Thursday, February 27, 2014

I Wrote an Ebook


Why not? We had a few days this past month where we were snowed in. The kids are outside enjoying the snow. It never snows here. They were in heaven. So I sat down and wrote. I mean, I invest time in my blog posts, why not try my hand at a little book. It's not a novel or anything but it is a useful tool for any homeschool parent out there thinking about teaching their child preschool! So many parents get nervous about teaching this age, but really, it's not that bad! Actually it can be quite fun and memorable for both the child and the parent! 

I'm trying to make my hobbies more practical. Which is why I left Facebook over a year ago. Instead of spending my time online looking at pictures of friends I can spend my time creating images for reviews or work on a blog post that can encourage or inspire another homeschooler! Since I have left Facebook I have received thousands of dollars worth of products and services in exchange for my work. Seriously. Is that cool or what? Also, I am currently expecting a years supply of laundry detergent in the mail and this week I'm taking my kids to the Lego KidsFest! All of this in exchange for my online writing. I consider myself blessed because even though as a homeschooler I don't have time for a "job" so to speak, I can still "work" during my down time and recieve rewards that benefit me and my family!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Science4Us.com {Review}


Science4Us.com is an online based science curriculum that includes both online and offline resources. I received the Science4Us.com Online Subscription for both my Kindergartner and Second Grader.
($7.95 per child, per month). This program is designed for K-2 but could easily be used for 3-5th grades students as well. It is a perfect fit for families who have several elementary aged children since there are group activities and discussion questions geared towards a group. It would work well for an individual child also.

Computer(s)* 
Printer
Scissors/Glue and Crayons
Common Household Items for Offline Activities

* I found that having each child at their own computer, at the same time, during the online activities worked the best. If not possible, you will need to allow 5-15 minutes for each child's online time.


Access to Online Animated Lessons and Activities
Printable Teacher Guide for Each Lesson
Teacher Explain Printables for Each Modules
Printable Worksheets for Each Grade (K-2)
Ability to Assign Lessons to Individual Students 
Ability to View Student Work Completed Online
Teaching Strategies
Access to Student Reports
Online Tests (Printable Tests Available)



This program includes modules that are divided into the following categories:
-Inquiry
- Life 
- Earth/Space
- Physical
Each module has eight lessons that can each be completed in two weeks if used four times a week. 
Each module has a similar structure:

- Engage (Day 1)
The Engage sessions use students prior knowledge of the subject to introduce the topic.
- Explore (Day 2)
This session promotes interest in the subject.
- Explain (Day 3)
The Explain lesson provides the bulk of the instruction on the material of the subject.
- Elaborate (Days 4-7)
Elaborate sessions include plenty of activities both online and offline to review the subject.
- Evaluate (Day 8)
Test Day! 
Test are taken online. Printable tests are also available.
  
When we began, I simply went through and found a module that I liked. One that would work with what the children were learning about already. The beauty of Science4Us.com is you can do that. You don't have to start with "lesson 1" and work your way through. You can pick and choose from among the four main topics. Then, I would sign in under my teacher's account. An example of what a teacher's account looks like is pictured below.

Science4Us Review

I would then go to the "Quick Assign" tab on the upper left and assign my two students their work for the next two weeks. It only takes a minute and then their assignments show up on their screen the next time they log in. After I assigned them their work, I would print out the Teacher Support Materials found on the right and the offline materials directly below it for that week. Each session tells you how long to expect to spend for that day for that topic. We set aside roughly 30 minutes each day, Monday through Thursday. I had the two boys each on separate computers and signed into their own screen. An example of a student screen is pictured below.

Science4Us Review

I would have them work on the activity of the day at the same time on their computers. The online activities vary from videos, to songs, to instruction to games. My boys found them quite entertaining and enjoyed the fact that there was variety. Some days were quite interactive. Other days were mostly teaching, but still kept the children engaged. One highlight is the "take a note" feature. The children were encouraged to "take a note" in their virtual notebooks while learning. This feature would allow for text and had different drawing tools for my kindergartner who is just now learning to write. My boys loved using this tool.

Science4Us Review

After they both completed their online activity we would all head over to the kitchen table and work on the offline materials together. I would read the discussion questions, guide them through worksheets that reiterated what they were learning about, or we would participate in a group activity together. When learning about physical change, we would need simple materials such as paper and play dough. Many activities called for cutting and pasting. Our favorite was when we did the food chain and food webs. The kids had pictures of animals and string all over the kitchen floor trying to figure out the concept of the food chain!

Thoughts From A Creationist

I'm extremely picky when it comes to teaching science to my children. I'm a strong creationist and any hint of evolution based teachings make me nervous. So I went into this program with my eyes and ears open. Overall, this program seemed fairly neutral. With my limited experience with the program I never heard the term "evolution." They do use the term "adaptation," though. This term can go either way. They never came out and said that animals adapted over millions of years and changed into something entirely different but they did mention that a giraffe adapted to thrive in it's surroundings. At face value there is nothing wrong with that statement, but I made sure to tell my kids afterwards that God is the one that created the giraffe. I realized after that lesson that even though this curriculum is a wonderful and quality curriculum that we enjoyed, we aren't going to continue on with it. 

Who Would Benefit From Science4Us.com

I could see this working very well in a private school setting. I could see students in a computer lab enjoying their time working on their own lessons and then coming back together as a class for activities and discussion. I also see this working well for homeschool families with several children in the elementary age range. Not only do the children have their own screen time and activities they are able to complete on the computer but they can work together with the parent offline as well. 

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Science4Us Review


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Monday, February 24, 2014

KinderBach {Review}

Kinderbach Review
Kinderbach Review
KinderBach is a piano program geared towards children ages 3-7. They offer materials for both group and home instruction. I received 
The KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner (currently $95.88/year. reg. $130/yr) to be used at home with my children. I was excited to give this program a try since I have three, yes, three children in this age group! KinderBach offers six different levels. Each level takes ten weeks to complete with four lessons per week. My three and five year old both began with Level One. My seven year old began at Level Three.
 

How KinderBach Works

The Online Subscription to KinderBach includes access to their Teacher's Corner providing homeschool parents with all of the downloadable materials needed to teach this music class to your children. When I first looked at the lesson plans I was excited to see that this music time could be a great opportunity for all of my children to learn together! When teaching three young kids, it's great to combine as many subjects as possible when you can. When I first started, this is what I did. But after a few lessons I realized that my seven year old already knew what was being taught and the first level was too simple for him. At this point, I simply separated them into two sessions. Teaching the two younger together and then my seven year old.


In the Teacher's Corner you Receive
The Following Online Resources

Access to All Web Lessons (over 240 sessions)
Teacher Guide
Lesson Plan Book
Teacher Aid Book
MP3 Songs
Student Book
Goal Book
Certificates
Story Books
Coloring Pages
Song Books

What You Will Need

Computer 
(iPad, Android, Tablet, Kindle Fire or Nook work also)
Printer
Piano or Keyboard with at Least 3 to 4 Octives
Simple Rhythm Instruments (sticks, bells, triangle, etc.)
Scissors and Glue
Crayons or Markers


 My three year old loves KinderBach! After trying this program for a few weeks with children of different ages I realized that this program probably works best for preschoolers. Even though my five and seven year old enjoy it, it is my three year old who really gets into it! After the first few lessons she kept asking for more and was thoroughly engaged! It's funny, because I thought my seven year old would get the most out of this program. I didn't even think that my three year old was ready to learn piano, but the way KinderBach teaches music proved me wrong!


HOW WE USED IT

The program is not limited to simply sitting your child in front of a computer screen and learning from a teacher afar off. Rather, there are several different factors involved. First, there are workbooks that we used available in PDF format. I simply would print out a weeks worth for my children and put them in a folder near our piano. Then, there was the active part of the lesson. Rhythm instruments were an excellent tool used with the children, (more so in Level One than in Level Three). I simply have a bin of instruments including rhythm sticks and triangles that my younger ones use during the lessons. I would always keep them on hand since the children learned about notes and beats just as much as they did about the actual piano. There are also MP3 audio tracks with songs to use during your sessions. Then there is the actual teaching portion of the lesson on the website which are usually about five minutes long each.  The progression of learning has been simple, repetitive and right on track with my younger two. They are eager to learn and relate well to the style of teaching in KinderBach. I'm not a fan of printing out everything, so even though the resources are all downloads, I simply put the Lesson Plan book on my Nook so I wouldn't have to spend the money on the ink!




Kinderbach Review

The approach to teaching the piano notes is different than what I have seen in my limited experience. I know very little. I never took a lesson in my life but I did teach myself  enough to play a few worship songs back in college. Of course I never had the confidence to play in front of anyone. Even though I don't remember much  or have any formal training, I have a strong desire for my children to not only know how to play the piano but to develop a love for music. So, in my thriftiness I got a free piano off of Craigslist and a pile of used piano books for $.50 a piece at the local Goodwill. I tried teaching my first son and surprisingly enough he caught on fairly well. But with my (extremely) limited ability, he can only go so far! Hiring a piano teacher is just not in our budget right now. KinderBach has been such a blessing because it teaches the child the basics and gets them not only familar with the piano but playing actual songs! 

Rather than overwhelming the kids with a list of notes or stickers on a keyboard, KinderBach teaches each note one at a time with a cute mnemonic device to help them remember that note. The first note that the children learn is "d." The memory tool for the notes are animal charecters and "Dodi the Donkey" is used first. My three year old loves Dodi and when asking about piano would say, "can we do Dodi now?" The method is simple enough for my three year old to understand. When asked where Dodi lives she remembers,  "by the two keys." Then she proceeds to tell me that the train lives on the three keys. When I asked her how she remembers this she said, "because I saw it a lot. And circled it." What she is referring to is the fact that there was much repetition about Dodi on the videos. Then what she learned on the videos was reinforced with coresponding worksheets. 


Kinderbach Review


See the screenshot below? I love the "Blue's Clue's" thing Karri the piano teacher has going on here. For some reason, preschoolers respond to this method of teaching. They really feel like they are a part of something and that the person on the screen is interacting with them. Of course, you as the parent interact with them while teaching KinderBach as well but I like having the actual instruction coming from a professional. Review worksheets and singing songs with rhythm instruments, I can do, but teaching the in's and out's of music, I'll leave that to those who know what they are doing!

Kinderbach Review
Kinderbach Review

Even though I recommed this program mostly for little children (ages 3-4). My five and seven year old did gain from it as well. My five year old loves music and enjoyed learning also. My seven year old, though at times thought it was a tad "little kidish" still gained skills once I found what level would work best for him. He was able to learn, like I said, things that I have no knowledge of whatsoever. Like that the piano used to be called a "Piano Forte?" Then it was shortened to piano. Interesting! I would have to say his favorite part was creating his own song using notes cut out from the worksheets. He was so proud to play it!


Try KinderBach for FREE!!!
 Curious to know if this is the right program for you? Give their Free Lessons a try!

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Day in The Life



One of the joys of homeschooling is that you don't need to be tied down to some sort of schedule. You can be as relaxed or ridged as you want. Believe it or not, I'm the type of person that likes a plan. A schedule. A chart. But, that poses a huge problem. When the plan gets messed up, so do I. That does not make for a happy household and seems to defeat the whole purpose of homeschooling. I mean, I am supposed to be cherishing these years with my kids, not just getting by with some sort of checklist, right?  I've tried both approaches. One extreme, super chart driven and on the other end, completely relaxed. Neither worked very well. Everyone get stressed out with the charts and my kids are too young to be left to their own devices to try the relaxed method.

Basically, what it comes down to, is you just need to find out what works for you and your family. At this point I feel we have found what works for us. But I'm sure, within a few months things will change and as the kids get older it will change even more!

This is how we do things for now. 
We usually begin the day around 8:30. 

  Prayer
  Worship
Bible
   History
           Oral Reading (2nd Grader)
            Writing (Pre-K and K) 
          Independent  Reading (2nd Grader)

SNACK

Science
Spelling

LUNCH

Play Time
Math
Writing (2nd Grader)
Piano
Computer



If we do art it's usually in the afternoon. Also, if we have a unit study we are working on that will generally be in the afternoons. Right now we are doing a hands-on tree study and the kids love it!






Friday, February 14, 2014

LEGO® KidsFest is in TWO WEEKS



Good thing we still have two more weeks before the LEGO® KidsFest makes it's stop in Raleigh. Today was our second day of being snowed in. Fortunately after the massive amounts of snow, the weather warmed up quickly and we hit the driveway hard, shovels and all! Have you ever heard me say  I miss New York winters? I take that back. We had more snow than is imaginable here in Virginia but I heard Raleigh was hit worse. All I'm saying is, I'm glad it's not this weekend that we are heading that way. It's supposed to be close to 70 degrees next week. Go figure. Just as long as it stays above freezing for the KidsFest February 28th through March 2nd and I'm happy.

If you haven't purchased tickets yet, now is the time. The Saturday sessions are filling up quickly with limited availability left.


FIVE IDENTICAL SESSIONS ARE PLANNED
 for the Feb 28 – March 2 tour stop to Raleigh, NC

Friday, February 28
 4 pm- 8:30 pm

Saturday March 1, 2014
Session 1: 9 am - 1:30 pm
Session 2: 3 pm - 7:30 pm

Sunday March 2, 2014
Session 1: 9am - 1:30 pm
Session 2: 3 pm - 7:30 pm

LEGO® KidsFest

tickets are 

CHILDREN $20
ADULTS $22 



 Hope to see you there!
~ Heather

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Berenstain Bears Keep The Faith by Mike Berenstain {Book Review}


Keep The Faith is a Living Lights Berenstain Bear book are written by the late Stan and Jan Berenstain's son, Mike Berenstain. The Berenstain Bears were a wonderful childhood series that I enjoyed as a kid. Many of the stories were written with a moral and encouraged children to do what was right. I remember how the inside cover of each book has a memorable little quote, presenting the theme of the story ahead. I loved saving up my money and buying one of these books at my school's annual book sale and I enjoy sharing the stories with my children.

Well, now the deal is even sweeter. Mike Berenstain not only has taken the torch with this series but has written a Christian series with the same lovable characters such as Brother and Sister bear. 

In Keep The Faith, Brother and Sister Bear are confronted by Ferdy Factual. Ferdy's father is a scientist who does not believe in God. While admiring the night sky one evening, Sister Bear mentions God as the Creator. Ferdy does not believe in God. This causes for confusion in Brother and Sister Bear causing them to go to their parents. 

I love the premise of this book. Sometimes it's hard to teach our kids that not everyone believes the same way we believe. Rather than causing doubt and fear in their little minds, the parents encourage them to have faith. They even go visit Preacher Brown who reminds the children about Daniel in the lions den. I love this application. The children already knew the story about Daniel, the preacher was simply showing them how to apply it in their own personal lives! 

The back cover of the book includes discussion questions that parents can have with their children. The book is geared toward children ages 4-8 and I think this is a great resource for a Creationist as myself! I highly recommend this book for your family!

Disclosure: I received this book from BookLook.com  in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The Subject I Struggle Teaching The Most {Spelling}

Subject Struggle
Read alouds are a huge hit in our homeschool. Math, we have fun with. It comes easy to my second grader, and my kindergartner is eager to complete his colorful Math workbook pages! History is engaging and questions are always swirling around in their little minds. Science. They thrive on the experience and note booking. But when it comes to creative writing and SPELLING.
 Everyone cringes. 
Creative writing is not a fav around here with the kids but I don't necessarily have a hard time teaching it. Writing is a passion of mine, so it's more the lack of motivation of their part I have to deal with in that area.

But SPELLING. 
AHHHH!

What makes it so hard for me is not the lack of resources available, but rather the abundance thereof!  Since I switch things up a lot in our homeschool, trying to find what is a good fit for each child, I get overwhelmed with the variety of teaching methods and strategies available for spelling. 

I've Tried The: Say, Spell, Say, Write Each Day Method. And that works most of the time, for short term memory. But, they forget the words a few weeks later!

I've Tried The: Write Stories Using Your Spelling Words throughout the week and again, by the end of the week they know it. But a few weeks later, if I try to review the same words, I have to teach most of them, all, over, again!

I've Tried The: Online Spelling Sites. You type in your child's spelling list. Games, dictation and even quizzes are formulated using their spelling words. I thought for sure this would be a winner. Still, no long term skills gained here, just some fun games played!

So what now? Recently, through a program called Spelling You See, I have learned that there are Five Developmental Stages of Spelling. I have been blessed with the opportunity to review their program over the next few weeks and will go into more details about these stages in my review of the program, (so stay tuned!)

What encouraged me about these five levels is when I looked at Stage 3: Skill Development. They say, this stage usually begins after first grade, once phonics is mastered and they often stay in this stage through fifth grade.

One son, who struggles with spelling, understands phonics and is just now moving over into the third stage. Maybe I'm expecting too much from him. When he still spells house, "howse" or  they, "thay," I get stressed out. I'm learning that I need to realize that this stage takes time, and with time he will master the skills needed to be a proficient speller!

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Friday, February 7, 2014

God's Not Dead (Movie Review)

I was able to attend a pre-screening of the God's Not Dead Film that will hit the theaters in March below is my own personal opinion of the film.



I find the whole, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water," in the realm of Christianity has been taken to the extreme. Sure, there is room for human error, we are in fact human, living in the flesh. We all make mistakes, and things happen, I get that. But it has come to a point in our society where not only have we overlooked the mistakes, but overlooked the outright sin, deception and wrong spirit behind the motivation in Christian media and entertainment. I have no problem sitting in a service and a scripture is accidentally misquoted or said wrong. I'm not going to put that preacher under the magnifying glass and dismiss him completely. Mistakes happen. But when you are dealing with media. A movie, a music album, even a book, every single word is put there on purpose.

Every shot, every angle. The producers, the writers, those involved in production only have a limited time to captivate you, their audience and nothing, "just happens." With this in mind, when watching a Christian movie or reading a children's book, you can't just take the good with the bad. If red flags go up with a certain line, or bells go off during a particular scene, know this, that part was put there on purpose. We have been given the Holy Ghost to lead us, guide us and protect us. The problem is, when we ignore the prompting of the Holy Ghost enough, our conscience becomes seared. At this point, God will hand us over to our pleasures. We feel uncomfortable at first, but then we begin to justify a movie or book because of the Christian content. 

But Aslan represents Jesus, we cry out! So we continue to read a book with witches and wizards even though the Bible clearly tells us to stay far away from such things.  Darkness has no fellowship with light. Satan himself knows the Bible and even quoted scripture. I appreciate the following quote from Berit Kjos:

"Lewis has a remarkable ability to bring Christian readers into new worlds and make them feel at home in the midst of pagan rituals, occult mysteries and magical forces. In so doing, he presents unbiblical versions of the most important gifts God has given us: His unchanging truth, His uncompromising righteousness, His peace in the midst of turmoil, His unwavering faith, and His eternal gift of salvation." 

Anyone can write a book representing spiritual truths and captivate the audience they want. Especially Hollywood.

With this movie, I was highly impressed with the quality. The actors. The production was pure quality. The story line was amazing with a theme I hold close to my heart, Creationism. Many issues Christians face were showcased in this movie. And yes, at times, I was moved to tears. How could I not be. It tugged at my emotions and hit me where I am weak. 

A Muslim woman was disowned by her father for converting to Christianity. They showed  the violence, I shuttered and cried. I have met more than one woman that this has personally happened to. It hit close to home for me. 

A Chinese man talked about house churches over the phone with his father in China. The father was upset because the phone could be tapped. Personally, I have had to email missionaries in code so their Christian identity wouldn't be revealed. This too, hit close to home for me. 

Other relatable experiences were shown and portrayed which normally would make for a great movie, and a positive movie review. 

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Yes, I will throw the baby out with the bath water because in this case, the baby has been contaminated!  

What's the Big Deal?

The Newsboys. Obviously. I mean they popularized the song, God's Not Dead. But honestly, the whole movie was an advertisement for their album. Ok, so I don't like Newsboys, keep our personal preferences to yourself. No. It's not that I don't "like" them. It's that God has delivered me from their culture that once ensnared me. It's like saying to a former alcoholic, "give the bars a chance, people can get saved there too!" 

You know, the Newsboys were my gateway band. Seriously. It all began with an album I bought of theirs close to 15 years ago. It was a downward spiral from there. First an innocent, "Christian rock band"(yes they consider themselves that genre), then something a little heavier, and then a little more rockier. Before you know it I'm tattooed, pierced, listening to Christian death metal bands living a completely ungodly lifestyle. And it all started with an innocent Newsboys concert with an alter call and prayer of salvation in a back room. Do I personally blame this band. No, obviously not. Does everyone who listens to this music go down the path I did, no but there are more than you realize!

Listen. The red flags in this movie are this. When a young man gets saved he is not directed to prayer or Scripture. Rather, the one who led him to the Lord takes him to a Newsboys concert. Immediately. That bothered me. 

This is a common problem in evangelism. We train our young people to "invite the unsaved to our outreach event" and we throw in a part of the world mixed in with Christianity. We aren't training them up to do what the Bible says, "Go ye into the world making disciples of all nations." We need to be the ones making disciples. God has equipped us with everything we need to do so. 

This whole "outreach movement" whether it's a lock-in, pizza party, or movie, reminds me of Catholic church history. When the word of God was not allowed in the hands of the people, they were forced to believe what they heard in church as truth.

Lies were thrown into this movie left and right. Many of us heard the quote, "if you were the only one on earth, Jesus still would have died for you." Yes, I believe He would have, I understand that each person is important in God's eyes. But, this quote was misquoted in a slight manner to say, "if you were the only one of earth, Jesus would die for you again." Again? This is unscriptual on so many levels. See how the lies creep into the truth? We can become so blinded and not see that the enemy is trying to creep in and infiltrate our minds.

What bothered me the most about this movie was not only the glorifying of people more than Jesus but the contradictions about the main character's doctrinal beliefs. He worded things differently several times to try to appease to different crowds. The message was watered down, trying to appeal to the masses. 

I do not glory in writing such a strongly negative review of this movie, but I find it is important to share my heart.  






Week in Review

It was one of those weeks. Expect the unexpected when it comes to homeschooling. On Monday, I was feeling a tad under the weather. And today, my youngest came down with something as well. We just all took it easy, but honestly, I enjoy weeks like these. More read alouds, (we are in the second book of the Little House series), more crafts, more relaxed. Aside from the random sick days, the middle of the week was quite entertaining. Here's a few of our highlights:

1) Homeschool Skate: A group of homeschoolers rent out the local roller rink once a month in our area. This was our second time attending and my kids loved hanging out with other homeschoolers their age!

2) Making Valentines: This year my kids are sending valentines all across the country, (and to Australia) to other homeschooling families I'm connected with through the Crew. I was amazed at how diligent those little hands were in making over 20 homemade Valentines for kids they've never met! I did tell them today, when nearing the end, that they will receive their reward when they get to open their Valentine's coming from those same children! I plan on putting up a map and whenever they receive a Valentine they will put a little heart sticker on the city the Valentine came from. The kids are excited.

3) Reading Eggs: Haha. It's the simple things. Reading eggs is offering a free trial, again. I love this program but it sure is pricey! Of all the online programs my children have tried over the years, this is by far their favorite. So when I told them we had access to it, again, for a while, they were thrilled!

4) Date Night: Maybe this doesn't count as a homeschool highlight for most, but to me it does. My husband and I were able to sneak away for a few hours with the help of a wonderful sitter. It's always refreshing.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Love and Respect in the Family by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs {Book Review}


The crazy cycle. We all experience it. In our marriage, with our kids. We just don't always realize what is going on, so we stay on this cycle of craziness. If you've read any of the books in the Love and Respect series, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Dr. Eggerichs explains in this book how we can show Love and Respect in our families. An interesting approach, since the only experience I've had with his concepts of Love and Respect was in the context of marriage. My husband and I attended a video series of his at our church a few years back and our eyes were certainly opened. The best way to keep a marriage strong, is to understand that men need to feel respected in order to love. Likewise, women need to feel loved in order to show respect. When a woman feels unloved by her husband, then it is very difficult for her to show him respect. The hurt and offense hinders the respect. Right or wrong, this happens. And vice, versa. When a husband feels disrespected, then it is hard for him to show her love.

Yes, we need to obey the commands of the Bible. Men, love your wife as Christ love the church. And women, respect your husband. Feelings should play no part in this right, I mean we walk by faith. Well, yeees, but, lets face it, feelings are a part of us and a part of our marriage. We can't be controlled by our feelings and need to obey the Bible no matter the cost, but what we need to understand is how the other person involved is feeling. If we are conscience of the other person's emotional needs, rather than being so rigid in what is "right" or "wrong" then we will win every time. If we as wives can learn not only show our husband respect, but actually understand what it takes to make him feel respected,  that is money in the bank.

In light of the book about family. So many times it's easy as the parent to say, "I am the parent, you are the child. The end." Although that is true, we need to make sure that they feel loved in the process. This book isn't about letting your child manipulate or control you, rather it is a book that will free parents to truly love their kids. Discipline is a part of that, when executed properly. When your child feels loved, it is easier for them to respect you. When a parent feels respected, it's easier for them to show love. Think about it. When is it that you usually blow up at your kids? It's probably after they have disobeyed or disrespected you. Then, you may snap back at them out of hurt, and to them it may seem as though you don't love them. This makes it difficult for them to respect you. Yes, they need to honor their mother and father, but are you making it really hard right now?

What I love about this book, is it gives answers. Practical advice, using everyday situations that we have experienced. This book has changed the way I look at my kids, and even though I have a long way to go, it has helped tremendously. I highly recommend that if you are a parent, struggling with disrespectful attitudes, then you read this book!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free as a part of the BookSneeze.com blogger program. All opinions stated are my own.

Monday, February 3, 2014

LEGO® KidsFest Giveaway Winner


And the winner is..... REBECCA W! 

Congratulations on your win Rebecca!  




Who is counting down the days to the LEGO® KidsFest, in Raleigh? This mom is! Apparently, a bunch of families in my church are planning on heading down from Virginia for the big event, as well. Who wants to wait until the Richmond stop anyway? North Carolina is only hop, skip and a jump from us, and we are going to a LEGO® event, so the  three hour car ride won't be that bad, right? Right. I don't think my kids quite understand what is in store for them, but I will say that I have only heard positive remarks about this event.

LEGO® is a big craze in our house, and I'm sure in many of yours. Imagine being in a place, with like minded folk seeing LEGO® brick creations everywhere you turn. Ok, maybe I'm starting to be a little more excited than the kids are, but hey, I'm a mom, I like seeing my kids engaged and having fun. It's just, LEGO® bricks do just that. They provide an outlet for creativity all while allowing the child to have fun. 

My oldest just had a birthday last week and received some of those gear sets of LEGO® bricks and I would have to say, they have gained some mileage. What I like about them is there are so many different useful ways to use them, encouraging creative minds! Not only did he create some of the models in the book that came with the set, but he made up some of his own creations, that worked! He even mixed up some grape juice for us with a hand mixer he and his dad thought up, pretty clever!

$ave on Auto Insurance

Sometimes it's easy to stay in the same rut when it comes to paying bills. Like a machine, I simply go online, pay my bills each month, without question. But I will say, that there have been a few times that certain bills, such as my land line/Internet bill would seem a tad high. Sure enough, I would actually take the time out to view my bill on these months only to witness, a third party charge.
I hate that.
Extra phone calls to make, extra hastle. Car insurance can be just as bad. I know that there have been times that we would continue to pay for car insurance, even though we weren't even using that car very often. And I'm supposed to be the thrifty mom around here!
Well, rest assured, we just took a vehicle off recently and sure enough it dropped our insurance down $100 over a six month period.
Go figure. It's the simple things. The little things that can help up save money in the long run! I know that sometimes it's confusing trying to find cheap car insurance because we don't know where to look, but we would never know what we were missing out on if we didn't at least check it out! Maybe we are paying too much, and a better company is out there that could bring our monthly bill down. Money in your pocket!

THREE SIMPLE WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ONLINE

1- If you sign up for a free trial for an online subscription service, MARK ON YOUR CALENDAR the date the free service ends. Companies love to gain customers this way because it's easy for people to forget to cancel, and you WILL be charged monthly after the free trial!

2- Purchase postage for your packages ONLINE. Certain postal services such as USPS give you a discount when you pay online rather than at the post office. 

3- Skip the DMV. Use their online services. Renewing vehicle registrations and drivers licences are both cheaper when you do it online as opposed to going to the DMV. Who wants to wait in their lines anyways?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sponsor Thrift Schooling




ARE YOU A FAMILY-FRIENDLY BRAND SEEKING TO REACH MY READERS?
I am looking for brands that are interested in advertising on this blog, anytime between now and June.



       ADVERTISE ON THRIFT SCHOOLING

Platinum Sponsorship ***$550+***

This package includes:

One year of advertising on my blog. Banner size and placement of your choice.
One blog post per month for 12 months. Post will feature your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials.
Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and pinned to Pinterest weekly for one year.
Your brand will be placed on my convention ad in my sidebar as a sponsor. 
You will be mentioned as a sponsor at the top of the three posts I write about the convention prior to the event and one following the event. 

Gold Sponsorship **$400+**

This package includes:

Six months of advertising on my blog. Banner size and placement of your choice.
One blog post per month for six months. Post will feature your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials.
Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and pinned to Pinterest every other week at peak times for six months.
Your brand will be placed on my convention ad in my sidebar as a sponsor. 
You will be mentioned as a sponsor at the top of two posts I write about the convention prior to the event and one following the event.

 Silver Sponsorship *$200+*

This package includes:
Three months of advertising on my blog. Banner size and placement of your choice.
One blog post per month for three months. Post will feature your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials. Included in the post will be any links back to your site.
Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and placed on Pinterest weekly during peak times for three months.
Your brand will be placed on my convention ad in my sidebar as a sponsor.
 You will be mentioned as a sponsor at the top of one post I write about the convention prior to the event and one following the event. 
Should you want to sponsor my trip to HEAV Convention or have any questions regarding sponsorship packages - please e-mail me at thriftschooling (at) gmail (dot) com. My most recent stats can be viewed on my Contact Page.