Thursday, November 30, 2006

Last Day of Holiday Special!

Just a quick reminder that today is the last day of the Holiday Special:


Orders placed that are over $70 will receive:


Free shipping
Free Easter Unit Study CD!


You don’t need any special codes or links. Just place your order, and your bonus will be automatically included in the package. This special will last through midnight tonight!


Amanda B.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas and Advent Crafts and Ideas

Here are some fun links that your family might enjoy as you study

Keep Christ in Your Family's Christmas with an Advent Chain

Printable Angel Stand-up Cards - print on card stock

Print and Color Nativity Craft

The Story of the Nativity - an early reader

Christmas Youth Ministry Ideas

Easy Glitter Stars

Christmas Music Arrangements for Piano and Keyboard

Gift tag to print and color - Nativity

Make an Advent Mural

Click and arrange this nativity scene, then print!

Preparing our hearts and home to celebrate His birth,
Amanda B.

New Space Unit Study - a find!

Hello everyone!


I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you are enjoying a week that is a bit more peaceful - no more cooking, there are plenty of leftovers, hopefully!


I am hard at work on the new Space Unit Study - and loving every minute of it. There is so much to be learned, and with each book that I write, I feel so blessed to get such a thorough education. 


The wonder of the heavens takes my breath away, and it is my prayer that this unit study will help your children share in the excitement.


While walking through Sams Club a few weeks ago, I found a special book - titled "Universe" - a coffee-table size book, full of wonderful pictures of all kinds of things in our universe. The photography is stunning! If you have a family member that is interested in space, stars, galaxies, telescopes, etc -- this could be a great addition to their library. Please note - like so many resources on space, it includes the big bang and evolution of life from "primordial soup" as factual information in the early chapters.


Here's the book information:


Universe:  The Definitive Visual Guide 
(and yes, I am VERY much a visual learner!)
Published by Dorling Kindersley
ISBN 0-7566-1364-7
512 full color pages, oversized coffee table picture book


From the back cover:


Comprehensive Night Sky Atlas, covers all constellations and shows the sky as it appears from all parts of the world


Complete Catalog, features profiles of the planets and their moons and the most stunning stars, galaxies, and supernovae.


Short Histories, learn aout the study of astronomy and the development of spaceflight.


Chapter titles:

What is the universe?
The beginning & end of the universe  (Big bang info here)
The view from Earth
Exploring space
Guide to the Universe
    The Solar System
    The Milky Way
    Beyond the Milky Way
    The Constellations
Monthly Sky Guide


It retails for $50.00, and it was $29.95 at SamsClub. I hope this helps - wish I could show you some of the pictures! Here's the link to the publisher's descriptive page - includes links to see parts of the book:,,9780756613648,00.html


When I grow up, perhaps I should be an astronaut? 


Amanda B.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas: A Study of Love Part 1

Christmas: A Study of Love

Part 1

Amanda Bennett


The warm feeling of love, the snug feeling of togetherness and family,

and the joy and excitement of celebration –

all to be found in many American homes this time of year.


From the preparation and celebration of harvest and Thanksgiving to the last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas, there is a wonderful feeling of love everywhere, and as homeschooling families, we can take this time to learn, prepare our homes and our hearts, and share with others throughout the year.


At our house, we begin planning for the holiday season by preparing unit studies on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. This has become a regular tradition here, and one that is eagerly anticipated year after year. With each year of holidays comes a new slant or area of interest for our learning adventures, and we have never worked on any unit study in the same way twice! We use these holiday studies to help us grow in our knowledge as well as giving the children more time to thoroughly prepare for and understand the meaning of the holidays -- the history, literature, geography, science and music represented within the holiday theme.


In this article, I would like to focus on studying Christmas as a family unit. What does Christmas mean to you and your family? Ever take a close look with your family, asking them what they think? Write down their comments without criticism or discussion. Then, ask them what they like best about Christmas and then what their favorite holiday tradition is -- if they are old enough to understand. This is a great way to begin the Christmas season, and is usually a real eye-opener! What significance do you give to the true meaning of Christmas?


I first wrote the CHRISTMAS Unit Study to meet this need in our own home. We wanted to study this with the children, learning together and drawing us all closer in your own celebration. We were tired of the commercialism that had worked its way into Christmas and had to reflect very closely on what and how we had celebrated in the past, as well as finding ways to focus on the true meaning of Christmas -- the reason for the celebration -- His birth. We worked with the children to define what Christmas means to our family and what we would like to change. How could we celebrate Christmas with our family, our church, our neighbors and our community with the right emphasis? After all, this event we are celebrating was foretold in almost 400 different prophecies in the Old Testament - quite a fulfilling event when our Savior was born! Why shouldn't we celebrate it as least as much as we do the birth of one of our own babies?


Like me, you probably get overwhelmed with catalogs in the mail this time of year. But recently, one that we received really caught the attention of one of the children. It has a picture of Mary and Joseph and the Baby Jesus on the front cover, but it is somehow very different. My son looked at it and said, "Look, Mom -- they had a baby! Look at how happy they are!" Unlike so many other nativity scenes where Mary and Joseph have rather nondescript faces, this one shows them as parents getting a first good look at their new baby -- utmost joy and pride and awe and love. Their expressions also reflect what I imagine that God felt about then, too -- pride and love for His own Son.


Check back next week to read Part 2

of this Christmas article!


Blessed Christmas,


Amanda B.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Preparing for the Thanksgiving crowd...

Just wanted to share what I did while taking a break from preparations for our Thanksgiving gathering of more than 30 people next week! Follow this link to see what my tired and stressed mind figured out for fun. Here's the link:


Writers' Smiles


I'll keep you posted on the crowd's reactions to my new sweatshirt - here's my favorite:





Amanda B.


Thanksgiving Movie this Sunday evening on the History Channel!

Hello all!

Our friend, Oney, mentioned that the new Thanksgiving movie, "Desperate Crossing," will be showing this Sunday evening on the History Channel, and I'm writing it on the calendar for our family. I don't know much about the content yet, or how appropriate it is for younger children - you might want to record it for your pre-viewing.

Also, if you go to their website today, they have a very interesting video clip about the history of Thanksgiving:

We are always learning, and I hope that this new representation of the challenges and victories of the Pilgrims adds to the learning process. I hope this helps!

Amanda B.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Last Day of Christmas Unit Study Sale!

Just a reminder that at midnight tonight, the sale on the Christmas Unit Study ends. Right now, the Christmas Unit Study CDROM is only $10.95 + $2 shipping, and includes the Christmas Notebook Pages as a bonus.


Hope this helps!


Amanda B.


Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Last Day of American Government Sale!

Election Sale on American Government Unit Study!

From now through midnight tonight (November 7th -  Election Day) - this CDROM study is on sale for only $10.95, and the CDROM includes a bonus of the American Government Notebook Pages. Here's the link:

Don't forget to VOTE!

Amanda B.


Pray the Vote! Here's the link:



Mom, What is a Veteran?

And so begins our search to answer the question of the day for November 11th - "Mom, what is a veteran?" This generation of children has had some exposure to war and soldiers and military importance, but in a different way than generations past. For many American children, the war against terror is still quite distant in their minds – not effecting their daily lives. Unless they have a parent, relative or family member who is serving our country, they might not even be aware that there is a conflict going on.

When they see or hear reference to the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, they don't understand the significance or relevance to their lives. Then the questions come up – “Mom, what is a Veteran?” We can use this holiday as the perfect springboard to learning more about our history, our blessings, and the brave men and women who have served to protect us, and all that we hold dear.

Veterans Day - what does it mean to you? The history of this holiday may be unknown to many of us, and yet it exists because of the strength and convictions of generations past that we should remember our veterans and their sacrifices for our peace and protection. There was a price paid for the freedom that we enjoy, and this freedom still needs our protection. While we enjoy peace, it is with an understanding that this peace has been bought with the efforts of our veterans, and this holiday can help us express our gratitude for their efforts and beliefs and sacrifices. On this holiday, we honor all of our veterans. Those in the military serve in all kinds of jobs - soldiers, doctors, nurses, pilots, engineers, astronauts, and so much more. They all work hard to protect and defend America, and we should be grateful to them all.

I heard recently that there is a shortage of military buglers to play "Taps" at military funerals - because so many of our military veterans are passing away, particularly those from the World Wars. Our children need to appreciate those who have bravely served or are serving our country right now. Use this holiday to become familiar with veterans - their sacrifice and their courage. Learn more about the American military system - how it protects us today and what is happening with our defense. Use this opportunity to learn more about the various organizations that help support out veterans - the Veterans Administration (VA), the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and others.

This holiday has special significance to many members of our family as well as our friends. Though often quiet about their service, these people have a wealth of information and experience that they might be willing to share with our students about their service, training, and ideas - if asked. By learning more about the people and their participation, we can carry on the tradition and remembrance with pride.

With this holiday, let's bring out the flag and applaud our veterans. Let us teach these things to our children, so that we never take our freedom and liberty for granted. All of our veterans deserve our appreciation and remembrance. It is now the next generation's responsibility to protect and defend our country, our God-given rights, and our freedoms.

Amanda B.

For a limited time, you can now download the one-week
Veterans Day Unit Study for only $3.95
at Here's the link:

Vote Today! Gather the clan and load the van!

Dear friends,

Don't forget to vote, please. It is so important that we each go and
utilize this privilege and freedom that has been defended by so many
for more than 200 years.

I know it can be difficult to get the kids ready, load up the van and
go to your voting place. But it is worth it - every vote counts, and
your children will long remember this action on your part.

Amanda B.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Thanksgiving Unit Study Newsletter from Amanda Bennett

Amanda Bennett's Unit Study News

November 2006

Amanda's Corner

Hello again! Wish you could join me here at the kitchen table, looking out over the Appalachians as the leaves change color and share the spectacular view. I love this season of thanksgiving, and look forward to a wonderful holiday spent with family and friends.


With the busy holiday season almost here, I am trying to plan a bit of thanksgiving into our Thanksgiving schedule. The evening before Thanksgiving, we will be celebrating, naming and giving thanks for our many blessings -- birthdays, recognizing the passing of loved ones and friends, college degrees obtained, goals achieved, and all kinds of other blessings that have occurred in the past year.


With a crowd of more than 30 people passing through here in the next few weeks, it is easy to overlook the actual giving of thanks for our blessings. While Thanksgiving Day is very special here, it is BUSY and fun in a never-a-dull-moment kind of way. By taking the time the night before, we can all sit around the fire as we work on our traditional jigsaw puzzles on card tables, and name and give thanks for special blessings. The pace is quieter and more reflective, and the evening feeling deepens as we reflect and remember together.


A new idea to try this while counting and giving thanks for the year’s blessings -- using the clear glass ornaments that are available in craft and department stores along with glass paints, have everyone decorate their own ornament with their favorite blessing of this past year - in words or pictures or symbols. What a fun reminder - make sure they put their name and the year on the bottom of the ornament. For those guests that will be going home after the holiday, they can take their ornaments home to use with their own Christmas decorations, and remember the fun that they had over the Thanksgiving 2006 holiday.


Happy Thanksgiving!





Unit Study Specials


1.         American Government Unit Study 

From now through Tuesday, November 7, 2006 – the American Government Unit Study CD is on sale for only $10.95 + $2.00 shipping. The CD will also include the bonus American Government Notebook Pages as part of the Election Special. Act soon – the sale ends at midnight of Election Day! Here’s the link:

American Government Unit Study


2.         Christmas Unit Study  

From now through Thursday, November 9, 2006 – the Christmas Unit Study CD is on sale for $10.95 + $2.00 shipping. The CD will also include the bonus Christmas Notebook Pages as part of this Holiday Special. Act soon – the sale ends at midnight, November 9th! Here’s the link:

Christmas Unit Study



Holiday Bonus – all orders placed that are over $70 will receive free shipping AND the Easter Unit Study CD and Easter Notebook Pages as a special bonus. You don’t need any special codes or links. Just place your order, and your bonus will be automatically included in the package.  This special will last through the end of November 2006.



Amanda’s Picks for the Holidays


With the holiday unit studies, you already have lists of some of my favorite holiday book choices – many of which will be found in our book basket by the fireplace this time of year. However, I am often asked about my favorite holiday music choices, as many of you know that I love holiday music. Here are a few favorites – I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do, and that they bring peace and joy and quiet moments of thanksgiving to these very special times with our families.


Christmas Solitude, by Steve Sensenig, Worship Keys. This is one of my favorites for bringing peace to a busy time of our lives. Steve is a gifted pianist and his music and devotionals will touch your heart and add special meaning to this holiday. Visit the website to see and hear his work, and order the CD for a feast for your soul! I also highly recommend his worship CDs – “To Worship You” and “Tis’ So Sweet” – as said so well on the website, “Intimately played in a free-flowing, uninterrupted fashion, you will find a refreshing hour of personal worship awaits you every time you listen.”


Christmas Offerings, from Third Day. I am listening to this CD right now, sipping coffee and writing this newsletter, and loving every minute of it! The songs will touch your heart and you will find yourself singing along and remembering the words for a long time after the music ends. My favorite song has to be “Jesus – Light of the World. ”Follow the Grammy Award-winning worship band back to the manger---and lift your heart in Christmas praise! Includes live versions of "Away in a Manger," "Silent Night," and "The First Noel"; plus "Joy to the World," "O Holy Night," "O Come All Ye Faithful," and more.”


Christmas Singalong, for children from Word Entertainment. This is the CD to take for car travel on errands and field trips. The songs are joyful, and the children’s choir makes everyone in the car want to join in – enjoy!


The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree, from the Veggie Tales. For those of you with Veggie Tale fans, this CD is fun and definitely keeps the children involved in the songs!


Thanksgiving Links:

Pine Cone Turkey


Pine Cone Turkey


Thanksgiving Coloring Pages


Thanksgiving Craft Ideas




Maple-Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes


Pumpkin Cake with Ginger Frosting


Ginger Frosting


Kids Grow Corn


Hands and Feet Turkey Craft


Make Graham Cracker Turkeys


Stuffed Turkey Table Decoration


Brown Sugar Cut Out Cookies



Christmas Links:


Get Ready for Christmas Crafts


Cookies in a Jar


Hot Chocolate in a Jar


Family Fun: Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas


Jar Mix and Gift Recipes


Gifts In A Jar Index: Easy Holiday Gift Ideas And Recipes


A Homemade Christmas


How to Make a Bandana Quilt



Happy Thanksgiving from

Our home to your home!





Saturday, November 4, 2006

3 Days - Get Ready to VOTE!

Get ready, get set, make your vote count! The poll takers and politicians are predicting that there will be a very low voter turnout -- let's prove them wrong and show just how important these issues are to Americans. While we are busy working to raise responsible young people in our homeschools, we need to be working on the big picture and use our vote to help make America a wonderful place for our families and their futures.



Amanda B.


Don't forget -- the American Government Unit Study is on SALE through Election Day!

Friday, November 3, 2006

How Many Days? Only 4 Until America VOTES!

Join us this weekend as we fly the flag and get ready to be TOTALLY American and vote. Make a difference this year - go vote, and take the kids! Tell them why you vote and that someday they will have the privilege and responsibility of voting, too.


“Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has the right to concentrate your affections.  The name AMERICANS,

which belongs to you, in your national capacity,

must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism.”

George Washington, “Farewell Address,” 1796


Counting down the days, and so proud to be an American,

Amanda B.


Thursday, November 2, 2006

Christmas Unit Study CDROM on Sale for ONE week!

Just to spread the news - the CDROM study is only $10.95+$2 shipping for all purchases made between 11/02/06 and 11/09/06. The CDROM includes the Christmas Notebook Pages as a free bonus.


Here's the link:


Christmas Unit Study



Amanda B.


5 days Until We Get to VOTE!

Get ready - get set to VOTE!

Make your vote count by studying the ballot for your area now. Here are some links that can help you find more information:


Project Vote-Smart


Take the time to learn about the candidates and the issues - these websites make this simple!

“Our American heritage is threatened as much by our own indifference as by the most unscrupulous office or by the most powerful foreign threat. The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.”

 Dwight Eisenhower, 1940



Amanda B.


“Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has the right to concentrate your affections.  The name AMERICANS,

which belongs to you, in your national capacity,

must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism.”

George Washington, “Farewell Address,” 1796




Wednesday, November 1, 2006

6 days until America VOTES! Don't forget to add your voice...

by voting! Our vote is a freedom that generations of Americans have fought and died to protect - now do your part for America's future by voting. Thank you!


Start planning now for a celebration after going to the polls - whether on a picnic or ordering pizza for the whole family - take time to recognize just how special it is to be able to vote in America.



Amanda B.