Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Labor of Love Sale at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

 

image The Old Schoolhouse is my favorite homeschooling magazine. It is just the right balance of curriculum reviews, meaty, thought provoking articles, and homeschooling how-to’s.  Each issue takes me several weeks to read through—This is definitely not a skinny, quick-to-read magazine!

TOS is currently running THE best sale I have ever seen on the magazine. If you have thought about subscribing, this is the time!

Here are the details:

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is extending an extraordinary subscription offer to homeschool families. Receive a one-year print subscription for just $7.95 or a one-year plus current issue subscription for $12.95. One-year subscriptions start with the winter issue. The one-year plus current issue starts with the fall issue. Only 5000 of these special subscriptions are available from August 31 through midnight on September 15. Once the 5000 are gone, they're gone! Hurry and grab this crazy price today!

I am receiving a “Fall Expo to Go” in exchange for blogging for TOS. All opinions are my own.

ThermoCell Mosquito Lantern

Jamerican Spice is running a giveaway for a mosquito lantern that keeps mosquitos free from a 15 X 15 foot area. I really need one of these in our buggy yard!

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Smart Knit Socks Giveaway

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Does your child hate to wear socks? Does he have sensitive feet that make seams and wrinkles irritating? SmartKit Kid socks were developed especially for children with sensory processing differences and hypersensitivity. They are knit with no heels and no seams.

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We don’t have any sensitive kids or feet around here :), but were happy to try out our samples. Emily tried both a size XL and a size XXL. (She wears a size 2 shoe.) Both fit well—the interesting thing about the SmartKnit Kids socks is that they stretch a lot and have no heel, so, for example, one child could wear a L as ankle socks, an XL as crew socks, and a XXL as long socks! The XXL were almost long enough to wear as long socks on Emily. Depending on how well they wear, you could get years out of a pair of socks!  Emily’s first comment was,  “These socks are really soft!” 

The XXL also fit me well. They are sized to fit girls/boys sizes 5-8. I wear a (women’s) 7 1/2 to 8 and found them very comfortable. They fit snugly without wrinkles, but are not tight.

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Another cool feature of SmartKnit Kids socks is that they are designed to wick moisture away from the feet and are antimicrobial to inhibit odor-causing bacteria. So if you have a stinky-feet problem at your house, this might be what you are looking for!

SmartKnit Kids socks retail for $6.95 a pair.

 Giveaway: SmartKnit Kids is giving away 3 pairs of socks, winner’s choice of size and color,  to one of my readers.  (US and Canada only.) To enter, visit the SmartKnit Kids site and tell me what you like about the product or which color you would choose.   Giveaway ends on Sept. 7. Winner will be chosen by random.org. Be sure to leave me a way to reach you if you win.

BONUS entries: Enter any giveaway on another of  the other Back-to-School Blog Bash Blogs-one entry per blog. (Leave a separate comment for each entry.)

3 Boys and a Dog

Mommie’s Angels

Jamerican Spice

Laughing Lindsay

Additional entries: (Leave a separate comment for each.)

1 Follow Debbie’s Homeschool Corner on Google Friend Connect.

2.  Blog about this giveaway. (2 entries—leave a separate comment for each entry and a link to your post.)

3. Visit Super Star Speech and sign up for the email list.

4.  Leave a comment on my Super Star Speech blog.

5. Extra entry if you have the Back to School Blog Bash button on your site. Please leave a link to your site.

I received these socks free from SmartKnit Kids in order to write this review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.  

Monday, August 30, 2010

Digital Keychain Review

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For many years, I have used a keychain that is a photo frame holding a couple of pictures of my kids. I just had an opportunity to check out something that is definitely the “new and improved” version of a photo key chain!

Wholesale Keychain.com sent me a Digital Photo Frame keychain to try out. The keychain itself measures about 2 x 1 1/2 inches—a nice size.  Not too big to stick in a pocket, but big enough to see the pictures. It came with a USB cord that makes it quick and easy to transfer pictures from the computer and to charge.

Main features:

  • 1.5 inch 128x128 LCD display;
  • 4.8 MB internal memory which can store about 72 pictures;
  • Auto / manual picture slide show, slide time adjustable.
  • Manual switch between picture and time display
  • Time display including date, week, hours, minutes and seconds.
  • Time manual adjustable or sync with computer via software.
  • Picture format: JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF;
  • Picture size automatically cut by software.
  • Input / output picture via photo View software included
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Charged / data downloaded via 5 pins USB cable
  • Dimension: 5.5x4.1x1.2cm
  • Weight: 85g

My Thoughts:

It was very quick and easy to upload photos onto the keychain.  I like that the battery is rechargeable. The slide show feature is also very nice. I love that it can hold 72 pictures!

I think the price is great—only $9.95. Some of the fancier models are $14.95. This would be a GREAT gift for grandparents who want to show off photos of their grandchildren!

It was fortunate that the keychain is very intuitive to use because the direction manual was printed in microscopic print and included the awkward English typical of Chinese made product manuals! With the help of my reading glasses, I was able to get the information I needed, though. If you are not a “manual person,” though, you probably won’t use the directions anyway, since the digital keychain is so easy to figure out.

I received this product free for review purposes from Wholesale Keychains. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

Frecklebox Personalized Gifts for Kids Giveaway

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I love personalized items and my kids do too. There is just something special about having your own name printed right onto a lunchbox, notebook, etc.

I was thrilled at the opportunity to choose some back-to-school items from Frecklebox for Emily. The products are all so cute, that it was hard to decide! I finally chose a clipboard (for me!), a notebook, labeled, “Emily…My Stories” for her to do creative writing in this year, a pocket folder and stickers. See how cute they are!

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The items I received were of very high quality. The spiral notebook has the sturdiest cover that I have ever seen on a spiral notebook—very stiff and glossy. The pages are more heavy-weight paper than you find in the cheap notebooks we usually buy. I think some of my nieces and nephews may be getting personalized Frecklebox items for Christmas this year!

I was very pleased with Frecklebox’s customer service too. My order was shipped quickly.

Just look as some of the other cute products available at Frecklebox:

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Giveaway: Frecklebox is giving away up to $40 value of products (winner’s choice)  to one of my readers.  (US and Canada only.) To enter, visit the Frecklebox site and tell me a product that you would choose if you win.   Giveaway ends on Sept. 7. Winner will be chosen by random.org.

Additional entries: (Leave a separate comment for each.)

1 Follow Debbie’s Homeschool Corner on Google Friend Connect.

2.  Blog about this giveaway. (2 entries—leave a separate comment for each entry and a link to your post.)

3.  Leave a comment on my Super Star Speech blog.

4. Extra entry if you have the Back to School Blog Bash button on your site. Please leave a link to your site.

5. Enter another of my giveaways-one entry per giveaway entered. (Check out Reading Detective, which currently has a low number of entries!)

I received these products free from Frecklebox in order to write this review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.  

Don’t forget to enter the other Back 2 School giveaways at:

3 Boys and a Dog

Mommie’s Angels

Jamerican Spice

Laughing Lindsay

 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Charm Factory—Giveaway!

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When I found out that I would have the opportunity to review the Charm Factory, I decided to choose a charm bracelet for Emily. She was sooo excited! We pored over the site together for hours as she carefully picked out her favorite charms. Then, she eagerly checked the mail every day as she waited for it to arrive.

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The Charm Factory specializes in unique, high quality sterling silver charms and bracelets.  They also sell other jewelry items, such as lockets, pendants, pins, and pewter beads.

I love the selection and quality of charms at The Charm Factory! Emily’s bracelet is absolutely beautiful! If you are thinking about starting or adding to a charm bracelet, look here first.

DSC08298 Giveaway: Charm Factory is giving away a charm bracelet and charms  to one of my readers.  (US and Canada only.) To enter, visit the Charm Factory site and tell me which charm is your favorite.  Giveaway ends on Sept 7. Winner will be chosen by random.org.

BONUS entries: Enter any giveaway on another of  the other Back-to-School Blog Bash Blogs-one entry per blog. (Leave a separate comment for each entry.)

3 Boys and a Dog

Mommie’s Angels

Jamerican Spice

Laughing Lindsay

Additional entries: (Leave a separate comment for each.)

1. “Like” Charm Factory on Facebook.

2. Follow Charm Factory on Twitter.

3. Follow Debbie’s Homeschool Corner on Google Friend Connect.

4.  Blog about this giveaway. (2 entries—leave a separate comment for each entry.)

5. Enter any of my other  giveaways.

6. Extra entry if you have the Back to School Blog Bash button on your site.

I received this product free from Charm Factory in order to write this review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.  

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cameras

Sadly, I think my camera, a 5 year old Sony Cybershot DSC P-10, is dying. When I turn it on, the lens goes in and out repeatedly. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes before it will turn on properly. I use this camera almost every day, so I think I’m going to have to replace it soon.

I would love any suggestions for an under $200 camera—or any cautions about which ones to avoid.

Moving into the dorm

We took Katie to Birmingham Southern College this morning and moved her into her dorm. Here are some photos of our “decorating diva” fixing up her room. She has spent weeks hand painting frames and other accessories and planning their placement!

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Allison cut out some drawer labels for Katie and her roommate. Lime green, of course!

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Worn out from the early start to our day!

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Katie and her new roommate, Carol.

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Organizing Giveaway

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Visit Laughing Lindsay to enter a great giveaway for a $25 gift card from organize.com.  Sounds like something anyone could use!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back 2 School Blog Bash Giveaway # 27

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We are closing in on the end of the month of giveaways! Today’s giveaway is for a $25 gift certificate to Promos Logos. Enter at Jamerican Spice.

Super Star Speech Sale

Do you have concerns about your children’s articulation skills?

All of the Super Star Speech books and games are currently on sale. The e-books and games are 20% off at Currclick. All of the printed books are on sale for 25% off at the Super Star Speech website with the coupon code, “August.”

Both sales end on August 31, so act fast if you are interested.

Super Star Speech Winner

The winner of the Super Star Speech giveaway is comment #71--

Anonymous said...

I just signed up for the email list. I have a 3 year old that has some articulation problems and I'm not sure whether she needs speech therapy or not, so this book would be perfect!

The winner has been contacted. Thanks for entering!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to School Giveaways Days 25 and 26

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We are in the last week of the Back 2 School Blog Bash! Yesterday’s giveaway was My O’bon School Supplies. These environmentally friendly notebooks and pencils are really pretty!

Visit 3 Boys and a Dog to Enter!

Today’s giveaway is for the Contigo Kids Trekker Cup. This spillproof mug looks great for kids of any age. I might even want one for my self! Enter at Mommies Angels.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Meal Ideas with Mission Flour Tortillas

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

Mission – Back To School 

My kids get tired of eating the same thing for lunch every day. If sandwiches were the only item on the menu, I’d have a rebellion on my hands! Plus, I don’t always have bread on hand. One thing I do usually have is Mission Flour Tortillas. Because they keep so well, I can buy several packages at a time so I won’t run out.

One of our favorite quick lunches is cheese quesadillas made in the toaster oven. Occasionally we will add tomatoes, salsa, and or shrimp to make it extra good.  Another lunch food we like is to spread a tortilla with cream cheese, top it with lunch meat and maybe some lettuce or cheese, then roll it up. This is a great food to make the night before and is a great picnic or school lunch choice.

Breakfast burritos are very popular around here when I get around to making them. They are a bit of work, but I always make extras to stick in the freezer for a quick grab, heat, and go meal. I mix a pound of cooked sausage, 10-12 scrambled eggs and grated cheese, put the mixture down the middle of a tortilla  and roll it up.

These dishes are all easy enough for kids to help prepare or even prepare all by themselves.

I like that Mission Flour Tortillas contain 0 grams Trans fat per serving and are cholesterol free. They are economical and are available in small (6”), medium (8”) and large (10”) sizes in major grocery stores nationwide.

Do you have any favorite Mission Flour Tortilla recipes to share?

Visit my sponsor: Back To School

Curriculum Clean Out—Colonial America Giveaway

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As part of the Curriculum Clean Out, hosted by Homeschool Creations,  I am offering Colonial America, Cooperative Learning Activities.
This is a 112 page Scholastic Instructor Book for grades 1-4. It includes a lot of hands-on activities—games, crafts, cooking, creative writing, etc.
The book has a few pencil marks, but is in good condition.
http://www.amazon.com/Colonial-America-Grades-Mary-Sterling/dp/0590491334/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282664334&sr=8-10
To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment. Follow my blog for a second entry.  I will use Random.org to choose a winner on Sept. 1. (US only, please.)

Heard it on the Playground

Kids say the funniest things. I don’t know how many times my kids have said something cute and I’ve thought, “Oh, I need to write that down before I forget it.” Sometimes I actually do. Each of my kids has a smattering of cute sayings preserved in their baby books.

One of my favorites was my youngest daughter at age 2, telling the Christmas story…  “The wise men brought goldfish and pretzels and then they sang one last song to Baby Jesus, ‘It’s a small world, after all…’”

 Heard on the Playground is a new website designed to be a collection of stories funny photos from parents and teachers. It’s a great way to share your cute stories and photos with the world. It’s also a fun place just to browse for a few minutes to get a chuckle or two.

Some highlights of the site are:

-Collect all your funny kid stories  and photos in one place

-Increase the visibility of your blog—all stories and photos can be linked to your URL

-Upload your child’s artwork

-Have a funny kid saying printed on a T-shirt.

Its FREE!

Here are just a few of the funnies that are posted….

You can TELL IF 2 PEOPLE ARE MARRIED because they will be YELLING AT THE SAME KIDS

Our son asked about 2 LOOK ALIKE CLASSMATES and we told him they were probably TWINS.  The following day he come home from school saying "You'll never believe this... THEY'RE NOT ONLY TWINS, THEY'RE BROTHERS TOO.

My friend COMPLIMENTED my daughter on her LARGE VOCABULARY.  She casually replied "AND I HAVE WORDS IN MY HEAD I HAVEN'T EVEN USED YET"

I think you're supposed to GET SHOT WITH AN ARROW OR SOMETHING when you're IN LOVE...but the rest of it ISN'T SUPPOSED TO BE SO  PAINFUL

 

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I encourage you to visit Heard it on the Playground and check it out!

This is a Mama Buzz review. I was compensated for writing this post. All opinions are my own.

Reading Detective (Critical Thinking Co.) Giveaway!

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The Critical Thinking Company simageent me the Reading Detective A1 software to review. The A1 level is designed for grades 5-6. Reading Detective teaches analysis, synthesis, and vocabulary skills to develop reading comprehension skills. The player solves “cases” by answering questions about reading passages.

I had trouble with the software that I was sent. I’m not sure if it was a Vista compatibility issue or a corrupted disc. I contacted customer service and they were able to send me a download version of the software, which worked fine. It was frustrating to spend time trying to get the program to work, but the company did remedy the problem.

When we finally got Reading Detective going, Emily loved it! She’s actually spending time every day (in summer vacation) reading passages and answering questions. She tells me that the stories are very interesting and excitedly runs to tell me every time she is promoted to a new rank of detective. (Since she has spent the summer reading Nancy Drew books and other mysteries, this theme certainly has captured her attention!)  A feature that I particularly like is that every question has 2 parts: the first is a reading comprehension/critical thinking question about the passage; the second part instructs the child to highlight the particular sentence in the passage that supports the answer she chose. Since I have a child who prefers to guess rather than think, I love that she is required to support every answer. The questions are not asking for just factual answers; they encourage the child to read the facts and to draw conclusions from them.

We will continue to use and enjoy the Reading Detective program in our homeschool program this year.

Reading Detective is available as software ($29.99) or in book form ($23.99) from The Critical Thinking Co. and other vendors.

Check out the Critical Thinking Co. widget in my sidebar, where you can download free activities!

Giveaway: The Critical Thinking Co. is giving away a Reading Detective A1 software package to one of my readers  (US or Canada only).  To enter, visit the Critical Thinking Co. site and tell me which other product your kids would like. Giveaway ends on Sept. 7. Winner will be chosen by random.org.

Additional entries: (Leave a separate comment for each.)

1. Follow Debbie’s Homeschool Corner on Google Friend Connect.

2.  Blog about this giveaway. (2 entries—leave a separate comment for each entry.)

3. Enter another of my giveaways.

4. Make a comment on the Super Star Speech blog.

5. Add the Back 2 School Blog Bash button to your blog.

I received this product free from Critical Thinking Co. in order to write this review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bright Ideas Press Giveaway

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew Blog is running a giveaway for a $50 gift certificate to Bright Ideas Press, which publishes great materials like Mystery of History and Christian Kids Explore Science. I’d love to win this!

A Day in Our Homeschool

Not Back to School Blog Hop
I am a person that thrives on organization. Emily is very distractible and I have found that structure helps keep her on track. Last year, I “discovered” workboxes and we have used this system in our home school very successfully. Each night, I place Emily’s work in her boxes and she moves through them in sequence. I try to make some of the tasks very quick—5-10 minutes, to help her feel successful and I try to include a fun activity, such as a game, puzzle or craft. I have found that using workboxes helps me actually get to many of those fun activities that we never seemed to have time for before. A few of the tasks require my assistance, but many are done independently.
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I work/play on the computer and do some basic housecleaning, or run a load or two of laundry while Emily is doing her independent work, but am close at hand if she needs help.
Our schedule varies from day to day—we don’t do Spanish, spelling, vocabulary, Bible study or creative/report writing every day of the week-- but here is a typical schedule:
-Speedy Spanish lesson
-Singapore Primary Math (5) 1-2 lessons
-All About Spelling
-Igniting Your Writing (Creative writing)
-K’nex Simple Machines study
-Meet the Masters art
-Piano practice
-Prairie Primer—reading, discussion and hand-on activities
On a really good day, schoolwork lasts from 9:00 to 12:00. Then I read to Emily during lunch. Right now, we are reading Farmer Boy and doing some follow up activities from Prairie Primer.
On a not-so-good day, one with lots of distractions or melt-downs, Emily may have an hour or two (or more!) work left for the afternoon.
After lunch, Emily goes to her room and reads for an hour. I then have the chance to either sit and read myself,  to catch up on some computer work or to get (Super Star Speech) packages ready for mailing.
What is a day in your homeschool like? Write about it and link up at the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop.

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Paper Shredder Giveaway

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Day 23 of the Back 2 School Blog Bash features a giveaway for a Fellowes P-8C Paper Shredder with a $59.99 value! Enter at Laughing Lindsay.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mabel’s Labels (Giveaway)

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Do your kids have trouble keeping track of their belongings? Do they go to school or camp or a friend’s house and come home without a towel or a sweater, or even their shoes? I find it frustrating when Emily loses something that I have paid good money for. I know if I just labeled Emily’s belongings, I would be likely to get them back, but I seldom think to do so.
Well, things around here are about to change! I received the Ultimate Back-to-School Combo from Mabel’s Labels to review. This set of 108 labels includes 50 tag mates (washable clothing labels that stick on to tags and stay there), 40 skinny mini’s (dishwasher safe labels that are perfect for cups, bottles, school supplies, and hand-held games), 16 shoe labels, and 2 Teeny Tags (small metal tags for lunchboxes and backpacks).
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The Mabel’s Labels Ultimate Back-to-School Combo sells for $39 (Classic line) and $44 (Laugh Out Loud line).
Giveaway: Mabel’s Labels is giving away an Ultimate Back-to-School Combo  to one of my readers.  (US and Canada only.) To enter, visit the Mabel’s Labels site and tell me which product or design you like best.   Giveaway ends on Sept. 1. Winner will be chosen by random.org.
BONUS entries: Enter any giveaway on another of  the other Back-to-School Blog Bash Blogs-one entry per blog. (Leave a separate comment for each entry.)
3 Boys and a Dog
Mommie’s Angels
Jamerican Spice
Laughing Lindsay
Additional entries: (Leave a separate comment for each.)
1 Follow Debbie’s Homeschool Corner on Google Friend Connect.
2.  Blog about this giveaway. (2 entries—leave a separate comment for each entry and a link to your post.)
3. Enter any of my other giveaways (one entry for each giveaway entered).
4.  Leave a comment on my Super Star Speech blog.
5. Extra entry if you have the Back to School Blog Bash button on your site. Please leave a link to your site.
6. “Like” Mabel’s Labels on Facebook.
I received these products free from Mabel’s Labels in order to write this review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.