Thursday, October 29, 2015

Our Weekly Wrap- Up; A Day Early

  We had a shortened week of school this week.  My hubby and I had an overnight trip planned so the boys had the end of the week off from school.  It's also why I'm posting our weekly wrap up a day early because our week is DONE!  I think the boys were looking forward to us going away almost as much as I was looking forward to getting away.  We spent Monday on a field trip at the zoo so it was a pretty lightened load of schoolwork this week.  With Halloween coming up this weekend we tried to incorporate lots of fun "Halloween" type stuff into our week.   Luckily, the boys worked extra hard on those two days we actually did school knowing they had a few days off to look forward to.

Science-- All three boys finished up their display boards for the science fair.  We also spent a full (chilly!) day at the zoo observing all the animals.  It was a Halloween themed day at the zoo; the kids wore costumes and got to trick or treat around the zoo in the various shops and buildings.  The Zoo Boo days are always so much fun.  Many of the animals were very active and I swear the monkeys were playing peek a boo with the kids!  We heard lots of animal noises and got to feed the parakeets.  The boys spent quite a bit of time looking at a gem chart we found reading the names and trying to memorize what the rocks looked like.   We've been watching the geese at the lake; this time of year we get a LOT of geese stopping by on their migration journey.  They're loud and arrive in small groups by by the end of the day the lake often looks pretty full.

Learning about gems found in mining 

Look at all the geese! 

Math-- They each completed 6-8 more pages in their math workbooks.  Evan and Alec wanted to buy some new toys at the zoo and reminded me that they had money at home.  Once home they had to figure out how much they owed me, counted that out of their banks and wallets, and then Evan decided to recount what money he had left over.  We've checked out lots of candy math books from our library in preparation for next week and putting our Halloween candy to good use.

Reading  and Language Arts-- Evan read Follow Carl, Leaves, and part of Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night.  Alec finished reading Tombquest and picked out three new books series to try while at the library.  He started reading Seaborne. Ian started reading Nasty, Stinky Sneakers.  Evan completed a few more pages in his Star Wars reading book on his own in the car one morning.  He had no problems with it all and told me that with the word forest he tried to see if he saw any smaller words inside it then when he saw the word for he sounded out the rest.  The older boys worked on their cursive for a bit and they all spent a bit of time on their spelling words this week too.  We began listening to So You Want To Be a Jedi in the car and we're enjoying it so far.  We read a few Halloween stories too just for fun.

Physical Education-- We went roller skating one night as a family, meeting up with my sister and nephews.  It's been awhile since we've taken the boys and they had so much fun.  It was a lot more  work than they had remembered but they still enjoyed it. Alec kept challenging himself by trying to squat down and lift one let up while skating so he could participate in the shoot the duck contest next time.  The boys also had karate this week and we spent an entire day walking around the zoo.

History and Geography--  We're still plugging away on our books Cracker! and Who Was George Washington?  We're already trying to decide what we want to focus on for our next history unit now that we'll be leaving Vietnam behind.  We'll revisit the Vietnam war unit when the boys are older and we can watch some of the movies about it and cover it more in depth.  For geography we spent quite a bit of time at the zoo studying all the maps and talking about the relationships between countries and the differences between countries and continents.  We talked a bit about the history of Halloween and why scary costumes and frightening people seem to go hand in hand with it.

Art-- The older boys carved pumpkin this week.  We now have a storm trooper and a Minecraft creeper glowing in our living room at night.  They worked really hard a did a great job.  Alec has started taking quite a few photographs this week too.  We noticed a beautiful sunrise one morning so I went outside to try and capture the bright pink, yellow and orange in the sky but all the colors were muted in the picture so Alec tried it with the camera on his Kindle.  That sparked something and he spent the next few days photographing groups of his stuffed animals and whatever else struck his fancy.

** Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers again this week for their weekly round up**

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

25 FREE Homeschool Field Trips

We go out on field trips a lot.  Many of them are set up through homeschooling groups so we can get awesome discounts.

However, there are times we just want to head out on our own, usually on a whim, and I'm not always prepared to fork over a lot of money to do that.  I try to keep an ongoing list in my head of places we can check out that won't cost anything.

With some research and searching I've been able to come up with quite a list.

  • Hiking-- There are many hiking trails nearby and the more I look and ask around the more trails we learn about.  It's great to get out in the wood through all the various seasons and see the changes.  We often walk the same path at the same places which makes these differences really obvious but it's also great to check out new trails once in a while.
  • Visit a church, synagogue, temple or mosque-- most are open to the public and visitors are free to quietly look around.   Whether you are a religious family or not it's always interesting to learn about other faiths and see what objects they use in their worship.  
  • Nautilus Museum-  is a wonderful history museum and it's always free to visit.  We have found a few wonderful museums like The US Army and Heritage Museum in Pennsylvania  that are also free and chuck full of history.  Many museums that are run by the government are free of charge; ask around your area and I bet you'll find one or two. 
  • Visit a local art studio-- Museums are wonderful for looking at art and talking about the various movements in art but they can be expensive.  Visiting a local art studio or gallery is a fun and economical way to see some great arts of work.  Many local colleges have art shows too and we often have displays at our local library.  It's a fun, free way to get some art education into our schooling.  
  • Overlook Farm- While many farms allow people to visit free of charge, overlook farm also has a great global village set up with examples of housing and products from all around the world.  On our previous trip we were even able to watch a movie explaining the mission of Heifer International.              
  • UConn Barns-- Another great set of barns that we've been wanting to visit.  Set on a university campus these working barns allow visitors to see horses, cows, goats and other farm animals up close.  Plus they have a great dairy shack where you can buy freshly made ice cream! (OK: so the ice cream part would not be free but c'mon it's freshly made with cream from their own farm!).   
  • Audubon centers-  Not all Audubon nature centers are free; there is usually a fee if you want to go inside the building.  However, I have yet to stumble upon one that makes us pay to park or to walk the grounds.  We've had some truly wonderful walks spotting birds and wildlife at some centers.  They're great spots for picnicking with some binoculars. 
  • Free Museum Days- Most museums offer free admission days for homeschoolers, educators, or even to the general public on certain days of the year.  We're always keeping our eye out for free days!  We managed to spent a fee day at Mystic Seaport (a trip that would have cost us upwards of $60!). 

  • Bike Trails-  There are many wonderful bike trails that run alongside rivers and towns.  We haven't yet taken advantage of them since Evan just learned to ride but we can't wait to get out there and explore nature while enjoying some fresh air and exercise. 
  • Maple Sugar Shacks--  We've had great fun touring maple sugar shacks and seeing how maple syrup is made.  We often spend a bit of money buying some syrup or maple cotton candy but it is technically a free field trip.  
  • Apple Orchards and Fall Festivals-- We enjoy trips to the apple orchard and it's again one of those things where we often end up spending money but we don't necessarily have to.  A few of the orchards around here host family weekends in the fall complete with hay/ tractor rides, a trip to the pumpkin patch, music, demonstrations of cider making and free samples of their products. 
  • The Beach-- A great field trip in all seasons (providing you dress for the weather). We've watched the differences in ocean waves, combed the beaches for "treasure", found wild life and enjoy the peaceful crashing lull of the waves. We only have to pay to park from Memorial day to Labor day around here so all other times of the year this is free!
  • The Boxcar Children Museum-- Learning about the life and times of Gertrude Chandler Warner.  While the museum is not often open it's completely free and a fun trip for those fans of the Boxcar Children series. 
  • Nature Centers-- Many small, state run nature centers are free and open to the public.  We've learned to scout them out ahead of time online to see if they have any fees and what they might offer.  Many have a few live animals and some small hands on activities for kids as well as miles and miles of trails to discover too. 
  • Newport Mansion Cliff Walk--  While we have looked at the mansions in Newport from the water we have yet to walk along the cliffs that run just behind the mansions.  We're looking forward to getting a closer view of the homes and the yards by walking along the cliff walk.  
  • Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston-- Another great way to "live" history is to follow the freedom trail in Boston.  It's a 2.5 mile walk that incorporates 16 different sites pertaining to the Revolutionary war.  We can't wait to try this out.  You can pay for a tour of the freedom trail but you can follow the trail for free also and only stop at those places that interest you and your family. 
  • Virtual Field Trips-- Even when we can't get out of the house there are many wonderful virtual field trips that allow us to feel like we're seeing it in person.  Our favorite field trips are often tours of factories that allow us to see how things are made. 
  • Microsoft Coding Classes-- while not something we can wander to on our own they do have free classes available to homeschool groups and school groups for learning basic beginner coding and my boys just LOVED it. 
  • Visit the State Capital Building-- Seeing democracy in action and tour the capital building!  This is a great way to see how the government works particularly if you go on a day that they have sessions for you to look in on.  
  • Grocery Store-- sounds funny I know because if your kids are anything like mine they've spent plenty of time there already but many stores will allow small groups of students tours of different areas of the market that you may not necessarily see as you're shopping.  
  • Cemetery-- it may sound a bit morbid but old cemeteries can be, dare I say, fun?  It's neat to walk through and calculate how old the people were when they died.  Look for dates that coincide with what period you're learning about in history.  Take along some large sheets of paper and crayons for rubbings.  You may even find some historical names you recognize!
  • Visit Fort Wetherill or other forts/ battle sights--  We love visiting fort Wetherill and have been on the lookout for other free historical places to visit.  Once we started looking we've found quite a few; typically these old sites have crumbling structures you can look at and a placard or two that tell you a bit about the history of the area. 
  • Set up tours of the fire station, police station, post office or bank-- Many local businesses are more than happy to show groups of students around and explain what they do to help the community.  
  • Visit and Animal Shelter-- A great way to see how animals in need are being helped in your community.  Many shelters are even looking for volunteers or you can work with a group to gather up supplies like food and animal toys and drop some off when you go.  
  • Science fair days at local colleges and universities-- We have a wonderful time at Touch Tomorrow each year.  My boys get to try out hands on science experiments, try out student made video games and see the entire campus.  

Linking up with:  ”FrugalMommas”

The Homeschool Post

Monday, October 26, 2015

Help for New Homeschoolers

I am asked about homeschooling all the time.  Random strangers are often curious about our day and our lifestyle.  People who are unhappy with public school and looking for alternatives are intrigued with the idea that they too can do what I do.

 I am often asked by new homeschooling parents what advice I'd give them.  I'm asked how I structure our day, how I teach multiple grades, how I know if we're doing "enough," am I worried about my kids socialization...

The list of questions goes on and on.

I understand where they're coming from though because I had all the same questions running through my head when I was thinking about and first starting out homeschooling.  Over the years I've tried to answer most of this through various posts and thought today that I'd try to compile most of those posts into one spot for easier reference.

  • When I'm questioned about our lessons and plans I often admit that we don't lesson plan; I used to but found it just never worked for us.  There are other families that plan out everything.  It will take time to find the routine that works for you and we all joke that once you do find that perfect routine life will change and you'll need to find a new one.  Here was our journey to finding what would work for us. 

  • I think one of the hardest parts of homeschooling is believing in oneself.  There are so many doubts circling around in all homeschooling parent's heads.  Are we doing enough?  Are we doing to much?  Are they learning?  What if for some reason we can no longer homeschool and they have to go back to public school?  What if I'm failing at this whole thing?  What if I'm screwing up my child's future.  It's hard and it's daunting, but I do think some doubt, fear, and anxiety (just SOME) is good.  It helps to make sure I'm doing right by my boys but when those fears become overwhelming or when the boys are drowning in schoolwork because I've gone off the deep end trying to over compensate for those fears it helps to remember my goals and my beliefs.  Life is a journey not a race and we learn everyday throughout this whole journey. Perhaps it's best summed up with these two articles: 

  • When asked how I manage to teach three different grades at the same time I explain how we combine certain subjects and how I try to spend some one on one time with them for math and reading.  But, of course, there is more to it than that. 

  • I remember what it felt like to be a new homeschooling mom and after a few years of living the life I couldn't help but think of all that I wished I had known when I started so I wrote a letter to myself (and to everyone else) telling myself everything I wish I had known when I was first starting out:  

  • When asked if we have a special classroom or area of our house that we homeschool in, I try to explain why we don't.  I believe that we learn everywhere all the time and the best part of homeschooling is making the world our classroom.  

  • When asked if I'm worried about my kids socialization I try not to laugh or roll my eyes as I answer the one question that seems to worry everyone the most.  Don't worry, unless you lock yourselves up at home alone you're kids will be socialized! 

  • People often ask if my kids miss public school or were resistant to homeschooling and I can honestly say that they asked to homeschool and remind me repeatedly why they would not enjoy going back to public school.  
  • However, I think most parents assume that kids who wanted to homeschool are overjoyed to work and learn and are the most eager of students everyday.  That is not the case.  My kids do want to be homeschooled and most days they do enjoy learning; however they never enjoy the actual schoolwork.  Most days they willingly complete their work but motivation is always a problem.  I try to keep our work hands on, interesting and relevant which helps tremendously but there are times when we just have to buckle down and do some work.  They don't always agree. 

  • Many parents are not as worried about teaching preschool, kindergarten or even elementary school but find middle school and high school daunting.  I'm honest enough to admit that I feel pretty much the same way and while I have no advice for homeschooling high school I do plan to continue homeschooling as long as my boys would like me to.  I'm hoping when I reach that age I find it as a smooth a transition as I did from teaching elementary to teaching middle.  Because, so far, I'm finding middle school to be fun.  

  • When asked what I consider the pros and cons of homeschooling I often joke that there aren't any cons, but of course there are.  Often I find that the pros and cons go hand in hand and when I'm adding them up the pros obviously outdo the cons (or else why would I still be doing this?!).

  • When asked about how I grade their papers or who checks to make sure we're learning what we're supposed to, I have to explain that I alone am responsible for teaching them and making sure they understand the material but I don't need to grade their papers to know if they're learning or understanding the material.  I only have three students and it's obvious to me most of the time when they do or do not understand a concept we're working on. 

  • A lot of time I feel that people are asking so many homeschooling questions because they are genuinely not sure if homeschooling is right for them.  While I am quick to tell everyone that ANYONE CAN homeschool there are probably times when homeschooling would not be a good fit.  People who are genuinely not sure if they can/ want to homeschool might want to consider that there are times when homeschooling might not be best.  

  • I am often asked how I handle teaching subjects I was not good at in school.  In reality I'm learning alongside my kids.  Everyday they are teaching me things and I know I don't have all the answers.  Luckily I know that together we can find the answers-- by asking for help from someone else, reading more about the topic, etc.  My worst subject was history in school and I dreaded memorizing names, dates and places.  I have made certain to teach my boys history in a fun, engaging way focusing on the story and the background and not so much on the dry facts.  

Linking Up With:
Hip Homeschool Moms
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Friday, October 23, 2015

Weekly Review-- Year 4 Week #9

We finally had a pretty quiet week around here and spent several days at home trying to catch up on schoolwork and housework.  We did get out and enjoy the nice weather spending a day at the park too.  We're hard at work on our science fair projects and getting all ready for Halloween.

History-- We read Thomas Jefferson's Feast, a few more chapters in Cracker! The Best Dog In Vietnam, and started reading Who Was George Washington?

Science-- We've been hard at work on our science fair projects.  Ian has read Bridges Are to Cross, Bridges by Joy Richardson, Bridges; Amazing Structures to Design, Build and Test, Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering, and The Bridge Book.  He has also been hard at work building bridges with his K'nex STEM kit.   The bridges have been amazing.  I just wish the kit were big enough that he could have more than one bridge built at a time.  Evan read Nocturnal Animals: Aye- Ayes, Aye- Ayes an Evil Omen, and Lemurs, Lorises, and other lower primates.  He finished writing up his report and since they're such rare animals we're looking for more ideas to fill up his display board.   Alec read Life Cycles: Ocean, Ocean Food Webs by Paul Fleisher, What Eats What In an Ocean Food ChainOcean Seasons, Nature's Bounty: Ocean, and Deep Ocean Food chains.  He typed up a few food webs and finished his display board!   Both of the younger boys participated in a science class with the 4-H club on Saturday and spend a fun morning making goop and running all sorts of wonderful candy experiments.  You can read about those experiments here.

The suspension bridge he made 

Reading-- Evan read Hooray for Fly Guy! and Fly Guy vs. The Flyswatter.  His favorite book we read this week was Pouch!  He thought this was a hilarious story and he read it with so much expression too.  While waiting for some more Fly Guy books to come in from other libraries we stumbled upon Carl's Halloween and realized that Carl is a whole series too.  He really enjoys these books as well since there are many pages with beautiful illustrations and no words at all. We also read Carl's Masquerade.  Evan has also spent a lot more time practicing letter sounds and blends on Teach Your Monster to Read as well as working on blends in his Star Wars phonics book.  Ian finished Ms. Cuddy is Nutty and went back to reading Divergent.  Alec finished up Garden of the Purple Dragon and started reading Tombquest book 3; Valley of Kings.  We all read Gorgonzola: A Very Stinkysaurus together and finished listening to How to Ride a Dragon's Storm.

Math-- Evan worked some more on adding coins, fact family houses, and in his workbook.  He totally surprised me one day working on word problems with me (that he chose to do) and was not at all phased when adding large numbers; often in his head.  Ian finished up his last Key to Measurements book completing the practice test too and spent a few days on Khan Academy and playing on-line math games at  Alec worked in his workbook everyday this week completing two pages each time.  Ian had some real-life math practice this weekend figuring out the tip for our lunch.  Evan earned some money working this weekend and just for fun started adding by 20's.  He also figured out how much money he had altogether for spending adding together the money he already had in his bank and the money he earned.  All three boys ended up adding up all their money and the older two boys asked if they could make a deposit in the bank after buying some Christmas gifts for the family.  So all three boys sat down and picked out gifts for one another keeping track of what they were spending and trying to make sure they were picking out gifts that their brothers would love.

Life Skills-- Ian spent the day on Saturday working with my husband organizing the shop and tools.  All three boys spent the day Sunday working outside clearing land and trimming blueberry bushes.  None of us were all that certain how to properly trim the trees but we worked hard to understand how they grown and are hopeful that we did more good than harm.  The boys each took turns hauling brush out to the woods, learning how to use the clippers, and pulling out weeds of other plants that were growing in the blueberry patches.  The boys also helped with laundry and housework too.  We're trying really hard to get back into our routine of cleaning just a bit of the house each day and having one boy help out with dinner each night.

Health/ Physical education-- Alec spent some time at the dentist getting his tooth pulled.  Luckily, he recovered quite quickly and all three boys were still able to get to karate class and continue honing their skills.  We also spent a day at the park with my nephews and the kids used the swings, played ball, rode bikes and scooters and played all over all the playground equipment.  Ian wanted to spend an afternoon at Zoinks Fun Factory as a reward for finishing up his math workbook series and since I just loved that his reward included exercise we squeezed that into our week too.  We've been consciously adding more exercise into our days and routine and one small thing we've added is a family rule that they have to do 10 push ups, 10 sits up and 10 jumping jacks before turning on any screen.  It's a bit silly but it's quick and they don't mind and even after just a week we've seen a big improvement in their stamina; especially when it comes to push ups!

Socialization--  We met lots of new people at the Saturday Science club. We also met up with our homeschool group for a healthy Halloween party this week.  We played games, had fun relay races and enjoyed some yummy snacks.   I think everyone's favorite game was our version of musical chairs; where you take a chair away but not a kid so they have to smoosh in and share and pile on top of one another.  It was hilarious. The boys had a great day playing with their cousins and they always enjoy talking to the other kids and adults at karate too.  All three of my boys are pretty social and strike up conversations with people they meet wherever we go-- clerks at the store, children and adults at the library, the gas attendant at the gas station, etc.

All the kids piled on 4 chairs; laughing and helping each other out. 

Weekly Wrap-Up

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Goop, Slime, Play dough & Sensory Play Recipes

My kids love playing with play dough, slime, goop, and making new types of dough.  There was a time we were making something new just about every week.

There's something about watching two or three ingredients combine that just fascinated them.  Sometimes our dough "experiments" failed but usually we had something new to play with and the joy lasted for several hours or days.

Now that the kids are older we don't make dough as often but we still enjoy making something when we're bored and looking for something out of the ordinary to do.

Most of the time I didn't measure or really follow a "recipe" so I have a hard time re-creating some of our favorite play doughs.  I thought I take the time to compile a list of recipes for easy reference:

1.  Beach dough-- This one smells like the beach and reminds us of summer!  It was the easiest to make too; one box of cornstarch and 1 bottle of Suave Ocean Breeze conditioner and enough baking soda to stiffen the dough up (this varies depending on how much conditioner you actually can get out of the bottle).  The great thing about this recipe is using a different scented conditioner will get you a different dough.  Studying apples?? Make apple dough.  Planting strawberries??  Make strawberry dough!  The possibilities are endless and the conditioner in the dough leaves your hands nice and soft afterwards.

2,  "Fluffy Stuff"-- that's just what we call it!  We mix two boxes of corn starch and two bottles of shaving cream to make enough for all three boys to play with.  Caution: this one is a messy one!  I found cornstarch everywhere when we were done.  However it was lots of fun and totally different sensory experience.

3.  Foamy Sand-- Put 3 cups of sand into a large bowl or container and mix in one container of shaving cream.  Just keep mixing and adding more shaving cream until you like the mixture.

4.  Fake Snow-  6 cups of Baking soda and 1 cup of hair conditioner (any type of conditioner is fine but it must be white if you want it to look like snow!).  This dough stays cool to the touch too!

5.  Goop-  Cornstarch and water.  That't it.  Just add equal amounts of water and cornstarch and mix.  To make colored goop add food coloring to the water before stirring in the cornstarch.  Don't be afraid to experiment either.  We've used paint water and cornstarch for a bright goop.  We've added pop rocks candy into the cornstarch before adding the water for "fire cracker" goop.

6.  Cloud Dough-- Mix 8 cups of flour with 1 cup baby oil.  We've made sparkly cloud dough by mixing in glitter too.

7.  Silly Putty-- Mix equal parts liquid cornstarch and Elmer's school glue together.  If you'd like colored silly putty add some food coloring to the school glue before adding the starch.  It's pretty simple but requires quite a bit of mixing and stirring.  I prefer to wear disposable laytex gloves and kneed it with my hands.  If the mixture is really sticky and I can not get if off the gloves I add just a bit more starch to the mixture.  If it seems stringy and will not firm up I add just a bit more glue to the mixture.

8.  Slime--   A single batch uses 4 oz. clear school glue.   Mix Elmer's glue and food coloring in a bowl.  In a separate container dissolve 1 tsp Borax in 1 cup of HOT water.  Let it sit for a few minutes and then add to glue mixture while stirring.  You'll see it start to firm up immediately.

9.  Lotion Dough-- One day the boys wanted to make our Fake Snow dough but I was out of conditioner.  Always looking for new ways to make something fun we tried making the dough with a bottle of lotion instead.  It was a bit runnier and didn't stay as cool feeling but I loved that the lotion dough served double duty keeping my middle son's hands moistened.  He has such bad eczema in the winter and just hates to use lotion but he was willing to play with this dough.  We just adjusted the amount of dry ingredients until we had a consistency we enjoyed.

10.  Foam-- by far the easiest "dough" ever!  We took 1/3 cup of water and a squirt of dish soap and put it in our food processor on high until the foam was all the way to the top (a blender would work just fine too!).  You can add food coloring for fun colors too.  Best way to play with soap and water EVER!

11.  Flubber-- It feels and acts just like silly putty but it's made like Slime; Using regular school glue mixed with food coloring and a bowl of hot water and Borax you combine the two mixtures and get a fun dough.

12.  Fizzing Dough-- Any of the dough recipes above made with lotion or conditioner with baking soda can make a wonderfully fun fizzy dough with the addition of a little vinegar.  My kids spent hours one day turning our lotion dough into fizzing dough using droppers and a mug full of clear vinegar.

13.  Kool- Aid Dough-- Using a packet of unsweetened Kool- Aid mix with Baking Soda and slowly add water until you have a good dough- like consistency.  If you add too much water it will be runny and not a good dough but you can always add more baking soda until you get the right consistency.  For brighter colors you can add food coloring too.

14.  Moon Sand-- 4 Cups sand, 2 cups cornstarch, and 1 cup water.  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.  If dry add a bit more water, if wet you can add a bit more cornstarch.

I saved this for last because I HATE making dough that needs to cook on the stove.  I like quick and easy and I don't find doughs that I have to cook to be that easy or that quick.

15.  Jell-O dough--  1 cup flour and 1/2 cup extra, 1 cup water, 2 TBSP salt, 2 TBSP cream of tartar, 2 TBSP vegetable oil and 1 3-ounce package of Jello.  Combine all ingredients in a non- stick sauce pan (except for the extra flour) and mix well. Once it's all mixed together heat over low heat until a ball of dough forms.  It takes time; you have to cook off all the liquid and you need to stir it pretty much constantly.  Once the dough is formed turn it onto wax paper or foil to cool.  Once cool to the touch it's safe to play with and then you can store in an air tight container for a few months.

Linking with: Collage Friday