Archives for December 2012

Weekend links

The winner of yesterday’s Sparkle Stories giveaway is Mindi Bartoli–congratulations! Remember: you can try Sparkle Stories for $1 for one month AND their Christmas Time audio book is on special offer for only $3 with this link.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” ~ Albert Einstein

Weekend giveaway: Sparkle Stories

This giveaway has ended. Thanks for entering!

I was tucking my eight-year-old son Jonathan into bed last night when he turned to me suddenly and said, “I wonder what trash company Martin and Sylvia use at their house?”

Seven-year-old Martin and five-year-old Sylvia are the main characters in one of Sparkle Stories most popular storylines. This homeschooled (woot-woot!) brother and sister live, love, eat, learn, argue, and work together–just like most of our little people.

Jonathan’s comment probably clues you into the fact that this duo has, along with other Sparkle Stories characters, become featured players in our home.

I download new Sparkle Stories each week onto my phone, and we often listen to one or two after dinner and before bed. They have added a blissful layer of calm to this hour that for some reason tends toward chaos.

Here’s an overview about this resource that has added so much to our family’s life:
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Multi-task with a mission this holiday season

This time of year we often find ourselves buried under a pile of “to-do’s.” Even for those of us attempting to embrace a less commercial holiday, many of our tasks involve shopping in one form or another.

Today I’m thankful for the opportunity to share with you a way we can multi-task with a mission, combining our shopping errands with something much more significant.

It’s called Pure Charity.

I recently bought some items we need for the upcoming season–a bike for Jonathan this Christmas, these winter boots for Elijah, and a homeschooling mama’s best friends–new books to add to our shelves.

These purchases weren’t extras, but items I would have been buying anyway. By using Pure Charity, the stores I bought through are giving a small percentage of the money back to me–to donate to the charity I choose!

It’s a win for me as I shop, a win for the store I buy from, and a win for the charity–everyone’s a winner!
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Homeschool mid-year: reflecting on what’s working

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

We just finished up school for the year. No, not the school year. We finished for the calendar year. We’re taking the whole month of December off. We did that once before and it didn’t go so well – the kids got very restless.

We’re trying it again this year, though, as part of our year ’round school schedule – six weeks on, one week off with a longer break during the summer and at Christmas. I do plan to make some changes this time, versus the last time we took a long Christmas break.

For one thing, there are several homemade Christmas projects I’d like to try this year and all of the kids are old enough to help. They may not all want to {*cough* the boy *cough*}, but I think that two of them will. I’d also like to make time for some service projects – cooking some meals for others or maybe serving at the soup kitchen.

As we plan for a more productive Christmas break, I can’t help reflecting on how the first half of the school year has gone. Honestly, it’s been one of our best years in a long time. I really think a big part of the reason is the new curriculum that we started using this time last year, but there’s more to it than that.
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Homeschooling podcast on Bloomberg Radio

Recently I had the privilege to join in with two other homeschooling mothers on a call with Bloomberg radio host Jane Williams.

I’d love to invite you to download and take a listen!

Here’s a description:

Education Week reporter Sarah D. Sparks discusses the current state and impact of homeschooling two million students in the United States.

Homeschooling mothers, former teacher Holly Longino, author Jamie Martin, and “babble” blogger and designer Rachel Faucett, discuss why and how they homeschool their children. They talk with Jane Williams on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg EDU.”

Head here to download. (Look for the call from November 30th, called Education Week’s Sparks, Roundtable on Homeschooling). You’ll also see the link to download via iTunes.

I hope you enjoy it!

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