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!


Fun & Learning Links


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see you out there!

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