Weekend giveaway: $100 holiday package from Sparkle Stories

This giveaway has ended – thanks for entering!

Welcome to this weekend’s giveaway–sponsored by one of our family’s favorite homeschooling resources, Sparkle Stories!

About Sparkle:

Sparkle Stories produces original audio stories for children. Our stories are simple, delightful and filled with a sense of wonder. They inspire children to play, to marvel, to laugh, to be kind.

We have nine original Story Series – all of which follow the seasons of the year.

This year we also have a brand new holiday goodie to share with you, the Martin & Sylvia advent calendar:

Each day of December, the advent calendar offers a new story — in which this homeschooled brother and sister pair take a small adventure and make a delightful discovery.

This Audio Book includes one long introductory story, followed by 24 daily audio stories, to be enjoyed December 1st through the 25th–that’s five hours of holiday audio!



Giveaway: The Martin & Sylvia Holiday Story Gift Package

One Simple Homeschool reader will win the following:

:: the Martin & Sylvia Around the Year package (5 seasonal audio books)
:: the Martin & Sylvia Audio Advent Calendar
:: a one year subscription to any of the Martin & Sylvia Series

The winning family can keep these to enjoy or give them as gifts for the holidays!

sparkle gift_final copy

How to Win

This giveaway has ended – thanks for entering!

To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post, answering this question: How old are your children and what part of your day during the holidays could use a little story time magic?

(If you’re reading this via email or reader, you must click over to the blog to leave your comment.)

For an extra entry, “Like” Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeschool on Facebook. Then leave another comment here letting me know you’ve done so.

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Special Offers

* Get the Martin & Sylvia Christmastime Audio Book for 50% off (That’s just $3!). Head here for details. Offer good through December 31st.

This giveaway has ended – thanks for entering!

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. 4 months, 2 years and 7 years and we need magic after school! Everyone is so cranky! 🙂

  2. We LOVE Sparkle Stories. I actually have a tab opened currently with their free Thanksgiving stories up. 🙂
    My kids are 4 and 6, and it’s always the post quiet-time, pre-dinner crowd that gets antsy!
    Sarah M
    Sarah M’s latest post: December Photo Project 2013

  3. Angel Tang says:

    I never read this book before, would love to discover with my 4 years old girl and 2 1/2 years old boy .

  4. We have a 7 year old, a 5 year old, a 3 year old, an almost 1 year old, and a 5 month old puppy. First thing in the morning would be wonderful for story time. My 7 and 5 year olds get up sooooo early and it would be nice for them to listen to stories instead of ask to watch tv. We are trying to make a change and this would help. Thanks so much

  5. I liked sparkle stories and simple homeschool on facebook : )

  6. Angel Tang says:

    Done “like”

  7. My boys are 5 and 3. We need some mid-morning snack magic.

  8. My boy is 6. We love Sparkle stories, especially Martin and Sylvia. During the holidays I imagine we will need some sparkle magic to help us get some rest and reflection time. The house will be full of family for a week, and some of us need a lot of quiet time to balance the busy. Bring on the Sparkling!

  9. My kids are 10, 7, 5, and 4. We need a bit more magic in the mornings – to get us excited about our day!

  10. Already ‘like’ you on facebook and was thrilled to find Sparklestories on there too…liked! x

  11. My kids are 6,4,&2. Our afternoons could definitely use some fun stories, when we are all tired and antsy.

  12. 2 wks, 2 yrs, 3 yrs and 5yrs. After nap time or during quiet time for the older one 🙂

  13. Jessica Brammer says:

    Our kids are almost 7, 5 1/2, 3, almost 2 and new baby on the way. We definitely could use some stories in the afternoons.

  14. Jessica Brammer says:

    I have liked on Facebook.

  15. Our children are 9, 6, almost 4 and almost 10 months. They all love listening to stories, and Sparkle Stories are some of the few they all enjoy!
    Emily’s latest post: One of those days

  16. My kids are 11, 9, 4 & 3. Mid afternoons could use some magic.

  17. I liked SH and Sparkle on FB.

  18. My smalls are 10, 7, 5, 2 with a new due in February. We ALL love Sparkle Stories and each week snuggle down in the evening right before bed to the free story. We do minimal media for our children, as in only audio and sparingly. The stories are perfect for us! The Advent series is very a very interesting concept, thanks for the giveaway!

  19. I like SH and Sparkle Stories on FB…..
    brooke’s latest post: i could hold you in my hand.

  20. Dawn Umemoto says:

    3 and 5 we love stories at bedtime

  21. Lydia VanderKaay says:

    We love Sparkle Stories! My 2 1/2 year old and my 5 year old love the Martin and Sylvia stories, especially when I am making dinner, and they are losing steam. It’s so nice, especially this time of year when often it’s already dark by 5 or 6, to be curled up on the couch listening to some magical story!

  22. Lydia VanderKaay says:

    Also, I’ve ‘liked’ both these great resources on FB! Thanks for the chance to win!

  23. hi, my boys are wee, 5 and 8. we need a mid afternoon session! 🙂

  24. I need to get over to their page right now.
    Thanks for the information.
    sheila’s latest post: Habit: Reflective (Black) Friday

  25. i liked both on fb 🙂

  26. I have two 7- and two 5-year-old boys (yes you read that right!) and we need magic all day long, but especially in the car 🙂

  27. I like both on fb!

  28. Liking both of you on FB 🙂

  29. My girls are almost 4 & 6 and would love these after quiet time!

  30. We love sparkle stories! My big kids are 7, 6, and 4, and the baby is 5 months – we find the sparkle magic particularly potent in our house on long car rides and on the occasional weekend morning when the kids are up early and mama wants to sleep in with the baby!

  31. Our girls are 7 and 9 and LOVE sparkle stories. We especially love to listen to them while we are making and eating lunch!

  32. We have 10 children still living at home ranging in age from 6 months to 14. We could really use storytime in the wee hours of the morning when my 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, & 9 year-olds are oh so active and mommy doesn’t even want to MOVE yet!

  33. My boys are 4 and 6. The mid afternoon hours can always use a little magic.

  34. I like both on Facebook!

  35. We like simple homeschool and sparkle stories on FB too!

  36. Our four treasures are 7, 5, 2, and 7months. The three active boys love to listen to stories as a way to rest. I’d love some fun new stories for afternoon rest time and car rides so I can listen too.

  37. My children are 4 and 21 months and they ADORE Martin and Sylvia!! We love to listen to the free stories during breakfast as it keeps them at the table a little longer and I so enjoy that time with them 🙂 This would be an awesome addition to our days!! Thank you so much for the giveaway- hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  38. Thank you! Kids are 11, 8, 5 and fall asleep to stories!

  39. Amber Frazee says:

    My kids are 5 and 3. We love stories in the morning, quiet time and at bedtime. This would be perfect for quiet time.

  40. Kids are 5, 2 and 9 months. My 5 year old likes to listen during his afternoon rest time.

  41. I like both on Facebook.

  42. R McDowell says:

    Kids are 7,3, and 3 months. We could always use some great bedtime reading!!

  43. 8 and 5 yo girls here. And they love listening to all kinds of stories on the way to their music and swimming lessons. We’ve never heard Sparkles before.

  44. Catherine Martin says:

    My boys are 8 and 11…. bedtime magic, please! 🙂

  45. My sons are 4 & 2, and we could use story time any time of the day! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  46. Bernadette says:

    My kids are 7, 5, and 2. We need Sparkle in the late afternoon around 5, while I’m trying to get dinner made. Lord, do we need Sparkle then 😛

  47. I would read anything that is suggested by simple homeschool.net. So, I homeschool and look for different reading materials for my just turned 8 year old and to my 6 year old. Would love to try these books for this Christmas!

  48. Catherine Martin says:

    I just LIKED Sparkle Stories on Facebook!

  49. I have a 5 year old son. He often needs downtime right after lunch and listening to stories is something he likes doing during that time.

  50. I ‘liked’ Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  51. We have an advent reading time each night after dinner and are always looking for just the right readings and stories to incorporate! Our kids are 11, 10, 8, and 2!

  52. 2 1/2 yr old girl and 4 month old twin boys. We could definitely use these as a winddown before naps and bed. With all the family in town around the holidays she gets a little excitedfor naps (and she needs one)

  53. I just liked on facebook!

  54. I have a 4-y.o. and a 3 mo.-o, and I work from home. My oldest has “bonded” with Martin and Sylvia over breakfast while I drink my coffee, nurse the baby, and try to get my work going for the day. Winning this drawing would make our mornings oh so merry and bright. 🙂

  55. My kids are 10 months, 3 years, and 4 yeas. We could use Sparkle in the late afternoon when baby is napping and the older two are at their wildest!! Finding something to encourage a little quiet time can be a challenge sometimes. Also, to have a book that encourages homeschool would be great for my four year old. He’s having a hard time understanding why he is going to be homeschooled while so many others around him are in public school.

  56. A boy aged 9 and a girl aged 3. We need some magic and sparkle after bath time while dressing or when mommy needs to work and everything else seems “boring”. 🙂

  57. My kiddos are 11, 9 and 7…we could use some sparkle at the end of the day, just before dinnertime and daddy’s arrival home from work 🙂

  58. I “like” both on facebook.

  59. maya johnson says:

    Our kids are 11, 8, 6 years old. We love listening to stories at lunch time!

  60. maya johnson says:

    I like simple homeschool on fb!

  61. maya johnson says:

    I like sparkle stories on fb!

  62. These would be perfect before bed. My daughter is 5 years old and loves to listen to stories!

  63. My rascals are 5 and 10 years old, and I think this would be a fantastic morning spark to start the day off with wonder. Love Sparkle Stories!

  64. Hi:) My children are ages 11 and 5 and as of lately bed time has become the perfect family reading time. This would be such a blessing for us as a family. Thank you and God Bless you!

  65. My little ladies are 4, 2 and 1. Story time would be wonderful in the morning (instead of morning TV programming) or in the car too.

  66. I also “liked” Sparklestories and Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  67. Jennifer Cowdrey says:

    My children are 6, 8, 13, 15, & 17. We read stories together before bedtime and we celebrate advent each night during/ after dinner. Thank you for this opportunity to win great stories that we can include in our family sharing time.
    Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving.

  68. We have a 7 year old and a 2 year old, I think mornings would be the best so they can carry the magic all day

  69. My boys are ages 3 1/2 and 7. We *love* Sparkle Stories! They come especially in handy during the after-lunch or late-afternoon lull when they might otherwise ask for tv shows, as well as anytime I need to make a phone call or just need some relative peace and quiet 🙂
    ALSO I do also “like” Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeschool on Facebook!

  70. Jennifer Cowdrey says:

    I don’t have a facebook account, so I pinned it instead. I hope that works for a 2nd entry.

  71. My babes at home are 8, 6.5, 6, 4, and 10m. We could use some structure in the afternoon. Also, my 4 and 6 could use the help with listening comprehension 🙂

  72. Hi! We have heard such great things about sparkle stories. My little ones are 10, 7, and 4 and anytime they are willing to snuggle up with me and listen to stories is a blessing. 😉

  73. My daughters, Sophia (6.5) and Madeline (4.5) enjoy every Sparkle Story we listen to! Since 5pm seems to be the perfect time for everyone slightly hungry, and slightly tired to need something to occupy their dinnertime wait, I think that would be a perfect time for the Advent stories.

  74. I am already a SimpleHomeschool subscriber, FB “Liker”
    Also a Sparkle Story “liker” and podcast subscriber 🙂

  75. Our kids are 9, 6 & 4 and we could always use stories in the time before Daddy gets home while I’m trying to put dinner on the table! 🙂

  76. Thanks for the opportunity! Both pages “liked”. 🙂

  77. My kiddos are 7 and 3.5. And now that I’m thinking about it, the pre-dinner hour (when we’re usually tired and I’m trying to cook) could really use an infusion of Holiday Awesome! Maybe we’ll have to start a pre-dinner story time. 🙂
    Chessa’s latest post: Scholastic Book Club: Available to Homeschoolers!

  78. Liked both on Facebook! 🙂
    Chessa’s latest post: Scholastic Book Club: Available to Homeschoolers!

  79. My children are 4 and 11 months. Story time for us is usually bedtime but I would love to incorporate these into our late afternoons prior to dinner time. It’s a good way to get us through to dinner and spend some down time together. 🙂

  80. Carissa Robinson says:

    My kids are 5, 2, and 2 months. We could use some sparkle in the morning at breakfast while I nurse baby and try to drink my coffee.

  81. I am homeschooling my youngest who is 9. We will use Sparkle stories at bedtime. Christmas is his favorite time of year! I have never heard of these stories before and am excited to try them!

  82. My daughter is 12 and while I am sure she would enjoy these I think my nephews who are a little younger would enjoy them more!

  83. I like sparkle stories & simple homeschool on FB

  84. My children are 4 years and 5 months and we could use some mid afternoon story time magic!

  85. Leyva Herrera says:

    My littles are 6, 4 and 6 weeks old. We could use some story time magic for some quiet time in the afternoons.

  86. I liked sparkle stories and simple homeschool on Facebook.

  87. Baby girl is only three months but we do plan to have more… Would love to do some audio books in the evening as part of our bedtime routine

  88. I have “liked” Simple Homeschool and Sparkle Stories on Facebook. We have a family of 6 and I have been looking for audio stories. Thanks!

  89. I have a 2yr old and a 4yr old, both girls, who would really enjoy this! 🙂 we are always on the hunt for a sweet story to read before nap time, and i think these would make the perfect addition to the holiday season. 🙂

  90. Our children are 8,7,5 and 3 and we love to get out the homemade playdough and put on a story in the late afternoon as I make supper!

  91. Just ‘liked’ Sparkle Stories on facebook – had already liked Simple Homeschool too. 🙂

  92. We have a 10, 8, 5 year old. Morning time would be a great time to cuddle together on the couch and listen to stories!

  93. I have a 3yo and a 1yo – both incredibly active. We definitely are in need of some chill-out time, and wholesome story audio would be great!

  94. My daughters are 4 1/2 and 15 months. We would use this in the evenings while dinner is cooking before bath time and bedtime. It would be awesome! Thanks! I liked both facebook pages too!

  95. We have five children – 13, 11, 8, 6, and 5. Our winters are cold and now that we’ve got no little “nappers” the mid-afternoon gets crazy with pent-up energy! We try and settle everyone for some snuggles and reading time around then. We would love to add these to our ritual!

  96. I liked both Simple Homeschool & Sparkle Stories on FB.
    Holly Brown’s latest post: Savory Ham & Swiss Subs

  97. I have already liked Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  98. My kids are 6, 4, and almost 2. We love listening to Sparkle Stories almost every day. Our favorite time to listen is in the van when we have lots of driving around to do!

  99. We love story time at the end of our days right before bedtime. Hope we win!

  100. Susan Terry says:

    I read to my grandson all day . They are two and four. There mom read’s to them at night and we go to toddler time for book’s and craft.
    Love books

  101. I’ve got 6 year old and a 2 year old boys. We love audiobooks all times of the day, but my favorite is when they snuggle on the couch together to listen while I get lunch ready.

  102. My little ones are 9, 7, 2, & 1. I think any time you have everyone together is a good time for a good store. We are always tying to find different ways to instill morals in our children.

  103. My boys are 4 and 6. For us, I’d use them as part of our bedtime routine.

  104. My kiddos are 6, 8 and 10. We love stories while we are preparing lunch, during quiet afternoon time, just before bed…..and really every other time in between!

  105. Simple Homeschool and Sparkle Stories are liked on Facebook! Thanks!

  106. Stephanie MacNeill says:

    My daughter is 8 and we love listening to stories in the afternoon during our quiet time and while she falls asleep at night.

  107. My kids are 6 and 3. We could use some sparkle stories in the afternoon/evening time. thanks for the giveaway!
    Amy @ A Journey of Purpose’s latest post: Soups – One Dish Meals of Warmth & Goodness

  108. I like Sparkle Stories and Simple HOmeschool on FB. 🙂
    Amy @ A Journey of Purpose’s latest post: Soups – One Dish Meals of Warmth & Goodness

  109. Breakfast, and getting motivated is the best time of day for Sparkle Stories. That and a Ted Ed video and we are good to go! =D

  110. jerae krakeel says:

    My little girl is 4. We could use some advent stories to help me this season and bet she would love stories about another homeschooling family!

  111. Erin Rogers says:

    Mine is 9. She gets sick reading in the car, so we use audiobooks to keep her mind going during those times. We’ve been loving the sparkle podcast!

  112. I liked you both on Facebook!

  113. Love sparkle stories we listen to them every night

  114. My kids are 6 and 3. We would use Sparkle Stories to start our school day. Thanks!

  115. Haidee DeLuca says:

    My son is almost three. We read throughout the day, but 3:30 to dinner time is especially when we snuggle up to slow down and read stories. I know we would enjoy Sparkle Stories!

  116. Sparkle stories and simple homeschool “liked”. Thanks again and happy holidays!

  117. We enjoy Sparkle Stories during baking time, quiet time and/or before bed.

  118. Haidee DeLuca says:

    I liked you both on FB!

  119. We like sparkle stories and your fb pages.

  120. I have a 5, 3 and 1 year old and I would love to snuggle up in the morning with them for an advent story! I am also a huge fan of Love146, so I might need to go buy something too!

  121. My boys are 5 & 3 and I think in the afternoon is when a little story time magic would be good for them :]

  122. Our home school girls are 8 and 6. These would be wonderful to help with quiet time in the afternoon!

  123. Our kids our 8, 6, 4 and 1. After asking my kids when they appreciate stories, I was told, “All day.”

  124. I like both sites on FB

  125. My girls are 3 & 5. We think any time is a great time for reading, but especially at night when we get cozy as a family & read together.

  126. I have already liked simple homeschool and sparkle stories.

  127. Boys are 7, 5 & 2 and love a book almost anytime but especially at bedtime.

  128. I had already liked Simple Homeschool but now have liked Sparkle Stories as well.

  129. My daughter is 6.5 and she loves sparkle stories while I am getting her siblings (2 3/4 and 4 mo) to nap or bed at night. They give her a little time to be quiet and thoughtful too in the middle of the day or before she sleeps. We LOVE them!

  130. Good morning! My kids are 6, 5, 2 and any day now. That last hour before my husband gets home is the perfect time for a magic story.

  131. Our kids are 7 and 3. This would be great during afternoon quiet time or bedtime.

  132. My kids are almost 7, 5, (boys) and 2 (girl) and they love Martin and Sylvia especially! During the holidays the stories would be great to encourage them to still have some quiet time, and also when we travel, they always ask for a story – their favourite is the Kitchen of Canning with the flying garlic!

  133. Mechelle Kuchar says:

    My children are 8, 10, 12, and 14 and we enjoy audio books while driving and I would like to add an evening listening time during the winter months. Even our 2 dogs like to snuggle up and listen 🙂

  134. My boys are 6 and 4. We love audiobooks at quiet time and for long car rides.

  135. I think these would be lovely to listen to first thing in the morning as we cuddle on the couch. What a great way to begin the day with a bit of Christmas wonder!

  136. Kokilashree says:

    My kids are 5 and 2 yrs old. We love stories anytime of the day, but bedtimes and long rides in car cant happen without martin or slyvia or ben thompson 🙂

  137. Mechelle Kuchar says:

    I recently liked Simple Homeschool and now like Sparkle Stories as well.

  138. Liked both on FB!

  139. My kids are nine and five. We could definitely use a little distraction during the afternoon when I am wanting to do some holiday crafting!

  140. Kaikki Bryan says:

    I have 8 children ages 21, 20, 18, 16, 15, 12, 8, and 4. I homeschool the youngest and these would be great for that late afternoon time when things need to start to wind down and mom needs to get caught up on the house and get dinner started. Or just about any time! Both pages already liked. Thanks. 🙂

  141. Kokilashree says:

    I liked both the pages 🙂

  142. My son (3.5 years) just asked to listen to Sparkle Stories’ podcast this morning. 🙂 I can only imagine the joy of having an entire month with Sylvia & Martin! We listen whenever the mood strikes us.

  143. My oldest girl is almost 4, and I could use a little “sparkle” time when I am getting her baby sister down for nap time.

  144. I liked both pages as well!

  145. My kids are 12, 6, and 3. We would probably have the kids listen while I make dinner.

  146. Thank you for sharing this resource! My daughters are 4 yrs old & 1 mo old. Holiday stories would be enjoyed anytime during the day.

  147. I already like Sparkle Stories and SH on FB.

  148. My daughter is 6 and we homeschool, waldorf-inspired. We are doing a simple advent this year, so these stories would really add to it! I think the part of the day when we would need a little more magic would probably be to listen to them before we start our dinner prep. That would add some excitement to the evening for both of us!
    Heather C’s latest post: Happy Halloween!

  149. My girls are 5 and 2, and we have another girl on the way in April. We could use a little more magic around the time I am trying to get ready for dinner.

  150. my kids are 7, 5, & 4. a mid afternoon snuggle on the couch, hot cocoa and a sparkle story would be lovely.

  151. Sandi Carroll says:

    My son is 3 and we could use some before dinner story time magic. I’ve also liked both pages. Thanks!

  152. Christy Kafka says:

    My son is eight and my twin girls are five. We could also use some story time magic while waiting for turns for the shower in the evening. Thanks for the giveaway!

  153. Christy Kafka says:

    Liked Sparkle Stories on FB. : )

  154. Christy Kafka says:

    Also liked Simple Homeschool on FB. : D

  155. Kristine Rohm says:

    My daughters are 4.8 yrs and 8 months old. We love listening to Sparkle Stories at nap time!

  156. Kristine Rohm says:

    I already like Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeschool!

  157. mine are 6 and 5 I haven’t decided what we are doing for advent yet but we just moved away from our church home that was very liturgical and I miss it so I want to for sure do something thanks.

  158. I Like both pages on facebook

  159. My daughter is 8 yo. She has been enjoying your stories for years. She still loves Martin & Sylvia the best. Our holidays gets busy. Something magical each morning would be great.
    I have liked your FB page too

  160. We love Sparkle stories, and actually would love to gift some this X-Mas.

  161. I like both on FB.

  162. I have a 5, 4, and 2 month old. We would love to listen to the stories during our lunchtime!

  163. Angela Zundel says:

    We could use some story magic before bedtime! Kids are 11,twins 7, and 3. I like both of the FB pages! 🙂

  164. My boys are 3, 1, and 2 weeks old. We’ll probably try the stories at lunchtime, and if the 3 year-old likes them, they could become part of his “quiet time,” as he is dropping his nap just when I need him to take it. :-/

  165. I like simple homeschool on FB.

  166. My children are 12, 8, and 2. We would enjoy some Sparkle Story magic in the evenings before or after dinner. Happy Holidays!

  167. I also LIKE’d Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeschool on Facebook!

  168. Aubrey hajek says:

    My children are 6, 3, and 1. They love sparkle stories. Mama loves the magic they bring just before dinner 🙂

  169. My kids are 3 and 4 and we could use a little storytime delight in the late afternoons, when we’re tired but not asleep and a little out of sorts!

  170. I liked Simple Homeschool and Sparkle Stories on facebook!

  171. My children are 5,4,2 & 11 weeks. We could use some story time magic at bedtime!

  172. My girls are 10 and 8, and this gift would be so beneficial during this season. It’s so hard to relax sometimes during the hectic week, so just being able to sit down and enjoy this would be awesome!

  173. I like sparkle stories and simple homeschool on fb!

  174. I’ve read about Sparkle Stories from your blog for a couple of years now, and I’d love to listen to more of them. I’m interested to see how my fella with special needs would respond to them. We’d use it most in the late afternoon! Thanks for this giveaway.
    Caroline’s latest post: Blogging and Encouragement for Special Needs Parents {review and giveaway!}

  175. My son is 14 months old. He could use these stories. I am sharing why and also sharing if it is helpful for some parents out there. I wrote a resource at end. See, I have mental illness and over the holidays last year I was sent to psychiatric inpatient and they wouldn’t let me see my son. It was not a fun experience. I had go through emergency even though I was going voluntary and was locked in a box with a camera for over eight hours stripped of all my belongings with a sign that said…anything you say or do is being recorded and can be used against you in a court of law to be involuntary committed as a mentally ill person. Then I was escorted by security to the locked psych unit. Then I was forced remove all my clothes and be strip searched…like a criminal. I was breast feeding at the time but they wouldn’t let me see my son and they wouldn’t help with pumping. I was forced pump on the floor when I was allowed and had throw the milk down the drain in my room. Nurses would walk in doing checks and while exposed and pumping I asked one nurse to please leave and she said I had a bad attitude. I share this because their are mothers and fathers and children who struggle with a mental illness. Stigma toward mental illness exists and I am dong my best to change it. I am writing because my son and I we could use new stories that have hope. I am a mother and I volunteer helping family and individuals who struggle with mental health issues, and to improve mental health care for our future generations. A few days ago a friend of mine whose son had mental illness and died of suicide, his wife just passed. Then day before thanksgiving a friend of his from church where he is a pastor she went to inpatient same as I had do last year. He said he didn’t even know she had mental illness. We talked and he went to visit her last night. Mental illness as a biological illness is in my family through generations. So, my son could use some positive stories to help paint a better world for him that I am trying my best to give. I am grateful for this blog which I just connected with for its positive outlook and also some of the writings are honest and show that we have weaknesses and strengths and we can still be a great parent amidst weaknesses we cannot change. Thank you for that. I have worked for and volunteer now for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I am getting ready to start a support group for parents who are impacted by mental illness and also hope to teach a class called Parenting with a Mental Illness. For anyone who has a loved one or yourself that is struggling with mental health issues go to http://www.nami.org The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the largest grassroots mental health nonprofit in the United States. All support is FREE. Almost all of NAMI is volunteer led. Some helpful facts for parents and our children who are also our students. Did you know. Mental illness is not a character flaw. Mental illness cannot be overcome by willpower. Mental illness is a biologically based disorder of one of the most important organs the brain. Mental health support exists. Facts that are also supported by the World Health Organization. 1 in 5 families has been affected by mental health issues. 1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by mental health issues at some point in their lives. 1 in 17 people live with a serious chronic mental illness such as bipolar, major depression, schizophrenia. 1 in 10 children has a mental health condition that causes significant impairment. More than half of all lifetime cases begin by age 14. Left untreated and unsupported mental illness can cause distress and impaired functioning in work, school, and relationships.

  176. We love the sparkle stories podcast! We could use some magic in the late afternoon/early evening witching our. Our kids are 9, 6 and 2.

  177. Our children are 5,3 and 10 months. The time of day that this would be most helpful is yay last hour before daddy gets home for supper!

  178. Aloha! My kids are 5 and 2 and we could use some storytime magic when transitioning, for my 5 year old to relax and focus on when i am lulling my 2 year old to sleep at nap time, During breakfast, during playtime, when my daughter takes her own space in the trees… Thanks, we love sparkle stories!

  179. My littles are an experienced 10-year-old boy, a girl half-way through seven and a recently turned three-year-old girl. My children love a good story while Mama prepares supper.
    Sheri’s latest post: Rhythm revisited

  180. Just “liked” Simple Homeschool and Sparkle Stories on FB.
    Sheri’s latest post: Rhythm revisited

  181. My girls and 3 and 6. And we could use some rest time story magic!

  182. I like both sparkle stories and simple homeschool on facebook. 🙂

  183. My children are 3, 2 and 2 months. We can use some story magic while I am nursing the baby and the other 2 can listen to the audio. Thank you.

  184. I just discovered Simple Homeschool and Sparkle stories this week. I NEVER post or comment on blogs, but I have to say what a breath of fresh air. I found your resources to be enlightening. I am so impressed and well relieved to find such an amazing place to come about homeschooling.

    To answer the question: We LIVE the magic and the meaning of Christmas during this season. My goal this year is LESS LESS LESS tv and more of everything else. I have found my kids soak up books on tape. In fact, audio books have helped them become better writers and readers. I am a forever fan!

  185. Our kids are 6, 4 and almost 2. We’d listen to these stories at bed time!

  186. Miriam Prantner says:

    My kids are 6 and 3 and we could use some holiday magic in the mornings….they always end up being kind of crazy and often involve a bit of yelling to get us going.

  187. Miriam Prantner says:

    I already follow you both on FB

  188. Julianna m says:

    I have a 3 year old and 1 year old. Could use some stories before meal times!

  189. 3.5 afternoon meltdown

  190. 10, 8, 7
    I love to use the advent stories as I am preparing dinner. Keep everyone happy and occupied. Perfect beginning to our coming together at dinner and lighting our advent candles and hearing our traditional advent story after dinner.

  191. Liked on Facebook

  192. I have four kids ages 10, 6, 5, and 3, and we are all huge Sparkle Story fans. We could use a little extra story time in the evenings after long days when my husband’s working at the fire station. We love reading together, but sometimes cuddling up and listening to a story together is a much-welcomed rest!
    Amy’s latest post: 10 Family Advent Activities

  193. My kids are 9 and 2. Dinner prep time could definitely use some sparkle magic!

  194. My kids are 7, 5, and 1. We’d love some some sparkle stories for after lunch.

  195. My kids (ages 7, 5, & 3) have really gotten into audio books and would love this any time of the day.

  196. Like simple homeschool on fb

  197. Corinne ryan says:

    My boys are 2 and 9, I think this sounds like a great bed time routine for december.

  198. My children are 6,4, and 1. We love Sparkle Stories and could use a little extra sparkle during that transition from waking up from naps to dinner time.

  199. I follow both on Facebook!

  200. Jennifer G. says:

    My children are 21 and 5. I just started homeschooling this year with my daughter. Honestly, anytime is a good time for story time!

  201. Kristin thomas says:

    My kiddos are 10, 9, 6, 4. We could use a little story magic when I am making dinner. Sometimes things can get a little crazy around the house during that time.

  202. Trish Grier says:

    My children are 7, 6 and 3.5, and late afternoons is the time we could use some Sparkle magic! It’s when we are all getting tired, I’m still busy getting meals and baths etc, and I’m itching to put the TV on! Sparkle Stories would bring us all some much needed peace!

  203. Trish Grier says:

    Oh, and I already like both pages on Facebook!

  204. Sarah walker says:

    My kids are 6,3,1 and -8mo. We love listening to sparkle stories on long car rides or before naps to wind down!

  205. My children are 3 1/2 and 3 months. We love listening to Sparkle Stories on long car trips (just returned from Thanksgiving and they saved the day!). I’d love to have more to listen to during the late afternoon as we move towards dinner, and for the car.

  206. My children are 3 1/2 and 5 1/2. My son (5 1/2) informed me last week that he doesn’t want to take a break from homeschool during the holidays because he loves it too much! Hurray!! But, I have been trying to think of something a bit different to do just to change it up a bit during holiday time and I think Sparkle Stories would be perfect. We are finishing up our homemade Advent calendar (with daily activities that promote giving and loving one another) so Sparkle Stories would be a wonderful addition to our observation of each day of Advent.

  207. I liked both on FB

  208. We love story time before dinnertime! Thanks for a fun giveaway!

  209. katja magus says:

    We have three boys, ten, eight and six and we have loved sparkle stories since the beginning!

  210. I have a 5 year old, and a 10 month old. My older one needs a little magic when I am putting little brother down for a nap and he is on his own for a while. Thank you!

  211. I like Sparkle Stories on FB 🙂

  212. I like Simple Homeschool on FB 🙂

  213. My kids are 7,5,2, and 1 and we love listening to the sparkle stories podcast during quiet time or during lunch. I also like both simple homeschool and sparkle stories on Facebook.

  214. brenda kiss says:

    These look like great stories, we are just learning about them. Thanks

  215. My boys are 19 months old and 2 1/2 years old. They love stories of all kinds and we could use some new ones for right after lunch when Mama’s energy level (but not the boys’) is waning. Thanks for the giveaway!

  216. My children are 1 and 3. We\’d love some story time magic after dinner, when everyone is tired.

  217. My son is 2 and we could use a story after his nap. It is one of the few things that helps him get over being cranky when he wakes up.

  218. I already Like both pages on Facebook.

  219. Thanks so much for the opportunity. I have a almost six year old girl and a four year old boy. We love the Sparkle Stories while I am cooking dinner!

  220. I also (already) like you both on fb! 🙂

  221. My kids are 7, 5, 3 and 1. We loved hearing the Thanksgiving stories right after lunch, to start off our afternoon rest time. The kids really enjoyed them!

  222. I like Simple Homeschool in FB!

  223. I like Sparkle Stories on FB!

  224. My kids at 7, 5 and 2. We would love to share a few sparkle stories!

  225. I have liked both on facebook as well.

  226. My kids are 4 and 2. We love sparkle stories in the car and during room time!

  227. Liked sparkle stories on facebook

  228. Liked simple homeschool on facebook

  229. We love Sparkle stories! My children are 4 and 5 (and I also liked Sparkle and Simple on Facebook! )

  230. My children are 4 and 6. We can always use some storytime magic before dinner when everyone is hungry and getting a bit tired, and at bedtime to wind down and prepare for the next day.

  231. we’ve “liked” Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeschool on facebook 🙂

  232. We listen to sparkle stories every night at bed time and also to help sick little bodies rest when unwell. 3 kidlets aged 8months, 4 and 6 years.

  233. 10 & almost 5. We could use some magic in the late afternoon/early evening!

  234. Already love both on Facebook!

  235. My children are 15, 13, 8, 5, and 3. We could definitely use more sparkle at bedtime! 🙂

  236. I also like Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeschool on FB. Thanks for a great blog and a wonderful giveaway!

  237. My girls are 3 and almost 3 months. Would love these for late afternoon

  238. Jennifer Gray says:

    My guys are 3, 6 and 8 years old; and we could use a nice story break time around during the dinner prep time.

  239. Jennifer Gray says:

    I liked Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeschool on FB.

  240. Kids are 5 and 1. We like stories in the afternoon, especially on rainy days.

  241. My children are ages 6, 4, 2, & 1 and my older girls could use some sparkle stories during the after naptime/before dinner time lull.

  242. My kids are 2.4.7 and 10 and when they are in the car or going to sleep they love to listen to stories!

  243. I liked Sparkle Stories on FB

  244. I like Simple Homeschool on FB

  245. I have 2 kids that are 5 and 7 we could use a little sparkle while I am getting ready for dinner now that winter is here.

  246. My boys are 8, 6, and 2 and I would love to sit them down in the kitchen to listen to sparkle stories while I’m making dinner. We would also enjoy them in the car! I have liked both Facebook pages!

  247. Kristen Hayden says:

    I had already liked both pages on fb!

  248. Natalie Anthony says:

    Our children are 2, 3, and 5 years old. I feel like the hours after nap time between 4-7pm could use a little Christmas cheer/sparkle.

  249. I have an 8 yr old, 6 yr old and 3 yr old. We could use stories in the car, for quiet time and for bedtime stories.

  250. My kids are 7, 5 and 2 and we could use some story magic early in the mornings (when I’d like to snooze a bit more) and late in the afternoon, once the sun has gone down, but we aren’t quite ready for dinner!

  251. I have an eight year old. The part of our day that could use a bit of magic is first thing in the morning — we’re definitely not morning people.
    v’s latest post: nablo 29: bits and bobs

  252. I have a four year old and the time we could use some magic are our transition times. Like before bedtime routine or transitioning from playtime to time to get ready to go somewhere.

  253. liked simple homeschool and sparkle stories on fb

  254. My littles are 4.5, 2.5, and 7m. The oldest loves to listen to stories during her quiet time while the younger two nap, and they often listen to them in the morning when I’m preparing breakfast!

  255. I have ‘liked’ both sparkle stories and simple homeschool on FB 🙂

  256. cindy hardy says:

    Have four children that range in age from 16-7. My seven-year-old has really enjoyed the free Sparkle Story stories. Our mornings could always use a little story time magic. Love the idea of a story advent!

  257. cindy hardy says:

    I have “liked” Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeshcool on Facebook. Thank you for the chance to win!

  258. My boy is 2 1/2 and magic is needed before dinner time.

  259. Megan Killion says:

    We have a 5, 3, and 1 year old. We could use a little more magic at bed time. Or maybe what we really need is a little more patience!

  260. Alison Ericson says:

    My kids are 5 and 3 and we like to listen to sparkle stories at quiet rest time in the middle of our day.

  261. Alison Ericson says:

    I already like Simple Homeschool and Sparkle Stories on FB .

  262. We love Sparkle Stories!

  263. My whole fam has FB ‘liked’ Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeschool. Thanks for the giveaway!

  264. My kids are 6, 4, and 21 months. We could use magic before dinner.

  265. Sara Meadows says:

    My daughter is 8 and I think anytime would be great for a good story 🙂

  266. My kiddos are 8, 5, and 2 and they all love audio books. We could use them in the afternoons especially when I need a break and they need to keep quiet during naptime.

  267. I like Simple Homeschool on fb long ago but now I’ve added Sparkle Stories!

  268. Jessica Gramkee says:

    My Daughter will be 2 in Jan ’14. She loves looking through her books and “reading” them to her cat and dog. We could use a little magic story time while I making up the Christmas Breakfast.

  269. Jessica Gramkee says:

    I have liked both Simple Homeschool and Sparkle Stories Facebook pages.

  270. My kids are 4, and twin boys that are 20 months. They could use a little story time magic right after their nighttime bath before bed. It would be the coziest of story times for sure! 🙂

  271. My boys are 12, twins are 4, and a 11 month old. We enjoy stories in the late afternoon. When we start to get a little tired and run out of things to do! We would love this!

  272. I liked Simple Homeschool and Sparkle Stories on Facebook!
    Susan’s latest post: 3 years old.

  273. I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old. Mid-afternoon is our “slump” and we could definitely use some Sparkle stories during that time.

  274. I like Sparkle Stories and Simple Homeschool on Facebook.

  275. My son is 4.5 & loves making up stories – this would be awesome! Our toughest transitions are mornings & before bedtime!

  276. I’ve liked Simple Homeschool & Sparkle Stories on FB also!

  277. I have a special needs six year old. He has left hemiplegic cerebral palsy caused by a stroke in utero. The part of the day we could enjoy a story would be night time before he goes to sleep. Nights are the hardest part of the day for him, so this would probably help him relax. This would be great for him.

  278. I have a 9-, 6- and 3-year-old and our afternoons could use a shine. I have eyeballed Sparkle Stories for a while now and love the chance to win this giveaway. Thanks!

  279. Also, I have liked both SS and SH on facebook. 🙂
    Rebekah Labell’s latest post: Schooling at home – relaxed and fun!

  280. Amanda beavers says:

    We love sparkle stories and will be doing the advent calendar this year. Life needs a little magic 😉 we use the stories for quite time to traveling. Already fans on Face book for both. Thanks

  281. shannon mills says:

    My kids are almost 7, almost 5, almost 2, and almost born. Everyone has January birthdays around here. We love to use audio books for post lunch quiet time and are in need of some new ones. Thanks for the giveaway and the 50% off link- I had never heard of Sparkle Stories and will check them out right now!

  282. We have three kids – 20 mos, 3.5 years and 5 years! We love Martin and Sylvia! We could use some story time magic when the baby goes for a nap – our house needs some “quiet time”!!

  283. I’ve already liked Sparkle Stories onbFacebook, and gave just liked Simple Homeschool, too!

  284. Hi, my youngest is 2yr, and my oldest is turning 6 on Dec 6th. We could use some story time magic for the times when Momma needs to prepare food. That is always a tricky, impatient time in our home.
    As a new-to-homeschooling mom I love your blog. Keep up the good work!

  285. I have liked simplehomeschool on FB for a while now and just liked sparklestories. It looks like a fun story tool.

  286. Our daughter is 10 and we have been enjoying Sparkle stories for a year. We would love these stories. We find that Sparkle stories enrich all of our lives at any time of day!
    Thank you for Sparkle Stories!

  287. Jessica A. says:

    My child is 5 and he loves to listen to stories especially during breakfast time or lunch time.

  288. Jessica A. says:

    I liked both Simple Homeschool and Sparkle Stories Facebook pages.

  289. I like sparkle stories and simple homeschool on Facebook

  290. My kids are 13, 8 and 5. We *all* love listening to Sparkle Stories! The time in our day that usually needs a bit of magic is late afternoon when I’m trying to make supper and they’re tired out from the day. Thanks for hosting such a wonderful giveaway!!

  291. I like you both on FB!

  292. I have a 5 and 3 year old, and my kids love listening to audio books while eating lunch!

  293. I have liked you both on Facebook. Thank you!

  294. Hi! My name is Marina and my children are aged 4 and 6. We love to have down time when we are crafting and could really use simple stories for that time in our day.

  295. My name is Marina and I am already a fan of both Simple Homeschool and Sparkle Stories on facebook. Thanks!

  296. Michelle A says:

    I have a 2 and 5 year old, and we would love to have a great story for every morning in December before we find out what our holiday activity is for the day.

  297. Michelle A says:

    I’ve liked Sparkle Stories on FB

  298. Michelle A says:

    I’ve liked Simple Homeschool on FB

  299. My children are almost 8, 4 1/2, and almost 3. My husband works at a social outreach center, which is fantastic, but incredibly busy during the holidays. Through the many long days through the holiday season solo-parenting, the pre-dinner hour is our most tired time, in need of some holiday story-telling magic, for sure!

  300. “liked” Sparkle Stories on FB…already there wtih Simple Homeschool.

  301. I have 7 and 9 year-old girls. Our days are busy and by the end of the day, when it gets dark early, we need a story. During Advent, we like to take a break before bed to light the Advent wreath candles and read a story together.
    I already like both sparkle stories and simple homeschool on FB.

  302. My girls are 4 and 7. They share a room, and love listening to stories as they fall asleep.

  303. I already “like” sparkle stories and simple homeschooling on FB!

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