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Friday, July 29, 2016

Need encouragement for back to school? Check out this giveaway!

I am proud to have partnered with Brookdale House homeschool curriculum publishing as a contributor to this year's Back to Homeschool Mom Encouragement Giveaway.

There are hundreds of dollars worth of prizes and multiple winners will be chosen, plus this giveaway is an excellent way to start your new school year because everyone who enters gets some freebies!

Click the link above to enter by August 3. You could be one of the lucky winners. Want to know more about the fantastic products included in this giveaway? Here's a list...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Homeschool Bullies: Dealing with Mean Kids, Cliques and Mama Drama

It's one of the least talked about issues in homeschooling today. That's right, I am talking about the problem of homeschool bullies. We don't want to acknowledge they exist, because they mess up the positive picture we'd rather paint. But they do exist, and although homeschooling can be a wonderful experience, and there's no other form of education I would rather choose for my kids, dealing with the bullies within the homeschool community is no fun at all.

I wrote this book after hearing way too many stories of families who started homeschooling only to find themselves bullied within their local groups or online. And having played the role of both a homeschool bully and the victim of bullying myself, I decided it was time to own up to my part in it and make a change for the better.

I take full responsibility for my own actions, and hope that the readers of this book will, too. I believe that working together, we can improve our community, if not for ourselves than for our kids. We can put a stop to homeschool bullying, if we are just brave enough to shine a light on it and learn how to deal with the mean kids, the cliques and the mama drama that we discover.

Visit my store to pick up your copy of "Homeschool Bullies: Dealing with Mean Kids, Cliques and Mama Drama" from CreateSpace or Amazon.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Review of 'More Than Words - for Moms'

I wasn't looking for a devotional. Honestly, this summer has been so busy, I didn't think I even had time to review a devotional, much less put one to good use. But this one caught my attention.

"More Than Words - for Moms" is a devotional for busy moms by author, Stephanie Eidson. When she says it's designed for busy moms, I know she is telling the truth because she is a homeschooling mom just like me. We know busy!

So I decided to give it a look. Here's what I found.

Words are the heart of the "More Than Words - for Moms" devotional. Eidson has provided readers with a whole list of words, words that might mean something different to each reader at any particular point in her journey through life, or even through her day.

Temper, for instance, may take on a whole new meaning at 4:00 in the afternoon, when you've just lost yours because your most stubborn child has refused to finish the eight math problems you assigned right after lunch, and your children may find themselves praying you remember the meaning of mercy. Those are just a couple of the words featured in this devotional.

The awesome part is that you can use the journal pages to record your own studies of each word, in any order you'd like, and to dig out what the Bible has to say about them. And, as far as I can tell, you could use the pages over and over, discovering new things about each word, and new things about the associated scriptures you find, because there is a lot to learn about words like sin, grace, and acceptance.

Personally, I don't care much for devotionals that paraphrase scripture and tell you what to think about what the Bible says. I like the kind that lead you to read and discover the Word for yourself, because it has so much to say on its own, and every time you read a passage, you stand to learn something new.

"More Than Words - for Moms" is on sale for $7.99 until July 22. I think it is one devotional worth checking out.

(Affliliate links included.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer tips for working out with your dog

Working out with your dog is good for your whole family. You get the benefits of sunshine, fresh air and an exercise buddy that won’t let you down. But summer can be hard on dogs, especially if you are not careful to take care of your four-legged friend.

To keep your workout buddy in tip top shape, make sure you take the summer heat into consideration. Here are some tips to help you and your family dog keep working out all summer long.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer sports that will help your kids survive the zombie apocalypse

Are you having trouble motivating your kids to get outdoors and move their bodies this summer? It is awfully hot outside, but we know that kids need fresh air, exercise and play! The trick to getting your kids moving in a healthy way over the summer, besides scheduling outdoor time during the cooler parts of the day, is to provide them with the right sort of motivation.

I'm thinking, surviving the zombie apocalypse ought to do the trick! What better motivation is there than the very survival of the human race? Now, there may never be a zombie apocalypse, but even the CDC has done its part to prepare us for a world infested with zombies, so we should encourage our kids to engage in activities that will help them to ultimately overcome the onslaught and survive.

To that frightening end, let’s figure out the best summer sports your family can focus on to train for battle with the flesh-eating zombies who used to be your friends and neighbors. And remember, you don’t want to start a panic in your neighborhood, so don't feel like you have to tell anyone you are in training to survive the zombie apocalypse. Just take comfort in knowing that your family's efforts at mastering the following sports may mean the difference between life and death… or undeath, as the case may be.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Let them talk! They're building language skills

I've never been a proponent of the idea that children should be seen and not heard. Sure, kids should learn manners, and as they grow they should figure out when it is appropriate to use their inside voices, or maintain a respectful silence, but in general, I am a big fan of allowing children to talk, both to one another and to adults.

I will, however admit to wanting to pull my hair out on occasion and scream, "Okay, enough, I don't care to hear one more word about Five Nights at Freddy's, thank you!" That's because I have an 8-year-old who is going through her motor mouth phase, and she never, ever seems to shut up.

But this past weekend, I was speaking at the Tulsa Homeschool Expo, and I had a chance between my sessions to sit down and listen to some of the other speakers, and one of the things I heard really struck me. 

Andrew Pudewa, in a session about building language skills, said that little kids need to hear themselves talk. Hearing themselves say words out loud is a crucial building block of language development. 

Okay, then! According to Mr. Pudewa, language building expert of the homeschool community, my instincts were right to not only allow my kids to talk freely, but to encourage them to do so. That is, of course, except when we're in heavy traffic, when it would be inappropriate for anyone to rattle on, or when mama is down to her last nerve.

I've come to realize that the motor mouth phase only lasts a few years, as my older kids have grown into teenagers and their tendency to talk on and on, even when no one is listening, has waned. They still talk to me, and to each other, but more purposefully now. They don't seem to talk just to hear themselves talk. 

But now that I realize that's exactly what they were doing while they were younger, developing language skills by listening to themselves saying words out loud, I am so happy that I let them jabber. That, along with reading aloud together and other things we did as a family, helped them build strong vocabularies and become confident speakers and writers. 

So, let your kids talk... and talk, and talk, and talk, and talk! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Register for free for the 2016 Digital Homeschool Convention

Have you heard about the 2016 Digital Homeschool Convention? It's not like other conventions. You can curl up on the couch in your pajamas and watch all the sessions for free at your own leisure during the convention while the workshops are streaming. During and after the convention, videos of the sessions will also be available to purchase in case you weren't able to catch them all. And of course, there will be a virtual vendor hall with lots of great deals on curriculum and resources!

I am thrilled to be one of the speakers featured in this year's Digital Homeschool Convention. I'll be presenting a workshop based on my new book, Homeschool Bullies: Dealing with Mean Kids, Cliques and Mama Drama. Make sure to register for free so you can see all the workshops that are scheduled. There will be up to 40 in total, on a wide range of homeschool topics.

There are so many reasons to check this out, not the least of which is that you can listen to speakers you might not have a chance to see anywhere else, and you can do it for free during the convention. You can't beat that!

(affiliate links included)