Category: Blog

From the Schoolhouse to Your House – Part 1

Okay, 2020…we get it. No, really, we get it. You didn’t like that we were excited to tell you what to do, that you were going to be OUR year – the year WE whipped YOU into shape. So you kicked back. Hard. And we hear you – loud and clear. And you can lay off now. Can I get an amen, Pueblo?!  From masks to quarantine, from toilet paper shortages to runs on backyard pools, from the schoolhouse to your house, 2020 and its infamous sidekick, COVID-19, have our worlds reeling.

Parents of school-aged children are in a tough spot right now. Some are sending their kids back to the brick-and-mortar schools – even though their stomachs are in knots over it. Some have their kids at home with them but are using the school system’s online curriculum – even though their stomachs are in knots over it. And some have chosen to take their kids’ education fully into their own hands – even though their stomachs are in knots over it.

If you are a parent who is now newly homeschooling or considering doing so, the mere thought can feel entirely overwhelming.

  • How do you start, what curriculum do you use, how do you teach, and is it really even legal?

  • Will your kids be isolated and lonely?

  • Will your friends make fun of your choice?

Are these questions yours? I’ve been there too. I’ve been homeschooling six years now, and, thankfully, I’ve had a lot of people come alongside me to help me, talk with me, listen to me, instruct me, and encourage me. Every now and again I still get stuck and have to scream ask for help…and my tribe is always there for me. We all need each other, and, if you’re new to homeschooling, I would love to give you some information and encouragement. So let’s talk!

LAW

First, let’s talk law. Yes, homeschooling is legal. 😊 According to the Colorado Department of Education website, “…it is the primary right and obligation of the parent to choose the proper education and training for children under his care and supervision. It is recognized that home-based education is a legitimate alternative to classroom attendance for the instruction of children and that any regulation of non-public home-based educational programs should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate a variety of circumstances.”

Colorado is considered a minimum-requirement state and is homeschooling “subject to only minimal state controls”. Homeschool laws vary from state to state, and it’s important to research your state’s laws. You can find Colorado’s laws for home education here.

Colorado requires that:

  • For children ages six to 16, a Notice of Intent (NOI) must be sent to the school district each year fourteen days before your homeschool start date. This notice can be sent to any district, and should include the student’s name, age, address, and number of hours he or she will spend in the program. Though the NOI must be sent for children beginning at age six, your program need not start until the child is age seven.

  • Your educational program must include 172 days of instruction per year with an average of four hours a day. This includes any instructional content you, the parent or guardian, deem appropriate. Touring museums, attending co-ops, wandering through zoos, drawing at the table, cuddling on the couch and reading good books, star gazing and naming constellations, watching documentaries, listening to history CDs in the car, taking nature walks, doing grocery store math, and more count as “school” hours. There are myriad educational board, dice, and card games that make learning fun!

  • Homeschools are required to teach certain subjects. The website reads, “A nonpublic home-based educational program shall include, but need not be limited to, communication skills of reading, writing, and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, and regular courses of instruction in the constitution of the United States…” Please keep in mind, these are subjects you need to include throughout their education; they do not need to be taught every year, and the government does NOT dictate curriculum.

  • When the child completes the third grade, he or she must be evaluated, and these evaluations must be performed after every uneven grade thereafter. This can be done either by taking a nationally standardized achievement test, or a qualified evaluator can assess the student’s academic progress. The results must be sent to the district along with the NOI for the following year.

  • Homeschool parents are required to keep certain records, including attendance, test or evaluation results, and immunization records. These are to be kept on a permanent basis, and though they are virtually never solicited, they are to be produced to the school district if requested.

These are the main requirements to homeschool in Colorado, but it’s important to read the CDE website in full for expansion of these instructions and other information.  Please note that Colorado homeschool law does not dictate having a dedicated homeschool room, holding any parental teacher certification, placing or keeping your child in any particular, state dictated grade (3rd, 8th, etc.), or which curriculum to use.

As an alternative to Colorado’s homeschool statutes, many families choose instead to enroll in an umbrella or satellite school while continuing to teach at home. We will explore more about that option, as well as finding good homeschool groups, in Part 2 of From the Schoolhouse to Your House! And coming up in Part 3, we’ll wrap up this series with homeschool methods and the cost of homeschooling. Until then, send in that NOI and enjoy the adventure!

Part 2 of From the Schoolhouse to Your House here, incase you missed it.

Green Chile and Cheddar Corn Bread

Between school, birthdays and football parties? It seems like I’m always trying to come up with some sort of a dish to take somewhere! So I thought I’d share with you an easy, quick and delicious side dish that you can just throw together and take just about anywhere!

Cornbread is ALWAYS a big hit in our house! A quick meal is to toss some leftover beef chili (like this delicious Slow Cooker Lumberjack Chili)  over the top, add a pinch of cheese and sour cream and you’ve got a delicious and quick dinner! But it’s also fun to just grab a piece for a snack, with a little bit of butter! We’ve found quite a few ways to add some flavor to our cornbread over the years, but my absolute favorite is Green Chiles!!

 

Green Chile and Cheddar Corn Bread
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Author: Jacque
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
A delicious side dish, or main course for any meal! Corn bread is the perfect fall treat!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup boxed biscuit mix
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar (you can substitute 1 Tblsp Sugar, 1 Tblsp Brown Sugar too!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium roasted Pueblo Chile (diced) *You can add a second Chile if you like a little extra kick!
  • 1 can (drained) sweet corn
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9 inch Square baking pan. (Although I prefer to use my 10 inch Iron Skillet for this!)
  2. Stir biscuit mix, cornmeal, sugar, salt, milk, oil, butter, and eggs ina medium bowl until moistened – DO NOT OVER MIX! This batter will be slightly lumpy and have a gritty texture! Gently fold in the corn, cheese, and Chiles!
  3. Pour into Pan
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown and be sure to serve warm!
  5. If you have left overs, store in an air-tight container, and reheat before serving a second time!

If you’re looking for something else do to with your chile this year? How about Green Chile Mac N Cheese, or this awesome Green Chile and Corn Queso Dip?!

 

Pueblo Kids Eat Free



Pueblo has several kids eat free or kids eat at a discount throughout the city.  Here’s a list of the local restaurants that offer specials on kids meals different nights of the week.  If, you find a restaurant that we have missed please add a comment so we can add it to our list.  And it’s always a good idea to call the restaurant before you go to verify all deals.

Sunday

Captain D’s Seafood
3630 N. Freeway Rd.
Meal Deal:  kids 10 and under with free, 2 kids meal per adult purchase.

Monday

Shamrock Brewing Co.
108 W 3rd St, Pueblo
Meal Deal:  Kids 12 and under eat free, one kids meal per adult purchase.

Buffalo Wild Wings
5821 N Elizabeth St.
After 4:00 pm
Meal Deal:  Kids 12 and under eat for $1.99, one kids meal per adult purchase.

Tuesday

Pizza Ranch
761 S. Pueblo Blvd.
4:00 – 9:00 pm
Meal Deal: kids 12 and under eat free, one kids meal per adult purchase.

3 Margaritas
3620 N. Freeway Rd.
Meal Deal: kids 12 and under eat free, 2 kids meal per family.

Black-eyed Pea
801 W. US Highway 50
Meal Deal: kids 12 and under eat free, one kids meal per adult purchase.

Fazoli’s
1631 W. US Highway 50
5:00 – 8:00 pm
Meal Deal:  kids 12 and under eat for $0.99, 3 kids meal per adult purchase.

Wednesday

Applebee’s
4001 W. Northern Ave
3428 N. Elizabeth St
Meal Deal:  kids 12 and under eat for $0.99, 2 kids meal per adult purchase.

Cactus Flower
4610 N Elizabeth St.
Meal Deal: kids 12 and under eat free, one kids meal per adult purchase.

Thursday

Do Drop Pizza
1201 south santa fe avenue Pueblo CO 81006 or
944 E. Kimble Dr. Pueblo West, CO 81007
Meal Deal:  kids 10 and under eat free, one kids meal per adult purchase.

Captain D’s Seafood
3630 N. Freeway Rd.
Meal Deal:  kids 10 and under eat free, 2 kids meal per adult purchase.

Friday

None

Saturday

None

Pueblo Green Chili Recipe

Pueblo Green Chili is not like any other Chili you have tried.  It’s different, but delicious to say the least!  Pueblo Chile taste great with warmed tortillas or on top of an open face hamburger (in Pueblo we call that a Slopper).  Typically Pueblo green chili is pretty hot, so if you like a more mild flavor you can use Anaheim peppers instead.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds of diced pork (or hamburger)
6-8 Pueblo roasted green chilies, skin removed, cut into small pieces
1 small yellow onion diced
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of flour (approx.)
30 ounces of water or chicken broth (your choice)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup of diced fresh tomatoes or 1 (12 ounce) can of Rotel tomatoes & chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper

Directions

1. In large skillet brown pork in oil, until the meat is slightly pink.
2. Add onion and garlic, cook until they become soft. Add flour and stir, browning flour like if you were making gravy.
3. Add water (or chicken broth) slowing and keep stirring until it’s bubbling.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, then turn heat to low.

Tip: For picky eaters that don’t like chunks of tomato, peppers, or RoTel, place them into a blender and puree them!

Common Uses

Served in bowl
Smothered burritos
Inside breakfast burritos
Open face hamburgers (we call these sloppers)
Smothered enchiladas

It also freezes well too!

Green Chile and Corn Queso Dip

Green Chile Queso

My sister is visiting from Nebraska, and while we were at church the other day we were all talking about our favorite ways to include Green Chile! (We’re a little excited for Chile Fest, but who isn’t?) Of course, the most popular was breakfast burritos! (Maybe because our youth group was selling them, but who knows.) But my sister wasn’t so sure about this green chile thing, so I decided the best way to indoctrinate her would be to make a delicious snack!

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon and we decided we were going to have a movie night, and with any good movie night you need a snack! So I took one of my favorite dip ideas, and decided to add Pueblo Chiles! The results were amazing!

 

Green Chile and Corn Queso Dip
Recipe Type: Dip
Author: Jacque
A delicious dip, perfect for Football Sunday!
Ingredients
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
  • 1 (14 oz) corn, drained
  • 1/4 cup diced Green Chiles (or 1 4oz container, if using store-bought.)
  • 2 cups shredded “Fiesta Blend” cheese (or your favorite mexican food cheese)
  • 2 tsp Chile Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. In a saucepan, melt sour cream, cream cheese, corn, green chiles and 1 cup cheese together over medium heat. Stir in seasonings.
  3. Pour into a baking dish, I used 2 bread pans, but a 9 inch cake pan would work fine.Spread remaining 1 cup of cheese evenly over the top of the pan. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until cheese is nicely browned.
  4. Serve immediately with your favorite tortilla chips, celery or bread!

 

Is it Chile or Chili? Either way, check out some of our other favorite Chile recipes! Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese and Pueblo Green Chili!

Curious where to get Chiles?  Musso and DiSanti are two of the local farms in Pueblo that I love! (And they ship, if you’re not from Southern Colorado.) Or you can order New Mexico Hatch Chiles from Amazon! (I prefer Pueblo Chiles, their a little spicier – but the Hatch Chiles are still an excellent choice!)