Earn money with Cash Crate

Thursday, October 23, 2008

review of www.time4learning.com

I love http://www.time4learning.com/ (t4l.com)! My kids do, too! I was so excited to hear that Jennifer at t4l.com needed reviewers for this online curriculum as my family has already been using it for about a year. Last year we used it as a supplement only and this year, we use some of the subjects as supplements and others, such as math, as our core.

At present, t4l.com is for grades preschool though eighth, covering every core subject. You get math, language arts and language arts extensions, science, and social studies. All the lessons are up to state standards and are visually appealing and interactive. If you have a child who loves computers or gaming, or is a visual learner, he or she would probably enjoy and benefit from using t4l.com.

You can set your child's grade level accordingly and though I have never tried it myself, the website says you can set a child at different levels, say, higher in reading and lower in math so he is working at a perfect pace.

It is perfect as a core curriculum or supplement, as after-school fun or summer-time review. It makes a great aid for catching up a child who is struggling in a subject.

You can even set your account to "dormant" during months where you might not use it as much, such as summer months or December. Dormant accounts cost a lot less ( I am thinking about $4 or so) and all your child's progress is saved, but your child may have limited access to the site. Or , if you need to, you can always cut t4l.com off completely, and pay no fees as all; if you do this, you'll need to print out your child's progress reports first as her progress won't be saved under this option. Should you need to reactivate, it is easy to sign up again.

The cost is fairly low, about $14 per month per child. You can try t4l.com free and also , if you refer others, you can earn free months of membership.

There are many reasons why I went with t4l.com to begin with, one reason being that I have three children I am homeschooling, on completely different grade levels. I find keeping up with three levels of study in multiple subjects tricky. I love knowing if I need to work one-on-one with a child, I can send the other to t4l.com and be assured that he is working on high-quality academics that, very often, don't need my help at all to accomplish. The "games' teach the lesson well, and then offer quizzes and tests over the material. If a child is working solo in the younger grades, there is an extra (free) download called "Peedy the Parrot" where an animated parrot flies onto the screen and reads the words to them.

As an incentive in the younger grades, parents can set a playground option. This is where I can assign my 3rd grader 30 minutes of lessons to be followed by 15 minutes of playground. When he has completed his lessons, then a screen pops up that allow him to access fun games off sites such as PBS. He can play any "fun" game off the list as long as he has accrued playground time. Once his time is up, the system automatically sends him back to the lessons. As the parent you set the length of both the lesson time and playground time.

Another reason I use t4l.com is sometimes as homeschooling parents we get surprises in our school day that make keeping on task difficult. For example, in my home, its the unexpected migraine. If I get sick I know I can let my children take turns on t4l.com and they are learning even though I am unavailable. Same thing when a sibling is sick and requires extra care, the other children can continue on without much aid from me on t4l.com. Moms often have to be away from the children for a few moments to accomplish some task and yet need to know the childrne are truly working. I used to run to cook lunch for example, tell the children what to be working on, and leave the room only to hear almost-immediate wrestling and giggling with nothing getting accomplished. I had to stand and "crack the whip". But with t4l.com, they want to be working. And besides, now the boys know I can look at their progress report and see what they have been doing. That accountability is very helpful to me and keeps them better on task.

We also have always used unit studies as our core. For the past few years we have used A World of Adventure, which is based on chronological history. I used to worry that my younger son would be way ahead of his peers in one aspect (such as already knowing a bit about many ancient civilizations) but would be completely "out of the loop" in other areas should he ever have to go to public school. I knew his peers were studying an entirely different social studies curriculum, for example, covering topics like community helpers. Now I know I can continue to teach my units each day but be assured that my 3rd grader is also getting a good dose of what other 3rd graders nationwide are learning by using t4l.com.

Sometimes with unit studies, a child can get some gaps in their education; by assigning each child 1 hour of t4l.com daily, I know that eventually they will have covered a wide range of topics that are considered core curriculum. So in that respect, not only is t4l.com a time and sanity-saver, but it gives me additional peace of mind that my children are getting a healthy and well-rounded education.

Just to be sure that the work has been done, there are printable progress reports, resource worksheets, quizzes, and tests. There are also printable answer keys and lesson plans. I find that I don't use the site to the fullest. I really believe if a parent could take the time over the summer to sit and print out the lessons, lesson plans, guides, additional project ideas, and answer keys for each grade level and file them in a binder, then one could really use t4l.com as it is meant to be used. You truly could allow it to be your core curriculum. if I had it to do over again, this is exactly what I would do. There is so much to t4l.com that you don't see until you, as a parent, really dive into it and take it apart.

Now, my cons about t4l.com all have to do with our personal limitations and not t4l.com exactly. We have three computers in our home. But we have one dial-up, slow, 56-k connection, meaning only one child at a time can use the Internet. So we have to take turns rotating the children on t4l.com. If I had my wish, it'd be for a DSL connection so could all use the Internet simaltaneously. For now we use the rotation time wisely, with one child doing seat work/reading/etc. while the other is online.

Another problem you may find with a 56-k dial-up connection is that the graphics-intensive pages load slowly. Once again, that is a personal problem due to our connection speed. We use the time while the pages load to read quietly or so some practice worksheets right at the computer.

Occasionally, my oldest son who is 7th grade by age but doing 8th grade at home, will struggle with comprehending a math lesson. Normally if his quiz doesn't go well, I will have him re-do the lesson, sometimes sitting with him and going over it with him, and then let him re-take the quiz. That is a nice thing about t4l.com is that kids can try again for mastery of a subject matter. If I see he still struggles too much with a particular area, then I can put him back a grade level in just that subject and let him catch up.

Many times my children would rather do t4l.com than any other activity. I actually have to limit their time online at t4l.com and they often argue over who gets to use it first! We are living in a world where children are learning to be very visual and we have to take advantage of that. Children are going to find, somewhere or other along the way, a taste for video games, Internet games, etc. Why not give them a little bit of that fun each day, all the while knowing that what they are playing is actually good for their brains and in a safe environment?

Overall, we have a great time using t4l.com and I have only two suggestions for the company: consider adding high school grade levels and make a CD-ROM collection of grade level handouts, guides, etc. so I don't have to access the net every time I want to print something. I'd pay a bit more for all the paperwork on a CD-ROM disk. :)

homeschooling:schedules, timing, and breaks

I know our homeschool days seem odd to other people. Sometimes my kids and I get lovingly teased about our scheduling. We often "do" school so differently than the public schools that it throws people into a tailspin when they see our schedule.

For example, last week our local public schools were out on fall break. The first thing that happened, as I predicted, would be our ps friends calling to see if they could come over and spend the night or vice versa. It is so hard to explain to these children (and mine) that we weren't taking the whole week off. Lest I sound like a "big meanie" who never gives her children a break, let me explain. I am very busy with lots of side ventures: crafting /soap making classes, helping coordinate a homeschool Fall Festival, reviewing products for The Old Schoolhouse magazine (this past week alone I received access to KinderBach music, Spears art curriculum, and got a free nativity toy set in the mail, plus I am already reviewing Time4learning.com, ALEKS math, and a few other sites--it is to the point where our regular curriculum may have to be temporarily shelved so we can really use these wonderful freebies we've been given!), co-coordinating a co-op and teaching a weekly co-op preschool class to 12-15 2-5 year olds, trying to get my home-biz off the ground (where it has been for months now, etc) that I sometimes find we need to take off on a different day to fit homeschooling into our schedule and really give it 100%. So I like to say that we don't follow the school's schedule because it wouldn't work for our family. What I try to do is meet the kiddos halfway. When their ps counterparts are free, for the most part, I try to give them some time off to be with them. But in the end, I make our schedule fit our needs because I have no other choice. If I didn't plan our homeschooling accordingly, something on my to-do list wouldn't get accomplished, and it'd likely be our actual schooling. I know homeschooling is my calling and it must come first and foremost and so we make life fit that schedule.

On top of our extracurriculars piling up on us, I suffer from migraines that have gotten worse in my thirties. More and more I find myself awakening with one rather than it coming on in the evening as they did in my youth. It is nothing unsual here to have to get up, take a Maxalt, and go back to bed a few times monthly. If this happens on a school morning, we lose a few hours. Same thing with having to be at appointments /meetings on school days. We try to schedule events after school but that can't always be accomplished, so if we have to be somewhere at 2 pm, that cuts a few hours off again. These hours have to made made up somewhere, resulting in weekend time or late night time or taking fewer days off during a public school break time.

Then there are the fun days we take off. I always take off one day during the week of each child's birthday. I use it to plan the party and shop and decorate and the kids just have fun!

Sometimes our local schools let out for inclement weather, like a sprinkling of snow or flooding. We may choose to go out and play for a bit and then come in and do an hour or two of work. Snow days are great days to alternate playing in in the cold with some educational board games (which we buy and then never play) or reading aloud around the fire. So we may do workon those days but it doesn't always feel like work. Art/science projects, which I too often neglect, are great on those days, too.

Or if the weather is truly nasty, why take off at all? We can do our work that day and then take off on a sunny, nice day and go the park.

Another way we differ is our daily timing, We have a fairly set schedule of what we'll do each day. I know that for the most part we'll begin with Bible, move into core subjects/computer schooling and work for two hours there. Then we'll take our lunch and play break, and finish up two more hours, doing unit studies, independent work, silent reading, additional projects for 4-H/scouts/co-op homework, etc. But the time we begin each day sometimes varies. I have never been a morning person. For a lenthy digress on this and sleep disorders/circadian rhythms, see my other posts. Anyway, I know that every now and then, my family and I too, need extra sleep. Other times I just need some personal quiet time to get things done online (we share a dial-up Internet line so only one person can be online at a time even though we have 3 computers....it is my thorn in the side, especially with so much computer schooling to be done, but I try not to be ungrateful because we have been blessed with so many other things).

I also know that teens especially, need more sleep as they grow. This is scientific and documented, much to the deligh of my almost-13 year-old.

Last night we had church/youth and our Wednesdays are particularly full each week, with little rest. On Thursdays everyone seems sleepier than usual.
Last night the boys came home and did an extra hour of schoolwork before bed and Ashleigh (who has been exposed to an illness) began complaining of stomach ache and nausea, so this morning, I decided to let them sleep later than usual. And we already sleep later than most families I know. :) But still, I added on an extra 2 hours of sleep for the kids today. I have enjoyed my free time online to do research, test products, and blog. Now, its true we'll be behind all day today and have to do school way past the time the ps kids come home just to stay on track. We 'll have to rush dinner in order to get it all done in time to be at karate. But its okay with me, because we needed this kind of day.

I used to often feel guilty when we got to sleep in and arrange our schedule the way we wanted. Afterall, it's not exactly fair that the ps kids have late night sports and activities and they don't always get the extra rest they need. I myself recall going to school half asleep very often due to a terminally-ill parent with Alzheimer's (who was often up into the wee hours walking, yelling, and disoriented), and my grades certainly reflected it. I know the ps kids don't have the choices my kids have. But I also know that being with my kids 24/7 is a demanding job that not everyone can handle (or at least that's what I hear from many parents who seem to think I'm some sort of super-woman...ha ha---the truth of my life is simply this: anyone God calls for a task, He equips, and that includes everyone I know).

So I look at it this way: my kids get some benefits from homeschooling that other kids may not, but look at the amount of personal time that I put into our day. If envy of my life ever begins to creep into your mind, remind yourself that I do sleep late...but I am often up working until 2 am. My house looks neat 50% of the time...but you don't see the many messes we make in it repeatedly every day that get cleaned over and over again, nor do you see the clutter from having curriculum for grades pre-k through 8th hidden in every nook and cranny of my home. You might see that we start our day late but may not know that we often don't end our school day until 4 or 5 pm. I do get the joy of being home as a full-time wife and mother with a husband who cares for us wonderfully, both financially and emotionally, but you get vacation days, extra spending money, kids who go to school that you don't have the sole responsibility of teaching every subject, every grade level. If my children turn out to be less-than-genius, I cannot blame anyone but moi, which is a very sobering thought. I sometimes get envious of my non-homeschooling friends' lives! :)

I guess sleeping late and taking alternate vacations could be considered the fringe benefits of my 40-hour-plus week job. :) It is always easy for us to look across the fence and see that greener grass! I know God blesses us in different ways and He calls us to serve in different ways... this just happens to be my way.

So I choose to do things a little differently so we can get the benefits of more rest, less stress, and still get in our legal amount of academics and extras without killing ourselves in the process. I am totally cool with that. Maybe this will clear up any confusion.
Take care!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tales of Glory Nativity Scene/toy review

Here comes a review for TOS mag!

I was surprised to find an unexpected package on my porch a few days ago. I opened the box to find a nativy scene inside. I soon realized this must be one of the products TOS mag's vendors had sent us to preview. My four-year-old was immediately thrilled and couldn't wait for us to take it out of the package.

Upon closer inspection I realized this was more than just another nativity scene...this was a learning toy, a hands-on dramatic playset to teach the story of Christ's birth.

The set is made of a durable plastic and the characters are just the right size for little hands. There are 18 pieces: baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph; two angels and two shepherds; the stable with a star on top, the manger, a palm tree, a bale of hay for all the hungry animals, three wise men, and of course, a camel, donkey, sheep and ram. It included a little booklet to teach the story and even had a guide sheet to help parents know what stage of understanding and spiritual development a child is in at a particular age, and how to help that child develop further, spiritually.

Today we have another preschooler visiting, and she has also enjoyed playing with it. I like the fact this this nativity won't break and is actually meant to be touched. I have always dreaded putting out my breakable nativity scenes in my home when the children were young, because it meant having to train the children not to touch something about which they were naturally curious. Children are attracted to the little animals and especially the tiny baby Jesus, and this set encourages their curiosity which then leads to being able to share the gospel birth in a way that is easy to understand.

I took a look at the box and found that the toy is a "Tales of Glory" toy. You can find the company online at http://www.one2believe.com/. They have a nice assortment of these sets, everything from the nativity that I received to other Old and New Testament Bible story sets to Proverbs 31 dolls to a resource page where children can read online Bible stories. If you save your "points" from boxes you can earn more free toys from their site. I got three points off my box.

I highly recommend these toys for Christian parents, church and preschool teachers, and anyone who wants to spread the gospel to children and encourage familiarty with the treasure-filled book of God's Word. Don't just read the Word...read it and then PLAY ACT it. What a wonderful, gentle introduction to the Bible or as a reinforcement for lessons already taught.

Friday, October 17, 2008

where learning takes place

People who come to our home are often curious as to where we conduct our school time. I am adding a slide show to the bottom of my blog site that shows how we utilize our entire home as a classroom, rather than just one spot. This also provides an idea of how I can care for additional preschoolers in my home if needed.

I enjoy teaching a preschool class at Wednesday co-op. I have a REAL classroom with four walls! Yay! I get excited just knowing it LOOKS like a little classroom and I enjoy using it and decorating it a bit. My dream is to one day have a real, enclosed, not-in-the-front-of-the-house school room to use for homeschooling, craft classes, and preschool.

Monday, October 13, 2008

updated my business site

Today I took some time to update my business site, www.whimsylanecreations.com
Two of the companies I consult for, Simply Tempted Bath and Body, and Mineral Girlz, are also undergoing updates. Please visit them and get ahead for holiday shopping.

I have added some great party options to my site. If you need something to do at a party, scouts, 4-h meeting, etc. consider one of my ideas. See them at my Whimsy Lane site under the "parties" link.

I will soon be holding a soap making class for our homeschool group, another for the Cannon County FCE, and a few kid's crafts classes on the side. I look forward to a fun fall doing what I love the most!

Happy Birthday to Ashleigh!

Today my baby turned 4 years old! We have come a long way with her. All my children's births are miracles to me, but hers is particularly special because she was a 4 pound, half-an-oz. preemie born at the beginning of RSV season. After 11 days in the NICU at Nashville, Ashleigh was finally able to breathe regularly on her own and able to come home with us. This was November 1. She had been born after labor induction at 34 weeks (due to my having severe pre-eclampsia, making my blood pressure shoot so high I was at stroke level).

It was a traumatic birth from the get-go. I knew something was wrong before I even went for my doctor's appointment. Although I had been faithfully power walking 2 miles a day, was eating a diabetic diet due to having gestational diabetes, and was healthier in that pregnancy than I'd ever been, I just began to feel instinctively that I wouldn't be coming home from my appointment. I had felt her "drop" the week before and there had been this tremendous feeling of pressure in my pelvis. I also had begun the tell-tell swelling that I had experienced in my first pregnancy, the kind that continues no matter how much bed rest you take. I packed my son's bags that day, thinking I might be put in our local hospital to be monitored and then sent home on bed rest. My biggest concern was how I would care for an 8 year old and 4 year old and homeschool if I were put on bed rest for a month or so. How little did I know....

Upon examination, it was determined I was most certainly in danger. But there was no local hospital or bed rest at home. I was hastily told to go to our local hospital and check in; from there I would be driven by ambulance to a larger hospital in Nashville that had a wonderful NICU. Talk about panic! I am definitely an admitted control freak of sorts; this was completely 100% out of my control! I think if my blood pressure was high to begin with, this announcement could've killed me. I was whisked away before I barely had time to tell my family goodbye.

Two hours later I was in a new hospital hooked to wires and monitors with no freedom to move. I stayed on my left side all night long and labor began the next day, oddly enough, on October 13. My boys had been born on November 13 and December 13, and many people had jokingly said wouldn't it be strange if all my kids were born on the 13th. We were about to fulfill that prediction.

Labor was intense. I have had two inductions and one naturally timed birth and even though the natural was a 10+ pounder, the two inductions have hit harder, faster, and agonizingly more painful compared to his birth.

Labor was going well until I was told to roll onto my left side again after being checked. I felt the weirdest sensation, as if my insides were actually sliding apart. I told the nurse and my husband that something didn't feel right and no sooner had I said that than monitors started flashing. I have never seen people move so fast. It turns out my baby's umbilical cord was being delivered first and with every contraction of the birth canal, was cutting off her oxygen. Suddenly the head nurse was unhooking my machines and prepping to move me to surgery. She had struck me as some sort of drill sergeant when they brought me in and now I knew why. She was spectacular in her precision and intenseness. All of her focus was on getting me down the hall in record time to have an emergency c-section. She told (barked at is more like it) my poor, confused husband to "Get out of the way!" and before I could even think about what was happening, I was being whisked down the hall, bright lights above my head. I heard doors swing open as we crashed through them and suddenly a team of people I'd never seen was counting to three and lifting me onto the operation table. I knew they'd knock me out in about five seconds and do the operation but before they could, the urge to push became so great I couldn't stop it at all, and Ash came blasting into this world with a strong lusty cry. I still cannot recall the face of the doctor who delivered her. I cannot truthfully tell you his name without looking it up in her files.

My whole family was in the waiting room, pacing the floor when they got the news. I know they were thankful and relieved.

I spent the next few days in a groggy daze. I had to be kept on magnesium sulfate, I think is the drug, to keep my blood pressure under control. If you have ever taken cold medicine that leaves you sleepy, with an unclear head and can't think straight, multiply that by 5 and you'll be in my brand of la-la land. I was so tired and out of it, I couldn't even process the thought that Ash was in the NICU one floor above me or that I couldn't get out of bed to go see her or hold her. My speech was slurred and I felt as if I were dreaming or hallucinating half of everything going on around me. It got to the point where I had to ask my husband if certain people had been in to see us because I wasn't sure if their visits were real or dreamed!

By about the third day I was feeling better and more able to focus. I had been to the NICU a few times via wheelchair as the nurses were afraid I would fall. I was learning to nurse a preemie (with arms of protection around, should I become so drowsy I might drop her). Preemies often cannot suck so while you feed them you must massage their cheeks and stroke under their chins to stimulate the urge to suck and swallow. Moms only have so many hands. Its very difficult to even use the special preemie bottle called the Haverman feeder, while holding it and doing all this stroking and massaging with one hand. Most babies find bottle feeding easier than nursing, but preemies find both a challenge. Every day was hard. Just to see my baby I had to scrub up and wear a surgical gown. She was attached to so many tubes and contraptions that made even removing her from her bassinet for feeding a chore. They warned us not to hold her too tight or rub her too hard because preemie skin is thinner and their touch sensation is magnified until it can be painful. My body was not understanding the sudden birth and had not began to make enough milk, so I had been given the use of an electric pump; I sat hooked to it every two hours as it prepared me for the every-two-hour-round-the-clock feedings we would face when we got to take Ash home. I was drained. Totally drained. I wanted to sit and cry and feel sorry for us both, but I knew I couldn't. There was my little tiny 4 pound baby, no bigger than a sack of sugar we said, who looked like a giant compared to the other 2 pound babies in bassinets around me. My little girl had survived a traumatizing birth and was doing well. I knew that even in the midst of great trial, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I had felt and could still feel His presence. He had spared my life and hers. I had no reason to feel sorry but every reason to rejoice.

I'd like to say I kept my focus during the next 5 or 6 months as I nursed every two hours for weeks on end until the doctor saw a significant weight gain in my baby. I'd like to say I kept my perspective while we homeschooled and my mind was foggy from lack of sleep. I'd like to say I always kept my cool when we were literally trapped at home for an entire winter with a baby that couldn't go out in public places. No church, no scouts, no homeschool group, no Walmart! I relied on the kindness of strangers to haul my kids to their events. I became an expert at driving to their clubs and practices with a good uplifting book and baby in the car and a full tank of gas with a warm heater, letting the boys do whatever they had to do inside--without me--as I waited in the car. My eight year old, who at that time had never been alone in stores without me, was now carrying a short shopping list and cash and doing a few trips for me. I think I might've finally learned some patience that year! I can tell you this: our family grew closer to the Lord then than I think we've ever been . It was only the middle of this upheaval that we really learned how much we needed Him in our lives from day to day. And He held my hand and we survived. Enormous bills from the hospital came and went. A move into a new and bigger home came and went. Life went on. And now, I am here today, 4 years later, reliving that eventful day in my life again as I watch my prissy and sweet little girl playing with her brothers, giggling and squealing. Not one ounce of evidence of her experience remains except for her petite stature. She is healthy and happy and we are blessed by having her in our lives. Sometimes God gives us a wake-up call, a reality check, a dose of realness. Sometimes He wants us to draw closer to Him. What better way to do that than through the warm, sweetly scented body of a tiny helpless baby in your arms!

Happy Birthday, Ashleigh Eden!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

more soap...mmm good

Sometimes my soaps do strange things...they get a little ugly, perhaps, but still smell wonderful. Still lather beautifully.

This is the case with my Wildberry Zinger Tea soap. I used canola oil in it and a little more fragrance. As a result, curing time took longer and it's still a fairly soft bar compared to my olive oil soaps. It also has a pretty yellow color, which I always get when using canola oil. I tried to unmold it too early and it messed up my pretty loaf look. But the scent is extremely yummy and the lather is luxurious with bubbles!

If you want to know what it smells like, go buy a box of Celestial Seasonings Wildberry Zinger Tea. Bring it home. Brew a cup. Inhale its aroma while sipping it hot. Relax...mixed sweet berries and fruity tea freshness surround you. Brew another cup (because its SO HHMMM GOOD!), add some sugar if you like. Drink this one ice cold. Still delicious, with taste buds tingling, and there you have it....my soap in a nutshell!

$2 a slice, only about 5 left (I keep taking them into the shower with me). I don't claim to be the Einstein of soaping, but this one is genius! :)

made with canola oil, coconut oil, water, lye, scent, castor oil, color

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I am not expecting but I sure have been feeling the urges to "nest" lately. I cannot stand clutter, and have been going through my kids rooms decluttering *ahem* for them when they're not looking.

I also started going through our winter clothes Saturday, in the heat of the attic, and after an hour of sweating, I decided to bring all the totes down and sort them in the cool living room. This meant dragging heavy and awkward Rubbermaid storage tubs down my extremely high and perilous (read: unsturdy) attic steps. Then hours of sorting and having kids try on clothes, all the while shaking them for fear of spiders lurking in their dark recesses. By about 9 pm I had three mountains in my floor: give-away, wash, return to attic for later wear. It is now Tuesday evening and I JUST got all of the clothes put away. My daughter has been blessed, overly blessed, if you can be so, in little girl's clothing this year. I have already sorted through it and have two boxes to give away. Her closet is FULL to capacity, from the shelf to the floor and I am in fear the rack will buckle and fall if I don't scale it down even more. Her dresser drawers are crammed tight and even her under-the-bed boxes are full!! I am praising the Lord for not only meeting our needs but giving me overflow I can share with others. I hope to share some of it at tomorrow's homeschool co-op. Or else come home to possibly face the little diva's abundantly blessed pop star-type closet lying in tumult. If only she had one of those fabulous spinning remote control closet racks like Hannah Montana....

I am happy to report that Adrian got saved and is preparing to be baptized. He just came with this innocence that has finally convinced me that his little heart is full of belief and is for real , at least as real as he knows to be in front of the Lord. I am thankful and thrilled!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

I'm so excited!

I have already posted about being signed on as an alternate on TOS mag's homeschool review crew. Technically, as an alternate, I would've thought I wouldn't be allowed to do any reviewing UNLESS someone else backed out. Well, I was way off base there!

I am already reviewing a website called HelpMe2Teach.com and got to give my review of the mag itself this morning. Just for being an alternate I get my blog name out there to other homeschoolers and will receive a free homeschooling with heart tote bag, like the one new subscribers get! For reviewing the mag itself, my subscription will be extended for one more year...FREE!! AND if I ever receive a product to review that I already own, I can GIVE IT AWAY to another homeschooler! That should excite YOU if you are one of my many homeschooling buddies. Who doesn't love FREE?!

Anyway, if this opportunity ever arises again, you might want to jump on it. I think it will take some time, testing and reviewing items and posting my reviews, on top of reading the emails from the other crew members (I had around 128 in one night!!), but it will be rewarding. I hope you'll come back often to read the reviews I write, then visit my TOS crew link to read others' reviews. I hope reading all of our opinions will help you as you sift through the mountain of curriculum available to us!

TOS mag Fall Special

Good morning,

Just wanted to wake you homeschooling moms up with some exciting news from The Old Schoolhouse magazine. I personally subscribe to this magazine, and it is one of my favorites. Every issue is packed with information on the latest homeschool legislation, ideas for little ones who are often running underfoot, wonderful editorials, homeschool units, contests and more! When my issue arrives I may pore over it for days, and then return to it again and again to check out the ads/specials and reread the info. it contains. My issues are always dog-eared from bookmarking its pages. :)

TOS is running a special, so if you have thought about ordering, why not do it now?

Here it is, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Fall Special. You can get two years of the magazine, 6 fabulous physical gifts (no downloads!) worth over $120, plus the current issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine that is full of ideas for the new school year, so you start receiving your magazine in a flash!It really is one of their best deals ever and you don't want to miss out. In fact, they've got a really cute Homeschooling with Heart tote bag (valued at $13.95) for the first 1000 to subscribe. About half of them are gone, but you should still be able to get one if you hurry!(They will remove the info from the subscription page when the bags are all gone.) The total value is over $212, but you receive it all for only $39 - 50% off of cover price! Plus subscribers get their online monthly Teacher's Toolbox which focuses on a different topic each month, giving you words of encouragement, hands-on teaching ideas, book recommendations, field trip ideas, and a bonus download item. (I LOVE the ideas sent to my email box each month....so many of them apply directly to the situations arising daily in our homeschooling and are timely and useful).

I find TOS mag an easy read in my already busy day, loaded with USABLE ideas and info., and just plain fun! I always feel encouraged in my walk with the Lord and my choice to home school after reading the articles and seeing what other families deal with in their lives. Give it a try!