Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fantastic Friday Fun

Fantastic Friday strikes again!

This week's giveaway will help you put your Summer of Fun - July Calendar to good use.  It is our July Summer of  Fun Pack!

5 Units are included in this Fun Pack:

Baseball - Unit Studies Adventure (K-12)

Magnificent Moon Download N Go (K-4)

Mother's Day Download N Go (K-4)

Father's Day Download N Go (K-4)

Treemendous Trees Download N Go (K-4)

That's 8 weeks of learning adventures!!

To enter the Fantastic Friday giveaway, simply leave us a comment below (not on FB) telling us you what your favorite Summer of Fun Calendar link has been. For one extra entry, "like" us on Facebook. Be sure to leave a separate comment HERE letting us know you do! You must leave an email address for us to contact you in case you win. Entries with no email address will be discarded.

Please read the Contest Specific Rules before entering.The winners will be chosen by random drawing soon after 9:00 pm CST, Sunday, July 3, 2011. Winners will be notified by email and announced here on the blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

It can be hotter than anything here in Tennessee on Independence Day, and I mean HOT! We get those afternoon pop-up thunderstorms, making the humidity so high that it feels like you are swimming instead of walking. However, no matter how hot or steamy, we try to make the day one for the memory books.

In our little town, there will be a morning parade with both fire trucks, the ambulance, the local constable, and various floats from local businesses and churches, all pulled by tractor.

The light posts are hung with American flags, and red, white, and blue balloons are in the hands of kids of all ages. The shady spots by the courthouse are filled with lawn chairs and folding tables manned by local churches, making and selling homemade ice cream and lemonade. Politicians are handing out paper campaign fans, and there are babies asleep and drooling in strollers all over the place.

You can feel the love and the deep appreciation for our town and our country. Priceless memories—well worth the sweat and insect repellent—will be made. Trust me, head out and find a local celebration. Take your camera and your kids, and simply enjoy being together and being a part of this great country. And stick around . . . the evening fireworks are GREAT!

Happy Independence Day,

Amanda B.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

American as Apple Pie

What could be more American than good 'ole Apple Pie?

Here's a yummy recipe for an All-American favorite, with a crispy crunch topping for a twist.

1 Pie crust (store bought is okay, homemade if you want "authentic")
4-5 Apples - peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp. Cinnamon

Crunch Topping:
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Flour

Put apple slices into the crust. Sprinkle with a mixture of the sugar and cinnamon.

Crumble together ingredients for Crunch topping. Add to cover apple slices.

Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour until apples are soft and the house smells wonderful.

(Thank you to Joyce Bentz for this yummy recipe!)

Now that your mouths are watering... Have you visited this link for even more wonderful, delicious ways to celebrate Independence Day?

Why don't you share your favorite with us in the comment section below!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Taking Care of Yourself Helps YOU Take Care of Them!

We hug them, love them, teach them, and share with them, wiping away tears, assuring them that monsters are not in the closet or under the bed, and even helping them through algebra. We are our children's caretakers, and we care for them so deeply and completely that we sometimes forget to care for ourselves. If we get too stretched out and burned out, we aren't as effective at taking care of others very well.

 One of the things that I learned through my early years of homeschooling and being a full-time mom was that I had to take care of MOM first. One of the best analogies for this is the statement that is made when you are going through the safety talk before takeoff on a flight. When the oxygen masks drop in an emergency, the adult should put her mask on first, and then assist the child with his. We can't help them if we are incapacitated—that's my interpretation. And this holds true in all that we do, particularly when it comes to parental well-being and the individual feeling of fulfillment.

 I learned early in my adventures at home that I had to make time for myself. I would have one night a week when I would go to the library—without the kids—to read and simply enjoy the silence! We have to read, rest, relax, and get some alone time so that we can focus on our own needs. Take a minute to think of a few ways that you can do this.

Here are some of my favorites: a Saturday morning at a favorite bookstore, an evening at the library, a morning of garage sale exploration with my mom, a long weekend with my husband at an undisclosed location, and well, you get the picture! J

Now, make your list and a plan of action. Take care of you and everyone stands to gain!

- Amanda


Congratulations to our Fantastic Friday Winner of a Freeze Pop Factory, Kristin Van Der Werf of Glendale, AZ.  Have fun cooling off this summer!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Unit of the Week - The Newly Released - Independence Day Download N Go

It's coming soon; the day when red, white, and blue abound! In our family, I remember the children debating whose turn it was to sit on Dad’s shoulders for the fireworks, where to sit for the parade, and of course, who would spit the watermelon seeds the farthest. What a day of fun, family, picnics, parades, and fireworks. But wait— what are we celebrating? Summertime? The fourth of July? We are actually celebrating Independence Day—the day that is dedicated to the celebration of our forefathers’
decision to claim independence from Britain’s King George!

We will be commemorating this step toward independence that happened hundreds of years ago. In July 1776, the celebration was devoted to rejoicing, prayer, and thanksgiving, and we can do well by following their example and learning from their lessons. What a radical act of those patriots—to declare independence and break away from England!

How could they even imagine they could be victorious? The King had more troops, money, and weapons. American colonies just had . . . what? A commitment to their natural rights endowed by God: freedom of religion and speech, to name just two. They were entirely devoted to a cause that they felt was God’s will, and they were determined to follow His lead.

When we read about the sacrifice and suffering, the people and places, and the price paid to obtain our independence, we should be humbled. Let us never again take such freedoms for granted, for a great price has been paid for their purchase and protection.

This week is going to be exciting, enlightening, and absolutely amazing. When you read about these patriots and how they planned and fought and wouldn’t stop until they succeeded, you will never look at Independence Day in the same light again.

Be sure to stop by our Facebook page this week for more fun recipes, activites and more to help you prepare for Independence Day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cool Off with Fantastic Friday's Giveaway!

Summer is here, and so is Fantastic Friday!

This week's giveaway will help your kiddos cool off while having some fun.

The Freeze Pop Factory -

From the Manufacturer
"Now kids can make their own healthy freeze pops with their own favorite juice in the Freeze Pop Factory from Little Kids. 100% Kid Powered, no batteries are required, they just fill it up with their juice of choice, attach the magic sealing freeze pop bag to the nouncezle, push down on the top to fill, then freeze and enjoy."

The Freeze Pop Factory Kit from Little kids includes 36 freeze pop bags, recipe booklet, 4 pop sticks, 4 pop stick holders, 1 measuring cup, drip tray, and stick holder tray. Kid powered, no batteries required.

To enter the Fantastic Friday giveaway, simply leave us a comment below (not on FB) telling us you what your favorite summer treat is. For one extra entry, "like" us on Facebook. Be sure to leave a separate comment HERE letting us know you do! You must leave an email address for us to contact you in case you win. Entries with no email address will be discarded.

Please read the Contest Specific Rules before entering.The winners will be chosen by random drawing soon after 9:00 pm CST, Sunday, June 26, 2011. Winners will be notified by email and announced here on the blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Your Eyes Open!

Dear friend,

I hope that this finds you enjoying these long days of summer. I’ll take just a few minutes of your time - I am sure that you are very busy right now, with the approaching holiday and an exciting season of life for your family.

We know that these are challenging times for everyone, and we are working hard to help you meet these challenges. Keep an eye on your email in the upcoming weeks, as we have several BIG sales and contests in the works!

In this build up for back-to-school curriculum shopping, we are stretching to help YOU stretch your budget with our products. Not only are we planning some deals that you will love, remember that our unit studies are stand-alone curriculum products, designed to be core curriculum – just add math and language arts.

NO prep time or other books are required with our studies, and these are the studies that keep them asking for more – more to learn, discover, explore, and remember!

The savings and fun begin tomorrow – watch your email!


Amanda B.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Swimming with the Manatee

And no, this has nothing to do with swimming when I was pregnant, really! We used to go spend an occasional Saturday down at a cool inlet on the east coast of Florida, taking along lunches and our camper and just totally unplugging from society. My husband and I loved it, and the kids were pretty sure that these days were the best they had ever spent. The cove was quite protected from the Atlantic surf, and gave us a safe and fairly shallow place for the kids to play.

One day, when we were all out swimming in the cove, a huge animal nose popped up between my husband and one of our boys, whiskers and all! The water was probably about five or six feet deep, and clear. No one panicked as we slowly gathered the kids together in one circle, not too far from the curious face that had surfaced along with the whiskered nose. VERY cool—we were being watched by a manatee! We just stayed still and watched it swim around us. It was kind of like appearing in the tank with one in Sea World, and we loved every minute of it.

The same thing happened on several occasions over the years, and we still talk about how much fun it was to swim with the manatee. We came home after that first visit and went to the library to learn all we could about manatees—lessons for a lifetime!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What makes them so special?

So, what makes Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett studies so special? Without a doubt, our customers rave about the multitude of links within each study! Informative, entertaining, and educational resources for you with just one click. You don't have to spend hours searching to find appropriate (and safe) sites on the Internet--it's all been done for you!

All of our Download N Go studies, and very soon, all of our Unit Study Adventures studies, feature renewable, embedded links. What this means for you is that these studies will NEVER lose their value or usability because of broken Internet links.

If you find a broken link in any of our studies, report it via email to our customer service department. We will immediately replace it with a new, appropriate resource link and express our thanks to you as well!

I thought you might enjoy a small sample of some of the fun links in our Summer Sensations Download N Go:

Video: Ride the Water Slide

Video: What Causes the Earth's Seasons

Video: Colors of Summer

And, there is much more to see in Summer Sensations!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Liquor Boxes and a Visit from the Pastor

One summer, when we were creatively learning about gardening and plants, we decided to have the children do this very cool experiment. They would start a few bean plants in paper cups on the windowsill. When the plants were several inches tall, they would place the paper cups in a big box that had dividers, tape the box closed, and then we would cut a small hole in the end of the box that was farthest from the young plant. They were trying to see if the plants would grow around the dividers and find a way to get to the sunlight coming in the hole at the far end of the box.

Simple, right? Well, the best boxes to use for these experiments were liquor boxes. Yes, you heard me right—big, bulky liquor boxes with very thick corrugated dividers were perfect for challenging the young bean plants. So after a special trip to obtain the boxes, the kids had a blast getting their own boxes set up and carefully placed on the front porch. It was a colorful arrangement, to say the least.

A few days later, our pastor dropped by for a visit. When I answered the door, I couldn’t figure out why he kept staring at the other end of the porch, not really looking at me at all. Hmmm. Oh, the liquor boxes! Yes, I did have quite a time explaining all of the boxes and the experiment and, well, homeschooling. It was all good, and that’s the most interesting way homeschooling has ever made its way into a conversation for me!

- Amanda

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Unit of the Week - Summer Sensations Download N Go

It is that time of year again! Time to watch the trees grow and enjoy their shade, feel the hot temperatures, and enjoy a slower pace of life as summer spreads through the neighborhood. Change is in the air, and it is an exciting change to kids of all ages.

Now, let’s take all of their pent-up excitement and enthusiasm and put it to good use as they dive right into learning about this new season and all that it holds.

Across many parts of the world, this season brings the smell of freshly cut grass, the sound of the ice cream truck circling the neighborhood, garden-fresh produce, and the laughter and squeals of children from the backyard as they play in the sprinkler. The discoveries of change and new growth
are endless in this season, and, like all of our seasons, this one was made to be enjoyed.

At our house, summer brings some wonderful changes to our lives. The garden is growing, and homegrown fruit and vegetables begin to cover the kitchen counter. We also enjoy the view of fireflies and the evening’s stars as the day cools off. When these things begin to happen, I know that summer has arrived. How do you know that it is summertime?

With the Download N Go™ unit studies, you are about to begin a new kind of learning experience. Each study is one week in length, having five daily lessons with lapbook components for each day. The name, Download N Go™, comes from the concept that these studies are ready to use as soon as you have downloaded them. No preparation or waiting time or other expensive resources are required. That’s it—simple, effective, and what a way to learn!

Now that you are beginning Summer Sensations, get ready for a wonderful learning adventure into this fun season. Your child will investigate how seasons change, what summer is all about, how shadows work, why trees are important in the summertime, and the history of ice cream. Each day she will explore and investigate, creating and adding more learning components to her Summer Sensations lapbook, building a wonderful reminder of all that she is learning to be enjoyed for years to come.

Summer Sensations will be on sale for just $4.95 through 6/25/11, so don't miss out!

Be sure to check our Facebook page for more fun activities, links a resources to use with Summer Sensations Download N Go.

It's not too late to download a copy of the June Summer of Fun Calendar! (You better hurry - July is coming right around the corner...)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's Time for Fantastic Friday Fun!

Our Fantastic Friday giveaway this week is FUN. In fact, it's a Parents Fun Pack! Our winner will get both Mother's Day Download N Go and Father's Day Download N Go units!

Listen to what others had to say about these units:

Father's Day Download N Go:
"Who is one person who has made an true impact on your life? One person who you could count on when needed? The hero who supported, loved, and provided for you as a child. This person of course would be your father. And what better way to celebrate a wonderful father than by using the "Father's Day Download N' Go" from Amanda Bennett.

This unit is a relaxed, fun way to learn more about this holiday that celebrates the wonderful fathers in our lives. With activities and lapbooking components to complete over a week, you will have a treasure that will serve a dual purpose ~ an educational notebook activity and a homemade gift of love that can be given to the special father in your family.

Amanda does an intensive study on fathers. From the biblical history to the modern day celebration. Looking at celebrations of fatherhood in other countries and cultures. A complete week of activities complete with a suggested book list, crafts (which would make fine gifts for that special father), and delicious recipes."

—Lisa Weir, Rutledge, TN

Mother's Day Download N Go:
“In this study, I love the fact that we get a glimpse of the lives of some famous Biblical moms like Moses' mom and the Pharaoh’s daughter . . . How great to learn about women and moms that we should be aspiring to as moms who are training their children up in the Lord. The lapbooking activity is a lot of fun and will become a cherished keepsake for moms as their children work on it throughout the study. Children express their love for their mom through creative expression and other activities interspersed throughout. Also included are some notebooking pages, which will add to the overall study. Again, another well-done unit study to make a fun week during the school year . . . I cannot stress enough how much fun this study will prove to be, and at a low price, it is affordable and interchangeable enough to be used for a wide set of children's ages and abilities.”

—Sarah Bailey, Springfield, OH

To enter the Fantastic Friday giveaway, simply leave us a comment below (not on FB) telling us you what your Father's Day plans are. For one extra entry, "like" us on Facebook. Be sure to leave a separate comment HERE letting us know you do! You must leave an email address for us to contact you in case you win. Entries with no email address will be discarded.

Please read the Contest Specific Rules before entering.The winners will be chosen by random drawing soon after 9:00 pm CST, Sunday, June 19, 2011. Winners will be notified by email and announced here on the blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Reading and Timing and Kids

One of the questions that I am frequently asked is “My child is struggling to read. What do you recommend?” My first response is, “Been there, done that, don’t worry, step back and breathe.” I will never forget the advice that Dr. Raymond Moore gave me years ago when I asked him the same question. He kindly explained that some kids, particularly boys, were just not ready to read at the ripe old age of 5, 6, or even 7!

I was so relieved to hear this! While my child had memorized all of the phonics charts and knew all of the individual sounds, he struggled to make sense of reading. So I went on reading to him. I read all kinds of books to him on many different topics as we homeschooled with unit studies—imagine! Eventually he did learn to read after a slow process where I would read a paragraph, then he would read a paragraph, slowly building up to reading alternate pages instead of paragraphs.

The lesson for me was to change my expectations and timetable for this young child. He WAS wired differently from our oldest, and the way he learned was new to me. I learned the importance of patience, love, and encouragement in homeschooling, a priceless lesson that has helped me through years of homeschooling and loads of adventure.

- Amanda

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Have you tried Lapbooking Yet?

Today's post is all about Lapbooking. Have you tried it yet?

What exactly is a lapbook? A lapbook is an exciting hands-on learning tool. Using a few inexpensive items—a simple file folder, a glue stick, safety scissors, brass brads, and crayons or markers—your child builds a wonderful keepsake to capture some of the lessons learned during this Download N Go™ study.

Each Download N Go™ unit study includes creative and colorful lapbooking templates ready for you and your child to print, cut out, and complete together. Download N Go™ lapbooking components are integrated with the daily lesson and reinforce what your child learns using hands-on activities. With Download N Go™ lapbooking components,your child will make pop-ups, vocabulary mini books, accordion timelines, pamphlet graphs, and so much more.

Lapbooks can be assembled in several ways; the elements fit together like pieces of a puzzle, attached to the file folder. One option is to have your child complete each lapbook component as it is encountered in the lesson and store them in an envelope for assembly on Day 5. Another option is to glue each component in the lapbook as the activity is completed. Either way, your child will love this amazing, handmade lapbook.

Would you like to find out more about lapbooking? Take a few minutes to look
through the links below.

Video: Lapbook Lessons: What is a lapbook?

Lapbooking on a Shoestring

Lapbooking - A Surefire Way to Make Learning Fun

Lapbook Templates

Free Lapbooks

Lapbooks are a fun, effective, and memorable learning tool. And now, take off and enjoy the Download N Go™ lapbooking adventure!

Check out this Free Mini Book from Father's Day Download N Go to make this week!

We would love for you to share your pictures of lapbooks on our Facebook page!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mesquite Spaghetti, My Specialty

Around our house, I am not known as a domestic goddess, and my “smoke detector cooking method” has made me infamous in many circles around the planet. I’m okay with that. However, some things I can cook very well, and the family favorite has to be my Mesquite Spaghetti, homemade from tomatoes grown in our garden and canned each fall by my husband.

Now, you might be wondering what Mesquite Spaghetti tastes like. Well, it has its own unique flavor. I had an Italian roommate in college who was a gifted cook, and she taught me how to make spaghetti, or as she called it, “gravy.” It was AWESOME to eat, and I practiced and cooked it quite often, much to the delight of my newlywed husband.

After children began arriving and I became a bit more preoccupied, I would forget to stir the spaghetti from time to time, and it would burn/stick to the bottom of the pot just a wee bit. This would give the spaghetti a “special” flavor, hence its family nickname, Mesquite Spaghetti. They all love the spaghetti, and we all laugh about the unique cooking process that has evolved over the years. Now, we set the timer every 30 minutes as a reminder, so that someone stirs the spaghetti when the timer goes off.

Family spaghetti night at the Bennett’s place involves Mesquite Spaghetti, my special homemade dinner rolls, and plenty of laughter and fun. I hope you’re creating your own specialties and great memories. From meatloaf to chicken soup, the possibilities are endless!

- Amanda

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Unit of the Week - Father's Day Download N Go

At our house, Dad is our children’s hero! He can squash bugs, build tree forts, teach them how to ride a bicycle, show them how to use a hammer, and so much more.

Dads are so important to families, and Father’s Day Download N Go provides a chance for children to learn more about their dad and recognize all that he does for them. From some of the fathers in the Bible to the history of Father’s Day, this study is rich with lessons in character, appreciation, and love.

When I was a child, Dad was my hero, and Father’s Day meant so much to me. We would plan for Father’s Day, working hard to come up with gifts that we could make, planning his favorite dinner and, of course, buying the traditional Father’s Day tie. He, in turn, always made the day very special for all of us. He would “ooh!” and “aah!” over all of our handcrafted gifts and proudly wear the new tie to church that day, showing it off to everyone. It is these kinds of memories that will last for a lifetime, developing an appreciation for fathers, which will reach through and touch future generations.

Here are a few of the things your child will discover:
• How is Father’s Day celebrated around the world?
• What does the Bible tell us about fathers?
• What is the history of Father’s Day?
• What can you do for your father on Father’s Day?

You can take a peek inside this unit

So get ready for the adventure, and thanks for spending a week with us as we begin exploring Father’s Day!

We have several special offers for you this week, so be sure to check back often!  Check our Facebook page to find fun activities, links and videos to go with the Unit of the Week.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fantastic Friday

We have a wonderful giveaway for you this week!

Remember our good friends at Home Educating Family Publishing? Well, they are offering our friends a great discount. Use the code: unitstudy, and you can get a 1-year subscription for only $8, or a 2-year subscription for only $15.95.

But, that's not all - they are providing this week's Fantastic Friday giveaway -

A Well-Planned Day Planner!

Well-Planned Day is a family homeschool organizer (over 230 full color pages, spiral bound and three hole drilled!), designed especially for moms. Here's some features:

*Full Year Planner: July 2011 - June 2012
*Home Management with weekly cleaning schedule, monthly projects, greeting card registry, and monthly budgeting.
*NEW in 2011, Holiday Organization Section: Greeting card registry, activities and event schedules, gift giving, around town shopping, and internet shopping.
*Organize and plan for up to 4 children in one convenient book.
*Four Student Class Plans: Schedule each student's class assignments.
*Four Student Time Schedules: Track each day by the hour.
*Weekly Schedule: Organize your week with class assignments, weekly priorities, prayer requests, dinner menu, and notes.
*Month at a Glance: Plan field trips, enrichment activities and books to read.
*Semester Attendance & Progress Reports
*Perforated Report Cards
*Menu Planning: Plan weekly meals and conveniently shop with perforated shopping lists.
*Family Worship: Read through the Bible in a year.
*Insightful homeschool articles and tips to inspire you throughout the year.
and much more....

Visit Home Educating Family Publishing here to see all their products.

To enter the Fantastic Friday giveaway, simply leave us a comment below (not on FB) telling us you what your biggest organizational challenge is. For one extra entry, "like" us on Facebook. Be sure to leave a separate comment HERE letting us know you do! You must leave an email address for us to contact you in case you win. Entries with no email address will be discarded.

Please read the Contest Specific Rules before entering.The winners will be chosen by random drawing soon after 9:00 pm CST, Sunday, June 12, 2011. Winners will be notified by email and announced here on the blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June Thoughts

Look out—here comes summer! 

Have you had a chance yet to see how far you have come over this past year of homeschooling? June is the month for that around here, and I look forward to analyzing our forward progress. Did we accomplish what we had planned this year, and what other lessons were learned along the way? Over the years, I have learned to take a “big picture” view of these things instead of focusing on the minute items on a check-off list. It is too easy to fall into measuring failures as opposed to lessons learned.

As I have traveled , I met some amazing people and learned several important lessons myself. The most important lesson was a reminder that life is not a dress rehearsal, and I tend to forget this sometimes. Live today as if there were no tomorrow. We don’t get a second chance to say “good job” or “I am so proud of you” at the most important moment of accomplishment. Words of encouragement last a lifetime and then some. Share your legacy—your life—with your children. Speaking as one who lost her father at an early age, I can assure you that what you share today about your faith, hopes, and dreams will live on in the hearts of your children long after you have gone on to heaven.

This month, take plenty of photos of the family adventures. Remember to fly your flag on Flag Day too!  Enjoy these days, for they are gifts!


Amanda B.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What to do with Wednesday....

Are you ready for Flag Day, next Tuesday - June 14th? 

You could make some memories together, by making something to remember!

Flag Day Download N Go is filled with great ideas to help you create memories with fun, hands-on learning activities.

Here's a couple of ideas from the unit for you to try.

* Make some fun stenciled T-shirts and sneakers to wear - see a link here 

* Or, you could visit this site  for some nifty flag coloring pages.

Give it a try, I know you and your children will have fun.  If you have a fun Flag Project to share, leave it for us in the comment section!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Special Offer - Just for our Friends!

Isn't it great when you find a like-minded friend?  Someone who is full of wisdom, encouragement, and even has a sense of humor?

Well, we have some wonderful friends at Unit Studies Amanda Bennett...  We're thinking of you (of course), and our friends at Home Educating Family Publishing.

Home Educating Family Publishing's motto is... "changing the world starts at home".  They offer resources to partner with parents to "raise up a generation of kids who are spiritually and intellectually equipped, not just to survive, but to go out and change the world."  Just the kind of people you want to be friends with, right!

So, in honor of this friendship - Home Educating Family Publishing has graciously given us a special offer to share with our friends.

Use the coupon code: unitstudy , and you can get a 1 year subscription to Home Educating Family Magazine (HEFM) for just $8.00 (or 2 years for $15.95).

HEFM is committed to addressing those topics that influence us most deeply, such as parenting, marriage, biblical manhood and womanhood, and the family's important roles in the church and the government. At the same time, they give you immensely practical advice on implementing the newest and best ideas in homeschooling!

You won't want to miss the current issue!  Amanda has a very inspring article "Views from My Rearview Mirror" - This Great Adventure called Homeschooling.  Find out what 18 plus years of homeschooling has taught her.

Check out their Well-Planned Day Planners when you visit their site as well. (A personal, friend-to-friend note - I love this planner. It's the first one that truly fits a homeschool familiy's unique needs so well - and, it's just plain beautiful as well!)

So, grab a cup of coffee, and invite a new friend over to join you.  You can get a free online trial here.

Congratulations Fantastic Friday Winner!

Congratulations to the winner of our Fantastic Friday Chocomize Gift Certificate!
Stephanie Furness of Milford, NH


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Unit of the Week - Flag Day Download N Go

Red, white, and blue—when we hear those words stated together, we automatically think of our flag! It is a patriotic symbol of America, fought for and died for, cared for and appreciated. It is important that we continue to share this knowledge with generations to come, just as it was shared with us.

This flag represents the people, places, beliefs, and ideals that this country was founded on, and all that we aspire to. We need to remember what the flag represents and the people who have risked everything to keep it flying.

In Flag Day Download N Go, you and your child will investigate the history of the flag and learn about Betsy Ross, Francis Scott Key, and other patriotic heroes. Each day you will explore and investigate, creating and adding more learning components to a Flag Day lapbook—building a wonderful reminder of all that you are learning to be enjoyed for years to come

With this holiday, let’s bring the flags out of the back of the closet. Let’s care for the flag and teach these same concepts to our children. Let’s make Flag Day a special day to remember how far this country has come: from 13 stars to 50 stars, from an upstart young country to a country that represents freedom to the rest of the world. The flag has been there through it all, lifting the spirits of our soldiers and brightening our darkest days with hope. May God continue to bless America!

On Sale this week - EVERYTHING in the Store!  You get an extra 20% off of all purchases over $30 from all products at (Here's a tip... if you want to purchase the June Summer of Fun Pack to go with your Summer of Fun Calendar - this is the best deal.  The 20% off will make the June Summer of Fun Pack only $24, even better than the discount code included the calendar!)

Be sure to check our Facebook page and Summer of Fun Calendar this week for fun activities to celebrate Flag Day - Tuesday, June 14th!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fantastic Friday Sure Tastes Good!

Yippee!  It's Fantastic Friday, and what could be a better giveaway for the unit of the week -
 Chocolate Challenge Download N Go than CHOCOLATE?!

Our fortunate fan will get a $10 Gift Certificate to Chocomize!

With this prize, you will take a visit to the "Creation Station" to choose which flavor of chocolate bar you want...Dark, White or Milk.  Then begin adding up to 5 of your favorite toppings. Choices include; Fruits, Nuts, Spices, Candies, Decorations and even unique ingredients like beef jerky. When you finish, you will have a one-of-a-kind and completely personal chocolate bar!  (And, you don't have to share it with anyone...)

If you have trouble making those difficult decisions, just head to the "Favorites" section.  You can choose from popular combinations like: Summer Sensation, Smores, Chocolate on Chocolate, and even Fresh Face Forward (which is filled with healthy things like goji berries and golden flax seed).

After you stop drooling, just place your order and it will arrive at your doorstep within days.

See all the possibilities with Chocomize here!

To enter the Fantastic Friday giveaway, simply leave us a comment below (not on FB) telling us you what flavor you would choose (if you are chosen...). For one extra entry, "like" us on Facebook. Be sure to leave a separate comment HERE letting us know you do! You must leave an email address for us to contact you in case you win. Entries with no email address will be discarded.

Please read the Contest Specific Rules before entering.The winners will be chosen by random drawing soon after 9:00 pm CST, Sunday, June 5, 2011. Winners will be notified by email and announced here on the blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sand Castles and Mountains and Kids

I am not sure if it is because we lived on an island off the coast of Florida for ten years, but our children have always loved beaches, surf, and sand, particularly sand castle building. We were the family that would carry REAL shovels to the edge of the water to dig and build the most exotic and creative sand castles for miles and miles.

By the time our third and most rambunctious child came along, we were heading for the mountains of Tennessee—no more sandy beaches. The boys adapted well to life in the Appalachians, and I was pretty sure that they weren’t missing the beach too much. And then I discovered . . .

 . . . a MONSTER sand castle that they had been building in the huge sand pile that the masons were using during the brick-laying phase of building our house. It was so detailed—a true work of art. You can take the kids away from the beach, but you can’t take the beach out of the kids. Point well proven.

The sand castle lasted for quite some time before the masons had to dig into their sandy architecture. In the meantime, we used the opportunity to learn all about castles, the children’s Scottish forefathers, the clan castle, and so much more. By the time of the sand castle’s demise, they had moved on to knights and weapons and, well, you know, boy stuff.

Learning so often comes when you least expect it, and the memories last for a lifetime.