Friday, November 26, 2010

Fresh from the Freezer ~ FREE Online Cooking Class

Hello Friends!

Are you like me, and always looking for value? Well, today I have something for you that will treat you to great value in a couple of ways! What am I talking about? It is the FREE Online Cooking Class "Fresh From The Freezer".

Shelley from One Roast Vegetable will teach you how to both use your freezer as a pantry, as well as,  create recipes that you can make ahead and freeze, and just pull out when ready for it.

I have learned so very much during the class so far! And the great thing, is that you can sign up anytime, and watch the videos! As of this blog posting, there are 16 videos up and ready for you to watch and learn, and as long as people continue to subscribe, she will continue to make these free videos!  I need these videos! Would you please sign up today? Have I mentioned that it is FREE!?!?!?!

So, what have I learned? Well I will not give away all the secrets, you will have to subscribe to find out for yourself! However, I will tell you, that she will try out freezing many fruits and vegetables, as well as, dairy products, and then show us the results. It has already saved me money! I have popped things into the freezer, rather than the trash can, knowing I will be able to pull it out and use it later!

Then the really fun thing, is she will put together the items that we have frozen, and use them in a recipe! And share that recipe with you! You really cannot miss out on this! Your family budget, and your meal time will benefit from this FREE online class!

Won't you join me and Shelley, and countless others, as we learn how to cook, Fresh From the Freezer?

Happy Cooking!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Holiday Subscription Offer!!!!!

As many of you already know, I am a long time fan of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!  Long before I was a crew member, I have been a faithful subscriber to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. TOS is truly the best homeschooling magazine out there. Full of the support you need to keep you motivated on your homeschool journey!

Now, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is extending an extraordinary subscription offer to homeschool families. U.S. and Canadian residents can receive a one-year print subscription and a FREE Homeschooling  with Heat tote bag, FREE Schoolhouse Planner of your choice, and FREE  E-Book: Cranberry Christmas for just $19.95. One-year subscriptions  start with the winter issue. It makes a perfect gift for yourself and  a friend. There are a limited number of tote bags available from  November 24 through midnight on November 29-once they're gone, they're  gone! Hurry and grab this tremendous value today! It's over $80 in free gifts--one of them the gorgeous Cranberries & Cream tote bag.

Visit here, to take advantage of this awesome offer!!

TOS Crew: Bright Ideas Press

Bright Ideas Press, creators of the Illuminations curriculum, also offer up Literature guides for many classic pieces of literature, as well as, books of the bible.  One of the great features to these literature guides is that fact that you can teach all of your children at the same time. This is the method of which I teach my children, so this method really appeals to me!

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received 3 literature guides. I received, The Book of Ruth, 1 Thessalonians and Acts. Each are available for $10 and are available for instant download.

These literature guides are sold separately, however they are part of the Illuminations curriculum. So there are places where it refers to reading selections that would be in the curriculum that are not available within the literature guide. Aside from that, I really have enjoyed using these guides. Everything you need is included (minus books and crafts supplies).  Within the guide, there are vocabulary words, discussion generator questions, hands on activities, as well as, history and background information surrounding what you are studying.

All in all, after you work through one of these guides, you will walk away with a deeper understanding of the Bible book that you are studying, than you had when you simply had read the book on your own. It encouraged the children to look up words they did not know, to connect the dots by looking at what was going on in the same time period, and then putting all this new found information together.

I would definitely recommend these guides for your family. The cost is right, and it is family friendly!  Check out all the neat products available from Bright Ideas Press, and don't forget to check out the crew blog to see what my crew mates thought about Bright Ideas!

Monday, November 15, 2010

2 and 2 Promotion The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

My favorite homeschool magazine of all time is having an amazing sale!!! If you have been waiting for the right time to subscribe.. NOW is the time!!! Or, if you would like to renew current subscription, you can take advantage  of this great offer as well! Enjoy!

On Monday, November 15, the price for a one-year U.S. or Canadian print subscription to

TOS Magazine is $10.

On Tuesday, November 16, the price goes to $12.
On Wednesday, November 17, the price is $14.

Each day we add $2 until Saturday and Sunday, when the price is $20. At midnight PST on Sunday, November 21,
the price goes back to its regular level.

The earlier you shop in the week, the more you save.

Plus, every 12th customer to purchase a subscription gets a tote bag.
Every 14th customer to purchase a subscription gets a copy of the E-Book: The 2010-2011 Schoolhouse Planner.
Every 16th customer to purchase a subscription gets a $25 gift card to the Totally TOS category in the Schoolhouse Store.
This excludes Molly Green and Download N Go.

As an added bonus, the highest ticket of the day on Monday, November 15 through Wednesday, November 17, will win
a $200 gift card to the Schoolhouse Store. This can be used for any company in the Store,except
Download N Go.

So, put 2 and 2 together and shop early! The earlier you grab your one-year new or renewing
subscription, the better the price you'll pay. Plus, you could receive one of the bonus gifts.
Or, you might be the highest ticket of the day!

If you are eligible for a bonus gift, you will receive an email from a member of the Schoolhouse Store team.

Click here for all of the details:

Friday, November 12, 2010

FREE Christmas Gift from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

The fine people of The Old Schoolhouse magazine have generously created a Digital Holiday Supplement to give away for FREE!!!

All you have to do is click HERE to get your copy! Be sure to save it to your computer!

I have just downloaded my copy and have begun to peruse it, and it is chock full of awesome treats.  From learning about how Christmas is celebrated around the world, to Christmas crafts ideas, and homemade gift ideas, recipes and activity pages!!! This is 176 pages full of Christmas Cheer!!

This Christmas Gift is meant to be shared! So please share it with all of your friends and family, so they can get in on the fun!!

Simply visit here to get yours today!!

Are you on facebook? Have you followed The Old Schoolhouse magazine? You can do so here.

Be sure to send them a thank you note! I know that your family will be blessed by all the goodies within the pages of this supplement!

May I be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TOS Crew: The Write Foundation

During our homeschool career, I have struggled with teaching writing. I have always concentrated on the children being able to create complete thoughts; however, I have not focused nearly as much as I should on grammar and dynamics.

I have been looking forward to teaching writing, and finding a program that will help do so,and do it well. While, I feel like I have some level of writing skill. I surely, do not remember all there is to know about writing. And with all of the writing curriculum options, where am I to begin?

Enter in The Write Foundation.  As part of the crew, I was able to choose which level we were going to use, so I started at the beginning. We reviewed the first 15 lessons of Sentence to Paragraph Writing.

I keep thinking of the song Do Re Mi from the Sound of the Music… Let’s Start at the very beginning, .....a very good place to start…. when you read begin A-B-C when you write you begin with The Write Foundation!

In all seriousness, The Write Foundation truly does start by giving you the foundation you need to be a good writer. I am currently taking college courses and I wanted to brush up on my grammar, to ensure that I was meeting the grade in my lessons, as well as, making sure that my children are grasping all that they need to succeed!

So what is included?

The entire Sentence to Paragraph Writing Curriculum for teacher and student by Rebecca Celsor includes:

  • Spiral-bound Teacher Instruction Manuals with Lesson Plans (about 160 double-sided pages)

  • 1 set notebook-ready printed Worksheets (about 200 single-sided pages)

  • 1 CD with additional resources

    • Grading System

    • Grading Record Sheets

    • Word Games

    • Checklists

    • Teacher Presentation Sheets

    • Weekly Assignments

    • Extensive Reading list

    There are several different packaging options that range in price from $65 - $100. Please check out their website to see which set would be a good fit for your family.

Here is what Level 1 aims to teach your student.

  • Lesson plans formatted in an easy-to-follow system

  • Reinforces the construction of a basic sentence

  • Improves sentence structure with basic grammar and figures of speech

  • Teaches the organizational process of  brainstorming, outlining, rough draft and editing.

  • Quickly develops more interesting, informative sentences

  • Steps to writing the basic paragraph

  • Progress to writing two-paragraph papers

  • Guidelines, checklists and correct structure

  • Creative poetry writing

  • 30 lessons with lesson plans for either a one- or two-year format

Now, that all of the official information is covered, what did I really think of the program?  Well, I think that it is very thorough. And my children did indeed learn basic grammar and sentence structure, as well as, some poetry. The poetry was particularly helpful, as while we have read poetry, they have not learned a ton of poetry.

While the program did indeed get the job done, it was not something that my children enjoyed immensely. However, they did learn the material and complete the assignments.

If you would like to see what my crew mates think about The Write Foundation, please visit the crew blog and check out their reviews!!

I received a free copy of lessons 1-15 and teachers manual, in exchange for my honest review of the product.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tools of the Trade Tuesday!!! Chores

This post is kind of two fold. I would love to sit down and write a post that can give you all the answers to your burning homeschool questions! But alas, I don't have all the answers!! ;-)

I, like you, am on this journey that tends to change throughout it! So as I continue to write in the coming weeks, I will both share some things that have worked for us, as well as, ask you all to share things that have worked for you!

Here is my first question.... CHORES!

What do homeschooling families do. Now I would like input from any size family, however, I will say I would like to find out what large families are doing for chores! We have 5 children, ours are 11-18 all living at home.  We have tried many things over the years, and each are successful for some period of time. I am not sure if it is that we get bored easy, or what, but we seem to need to change our method of attack semi often!

We have tried assigning the big chores for long periods of time. This is how that looked. One group of children had the kitchen, and one group had the bathrooms. (There are 3 of them) They kept those chores for a LONG time. We are talking months... and the goal here was mastery of said chore. And then with all the little chores, we just worked on those together.

Now, they did, indeed, achieve mastery, but eventually, we had a bit of a mutiny. Well, not really, but they were very bored of the same chore. So we simply flopped. And for another several months that solved the problem.  And then the same problem surfaced...

Then we  tried our next plan of attack, which has worked for quite a long time. You can really read about it here.  Basically, I made up chore cards, and each child would pick a card, and what ever they picked that was their chore until we picked chore cards again. Now the goal was to pick the cards daily. However, life sometimes gets in the way of picking cards, so we changed that to, the job is yours until we pick again. And we also added if you had the dishes on one day, you could not pick it the next day to prevent the same person always getting the hard chore.

Now we are using this method currently. However, I sense that we have reached that time for a change. Now what?

So, this is where all of you come in! Please post your comments below and let me know how you and your family handle chores!  Let me know what has worked and what hasn't! Please leave as many comments as you would like!

Our family would like some fresh ideas!  We can't wait to read your comments!

Monday, November 8, 2010

TOS Crew: Our Land Publications ~ California

This land is our land, this land is your land, from California to the New York Harbor....

Well, actually we are staying right here in my home state of California!  Our Land Publications has taken a very unique way to teach history! They have broken up the text book and created easy to use and read newspapers that are put into chronological order. These bite size nuggets of information are just right for students to really hang on to what they are reading. As well as, understanding how each event impacts the next, or another part of history. Most history books are dry and boring, however, Our Land Publications is far from boring!

The program is designed for upper elementary students. I actually used this program with my 6th grader, as well as, some of my older children that have learning disabilities, including dyslexia. I wanted to see how they could handle this approach. Here is what I discovered...

It was right on target for the 6th grader. And for the older kids with learning disabilities it was awesome. This is  not dumbed down information! Many times, as a parent with a child with dyslexia, it is difficult to find reading material to match the intellect of your child. The books and information seem watered down or babyish. Not the case with this program! If you have a struggling learner, then this is indeed a history program you should look into!

So what is included in our package? You receive a teachers manual and a student packet. Within the student packet you have 32 issues of a newspaper to hand out to your student(s) to read. Within the pages are questions, maps, vocabulary, pictures and other activities! The 'Reaction Time' questions at the end of each issue require the child to think before answering! It is not a matter of simply perusing the paper and finding the answers!

In your manual you are given additional information for you to use to help teach that week, as well as some black line masters that will enhance your students learning and understanding.

All in all, this is a unique and successful way to examine history! I only wish that all history books were presented like this.

Our Land Publications also produce Our Land of Liberty, My Illinois, My Indiana,  and My Texas. You can purchase the My California set for one student and one teacher for $65.

Please visit the crew blog to see what my crew mates have to say about this and other products published by Our Land Publications!

Monday Morning Musings

Good morning! As I sit here in a dimly lit room, ready to start my day and sipping my hot cup o' coffee. I am listening to my children get ready to walk out the door... Nope, they are not headed out for school. Well, maybe they are, the school of life.

So, what is on our plate for today? First off we are headed down to the 'city' to have a doctor's appointment for my son. No, he is not sick, this is our regular check up for his epilepsy.  The whole gang is coming with me, because we are going clothes shopping! They are so happy! And so am I!

First stop the suit outlet store for the boys! Keeping 3 boys in suits is a hard thing to do. Our friends have clued us in to an awesome place that throws in the shirts, ties , socks, etc....

The girls will be learning the art of patience! As we will need to actually shop for them! Store after  store to find the best deal! I am hoping to teach them to not allow the money in their pocket to burn a hole right through! And to think through their wants and their needs!

The last part of the day will be spent getting chores done, and doing quiet school work! I am thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling!  We can educate anytime we like. So today, we will educate into the evening!

What has your Monday ( or Tuesday, or Wednesday......) looked like? Leave a comment and let me know!

Happy Homeschooling! And don't forget to enjoy those children!

Friday, November 5, 2010

TOS Crew: Collectorz

Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I am a bibliophile!  As a card carrying bibliophile, I need help with organizing all of my books! Does this sound a bit like your house? Chances are, if you have homeschooled for any amount of time you have found yourself knee deep, or worse, in books! And in need of an organization tool to keep you from buying the same book twice! ( Or dare I say 3 times??) Come on, please tell me that someone else has done that!

Well, let me tell you about Collectorz! It is a neat service that helps you catalog and organize your books...

With colectorz you can categorize your books, you can also keep track of books that you have loaned out ( another homeschoolers favorite thing to do), as well as, create a wish list of books for you.

Simply type in the ISBN number or Library of Congress Number and you are all set. There are several scanners available that would allow you to scan the barcode to enter. However, I did not have one, and simply typed the numbers in.

When the ISBN is matched, the book cover and description is then added to that title, for easy reference. Which is an awesome feature!  You also have the ability to list the books in several different ways; location, condition, author, loaned, borrowed and more!

If you need a little help organizing your personal library, and managing your book budget (not buying books you already own!) then give Collectorz a try. You can download the software for free which allows you to input 100 books, after that you will need to purchase the standard ($29.95) or the pro ($49.95) version.

Check out their website for more information.

And don't forget to check out the crew blog to see what my crew mates have to say about Collectorz!

....... as a member of the TOS Crew, I received the pro version for free, in exchange for my honest opinion.