We are an eclectic home schooling group living and learning in Williamsburg, Virginia. Come join us on our adventures as we learn about the world and all the wonder and magic it has in store for us. This blog journals the free schooling experiences that this amazing group of kids are experiencing with loving and creative teachers and parents as their guides.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Today it was all about spices!  Currently our kids are working on Ancient India as well as the Early Explorers so, it was very fitting that we take time out for a field trip to a Spice shop and thankfully we have an excellent one right here in town. Today Miss Laura was our guide and she took the kids on an amazing adventure not only in their imaginations but also with their senses. The kids learned about the different spice routes used and they also got to learn about the difference between spices and herbs. They sniffed and tasted various spices and even got to work with a mortar and pestle to try grinding up a few different things. Afterwards the kids and grown-ups explored the amazing selection of spices in the shop and we each picked out some favorites and also a few new things to bring home to add to our collections. After we said our goodbye’s we headed of into CW for a picnic and the some exploring and of course the kids couldn’t resist the opportunity to climb some pretty interesting trees. It was a truly wonderful day and a great time was had by all. The kids and adults are all having so much fun on these exciting adventures and the kids are anxious to see where we are headed next.

Here's a recipe for 
Ginger Spice Cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses

  • Sugar

Combine first 6 ingredients in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Mix in crystallized ginger. Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar, shortening and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until blended. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets. Spoon sugar in a thick layer onto a small plate. Using wet hands, form dough into 1 1/4-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat completely. Place the balls on prepared sheets,spacing 2" apart.
Bake cookies until cracked on top but still soft to the touch, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets1 minute. Carefully transfer to racks and cool. 
Store in an airtight container.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

An Apple Picking Adventure

Check out this view!!!!

 On October 16th, we all piled in the car and headed to Carter's Mountain to go apple picking with the kids. Carter's Mountain is located exactly two hours west from us near Charlottesville, Virginia in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains and boy, were they beautiful. After the harrowing trip up the mountain the kids were so excited to jump out of the car and check out the view, and what a view it was!!! From there, we grabbed a wagon and schlepped up the mountain some more, but this time by foot. Finally, when we reached almost the tippy top of the mountain we found the apples. This was our first time apple picking and I have to say it was a lot of fun. We filled bags and boxes and then schlepped back down the mountain to enjoy a picnic lunch and then play in the pumpkin patch and check out all the apple goodies in the gift shop. We came home with 80 lbs of apples and homemade apple butter and the kids slurped down apple cider slushies and munched apple cider donuts on the trip home. Now to create some delicious treats with all these apples we picked! Hmmmm...apple sauce, apple pie, apple cookies, apple bread, apple crisp, etc.etc.