Wednesday, December 30, 2009

End of Year Unit Study Sale is rocking!

The end of the year event is going wild - apparently the $5 studies are a big budget help. Spread the word - thanks!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Amanda Bennett's End of the Year Blast!

End of the Year Blast!

From now through 12/31/09 - Join in the Savings

All of the following titles on CD will be on sale for $5*
until the close of 2009 on New Year's Eve!

Last chance for the  $5 special,  and hopefully
all of those that missed the earlier $5 Friday specials
 can find what they need this time! :-)

Complete and ready to use, these studies each contain four weeks of daily lessons written at two levels,
one for elementary grades and one for Jr./Sr. High grades. The study requires no other books -
it has "clickable" Internet links throughout the lessons for the use of the students when other resources are helpful.


 From now through the end of 2009, shipping will only be $1 for your order - so stock up now!
Please understand that we are closing for the holiday through the weekend,
and with the anticipated volume from this special,
shipping will be delayed for one to two weeks. Thanks for understanding!

* NOTE - There is a limit of 1 CD of each title per customer.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

$5 Friday Bonanza is Underway

Wow - the $5 Friday Special is off and running! We started it a bit early this week, as it is going to be a wild Friday here and we needed to make sure that this special $5 Friday sale was not lost in the shuffle. Happy shopping, and thanks!

$5 Friday Specials include:

$5 - American Government Unit Study CD (Regular price is $14.95)*


$5 - Space Unit Study CD (Regular price is $14.95)*


$5 - Dogs Unit Study CD (Regular price is $14.95)*


$5 - Heroes of Chivalry CD (Regular price is $14.95)*


$5 - First Steps in Faith CD (Regular price is $19.95)


ONLY $1 shipping for your entire order!

Jump in now and take advantage of the savings - at midnight on Friday,
prices go back to their regular values!

* Only one CD of each title per customer

Frugal and Fun Gifts to Make with the Kids

This is the time of year when many homeschooling families gather together and prepare for the holidays, making gifts, sharing memories, and reading together. While working on my Christmas Unit Study over the years, we have done these same things at the Bennett household, and we have been blessed with some amazing memories. I'm writing today to respond to the many requests for descriptions of some of the things that we have tried, I hope that something here will help you and yours as you settle into December and celebrate His birth.

Here are a few gift ideas that we have tried or are working on currently - most are fun to work on as a family, particularly during days when one child can read to the rest of the gift-makers. :-) A favorite book for read aloud this week might be Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, by Mary M. Dodge -- suggesting this as I watch the weather forecast for snow tomorrow!

The homemade hand warmers and the memory drawings on this page sound like great projects for the kids: A Do-It-Yourself Christmas: 34 Great Gifts You Can Make Yourself 

With the returning popularity of scarves, I am trying to make one as a gift - here's the pattern: Love Knot Scarf Pattern - Cool to note that they include special instructions for lefties at the end of the instructions! 

Back in the olden days, B.C. (before children), I loved to crochet. We enjoyed some crochet projects around the holidays when the children were younger and our daughter was interested in yarn projects. Recently, I started looking around for some fun and simple afghan crochet patterns, and found a treasure trove of vintage patterns online.

Easy To Crochet Afghan Patterns - Beginner Crochet Afghan Patterns

For those of you with thrift shops nearby, this craft sounds like fun, and Scrabble games abound at most thrift shops:

Scrabble Bracelet - How to Make a Scrabble Bracelet

After seeing this, I thought that it would be fun to just glue small magnets to the backs of the letter tiles and use them for spelling and message fun on the refrigerator or a cookie sheet! NOT for use around small children, of course - tiles are too easy to swallow!

Here's the recipe for Friendship Soup in a Jar, which is similar to Country Soup in a Jar, but the recipe offers the option of adding meat.

Another favorite is Country Soup in a Jar - Six beans, grains and pastas are layered to a pretty effect in a glass jar with seasonings and bouillon granules in this winning idea for a hostess gift.

When our children were young, we had so much fun making "gifts in a jar." Here's a link to Cookies in a Jar - Gifts to Make and Give

Cookies in a Jar - Gifts to Make and Give

These cookie mixes in glass jars complete with recipes were big hits with everyone on our gift giving list!

We had loads of fun making rolled beeswax candles for Christmas gifts, and I finally found the sheets online:

Textured 100% Beeswax Honeycomb Sheets for Candle Making - Item # P0001

We would get sheets of honeycomb wax, and the children would roll them into tapers or other interesting shapes, wrapping them around wicks that we purchased in the crafts department of Walmart or Hobby Lobby. This was a favorite project for them, and the candles were beautiful to burn and lasted a long time - big hits with grandparents and friends!

$5 Friday Bonanza is Underway

Wow - the $5 Friday Special is off and running! We started it a bit early this week, as it is going to be a wild Friday here and we needed to make sure that this special $5 Friday sale was not lost in the shuffle. Happy shopping, and thanks!

$5 Friday Specials include:

$5 - American Government Unit Study CD (Regular price is $14.95)*


$5 - Space Unit Study CD (Regular price is $14.95)*


$5 - Dogs Unit Study CD (Regular price is $14.95)*


$5 - Heroes of Chivalry CD (Regular price is $14.95)*


$5 - First Steps in Faith CD (Regular price is $19.95)


ONLY $1 shipping for your entire order!

Jump in now and take advantage of the savings - at midnight on Friday,
prices go back to their regular values!

* Only one CD of each title per customer


Interesting Book Notes from Amanda

"Advent is a Latin word meaning "the coming." Officially established by church leaders in the 6th century, Advent was originally meant to be a time when Christians reflected on the meaning of Christmas and when new believers spiritually prepared themselves for baptism."

From Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, by Ace Collins.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski.

Another favorite of mine that will touch your heart, this book tells the story of a wood carver, a young widow, her son, and a lesson in love and patience for everyone. This book is included, year after year, in our Christmas wicker basket of holiday favorites for everyone's enjoyment.

One Wintry Night, by Ruth Bell Graham. Published by Baker Book House. This is one of our family favorites for all ages. In this beautifully illustrated book, a young injured boy seeks help from a grandmotherly woman during a snowstorm.

While the two wait out the storm in her cabin, the woman lovingly shares the story of the Bible from Creation to the Resurrection, and each chapter ends with a bit of a cliffhanger -- perfect for family reading time during December.

As I write this today, we are expecting our first snowfall, and I'm enjoying the Christmas instrumental music of Chris Rice -- Living Room Sessions -- Christmas. Next up on the listening list is Steve Sensenig's untouchable instrumental Christmas Solitude. It's quiet here now, and everyone is outdoors, getting things ready for the first snowfall. Plenty of firewood in the woodpile, and cookies are baking -- wish you were here!

Unit Study $5 Friday

Good morning, friends! Wow - the $5 Friday Sale is off and running! We started it a bit early this week, as it is going to be a wild Friday here and we needed to make sure that this special $5 Friday sale was not lost in the shuffle. Happy shopping, and thanks!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bit of history about Advent...

"Advent is a Latin word meaning "the coming." Officially established by church leaders in the 6th century, Advent was originally meant to be a time when Christians reflected on the meaning of Christmas and when new believers spiritually prepared themselves for baptism."

From Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, by Ace Collins.

I am thoroughly enjoying this book, and learning so much!

Interesting note - sixth century church was the pre-Luther Christian church of believers, all worshipping, waiting, and preparing in this season. Imagine!

$5 Friday Unit Study Sale is up early...

Just for those of you night owls - we have already posted the $5 Friday Sale!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Extreme $5 Friday is almost over!

Friday's almost over - hope you had a chance to take advantage of the Extreme $5 Friday sale! One of the most popular items today - my workshop on Understanding Unit Studies. Orders will start shipping tomorrow, and thanks for your orders!$5_friday.htm

Extreme $5 Friday at!

Guess what's already in motion in a BIG way? EXTREME $5 Friday! And I can't wait to see what you think of it all:$5_friday.htm

Friday, November 6, 2009

$5 Friday at - it's crazy! :-)

Good morning!

I woke up to an overwhelming response to the new $5 Friday  - what a wake-up call! I am thinking that having the Christmas Unit Study in the mix has been helpful?

Have a wonderful Friday!

Amanda B.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

$5 Friday is back and rocking!

This Friday's sale has FOUR unit study titles - hope this helps. Remember, shipping is only $1 for orders until midnight on Friday. Here's the link:

Amanda B.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

$5 Friday is up and already rocking!

Check it out at

$5 Friday from Amanda Bennett

Hope it helps - have fun shopping! Remember, shipping is only $1 for any order placed today, Friday, October 30, 2009.

Amanda B.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Amanda Bennett's $5 Friday is rocking!

$5 Friday is already busy! Enjoy!

Please spread the word, and thanks!

Wait until you see what $5 will buy...

Hope this helps,
Amanda B.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nearing the end of the $5 Friday unit study sale!

Only a few hours left until the end of the $5 Friday unit study sale

Shipping is only $1 for the day!

$5 Friday Sale and Unit Studies!

$5 Fridays at Amanda Bennett unit studies

Bargains Rock

Great explanation of how to use unit studies - thanks, Michelle!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

$5 Friday Sale has begun - Sweet Savings!

$5 Friday sale has begun:

Shipping is only $1 for the day, and check out this Friday's $5 unit study specials!

$5 Friday - Sweet Savings!

Stay tuned - have you heard of our $5 Friday yet?

Starting at 12:01 AM on 9/25/09, $5 Friday  begins! 

Please help spread the word - thanks!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

When things just absolutely do NOT make sense…

This has been one of those weeks when so much has happened, most of which has not made “sense.” I have lived long enough to realize that my “sense” and my way is not necessarily God’s way. But still, when a child is taken or catastrophe strikes or the economy tips and keeps on tipping, I struggle with pushing back and wanting to know WHY. Sometimes I look for answers that fit into a logical pattern, when there is no human explanation.

In the midst of the mayhem, I have discovered an amazing book and author that remind me of the wonder and awe of God’s creation, while keeping me aware of the fact that this is His story, not mine – and that this is just the beginning. Like you, sometimes I need a faith boost, and this book delivers in a big way.

The title alone caught my eye and made me want to know more:

Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World, by N.D. Wilson.

This is one of those books that can make you laugh out loud in the middle of Panera or shake your head in stunned wonder – how did I miss this perspective all along? He makes you see just how complex our world is, and just how simple our minds are as we try to make “sense” of this planet and our lives. It is a breath of fresh air, a load off your shoulders, and a motivator to go on to the next day.

His chapters are all seemingly disconnected, yet they so closely resemble the fabric of our lives that it is hard to see the similarities up close – you have to step back with him to see just how it all plays out. As I go through these days, I find myself recalling his words and savoring them. His thoughts and perspective are such a breath of fresh air and so very reassuring. Here are a few examples:

“This storm is nothing, and I am less. But to an infinite artist, a Creator in love with His craft, there is no unimportant corner, there is no thrown-away image, no tattered thread in the novel left untidied.”

Our Creator cares about the minute details, we just can’t see them all while we’re riding this Tilt-a-Whirl we call life. What a great perspective reminder – our Creator is in love with His craft, and ALL that He creates. And oh, we can’t even imagine all that He has created:

“Just to be clear, I live on a near perfect sphere, hurtling through space at around 67,000 miles per hour. Mach 64 to pilots. Of course, this sphere of mine is also spinning while it hurtles, so tack on an extra 1,000 miles per hour at the fat parts. And it’s all tucked into this giant hurricane of stars. Yes, it can be freaky. Once a month or so, my wife will find me lying in the lawn, burrowing white knuckles into the grass, trying not to fly away. But most of the time I manage to keep my balance despite the speed, and I don’t have to hold on with anything more than my toes.”

I love the way that the book helps us to see Jesus – in new light and truth:

“From birth to the end, He never left the trough, Christ walked from insult to insult, from filth to filth. Lepers. Prostitutes. Tax men. The Dead. He chose fishermen to stand closest to Him, and from the educated He chose one great man – a murderer who did not want to come and had to be knocked off his donkey.”

Yes, days spin by and life flies past, filled with so many unexplainable events. But miracle of miracles, we are still hanging on, and this author shows us our days with fresh wind and new sunshine to keep us moving to the finale:

“Come, let us grow old like fishermen. Let us sweeten the air with songs while we fade. Let us die. Winter cannot hold us. Let us go into the ground, and our faces will find the sun. Let us ride the eruption of Easter.

Our Maker waits. He would have a conversation. What words will we have?

We will laugh and carve FINIS on the earth. We will carve it on the moon. We will look to the Voice, to the Singer, the Painter, the Poet, the One born in a barn, the One with holes in His hands and oceans in His eyes, and on THAT day we will know–

The story has begun.”

This is a book that I will give to friends, as Christmas gifts, to those searching, and to those who desperately need Hope. Get it, read it slowly, and take notes – the words will be timely reminders of this ride and the next one. The best is yet to come!

Don't miss the Labor Day Unit Study Sale - ends tomorrow!

Don't miss the Labor Day Unit Study Sale - ends tomorrow!

Photography, Scrapbooking, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & more:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Gathering Memories Unit Study Package Sale

Includes both the Digital Photography Unit Study AND the Scrapbooking Unit Study for only $19.95. It's part of the big Labor Day Unit Study Sale.

I looked at the name this morning & thought, isn't that what happens with homeschooling every day - gathering memories as they learn?

Hope your week is amazing!

Amanda B.

Homeschool lessons and laughs!

Homeschool science lesson: never put white curtains on the window by the table where science experiments are conducted.

Trust me on this.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things that I wish I knew when we first began homeschooling, Part 3

Read classic literature with a new eye – finally having the time and curiosity to “see” what the author was saying, and how it fits in with the big picture. When the children were younger, we read The Swiss Family Robinson aloud, and what an eye-opener it was to read it again after living out here in the middle of nowhere. While studying Lighthouses, we learned that Rudyard Kipling wrote Captains Courageous while living in a lighthouse off the New England coast. This classic took on a whole new meaning with this knowledge!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

You know that you in the Deep South when...

You know that you are in the Deep South when the local Hardees has a sign out front that reads: New! Fried Bologna Breakfast Biscuits!

Surprise - Guess who is today's featured speaker?


Guess who is the featured speaker today at The Old Schoolhouse Speakers Bureau

What I wish I had known about homeschooling...

Interesting ideas being exchanged on what we wish we had known when we 1st began homeschooling:

Join the brainstorm!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Laura Ingalls Wilder and Education and Freedom

While researching for a new and top-secret product line [:D] , I came
across this quote from a letter written by Laura Ingalls Wilder:

"Today our way of living and our schools are much different. It has been
many years since I beat eggs with a fork, or cleaned a kerosene lamp;
many things have made living and learning easier. But the real things
haven't changed; they can never change… Great improvements in
living have been made because every American has been free to pursue his
happiness, and so as long as Americans are free they will continue to
make our country even more wonderful."

When reading her writing, it made me think of how much has changed in
homeschooling and technology in the past decade. HUGE changes! The
changes that have come about in this decade can also be attributed to
Americans being free to pursue individual happiness. Interesting how
that theme of freedom keeps rising to the top in many areas of our lives
these days.

Amanda B.
Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Last day of the $10 Back to School Sale!

Last day of the $10 Back to School Sale! For those of you that bought 3 or more studies, your Dogs Unit Study will ship in September - hurray! Thanks to all who have participated so far - packing and shipping here in my corner of the Appalachians, and praying for all of you as I work. YOU are special!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Big $10 Sale and the Dogs Unit Study

For those of you shopping the big $10 sale - order 3 or more studies as described at - and the Dogs Unit Study is the automatic bonus - you don't need to include it with your order!

Whew - busy times here! Shipping as fast as we can - thanks for your

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Don't miss the Back to School $10 Sale

Join in the savings:

Stock up now for this coming school year and save!

Amanda B.

Homeschoolers Dream Garage Sale

This week brings the start of the World's Longest Yard Sale here in the valley - the Highway 127 Garage Sale 

Fun and amazing stuff to be found, but makes moving through town difficult for tractors and regular folks! Wish you all could be here to find some great unit study projects!

What would you look for if you were here? Here's a list of some of my favorites:

Clear storage tubs

Building blocks of all kinds (always adding to our collection - fave of kids who come to visit!)

World globes (under $1 each if you keep watching)

Clear vases, boxes, and other good vessels for growing seeds plented along the walls of the vessel - so that the kids can watch the plant go from seed to rooted plant

Old computers, electrical appliances, keyboards, etc - for kids to dismantle with adult supervision - hands on learning

Fun cookbooks for kids - many printed years ago for teaching kids in the kitchen

Quart canning jars to use for "Gifts in a Jar" creations for Thanksgiving and Holiday Gifts. Our favorite recipe? Friendship Soup Mix!

OK, enough of my list - what would yours contain?

Amanda B.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back to School $10 Unit Study Bonanza

Back to School $10 Amanda Bennett CD Bonanza!

This should have been included in the July newsletter, but it was overlooked – sorry!

The big BIG Back to School $10 CD Bonanza is taking place now:

These titles are only $10 for a limited time, from 7/29/09 to 08/08/09:

Unit Studies:

Auto Racing Unit Study

Baseball Unit Study

Christmas Unit Study

Digital Photography

Easter Unit Study

Elections Unit Study

Flight Unit Study

Horses Unit Study

Gardens Unit Study

Lighthouses Unit Study

Oceans Unit Study

Pioneers Unit Study

Sailing Ships Unit Study

Scrapbooking Unit Study

Space Unit Study

Thanksgiving Unit Study

Trains Unit Study


Heroes of History:

American Hero Stories

American History Stories

Heroes of Invention

Heroes of Chivalry

Missionary Heroes


Bible Studies:

First Steps in Faith

Athletes of the Bible

And don’t forget:

Shipping is $0.00 through August 8, 2009


Every customer that places a CD order for $100 or more will receive the new "How I Homeschool: Twelve Families Share Their Lifestyle" e-book as a special gift! ($12.45 Retail Value) – Click here to learn more about this wonderfully encouraging book!

Unit Study Newsletter with some great specials!

Finally finished the July Unit Study Newsletter:

It's still JULY, right? :-)

Plenty of news and specials - worth the wait!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Facebook and Twitter and ME!

I almost forgot - several folks have been asking about finding me on these, so here's my info:

Twitter:  @unitstudies


Keeping it simple, eh? :-)

Hope you have a great weekend,
Amanda B.

Amanda Bennett's 20 Unit Study Set Sale - 50% off!

Amanda Bennett Unit Study CDROM Set - 20 Unit Studies
This set contains 20 Unit Studies for a total of 77 weeks of daily studies!

American Government
Auto Racing
Digital Photography

Patriotic Holidays
Sailing Ships

Amanda Bennett's 20 Title Unit Study Set Sale

Only $145 - 50% off!


New Dogs Unit Study and BIG NOTE! :-)

Dogs Unit Study

Soon to be released, Amanda's new interactive unit study, Dogs, can now
be pre-ordered at a very special introductory price for a limited time!

This unit study is an exciting new adventure from Amanda, including
four weeks of daily interactive lessons. Using the Internet as the
primary resource, the daily lessons are written at two separate levels,
one for elementary grades and one for Jr/Sr High levels. Come along for
the adventure as it covers topics that include:

Animal Science
History of Dogs in Society
Pet Care and Responsibilities
Breeds of Dogs
Famous Dogs

Pre-Order Dogs Unit Study for only $10.00
Expected release date: 09/01/09
* through 07/24/09


From July 17th to July 31, 2009:

Place an order of three or more Amanda Bennett study titles*
and receive the Dogs Unit Study as a free bonus when it is released!

Offer limited - only one free bonus per family. Thanks!

To receive your free Dogs Unit Study, just place a single order of
three or more of Amanda's study titles* and you will automatically
receive the Dogs Unit Study when it becomes available.

* To be eligible, the three titles will not include the Dogs Unit

Don't forget, shipping is free through the end of July 2009!

Amanda's Great Astronomy Find - a Review for You

Signs & Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy
Book Author: Jay Ryan

With all of the attention on space this month, I thought that I would share an exciting curriculum discovery – Signs & Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy, by Jay Ryan. For those of you with curious children and an interest in space, this book brings a practical and thorough answer to teaching them about astronomy in a way that they will always remember. No telescope required, just eyes and time and a desire to learn.

First question of many – “what is classical astronomy?” From the Introduction, “Classical Astronomy is the visual observation of the motions of the celestial bodies – the simple act of studying the cycles of the Sun, Moon, and stars with our unaided eyes.” This book captures things that past generations have known and understood, the things that our modern society has forgotten. Grandparents and great grandparents knew the time of day and the phase of the moon without a calendar. They were very much in tune with the evening sky and daily sun path. They knew the constellations and they knew how to navigate by the stars. Most recent generations are not so fortunate – we use clocks and calendars and have lost touch with all that God has created for us in the heavens.

This book presents a Biblical presentation of classical astronomy, using scripture and great illustrations with the lessons to clearly take the reader by the hand and learn about the signs and seasons and clockwork of the heavens. Great for a family project, this book also provides an independent 7-12th grader with an unforgettable course.

Well written, Signs & Seasons provides a hands-on understanding of so many terms and ideas used in the study of astronomy. For high school students using this curriculum, Mr. Ryan has also developed Signs & Seasons: Field Journal and Test Manual, a Workbook for Establishing High School Credit.

As an engineer, mom, and author, I can honestly say that this is a rare find for families that want to learn more about God’s heavens. I find myself reading through the pages and watching the sky at night more often these days. My thanks go to the author, Jay Ryan, for taking the time and writing this text for the up and coming generation of believers and seekers! Learn more about this curriculum at – don’t miss out on these lessons of a lifetime!


221102: Signs & Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy Signs & Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy
By Jay Ryan / Fourth Day Press

Using the biblical use of astronomy--for signs and seasons--as a foundation, this illustrated book will take a deeper look at the stars and sun we so often view. Filled with notes on historical practices, readers learn about where the terms A.M. and P.M came from, how Passover is linked to astronomical cycles, and the biblical heritage of timekeeping through the sky! 40 pages of field activities are included as well. 225 pages with index and astronomical tables.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Help with my homeschool single-question poll, please?

Hello friends!

If you've got just a few seconds, would you please drop by my new poll and answer this one question:

How many years have you been homechooling?

Many thanks!

Amanda B.
Unit Studies

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Independence Day 2009 Unit Study now available for download!

Hello friends!

I just released the new 2009 Independence Day Unit Study now available for download:

Just in time for this national day of celebration, Amanda Bennett's one-week unit study on Independence Day 2009 is available for download today! Filled with interactive links and a carefully developed set of daily lessons for both elementary students and upper grades, this study will take your students through the week with a fun investigation into the true meaning of this holiday. In addition to a complete week of daily lessons written at two levels, Amanda includes word search puzzles and fun patriotic notebooking pages, and much more. Check it out and see - simple to use, and no extra books required!

Hope this helps, and that you all have a GREAT week!

Amanda B.

Follow me on Twitter: @unitstudies

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last Day of Summer Sale! Don't miss out...

Last day of the Summer Sale, and things are still very busy. The sale ends at midnight tonight, and you can see which titles are still available at:

  Amanda's Summer Sale

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kids and Dogs Art Contest!

Finishing new Dogs Unit Study - found a fun contest for kids sponsored by the AKC: 

Looks like fun!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Big Summer Surplus Sale is almost over

Big Summer Surplus Sale is almost over, and supplies are running low! <>

Thanks for your support, your patience, and your great ideas. You all
mean so much to me - where would I be without you?!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Unit Study Newsletter from Amanda Bennett Summer 2009

Amanda's Corner

Super Summer Sale

Book Suggestions for Summer Reading

Fun & Learning Links


Amanda's Corner

Summertime, screen doors slamming, fireflies flashing, watermelon seed spitting, and great food grilling -- hurray, it is finally here! After a long winter and cool, wet spring, we are enjoying a full-bloom summer here in Tennessee. The drought is officially over, the garden is growing, and the afternoon showers are amazing to watch.

I hope your summer is getting off to a great start, too. Like many of you, I am finishing our homeschool paperwork for this past year and looking forward to a break and some time to rejuvenate and read and have some "me" time! I hope you get to have some time to relax and give your mind a break from teaching and a hectic social calendar. 

Some of our favorite things to do during the summer included making seashell wreaths using seashells, a grapevine wreath, and a low temperature hot glue gun. The wreaths were beautiful and the kids had so much fun making them. We also made some interesting things using the low temperature glue gun and boxes of wooden craft sticks. We made more than our share of hand-painted patriotic t-shirts for fun Fourth of July celebrations, too. A summertime favorite has always been ice cream sundae night, where everyone gets to make their own creation of ice cream, sauces, fruit, nuts, and whatever else they could come up with. I think I should have taken more pictures of those evenings.

Like you, we are working hard to make our money stretch as far as possible. We've got a big garden, we're making do with less, and we are getting very efficient in our trips off of the farm, running as many errands as possible in a single trip. Knowing you are going along the same path, we have just launched a big Summer Surplus Sale so that you can save on curriculum for next year. More on the sale below.

Thanks for being there, for your support and your friendship. Please let me know if you have ideas or questions, and know that you are appreciated in a big way!

Until next time,



On the following titles on CD
Only $10 each & free shipping through June 11, 2009:

Unit Studies:

Heroes of History:

Bible Studies:

*Take advantage of these special prices now -

sale prices are good through June 11th or while supplies last!

Don't forget that shipping is FREE through June 11th


Book Suggestions for Summer Reading

For Kids:

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. "In a rainbow-colored station wagon that smelled like a real car, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars. When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer." A Bennett family favorite, and yes, the relatives still come and we have a wonderful time and a treasure trove of memories!

My Mama Had A Dancing Heart by Libba Gray. "Captured by her mother's infectious love of dance, a young girl joyously follows her mother in a dance through the seasons, from a frog-hopping, hello spring ballet through a slow-motioned, snow-angel winter dance." Mothers and daughters can have a very special relationship, and this book touches on that in a beautiful and carefree way.

Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe. "A young boy is proud of having caught a jar full of fireflies, which seems to him like owning a piece of moonlight, but as the light begins to dim he realizes he must set the insects free or they will die."

All the Places to Love by Patricia Maclachlan. "Within the sanctuary of a loving family, baby Eli is born and, as he grows, "learns to cherish the people and places around him, eventually passing on what he has discovered to his new baby sister."

For Moms:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. "January 1946: writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name."

From Dust and Ashes, World War II (Liberators Series #1) by Tricia Goyer. "It is 1945 and a group of American soldiers liberate a Nazi concentration camp. Helene is the abandoned wife of an SS guard who has fled to avoid arrest. Overcome by guilt, she begins to help meet the needs of survivors. Throughout the process, she finds her own liberation - from spiritual bondage, sin, and guilt. Readers will be intrigued and touched by this fascinating story of love, faithfulness, and courage amidst one of the darkest chapters of mankind's history." I loved this book, and now I'm moving on to the next book in the series -- so glad that it is summertime!

The Centurion's Wife, by T. Davis Bunn and Janette Oke. "Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing political agendas and private trauma. Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil--facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions. Head of the garrison near Galilee, he has been assigned by Palestine's governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah's mistress, the governor's wife, secretly commissions Leah also to discover what really has become of this man whose death--and missing body--is causing such furor. This epic drama is threaded with the tale of an unlikely romance and framed with dangers and betrayals from unexpected sources. At its core, The Centurion's Wife unfolds the testing of loyalties--between two young people whose inner searchings they cannot express, between their irreconcilable heritages, and ultimately between their humanity and the Divine they yearn to encounter."

Doesn't She Look Natural (Fairlawn Series #1) by Angela Hunt. "How do you cope when God asks you to bury a dream? In this new series by best-selling author Angela Hunt, readers will meet Jennifer Graham, the no-nonsense chief of staff for a Virginia senator who quits her job after a divorce and finds herself an unemployed single mom. Forced to live with her mother until she can find work on Capitol Hill that does not involve her gregarious ex-husband, her efforts are stymied until she learns that she has inherited a funeral home in picturesque Mt. Dora. Jennifer journeys to the small Florida town with her two sons and her mother, never dreaming that within a mortuary she will discover she has inherited a rewarding career that teaches her far more about life than death." I've read and thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this series, and the third one is on my nightstand!


Amanda's Articles

Great news! I've been busy writing articles for The Old Schoolhouse magazine, and you can find them in the Spring issue and in other upcoming issues this year. This magazine is one of the best resources available to homeschooling families - consider it to be your professional journal. Check out the great new subscription specials that they are offering, and then sit back and enjoy the issues as they arrive in your mailbox. Save them - they are definitely keepers!


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