“How to Have Fun When Life is Anything But….”

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How to have fun when life is anything but.  www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

All summer long my newsfeed has been filled with family and friends jet-setting here, there and everywhere.

 

For us, this summer has been a total bust.  Due to circumstances, there were no family vacations.  No smiling pictures in front of historical landmarks or breath taking scenery.

 

In fact, the summer could have been entitled, “How to Have Fun when Life is Anything But” !

 

After eating sour grapes, I realize there are “those” seasons in life.  Coveting someone else’s season does nothing to lift the air in my own home.  So, instead of lamenting “woe is me”, I search for things to celebrate.

 

Wanting to break out of a rut, this morning I turned up some goofy music, danced like no one was watching, got the kids to participate and shared some good old fashioned belly laughs.

 

Laying aside preconceived ideals, we celebrate the little things:  smiley pancakes for breakfast, swimming while everyone else is at school, making sugar cookie maps for our geography lesson.  But mostly making the best of our situation emphasizing what we DO have.

 

Here’s the bigger picture….

 

Each day is a clean slate.  How you choose to fill it is up to you – inspite of  your circumstances!

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SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft Review & GIVEAWAY!

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Heard about the Minecraft craze, but not sure if it’s right or safe for your child?  Have a child that is into Minecraft but unsure of whom they are interacting with online?  Is your child a Minecraft fan already but want to add more educational value to their online time?

SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft  is just the portal you need to visit!

SKrafty Reviews and Giveaways

Welcome!

It’s back to school time, and for homeschool families – that means gathering curriculum, planning and finding new ways to inspire kids in their studies. SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft is the perfect way to add the fun and inspiration you need.

This fall, the class line up is spectacular! If you need homeschool math, science, bible, history, language arts or more . . . you are in for a treat. Using some of your favorite homeschool curriculum companies (including Apologia Science, Mystery of History, and A+ Interactive Math) you’ll learn to incorporate Minecraft projects into your family homeschool.

SKrafty Classes

See all the new classes SKrafty has to offer HERE

Find out more about the fully monitored SKrafty Minecraft server where it is safe for your family and children – and get whitelisted for FREE right HERE.

SKrafty is specially designed and the rules are constructed to encourage good sportsmanship – with no griefing allowed, no bad language or ugly talk, and no sharing of outside links to protect your children. See a full list of rules HERE.

What other parents are saying about SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft:

“Since starting Skrafty my son has blossomed. His typing has gotten a lot better. School work is not a chore any more I just give him the list of what needs to be done and he does it. He finds the lessons entertaining and engaging and he loves the activities that go along with them. We are all very grateful for Skrafty.” ~ Cheryl J.

“My son enjoys playing on Skrafty with other kids and I love that it is a safe, moderated Minecraft server! While playing on Skrafty he has learned creative building, developed critical thinking skills, made friends, and learned to be a team player. The classes have been fun and the reading program has encouraged him to read more than ever. Skrafty has been such a blessing to our family!” ~Julie B.

Special needs learning:

“Skrafty has been a huge blessing to our family! My son with dyslexia is not only learning but enjoying learning!!!! His reading and writing have developed more with Skrafty than any other program we have used. The classes are engaging because they are so hands on and truly turn learning into an adventure. I so highly recommend Skrafty!” ~ Caroline D.

What we learned:

Recently my daughter completed Virtual Field Trip to France.  In it, she learned common information such as the history and geography of this country plus fascinating architecture and regional information through interesting and upbeat videos all compiled in one safe-to-view place.

Skrafty Minecraft Skool Visits France 2 - www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

After viewing a lesson, my daughter was directed to the Minecraft France portal where she had weekly assignments, such as:  touring the Eiffel Tower, claim land and try to make a pastry shop.

Skrafty Minecraft Skool Visits France 4 - www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

In the next lesson it was learning details about Neoclassical, Baroque and Rococo architecture, touring Chenoneau and then creating your own Loriere Valley.

Skrafty Minecraft Skool Visits France 3 - www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

Next was a tour of Southern Coastal France visiting Pont du Gard, Monaco Castle, Canal du Midi, Perpignon, Gorges du Verdon Avignon. Afterwards claim a plot of land and build your own Pont du Gard.

Skrafty Minecraft has done a fabulous job in creating these French landmarks AND providing a safe environment to explore, create and connect.  While my daughter was on their server, there was no swearing or rough language.  Administrators are readily available for any problems and scriptures are even posted from time to time!

We do not only manage Minecraft, Server Hardware, Web Design, Research and Development, uptime, builds, events and backups. At SKrafty we also do many things to manage your child’s experience to make it as kid friendly as possible. We have double chat filters that catch all the bad words possible but it doesn’t stop there. SKrafty Admins and Moderators monitor chat, referee issues, mentor children in integrity, humility, leadership, helpfulness etc..”

Affordable:

Extremely affordable classes (between $6.99 – $32.00) make it easy to add creativity and excitement into your education at home. Sign up HERE for live classes or self-paced classes and begin your journey into the world of homeschool Minecraft with SKrafty.

Giveaway Companies – Multiple Winners!

SKrafty Giveaways

 

Check out all the wonderful companies and prizes you can win for your family homeschool:

3 SKrafty Fall Classes - Value up to $32 each

Mystery of History Volume 1,2, or 3 & Super Supplemental – Value $150

A+ Interactive Math - Family Package for 3 Students – Value $450

Adventures In ChildRearing - Wildlife Adventures bundle- Value $27.99

We Choose Virtues - Homeschool Kit – Value $98.99

Sidetracked Sarah – Crockpot Freezer Meals 3 pack – Value $8.97

Moore Family Films - ABC Say it With Me – Value $15.99

Not Consumed - Back to School 4 Pack – Value $12.50

Teach Them Diligently – Family Pass to 1 Convention – Value $65

Homeschool Adventure Co. – Philippians in 28 Weeks – Value $18.95

Media Angels – Homeschool Moms Rescue Set – Value $9.99

A Journey Through Learning - Math Lapbook - Value$15.00

Dave Ramsey – Financial Peace Jr. – Value $24.95

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This has been a very positive experience and I highly recommend this server and these classes to anyone that is a regular Minecraft player or has wanted to try it out but was afraid of unknown online content.

My daughter is looking forward to doing a science oriented course in the fall!

Tales of a Homeschool Family Disclosure

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Over $1000 in Prizes – Back to {Home} School Giveaway!

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Homeschoolers, check out this fabulous giveaway valued at over $1,000!  Media Angels, Apologia, Character Concepts, Write Shop just to name a few.  Hurry and enter, contest ends Sunday, August 17!

Back to {Home} School Grand Prize Pack GIVEAWAY!

Back to {Home} School season is in full force!! If you haven’t started back yet, chances are you will be within a few weeks. What better way to kick off a new school year than by winning a HUGE homeschool prize pack? That is exactly what will happen to one lucky reader!

Check out the awesomeness included in this Grand Prize Pack valued at over $1000!!

mediaangels

Felice Gerwitz from Media Angels and Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show is giving away $100 in FREE digital products from Media Angels. Use the $100 on ANY digital products of YOUR CHOICE!

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From Classical Composers Monthly, the winner will a receive huge set of EVERY collection they currently offer. This includes 15 collections valued at $210!

 

ccpFrom Character Concepts, the winner will receive the Character Concepts for Preschoolers Basic Curriculum valued at $89.95! Character Concepts Basic Character Curriculum includes the following:

Crossroads of Character: Learning to Make Wise Choices
This colorfully illustrated book teaches your child 12 basic character qualities, vital to your child`s understanding of how to make wise choices in their everyday lives. The Boyer cousins (my grandchildren) are the main characters in the simple but effective stories in decision making. The goal is to teach your child the definition of the character qualities (your child can`t implement character in their lives without understanding what it is), and also teaches them a Scripture verse, (what God says about it), and how to apply it to life on their level of understanding.

History for Preschoolers: Uncle Rick has recorded a CD set with stories of American heroes who also illustrate these character qualities in their lives. We supply a picture of these heroes in our Mom`s Guide so you can show them to your child as they listen to these Uncle Rick character stories. The whole family will enjoy listening to these inspiring stories with your preschoolers!

Learning Character with the Cousins Flashcards: These flashcards present the Character Qualities found in Crossroads of Character, simple, kid-friendly definitions, and a Scripture Verse to hide in their heart. Full-color pictures on the flashcards also make memorizing easier, as the child will remember the story that is associated with each character quality.

Learning ABC`s with the Cousins: A set of photographic flashcards for learning the alphabet sounds

Hands-on Character Building: Proven ideas and hands-on projects for teaching character along with direction for when to use them to assist in practically applying what they are learning.

Mom`s Guide: Supplies you with information to effectively teach your preschoolers for a full 36 week period. Patterns are given for seasonal and educational crafts. Suggestions are made for family fun trips to help make learning fun,and as a bonus, over 30 recipes are included for fun food to make with your preschooler.

Also included are Bible stories and pictures of a person in Scripture who illustrates this character quality in their life. Provided for your use are coloring pages for your child to use as you read them the Bible story provided. Also included are additional suggested materials we`ve found helpful for further learning, or even for birthday and Christmas gifts to enhance science and history education as well as educational puzzles for preschoolers, some of which can be purchased from Character Concepts.

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From WriteShop, the winner will receive WriteShop Primary Book A, B, or C {$40 value}. WriteShop Primary is a parent-led writing program that gently introduces K-3rd graders to the writing process through engaging activities, crafts, and picture books. The winner will receive the package of their choice level A, B, or C which includes the Teacher’s Guide and Activity Book.

 

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From Applecore System, the winner will receive a Gold Membership {$55 value!} Applecore System is a homeschool record keeping service that has proven to be invaluable to many homeschooling families. Here is your chance to check it out for FREE!

 

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Birch Court Books is giving the winner a copy of Story of the World Vol. 4: The Modern Age {$16.95 value}

 

letterslide_250Simply Fun! is giving the winner their very own Letter Slide! {Valued at $34} Letter Slide is a fun game that helps your child learn about consonants and vowels, vocabulary, and spelling.

 

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We Choose Virtues is giving the winner a complete Homeschool Kit {valued at $99!}. This Kit was assembled with everything a Homeschool parent needs to effectively teach 12 Virtues. It has 5 beautiful posters, a 100 Day’s of Virtue achievement chart with stickers, flash cards and so much more. The Parenting Cards included in this set were created to help you inspire and demonstrate each Virtue and turn your home or home classroom into a place where Virtue is demonstrated with both attitudes and actions!

apologia pack

Apologia is giving the winner a Who is My Neighbor? bundle that includes: Who is My Neighbor textbook, notebooking journal, jr notebooking journal, coloring book, and audio cd {valued at $135}

 

CTC Math

CTC Math is giving the winner a one- year family membership {valued at $118.80}!

 

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Homeschool In the Woods is giving the winner History Through the Ages Time Travelers American History Study New World Explorers {download} {$27.95 value}. From their website: “Our history studies are designed to create a hands-on learning experience that drives the lessons home in a fun way! Our first in the series, New World Explorers, contains 25 lessons that can spread across 5-10 weeks, covering: Reasons for Exploration, A Sailor’s Life, Ships, Navigation, 23 Explorer Profiles, Pirates, and more!

ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:

Creative Writing European Recipes Notebook Timeline
Factfile Cards File Folder Games Science Experiments
Penmanship Pages Notebooking Activities
Three-dimensional Projects such as an Incan Artifact, Ship’s Log, Pueblo Diorama, plus more!
10 Lap Book Projects, including mapping, pop-ups, layered books, etc.
And a final “Exploration Celebration” to bring the unit to a close!

All Text, Masters, Directions, Teacher Keys,
Photos, and Resource Lists Provided on CD
(Supplies Not Included)
The CD includes each lesson’s text pages, project overview pages, and a wide variety of masters for projects! Photos and drawings help illustrate the directions for completing the 35 activities. Choose the projects that work best for your family! Five “Project Days” are built into the schedule to help allow for extra time to complete outstanding projects.Also included are teacher helps, resource lists, teacher keys, and a “guide-at-a-glance.” This one-page guide will allow the teacher to see the whole schedule of upcoming topics and projects on one page. Tastefully laid out for inclusion in your three-ring binder, this unit study will give both the teacher and students a thorough, exciting adventure into the classic Age of Exploration!

 

 

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See the Light is giving the winner a copy of SHIPWRECKED Deluxe Gift Set – {valued at $29.99}

Includes dramatic story of Paul’s shipwreck/rescue + 3 step-by- step related art lessons,+ black light (including batteries) + fluorescent chalk + fluorescent pencils +bonus features = 260 minutes of content

 

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Homeschool Minder is giving the winner a 12-month membership valued at $40.

 

pencilscape
Pencilscape is giving the winner this awesome pack that includes: autofeed magic pencils, ultra smooth bio-ink pens, multipurpose pencil box, 2 in 1 pencil case and pencil holders, and MORE! {valued at over $30!}

 

a+1
A+ Interactive Math is giving the winner an Elementary Geometry Software {$22 value}. Elementary Geometry – suggested for K1 – 6th Grade – introduces the concepts and gives your student a solid foundation in basic Geometry.

 

lessontrek

Lessontrek is giving the winner a FREE one- year membership {valued at $60!} Lessontrek is modern online lesson planner that is simple-to-use and saves time.

Items included in the planner:
  • Lesson tracker
  • Grade recording
  • Drag and drop lessons to another weekday
  • Copy/paste lessons across weeks
  • Copy/paste an entire week of lessons
  • Print weekly lesson plans
  • Secure information storage
  • Customer support
  • Ongoing improvements based on your feedback
  • … and more

 

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Inspired Authors is giving the winner 3 copies of the book, An American Crisis: Veteran’s Unemployment {valued at$59.97}. This book is about increasing awareness regarding veterans’ unemployment and gives ideas as to how we can help. They’re giving the winner 3 copies so you can keep one and give two away.
Isn’t this an amazing prize pack?! To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below. Entries will be verified. The giveaway will remain open until 11:59pm EST on Sunday, August 17th. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 19th. Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Kindergarten Complete: An All-Inclusive Curriculum Review!

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At first glance, Kindergarten Complete  brings back some great memories with a similar curriculum I used with our oldest children. I am intrigued with what I see and can’t wait to work through some of the lessons with my four year old and then explore the rest on my own.

“This all-inclusive curriculum is designed to meet the needs and challenge the abilities of that active four-six year old we call a kindergartner. To the child who has spent the first years of his life exploring the world and finding all kinds of new and exciting things within it, learning is fun! Kindergarten should continue to be a fun and active year of learning. The purpose in writing this book is to help parents have an enjoyable year in effectively teaching their children.”

Author, former teacher, and homeschool Mom,  Debra Arbuthnot has created just that in Kindergarten Complete!  (You’ll want to check out the extensive Subject Area Content and Skills List .)

Kindergarten Complete An All-Inclusive Homeschool Curriculum Review www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com.jpg

 

Each prescheduled unit is based on a five-day school week.  There are four days of planned activities and one open day for activities that you choose. This gives you a total of 180 days over 36 weeks.  Each days ‘work’ is fun, light-hearted and to the point.  No busy work!  And no taking the fun out of learning!

 

Semester 1 covers: family, fall and winter, farm and zoo animals, shapes, fire safety, colors, health, transportation, manners and Martin Luther King.

 

The detailed and easy to follow lesson plans incorporate various activities that appeal to visual, auditory and kinestetic learners with low cost items found around the house.  Plus all the color printables are included!

 

Example of math from Lesson 12:

Kindergarten Complete Lesson 12 Teacher guide for math  www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

Kindergarten Complete Lesson 12 math  www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

Kindergarten Complete begins simple enough:  recognized #1-3, count 3 objects, names of people start with a capital letter, learn your home address, days of the week, and families.  It’s a good preschool review!

 

One thing my 4 year old and I both enjoy is starting the school day with song!  There’s daily exercises utilizing the calendar, songs for learning the days of the week, months of the year, home address AND pledges to the flag, to the christian flag and to the bible.

 

After doing a few of the lessons with my four year old, I make these observations:

*    Math is very tactile and not just left to worksheets.
*    Literature is sprinkled liberally throughout the curriculum with a listing of books that         can be borrowed from the library.
*    Items for each lesson should be located before beginning the lesson.  Fortunately             these items are commonly found in most homes!

 

Kindergarten Complete Review www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

Though it appears Kindergarten Complete assumes basic knowledge of letter names, it does cover letter sounds.  Starting in lesson 2, the sound for “m” is introduced.  By lesson 61, the student is working on combinations:  “ma”, “na”, “sa” as well as the sight word “not”.

 

Moving ahead through the lessons, skills such as cutting/pasting, counting money, ordinal numbers, kicking a ball, telling a story from a pictures and much more are covered.  Every unit includes bible memorization and character traits.

 

AND THAT’S JUST THE FIRST SEMESTER!

 

I can confidently say that while there are similarities with other unit studies for Kindergartners that we’ve used (Christian, hands-on and fun),   Kindergarten Complete is definitely more academic.  It is possible to slow down or speed up with some of the skills – although not possible to move the order of the units due to the skills that are directly tied to it.  And these skills build on each other.

 

All and all I feel this is a well rounded curriculum that my son has enjoyed.  Due to my son’s readiness level, I was on the fence whether we should continue using Kindergarten Complete at a slower place or save it for the next year.  My son made the decision for me when he asked repeatedly to “do things from the Panda book”.  I love his enthusiasm!

 

Check out the Table of Contents and sample lesson plans HERE.

 

On a side note, regarding “holidays”, Jesus AND Santa are present in the Christmas unit. However, there’s no mention of Halloween in the Fall unit.

 

As a special ‘thank you’ to Tales of Homeschool Family readers, use code TALES20 at the checkout for a 20% discount!  This code good until September 30, 2014.

 

Tales of a Homeschool Family Disclosure

 

 

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Our 2014-2015 Curriculum Choices

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2014-2015 curriculum choices - www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

Marking our 12th year of homeschooling, our kids are 15, 13, 10 and 4.

Our proposed 2014-2015 Curriculum choices are:

15 year old

Honors Precalculus  - Math-u-See

Honors Physics  - Apologia

Robotics

History  - Tapestry of Grace Year 3 (Rhetoric Level)

Personal Finance – Dave Ramsey (Read my review)

English – Tapestry of Grace/The Power in Your Hands/Marie’s Words

Spanish 2 – Alpha Omega

Kempo Martial Arts

13 year old

Algebra – Math-u-See

Physical Science – Apologia

Robotics

History – Tapestry of Grace Year 3 (Rhetoric Level)

English – IEW/Tapestry of Grace/Marie’s Words

Personal Finance – Dave Ramsey (Read my review)

Art History

Homeschool PE

9 year old

Zeta – Math-u-See

Elementary Anatomy – Apologia

Robotics

History – American Crossings from Winter Promise (Read our progress)

English – IEW

Grammar – Analytical Grammar Jr (Read my review)

Spelling - Spelling Power

Art

Homeschool PE & Ballet

4 year old

Eclectic mixture of:

Journeys of Imagination – Winter Promise

Kindergarten Complete Semester 1 (Review coming soon!)

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Little Man Mega Giveaway from The Green Scene Mom!

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It’s time for another Mega Giveaway from The Green Scene Mom featuring items for the ‘Little Man’ in your life valued at $260!

Little Man Giveaway from Green Scene Mom www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com


Green Scene Mom
These adorable products are designed especially for little boys to encourage imaginative play, inspire healthy eating and simple mealtimes, and cover the basic essentials. Check out Green Scene Mom’s favorite products for little rambunctious boys to use and enjoy as they explore the world around them. Moms will also love these companies for encouraging eco-friendly lifestyles through their innovative product designs.

Green Scene Mom - Alex Toys GiveawayAlex Toys’ Busy Fire Truck is a new twist to a classic wood toy! Baby will love playing with 8 fun colorful activities on every side of the Busy Fire Truck! Actives include rolling wheels, a curvy bead maze, a mirror, turning picture tiles, a spinning gear, a movable ladder and a discovery wheel. Includes a pop-up feature too. For ages 10+ mos. For more information, visit alextoys.com.

Green Scene Mom - Pacific Baby GiveawayPacific Baby thermal bottles keep liquids hot or cold for up to ten hours. These high quality bottles are versatile to use from birth to 5 years old and make feeding and drinking simple during outings and while traveling.

The wide neck offers greater visibility and the inner scale simplifies measuring out formula. The bottle nipples come in three speeds and are naturally shaped. Just add handles and a spout to transform this bottle into a sippy cup for older kids. For more information, visit pacificbabyworld.com.

Green Scene Mom - pediped Giveawaypediped’s adorable shoes are perfect for going on summer adventures! These stylish shoes fit comfortably and ensure healthy foot development. They are available in more than 140 designs for boys and girls.

Exceptional quality, unsurpassed comfort and distinctive styling have made pediped the fastest growing children’s footwear brand in the United States. pediped footwear is sold in over 2,500 stores in the United States and 40 countries worldwide. pediped has also received many awards for their innovative footwear designs. For more information, visit pediped.com.

Green Scene Mom - BreathableBaby GiveawayBreathableBaby is a child product safety company dedicated to breathable innovations that address parents’ concern for baby’s safety inside the crib.

BreathableBaby products include breathable mesh crib liners which are designed to address the risks of suffocation and entanglement, breathable wearable blankets and blankets with moisture wicking mesh fabrics to keep your baby comfortable by reducing overheating, and breathable toys that are safer for baby to snuggle with. For more information, visit breathablebaby.com.

Green Scene Mom - Yummi Pouch GiveawayYummi Pouch makes eco-friendly snack solutions that encourage healthy snacks for active kids. Their reusable food pouches are freezer safe, dishwasher safe, BPA-free, Phthalate-free, and can be filled with healthy blended snacks and easily taken on-the-go, no spoon required.

Yummi Pouch also recently introduced cloth snack and sandwich bags, each lined with a water resistant interior and decorated with colorful prints. They’re perfect for crackers, chips, and sandwiches and also make great little storage bags for hair accessories and cosmetics. For more information, visit yummipouch.com.

Green Scene Mom - Baby Bump Bundle GiveawayBaby Bump Bundle creates care packages for moms-to-be by trimester, newborn babies, and nursing new moms. Baby Bump Bundle also offers high quality products for moms and babies individually, so you can build your own bundle or just buy an item that catches your eye! For more information, visit babybumpbundle.com.

Green Scene Mom - oogaa Giveawayoogaa designs and manufactures non-toxic feeding products for baby and young children. Their award-winning divided plate is stackable, soft, durable and easy to clean. It’s also dishwasher, microwave, freezer and oven safe. oogaa’s tugboat spoon makes mealtime fun! Toot-toot… open wide, here comes the tugboat! For more information, visit oogaa.com.

Green Scene Mom - Buttons Diapers GiveawayButtons Cloth Diapers are quality, affordable, and adorable cloth diapers that are an easy to use two-in-one system. Buttons’ one-size diaper covers can snap to fit babies from 9-35 lbs, and are made of 2 layers of soft wipeable PUL with double gussets around the legs. Their snap-in diaper inserts are soft and absorbant, and come in two sizes. For more information, visit buttonsdiapers.com.

These wonderful companies have allowed us to give away an amazing gift set! One lucky mom will win these great Little Man Summer Essentials for their little guy!

Prize Gift Set – Retail Value $260

BreathableBaby buried treasure sheet, mesh blanket & toy elephant – $45.99
pediped pair of boys shoes – $35
Alex Toys Busy Fire Truck – $43.95
Pacific Baby bottle set – $50
Baby Bundle 3 item gift set – $30
Yummi Pouch Spunky snack bags & mustache dishwasher safe stickers – $15.99
oogaa silicone divided plate & silicone tugboat spoon – $16.99
Buttons Diapers diaper cover, 2 daytime inserts & 1 nighttime doubler – $24.50

Little Man Giveaway

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Flowers Fresh and Fabulous from The Bouqs

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affiliate www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

Roses, Ranunculus, Freesia, Daisies, Lillies,  and more.  Beautiful flowers lift the mood, brighten the room and are best given fresh and full of life.

A bouq from The Bouqs will do just that!

What is a bouq?  It’s “ a bouquet, stripped of all the terrible baggage that typically goes with bouquets ordered online in the past – no bait and switch pricing, no long check-out process and endless upsells, no big and complicated supply chain, no waste and no wasted time or money. It’s bouquets, simplified.”

the Bouqs review www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

The Bouqs’ website is packed with a wide array of eye-catching botanical loveliness.  But that’s not the only thing that separates this company from the competition:

FROM THE FARM TO YOUR DOOR

Our flowers never sit in a corner store or a dingy warehouse (where they send you the oldest, most-dead flowers they have in the fridge), and they never show up in a van with a 1-800 number on the side. We ship straight from an active volcano or from the sunny surf of California, seriously – we’re putting a little romance back in the Bouq.

WE LOVE NATURE & WE’VE MADE IT PART OF OUR BUSINESS TO CARE

We source only from eco-friendly, sustainable farms that respect the environment and their workers.

The first big difference:
We cut only what we sell. Other providers source from a supply chain that sees 1 in 3 stems wasted. Across hundreds of thousands of bouquets a year, that’s a lot of wasted land, resources, labor and fuel. We cut only when you order, so we avoid the waste.

We also save energy through our direct-from-the-farm supply chain. The standard supply chain must keep stems cold for up to 2 weeks, meaning hundreds of hours of refrigeration and the associated energy use. We use cold storage for only 4 days from the Volcano, and not at all from California, resulting in a lot of energy savings.

Finally, our farms provide living wages, childcare, healthcare and adult education. And our growing business supports farm communities, so you can feel good about shopping The Bouqs Company’s flowers.”

Looking through the choices on The Bouqs website, I was captivated by the colors and selection.  I finally made my choice, and easily completed my order in 3 simple steps.

“Recognize” it is!

The Bouqs Review - www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

Still I wondered if MY bouquet would look as good as the picture on the website when it made it into my hands.   I counted down the days until my prescheduled delivery of “Orange Lillium Asiatic” landed on my front porch.

Now, we live on the other side of the country in a very hot and humid climate.  I could just envision my poor little wilted lillies when they finally arrived.  However, this vision was far from the truth!

bouqs1 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

On delivery day, my Bouqs arrived first thing at 8 am!  After taking the package and carefully opening it, I noticed that not only was it packaged extremely well, but, the stems were still cold!  Yes, that’s right.  Still c-o-l-d!

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Detailed care instructions are printed right on the box.  Floral preservative is included.

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My excitement grew as I carefully unwrapped these golden treasures.  I knew the buds would be closed when they arrived and that just added to the anticipation over the coming  days.

Day 1:

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Each day my children and I were treated to a new sight each morning!

Day 3:

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Day 5:

Bouqs Day 5 - www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

And yes, DAY 7!  Still looking fabulous, though finally showing some ‘age’.

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I am so incredibly pleased with my flowers from The Bouqs.   I love the fact that what I saw on the website WAS what I received!   How refreshing!  In the future, I would not hesitate to use this company for our floral needs.

Get your own amazing, fresh flower Bouq starting at $40 – shipping included!  Plus check out other specials and concierge services on their website.

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A Glimpse of a Day using Winter Promise

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Does your homeschooler enjoy Charlotte Mason type learning with interesting books and captivating hands on activities?  If so, you’ll want to check out Winter Promise!  Here’s a glimpse of our day using this curriculum.

 

My 10 year old is a kinestetic learner.  She retains information through active engagement (narration) and doing activities instead of just reading about them.

 

Winter Promise has proven to be a great fit for her!

 

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On a given day, we grab our ‘command center’, known as the premade Winter Promise schedule, for American Crossings.  Listed are all the books and activities planned out for that  week.

 

Winter Promise American Crossing www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

This week is all about The First Americans.  After opening our school day with a selection on unity from Christian Character Traits, we move through the rest of the readings:  “What is an Explorer” from Time Travelers, Native Homes, Early American Picture Studies, and Kids Learn America.

 

Winter Promise - Day www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com.jpg

 

Then my daughter has some quiet time to read on her own.  This week, it’s Naya Nuki.  Afterwards she narrates what she’s read back to me.

 

American Crossing Winter Promise

 

Sprinkled throughout the week are many hands-on activites.  The parent and student are free to pick and chose which activities work best.  This week the choices are:  Spice Cookies, Knot Typing, Create a Captain’s Log, Ptolemaic Map, “5 Reasons for Exploration” and Make a Ship’s Flag.

 

Curiosity lead us to try knot tying.  We attempted the Sheepshank, Stopper, and Bolin.  What we discovered is that it must be much easier using rope and not yarn!  Our hats go off to mariners!

 

Winter Promise - Day1 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com.jpg

 

My daughter decided on the French Fleur De Lis for her ship’s flag and colored it accordingly.

 

“5 Reasons for Exploration” is much like the usual lapbook element where information and answers to question are recorded on pre-cut and pre-folded papers.  This will be tucked away into a folder until the end of this unit when we will either assembly a lapbook or create our own Ship’s Log notebook.

 

Winter Promise - www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

I regret to inform my readers that the spice cookies didn’t last long enough for pictures. That’s what happens when mom leaves them to cool in the kitchen and decides to grab a quick shower!

 

Looking to the weeks ahead,  I know that preparation will be a breeze.  The schedule and any necessary activities pages will be printed off the computer, plus any needed items for those activities will be gathered.  Next week marks the start of our State’s Notebook and Timeline.

 

I invite you all to check back in a few weeks as I’ll be blogging about the remainder of Unit 1!

 

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DIY ABC & 123 Toddler Scrapbook

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All parents of small children own at least one picture book containing basic shapes, colors, ABC’s and numbers.

 

Instead of unidentified drawings, how about a picture book with familiar faces and places created with love for your toddler?

 

Tales of a Homeschool  Family DIY ABC & 123 Toddler Scrapbook www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

Years ago, when my oldest was just learning how to walk, a friend showed me a very special book that she would make to give each of her children on their 2nd birthday.

 

I LOVED it!  And though I’m not a crafty person, I knew I could conquer this challenge!

 

All you need is an 8X10 album – whatever fits your budget.  You can see from my pictures that I started off with fancy Creative Memories albums and then went to a store bought and finally we were gifted with the album for child #4.  No matter though, because it’s what goes inside that really counts!

 

Next you need some acid free pens, papers, stickers, adhesives and of course photos.

 

Let you imagination run free as you pull pictures for the album.   A for aunts, P for pets, U for uncles…..

 

Tales of a Homeschool  Family DIY ABC & 123 Toddler Scrapbook www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

You’ll want to dedicate a page to each letter of the alphabet.  Here we have “o” – opossum, orchard, oval, orange, oven mitt, octopus, oranges and ocean.  Plus “p” – panda, parents, plane, purple, pig, pink, pool, pen, penguin, police car, planet, pencil, pine cone, Pooh, and pumpkin.  Phew!

 

Tales of a Homeschool  Family DIY ABC & 123 Toddler Scrapbook www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

Finding memorable photos is a plus.  This is my now 10 year old’s book.  The pictures of “snow” and “snowsuit” capture the fact that she has spent a total of 15 minutes of her life playing in snow.  Though she doesn’t remember it, it’s a documented fact!

 

This would have been the perfect place to write “siblings” under the “swing set” picture….

 

Tales of a Homeschool  Family DIY ABC & 123 Toddler Scrapbook www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

You’ll also want to save some room to do a fun numbers page.  I only did 1-10, but, if you wanted to you could go all the way up to 20.

 

Tales of a Homeschool  Family DIY ABC & 123 Toddler Scrapbook www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

Don’t forget the cover page.  This is a great place to add a professional photo and a personalized letter to your child.

 

One last note – kids can get a little rough with their album, even with the page protectors.  You’ll want to supervise them with this book until they get a little older.

 

Have you already made your child an album of his/her own?  Please leave me a link in the comments!

 

 

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Love the Journey Review and Giveaway!

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It’s not a sprint.  It’s not a race to the finish.  Homeschooling IS a journey!  Marcia Somerville, who authored the Tapestry of Grace curriculum and homeschooled her 5 children,  shares years of experience in the new book Love the Journey.

 

So, sit back, grab a cup of coffee and prepare to be ministered to!

 

Love the Journey Review www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

 

“The book is written to woman who are disciples of Jesus Christ and are new to homeschooling….What this book is, or is trying to be, is a book that helps you to find (and define in your own words) the principles behind wise homeschooling practices….I have all the time in the world to share encouragement, wisdom and exhortation.”

 

Though geared primarily towards new homeschool moms, all moms will be encouraged and strengthened no matter their place in this adventure.

 

Love the Journey is a beefy 300+ page read, broken down into 5 sections covering:

 

Your Homeschool is Your Homeschool!  Getting to know your homeschool self.

*Evaluate values and convictions.  Develop unique philosophy on education

 

Mountaintop Views.  Benefit from hindsight NOW.

*  Shaping happy, healthy, godly people (yourself included!)

 

When You Sit at Home.  Order in the home!

*  Keeping a “peaceful, orderly environment in both its’ spiritual and physical aspects.”

 

As You Walk Along the Way.  Practical tips and tricks.  Some “places” to visit and some not to see again.

*  Gender, learning modalities and curricula

 

When You  Lie Down and When  You Rise Up.  “God’s eye view of life.”

*  Scripture filled in areas of commitment, love and attitude

 

Our journey is just starting its’ 12th year.  Even so, I was able to take away some practical helps, such as how to assist my struggling speller and the importance of hands-on mapping activities for geography.  This all the while reinforcing the spiritual aspect of homeschooling.  Since I was unable to get away for our state’s homeschool convention, Marcia’s book was just the breath of fresh air to encourage and reiterate the mission for our homeschool family!!

 

Are you a new homeschooler?  This book is perfect for you!  Already a homeschooler?  Check it out!  Read sample chapters here.

 

As a special thank you to Tales of a Homeschool Family readers, I’m giving away a copy of Love the Journey!  Enter to win AND get in on a 25% off discount for a digital or hard copy until July 28, 2014.    Just use the code LTJTSHF14 at the checkout.
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