Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kites + Kids = Summer Fun

“Let’s go fly a kite, Mom!” When the wind and the weather would cooperate, this chorus could be heard at our house when our children were younger. Is there any feeling more powerful to a child than to be the one who gets to hang on to the kite string spool and feel the strong tug of a kite in flight?

We built kites from scratch, using all kinds of kid-tested materials: drinking straws, balsa wood, craft sticks, tissue paper, plastic wrap, and pieces of old rags for the kite tails. We had a blast! They learned about the basics of flight and the importance of hanging on to the string spool—all valuable lessons in understanding the world of “what goes up, must come down.” Eventually. Hopefully where it can be retrieved.

Take some time this week and build a kite with your crew. Let them try all kinds of materials and designs; you’ll find plenty of tips and links in Kite Capers. You can even learn how to launch a kite WITHOUT running halfway across the park!

After you build the kite, pack a lunch and head for a nice open space. Take along the camera—the photo opportunities are priceless! Let your kids be kids, and you can join in the fun.

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest heights . . .

- Amanda B.

PS - Did you get your FREE Build a Year Planner yet?  You won't want to miss this easy tool to help you make the summer savings events add up to the best planned year yet!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's time to Celebrate Summer!

Woohoo! It's finally time to celebrate the arrival of summer and we've got three fantastic ways to save!

1. Our special gift for you is the brand new Build a Year Planner. It's our FREE gift to you; download it today and check out how easy it is to put together your next school year. Watch the savings pile up as we offer new specials each week! Enter titles for each week of the school year in the weekly planning boxes, use the Planner's wish list to keep track of the titles you need, then check them off as you take advantage of sales throughout the summer!

2. To kick off this Celebrate Summer promotion, check out the five titles that are featured this week:
Download N Go - K-4, 1 week  - $5 each

Unit Studies Adventures - K-12, 4 week  - $6 each

And to make these deals even sweeter, we are continuing our Buy 5, Save $5 offer!

3. Our third way to save is going to be so much fun! In the months of June and July, when you buy 10 studies in one month, we'll give you one free in the next month; when you buy 15 studies in one month, we'll give you two free in the next month!

There will be many sales, both announced and unannounced, this summer, so stay tuned to the USAB Specials page! Join us for all of the savings and excitement.


Amanda B.

P.S. Don't forget that the Olympics  Facebook Co-op begins on July 30!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Celebrate Memorial Day!

Get ready to celebrate Memorial Day with a Limited Time, One- Week Unit Study Adventure for grades K-12 - and it's just $4 from now through Memorial Day, May 28th!

Memorial Day, a day when we take time to remember all of the people that have given their lives for American freedom. They gave up promising futures, families, hopes, and dreams—for all of us. Let's remember to use this day as an opportunity to honor them, remember them, and learn more about their sacrifices.

 As time has gone by, many traditions associated with Memorial Day have been left behind and forgotten. Now, if you ask many children what Memorial Day is about, they remark, “The day the pool opens!” or “The beginning of summer!” It is time that we reclaim the memorial—the remembrance of those who fought so proudly so that we can be free to enjoy our precious God-given liberties.

Memorial Day is structured with lesson plans for each day of the study. Each day's lesson plan has been written in two levels. There is a daily lesson plan for Lower Level (elementary grades), and one for Upper Level (Jr/Sr High grades).

There are reading and writing assignments (Read and Discover), spelling and vocabulary words (Wise Words), biography studies, and projects for the whole family. Favorite books and Internet sites are included in the lesson plan as well as a large resource collection of Internet sites.

This wonderful study is non-consumable and can be used year after year and includes notebooking pages too!

Take some time to introduce your children to this American holiday! 

Amanda B.

*Memorial Day is a limited-availability excerpt from Patriotic Holidays, a four-week study which devotes one week to the exploration of each of the American patriotic holidays
Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day

Memorial Day is available for a limited time.
Only $4!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hot Summer Days and a Ship-wrecked Family



When I was a child, one of my favorite movies was the original Swiss Family Robinson, produced by Disney. I loved the tree house and the story, the victory over the pirates using some very creative defense systems, and the lovely way that they were rescued “just in time.”

When we started homeschooling, I began looking for some interesting family read-aloud titles for our crew. We were living in Florida, and the summer days were oh-so-HOT! One of my most memorable picks has to be the novel, Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann David Wyss. The book was so much better than the movie! As we moved through this fascinating book, one chapter a day, we were all enthralled. From the massive snake to the cave to so many other thrilling adventures, we became hooked on this great book, as well as the fun of reading good books as a family. 
 The Heroes of Today series introduce children to the adventures and challenges of heroes like David Livingstone, Mary Slessor, Eli Whitney, Robert Fulton, Charles Goodyear, John Paul Jones, Lewis & Clark, Dolly Madison, and many others. These stories capture their imagination, while reinforcing important character traits: courage, ambition, perseverance, humility, caring for others, responsibility, faith, conviction, and more. 

Try them some hot day this summer, and let me know what you think.  Heroes of Today -let your children meet these people, savor their stories, and learn from their trials and tribulations. I have a feeling that the whole family will learn from these stories--I know that we did!

Amanda B.

PS -  Each title is just $7 - You get another $5 off when you purchase all 5 titles


Monday, May 21, 2012

Who Are Your Children's Heroes?

As a mom, I know just how easy it is to lose sight of some of the important joys of childhood as we get busy with homeschooling. All it took was one question to wake me up and send me scrambling: "Who are your children's heroes?" What a wake-up call! I got busy and went searching for real heroes for our children--missionaries, inventors, patriots, explorers, pioneers, and more. The new series, Heroes for Today, is the result of those efforts, and the stories are perfect for fun and memorable summer reading. This week  - each collection is just $7! (reg. $10.95)

Heroes for Today contains stories from long ago which I have updated for the next generation. They introduce children to the adventures and challenges of heroes like David Livingstone, Mary Slessor, Eli Whitney, Robert Fulton, Charles Goodyear, John Paul Jones, Lewis & Clark, Dolly Madison, and many others. These stories capture their imagination, while reinforcing important character traits: courage, ambition, perseverance, humility, caring for others, responsibility, faith, conviction, and more.

Take advantage of this week's great sale prices - each Heroes of Today is only $7 (reg. $10.95 each)! It's a great way get ready for a summer of reading adventures and memories for a lifetime. Let your children meet these people, savor their stories, and learn from their trials and tribulations. I have a feeling that the whole family will learn from these stories--I know that we did!


Amanda B.

P.S. - Don't miss the special savings offer where you save $5 more if you buy 5 titles!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

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... Stop by our Pinterest and Facebook pages for even more creative, delicious, and FUN ways to celebrate this summer!
 Buy ANY 5 titles and get an additional $5 off
When you purchase the 5 featured titles this week at the same time, you pay only $16 for 9 weeks of learning fun! (it's like getting to take home Patriotic Holidays Unit Study Adventure home for FREE !)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Memorial Day, Flags, and Patriots = Big Savings!

Wonderful news! With the approach of Memorial Day and the beginning of summer, things are heating up with our Red, White, and Blue Sale! We've got all kinds of great studies on sale, and the savings grow even more if you purchase five (or more) titles! Time to get out the flag, find the homemade ice cream maker, pull out the red, white, and blue decorations, and get ready to enjoy these special times. I'm already making the lemonade and decorating the porch. :)

Kick off the celebration with these great studies:

Flag Day Download N Go (Grades K-4)

Regular price $7.95, Sale: $4

Independence Day Download N Go (Grades K-4)

Regular price $7.95, Sale: $4

Ben Franklin Download N Go (Grades K-4)

Regular price $7.95, Sale: $4

George Washington Download N Go (Grades K-4)

Regular price $7.95, Sale: $4

Patriotic Holidays Unit Study Adventure (Grades K-12)

Includes Four One-Week Studies:
Memorial Day (May 28th) *  Flag Day (June 14th)
Independence Day (July 4th) *  Veteran's Day (November 11th)

Regular price $10.95, Sale: $5

AND, if you buy 5 titles, you will receive an additional $5 off your total order.

Come on and join me as we begin this unforgettable season--let's make some memories!


Amanda B.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

To honor mothers and Mother's Day, we have a special ONE DAY ONLY savings code just for you!

Use the code "MomSave" from now until midnight (MST) and you get

  (much less than what you would pay for a store bought card...) What a beautiful way to honor the mothers in your life - aunts, sisters, grandmothers too!
When I was a child, handmade gifts for Mom were at the top of our lists, and her surprise and gratitude made us glow with pride as we learned the importance of giving and thankfulness. The church service that day always included a special time when children would present red carnations to mothers and white carnations to grandmothers, reminding us that grandmothers are mothers too!

Our children have enjoyed the same traditions and have made breakfast in bed with flowers from the garden, and I have enjoyed these days so much. I still have the cards that they made, tucked away in my Bible and my dresser drawer—great treasures from some very special loved ones. I’m sure that you are beginning your own collection. It is my prayer that this study brings your children a better understanding of mothers and family, as well as the importance of mothers since the beginning of Creation.

Take a peek inside Mother's Day

Be sure to take advantage of this very special price - only $3 (ends 5/11 at midnight - MST).  The memories you will make with your children will be priceless!

Happy Mother's day!

Amanda B.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's your 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.

Go make some family memories in the kitchen this week!


 Amanda B.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Let the Fun Learning Frenzy Begin!

We know just how crazy the month of May can be for homeschooling families, so we decided to bring some zany fun into the end of the year equation with a BIG sale on our crazy food DNG titles (one-week, K - 4)!

From pizza to bread, chocolate to popcorn, we've got some titles that will bring a party atmosphere of fun AND learning to your home as you wind down this year.

Join in the celebration and let them learn as they close out one year and get ready for a summer of good times!

Each of these 5 titles are just $4 each this week.
It gets even sweeter - buy all 5 sale titles and you can save an additional $5!

Stop by our Facebook and Pinterest pages this week and you will find more Food and Learing Fun all week long!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with our One Day Sale!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo - we have a special deal for you!  Today only - Expedition Mexico Download N Go is just Cinco dollars!  Better hurry, because it's "Hasta Luego" tomorrow...

Mariachi bands often bring Mexico to mind, but what are they?
Exciting dances can be incredibly fun, and you may already know some of them.
X marks places on the map—some you will have heard about . . . others will be new finds!
Iguanas are often green, but how long are they?
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday in Mexico, but do you know why?
Old pyramids remain after the Mayan civilization—no need to go all the way to Egypt!

The mariachi bands, Mayan pyramids, and green iguanas are usually what capture the attention of children first studying Mexico. Eventually, their attention turns to the Mexican Hat Dance, the jungle, and the volcanoes. Mexico is a magnificent country, full of all kinds of history, geographic features, wonderful people, and much more. As we head off on our expedition to learn about Mexico, we will be studying these things and discovering a land to remember!

Take a peek inside!

  Expedition Mexico Download N Go
5/4/12 only

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Are you taking care of MOM?


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 B.