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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Shop With Me Saturday Digital Picture Frame

I so want one of these! Back when digital frames first came out I didn't find them to be very nice clarity at all. They have improved them so much over the years. We just bought one of these for my father in law, who lives in NY. He doesn't get to see the kids very often, and we thought this would be perfect. At first I was a little taken aback by the price. But when I realized you could plug it in, no batteries, and it would hold a thousand pictures I figured it was a great deal. After we bought it, and uploaded 200 pictures to it, we kept it for a week to test it. The pictures were clear as day, and it has a constant rotation of the pictures. It was so fabulous that I am adding it to my Christmas list. They do make smaller ones, but I am unsure of the clarity of the pictures for those. If you have family that does not get to see you that often, this is a wonderful gift idea. Note if you do not save your digital pictures to your computer but keep them on an online service, you might have to pay a fee to download them from there, so be sure to know before you begin.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Homeschool Your Child With Florida Virtual School

I looked at this when I first began homeschooling. I am unsure if all states have it, but if you want to homeschool your child without having to purchase the curriculum and do all the work, then virtual homeschooling could be for you. Here in Florida you can use the whole program, or you can select only the classes you want your child to participate in. I am considering using this next year for possibly Spanish, and Algebra. It is very hard for me to attempt to teach Spanish because I don't speak it, and as you get older it only gets harder to learn another language. Plus as we go up higher, and harder in math it would make more sense to me to use the Virtual School through the state. I have not made a definite decision yet. Here in FL they also provide the laptop computer for you, that your child will need to take the classes. Not everyone likes the virtual option as you are considered enrolled in the local school, should you decide to take the full classes. I have to do a little more research before I make a final decision on this. If you have always wanted to homeschool, check your state laws and guidelines and see if they offer virtual schooling. Personally I think this will be the wave of the future especially if budget crunches continue. I think smaller schools will be combined with others, and closed down. Once the programs become more popular they will see that virtual homeschooling is actually way more affordable than running a physical public school. Think about it, all the money that would be saved. Don't yell at me Anne, just a thought.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Using There, Their, and They're Correctly

Homonyms are some of the most confusing things for children to learn. Words that sound the same, but have different meanings are difficult to spell, and remember the proper usage for each. The video below will help to clear up the rules for the usage of each.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How To Make Stuffed Shells For Dinner

The days are getting shorter, and I am so ready for some cooler weather. I am not sure if it is hotter than usual, but it is humid with no rain, making it drier than usual. This is the rainy season for Florida. It usually rains every single day. Our average has been rain every seven days or so, just to weird, at least for the past month. This could lead to big problems with drought come the dry season. Anyways I love to make stuffed shells, lasagna, and other yummy casseroles. However, the oven does not come on in the months of June through August, unless you like to be baked yourself. Stuffed shells are way easier to make than lasagna, and you always have tons leftover. It is filling, and healthy. You can add almost anything you like including onions, mushrooms, ground beef, or sausage. The spinach one is the healthiest. Don't forget you can always use part skim ricotta and mozzarella cheese as well, to cut down on the fat. There are recipes I have tried for lasagna in the crock pot, but it just isn't the same.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Charter Is Giving Away 50 Laptops To Your Favorite School!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Charter. All opinions are 100% mine.



Can your favorite school use 50 laptops ? Probably most schools can use new laptops. Charter is having another back to school give away, and it might be your school's lucky day. Charter will be giving 50 laptops to two separate schools. It is easy to enter, and is based on who writes the best nomination story about their favorite school.

Any Charter purchase will get you an automatic entry for your school, plus a chance to get $300 dollars cash back. Of course you can still register online, with no purchase necessary. Schools need to be nominated by August 12, 2010. Then you can ask friends and relatives to vote for your school's nomination. The nomination process is short and easy laptop-a-day giveaway. Charter will then choose fifty finalists, based on the nomination stories entered, and announce the finalists on August 16, 2010. Open voting will occur from August 16-20, and the two winning schools will be announced on September 27, 2010. You can view all rules, entries, and winners by visiting the Charter website.

The laptops are Lenovo G555's with a 15.6" screen, 160GB drive and 3GB ram, with a Targus bag included. Charter gave away laptops last summer as well, plus video games, and a hybrid car in previous promotions. Charter offers internet, phone, and cable services all at great, competitive prices. Be sure to check out all their great services, and get your school an automatic entry.

Remember only two lucky schools so win, so hurry over and get in your favorite school's entry. Think hard, be creative, and write the best school nomination you can. Charter also has a Charter on Facebook page, and you can follow them just like I am.

Laptop1


Visit my sponsor: Charter is giving Free laptops to Schools

Guest Post Homeschool Scholarships And Grants

Scholarships for Homeschooled Students

If you are one of the 2.5 million individuals receiving a secondary education at home, you're in luck. Numerous scholarships exist that are targeted specifically towards children and teens that are homeschooled. With universities around the United States constantly raising tuition prices, finding a way to supplement your tuition is an excellent idea.

Below is a list of ten scholarships for homeschooled students offered by schools around the United States. Browse and your leisure and apply for whichever ones meet your unique needs!

Bryan College Summit/Homeschool Grant (http://www.bryan.edu/summit-homeschool-grant.html): A $1,000 grant is available to incoming freshman at Bryan College, a small Christian school in Dayton, Tennessee. Applicants must have completed one of the college’s Summit Ministries Conferences or have been homeschooled for at least their last two years of high school.

Park University Home School Scholarship
(http://www.aie.org/Scholarships/detail.cfm?id=2003116): Missouri’s Park University offers a scholarship to first-time freshmen that have been home schooled and scored a minimum 25 on the ACT. Park was recently named “Best Value Among Private Colleges” by Parents & Colleges.

The William and Berniece Grewcock Endowed Scholarships (http://www.hillsdale.edu/): Nebraskan homeschoolers may apply for the William and Berniece Grewcock Endowed Scholarships at Hillsdale College. Recipients must be of sound moral character and of proven leadership ability and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average to earn their half and full tuition prizes.

Cedarville University (https://studentaid2.ed.gov/v3/FinancialAid/Scholarship/Wintergreen/ScholarshipBrowse.aspx?s=E4f7jJhcyPUW6cEdf3voHgXAP3DPAXXAP3DPAX): For home-educated students who are actively involved in their church and community, Cedarville University, located in southwestern Ohio, offers several $1,000-2,000 scholarships. Applicants must have a minimum 22 ACT score or 1050 SAT.

Arizona Homeschool Scholarship (http://www.afhe.org/scholarships.htm): Each year Arizona Families for Home Education (AFHE) awards donor-funded scholarships to homeschooled students from single income families. In the last nine years the scholarship committee has granted more than $52,000 to 41 recipients.

Faulkner University (http://www.faulkner.edu/services/finaid/scholarships.asp): Homeschool students who earn a 20 or higher on the ACT or a 1450 on the SAT are eligible for an award of $500 a semester at Faulkner University. Faulkner is a growing Christian university located in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama.

HOPE Scholarship (http://www.ghea.org/pages/hsc/hopeScholarship.php): The HOPE Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students is open to residents of Georgia. Students who earn a 3.0 GPA or better their first year of college may retroactively apply for the scholarship, which covers up to $3,000 of tuition costs and additionally helps with other fees such as books and approved mandatory fees.

Oral Roberts University Homeschool Scholarship (http://www.free-4u.com/Scholarship.cfm?id=a11e388e-6ced-4996-8eb5-8384c6757470): Students entering their first year at Oral Roberts may apply for the $2000 Home School Scholarship. Students must have completed at least four years of home schooling and must write an essay to be reviewed by the scholarship committee.

SVU Homeschool/Non-Traditional Student Scholarship (http://svu.edu/student-financial-services/financial-aid/scholarships-and-grants/homeschool): Incoming freshman at Southern Virginia University are eligible for the Homeschool/Non-Traditional Student Scholarship worth a whopping $10,000 annually. Applicants must complete a short essay on who their hero is and why and complete a phone interview.

FPEA Scholarships (http://www.fpeascholarshipfund.com/scholarships.html): The Florida Parent Educators Association awards four separate scholarships to outstanding homeschool graduates. Each scholarship is worth $1000 and based on different criteria, such as the State of the Arts Scholarship for students who plan to pursue visual or performing arts in higher education.

Joseph Gustav is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog (http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com/blog) and a writer on online courses (http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com) for Guide to Online Schools.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Heat Advisory and Dean Koontz Frankenstein

They really don't go together, LOL! Florida is a tropical climate. It is always very hot, and very humid this time of year. Therefore for us to have a heat advisory it must be really bad, trust me it is. We are currently under a heat advisory, well the county next to us is anyways, which I don't ever recall happening since we have been here. It is absolutely stifling outside. It is even more unheard of because the counties effected are right along the coast, where it is usually substantially not as warm as inland. It is perfect for good reading. I am getting father along on my summer reading list. I just finished book two City of Night, by Dean Koontz, in his Frankenstein series. It is kind of confusing because the book said it is a Trilogy. Last time I checked trilogy meant three books in the series, but there is a fourth book, Lost Souls. He must have changed his mind and added another to the series.

I am still working on reading Roots. Yes I frequently read more than one book at a time, always have. I really like the book, but it is very long, and I am having a hard time getting through it. Not because it is boring, or a difficult read, but because of the emotions it evokes in me. I spend more time thinking about what I have read, than continuing to read. If you have not read Roots, by Alex Hailey it really is a must read.







Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Story Of The World Ancient Times History Curriculum

When I initially was told about this curriculum, I was a bit skeptical. Because I don't teach from a biblical stand point, I just assumed this would not be for me. A fellow homeschooler let me read hers, and I really loved it. Though there are biblical references and info, it is not overwhelmingly a biblical curriculum. I have purchased the set for this next year History classes, plus we will be doing some American History as well. I also really wanted to get into inventors, but I don't wish to overwhelm Caitlin and DJ so it might have to wait. There are four sets to the series, and each series is a full years curriculum. There is also an activity book that goes with it. So be sure to look for that too, if you decide you want to use it. The one thing that really made up my mind for me, is that I can use it for both kids even though they are in different grades.



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Free Poetry Live Class At Currclick

Check out all the live classes Currclick is offering in August. Some are free, and some have a small fee. Currclick is not just for homeschoolers but can be supplemental for any child, or adult.

FREE Poetry Picks Literature Class for 8th Grade and up! Plus, Powerpoint, Surface Area & Volume, Pirates, Cooking, College and more! All classes start in late July and August and are a great way to jumpstart a new season of learning.

Get ready for the NEW school year, with NEW computer and presentation skills!

Introduction to PowerPoint

Monday - Friday (No Class on Wednesday) at 11:00 am CDT
August 9, 10, 12 & 13
$20 for 4 Class Sessions
Ages 8 and up

Technology is an increasingly prevalent part of our lives. It is important that students learn to make use of this technology as part of their education. A valuable software program for students to learn is PowerPoint. This fabulous software has multiple uses for the homeschool student.

In this week long class, students will be introduced to the basics of PowerPoint through live demonstrations. They will learn the key features of PowerPoint and all the wonderful tools available for creating awesome presentations. They will discover the multiple uses for this presentation software, including how they can use it for digital notebooking in their homeschool.

Class sessions will include a group lesson with a live demonstration and time for the students questions. Students will receive handouts of the material covered in each lesson, as well as project ideas to apply what they have learned.

Each class session will be recorded, with the link to the recording emailed to the class following each session.

About the Teacher: My name is Dina DeYoung with Apples of Gold Online Academy. I am a licensed teacher with my Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Portland and a BA in Christian Ministries from George Fox University. I taught in the classroom for five years at a private Christian school before leaving to homeschool my own children. I have long had an enthusiasm for homeschooling and have deeply desired it for my own children. I am thrilled to be able to put my passion for teaching into practice in the homeschool community with live online classes through CurrClick.

If you have any questions about the class, please feel free to email me at dina@applesofgoldonlinetutoring.com.

*PowerPoint 2007 will be used for the live demonstrations. Earlier versions of PowerPoint may not have all the same features, but the ge neral information will still apply.

Click here for more information...

Our Price $20.00

Simply Music Summer Camp

Thursdays, Aug 5-26 at 1:00 pm Central, OR Mondays, Aug 9-30 at 9:00 am Central

Here is your opportunity to sample a month of Simply Music lessons! You will learn some basics of piano, beginnings of chords, and several songs!

Student home materials for camp are optional and can be purchased for $20 after signing up for the class. Please allow 1-2 weeks for materials to arrive - in the USA, longer outside of the USA.

**After purchase, complete enrollment by following the steps in the downloaded pdf or in the purchase note sent via email. Purchase note can also be viewed in your Currclick account, under purchases.

Founded by Neil Moore, Simply Music is a remarkable, Australian- developed piano and keyboard program that offers a breakthrough in music education. This unique method has children, teens, adults and seniors, playing great sounding blues, classical, contemporary and accompaniment pieces - immediately - from their very first lessons. In stark contrast to traditional methods that require students to learn music-reading as the means of learning to play, Simply Music teachers temporarily delay music-reading and introduce a revolutionary, 'playing-based' methodology.

This remarkably natural approach to learning music initially involves exposing students to a vast array of unique, copyrighted concepts that unfold directly onto the keyboard and produce unprecedented results.

Having lessons with a Simply Music teacher means experiencing the pleasure and satisfaction that comes from immediately playing a vast repertoire of great-sounding music. Ongoing lessons are scheduled to begin in September. (You must be a resident of the USA, Canada, Austrailia or New Zealand to participate in a class from Natural Notes Piano School )

Tami Duvall, Accredited Simply Music Instructor. I am a veteran homeschooling Mom of 6 ranging from 3-24 and 2 grandchildren age 4yrs and 3 months. I have always loved teaching and delight in preserving a child's love of learning.

When I began playing piano many years ago, Simply Music was not around, and I struggled with the common frustrations of the traditional reading based approach to learning piano. I was completely thrilled when I found there was a better way to learn and teach piano. Simply Music is that better way! Not only have I found success in playing but have been able to share this method with my children and many other students, children and adults. I have seen amazing result in student's experience of learning by Simply Music method. They are exposed to not only classical, but blues, contemporary, accompaniment and even composing their own pieces.

Click here for more information...

Our Price $12.00

It's Italian Cuisine Week

August 16, 2010 - August 20, 2010
11am CDT (no class Wednesday)

We will prepare and mangia classic dishes from Italy. This is one of my favorite cuisines and I'm sure it will be one of your family's as well!

Students will focus on preparing and cooking items that contain healthier ingredients with greater health benefits. Class is geared toward children 10 and up (this includes you too, parents!!) but if your younger child can keep up the pace with your assistance, then by all means, let them join in on this semi-extinct skill of cooking. We will spend approximately one to one and a half hours in the kitchen depending upon the dish. Your class fee includes all four classes to be aired daily.

Monday, August 16, 2010 - 11am CDT
Antipasto Salad & Parmesan Crostini's - Antipasto literally means "before the pasta". As you can guess, this is a traditional hot or cold hors d' oeuvre. We will combine the ingredients to make a tasty salad served with a warm Crostini.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 11am CDT
Pan Crusted Eggplant Parmesan w/ Simple Marinara - Can't get anymore descriptive here!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 11am CDT

Italian Meatball Soup - This is a traditional meal served at Italian Weddings. There are many versions of this soup and now you'll get ours!!

Friday, August 20, 2010 - 11am CDT

Cannoli's - A rolled pastry shell filled with a rich, creamy mixture to die for!!!

Click here for more information...

Our Price $30.00

It's time for the 3rd Annual Heart of the Matter Online Conference! HOTM is the pioneer of online homeschool conferences, not to mention the very best online conference out there! Plus, by signing up, you get $210 worth of free CurrClick goodies along with tons of other freebies from other great homeschool organizations and companies. Don't miss it!

Surface Area and Volume Workshop

Aug. 2-4 @ 11:00am-Noon CST
Cost: $20 For Pre-Algebra Students or earlier. 3 Sessions included.

Covers the concepts of surface area and volume for various 2D and 3D shapes and figures.

All sessions are LIVE! Students will see and hear the teacher in real-time. They will also be able to ask questions, make comments, and interact with other students. Finally, all sessions are recorded for later review, or if you happen to be absent.

Note: A workshop requires a minimum of five (5) registered students, otherwise it will be cancelled.

John Bovey has successfully taught math and other subjects for grades 4-12. He is a certified teacher in Washington state and has worked for schools in Ohio, California, and Washington. He is most experienced with teaching middle school and high school level math. He has been widely regarded as an excellent math teacher by former students and parents. John also has tutored numerous students in math. Several references attest to his strong teaching abilities and the overall success he has had as a teacher. He is currently the Owner/Operator of LIVE Online Math.

Click here for more information...

Our Price $20.00


So You Think You're Ready for College?

Session A - Tuesday, August 3, 2010 7:00 - 8:00 P.M. CDT OR
Session B - Thursday, August 5, 2010 7:00 - 8:00 P.M. CDT


You will receive a link to both classes and are welcome to attend both classes. The material that will be covered will be the same in both classes.

College is a huge transitional time for everybody in the family and for many people college can resemble a completely foreign environment!

Ian Henrich, is a 4.0 upcoming Sophomore at Georgia Institute of Technology majoring in Chemistry/Biochemistry with a minor in material science/nanotechnology.
After successfully navigating his freshman year, Ian has tons of tips and techniques for other college bound young people and their families all from a Christian perspective.

He will provide an insightful and candid presentation on how to handle the pressure and various situations that one might encounter applying to or going at a university:

* ACT? SAT? What's the best option?
* How to handle stress
* How to get invo lved on the campus
* Learn how to handle tough classes and tests

As a college student, Ian will bring a student's perspective on what it takes to succeed at a top university. RECOMMENDED AGE/GRADE: This class is meant for students and parents of students who about to apply for, are interested in, or going to college.

Click here for more information...
Our Price $3.95


FREE Poetry Picks: A Live Literature Class for Grades 8 and Up

Mon, August 16, 11:00-12:00 CST. Grades 8 and up

This FREE online class allows you to experience my Poetry Picks series at no cost. There are 6 Poetry Picks classes scheduled for the fall for just $5 each or $25 when you register for all six.

In this fun, free session, we'll analyze a handful of poems about ... poetry!

A week before class (or as soon as possible after registration if you register after August 9), you'll receive an email with a .pdf containing all of the poems we will be discussing. (Please note: poets and poems listed in the Poetry Picks descriptions are subject to change.)

Class Schedule: MONDAY, August 16, 11:00-12:00 CST (9:00 PST/10:00 MST/11:00 CST/12:00 EST)

Fall Poetry Picks sessions: Fridays, 9/17, 10/1, 10/15, 11/5, 11/19, and 12/3

Class Requirements: We will meet in CurrClick's Live Virtual Classroom. You simply need a broadband Internet connection and a computer with speakers. You'll be able to see and hear me and post your questions and com ments in the live chat.

Class will be recorded and a link to the recording will be provided to all class registrants. You can watch the recording as a review or if you missed the class.

About the Teacher: I'm a homeschooling mom of 3, teacher, author, yogi, and holistic health advocate. I started my teaching career in college as a writing tutor and began teaching in the classroom after earning my MA from Columbia University in 1991. I've published over a dozen study guides, including Grammar Source: The Smarter Way to Learn Grammar and Write Better Essays and have taught classes ranging from Writing and the Humanities to Critical Thinking, from Technical Writing to Science Fiction. I love teaching and witnessing the personal growth in students as they learn about themselves and their world through writing and literature. I am excited to be able to offer a community classroom experience to homeschoolers across the country and look forward to meeting you in clas s!

Questions? Please email me at echesla@comcast.net.

Click here for more information...
Our Price FREE

Pirates of the Real Carribean 1500-1800

Tuesday & Thursday, August 10th & 12th Only! 12pm CDT

Ahoy thar Matey! Climb aboard and join us as we travel through the Carribean and Atlantic learning about what Pirates were really like between 1500-1800. We'll learn about their ships, weapons, hideouts and what treasure thar be worth stealing. We'll even learn to talk like pirates, so bring along your brothers and sisters for a swashbuckling good time!

This will be a two time, one hour class that will be recorded if you miss any of it. We will go over the basics of real pirates and how they lived, including a female pirate. We will be learning about what they ate, what their boats looked like, what weapons they used, where they lived and learning some stories about them as well. No books are required for this class. There will be one assignment for the student to bring something to the second class on pirates, but extra assignments are left to the parent's discretion. I will be emailing a list of links and ideas for added learning that this class will hopefully sp ur. This class is for students approximately ages 10 and up- parents you know best what your child will understand! Siblings can all attend class for one price. You must have audio to hear the class. There must be 10 students in this class or it will be postponed.

Click here for more information...
Our Price $15.00

Fun Summer Contests Going on Now!

CurrClick Travel Photo Contest - Win a GPS!

Science JimPossible Contest: Glorious Garbage Glliders


Science JimPossible Contest: Terrifically Tall Towers


Science Jim Possible Contest: Ponderous Popsicle Towers




This newsletter was sent to you based on your settings at CurrClick.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How To Tie Die A Shirt

Tomorrow we are going to a tie dying playdate. In case you are wondering, no I have never tie died anything. Until three years ago I rented all of my homes, and tie dying in their washing machines was frowned upon. I was plenty happy to have the washer, and not have to go to the laundromat, so I never pressed the issue. Ms Laura is hosting our playdate tomorrow, and has offered to make tie dies for everyone. Plus water play, barbecue, and just good socialization. I have been a little stressed lately, so I am in much need of some relaxing, and socializing. If I don't get back before the weekend, I hope everyone has an awesome one. We will be watching the Tropical Depression moving towards the Gulf, ugh!




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beautiful Skies After A Thunderstorm

I finally remembered how to get my cell phone pictures to my computer, so I could share them with all of you. I love pictures. They are some of my most precious things that I own. I have tons from my childhood, and throughout my whole life. I love blogging because I can add my pictures here, and even if God forbid something awful happened to my home, my pictures would still be here. I upload some of my favorites to my blogs, so that I can always have access to them.

These were taken on the 4th of July just as we thought we were not going to be able to see the fireworks due to storms all day. The sky began to clear, and as you can see was quite spectacular. I took these while riding in the car on the way to the fireworks. That first top picture that funny looking cloud, are the ones they call anvil clouds that can cause super cells, and tornadoes. Thank goodness it just evaporated. These were taken within just a few minutes of each other, and you can see how rapidly the sky changed. If you click them they will enlarge. The fireworks one was the only one that came out suitable enough to post.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre, & Incredible Experiments

This book is awesome! You can reinforce earth, chemistry, biology, and physical sciences to your children with the use of one simple book. This book was actually given to me four years ago, when we started homeschooling. At the time I didn't need it, and put it away and forgot about it. While cleaning through papers I found it last week, and after going through it, found that it was going to be very useful to me this next year. You can use simple everyday items most found right in your own home, to complete the experiments. There is a detailed reasoning for each experiment, as to why you got the results you did. It does say from ages 8-12 on it, but I will be using it for both Caitlin and DJ. At less than 10 bucks you can have this awesome book too!



Monday, July 19, 2010

Finding American History In Movies

We have been wanting to see the National Treasure movies for some time. We just never seemed to get the time where we could watch them both together, so you don't forget what happens in the first one LOL. This weekend we did it, and I am so glad we did. Both of the National Treasure movies are chock full of American History set to an exciting treasure hunt theme. You do have to pay attention, or you will miss the American History clues. It was hard for Caitlin to follow, and she didn't have much interest. DJ did okay and really enjoyed them both. I personally like the second one better, and I hope they are working on a number three. If you haven't seen them, check them out.





Saturday, July 17, 2010

Finding Time To Volunteer

Volunteering is something many parents like to instill in their children. Public service, giving back to your community, helping those in need, are all fine qualities for all children to learn. If you are like me and you have limited transportation, I hope this will change next year, then you might be wondering how you can have your children volunteer or help those in need. There are a few websites that you can go to, and pick charities that you can donate in various ways, right from your computer.

My personal favorite is Meals on Wheels, which helps to get meals to elderly who are low income, and maybe can not get nutritious meals. I hope to next year be able to actually volunteer to deliver meals, with my children assisting. I also like soup kitchens, but my kids are not quite old enough for that yet.

The Gilchrist County Animal Shelter, always needs donations, and volunteers. Though I have had my issues with them in the past, my children do love animals and it is important to them to help them when they can. You can find a local animal shelter near you to volunteer, or donate to. They always need money, blankets, toys, and someone to help feed, clean, and care for the animals.

Here are some websites for you to check out that are in need of donations, and or volunteers. You can pick and choose which ones suit your personal needs. I found these in a 2009 issue of Family Circle.

http://www.charity.com
http://www.igive.com
http://www.biddingforgood.com
http://www.donorschoose.org
http://www.markmakers.org
http://www.globalgiving.com

One more before I go http://www.freerice.com is an education based site where every time you get an answer correct, a certain amount of rice is donated to a country in need of rice. In many countries rice is the staple food, and a lot are experiencing a shortage of rice. I personally use this site, as do my children. It is free to use, and I have never gotten malware or spyware from there.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Learn Sign Language Conversations

We tried learning Spanish one year, but Caitlin and DJ really had no interest. Then last year we started learning sign language. DJ took to it much more than Caitlin, and since I already knew some from years ago of learning, it came pretty easy. This year I have purchased a sign language book for learning to sign conversations. It is still for beginners, so it shouldn't be too hard to learn and put it together. I will still add videos too, because sometimes the still pictures just don't tell the whole thing clearly. I use Youtube as my video source. Hopefully Caitlin will take more of an interest this year. Like Art, Writing, and Reading, Signing classes will be on Mondays, and Fridays. The book shown below is the exact book I purchased. If you are interested in you or your children learning Sign Language check it out.



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Teaching Addition To First Graders

There are several methods that you can teach addition to a young child. You can use blocks, beads, pennies, number lines, and a variety of other methods. One thing I have noticed in my watching of several videos is that they never seem to address the issue that the child needs to know that the + sign means to add, and the = sign is what the two number combined will make. If they don't understand the symbol they will just memorize whatever you show them, yet never really learn that they are adding two things together. The video below will show a variety of methods you can use to help your child learn addition. Caitlin was very successful with the number line method, and we will use that again this next year, along with flash cards for memorization.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Charter On Demand Rocks!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Charter. All opinions are 100% mine.



I am sure you have heard of On Demand, but have you checked it out with On Demand home page. Charter has lots of different options, on their digital On Demand section. There are movies, TV shows, sports, educational shows, cooking shows, just about anything you could possibly think of. I was asked to pick which movie playing On Demand right now, was my favorite. I will have to say Alice in Wonderland, with Johnny Depp. I love Johnny Depp! But there is also Avatar, Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeekqeul, The Blind Side, and The Book of Eli, all awesome movies that you and your family will enjoy. Plus Charter offers pay per view events, like WWE, boxing matches, and UFC. Practically anything you can think of can be viewed On Demand.

If you have cable then you know how expensive and frustrating it can be. They have rules for what channels and events you can and can not watch, mostly based on contracts. For example we could not get local channels forever, with a company I will not name. Charter's digital On Demand service should not have to worry about any of these complications. The On Demand digital service offered by Charter Cable, is by far their most popular feature to date. If you think this service might be just what you are looking for, be sure to click the sponsored link to visit their site. You can at least window shop, you never know what kind of a deal you might find.

Charter on demand is an awesome service because you never have to worry about missing an episode of American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars, Criminal Minds, or whatever show happens to be on your must see list of shows to watch. Maybe it is Icarly, Spongebob, Big Time Rush, or one of the Discovery channels that tickle your fancy. Because it is "on demand," you watch it when you are ready, not when the network airs your favorite programs. Most networks will air their shows within 24 hours, and some are within just a couple of hours of original air time. Because you can watch from your TV, or your computer, you have the flexibility of you watching something, and your children, spouse, or roommate watching something else. It is win, win for everyone.

If you have a Facebook account You will ‘Like’ their Facebook page as well

Visit my sponsor: Charter On Demand goes WAY beyond movies

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Contests And Scholarships For Homeschoolers

If you have ever wondered if homeschooled children can get scholarships, the answer is yes. Homeschool.com one of my favorite resources for all kinds of homeschool information, tips, resources, and everything else homeschool has a whole section devoted to contests and scholarships. Click this link right here to go check them out. Some end this month, so don't dilly dally!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Pity Party Is Your Reward!

I am having a pity party! OK so I am just being dramatic, but I was trying to get your attention. Did it work? I reserved a paid post last night, and then forgot all about it. I hate it when I do that. So I am punishing myself by awarding someone a free pair of earrings. I am so kind! I really am giving away these beautiful White Topaz earrings made by me. To see the rules and enter go to Melissas Jewelry and Gems. This is not a sticky post so don't delay, I would hate for you to miss it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Reading Lists For 2010/2011 School Year

These are the reading lists for 2010/2011 for Caitlin and DJ. Caitlin did Hooked on Phonics last year, and did quite well. However the majority of it she had no interest in, like the listening CD's, so rather than wasting the money buying the whole thing I again I have switched to the Now I Can Read sets. These sets come in sets of ten books, and are based on things your child is probably already learning about like animals, weather, and communities. I have second set of ten that is slightly harder that if she is able to complete the first will move on to those. This year for DJ I concentrated on history readers, and some mysteries. He loves mysteries, and since we are doing The Story of the World set 1, I felt the history readers would help with not losing what we have covered in American History. Reading days will be Monday, and Fridays, with book reports for DJ.

Caitlin's Reading List:

1- Fat Cat
2- Hot Dog
3- Pig Jigs
4- Rub a Dub Cub
5- Wet Legs
6- Crab Trap
7- Frog Cops
8- Fish Gift
9- Stuck Duck
10- Elk Yelps

DJ's Reading List:

1- The Gettysburg Address
2- The Lincoln Memorial
3- The Story of the Bonhome Richard
4- The Story of the White House
5- The Story of Mount Vernon
6- The Story of Monticello
7- The Story of the Capitol
8- The Story of Old Glory
9- The Star Spangled Banner
10- The Story of Mt Rushmore
11- The Story of Jamestown
12- The History of the Supreme Court
13- The Story of the Constitution
14- The Declaration of Independence
15- The Statue of Liberty
16- The Liberty Bell
17- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 12 short stories
18- The Hardy Boys- 3 stories

I think this will keep us very busy this next school year.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Teaching Children To Tell Time

Teaching children to tell time is an essential skill to learn. There are many ways to teach it, though I find hands on learning the best. I purchased this little clock to the left for only 3.99 at ChristianBooks.com. I have been looking for a learning clock, and since I am frugal, ahem cheap, I have been looking for a sale. This is actually a puzzle and the hands are movable, and removable. While the puzzle is too young for Caitlin the movable hands are just what I was looking for. You could also use an old broken clock, and remove the face. If your child is more of a watch and learn individual, you could use the video below, and you can even rent the full length video for 7 days at Youtube, for like 3 dollars. I didn't even know you could rent the videos on Youtube, did you? No matter which method you choose repetition is the key. Start with the hour, then go to half hour, then 15 minute intervals. Minute by minute to the second will come last in your time teaching order. I find it a great way to teach skip counting as well.




Friday, July 9, 2010

Earn Your Masters Of Art In Teaching Online With USC

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of USC. All opinions are 100% mine.



Are you an educator that wants to get your Masters, or an aspiring teacher to be? If either of these describe you and your future then you need USC. You can view the USC program information by clicking the link.

At USC Rossier School of Education’s MAT program will allow you to get your degree with the convenience of online classes, and still being able to be employed. For someone like me who homeschools her children, online classes would be perfect for me to advance my education. I can still teach my children, and further my own education at the same time. There are other benefits to the USC online program such as: tuition reimbursement programs, student blog, an accelerated program that will allow you to graduate within twelve months, opportunity to become a part of the USC Trojan family, have all the same benefits of full time campus students at USC.

Once you have decided an online degree is the best option for you, and your family, then you need to sign up with USC. You will have the opportunity to view a technology video that will introduce you to the interactivity of the program. USC has a highly interactive online learning experience, along with field experience to adjunct your online courses, and they will be in your local area. We all know how important hands on experience is.

Getting your online degree with USC will be one of the most rewarding things you will do in your life. Rossier and the MAT@USC were awarded the AACTE award innovative and modern uses of the internet in education. For over 100 years teachers at USC have been renowned for being leaders of change. USC is ranked #22 in the U.S., and #9 for all private universities in the U.S. Those are some awesome stats, and now you can be a part of the USC family, and get your Masters of Arts in Teaching degree. So go on, click the link to see if this is what you have been waiting for.

Visit my sponsor: Master of Arts in Teaching degree online from USC

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Looking For A Few Good Bloggers!

I started this group over a year ago, and it has grown into a nice little group of bloggers from all over the world, and all different walks of life. They all bring something special to the group, and none are homeschoolers except me, so please don't fee like you have to homeschool to join. I love variety, it keeps me on my toes. There really are not a lot of rules, but I do expect one thing, that you join for more than the free link. Once you click the link, you will go to the homepage, click join, then you can add up to three blogs using the links option on the left hand side. Then you can leave me a comment here, or email me at melissaruede@yahoo.com so that I know you joined and have added links. Then I will add them to the blogroll on this blog named Blogging For Fun Blogroll. All the active members are in the blogroll so you can visit the others right from there, or from the group homepage. Some are not active, and are not deleted from the group, but their blogroll links are removed. To be considered active you should try to visit each blog two to three times a week, leave comments if you can, follow the blogs, etc. On Fridays, in the fall, we do a meme called Fun Friday. You do not have to participate but it is kind of fun. I have made some great friends with this group, and we are always looking for more. Click this link right here to go to the homepage, and join this awesome free blogging group. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Frankenstein By Dean Koontz City Of Night

I have to tell you there are two things right off the top of my head that annoy me about living in a very rural town. One when you call the town clerk you can count on getting an incorrect answer, and the post office too. Two the local Walmart will have books that you think are next in a series, but really are the end of the series LOL. Here I thought book two was the one at my local Walmart, no it is the fourth, with two and three no where in sight. At any rate if you like Dean Koontz his Frankenstein series will thrill you. I find a lot of his work to be very bizarre, and unreadable, but here and there I find a series I love. Also of note somehow my local Walmart never did have the next two Odd Thomas books in the series, so now they have been added to my list as well. If you have not read Odd Thomas he is a delightful little character. I have read the four that I knew of, and can not wait to get the others.



Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday USA and DJ



Yes, today is DJ's 10th birthday. I can not believe he is ten already. Here are some pictures of his last day of being nine. He has church this morning, then birthday cake with Nonie and swimming, then fireworks later. We do not do huge parties with tons of friends. I like to keep it small, and family oriented. Plus if I throw huge parties then I can not afford the gifts and we usually go somewhere like Chuck E Cheese. DJ has chosen the aquarium though we won't go today, but in the very near future. My male dog is petrified of fireworks so it is hard to leave him alone this time of year for any length of time. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.





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Saturday, July 3, 2010

The History Of The 4th Of July

How well do you know your American history? I think everyone knows we celebrate the 4th because it is the date of the United States of America. But is that all you know? How much of the American Revolution do you remember learning about in school. Watch the very cool video below, and learn again.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Draw, Write, Now Native Americans



I just bought this book for Caitlin for first grade. I love these because they see, read, write, and draw in order to learn the lesson. There are 15 lessons per book. I might get the animal habitats too. I still have time until school starts to decide.

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