For many choosing margarine over butter is the obvious choice. After all, margarine is cheaper, “healthier” and tastes alright. That’s the way I saw it for years. The truth is though, you get what you pay for.

The makers of margarine claim it helps to prevent high cholesterol. This is a misunderstanding of fats. Fats have been downright attacked for awhile now to the point that people actually believe fat is harmful to their health. This is partially true in that certain fats are harmful. The margarine manufacturers work hard to get people to believe margarine is better for them because that idea makes them lots of money! They aren’t interested in the health of the public. Margarine is a waste product marketed as a health food. Brilliant!

I no longer buy margarine and haven’t missed it a bit. Now we use butter, olive oil and unrefined coconut oil. As an added bonus I found a source for local butter that comes from hormone free cows. It doesn’t cost much more than cheaper butter and it tastes fantastic!
You can see how margarine is made here. Check it out; you’ll be surprised!
For more information about the history of butter and margarine take a look at this article by Karl Loren.

An excellent resource on the various types of fats and their health effects can be found at the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Preschool For Emma

With my daughter Emma turning 4 this Fall I realized I should start thinking about Preschool. It’s always been my goal to homeschool if possible so this will be a nice practice run to see how it will go. I’m not wanting to do anything formal (like with textbooks) but just wanted some regular activities that we could do together. While researching I found an excellent article entitled ”Much Too Early” by David Elkind Ph.D. In the article he warns against teaching children to read or perform mathematical calculations at too young an age. Elkind notes that until age 6 or 7 children aren’t ready intellectually to understand such concepts. In fact, introducing these things too early may stress the child or negatively affect their view of school. Meanwhile there is more important groundwork to be laid in play and creativity. He says, “early education must start with the child, not with the subject matter to be taught.”
So here are a few areas I’ve decided to concentrate on with my daughter:

Dramatic play
Exploring and observing our surroundings
Learning about various professions (Farmer, doctor, mother etc)
Exposure to various types of music and rhythm
Lowercase letters (she knows the uppercase already)
Sounds the letters make
Creative play (blocks, playdough etc)
Memorizing nursery rhymes
Drawing, cutting & tracing
Possibly writing letters
Helping around the house

This website lists various skills to work on with your preschool child. Some of them are rather ambitious but I just use it for ideas and not as a strict guideline. 

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