Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

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Do you want your teen to succeed in life? There is proof that the better your teen’s vocabulary the more successful they will be. They are seen as intelligent, thoughtful and a person to trust. Think about that. Those annoying pretests and spelling tests we slog through week in week out are creating a foundation of success.

Our teens might not see it now but we do. It’s important to keep pushing spelling and vocabulary in the high school years. Thankfully you no longer have to teach the rules of spelling so your time on this subject will be greatly diminished. A short but intense teaching and follow up through out the week is often all that spelling at high school level calls for.

These Top 10 Spelling and Vocabulary Curriculum Choices are superb options for your high school student. We asked our fellow homeschooling Teach Them Diligently families what do you recommend as a High School Spelling and Vocabulary curriculum choice? We compiled their choices about this and 39 other levels and subjects of curriculum in our FREE Homeschool Family Favorite Guide .

TOP 10 choices for High School Spelling and Vocabulary Curriculum

  1. Wordly Wise 3000 Wordly Wise provides engaging, contextual vocabulary instruction. A fantastic homeschool vocabulary curriculum from Educators Publishing Service, this bestseller is a top vocabulary pick!
  2. Spelling Power  From the website: “Spelling Power has everything you need to teach spelling words and skills to your entire family to the college level. With Spelling Power, your children will master the 5,000 most frequently used words and key spelling principles at their own pace – in just 15 minutes a day—using research- proven strategies.”
  3. Abeka From the website“Each grade will give you lessons for 170 school days. Your child will have engaging books written and edited by skilled, experienced Christian educators. You’ll have teaching aids, clear lesson plans, and the option of expertly taught lessons on video.”

Working Towards Higher Test Scores

As a parent of a high school student the high stakes testing like SAT, ACT and AP courses were always looming. Tests results all around are higher for teens with a large vocabulary even in areas that are not language arts based. If your teen knows the vocabulary going in then they don’t have to struggle with the wording of questions and can focus just on the answers.

  1. All About Spelling
  2. Excellence in Spelling: Phonetic Zoo (by Institute for Excellence in Writing)
  3. Spelling Wisdom (by Simply Charlotte Mason)
  4. Spelling You See

College Admissions, Scholarships, and Better Jobs

Then there is the whole adult world that looks kindly on those with a wider vocabulary base and good spelling. From college essays that may dictate whether or not they get into a preferred college or get a scholarship. To employment paperwork where employers have been known to simply throw out those with misspelling immediately. Grumbly teen angst or not our teens need to continue learning spelling and vocabulary through their entire education.

  1. Sequential Spelling
  2. BJU Press Vocabulary
  3. ACE

Whether your teen loves new words or struggles finding the joy in spelling & vocabulary we need to urge them to keep learning. There are serious and notable perks to having a strong foundation in language they can pull from. Their adult job prospect go up. Their possibilities for college is broad and scholarships could be in the picture. In general our teens will become articulate educated Christians that shine into the world.

Homeschool Family Favorite Guide Free downloadable

This is just the beginning of many home education curriculum recommendations. Here is our FREE downloadable Homeschool Family Favorite Guide with many other top 10 recommendation by fellow homeschooling families.

If you would like to read more about learning to read Click below:

Tips for Writing a College Entrance Essay

Tips and Tricks for Winning Scholarships

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Homeschooling your young children through history is so much fun! Little kids love to be told stories and taught about new and unique ways of life and peoples. History provides all these lovely opportunities.

Teaching about the pilgrims at Thanksgiving and dressing as they might have at Plymouth. Cooking up a meal that you might get in northern Africa by asking a missionary who lives there. Don’t get me started on the number of field trips right in your own backyard!

Holidays provide great history lesson days!

As you can see I get super excited and start thinking of topics here and there that I can’t wait to share with my children. However, I want to be very sure that I cover not just my interests but the whole of American, World, Geography, Social Studies etc for my child. That is why I always use a structured curriculum as our ‘backbone’ for the year.

When you have a guide like a curriculum we cover a broad, in-depth  learning for that year. Because of the nature of homeschooling I do get to toss in unit studies or topical interests as well. The fun will continue and the learning will be plentiful.

We asked our fellow homeschooling Teach Them Diligently families what do you recommend as an Elementary History, Geography, and Social Studies curriculum choice? We compiled their choices about this and 39 other levels and subjects of curriculum in our FREE Homeschool Family Favorite Guide .

TOP 10 choices for Homeschooling Elementary History, Geography, and Social Studies Curriculum

  1. Story of the World (By The Well Trained Mind)  from the website- The Story of the World is an award-winning resource for families looking for a history curriculum they can fall in love with. Told in the straightforward, engaging style that has become Susan Wise Bauer’s trademark, this four-volume set covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. Africa, China, Europe, the Americas — find out what happened all around the world in long-ago times. This read-aloud series is designed for parents and teachers to share with elementary school children. Enjoy it together and introduce your child to the marvelous story of the world’s civilizations.
  2. Notgrass History from the website- Textbooks generally provide context and comprehensiveness. Unit studies generally provide depth and richness. In our courses, we attempt to bridge the gap between these two approaches by giving you tools that help you teach the heart, soul, and mind of your student. Our curriculum is easy for parents, requiring little planning or preparation. Our curriculum is rewarding for students, helping them learn to analyze the present by understanding the past.
  3. Masterbooks From the website, “Master Books® is the world’s largest publisher of creation-based material for all ages including apologetics, homeschool resources, reference titles, and quality children’s literature.”

Add Enriching Studies and Trips

As you are choosing your history curriculum check and see if your preferred option has enrichment activities. Some have whole enrichment options that go with the books giving you lots of ideas on historical reenactments, cooking, maps (old and new) and more. This will bring your history class to a whole new level and give you lots of neat things to take over and show grandma.

4. The Mystery of History

5. Beautiful Feet Books

6. Sonlight

7. Abeka History

History isn’t always beloved

I have shared why I love history. Now let me share why one of my kids hated it. Even with all my enthusiasm brimming she just snarled up her lip at the history book every time it came out. When we met the author to that history book at a Teach Them Diligently convention I noticed my daughter loved the conversation and loved to chat about history.

WAH? Is this the same child that can’t find her book? What is going on? Am I that bad a history teacher?

Nope. My daughter has dyslexia and history is a very reading heavy subject. Over the year I had started to rely more and more on her reading a section of the book and less on hands on kinetic learning. When I adjust back to more kinetic learning, getting an audio of the textbook, and allowing my daughter to help me plan a field trip a week she perked up. Stress gone and history back in the good books.

8. Simply Charlotte Mason

9. Heart of Dakota

10. Draw and Write through History

Your child will be soaking up the stories of their nation as you teach. This well-rounded Top 10 list of curriculum options will allow you to find a history book that aligns with your high standards and beliefs. Teaching your elementary children history, geography, and social studies will be a great time.

Homeschool Family Favorite Guide Free downloadable

This is just the beginning of many home education curriculum recommendations. Here is our FREE downloadable Homeschool Family Favorite Guide with many other top 10 recommendation by fellow homeschooling families.

If you would like to read more about learning to read Click below:

3 Ways to Make History and Geography Delicious

Top 10 Homeschooling Middle School History, Geography, and Social Studies Curriculum Choices

 

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One thing that binds every homeschooling subject together is the need for handwriting. To in some way put our thoughts in written form whether that’s a test, report, or a letter to grandma telling her how the local river got its name. The ability to write in manuscript or cursive will make our child’s life much easier in the years to come. Handwriting is one of the core homeschooling subjects we need to teach.

Yes, I did add cursive in there as a need. Being able to fluently write in cursive has shown benefits to a child’s brain and thought process. The ability to write faster will reduce frustration. And yes you parents of future drs even with tech there will be times you must write out scripts and they need to be legible. Parents of future engineers may giggle at that because all their kids are writing in careful (painfully slow) block manuscript, mine included.

We asked our fellow homeschooling Teach Them Diligently families what do you recommend as an Elementary Handwriting curriculum choice? We compiled their choices about this and 39 other levels and subjects of curriculum in our FREE Homeschool Family Favorite Guide .

TOP 10 choices for Homeschooling Elementary Handwriting Curriculum

  1. Handwriting Without Tears  From the website- “We use fun, engaging, and developmentally appropriate instructional methods to enable children to master handwriting as an automatic and comfortable skill.”
  2. A Reason for Handwriting  From the website- “A Reason for Handwriting®complete K-6th Handwriting Curriculum: it’s a fact that when children enjoy their lessons, learning is greatly enhanced and retention greatly increased. A Reason For Handwriting® provides a fun, meaningful approach to developing handwriting skills.”
  3. Abeka Penmanship  From the website “Each grade will give you lessons for 170 school days. Your child will have engaging books written and edited by skilled, experienced Christian educators. You’ll have teaching aids, clear lesson plans, and the option of expertly taught lessons on video.”

Learning how to write legibly and smoothly is a necessity. By the middle of elementary school many curricula have our children writing reports. By middle school they are writing out multiple reports, science experiments, etc a week. In high school things only get longer in length and more difficult. Not to mention in high school your then teen will most likely be taking a foreign language that they will need careful, clean writing skills to write out a new language. Writing is a foundation skill a lifetime of learning will be placed upon.

  1. Classical Conversations Prescripts
  2. Draw Write Now
  3. Simply Charlotte Mason Handwriting
  4. Zaner-Bloser Handwriting

How to Hold Your Pencil

Time to start handwriting and you want to be sure your child has a good pencil grip first. Here is a video from Happy Brown House’s Sara McClure showing one method of gripping a pencil.
https://youtu.be/VhtdJ4D0OtQ

  1. Bob Jones University Press Handwriting
  2. The Good & The Beautiful
  3. Memoria Press new American Cursive

We are setting the foundation blocks for a lifetime of writing skills. I do understand that there are children who struggle with writing and I am not trying to discount their journey or their ability to overcome and succeed. I am encouraging that we set all children on an early path to learn writing and if obstacles come up we address them immediately.

#1 Handwriting Without Tears is the number one choice for Occupational Therapists who work with children with dysgraphia and other handwriting issues

Great news is we have lots of different optiosn to teach handwriting to our elementary level children! Using the options shared by our fellow Teach Them Diligently families we have lots of options for our children to learn writing at home. From the early years of crayon scribbled first attempts at names on our refrigerator to college applications writing is a skill we teach our children that will last a lifetime.

 

Homeschool Family Favorite Guide Free downloadable

 

This is just the beginning of many home education curriculum recommendations. Here is our FREE downloadable Homeschool Family Favorite Guide with many other top 10 recommendation by fellow homeschooling families.

If you would like to read more about learning to read Click below:

Cursive and Drawing Help Students See That They are Wonderfully Unique

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What are my options to homeschool online? Years ago I would have blinked and given you a blank stare with the only options being the public school. Now we have a broad variety of options and families that have tried out everything from a full academy setting to a more class-by-class style.

You can homeschool your child utilizing online resources in a solid Christian manner online!

Live teachers, recorded sessions at your family/student’s pace, parent facilitated lessons, high quality high level education all of these options are at your fingertips. Literally! Homeschooling online has come of age and we get to reap the benefits of a variety of options.

Our community of families at Teach Them Diligently have been asked, “what do you recommend as a Online Homeschool academy choice.” We took all their suggestions and 39 other subjects of curriculum and put them in our FREE Homeschool Family Favorites Guide.

Here are the top 10 choices for Online Favorite Homeschool Academy

  1. Abeka Academy From the website- “Get the benefits of homeschooling — without the burden of doing everything yourself.”
  2. Bob Jones University Press Academy of Home Education From the website- “Video Lessons +Textbooks cover it all from teaching to testing. This option is perfect for busy parents or families with lots of kids learning at the same time.”
  3. Time 4 Learning From the website- “Award-winning, comprehensive curriculum allows parents to be in control of their child’s individual learning path.”

Online learning can be tailored to match your level of comfort with your child and screen time. Many online homeschooling options have built in timers you can use. On the parent side you will be able to see what your child is doing and how well they are doing. There are often several other things you can do such as look at time at task or how diligently your teen has been working (daily?). As the teacher parent adjust the schedule, timing, or whatever problem you see immediately because of fast accurate feedback and move on to be a success.

  1. Homeschool Legal Defense Agency Online Academy
  2. Veritas Scholars Academy
  3. Liberty Academy

Don’t forget parents your teens can do dual enrollment. This means that your teen is advanced enough to take college level courses with accreditation. Students in public high school  are doing just this their junior and senior year but with heavy restrictions as to what they can take. With homeschooling you can find a educational partner online like #6 Liberty Academy and start working toward a college degree at home.

  1. Memoria Press Online Academy
  2. Alpha Omega Academy (Found a Free Monarch Trial)
  3. The Potter’s School
  4. Accelerated Christian Education Digital Academy

Home Educating using online programs is a refreshing up to date method of homeschooling. Whether you go in for a full year of an academy or decide for a semester to have your teen take Algebra, you can craft the way and watch your child thrive. Flexibility is a hallmark of homeschooling and these options provide by the outstanding community at Teach Them Diligently will help guide you through the maze of options.

Homeschool Family Favorite Guide Free downloadable

This is just the beginning of many home education curriculum recommendations. Here is our FREE downloadable Homeschool Family Favorite Guide with many other top 10 recommendation by fellow homeschooling families.

Find more information with this article with details about Abeka Academy. Click here to read more.

 

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Home educating your preschooler is a great and high energy season of life. Homeschooling at this age in your family might involve singing songs, park play dates, loving on and playing with  younger siblings, and coloring with big crayons. You have been teaching your child since birth but now you feel it’s time to get a more formalized curriculum.

Read a book or two on homeschooling and variation can be overwhelming. Questions abound, and that’s okay. It’s common to have more questions than answers at first, so let’s tackle one of the biggest questions and needs of your homeschooling life– curriculum.

Is there even curriculum for preschoolers? Yes, there are many that are either full preschool curriculum programs or preschool level learning for a specific subject.

What books should I use? This is often influenced by what style you are choosing from Charlotte Mason, living books, traditional style, or even a more eclectic style with the structure of a curriculum. The list below covers a broad spectrum of curriculum options for your family so you can find something that fits your style.

We asked our fellow homeschooling Teach Them Diligently families what do you recommend as a Preschool curriculum choice, and we compiled their choices about this and 39 other levels and subjects of curriculum in our FREE Homeschool Family Favorites Guide.

The response was wonderful and so many great options. We have compiled a top ten list that will ease your stress level and start your homeschooling off to a bang!

Here are the top 10 choices for Preschool Curriculum

  1. Before Five in a Row Preschool  From FIAR’s websiteThis important product has two sections: the first presenting 23 Five in a Row-style mini-units (plus an extra mini-unit) based on outstanding children’s books for ages 2-4+.  The second presents an entire treasury of learning readiness activities intended to be used in your every day life: things to do in the kitchen, at the store, at bedtime, bath time and more.
  2. Rod and Staff From the website“This series provides preparation material. Six workbooks give practice in coloring, cutting, pasting, and following directions while learning neatness and carefulness with books. The storybook gives auditory and oral practice for the child.”
  3. Abeka Provided structure curriculum for 18-24 month, 2 year, and 3 year old. From the website“Each grade will give you lessons for 170 school days. Your child will have engaging books written and edited by skilled, experienced Christian educators. You’ll have teaching aids, clear lesson plans, and the option of expertly taught lessons on video.”

The extra fun part for our littlest homeschooling students is you can go at any speed your wish. Slow it down and add in lots of enrichment projects and field trips. Speed it up for a child that is thriving and wants to learn faster than average.

  1. All About Learning Press
  2. Little Hands to Heaven (Heart of Dakota) 
  3. My Father’s World

Creating a homeschooling environment in you home that matches your family is paramount this year. From simple and sweet, basket time in the morning, to baking in the afternoon. Perhaps a more structured style that blends with your other children’s learning is needed and you have to integrate multiple grades. Your family is special and wonderful. Take the time to find what works for you with the help of other families that have been there and have graciously passed along their knowledge.

  1. Sonlight
  2. All about Reading Preschool
  3. Timberdoodle Preschool
  4. A Year of Playing Skillfully- The Homegrown Preschooler!

No matter what you choose have fun and enjoy the beginning of a wonderful homeschooling journey. Preschool is a delightful time of your child’s life when the world is bright, big, and wonderful. You are who they look up to, to guide them through this blessed life. Enjoy!

This is just the beginning of many home education curriculum recommendations. Here is our FREE downloadable Homeschool Family Favorite Guide with many other top 10 recommendation by fellow homeschooling families.

 

Also, check out “Back to Homeschool for Preschool Moms” on the Teach Them Diligently blog for even more tips and helps for homeschooling preschool. Click here to read that article now.

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Vacation with a Vision

No matter when you go, or how you go, or even where you go, vacations are a great way to rest and recharge with family. They can mean even more if you endow them with vision. This year, get the most bang for your buck by asking the question: What could we do that would change us?

VISION STATEMENTS

A Vacation Vision gives your vacation purpose. And it works even if you’re not leaving town. For example:

This year, we’ll focus on others.

Go on a family missions trip. Spend the week helping build a Habitat Home. Volunteer to cook or clean at a camp. Help family friends pack up and move. Spend your vacation shopping, cleaning, babysitting, and cooking for someone experiencing illness or loss.

Staycation: Camp in your backyard, flag down the ice cream truck for a treat, have a treasure hunt, or play flashlight tag

This year, we’ll learn something new.

Pair new adventures with learning. Try a new Chinese restaurant after everyone can use chopsticks. Take a trip to the mountains that includes white water rafting. Learn sign language before visiting in a deaf community. Tour a factory or a local market.

 

Staycation: Learn what it’s like to visit old spots at new times. A trip to your favorite lake is good. A sunrise breakfast there—even better! A drive-thru for shakes and fries is good. Drive-thru with kids in their pjs—even better!

This year, spontaneity is our watchword.

Choose spur-of-the-moment activities like roadside museums or the scenic highway. RoadsideAmerica.com lists locations for everything from the world’s largest peanut to a Cadillac ranch. Select state favorites or map a particular city to find unique attractions. These apps may also help: Hotel Tonight (last-minute reservations) and Travel Zoo (map-based locations).

 

Staycation: Camp in your backyard, chase the ice cream truck, have a treasure hunt, or play flashlight tag.

 

When choosing to vacation with vision, you won’t just see a change in the scenery. You might also see a change in your family!

 

Note: This blog post is a reprint from the summer 2017 issue of Abekamazing. Subscribe here and never miss an issue.

 

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Every day, you give your all to enrich the lives of your children and educate them because that’s your calling. They will always be your first priority. But it can be easy to get overwhelmed, especially when you’re using a parent-led approach to homeschooling – there’s a lot to think about. “Am I doing enough?” easily creeps up when you’re laying your head down to fall asleep.  Our first priority is to make the Abeka curriculum effective so that you can lead your child’s education with absolute confidence and zero stress.

You Don’t Have To Be a Trained Teacher To Be a Great Teacher

No matter what subject or grade you’re teaching or what level of education you’ve received, Abeka Curriculum Lesson Plans are designed with a proven step-by-step method to help walk you through each piece of our traditional, parent-led approach. You will succeed! We even give you the exact words to say if you need them. Or, if you want to, you can get creative. It’s up to you.

Whichever route you choose, lesson plans serve as a helpful, comprehensive guide, whether you’re brand new to teaching or an experienced veteran.

What’s Available For K4–12th Grade Planning

We take the guesswork out of lesson planning and give you the confidence to stay on track every day. For K4–6th grade, Curriculum Lesson Plans include a detailed, easy-to-follow daily guide, formatted in conveniently bound booklets. Similarly, lesson plans are included in the Teacher Edition of each textbook for 7th–12th grade.  You can sleep soundly at night knowing that tomorrow’s lessons are ready to go, because every day when you wake up, you’re already set up for success.

Included in every subject guide:
  • Quizzes & test timelines (suggested)
  • What to teach when (suggested)
  • Teaching advice
  • Grading guides
  • Tips for when & how to use teaching aids
  • Engagement activities
  • Learning games
  • Discussion questions
  • Step-by-step instructions for teaching compositions, including research papers

But Do Lesson Plans Really Help That Much?

Absolutely. Whether you teach eclectically or use solely Abeka’s curriculum, our teacher support materials will work to keep you organized and on track. If you’re using Abeka across subjects, you’ll start to notice that the subjects all interrelate. A spelling word that your child is learning will also relate to the scientific terms in another lesson, helping them to review those terms in a new way. That’s what we refer to as cross-subject integration, and it’s a big part of why Abeka’s curriculum works. Then, we layer the spiral review approach into our discussion questions, games and activities, which means that integral pieces of each lesson will continuously come back again. As themes continue to circle back around, important concepts will be cemented in your child’s mind.

 

We believe that learning is not about regurgitating answers, it’s about nurturing your child into becoming a well-rounded young adult. And that’s what our teacher support materials are designed to do – educate your children for life, not just for test-taking. Meanwhile, having a plan gives you peace of mind that you are doing enough.

Try Our Lesson Plans Risk Free

Test out our teacher support material for yourself. With a daily plan in place, we guarantee that your homeschool experience will drastically improve. That’s why we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on new materials. If you don’t think they’re making your life easier, just send them back. We’ll happily refund you.

Shop lesson plans here.

 

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Homeschool Resources

There’s so much to learn from the past—and even more to explore in the world. Why not make your history and geography studies a culinary adventure!

Here are three ways to do that based on actual topics covered in the Abeka History and Geography program.

1. Cowboy Pockets

As children learn about the people who made America great in our 2nd grade textbook, Our America, they’ll discover patriots, explorers, native Americans, and cowboys. This treat imagines the kind of meal a group of caballeros might have put together around an open campfire.

(Of course, they might have used a cut of beef or wild game, but our recipe calls for ground beef.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef, shaped into patties
  • Onion, peeled and sliced
  • Potatoes, sliced thin
  • Carrots, sliced thin
  • One 12” x 12” sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil per serving
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

 

Place first four ingredients on foil sheet.

Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Fold foil into a pouch until sealed.

Bake at 350º for 45 minutes.

Serves 3-4

 

(For the complete pioneer experience, make this meal next time you camp or have an open fire. Rake aside some hot coals and set pouches directly on them at the edge of the fire for around 30 minutes.)

Our America can be purchased individually or as part of a full-grade or subject kit.

 

 

2. Chocolate Mousse

The Eastern Hemisphere is the focus of history and geography studies for 7th graders. In World Atlas and Geography Studies of the Eastern Hemisphere (which works in conjunction with History of the World and other texts), they’ll identify and label important cities, countries, rivers, mountain ranges, and deserts. And with this recipe, they’ll also get a taste of a traditional French dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 10 oz. dark (bittersweet) chocolate, crushed into tiny pieces
  • Chocolate shavings for garnish

 

In a double boiler, slowly heat chocolate pieces.

While chocolate is melting, beat heavy cream until peaks just begin to form.

Fold melted chocolate into cream without overmixing.

Divide equally into serving cups and chill at least one hour.

Sprinkle shavings onto mousse just before serving.

Serves 4

 

World Atlas and Geography Studies of the Eastern Hemisphere can be purchased individually or as part of a full-grade kit.

 

3. Orange Kumara Chips

Fifth graders learn about international lands and cultures through Old World History and Geography. This yummy side dish from New Zealand can go with lots of meals. And don’t let the name throw you off – kumarais Maori for sweet potato.

Ingredients:

  • 2 kumara (sweet potatoes), medium and unpeeled
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1/8 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

Place kumara in a pot of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Drain and let cool.

While kumara is cooling (about 15 minutes), preheat oven to 375 degrees and combine salt, lime zest, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, and black pepper.

Slice kumara into wedges and place on rimmed baking sheet.

Brush with oil and sprinkle spice mix.

Bake for 20 minutes or golden brown.

Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

Serves 4

 

Old World History and Geography can be purchased individually or as part of a full-grade or subject kit.

 

 

 

 

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