Gluten Free Peach Cobbler Dessert

Ahh 'tis the season of peaches right now! I was lucky to stumble across a deal of 1/2 a bushel of peaches for just $2.70 yesterday. Of course I knew I had to make a warm dessert using them and since some in our family are gluten free, I set out to make the entire dessert gluten free. Of course a warm cobbler is not complete without vanilla ice cream so I dug out our ice cream maker and made a batch of vanilla ice cream to serve alongside the warm cobbler.

This recipe was a hit in our family and one I am sure we will make many times over!

Using a glass 9x9 pan, fill with enough peaches (approximately 10-14)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle with xanthan gum (about 1/2 tsp, I didn't measure) or use 1 tsp cornstarch

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
1 cup gluten free baking flour
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. For the filling, slice up the peaches and mix the other ingredients with the peaches in the baking dish.

For the topping, in a separate dish, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, egg & GF baking flour until it forms crumbs. If it seems extra dry, add a smidgen of water to help form clumps. Sprinkle this over the peaches. Take the melted butter and evenly drizzle over the topping. Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

I actually made double this amount in a 9x13 pan but I didn't quite double the sugar in both the filling & topping. I honestly didn't measure most of my seasonings as I rarely do but this is a good estimate. Feel free to adjust to your tastes!

Horizons Preschool Curriculum

It's hard to believe my precious Olivia is of preschool age already and really itching to "do school" like her older siblings. I never did a formal preschool program with my other children but I recently had the chance to review Horizons Preschool Curriculum Set from Alpha Omega Publications (AOP).

I have used early elementary math curriculum in the past from AOP and we enjoyed it so we were excited to see just what their Preschool Curriculum entailed. When first opening the package, I was overwhelmed at the amount of curriculum that we received! What all was included was:

-2 student books (over 300 pages each!)
-2 teacher manuals (again, over 300 pages each!)
-large loose leaf packet of resource materials and lesson resources (286 pages)
-an audio CD of 17 songs

click on photos to enlarge

The 2 student notebooks contain 180 lessons worth of workbooks pages that are on perforated pages that can be torn out. Many of the pages are printed in bright, full color and involve activities such as tracing, coloring and cutting just to name a few.

The 2 teachers manuals spell out a ton of activities that can be completed each day. I will state that it was obviously from the beginning as I looked over the curriculum, that this set seems to be geared towards a Christian preschool moreso than a single child homeschool. That doesn't mean it can't be used in a homeschool setting, it's just that there are a few things you would need to adapt and do a little differently.

An excerpt from the teachers manual (click on to enlarge)

The teachers manual lists a schedule for each day based on whether you do a full day of preschool or a half day. Either way, there are SO many activities to complete there was just no way we could do them all  but this gave us variety and plenty to choose from and the ability to switch it up. Each day varied the generic types of topics covered. Some of these involved:

  • Bible Lesson
  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts
  • Phonics
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Colors
  • Story Time
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Gym
  • Homework
  • Music
  • Memory Verse
  • Health & Safety
The neat thing is within each lesson, the different topics all connected and flowed between each other. The curriculum is broken down into 5 days of lessons each week. On days 1, 3 & 5, new concepts are presented with days 2 & 4 being review days. This worked out well for us to just do 3 lessons a week as I didn't want to overwhelm my daughter. Each day detailed what workbooks pages to have the student complete as well as what lesson resource pages to have ready to accompany the lesson. 

During the review period, my daughter worked on learning her letters and tracing them (though this was a review for her as she is already writing most of her alphabet) as well as counting, learning shapes & numbers, matching objects, etc.

The resource packet came in loose pages. Many of these cards would be great to laminate to use as flash cards for the student. I wanted to keep them all organized so I 3 hole punched the pages and put them in a binder. I would've liked a tab to separate the resource material and lesson resources so I stuck a sticky tab between the 2 to make it easier to find. Sometimes when lessons called for a certain page, it was hard to find and would've been made easier if the teacher manual had included a page number to locate the page faster.

A few pages from the lesson resource pages

How we used it:

Because there is just SO much material to cover, I picked things out each day that I knew my daughter would enjoy. We read the Bible lesson and then worked on a few activities, making sure we did each lesson student workbook pages as that was important to her. Sometimes we referenced the extra resource pages but it all depended on what it was covering as some of the lessons were more review for her.

Olivia working on a lesson (notice she already knows how to write her name!)

I really did appreciate how the teachers manual had SO much laid out for you in the beginning. It stated which songs you would use with each lesson, several pages worth of reading book suggestions as well as a list of supplies needed for each week. Also listed at a glance was the memory verse for each week and the lyrics to all the songs on the CD.

This preschool program is well thought out and has exceptionally detailed lesson plans as well as prep plans. It more than enough for a homeschool preschooler and would be full of plans for a traditional brick and mortar preschool program!

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Back to Homeschool- Preparing for the New School Year

Whether you are new to homeschooling or have been at it for several years, you will have to take time to plan for your upcoming school year. Usually as I am winding down our school year, I already have an idea of what I plan to do for the following year.

I start out making a list of subjects I want to cover with each child. (Your state may have guidelines as to what each grade needs to cover so that is a good place to start if you are unsure). Once I know what subjects we want to work on, I then list the specific curriculum I want to use for each subject. If I am unsure of what curriculum I want to use, I ask others homeschooling moms who have kids older than mine what they have used or would recommend. I also check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew for curriculum ideas.

Once I have figured out what curricula I want to use for all my children, I then start scouring the web for the best prices. Granted, some of the curriculum I already own and just pass it down from one child to another but other things (like consumable workbooks) I have to buy. It's a good idea to do this process earlier in the summer so you have time to look around for deals. I first reference an online curriculum store so I know what the books cost brand new as I obviously don't want to pay more for a used book than it would cost brand new. Then I typically check out Amazon's used books, ebay & Homeschool Classifieds to see what deals I can find. I admit it feels like Christmas morning as all the curriculum starts rolling in!

Once I have the curriculum in my hands, I take a look to see if there is already a schedule laid out for the year (my most favorite curriculums do this which in my opinion, saves me a TON of work!) If there isn't a schedule included, I try to figure out how much to cover each week to complete it all by the end of the year. Some homeschoolers plan out in detail their entire year but I don't. I plan in detail week by week that way it allows wiggle room when life happens and we need to make schedule adjustments.

In addition to preparing curriculum, I also get school supplies for each child. Usually by mid-summer, most stores have all their back-to-school products out. I highly recommend stocking up at this time because if you run out of something later in the school year, you end up paying a higher price for it. Some things we typically purchase each year are:
  • 1 subject notebooks (they usually average $.17-$.25 each so I get a big stack) 
  • glue sticks and some liquid glue
  • pencils
  • crayons/colored pencils
  • scissors (as some seem to go missing from our previous year)
  • staples
  • tape
What are some ways YOU prepare for your new school year?

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Don't forget to stop by and check out the the many posts other homeschool moms are sharing this week!

This weeks blog hop is being sponsored by the Schoolhouse Review Crew & Homeschool Blogging Connection.

Back to Homeschool Upcoming Blog Hop!

Where in the WORLD has summer gone? I can't believe we are well into August already. For me, August means that we are almost to the end of warm weather and that it's time to start school. It also means that it's our annual Back to Homeschool Blog Hop that I've participated in the last few years. So stop back and check out all the great posts everyone will be sharing this coming week!

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Mark your calendars - 10 to 14 August - it's time for this years Homeschool Blog Hop. The Schoolhouse Review Crew will be joining forces with Homeschool Connections to bring you a week full of back to school encouragement.

We have 55 homeschool Mom's sharing their combined wisdom and insights covering everything Homeschool related. That's 275 posts of encouragement and information just for you!

Meet Your Back to Homeschool Blog Hop Hosts

Marcy @ Ben and Me

Rebecca @ Raventhreads
Annette @ In All You Do

Aurie @ Our Good Life
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Katie @ DailyLife
Melissa @ Mom's Plans
Annette @ A Net In Time

Crystal @ Crystal Starr
Shawna @ Tenacity Divine
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning 
Leah Courtney @ As We Walk Along the Road