Spoiled Rotten Mama Party!

spoiled3I am putting together a fun end-of-the-year giveaway at Schoolin’ Swag for our 4,600-ish wonderful, hard working, homeschooling mamas! Wanna take a peek at the lovely items being offered?

These items are being donated by mamas in our group, many of whom also have home businesses to help make ends meet. This is one of the few times each year that we allow personal advertising in the group, and I’m happy to give the opportunity to help a great cause! Homeschooling!

spr1From Charissa Rice (Mary Kay), we will have a bundle including the Satin Lips set and Ultimate Mascara!

From Rebecca Pahnke Thomas, we have Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion from Mary Kay (she is not business building, just being SO sweet in donating!) as well as Citrus Bliss Invigorating Essential Oil Blend from doTERRA!

From Hope Turner (Young Living), we’ll have a cute diffuser necklace and a bottle of “Stress Away” essential oil, as well as a couple of other samples and a Lavender Bath Soak.

srm5From lovely member Lynette Dickson, we have a hand crafted natural bronzer, using  the winner’s choice of combination of cocoa powder, rose powder, and ginger root powder for shimmer. Mmmmmmmmmm…chocolate and shimmer!

From Perfectly Posh member Leah Cherrone, we have the donation of the “Posh to meet you” kit by Perfectly Posh contains a Good Vibes BFYHC (big fat yummy hand cream-smells like mango with a hint of coconut), a Strawberry Fields Forever chunk (bar soap, smells like strawberry and lime–I LOVE THIS…SO yummy!) and a Santa Monica Smooth lip balm (peach, orange and mint, with a hint of caffeine). Also included in this bundle is a “dogbone” pillow made of  dress weight denim. It is medium firm (not softy soft, not hard).  It is designed for neck support and easy to carry or hang to store with the handles.

srm93Next, from Krysten Glor (31 Gifts), we have a $25 gift certificate to use however the winner’s heart desires! So many cute choices!

 

From Karen Daniels (Plexus), we have a 7-day trial pack being offered! I have loved the “Pink Drink”…certainly worth giving it a go if you’ve never tried it!

srm9From Ashley Moore’s Etsy shop, we have a $20 gift certificate to use toward her super cute selection of hair accessories and baby barefoot sandals (which are darling)!

srm91Now, from Dana Malone of One Buffalo (products with integrity), we are offering a bundle of natural, organic body care products, including:

  • Natural deodorant made with only organic coconut oil, arrowroot powder, non-GMO corn starch, organic shea butter, baking soda, beeswax and organic lemongrass essential oil
  • Lotion Stick – Mint, made with only organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, beeswax and essential oil

  • Lip Balm, made with only organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil and beeswax

srm92From our wonderful crochet guru Denise Hockenberry, we’ll have a cute and practical spa bath set including 3 wash cloths, 6 face scrubbies, and 1 soap saver!

srm95Further, from Jen Figueiras (Jamberry Nails) we have a $20 gift certificate, plus a mini application kit and the 2 sheets of accent nails! Just in time for summer! 🙂

srm98From one of our newest members, Brittany Barber (It Works), we have an Ultimate Body Applicator (value $25), which is a non-woven cloth wrap that has been infused with a powerful, botanically-based formula to deliver maximum tightening, toning, and firming results where applied to the skin.

  • Tightens, tones, & firms
  • Minimizes cellulite appearance
  • Improves skin texture & tightness
  • Mess-free and simple to use
  • Results in as little as 45 minutes
  • Progressive results over 72 hours
  • Made with natural ingredients

srm97Moving on (!), we have a Moonstruck 3D Fiberlashes set from Amy Hardy Moye (Younique)! Increase your lash volume by up to 400%!

srm99From our darlin’ brand new Avon rep Diana Doggett, we have a fun little package including nail polish (Pastel Pink), lipstick (Divine Wine), and Mark lip gloss duo (Glow Baby Glow and Girly Girl)!

pressingpause

Finally, from two wonderful authors, Karen Ehman and Ruth SchweKaren Enk (I LOVE “Hoodwinked” which was also co-authored by them), we have a copy of “Pressing Pause“! I am so tickled to be able to include this in our event!

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No Foolin’ Preschoolin’ Event is Shaping Up! UPDATED

playlearnI’m excited about our No Foolin’ Preschoolin’ Giveaway on April 1st at Schoolin’ Swag! We have some great companies and publishers already on board. Take a peek (click the live links to browse their sites and check out their donations!):

I’m looking forward to adding more to the list! These are great helps, to enhance the time you have to invest in your Pre-K student. Life is full of educational moments, whether it is simply investigating nature or developing gross and fine motor skills through play. SO much happens through play in our little ones. We shouldn’t underestimate its importance!  This is not a time to become rigidly academic. This is time for exploration. What feels cold? What smells spicy? Which is big and which is small? What does my name look like? Where does the sun go at night? How many crackers are on this plate? How do plants grow? What color is the sky? How can I say hello to my Spanish speaking friend? Which musical instrument do I like the best?  Oh, so much to learn!

mrrogers

Teaching a love for learning is of utmost importance at this age, and fun materials can be great tools to use in accomplishing this! Cultivating a love for reading for preschoolers often happens in mommy’s lap, so we hope to offer some lovely books for your snuggle time, too!

Having preschool materials on hand can be of great help to some parents who may need a little assistance in guiding their children developmentally. Sometimes we don’t know where to start…sometimes we have so many things going on in the home, we don’t know HOW to start! I hope this event is an encouragement to you!

 

“I Love Language” Event at Schoolin’ Swag! (UPDATED!)

languagesComing up on February 15th, we’ll be having a new event at Schoolin’ Swag, featuring products centered around language…foreign languages, Latin, as well as American Sign Language.

Here are the companies/publishers which will be featured:

Don’t miss it!  Prizes will post beginning 9am on 2/15. We’ll allow a full 24 hours for posts to remain up (to cover our friends in all time zones), and winners will be drawn at 9am on 2/16.

The UPS Elf!

Our “12 Hours of Christmas” and “Homeschool Homestretch” events are done. Many happy prize winners have already received their goodies, or have their noses pressed to their front door windows eagerly awaiting them! Now it’s time to focus on my home, family and our church festivities.

WPDBUT I wanted to share what came in MY mail today! Santa’s brown elf (not to be confused with wood elves, LOTR fans) visited us today. I know we homeschoolers get a special thrill from receiving boxes of books, so I thought I’d post a pic so we can squeal together!

I’ll be reviewing these items here after the New Year. Some of my favorite things, and I get to test drive them for free!

ups

This felt like “Merry Christmas to me” when I opened it!

 

What “Homeschool Homestretch”Is Looking Like!

nopeekWe have had a great time during our “Homeschool Homestretch” event!  So far we have been able to offer these encouragements to lucky winners in our group:

Today’s giveaways include:

Coming up, we have these FABULOUS donors still to feature (the donations are a secret…no peeking or peeling back the gift wrap!):

Come join us! Prizes post at 9am (Mtn Time) daily, with winners drawn via Random.org at 9pm. Two prizes tomorrow, and the remaining for a Grand Finale on Friday!

HEDUA “On the Go” Planner & Family Magazine Giveaway!

I’m very excited to say that tomorrow morning we will have a lovely giveaway posted at Schoolin’ Swag! FIVE very fortunate winners will receive a bundle including a copy of HEDUA’s “On the Go” Planner for 2016!

hedua1The On the Go Planner from the Well Planned Gal is a beautifully designed day planner and home management system perfectly sized to fit in your purse. Take it with you everywhere you go and stay organized at home and on the go! Look inside here! 

  • Perfectly purse-sized (GENIUS, right???)
  • Space to create a daily schedule and to-do list
  • Meal Planning
  • Monthly Budgeting
  • One year Bible reading plan

These five winners will ALSO receive a year’s subscription to Family Magazine! 

hedua2Family Magazine meets you at the intersection of your life and faith. Committed to engaging today’s homeschooling family in thoughtful discussions of relevant topics, we bring you the best articles by the best authors about the most important issues facing families today. No cookie-cutter answers here—only practical, current homeschooling advice and resources. Come join the most meaningful discussions taking place in the homeschooling community!

I will also be reviewing the “On the Go” Planner as well as the HEDUA “Well Planned Day” Planner for 2015-2016! Keep an eye out!

Specials:  Be aware of these special prices, available right now on these products!

  • Well Planned Day Planner (reg $26.95) now $13.47!
  • On the Go Planner 2015-2016 (reg $15.95) now 7.97!
  • Family Magazine (reg $25) now $12!
  • These Great Sales and much more, at this link!

Go and “like” the HEDUA Facebook page here! Follow the “Well Planned Gal” herself, by clicking here. 🙂 You can sign up for their free newsletter right here, and find LOTS of freebies here!

Special Secret Santa Bundle

secretsantaI have a Secret Santa giveaway that I will be giving to one special member of Schoolin’ Swag on December 1. This will be lovely 3-book bundle from Dyslexia Games (The Thinking Tree)​ (“Coffee Time Journal, “A Day Like Tomorrow” and “How to Homeschool” purse sized guide!).

I’m not telling how I am deciding upon the winner. Let’s just say I’ll be watching for who’s naughty and who’s nice. 😀

Christmas Countdown!

We are counting down the days at Schoolin’ Swag! Our “12 Hours of Christmas” event begins at 9am on December 1, and in preparation for the festivities, we are giving away a prize a day in the group! Prizes already given away:

fatal-illusions2Today we are offering two paperback copies of “Fatal Illusions” by my author friend, Adam Blumer. This is a clean (no worries about language or suggestive content) Christian mystery, full of riveting suspense!  Go over to the group on Facebook and enter to win. Winners will be drawn at 10pm Mountain Time.

Upcoming Countdown Prizes:

Saturday: A copy of Rapid Recall Addition from Little Giant Steps! (value $45.54)

Sunday: From Memoria Press, we’ll have their set of 4 Advent books, as well as a Classical Christmas CD from their Lingua Angelica course! (total value $56.95)

Monday: A $15 Gift Certificate from Usborne Books!

Tuesday: “12 Hours of Christmas” event begins at 9am!

“12 Hours of Christmas” Giveaway Coming up December 1!

12hoursxmasOur 2nd Annual “12 Hours Of Christmas” Giveaway on our Facebook group page is coming up December 1, from 9am until 9pm (Mountain Time)! If you are one of our (currently) 4,421 members, you are invited! This is a high energy, much-anticipated event. I try to plug in all my giveaway sleuthing savvy for this. 😉

Want to have a sneak peek at some of the prizes that will be offered (and, as always, you need only to comment on the postings you like in order to enter…I don’t make my people jump through a bunch of hoops)? I’ve got a nice mix of some homeschool-y stuff and some fun-and-pampering stuff. 🙂 Here is what I have thus far:

Hopefully, I have a few more items coming, but this is already shaping up to be a great event! Come on over and join Schoolin’ Swag to enter for these goodies. Don’t forget to mark your calendars!

Dyslexia At Our House (Plus Freebies and HUGE Giveaway Bundle from The Thinking Tree–value over $100!))

I noticed our son had some reading challenges early on. Not only that, but letter writing challenges, number challenges, math challenges, and handwriting challenges. This was prior to putting him in our state’s virtual academy for homeschool. We only remained with K12 for a year and a half, but in that time, testing was done (along with reams of IEPs and tons of online meetings which were very frustrating, to be honest). Dyslexia. Not profound, but significant.

When I pulled our kids from K12, I had to maintain my own course and establish strategies that would work for our son to succeed. Here are some of the things I found helpful:

  • I used a basic evaluation like this to discern if I was headed in the right direction prior to formal testing.
  • One of the best discoveries I made as a mom was realizing it helped our son a great deal to separate his math from any reading assignments. Do math first. Do math after recess or lunch. Why? Because in reading, his brain is going top-to-bottom and left-to-right on the page. Then in math he had times when his brain was required to perform processes going from right-to left, and bottom-from-top. A simple truth, but one I’d never considered before. His brain was exhausted. This is what it may have looked like to him during a normal school day: http://space.io9.com/nasa-tossed-astronauts-with-this-gimbal-rig-before-laun-1727900059
  • We started slow with reading, and I found that the Abeka pages I reverted to (because I had them on hand) were way, WAY too busy for him. There was too much color, too many different concepts on his math pages in particular. So at that point, I switched to Rod and Staff , which was very basic, one concept at a time, and no bells and whistles to distract. Now that he is older, we use Teaching Textbooks, which is simple, quiet lecture, easy to follow, and appeals to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
  • For reading, I found for our son that he had the best success when he read books in comic book form, with text bubbles. There was something about having small bits of text, isolated and not in paragraph form, that really helped him. “Missile Mouse” (we bought the whole set for Christmas) was a favorite, and we had a wide variety of these books at our library.
  • I used Abeka Phonics for all three of our kids, with good success. It uses some rote drill along with pictures, and that helped our son to associate sounds with images in his mind.
  • I also found that in the beginning he made good progress writing in text bubbles as well! We made our own story boards, but here is a fun, free template source.
  • Simple exercises like these can help exercise the mind!
  • For reading comprehension, I found it very helpful at the start for our son to use sticky notes for each paragraph. We would decide what the “big idea” in that paragraph was, and write it on the note. This trained his mind to look not only for main ideas and subjects of sentences, but also for how everything works in context.
  • Using a bookmark under lines of text while reading helped a lot. Pointing at each word with his finger did not help him to train his mind to see groups of words together. Using a straight edge under each line of text helped his eyes to embrace ideas instead of just syllables.
  • Something that is a relatively new idea is the dyslexia font, available free here. It can be used to create your own printables and worksheets. This was not around when we were first testing the waters, but I’m happy to offer it now!
  • While we spent time on handwriting (of course), I didn’t make a federal case out of it, and for our purposes we only focused on cursive for his signature.
  • One of the most liberating things we did was teach typing/keyboarding early. Not only is this a skill our kids must have in this generation and beyond, but for our son, it skipped the whole mental gymnastic thing with the letters he commonly “flipped”. Because he learned the keyboard by rote, his brain told him “b” and he typed “b”. Incorporating the keyboard into our homeschooling was a total game-changer for us! You can find good, free typing programs here.
  • Our son reads well now (but still prefers not to read aloud). He enjoys works with more difficult vocabulary and mythical names, etc. like the Narnia series, the Chronicles of Prydain, and the popular Tolkien books. I’m so grateful for his progress.
  • Even now, when we have a good handle on reading, I still see the challenges show up again in math. He can do mental math very quickly, but on paper, it’s a chore. For instance, in multiplication review, using numbers in hundreds and thousands, and remembering to bump numbers one spot to the left in the answers…the frustrations came up again. Understanding fully the “why” of doing it helps some, and TT does a great job at that. But I remembered again that he cannot do reading in close proximity to math. I’d forgotten, and set him up for a very bad day with algebra.

I hope these tips might help someone else who is struggling on this journey. In the last year, I discovered The Thinking Tree–a resource I would have given my right arm for years ago! Go and check them out!

Meanwhile, I have a HUGE giveaway for you from The Thinking Tree! Comment below to enter (and be sure to “follow” this blog!). I’ll post the name of the winner on Friday, 10 am (Mountain Time). Here’s what you are entering to win:

The Boy’s Journal (value $32.00)

The Girl’s Journal (value $32.00)

The Spelling Journal (value $24.50)

The Handbook for Moms (value 32.50)