Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Did you know?


Did you know that USAB studies can now be used on many mobile devices like the iPad and Kindle Fire with simple apps like GoodReader (for iOS devices) and ezPDF Reader (for Android devices)?

Give it a try today!

 Using USAB studies on your mobile device allows you to take your learning adventures wherever your busy life leads.

Take a look at some of the apps you can use as you  join the adventure with Passport Germany !  The world is waiting...


German for Kids for iPhone and iPad

 



Description:

Are you looking for a fun, effective way to share the German language with your child?
Wouldn’t it be great to give them a head start hearing and speaking German, while their growing brains are literally “language learning machines”?
How great would it be if you could use the power of the computer and attraction of a video game to open your child’s mind to hundreds of German words?

“The best learning feels more like play than work”


Geo Walk HD 3D World Fact Book for iPhone and iPad

Description

***Featured by Apple on "Back to School"***

Looking for a new educational app? Or planning on spending time with your kids to explore how amazing our world is?


CIA World FactBook for Android




Product Description
Based on the Central Intelligence Agency's most recent 2010 data for more than 270 countries and territories, the CIA World Factbook for your Android phone provides a wealth of information about virtually every country on earth.

The app provides information about a country's geography, economy, and government, along with historical information, an image of its flag, and a detailed map. Communication, military, and transportation details are also included, along with cultural information about the county's population.

PairPlay Europe for Android


Product Description -

PairPlay Europe is based on the classic Memory card game. This educational version also helps you learn the geography of nations in Europe. Like the classic Memory game, you are trying to match pairs. The pairs consist of country maps, capitals, and flags of nations.

Come visit us on our Facebook page and share your favorite educational apps!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Beat the Winter "blues" and Join the Adventure!

Are the cold days of January bringing on the "winter blues" in your homeschool? I know exactly how you feel! If that shiny new curriculum that you bought last fall isn't working as well as you had hoped, check out our specials on two ready-to-use-today unit study adventures!


Brand new, Passport Germany can rescue you from those "winter blues" and whisk all of you away on a learning journey that will never be forgotten. From Lichtenstein Castle, to the sights and sounds of colorful Frankfurt, you will visit historic and unique sites and marvelous places that span the nation that is officially called the Federal Republic of Germany. Your crew will enjoy virtual visits to beautiful cities and villages, meet some of the people, learn about their daily life, and visit some fun tourist spots and historical places, all from the comfort of home--no luggage required!



Take a peek inside the Scout Level (K - 6)
Special Introductory price  - only $5 *



For those who want to stay closer to home, but still escape the "blues," discover all the wonders of winter with Winter Wonders Download N Go. This one-week study for grades K - 4 will have them exploring the science secrets, meeting the people and places, and having fun with the goodies and gadgets that go along with the season of winter. Whoever knew how much could be learned from the science of snowflakes? There's a learning adventure waiting for you right now!



Take a peek inside this unit 
Special Price - Just $4 *


What are you waiting for? Today could be the beginning of a learning adventure that will last a lifetime.


Blessings,  

Amanda B.


PS - Be our friend!  Stop by our Facebook page this week and join the adventure. We'll be spotlighting learning activities from both of these units, as well as sharing more ideas, inspiration and fun together!

*Sale prices good through Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Discovering and Following Interests: A Balanced Approach - Part Three



I started out on my challenge of following their interests to discover their gifts and talents by making a simple chart of ideas based on things that I could “see” as we homeschooled. Here is an example, not complete by any means:No matter how much you think you know about your child, I can tell you from personal experience that there is just as much that you don't know, and homeschooling helps you and your children discover just what the Lord has placed within them simply by following their interests.



Area of Interest
Possible Life Work
Serving others
Pastor, missionary, service organizations, church service
Protecting others
Police work, military service
Building things
Carpenter, builder, architect
Repairing things
Automotive repair, computer repair, appliance repair
Counting things
Statistician, banker, accountant
Entertaining others
Athlete, actor/actress, singer, musician, racecar driver
Teaching others
Homeschooling parent, teacher, church service, college professor, archeologist
Creating things from ideas
Engineer, computer scientist, sculptor, artist, author, chef
Growing things
Farmer, park ranger, forester, nurseryman, botanist
Helping others
Nurse, doctor, lawyer, orthodontist, coach
Following clues, putting puzzles together
Detective, food scientist, astrophysicist
History fanatic
Ambassador, politician, leader, professor
Working with their hands
Electrician, finish carpenter, orthopedic surgeon
Working with animals
Zookeeper, veterinarian, zoologist
Working with a camera
Photographer, biologist, scientist, satellite designer



These are just a few ideas and connections that can be made with some of the interests that children display. Create a chart for your children, first listing their interests. Make a file on your smartphone or keep a small notebook handy so that you can record the interests that just happen to pop up—a mention of wanting to know how a lawn mower works or wishing she knew how to sew. By keeping track of these, you’ve got some concrete things to pursue with them, and you know what to watch for at the next library sale or garage sale.


A few suggestions for your journey:

·         Nurture your children, both physically and emotionally.
·         Encourage them in their interests and pursuits.
·         Open doors of possibility for them, introducing them to new ideas.
·         Make suggestions that stretch them just a bit out of their area of interest.
·         Make connections by introducing them to people who can help with their interest.
·         Watch for side roads that branch off of an area of interest.

Enjoy this journey and DO follow their passions; these open the gateway to their gifts and talents. God doesn’t place their interests within them to go unused. It is a joy to discover what He has placed within a child, and a welcome surprise comes with the discovery. When your child realizes what he can do and that his interests “fit” with the future that God has created him for, stand back and watch him grow!

Blessings,

Amanda B.

You can read Discovering and Following Interests: A Balanced Approach -  Part One and Part Two.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Football or Futbol - You Score!


Which do they play in Australia -  Football or Futbol (Soccer)?  We have a Special One Day Sale so you score and save either way! 

Our friends around the world can celebrate with Simply Soccer Download N Go, while the Americans gear up for yhe Football Frenzy (a.k.a - The Super Bowl!) coming in February!



Simply Soccer is an excellent way to introduce children to this popular sport. This unit study includes history, science, geography, and much more. We have learned about the history of soccer, the rules of the game, and how soccer is played around the world. Lapbooking and craft ideas are included to add a hands-on aspect to the soccer study. . . I really appreciate the book list included for each lesson. These lists are a major time saver for me. I am not wasting countless hours on the library website reserving books that may or may not be appropriate for my children. My kids and I enjoyed the educational links included in Simply Soccer. We especially love the instructional videos. Now I will not feel so ignorant about this sport when we show up to our first practice. This unit study is great for boys and girls—and moms!”
—Erika Keswick, Mansfield, TX







"Whether you are a football superfan or have trouble distinguishing a tight end from a left tackle, you WILL score a touchdown with your kids using Amanda Bennett’s Football Frenzy Download-N-Go™. Similar to an NFL game, this week-long unit study is ACTION packed! Embedded video clips, lapbooking components, just-for-fun activities, craft ideas, snack suggestions, and recommended reading lists afford K–4 students the opportunity to learn the origins and basics of the game. Attention is given to positions, equipment, score keeping, and even the process of making a football. The science of the game is not neglected, and featured stadiums, teams, tournaments, trophies, championship rings, and Hall of Fame players will assure some cheers. The beauty of it all . . . the planning, research, and prep-work are complete! Football Frenzy is a winning playbook in your hands. Simply rally the team, Download-N-Go™, and ready, set, hike!"
—Angela Wells, Frankfort, KY



Take a Peek Inside!


One Day Sale* - Football or Futbol - you Save and Score!
 Use Coupon Code"SuperFun4" and get either Football Frenzy or Simply Soccer for just $4!
Be sure to visit us this week on Facebook, you do not want to miss more exciting announcements coming soon!

* sale price good through Midnight EST - January 25, 2012 only


Take Time for Tuesday Titles

Have you begun to explore all the treasures in Expedition Australia DNG yet? Here are some book suggestions to help you get the learning adventure going :


by Mem Fox 


When Koala Lou’s mother becomes so busy that she forgets to tell her firstborn how much she loves her, Koala Lou enters the Bush Olympics, intending to win an event and her mother’s love all at one time. “A first-rate choice for bedtime, story hour, or reading aloud.”--The Horn Book


By Diane Griffiths



Includes full-color photographs, a good map, pronunciations of foreign or special words, two crafts, and a recipe. Grade 3-5.



By Whitecap Books




Australia is the smallest continent in the world, but one of the largest islands. Most people live along the coast, as close as possible to the sea. Many who live inland are so far from the nearest town that they do their schoolwork at home. This ancient land is home to many unusual animals-kangaroos and koalas (marsupials that carry their young in pouches), platypuses (mammals that lay eggs and have the bill and webbed feet of a duck) and funnel webs (spiders that can kill humans with their deadly venom). In summer time surfboard riders take to the waves, a bushfire alert may mean that people can't light outdoor fires, and thousands of fans flock to cricket matches. Find out where the six states are on the colorful maps and look out for the stickers in the middle of the book.

by Bronwyn Bancroft




More than 100 words about Australian animals, plants, and landscapes are defined and explained in this unique word book. From blossoms and bees through wombats and willy willys, the most prominent aspects of Australia’s beautiful landscape are detailed here. Lavish illustrations range from small vignettes to expansive narrative landscapes and both captivate and celebrate the uniqueness of Australia and its language.


Be sure to stop by and see all the fun we're sharing on Facebook, exploring the "Land Down Under"!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Take your learning adventures to the Land Down Under!


Join us as we take a learning expedition to the "Land Down Under." Expedition Australia is our spotlight unit this week!



Do you have a child who longs for his own boomerang? How about a lover of exotic animals like kangaroos and koalas?  Why not make this week the week you take them on an expedition of learning that they will never forget?

From developing an understanding of the Australian word "barbie," to investigating the Great Barrier Reef, your child can take a trip around the globe on a unique learning adventure.

Designed with the K- 4th grade student in mind, each day of this one-week study will be spent exploring and investigating the wonders of Australia; while lasting learning is reinforced with hands-on activities, like assembling the elements of the Expedition Australia lapbook.

"Inexpensively priced, instantly available, and reusable make it very economical no matter how small or large your family is."
--Sarah Bailey, Springfield, OH

To make it simple and affordable to get started, we've included everything you will need--just Download N Go--AND put it on sale! Spend your time enjoying the learning expedition with them and take advantage of this week's special price--only $4*!   Be sure to stop by our Facebook page for more activities, sharing and fun this week!

Blessings,  

Amanda B.

* Sale price good through Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Fantastic Friday Mates!

Fantastic Friday could take you on an expedition to Australia!



Where would you go? Who and what would you see?

The cute koala and the eucalyptus tree? Kangaroos. . the Great Barrier Reef. . . Aborigines. . . the Outback?

Awaken the curiosity, fun, and adventure in your homeschool—take your family on a lively jaunt to Australia for a week!

What child is not drawn to the delights of Australia? From koalas and wombats to the language, people, and enchanting places, catch a child's attention when you uncover Australia's beauty and mystique with him. It's a learning expedition, exploring related science, history, and geography themes through a wonderful adventure, discovering this country and all that it holds.

Register to win - and you could be on your way!

Come visit us on Facebook as we continue sharing the delicious learning and fun with Hoppin' Popcorn!

Who know's where we'll head next week?





Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy National Popcorn Day!



Happy National Popcorn Day!

We have a special giveaway to celebrate National Popcorn Day that will get the fun hoppin' at your house!

This set of Amish Country Popcorn comes in 3 varieties, each with its own distinct flavor.

• Ladyfinger Type - smallest of the hulless

• Purple - tender with fewer hulls, more flavor and higher in antioxidents

• Baby White - extra small and tender

16 oz. each

Be sure to "pop in" and visit us on Facebook!  We have lots of Hoppin' Popcorn fun happening all week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Discovering and Following Interests: A Balanced Approach - Part Two



While following their interests, we pursued a unit study approach. When studying baseball, for example, they learned about American history, geography, the art of Norman Rockwell, the science of the sport, and human anatomy. Unit studies allowed me to keep their education well rounded, stretching their one area of interest into a balanced academic approach.

I will never forget the time when our children were young, when I first realized I had completely overlooked an interest of one child. In my rush to get him to learn his times tables and make it to every baseball practice, I had not seen the obvious. I was telling him goodnight one evening, when I noticed the rows of jars that lined his windowsills, filled with all kinds of cuttings of plants from our tropical jungle of a yard in Florida. He had quietly been bringing in clippings and finding containers for them to see if they would take root. I asked him to tell me about the jars, and his face lit up like a candle on a dark night. How had I missed this in the midst of the day-to-day family life pressures? I learned all kinds of things that night, and so much changed.

I began to watch for signs of interest and paid attention to their passions. One child would be taking apart everything in the house: computers, DVD players, VCRs, and all things involving electronics. He had to know how they worked, completely. Not just from something in a book or on a video—he had to tear it apart to see what made it tick. We let him take things apart, and we finally learned to buy electronics at the local thrift shop and garage sales. He eventually taught himself how to program computers. He is now majoring in computer science in college, and his first app is just about to be published. He is in his element and racing along the learning edge at the speed of light.

With three children, we followed all kinds of interesting side roads. But these pursuits have made the journey SO worth the time and effort! We now have two college graduates (one is a veterinarian and one is a tree farmer), while our youngest just began his college career as a baseball player, majoring in computer science. Not one similarity in any of their interests, gifts, or talents, but oh, what a great combination of characters! J

At times, their interests will be so obvious that you can’t miss them—a love for dance, a passion for soccer, an insatiable curiosity to see the world through a microscope, an endless series of tree house designs, a never-ending stream of questions about heavy construction equipment. Notice these and build from them into other areas of connected interest. For example, from an interest in tree house designs, you can introduce them to home design, how a blueprint works, observing the construction of a new home on a daily basis, talking with an architect, etc. And yes, you still need to build the tree house.

Blessings,

Amanda B.

You can still read  Discovering and Following Interests: A Balanced Approach - Part One .  Don't miss our final Part Three next week!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's a Birthday Bonanza with Ben Franklin!

Happy Birthday Ben Franklin!

We LOVE birthdays at USAB!  To celebrate - we are offering Birthday Bonanza Download N Go and Ben Franklin Download N Go for just $5 today only!


"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." —Ben Franklin



Is it time to learn a little American history at your house?
Are your kids fascinated with inventors?
Would you like to learn about character qualities from a quality character?

Day 1: Who Was Ben Franklin?
Day 2: People and Places in Ben Franklin's Life
Day 3: The Accomplishments of Ben Franklin
Day 4: Lessons to Learn From Ben Franklin
Day 5: Remembering Ben Franklin

Was Ben Franklin an inventor or a founding father? And what were some of his inventions? Your child may know some facts about Benjamin Franklin, but the whole family will learn more with these activities!


 (not regularly available individually)

Would you like to jumpstart your children's excitement and interest in their studies? Give them a birthday boost . . . a FUN enlightening celebration they'll never forget!


Day 1: Let's Spend Today Learning About ME!
Day 2: What the World Like When I Was Born?
Day 3: How Am I Special?
Day 4: This Is My Life . . .
Day 5: Celebrate Me!


A birthday is such a special occasion—for any child. So who wouldn't be thrilled to enjoy a weeklong birthday celebration? Really! Why not use this opportunity to help your children learn more about themselves and their own "birthday" history while preparing for a fun celebration of their very special day?



You better hurry - these special prices, and Birthday Bonanza are only available for today! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lasting Learning & Delicious Fun are Poppin' up at USAB!


Our spotlight and special savings this week will have you hoppin' and poppin' with deliciously fun learning!

Hoppin' Popcorn (Download N Go) is a one-week study, designed for K - 4th grade students. From developing an understanding of the basics of how popcorn is grown and where it comes from, to learning about what makes it pop, this study will set your family off on an exciting learning adventure.

Along the way, you will find surprising discoveries, such as learning what kitchen appliance was invented because of popcorn. Your students will also learn a bit of history and geography as they study the story of popcorn and the flavors of popcorn enjoyed across the globe.

So get ready for the adventure, and thanks for poppin' in for a week with us as we explore and enjoy
Hoppin' Popcorn! Did I mention you're going to love the price too? It's $4 this week (reg. $7.95)!

Join us as we start this week with lasting learning and awesome adventures!

Blessings,  

Amanda B.

P.S.
  1. Check our Specials page tomorrow, Tuesday, for yet another special announcement.  
  2. Come and visit USAB on Facebook. Over 4000 fans of unit studies already have! This week we'll be sharing the Hoppin' Popcorn fun there too! 


Take a peek inside this unit

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fantastic Friday Returns!

 
We hope you have enjoyed our spotlight on Amelia Earhart Download N Go and the Flight Unit Study Adventure this week, we've had a good time creating and sharing some lasting memories together on our Facebook page.  Have you "liked" us yet? We're only a handful away from hitting 4,000 (and we have a surprise for you when we do!)


To keep your learning adventures "hoppin" we are giving away Hoppin' Popcorn Download N Go.



Pop! Pop! Pop! Who doesn't love popcorn?

At the movies or a baseball game or at home with the family, popcorn's mouth-watering goodness is a hit everywhere and with everyone! The fun memories created around popcorn are lifelong . . . and tasty!

Imagine the thrill and excitement of popcorn science experiments, popcorn history, and even popcorn art! It's all there in this exciting title!

Day 1: Popcorn—What Is It?
Day 2: The Story of Popcorn
Day 3: The Flavors of Popcorn
Day 4: The Science of Popcorn
Day 5: Fun With Popcorn

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Discovering and Following Interests: A Balanced Approach - Part One



You hear so much about interest-directed learning these days, don’t you? When I first began homeschooling, the concept was still very new. Most homeschoolers still followed a traditional education model, and there were a few of us who went off the beaten path and used unit studies. At our house, we used unit studies based on what fascinated our children. We were renegades, and we have had a wonderful experience along the way as we followed their interests.

We have been blessed with three children, and our homeschool journey—following their interests—has been all over the map. I don’t know about your children, but my children are as different as can be! My husband and I both anticipated that they would be intrigued by things like engineering (we both received degrees in engineering); so just imagine our surprise when we discovered that they had other interests!

As I look back now, the thought that keeps crossing my mind is that the gifts and talents our children have discovered within themselves probably would have remained undiscovered in a traditional school setting. Through the blessing of homeschooling, we have been able to show them the wonders of this world and capture their imaginations. Who knew that animals, plants, computers, and baseball would open so many doors! Well, the Lord certainly knew, and that has been such a reassurance as we homeschooled over our 18-year adventure.

But in the beginning . . .

When we began our journey, we were goal-oriented: focused on diplomas, degrees, and completion of standards set by the world. Slowly but surely, the Lord showed us glimpses of interest and natural gifts that had gone unnoticed when they were in school. The curiosity of children is an amazing thing, and their response to your interest in their curiosity grows like a rapidly opening rosebud—almost fast enough to see the miracle happen moment by moment.


Each child—each and every child—is uniquely gifted. In the rush to meet the expectations of the world of academia and extended family, it is so easy to overlook this very simple truth: each one is uniquely gifted. Just because he looks exactly like his dad doesn’t mean that he will also enjoy working on cars as much as his dad does. Just because she has my eyes and dimples doesn’t mean that she will be a nonstop reader like I am. It took a bit of homeschooling for us to learn this, and it’s been quite an adventure to explore their gifts and talents as part of the homeschooling process.

Children come into this world with insatiable curiosity, a magnificent imagination, and creativity as unique as their fingerprints. Creativity is one of those gifts that I believe God has given us since He created us in His image. It also can open the door to all of the treasures and abilities that He placed within us. Some children will be more interested in the great outdoors, while others will want to read any books within reach. Still others will struggle with handwriting while taking your breath away with their pencil sketches along the margins of their copywork. There are many kinds of interests that can lead to the discovery of gifts and talents. Some interests will take you around the world and back again, only to discover that what they were most interested in at the age of five (fireman) is exactly what they will pursue as they reach adulthood.

As your children grow, pay attention to the things that hold their interest or attention. At first glance, their interest might be so unique that it is quickly overlooked. A child who loves to go look at the animals in the pet store with every trip to the mall may have more than puppy love. The seeds of interest in animal science might be ready for cultivation.

Blessings,

Amanda B.

Next week, we'll have Discovering and Following Interests: A Balanced Approach - Part Two.  Don't miss it, be sure to subscribe via email or RSS Feed!