Monday, April 30, 2012

Celebrating YOU, Mom and Dad!

It's time to reflect back on the school year and a great time for us to THANK YOU for all you do as a parent - for caring so much, working so hard and loving without question!

We want to express our gratitude for all that you do in two ways:

1.  We will be praying for you!   Giving thanks for your love and concern, and all you have accomplished this year.

2.  Our special gift to you - get Mother's Day Download N Go ($7.95 value)  for FREE when you purchase Father's Day Download N Go!

You will be learning about mothers and fathers of the Bible, important character lessons, and making wonderful keepsakes for years to come.

So, thank you Mom and Dad for all you do!  Your work is so important, don't forget you are raising up the next generation.


Amanda B.

PS - Don't forget to visit our Facebook and Pinterest pages for more great ideas to help you celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tea Time: For the Time of Your Life, and Theirs . . .

When I was a child, my mom gave her children a priceless gift—her time. Back in those days, it was unheard of for a mom to take time in the afternoon to have tea and cookies with her children when they arrived home from school. Most moms were either at work or were too busy with other things, but my mom made time—and what a time we had! She would take down the sunny yellow teapot and prepare tea or hot chocolate. She'd have a plate of cookies (usually animal crackers) there on the kitchen table along with favorite teacups for each of us. We would tell her about our day, and she'd listen and smile, offering comments when needed. To this day, the ritual of having a cup of tea and animal crackers or cookies is so very comforting to me, and how I appreciate her gift!

As you all work together on a unit study, try to make a special time of reading together. Whether around the fireplace or circling the kitchen table, this is a wonderful opportunity to slow things down, grab the children’s attention, and create some wonderful memories. To make that time together special, I suggest you try to have tea or cocoa and cookies while you are reading to them. As you read and discuss the book at hand, they get to savor some thoughts as well as special treats. This simple routine gives them something to look forward to and provides you all with some time to regularly get together and read and talk and share—a blessing for today and for their future.

Take the time to make some memories. It is too easy to get in the habit of marking time, tearing off days on the calendar. And by the way, thanks for the memories, Mom!

Why not try some of our Tea Time Ideas (taken from Passport Geography United Kingdom)


Amanda B.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Take off on a Learning Adventure to the United Kingdom!

With the  Olympics 2012 opening in London in just a few months, and the international media coverage for the Olympics beginning soon, it's a wonderful time to give your children an introduction to the United Kingdom!

Don't let your child miss out on the wonders of the people, vistas, culture, history, language, and animals of the places of the world. Geography isn't just about memorization--it is an in-depth exploration, a global search to better understand the people and places that fill our favorite books, daily news, genealogy, and imaginations!

You are about to begin an adventure to the countries of the United Kingdom, taking an online journey to this fascinating part of the world.

 From online strolls through Buckingham Palace to riding the gigantic Eye of London, you will visit historic and unique sites and marvelous places that span the island nation that is called the United Kingdom. (And, you can watch their eyes light up when they recognize the places they've been learning about when they are watching the Olympics this summer!)

On this Passport adventure, you will be visiting these places in the United Kingdom:

• England
• Scotland
• Northern Ireland
• Wales

You will see and hear the sights and sounds of cities and villages, people, daily life, tourist spots, and historical places, all from the comfort of home—no passport required! Some of the spots that you will be visiting include:

• Buckingham Palace
• Westminster Abbey
• The Giant’s Causeway
• The Roman Baths
• Hadrian’s Wall

When learning about the geography of a place, it is important to learn about the land, people, and culture, and what it is like to live there. In addition to learning about the countries, you will learn  about some of the people and places in the United Kingdom. The people are fascinating, and we are including some interesting figures in Passport: United Kingdom. They include:

• Beatrix Potter
• Queen Victoria
• C.S. Lewis
• King Arthur

Take a peek inside Passport Geography - United Kingdom


Amanda B.

PS - Be sure to visit us on Facebook and Pinterest this week as we share tidbits from this exciting unit, inspiration and more great ideas to make your learning adventure take off!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fantastic Friday Goes to the UK!

While you are getting ready for Olympics 2012, why not take a visit to the hosting country with our Passport Geography - United Kingdom?

Our giveway this week  - A Passport Geography - United Kingdom Combo Pack, will have you read to pack your bags! 


As part of the series, this one-week unit study has been developed to provide your students with a virtual tour of the United Kingdom, covering the geography of this nation, as well as some of its history, art and literature, landmarks, and interesting people.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Global Bowling, not Warming!

As a homeschool mom, I always loved to have globes all over the house. One of the ways that I accomplished this was picking them up for a dollar or less as time went by, and we developed a very interesting set of globes! From those with textured terrain to those that showed political boundaries and even those that simply showed the names of countries, we had the most complete globe set in the neighborhood, for under $5!

I was pretty fired up about my thriftiness and the educational possibilities with this collection. A BIG bonus was that each child could have his own globe—no more fighting over who got to spin the globe or hold the globe! The learning possibilities were endless, and we did have fun with the globes while playing “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”

One afternoon in the middle of a thunderstorm, I kept hearing wild laughter and a periodic low rumble coming from the hall. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the kids had invented a new game: Global Bowling!

They had figured out how to carefully remove the globes from the stands and had set up some plastic bowling pins from an old bowling set. They were having a ball, bowling with the world! And yes, I let them play on. “Get a spare with Australia, kids!” Gotta love creativity!

Amanda B.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Inside View of Olympics 2012

We have a special guest blogger to share what getting ready for the Olympics 2012 is like, from an insider's view... she's from the United Kingdom! 

"It’s 2012 and the Olympic year is finally upon us!

I had hoped for a long, long time that my country (England) would get the opportunity to host the Olympics at some point in my lifetime, and what a great point in time—while my children are young and home educated. It’s something we can experience and discover together and take with us forever.

I remember hearing about the bid and how surprised I was when I found out that England had been chosen to host the 2012 Olympics. It seemed like forever away. I remember the streets of London jam-packed with people celebrating the news and thinking how amazing it will be when the Olympics are finally here.

We hadn’t been home educating for long at that point, but it had already started off a little flame of interest that just needed kindling. We talked about how old they would each be by the time the Olympics came around, what sports they would participate in if they were in the Olympics, and how they thought the future would be by the time 2012 arrived.

Now 2012 is here, and the London Olympics are just around the corner! There is so much out there to capture our interest, and what an amazing learning experience it is going to be.
The shops and major and minor stores combined have gone crazy for merchandise and memorabilia, but then, so have we. The range is so extensive: there are toys, sweets, chocolate, bedding, teapots, artwork, clothing . . . the list goes on! 

I have a box full of goodies in hiding for the event, containing perishable and non-perishable items. Cadbury (one of the main sponsors) has brought out mascot-shaped chocolates, including Easter eggs! We have also purchased an outfit for the event—British themed, incorporating the red, white, and blue, be it little flags or just coloured sportswear! After all, it is the jubilee year too!

I have purchased a plush mascot for each of my younger children. Wenlock (the Olympic mascot) and Mandevill (the Paralympic mascot) are lovely, sleek, futuristic-looking creatures; just looking at them confirms we have reached 2012.

We are able to follow the Olympic mascots on Twitter and Facebook and visit them on their own section of the main London 2012 website where there are not only fun and games, but plenty of other online educational resources.

The whole event is very child-friendly, a subconscious form of inspiring our nation’s youth to be a little more patriotic and proud of their country. But it is a whole country event and it makes me proud too! 

I can’t wait for the torch relay; we’re using it as a learning event and tracking its progress throughout the country, from lands to the upmost Scottish islands and back down to London. We are lucky enough to have it pass though several towns near us. The dates have been shared among our home education community, and we will be turning out in droves. Certain schools have realized its learning potential and have chosen to either close the schools down for the day so children can attend with their parents or to go along as a school outing. What a wonderful memory to share with your children—to be physically alongside the Olympic torch on its way to the Olympics!

There is so much knowledge to be gained from this experience that we are going to need the rest of the summer to recover from it all!

I have already found supporting Olympic apps that will record times and dates of events and give you results as each event passes. Flag recognition apps to build knowledge for the opening ceremony, online craft ideas, as well as books and ideas to help us take part in World Sports Day—our own mini Olympics—a month before the Olympics on June 25. All I need now is an amazing unit study to collaborate it all!"

Nicolene Barnes, homeschool mum of 6, Derbyshire, UK

Thanks for your insider view into the preparations going on there in the UK, Nicolene. Wish we could join you!
Olympics 2012 is ready to help you bring it all together:  apps, activities, crafts, Internet resources, and four weeks of exciting, daily learning adventures.

Stop by our Facebook and Pinterest pages for more ideas.  Here are a few more great apps to get you started:

·         iLondon2012

·         LDN 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Light the Torch for the Next Generation!

Today's the day--it is time to take advantage of an extraordinary unit study learning opportunity this year! The Olympics 2012 are going to be held soon in the United Kingdom, and preparations are well underway.

The event sites are almost complete, the countdown clock is running, and the Olympic torch relay is about to begin. To take full advantage of this worldwide competition, we've been busy, developing the brand new Olympics 2012 Unit Study Adventure ready for your family to use to learn about the big event. I'm thrilled to announce that this new study is available today, and we are offering it at a low introductory price! Just $8 through 4/21/12.

From the opening ceremony to the last medal award ceremony, the Olympics have always been a wonderful gathering point of learning here at the Bennett house. We have favorite sporting events, athletes, and countries that we keep an eye on during the games, and we love trying out different foods from countries that are involved in some of our favorite competitions. When the children were younger, we had a huge world map hung in the hall, and they loved to stick notes and small flags on the various countries that were competing. They developed Global Bowling with our globe collection, but that's a story for another day. 

In this new unit study, we have worked to capture the interest and curiosity of your children. In addition to learning about the specific sports and events, they will learn about the history of the Olympics, world geography, and science and how it applies to sports. They will also learn about the personal commitment of the athletes, their faith, concentration, endless training, and how they reach out to help each other.

In this four-week study your family will dig deeply into:

  • History of the ancient Olympics
  • Science and the laws of physics in sports
  • Sports and the human body
  • World geography, both ancient and modern
  • World politics and its influence on international sports

With plans for 26 sports, nearly 300 events, and more than 10,000 athletes from more than 200 countries competing in these Olympic games in London, this is going to be a great adventure!

Come on and join us! You never know when a spark will ignite in their imagination or an idea will take hold that might help them develop their own God-given gifts and talents!

To enrich your study of the Olympic games, we also recommend the FREE Olympics 2012 Lapbook, designed to accompany this four-week study.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Easter HOPE Celebration Giveaway!

One of the things that we can share with our children is the promise of peace from Jesus, no matter what is happening. Between His resurrection and ascension to Heaven, He repeatedly calmed the fears of the disciples with His reminders of peace when He appeared to them:

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  John 20:19

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  John 20:26 

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  Luke 24:36

We have a special giveaway this week, as a reminder of all we have learned and shared - it's this Beautiful, Framed - HOPE Print.

Be encouraged and comforted with this inspiring collection of Bible verses, all centered around Hope. Elegant beaded florentine gold frame in solid wood; country blue mat; 7" x 9".

Put your hope in God - Psalm 42:5 NIV
My hope is in you all day long - Psalm 25:5 NIV
I have put my hope in your word - Psalm 119:74 NIV
Rejoice in hope of the glory of God - Romans 5:2 ASV
And hope does not disappoint us - Romans 5:5 NRSV
But hope that is seen is not hope - Romans 8:24 KJV
Now the hope of God fill you - Romans 15:13 KJV
Christ in you, the hope of glory - Colossians 1:27 KJV

Thank you for joining us on the Easter HOPE journey, we'd love to hear your thoughts!


Amanda B.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Time to get off the Bleachers!

With the first warm weather comes the crack of the baseball bat and evenings spent at the baseball or soccer fields.

I have also realized that there are seasons of interest in sports that vary for each child, just like their interests in so many other things. While they may love sports this year, next year might be a year of interest in cars or quilts or horses. Be flexible and let them explore THEIR interests. This is their childhood, never to be experienced again. Let them enjoy it!
These days fly by oh so quickly – remember to make the most of them and take some time off for exploring outdoor interests.

Use your imagination and spend some time off the bleachers – get into some great books, spend some time out in the grass playing with your students to get some “hands-on learning” and make some great memories together with Simply Soccer Download N Go - $4 and Baseball Unit Study Adventure - $5.


Amanda B.

PS - Don't forget to stop back tomorrow for our special giveaway to celebrate our Easter HOPE journey!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

True Confessions!

It's time for true confessions. I have been at it again – shopping for seeds!

I can’t resist picking a few packets when I walk by those colorful displays and see all kinds of colorful flowers, vegetables and fruit, just waiting to be planted. From the local dollar stores to the grocery store and the farmers’ cooperative – I am surrounded with packages of promise, and it is beautiful.

 I must admit that I do miss the days when the children were small, and things like a Pizza Garden or Green Bean Teepees were so exciting. Enjoy these days with your family – they will disappear before you know it.

Gardening offers a priceless opportunity to work together on a fun family project, and share thoughts and ideas as you build your own special place of beauty and memories.  Use this study to share lessons about nature and plants with your children. What makes the seeds grow? Why do we grow things? What does a fresh ear of corn taste like? Imagine together what it might have been like in the first garden – the Garden of Eden. 

Get ready to go outside and learn with Gardens Unit Study Adventure - Just $5 this week!


Amanda B.

PS - Come and visit us at the Midsouth Homeschool Convention this week (April 12-14) in Memphis, TN.  We'll be at booths 300 & 301 - Hope to see you there! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Unit Studies - Help is on the Way!

Unit Studies.  Need help getting started...Help is on the way! 

One of the most amazing discoveries that I made as a homeschooling mom was realizing that one of our children was an over-the-top auditory learner. He could remember ANYTHING that he heard, which can be good AND bad. J He was a good reader, but if he could listen to whatever he was studying, he had an amazing level of retention. I hadn’t realized it, but I had been adjusting the way that I interacted with him accordingly over the years. In other words, I had figured out that if I wanted him to remember something, writing it on a note and sticking it on his breakfast plate had no lasting impact. However, if I made him look me in the eye as I told him what I needed him to do—bingo!

Take a moment and think about what type of learner you are, and then which type of learner each of your children might be. Interesting, isn’t it? At our house, we are all quite different in our learning styles. One child loves to take notes, another hates to take notes but has complete recall of spoken words, and still another learns best if he is actively in motion and involved in the process of creating something. I had to teach to several types of learners at the same time, and unit studies certainly made that possible.

I’ve tried to cover much of what I’ve learned in my book Unit Studies 101, and it’s on sale right now through April 13. If you want to know how to use unit studies, what I know about unit studies, or even how to create your own unit studies, this is the book. The special also includes the ever-popular Unit Study Journal, so that you can have a reusable recordkeeping tool for study after study.

Check it out, and let me know if you have any questions along the way!


Amanda B.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week Four - Easter HOPE Co-op

Happy Easter - He is RISEN! 

What a glorious day!  Best of all, last week was not the end of our Easter HOPE story, or of our Co-op.  Join us this week as we continue the learning adventure.

Our Learning Objectives for this final week:

  • Investigate what happened to Jesus after His burial
  • Learn about the discovery of the empty tomb
  • Become familiar with Jesus’ appearances to His disciples and others
  • Learn about His ascension to Heaven

We'd love to see your Easter lapbooks, and hear what your family has learned, discovered and created during the Easter HOPE Co-op - Please share with us! 

Don't miss our special giveaway on Friday to celebrate our Easter HOPE Co-op - subscribe to our RSS or Email Feed today.


Amanda B.

PS- Remember to visit our Facebook, Pinterest, and Specials pages this week. You don't want to miss out on our upcoming plans!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

We are preparing to enjoy a quiet and reflective weekend here with the family, and it is my prayer that you and your family enjoy this time together. While Good Friday is a time of sadness and so much more, we rejoice in the dawn of Resurrection Day!

As we celebrate Good Friday and Easter, remember the price paid on our behalf by our Savior. When I was a child, everything closed at noon in observation of Good Friday, and many homes turned off all the lights and electrical appliances, just to remember what happened on that Friday so long ago. These efforts seem to have made a difference -- it made many people reflect on what is so often overlooked, by people of all ages.

With the coming of Easter, let's prepare our hearts and minds for a time of remembering and thanksgiving!

Amanda B.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Morning Treats!

Are you looking for some Easter morning ideas for your family's celebration? Here are a few of my kid-friendly favorites, do you have one to add?

Hot Cross Buns 

Make-Ahead Waffle and Pancake Batter

Overnight French Toast

Easy Waffle Sticks for Kids

Easter Story Cookie Recipe

And for the table, one of my favorite projects is to take an inexpensive, twin-size white sheet from a discount store and create a holiday tablecloth. Have your children decorate it with fabric paint and markers. Wash the sheet first, then put something like newspaper or kraft paper between the sheet and the table, to prevent any permanent marks on your tabletop.

Your children can draw maps, illustrate special scenes, and tell the Easter story on the tablecloth. This tablecloth will become a special part of future Easter celebrations, and you can have your family and Easter guests sign the tablecloth, too!


Amanda B.

PS - I hope you're enjoying Week Three of our Easter HOPE Facebook Co-op.  Don't forget our story doesn't end with this week - make sure to come back next week to celebrate the Good News!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Memory Makers

Welcome to Week Three of the Easter HOPE Co-op.  We hope you have been enjoying this journey together as much as we have. Make sure to take time this special week to make some memories with your family!

Reading Together -


The Tale Of Three Trees
By Angela Elwell Hunt / Cook Communications

Does your child have trouble understanding Jesus' sacrifice? Let this special story about the life of Christ help, in an exquisite 10th anniversary edition! Aspiring to greatness, three little trees have big dreams for the future---but their desires for fame and glory don't materialize in quite the way they anticipate.

Listening Together -

Long-Play Easter, CD

Contains favorites like Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee/Praise the Lord Together/Christ the Lord, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Were You There?, and Beneath the Cross of Jesus.

Watching Together -


Called the most accurate film ever made about Christ. It was filmed in Israel, and taken line for line from the Gospel of Luke – an amazing and moving production that opens eyes to the life and ministry of Jesus. Perfect for viewing with friends and family this time of year!

Playing  Together-

Miracles of Jesus Christ 1000-piece Puzzle by White Mountain Puzzles

The tradition of working on a jigsaw puzzle over special holidays has emerged as a favorite time for my family, allowing for plenty of sharing, learning, and memorymaking. For Easter, consider puzzles that have a theme of Jesus’ life and miracles.

Be sure to stop by our Facebook page this week as we share our Easter HOPE together!


Amanda B.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter Hope Co-op - Welcome to Week Three!

Easter, also known as Resurrection Day, is my favorite holiday of the year. We are able to set aside this special time to remember God’s gift to us –  Eternity!

From Palm Sunday to Ascension Day, this time helps us recall the events that changed our world forever, and gave us promise and HOPE. Even though our society has moved away from the Christian significance of Easter, we have a perfect opportunity to use these holidays to teach our children about our Lord and His love, His priceless gift to all believers.

Christian holidays serve many purposes in people’s lives, but I tend to look at Christian holidays as both a way to focus our attention on the Lord and all that He has done for us, as well as to instruct the children on His life, death and resurrection. Whether the holiday is Christmas, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, or Easter, the focus is on Him and the events of His life.

As a child, I learned some things about Easter, but I never connected all of the bits and pieces. I knew that Jesus rode the donkey on Palm Sunday – while I didn’t realize that this was all part of prophecies from the Old Testament. I knew that Jesus was killed on Good Friday – I didn’t understand the complexity and inevitableness of this event. I knew that Easter Sunday was a celebration of His resurrection – but I didn’t realize the magnitude of the event we were celebrating – His resurrection, and our salvation. So much to learn, and what a joy it is to be right in the middle of the learning process with the whole family and with our Facebook Friends!

Welcome to Week Three of our Easter HOPE Co-op! This week we will be focusing on these learning objectives from the Easter Unit Study Adventure as we celebrate Holy Week:
  • Study the events of the last part of Jesus' ministry
  • Investigate the people that were involved in the last week of Jesus’ life
  • Develop an understanding of the meaning of the Christian holidays that are observed during the Easter season
Thank you for sharing with us on our Facebook page, we love seeing what your family is learning!

Amanda B.