm looking at you!), but neither extreme is appropriate for everyday, healthy, balanced living.  God has given us a variety of good foods for enjoyment and sustenance, and eating the THM way is a way to enjoy and benefit from them while trimming down and improving health.

I get a lot of questions about when I can eat, what I can eat, what I can't eat, and what the heck do I eat all day.  Here are two typical days' worth of food.  With some pictures :)  (And just in case you're still curious, there's a whole bunch more pics at the end.  Your mouth might start to water.  Don't say I didn't warn you ;) )

Day 1

5:45 AM - coffee with a dash of unsweetened almond milk
(I drink black coffee later in the morning, but first thing after waking up, I usually need a splash of milk in it.)

7:00 AM  - more coffee (black), 2-egg omelet with zucchini, mushrooms, and <1 ounce feta cheese, 2 pieces of turkey bacon (S meal)  (lately, I've been having regular bacon.  Either is fine.)

Throughout the morning, I'll sip on a THM "Shrinker"
(I'm not a fan of the odd names they give things, so I usually call it a tea drink...)

Usually I'm too busy to eat any more in the morning, but if I get really hungry, I'd probably have a very small handful of mixed nuts around 10. (S snack)

1:00 pm -  almond flour crusted baked chicken breast strips (left over from night before) with cheddar cheese, lettuce, and Frank's hot sauce on a low carb wrap, steamed green beans with shredded Parmesan cheese, water, skinny chocolate (old THM book pg. 371, new cookbook 377)

Afternoon - I'll sip on on a THM drink that has ginger and apple cider vinegar, which they call Good Girl Moonshine, but please don't utter those ridiculous words in my presence.  It's a ginger drink.  I typically flavor mine with herbal tea.

6:00 PM - Turkey kielbasa, steamed cabbage, roasted radishes (tossed with sunflower oil, salt, and pepper)  (S Meal)
This is a wildly popular meal at our house and we have it about every other week if not once a week.  Two of my children have started eating the radishes, for everyone else, I serve boiled red potatoes.  

9:00 PM ish - Cottage Berry Whip 
(cottage cheese, stevia sweetener, frozen berries) (FP dessert)
(old book pg. 379, new cookbook pg. 374)

Day 2

5:45 AM - Coffee with a dash of unsweetened almond milk

6:30 - more coffee, Trim Healthy Pancakes (made primarily from oats, cottage cheese, and egg whites), topped with greek yogurt and fresh berries (E meal)
(old book pg. 223, new cookbook 259)

Morning, after breakfast - a "shrinker"

9:30 AM - an iced Chai tea latte (w/ protein powder) and an everything bagel pretzel (S snack)

1:00 PM - "deconstructed" Philly cheesesteak (sauteed onions, mushrooms, green peppers, and roast beef with pepper jack cheese melted on top) and salad (greens, carrot shavings, red pepper, sunflower seeds, and low carb ranch dressing), skinny chocolate (S meal)

Afternoon - ginger drink

5:30 PM - Lemon Butter Baked Tilapia, steamed green beans with shredded Pecorino Romano, Bread in a Mug (old book pg. 265, new cookbook pg. 203)  (my family Parmesan  quinoa instead of bread-in-a-mug)

9:00 PM - 1/2 c. greek yogurt sweetened with stevia and a dash of defatted peanut flour, with crushed peanuts and 1/5 chopped Lily's chocolate bar.  (S dessert)

*   *   *   *   *   *

Wondering what else I might make for myself for breakfast or lunch??

Additional breakfast ideas...

Berry Coconut Crisp (S) with a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Egg white omelet, Ezekiel bread with Laughing Cow lite cheese and Polaner jam,
greek yogurt with berries (E)

blueberry baked oatmeal (E) with greek yogurt

Ezekiel break with Laughing Cow lite cheese and Polaner jam, apple slices and
greek yogurt peanut butter dip  (E)

Scrambled egg with zucchini, mushrooms, and ham, blueberry cream cheese pocket
(fried in coconut oil) (S)

egg white omelet with veggies and Frank's hot sauce, hot quinoa with greek yogurt
and warm blueberries (E)

Additional lunch ideas...

I frequently have dinner leftovers for lunch, but I'd say about 50% of the days I make a "new" lunch for myself.  (these photos are heavy on the kale.  Almost every day for lunch I have baked kale or steamed green beans.  For some reason, the green beans didn't get their picture taken very much...)

Lettuce boats a la PF Chang's, kale chips (S)  (leftovers from night before)

Turkey, cheese, lettuce, dill pickle, and mustard in a red pepper, kale chips, skinny chocolate
w/ pecans and shredded coconut (#)

Lean turkey, lettuce tomato, mustard on Ezekiel bread, greek yogurt, quinoa, and berries (E)

2 Lite Rye Wasa crackers with lean turkey, lettuce, tomato, and mustard, kale (again!),
carrot sticks, and apple slices with greek yogurt peanut butter dip

Got any questions for me??  I'm not going to make the mistake of promising to post something tomorrow or the next day... but I WILL have a few THM family-friendly dinner recipes coming up  soon.  One of these days.....

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

THM and Me (sorry - I couldn't come up with a better title)*

(You can read my intro to Trim Healthy Mama here.)
*submit your better titles in the comments!  

While it's true that back in March of this year, I was still carrying around plenty of baby weight from from 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - and 5 babies, and I was probably carrying around pounds that weren't related to babies at all, I wasn't actually looking for a diet program.  I wasn't actively looking to lose weight or eat better or "get healthier" (soooo generic, I know...)  But I stumbled upon the mention of Trim Healthy Mama in Erica's blog and it went it a little something like this...  

Hmmm... a weight loss program that's working for someone I "know."  Oh look!  She's provided a link!  *Click*  Huh, would you look at that.  Hmmm... there are so many amazing testimonials here AND there are recipes for cakes and things that look like ice cream???  Oh, woah.  The book is $30??  Maybe they have it at the library.  *Click click*  They do!  

My husband was out of town for a long weekend in the middle of March and I spent my alone time in the evenings sitting in front of the fire alternately crocheting and devouring the book.  I was immediately intrigued by a few things (1) the book is written by sisters Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett, Christian woman who developed the plan and wrote this enormous book while caring for and homeschooling their large families, and that sounded fun and familiar and appealing, and (2) the book starts out talking about the affects of insulin on our bodies, and that really caught my attention since I'm already familiar with the ins and outs of insulin (or lack thereof) from taking care of my son Aaron who has type 1 diabetes. 

After finishing the book and feeling very convinced that this was something that was worth a try, I jumped in.  And I didn't ease into it, I just jumped in and haven't looked back.  I eventually had to (reluctantly) return the book to the library, but ended up buying my own, and then recently bought the new plan book and cookbook (which are better laid out than the old book.  But the old book is sufficient if that's all you can get your hands on.)

 I've been living the THM life for almost half a year and here's why this plan works for me: 

  • There's no calorie counting.  When my third child was about 6-9 months old I lost about 20 lbs calorie counting and exercising.  I liked the results, but most of the time I was miserable.  Calorie counting, for me, was wretched.  I was always hungry and angry about what I could and couldn't eat.  I felt like I was on a diet plan like this:  
      Breakfast - eat two egg whites and 1 almond.  
      Morning Snack - water.  
      Lunch - lick a cucumber.  
      Afternoon Snack - water.
    Dinner - look at a stalk of celery and then put it back in the fridge for tomorrow's breakfast.
      Evening Snack - Seriously?  You're asking for another snack??  You've already had two today!  

       I've tried calorie counting a few times since that one successful time and I usually eat a great and low-cal breakfast and then by 10 o'clock I'm starving, eat whatever I want, and decide that I'll actually start the real calorie counting thing the next day ;)  

       With THM, while you obviously have to be careful not to completely and totally overdo it on calories every single meal, you do not have to calorie count.  Your body will burn the fuel you give it, fats or carbohydrates, depending on the type of meal you've chosen.  You don't have to worry about how many calories are going in and you don't have to keep track of how many you burn exercising.  It's so freeing!!  And I am NEVER starving!!  

egg white omelet with zucchini and mushrooms and a fuel pull waffle with
greek yogurt and raspberries (fuel pull is a meal  that is low carb AND low fat)
THIS is the kind of breakfast that will hold me over till lunch!
I haven't even eaten one piece of celery since starting THM, let alone look at one...
but I do eat plenty of veggies!  Here's what a THM dinner can look like -
cauliflower chicken casserole (heavy on the cauliflower) and roasted
asparagus spears with shredded parmasan.
  • I eat healthily while still enjoying things like ice cream, chocolate, cake, and peanut butter.  Have you ever heard of a weight loss plan that included all that??  Since THM is meant to be a long term lifestyle, it only works for me because there are treat involved!  I'm not the type of gal who would swear off dessert in the name of health for the rest of my life.  Oh no no!  But with THM, desserts and snacks fit right into the plan.  

  • I am rarely tempted by "regular" food because with THM there are so many "respectable alternatives," as I call them.  This is huge for me!  Imagine my family sitting down to a pizza dinner and me sitting nearby licking my celery stalk.    Not cool.  Or having half a piece of pizza because I'm calorie counting or points counting??  Still sad.  With THM, I make myself a pizza crust out of cauliflower or I pile all the tasty awesome pizza toppings I want into a zucchini boat or half a bell pepper.  And believe me, it tastes good enough, that I'm not tempted to eat the "real" pizza. 

"Respectable alternatives" make this plan doable for normal people who like pizza and chocolate and hamburgers.  Don't get me wrong, do THM approved chocolate peanut butter cups taste just like or as good as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?  No way.  BUT, the replacement is tasty enough to satisfy me.  I'll say it again -- respectable alternatives. 

  • You don't have to go off plan for special occasions.  I've allowed myself to have a few "off plan" meals recently, like for a birthday celebration, but for the most part, I've stuck to it even during family festivities.  I've made THM coffee cakes and frittats for Sunday brunch, donuts and cake for a recent girls' tea party, and chocolate cake for a just-because-it's-Saturday dessert.  Just because you're celebrating doesn't mean you can't do it the THM way :)

  • I do not have to make separate dinners for myself.  That would have been a deal breaker for me.  I'm used to making my own breakfasts and lunches, but under no circumstances will anyone in my home ever get a custom-made dinner, including me ;)  I don't have that kind of time.  So my family eats THM dinners or I make slight modifications, like the pizza crust alternatives I mentioned.   My family has liked every THM dinner I've made.  In fact, they like my breakfasts and lunches too, so I usually make myself a big meal (especially breakfast.  I typically eat lunch alone during the kids' rest time) and expect to share with some or all kiddos :)  
See?  Here's my breakfast (spinach mushroom egg bake, low-carb everything bagel - in the shape of a pretzel ;) - and strawberries.  And then there's my breakfast companion :)  I love him!

This is Cheeseburger Pie (THM pg. )  My family eats it like a sloppy joe, on a
whole wheat hamburger bun.  I ate it on a bed of greens with mustard and dill relish.
Everyone has a veggie side.  This is an example of the type of slight modification
I'd make to a dinner.  But I'd never make a different dinner for myself.

Another modified dinner.  The rest of the family is having hot dogs and veggies?
So am I.  I just put that bagel dough around a Hebrew National all beef hot dog for myself.
I think the kids has corn that night too, but I skipped it.

So what has it done for me??
  • Since starting THM I do things that I would have previously scoffed at - like consuming a daily dose of unrefined coconut oil (which I do by way of a piece of tasty chocolate!), taking a daily 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar for its probiotic benefits, drinking protein shakes and eating ancient grains.  These were seriously things that I would have brushed aside as being altogether too "crunchy" and weird for me in the past, but now they're a normal part of what I do.  Who knows if it's all coincidence, but, uh... I feel great! 
  • Yep.  I feel great.  My weight loss has been stalled for a couple of months, but I keep doing this because I feel so good.  My digestive system is healthier, I'm less bloated, I'm not sore when I wake up in the mornings as I used to be, my monthly period is now entirely pain free (that's as far as I will ever go down the TMI trail...) , my frequent headaches have subsided.  
  • I appreciate flavor over sweetness more.  For instance, I used to think that natural peanut butter, the kind made with just peanuts and no sugar and salt, was vile.  But now I love it.  A dash of vanilla in whipped cream goes a long way, I love my coffee without sweetener now, and when I make shakes I go heavy on the flavors (chocolate mint, anyone?) and lighter on the sweetener.  
  • I used to think I could never live without pop or crystal lite type drinks.  It never occurred to me before to brew herbal tea to make cold, refreshing flavored drinks.  They're delicious!  
  • Finally, during my first three months on THM I lost about 15 lbs.  It was a wonderful accomplishment for me.  I feel amazing and I like the way I look.  I can hardly believe that I wear clothes that haven't fit me since I just had two kids (can you hardly believe that I saved them?)  I haven't lost any weight over the summer, (well, I stopped exercising over the summer too...) but I'm not discouraged.  (I'd like to lose about 8 more.)  I continue to eat according to the plan, I feel great, I haven't gained anything back, and now that the new "school year" is underway, I'm hoping that I'll make a little extra time to start working out again (and by "working out" I mean spending about 40 casual minutes on the elliptical while I watch Netflix and crochet.) 
So, what about progress photos, you say??  I didn't take "before" pictures of myself (or take my measurements) before I started.  It just felt weird.  I don't regret it.  For me, the real results have been how good I feel and how many more choices I have for what I wear each day :)  I do not feel very comfortable posting progress pictures of myself, but I admit that I love seeing other peoples' and have found them encouraging, so for the first and probably only time, I will share a few with you.  

The first is from Easter, 2015.  I had been doing THM for 2 weeks and had already lost a few pounds and felt great.  The second is from early summer and the last is from a few weeks ago.

This is a THM intensive week here at the blog.  So stop back tomorrow when I share what a typical day's worth of food looks like for me, as well as some additional ideas for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.  And Thursday and Friday I'll share a couple recipes and tips I use for staying on plan as a busy mom.   Come on back and hang out the next few days!

As always, I'm happy to chat and answer questions!  Have a beautiful Tuesday!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

"Have you Heard the Good News?!" (How talking about Trim Healthy Mama feels like street corner evangelization)

Have You Heard the Good News??*

Since April, I've been eating according to a "plan" called Trim Healthy Mama.  I actually wish it were called something else because then it might be a little easier to talk about it... especially with strangers.  It sounds a whole lot cooler to say words like "Atkins" or "Paleo" or "Whole 30" or "Clean Eating."   It's not my favorite thing to have to say "Trim Healthy Mama" when someone asks about what I've been up to...  But because it's what I have been up to, I will at least give the plan credit and call it THM :)

I like THM a lot, but I haven't written much about it yet because I don't want to be like that street corner evangelizer that has a good message but usually manages to make everyone else feel awkward or irritated about it. Some people just don't want the tracts.  Some people are already doin' their own thing and don't need something new.  Some people know what kind of crazy you're talkin' because they've heard it before.  Some people hear the message and roll their eyes.  Most people just walk on by because they're aware of a pretty solid bet in life - people that hang out on street corners generally aren't dispensing information, goods, or services that you want to get tangled up in.  

I've been to enough talks on evangelization to know that the most effective evangelizing is the kind you do with your life - your attitude, your actions, your decisions, and your relationships.  (Who was that one guy who said, "preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words"?  Oh, right.  A saint.**) It's most effective when you have a relationship with a person and they witness your faith, and then eventually they're open to hearing about what it's done for you.  Maybe... then... just maybe... they might start asking questions about what this "thing" could do for them.   Usually how it works, right?  Have you heard many a witness talk about how a person was converted after a ten minute chat with the greasy guy on the boulevard who spends 8 hours a day shouting about the approaching apocalypse???

Well, I'm definitely not the doom and gloom type.  There are no winged horsemen hot on my heals.  But I've had enough people now (social media friends and in real life friends) witness my weight loss and ask me what this is all about, so it seemed like the time to share about THM.  I've managed to avoid the temptation to wear a "THM Rocks!" sandwich board sign on any street corners  (to everyone's relief...).   I'm simply in a position to have a friendly chat with you about what it is and what it's done for me :)

Trim Healthy Mama
(a plan and book by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett)
(an overview by a *relative* newbie)

Here are some highlights:
  • THM is not a diet.  It does have a weight loss component (which I have used) but it's not a quick one-time weight loss diet.  You don't do THM for a set amount of days or until you lose a certain amount of weight.  It's a low glycemic lifestyle, meaning that it's a method of eating which prevents unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, and is a sustainable and healthy method of eating for the rest of your life, even after you've reached your goal weight.  Once you've reached your goal weight, you don't stop THM.
  • The plan is not just for moms and not just for women :)  Don't let the name fool you.  It's for all people of every age - kids, grandpas, pregnant or nursing women, their husbands, etc...  It's a plan that can be adapted for many different needs and health issues.  Again, it's not just about weight loss.
  • The plan encourages eating both slow-acting carbs and healthy fats (yay!!!) but not in the same meal.  Meals and snacks include a protein and then your fuel source - either fats (called S (Satisfying) meals) or carbohydrates (called E (Energizing) meals).
  • What's the reason behind this??  Both fats and carbohydrates fuel our bodies.  However, carbohydrates raise our blood sugar.  High blood sugar (glucose) is such a dangerous situation for our bodies that when we eat, our bodies process the glucose first.  In a meal with both high fat and high carbohydrates, our bodies deliver the glucose from the carbs to feed our cells first, and by the time it can start processing the fat we ate, our fuel cells are "full" and the fat is stored instead of burned as fuel.  By separating fats and carbs, the body is only required to deal with one fuel at a time and there is nothing left that will be stored (on my waistline or elsewhere ;) ) 
  • You can change your fuel type every three hours.  So you can have Trim Healthy Pancakes and fruit for breakfast (an E meal) and three hours after you finished you could have a pizza with lots of pepperoni, sausage, and cheese and other veggies on a cauliflower crust (an S meal).  There are so many tasty things to that you can eat on this plan, sometimes it's hard to choose!  
  • As with every healthy lifestyle change, there are some things you just don't eat when you commit to the THM lifestyle.  Some foods that aren't on plan are milk, wheat flour, white potatoes, white rice, all types of pasta, sugar, honey, and even real maple syrup.  While sugar, honey, and maple syrup are all natural sweeteners, they are not gentle on your blood sugar levels.  The THM preferred sweetener is stevia.  It's natural, low calorie, and low carb.   

Hmm, I think that's a decent brief overview.  I plan to follow this up with a little about my own story (THM and Me...hehe) and what a typical day's worth of food looks like for me.  (After that, I'll go back to my regularly clacked out posts about crocheting, books, coffee, and kids.  Or I'll shut down the blog.  Homeschooling is just keeping me too too busy these days ;) )  

How about you?  Have you heard of THM before?  Ever try it??    


* "Diets" and food plans tend to be pretty personal decisions and what works for some isn't the right fit for others.  But this post and the combox is not a place to pit one method against another.  I'm happy to answer your questions about THM and to hear about what works for you, but comments that are negative or critical will be deleted.  

**  St. Francis of Assisi :)  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My Favorite Audio Learning Resources for Homeschooling

It's no secret we use a lot of audio resources for learning around here.  I can't even begin to convey how helpful this has been on our homeschooling journey.  Our entire family has learned an impressive amount of information since making the intentional decision to employ educational audio materials during lessons, during afternoon rest time, and in the car.  

Even though all children have individual learning styles, in my experience, they can all learn from repeated exposure to well-presented audio information.  Can your kids sing radio commercials word for word like my kids can?  Can they repeat passages from their favorite picture books?  Can they sing the lyrics to popular songs on the radio or to the hymns you sing in church each week?   See, it works!  

We've been able to make it work for us beyond the commercials and picture books and hymns.  

For us, audio lessons are sometimes about memorization, but not always.  Sometimes we listen to stuff over and over until we know it like the back of our hands, and sometimes our audio lessons are just about being exposed to ideas and taking away what we can from the lesson.  Some of the things on this list will have already been mentioned in other posts (sorry), but I wanted to get all of our favorite audio stuff for school together in one place.  

If you have any questions about these resources or how we use them, I'm be happy to answer them for you :)  (oh, and lean in and I'll tell you a little don't have to be a homeschooler to use these!!) 

for History and Geography...

by Susan Wise Bauer
read by Jim Weiss

OK.  I'm sorry.  I know.  You're totally sick of every homeschooler on the planet talking about how great Story of the World is.  But... it is.  And as much as love books and reading, listening to this series is the best fit for our family.  During the school year the boys are assigned various chapters to read each week, but in addition to that, this series is a favorite of everyone (except Clare... she prefers music...) to listen to in the car.  We've learned an awful from Ms. Bauer and Mr. Weiss listening to these, and I am very grateful!

This Country of Ours, Complete Set: Early Explorers to World War 1
by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall

This is anything but a text book!  The history of the United States is told as captivating tales.  We have enjoyed listening to it, and in fact, when my son saw this picture here, he said, "oh yeah!  We should start that up again."  I have read some reviews of the book that mention some anti-Catholic bias in the text, but we have yet to come across any.
(fyi - the link above is to the Audible version of this book.  It's only $9.95!)

A Child's History of the World

We have just bought the Audible version of this book because we've enjoyed reading it so much.  It such a different and quirky presentation of history, the kids are riveted when I read it and always ask for "just a few more pages."   Hillyer "teaches" history conversationally, and my kids seems to retain an awful lot of it, so that makes me happy :)  Keep in mind the book is from the 20's (so not always politically correct according to today's standards) and it has a Christian bent to it (he refers to the "one God as we believe in").  It is not a Creationist history though, either, so that may be something that some are keen to know.  Like with any book, you may run across topics that prompt conversations with your kids, but I don't think those topics are a reason to skip this book altogether.


I was astounded when my boys started singing all the countries of Southwest Asia last year.   They began working in these maps at the study center but I happened to  have the books and CD's so we've done some work on our own, into Southern Europe and the British Isles.  I highly recommend these CDs.  I can only believe that it will be very valuable some day to be able to hear the name of a lesser-known country in conversation, know that it exists, and where to locate it on a map.  Andora, anyone?  

for Grammar and Language Arts...

The songs on this disc are sill and fun.  I associate their style with School House Rock.  They're fun for listening to in the car, but we don't use these for serious memory work.  For lists and chants that are more practical for memorization instead of fun, I recommend the next two resources, the companion CD to First Language Lessons and the Shurley English chants...

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Audio Companion for Levels 1 & 2

I love this disc.  It has all the chants, songs, and poems that your students are introduced to in Levels 1 and 2 of First Language Lessons.  However, it can be used independently of the book, teaching kids parts of speech and grammar rules as well as providing you with a wonderful collection of poems for memorization.

My son, Aaron, memorized several of these last year, and I found they were very helpful in identifying parts of speech in sentences.  He was even humming some of the jinlges to himself when taking the language and grammar portion of his first standardized test this past spring ;)
I was planning on buying a CD from Shurley English, but happily searched for the jingles on-line and came across this free resource. Thank you, Jeremy Pitts, whoever you are :) 

Other poetry resources we love...
(for appreciation or memorization)

for Math...

We had this CD for a couple years before I decided to actually use it.  It turned out to be a wonderful addition to our audio lessons.  Aaron used it this past year to memorize skip counting and Dominic used it to brush up on addition facts.  I highly recommend it, especially for the skip counting, which has made multiplication much easier for Aaron.

for Science...


These songs are ridiculous... in a good way.  I thought they'd be annoying, but I strangely enjoy them, as do my kiddos.  Most of the songs are set to common well-known tunes, like Darling Clementine and There's a Hole in the Bucket, etc...  And the science in them is like the science I remember from freshman biology in high school.  There are accompanying workbooks available to purchase for use with these resources (the above Amazon links are to MP3 downloads) but since we just use them for a fun supplement to whatever else we happen to be studying in science, we just listen to the songs and glean what we can instead of damping the fun with workbook pages...

for Songs and Music...

These CDs are collections of the works of great composers interwoven with a spoken story about their life and work.  They are not captivating stories that will hold the attention of really young kiddos.  They're more biographical.  I recommend them for elementary age kids and up.  (You can listen to a sample here from the CD about Bach - my favorite composer <3 )

It's important to me that my kids know the National Anthem and other standard patriotic tunes as well as the tunes from Americana that I grew up singing while my dad played the piano.  These two resources cover me - the Wee Sing America CS is GREAT for learning standard and not-so-standard patriotic songs (with a little bit of history thrown in).  The other book (piano music and beautiful artwork from the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and CD are great for more folk-ish, Americana type songs - Red River Valley, Simple Gifts, Shenandoah, I'v Been Working on the Railroad, etc...


YOUR turn!!  Are there any audio resources that you've used for educational purposes or just plain fun purposes in your homeschool?  I'd love to hear about them!  Let's chat in the comments :) 

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