Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Homeschooling and Housework


When I first began homeschooling I asked a friend how to do it all. Her response? “Hire a maid!” At first I thought she was joking until I realized she did in fact have hired help. Just imagine, long nature walks with READ MORE AT OUR HOMESCHOOL FORUM

Project AMP Giveaway

 

I've been sharing with you recently about how we've begun to integrate electronics into our homeschool using EEME. So far we've completed  two of six sets. We are about to get started with the thrid and my oldest son keeps asking me when we are going to work on it. Soon, very soon! So check back often for the review coming up! So far we have worked with smaller projects but now EMME has developed a larger project with over 100 components that, when complete, can be used by the entire family! 

INTRODUCING PROJECT AMP

  • Integrated Circuits
  • Amplifier circuits
  • How capacitors filter sound
  • How capacitors store supplemental power
  • How volume controls work
  • What is sound
  • How speakers generate sound
  • Direct versus alternating current
  • - See more at: http://blog.eeme.co/post/127503171154/project-amp-to-teach-kids-about-amplifier-speakers#sthash.qbtqCSgY.dpuf
    In creating an amplifier system, you and your child will learn about integrated circuits, amplifier circuits, how speakers generate sound and so much more! With over 50 lessons to go along with this kit, you will not only learn about how to build the system but you will learn about the concepts involved. 

    WIN IT! 
    This giveaway ends soon so be sure to enter below now!
    Your family will learn about:
    • Integrated Circuits
    • Amplifier circuits
    • How capacitors filter sound
    • How capacitors store supplemental power
    • How volume controls work
    • What is sound
    • How speakers generate sound
    • Direct versus alternating current
    - See more at: http://blog.eeme.co/post/127503171154/project-amp-to-teach-kids-about-amplifier-speakers#sthash.qbtqCSgY.dpuf

    Your family will learn about:
    • Integrated Circuits
    • Amplifier circuits
    • How capacitors filter sound
    • How capacitors store supplemental power
    • How volume controls work
    • What is sound
    • How speakers generate sound
    • Direct versus alternating current
    - See more at: http://blog.eeme.co/post/127503171154/project-amp-to-teach-kids-about-amplifier-speakers#sthash.qbtqCSgY.dpuf
    EEME.co Project Amp Giveaway

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    ReCap Explore GIVEAWAY


    Homeschooling and bug catching go hand in hand. At least in our world it does! I used to have a section in my pantry devoted to storing empty oatmeal and bread crumb containers for this very purpose. If the kids found a grasshopper, butterfly, snail, or other entertaining creature they would run in the house frantic for a container. I would then have to figure out a way to make holes in the lid, quickly, so they could enjoy their new find. Of course, none of these containers were ever see through and so the kids would catch the bugs and have to open the lid ever so carefully and peek in. We've tried Mason Jars but then there is the issue of the lid! 

    Well, after two years of diligent research and design the reCap Explore is ready for bug enthusiasts all over the world to enjoy. Perfect for kids of all ages, this product is great for homeschoolers and kids who love to explore outdoors. What intrigues me about this cap is not only that it fits Mason Jars but the lid has both breathe holes AND a magnifier! It even glows in the dark which is perfect for camping trips. My kids are so excited to try out this product when it comes out in November that they keep asking about it, (they really do piles of bug catching!)  

    If you are curious about who reCap is you can check out my
    reCap review to find out more. They offer some pretty innovative products. 

    ReCap is presently running a Kickstarter Campaign to help get the reCap Explore out in the market. They would love any support they can get, and of course as with any Kickstarter Campaign, if you donate even a small amount there will be a little goodie sent to you in the mail as a thank you!

     

     WIN IT! 
    Enter the Rafflecopter Below to Win the reCap Explore
    coming this November!
     


    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Friday, September 25, 2015

    Fall Frenzy Giveaway


            Welcome to the

           Thrift Schooling

         Fall Frenzy
          Homeschool Materials 
         Giveaway 

             brought to you by


    3 Weeks
    3 Giveaways
    Bushels of Fun!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    GIVEAWAY #1
    Adventures in Odessey's
    Imagination Station
    3-Pack

     If you are familiar with the beloved Adventures in Odyssey audio series then you will quickly become a fan of
     The Imagination Station Book Series.
    Join cousins Patrick and Beth as they travel through time visiting the Holy Land in 1000 BC in Showdown with the Shepherd. Or go with them to medieval times and learn about English knights and jousting in Revenge of the Red Knight. 
    Just in time for Thanksgiving, you can brush up on your Pilgrim history in Problems in Plymouth.



    This 3-pack is the second set in The Imagination Station Series. It is recommended to start from the beginning of the series but it is easy enough to jump right in the middle and enjoy the adventures of Patrick and Beth wherever the Imagination Station may have taken them!

    My son, age 8, adores this series. I bought him one of the books for Christmas last year and he couldn't put it down. Once finished he made sure he put it somewhere safe in his room so it doesn't get lost and he can read it again when he wants to.

    When I received books 4-6 in the series I told him that he could pick one to read over the next two weeks. He was done in two DAYS. In less than a week he had finished ALL THREE BOOKS and wants to continue on with the rest in the series!



    This is a wonderful, safe series that I can trust. I don't have to worry about any hidden, secular agenda. Historical fiction is an excellent way to introduce your children to history in a non-abrasive manner and it really captivates the attention of my son.  I've been wanting him to enjoy reading on his own with books other than "school books" and these books have made that happen. 

    My son enjoys the fact that the endings of the books are never complete. Although it does come to a close in one aspect, there is always a mystery that still needs to be solved. It leaves him on the edge of his seat wanting more. According to my son, there is a ring that the villain Hugh has stolen and the kids need to get it back to Whit. This is the main theme throughout all the books. This Hugh guy apparently is not a fan of the Bible or God and tries to go throughout history and help the enemy win in each story. For example, in the case of David and Goliath, he tried to help the Philistines win against David so history could be changed forever! Nothing like a good time travel story complete with bad guys and all! Intriguing and entertaining for young, emerging readers.

    There have been times where he gets so excited about a certain part of one that the books that he wants to read that portion to my husband and I. I love that he is falling in love with reading!

    Rainbow Resource Center sells The Imagination Station Books
    for a discounted price, much cheaper than retail! Pick up a copy today!

    Want to Win a 3 Pack?
    Enter the Rafflecopter Below To Win:

    Book 4: Revenge of the Red Knight
    Book 5: Showdown with the Shepherd
    Book 6: Problems in Plymouth

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Disclaimer: The above product was received for the purpose of this review. 
    All opinions stated here are my own.
    Giveaway listed on Giveawayscout.com

    Monday, September 21, 2015

    2015 Franklin County Ag Fair

    2015 Franklin County Agricultural Fair


    Admission
    $5.00  Ages 12 and Up
    $2.00  Ages 5-11
    FREE   Ages 4 & Under
    Rides Require a Separate $10 Wristband
                Still considering which day you want to come? Take advantage of these special deals!

    Wednesday: $3 off Admission Price for
     Senior Citizens

    Thursday: FREE Admission for Students

    Come visit the following attractions anytime running for the duration of the fair:

    MIDWAY RIDES

    LITTLE CRITTERS PETTING ZOO 
    PONY RIDES
    EXHIBITS
    COMMUNITY EXPO
    FANCY PIGEONS OF WIRTZ
     
    Check the schedule below to view special events for each day of the fair:
     
    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
    4:45 PM GRAND OPENING CEREMONY (FRONT GATE)
    5:00 PM FAIR OPENS
    5:30 PM DOG SHOW (LARGE SHELTER)
    6:00 - 6:30 PM “KOUNTRY K-9” SHOW
    6:00 - 10:00 PM DUSTY HUNDLEY (AMPHITHEATER)
    7:00 - 7:30 PM “DIALED ACTION” BMX STUNT SHOW *
    10:00 PM FAIR CLOSES

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

    5:00 PM FAIR OPENS
    5:30 PM SMALL CRITTERS AND POULTRY SHOW (LARGE SHELTER)
    6:00 - 6:30 PM “KOUNTRY K-9” SHOW
    6:00 - 9:00 PM THE HARWELL GRICE BAND (AMPHITHEATER)
    7:00 - 7:30 PM “DIALED ACTION” BMX STUNT SHOW
    10:00 PM FAIR CLOSES
       

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

    4:00 PM FAIR OPENS
    5:30 - 10:00 PM BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN GARDEN TRACTOR PULLERS(LOWER FIELD)
    5:30 PM SWINE, SHEEP, AND GOAT SHOW (LARGE SHELTER)
    6:00 - 6:30 PM “KOUNTRY K-9” SHOW
    6:00 - 9:00 PM  FCHS FFA ALUMNI CHAPTER TRACTOR DRIVING COMPETITION (OUTER FIELD)
    7:00 - 10:00 PM   TRUE CADENCE (AMPHITHEATER)
    7:00 - 7:30 PM “DIALED ACTION” BMX STUNT SHOW
    10:00 PM FAIR CLOSES
       
            
    SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

    OPEN HORSE SHOW (GINTHER FARM, 3128 SONTAG RD, ROCKY MOUNT)  9:00 AM
    12 NOON  FAIR OPENS
    12 NOON LLAMA / ALPACA SHOW (LARGE SHELTER)
    12:00 – 6:00 PM SWVA ANTIQUE TRACTOR & GAS ENGINE ASSOC TRACTOR PULLERS (LOWER FIELD)
    12:30 - 1:00 PM “KOUNTRY K-9” SHOW
    1:30 - 2:00 PM “DIALED ACTION” BMX STUNT SHOW
    3:00 - 3:30 PM “KOUNTRY K-9” SHOW
    3:00 - 6:30 PM TRIPLE RUN (AMPHITHEATER)
    4:30 - 5:00 PM “DIALED ACTION” BMX STUNT SHOW
    5:00 PM BEEF AND DAIRY SHOW (LARGE SHELTER)
    5:30 PM HANDSOME MAN BEARD AND MUSTACHE CONTEST (COMPETITION TENT)
    6:00 - 6:30 PM  “KOUNTRY K-9” SHOW
    6:30 PM LADIES FRYING PAN TOSS (COMPETITION TENT)
    7:00 PM WEEKLONG YOUTH COLORING CONTEST JUDGING (COMPETITION TENT)
    7:00 - 7:30 PM  “DIALED ACTION” BMX STUNT SHOW
    7:00 - 10:00 PM THE JODY PYLES BAND (AMPHITHEATER)
    11:00 PM FAIR CLOSES 
        

    Wednesday, September 16, 2015

    The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones {Review}


    The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones by Jan and Mike Berenstain is a sweet padded board book perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. As a parent I have mixed feelings about the Berenstain bears series because oftentimes Papa bear is made out to be a goon. If you read the vintage, classic stories you will find this to be true. Overall though, the older stories always seemed to have a positive moral that it was trying to teach. Now, more recently, since the original authors son has taken over the stories I haven't seen this as an issue so much. An interesting note that my kids pointed out about this particular storybook Bible is that Mama bear isn't even pictured on the cover! It is wonderful though seeing the father is the one reading to his children, that alone sends a powerful message to children.

    When you open the book you will notice that the cover is the only place you will see Papa bear and his cubs. The book consists of several popular child-friendly Bible stories such as Creation, Daniel in the Lion's Den, The Good Samaritan and the birth of Jesus. The characters are portrayed as bears and drawn to look similar to the Berenstain Bears. It's cute but my daughter, who lose the Berenstain Bears, was a bit disappointed not to see her favorite characters in the book. Overall my kids enjoyed this book and are glad to have it in their library!

    Disclaimer: Thanks to the Book Look Blogger Program for providing this book for the purpose of this review. 
    All opinions stated here are my own.

    Sunday, September 13, 2015

    Repurpose your Mason Jars with reCAP


    We have an overabundance of mason jars in our home. Fortunately, last year, we were able to fill some of them! It was the first year that we actually had enough extra produce to do some canning! Believe it or not, we still have some cans that have yet to be opened from last season. When they are, I am excited to use my new reCap lids! 

    It sure can be annoying when you open a can and you have to keep messing with the thin lids and rings every time you want to use it's contents. reCap makes it easy to access your salsa, sauces, pickles, and, well, basically anything you have stored. I received two caps recently, the flip cap and the pour cap pictured above. I am presently using the flip cap to store candy and plan on using the pour cap with our homemade maple syrup.

    I even received accessories for the flip cap that can turn your mason jar into a shaker, how fun! 

    Beginning this week, on September 15th, reCap will be launching a Kickstarter Campagin to raise funding for a child friendly cap called the reCAP EXPLORE. It will fit any Regular-Mouth standard Mason jar or even a plastic peanut butter container. It screws on easily and once a bug is found, your child can flip it open to catch it. They can even view it through a breathable magnifier. No more poking holes in a plastic container!

    The campaign will run for a month, so stay tuned as I keep you updated on it's progress! 

    Disclaimer: 
    I received the above product for the purpose of this promotion. All opinions stated are my own. 

    Friday, September 11, 2015

    Homeschooling Multiple Children


    Like many parents, I went full force when it came to homeschooling my first child. When the second one came into the picture, the challenge was learning how to properly divide my attention READ MORE AT OUR HOMESCHOOL FORUM

    Sunday, September 6, 2015

    Franklin County, VA Agricultural Fair 2015



    Enter the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win FOUR (4) Free Ride Passes to the Franklin County, VA Agricultural Fair 2015! 

    The Winner has Been Chosen! 
    Congratulations to Laurie L.


    Last year was the first time in over forty years that Franklin County held a community fair. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect.  My husband was a vendor and we had no clue what the crowds were going to be like. We quickly learned that the community was not about to stay home while there was fun to be had in their own backyard! Sandwiched between a clown show, bouncy house and other vendors, we had a perfect view of friends and fair goers as they passed by. Each day, it seemed, the crowds picked up. Whether it was a child being treated to their first funnel cake or a group of college students taking a break from the books, I enjoyed watching members of the community come together at the fair. We ran into friends and acquaintances that we haven't seen in a while and were introduced to many new faces as well.

    When you first arrive, you need to know that you will not be able to park your car on the actual fairgrounds. Instead, there is parking in a large field across the street. Fortunately, there is a shuttle service that brings you right to the front gate. We were at the fair all four days last year and not once did we have to wait too long for a shuttle. The shuttles move rather quickly even when the crowds seem overwhelming.

    Once you arrive on site you can purchase either a fair ticket or a ride pass (includes fair admission). I have the prices listed below; kids under 5 are free. 

    Know this. There is plenty to do and see aside from the rides. Last year my kids only rode the rides one of the days. The other days they visited the petting zoo, watched BMX bike demos and even witnessed their mom partake in a  frying pan throwing contest!

    Remember. This is an agricultural fair. The rides are a blast. The games are fun. (My daughter even won a goldfish last year!) Just don't forget to check out the entries in the agricultural tent; canned goods, giant sized pumpkins and sunflowers, to name a few. My six year old son last year grew marigolds from seed and won a first place ribbon! It was a great educational opportunity and a boost for his self confidence too. 

    So come on out September 23-26 and experience it for yourself!

    WHERE?


    Franklin County Rec. Park

    2150 Sontag Rd.

    Rocky Mount, VA
    24151



    WHEN?


    Wednesday: September 23rd

    5 - 10pm



    Thursday: September 24th

    5 - 10pm



    Friday: September 25th

    4 - 11pm



    Saturday: September 26th

    Noon - 11pm



    WHAT?

    Midway Rides   

    BMX Bike Show

    Petting Zoo

    Livestock Show 

    Live Music

    Clown Show

    Games

    Demos

    Vendors

    much, much more!

    Cost?

       
    Ages 12 and Up

    $5



    Children Ages 5-11

    $2



    Children 4 and Under

    FREE



    Ride Wristband

    For All Ages

    $10


    Want to stay informed about the fair?

    Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Franklin County. All opinions stated here are my own.

    Friday, September 4, 2015

    The Crafty Homeschool

     
    Paper airplanes, origami, and pizza box solar ovens; this is what our summer break looked like. My kids sure can become extremely creative when left alone with some Elmer's glue, loose leaf paper and used shipping boxes! It amazes me what they come up or what they try to recreate. My oldest, when given an instruction book with a craft, can figure it out within minutes! Specifically, he loves creating origami creations. Using the simple art of paper folding, he not only creates what is pictured in his book but comes up with his own designs. As a mother, I thrive off of when my child hands me, with pride, a piece of their artwork! 

    Even though my children enjoy art of many forms, there still needs to be instruction, even if minimal. This way, they are taught not only the basics of a technique but how to grow and expand in their artistic skills. 

    I have compiled a list of different forms of art that we have incorporated into our home and homeschool recently:



    ARTistic Pursuits

    Most of what I have listed are simple arts and crafts but ARTistic Pursuits is an actual art curriculum that you can add to your homeschool. We would use this book once a week to learn a new technique in different areas such as pastels, drawing and art appreciation. For the parent who thrives off of lesson plans with simple instructions, this is for you!

    Sewing

    Many homeschool parents I talk to want to incorporate sewing  into their routine but don't know where to begin. To be honest, I barely know how to use our sewing machine myself, much less enough to teach my kids. That said, I have been determined to teach them at least what I do know and hope and pray they can expand their skills from there! A few years ago my kids made simple pillows for their grandparents for Christmas gifts. They picked out the fabric themselves, pinned the fabric together, sewed a few straight lines down the sides and stuffed them silly! 

    Chalk Art

    For those days that you and the kids just need to get outdoors, why not break out the chalk? Give your kids a theme or let their imaginations run wild. I know that my kids have surprised me with their creativity from time to time! Whether it's creating a hopscotch board or drawing an obstacle course to ride their bikes around, children can have a blast coming up with new ways to create with chalk. Stuck indoors on a rainy day? Simply take your chalk and rub it over salt. Repeat with different colors and pour through a funnel into an empty glass jelly jar. What you have is your very own "sand art" using simple materials that you already have on hand!

    Paper Airplanes 

    What is it with boys and paper airplanes ? At least my kids don't have to worry about their teacher yelling at them for throwing them behind her back! In fact, I often encourage it! Now that they have mastered the simple folds for creating their own flying creations, my boys thrive on trying out new designs. Whether they race each other to see whose plane can go the furthest or simply try to see what they can come up with, I encourage them to create and recreate with the materials easily found in our home. And what homeschool family doesn't have used worksheets piling up anyways?

    Origami

    I mentioned earlier that one of my sons is a huge fan of  origami.
    It all began with a kit he received this past Christmas. He didn't really find any interest in it at first but then this summer, when trying to find something to do, he discovered a newfound hobby! He quickly ran through all the materials found in his kit but that hasn't stopped him from creating! He still will use the ideas in his origami book to create using what he has. He also loves coming up with his own ideas for creations.  

     Loom Bracelets

    As long as you find the right colors, boys can enjoy making
    bracelets on a loom just as much as girls do! And, when we do have piles of pink and purple bands, the boys will make bracelets for their little sister, or for me! Don't have a loom? There are still piles of activities and crafts that kids can create with the rubber bands without it!
     
    Friendship Bracelets

    The Friendship Bracelet Maker is a fun way to introduce bracelet making to your child. I remember using a simple clipboard as a kid when making friendship bracelets but this bracelet maker makes the process so much easier! I have even found myself making bracelets on this thing just as a stress reliever. My kids don't complain because they are the ones that receive the finished product!

    Whittling

    When our kids reach a certain age we do allow them to carry a pocket knife. Dad goes over the safety rules and then they are allowed to carry it with them, if they are careful. We haven't lost a finger yet, so that's a good sign! As soon as my boys received their knives they went outside and began whittling. It's a great hobby that has many useful benefits too!




     
     Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Rainbow Resource Center. All opinions stated here are my own.