Friday, December 30, 2016

Homeschool Curriculum Giveaway!!

So I love giveaways. I love curriculum giveaways too. Because who can't use a free leg up in the quest to get great learning tools? When you have to make a dollar stretch any freebie of quality offered up, I jump at.

The Details
You will be given the opportunity to share this giveaway with a special referral link – do it! For every single person you refer who actually comes to our site and enters – you will get an additional TEN chances to win. AND – the second place prize (which is huge!) will go to the person who refers the winner. So there is no losing when you refer someone!!!! Not only do you have a better chance of winning one of these amazing prize packages – you can help a friend win one too!

So here is the breakdown of this great offer by Encouraging Moms At Home...
Homeschool Prize Package One:
  • Apologia American Literature Text
  • Apologia American Literature Student Book
  • Field Trip Journal by Apologia
  • Managers of Their Homes
  • Managers of Their Chores
  • Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell
  • Science in the Kitchen
  • Restoring America’s Biblical Foundations curricula
  • Financial Peace for Kids by Dave Ramsey with an extra set of envelopes
  • The Missing Link by Media Angels
  • The Christian Parenting Handbook
  • Flourish by Mary Jo Tate
  • First Language Lessons
  • Write With Ease
  • Sing Praise by Yancy
  • New Testament Eyewitness by Apologia
  • The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell
  • Three high school science DVD sets from Apologia
  • Seven Tools for Celebrating Your Child’s Potential by Zan Tyler
  • Apologia Tote Bag

 Prize Package Two:
  • Writers in Residence with Teacher’s Guide by Apologia
  • Readers in Residence with Teacher’s Guide by Apologia
  • Field Trip Journal by Apologia
  • Math 6 with Teacher’s Guide by BJU Press
  • Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell
  • Flourish by Mary Jo Tate
  • A Stand at Sinai by Hope Auer and published by Raising Real Men
  • Three High School Science DVDs from Apologia
  • Seven Essential Oils from Rocky Mountain Oils including Lavender, Rosemary, Skin Tone, Cucumber Seed, Red Mandarin, Nutmeg, and Cedarwood.
  • The LOVE/HAPPY set from Pink Zebra including the base, shade and candle set with birthday cake sprinkles (scented wax melts). This was a limited edition set! (pictured below)

What are you waiting for? Follow the link to this great giveaway and while you're out, check out Encouraging Moms At Home. You won't be disappointed. Good luck, and... may the odds ever be in your favor.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bell Class Pictures 2016

Contrary to what many believe, homeschoolers do have opportunities like public school kids. Yes, there are dances (held at a local church, gym, etc), and yes, there are "class" pictures. This year one of the teachers at I.D.E.A. (Interior Distance Education of Alaska) had her photography inclined husband set up in one of the rooms and take pictures for students. Some of the images were a little washed out due to it being a very sunshiny day, so I fixed them up and ended up with a wonderful set of pictures for this year's pictures. Here is a collage of them that I created:

Early Reading Encouragment


I've got two early readers in my house right now. I received a valuable bit of advice from a wonderful kindergarten teacher (lookin' at you Ms. Caston!)

Kindergarten Teacher Extraordinaire
when my first two were early readers. She told me to choose books in areas of interest that they loved and it would be both enjoyable for them and create a lifelong love of reading. She was so correct with this advice! My older two read a wide variety of books for leisure as well as school and it all started with age appropriate reading level books in the Star Wars genre.

So along with getting books that aren't just reading level and age appropriate, I look for ones that are geared towards their interest and I find they pull the books out on their own and try to identify words on their own.

Along with this bit of advice, I have also found a few software programs that make reading and identifying words fun because they make them a game.  The first one is free and it's called "Teach Your Monster To Read". The other is called Endless Reader and this is best used on a touchscreen and can be downloaded off the app stores for Windows, Apple and Google. It also features cute monsters and I think this one is the favorite right now. It's great for when I am making lunch so they are occupied, but still learning.
Endless Reader & the Monster Crew
I hope these suggestions help you with your early reader. Fostering a love of reading is so important, especially in today's tech obsessed society. I think we are providing our children the best way to disconnect and cope with stress by giving them an endless world of imagination to turn to within the pages of books.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Updates and Absences

We continue our homeschooling journey, but I've not had time to keep up with journaling. Numerous moves have kept me from doing anything other than focusing on family and schooling. We now are back in Alaska, where we started right before choosing to homeschool. It's been a lot of ups and downs, trial and error, but we've got a good thing going and the boys have chosen to continue schooling at home. I ask them every year if they want to try public school and they decline. There are many pros to schooling at home on a schedule that fits our family. So, this post will be about that.

Pros Of Homeschooling

Diabetes Awareness Through Education
1.) Health: Connor and myself are Type I Diabetic which makes it complicated for other people who aren't familiar with this potentially fatal disease and how important it is to follow protocol. There were constant issues for Connor to deal with when he was in public school and I was always having to go to the school to deal with them. He misses a lot less days of schooling due to poor blood sugar and sick days. For myself, there are sometimes days where it's hard to leave the house due to complications of having T1D for 30 years. I have a setup that helps keep schoolwork going even when I need some recovery time.

On the f/v Magnus Martens
2.) Extra-Curricular Opportunities: Russell and Connor have now had the opportunity to learn along side their dad, the ins and outs of commercial fishing. They are not only learning the value of a work ethic that is strong and honest, but math skills that aren't taught in school. Skills that include estimating the total volume of fish and calculating the best prices offered by the canneries. I'm sure the younger two will follow in their older brother's footsteps when they're old enough to safely work on the boat.

DIPAC Fish Hatchery
3.) Learning Outside the Classroom: We have more opportunities to learn outside and learn more unusual topics than the average public school student. In fact, every outing is a potential learning opportunity and I do my best to utilize every opportunity we come across. Our calendar is full of many different classes for all the kids either learning together or apart. Art, music, science, cultural appreciation, are all just some of the things we learn about on a nearly daily basis.

Salmon Dissection/Fish Biology at DIPAC
Tlingit Culture at the Alaska State Museum

Shelter Building with Dad

History: The Sinking of the Titanic (craft time)
Sensory Box (rice): at home
Horsemanship: Echo Ranch
The possibilities are truly endless for learning and education. You don't have to have any special degree to do so, just a willingness to do the research and take advantage of all the resources available, both free and for nominal fees for at home learning. The library is always free as well. So if you want to take the plunge into homeschooling, I highly suggest seeking out local homeschool groups in your area. Facebook is great for connecting with co-ops and support groups. Don't wait! Check it out today!