If You Give a Homeschooler Some Salt

November 23rd, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 18 comments

If you have avoided children for the past thirty years, you may not be familiar with the classic book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. This popular tale, written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, reveals a probable chain of events familiar to us all. If you give a mouse a cookie he might want a glass of milk; the glass of milk might lead to a request for a straw and so on and so forth until the mouse’s desires loop back to requesting another cookie. We’ve all been there, whether with mice, children or ourselves. How many of us have upgraded an outfit, room or website only to discover that the new and improved look compels us to upgrade another and then another item?

This just happened to me. I decided to clean out my pantry and discovered a ridiculous amount of salt. I know how this came about – I don’t cook with salt very much yet I buy new boxes of both table and kosher salt (which describes the size of the crystals, not its kosher status) for Passover each year. Since we never finish these containers, they pile up.

These days, salt is not an expensive item. Even so, I was reluctant to simply throw it away. I texted my two daughters asking if they wanted salt to make relief maps with their children who are in a homeschool geography club. I should have known better. I got an immediate response saying what a wonderful idea it would be if I would make relief maps with the girls. That of course led to searching for videos on how to actually make the salt dough and finding printable maps of Washington and Maryland, the girls’ respective assignments. I needed to pull out paint and scissors and run to the store for flour as well. Since two of my darling granddaughters were already coming over, they might as well stay for supper so I put up a batch of macaroni and cheese which, incidentally, called for a pinch of salt.

I may not be crazy about mice, but if you give a retired homeschooling mother some salt, she will think of an educational project which will lead to enjoying her blessings. Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

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18 comments

Salt is deadly and being we get to much of it already, so use very very little.

Flayer says:

Oh, I wouldn’t say “deadly.”

Deborah Leyde says:

I am convinced you just foretold my future, Susan! Our granddaughter loves what she calls the “Mouse-Cookie book.” Blessings to you and the Rabbi!

Susan Lapin says:

Have fun, Deb. The great thing is that I could enjoy watching them make the relief maps without feeling that I was responsible for them getting it all correct! They have mothers for that, thank God.

Martha Weldon says:

Susan, my friend, you are amazing! What a blessing these grands have you for their grandmother. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Lapins! ❤️️

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks, Martha. Happy Thanksgiving.

Shan says:

This is exactly how I feel about homeschooling.

Susan Lapin says:

So true – you never know where it will lead you.

Dan Miller says:

Susan,
Oh I love your story. A modern version of the Diderot Effect (I removed the link per our policy, but people can Google it. Lovely story) We’ve got some of our homeschooled grandchildren here today and I’m sure we’ll see some of those growing projects together.

Susan Lapin says:

Enjoy!

Christine Warner says:

I am also a retired homeschooler….love this story, thanks for sharing. Our mind always goes where we can teach something in the everyday things of life right? Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Susan Lapin says:

HARP – Do we need a Homeschool Association of Retired People?

Sunni Fisher says:

I have homeschooled for 32 years and we never made a salt map. I’m very proud of you all.

Susan Lapin says:

Me too!

James says:

What a great idea! Salt and flour are the basis of the kitchen clay that gave us play dough, and you can bake it in the oven or let it dry out naturally to make more durable sculptures. We gotta try that with our grandchildren. Happy TG to all the Lapins!

Susan Lapin says:

Good luck! It made a really nice dough. We didn’t need to bake it; it hardened overnight.

Sonia P. says:

Love the story – not about mice, but about your pantry-cleaning! I think this is how I always end up with so many unfinished projects. I start one thing, only to discover that completing it requires another whole project, which leads to another and another – and by the time I get into all of the projects I “have to do” to get each one done, I’m too tired ( and confused) to finish the original one! So glad God isn’t like me!

Susan Lapin says:

I would use the words ‘spontaneous’ and ‘creative’ rather than confused. Sounds better.

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