Writing programs

There are many great programs to help develop your child’s writing skills.

You may have heard of or used Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), or Writing Strands, or Write Shop, or a number of other programs.

I also recently came across this website that shares lots of great writing tips, In Our Write Minds. (written by a Write Shop author)

Last year I had the privilege of reviewing a well-written book called Sarah’s Wish. The author, Jim Baumgardner, has started writing a short series of posts to help parents help kids write.

Since writing is an area we plan to spend some time on we enjoyed reading the first post for our group Composition time today. He focuses on how to come up with ideas for your writing projects and his ideas really helped the wheels start turning in our house.

Check out his full post at Creative Learners, and be inspired!

Chicago fun

This may be a quiet time of year in terms of homeschool specifc events, but there is still lots of fun, even educational fun, to be had.

Came across this information packed site, called Chicago Kids. There you can find details about the happenings in Millennium Park among other things.

If you are looking for activities to spice up your summer, feel free to check through their ideas of free activities as well as many that charge admission. They have a calendar that can give you dozens of ideas for any day of the week.

Also, don’t forget the Museum Adventure Pass that is around for another couple months and has some great deals.

YourTeacher.com free!

Like I promised, here is the great deal from YourTeacher.com. The sooner you sign up, the longer you can enjoy this. It expires on August 31, so check it out soon! Of course, to take advantage of it, you do need to join the Homeschool Buyers Co-op first.

An Exclusive Co-op Special Offer
Enjoy YourTeacher.com
*** FREE ***
All Summer Long!
A $69.50 Value!!
Including Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry,and Algebra 2
Offer Expires 08-31-2010 at 11:50 pm Eastern
Homeschool Buyers Co-op
A Complete Homeschool Math Curriculum with a Personal Teacher Inside Every Lesson

Do you want to keep your middle or high schooler engaged with math studies through the summer? The Homeschool Buyers Co-op is pleased to offer members a FREE subscription to YourTeacher.com, a leading online math curriculum for middle and high school-level math. This subscription gives you full access to ALL YourTeacher.com courses — Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry — through August 31, 2010.If you were to itemize the elements of an ideal online math program, your list might include some of the following:

  • Video tutorials by an experienced math teacher
  • An abundance of interactive practice exercises, with step-by-step audio explanations
  • Self-tests that your student can take over and over until she develops a sense of mastery.
  • Reports, so that you can keep track track of your student’s progress
  • Audio, video, text, and Flash animations for students visual or auditory learning styles
  • Correlations with standard math texts, so that it can be used in conjunction with your favorite math text
  • Built-in SAT and ACT prep for college-bound students.
  • Self-paced instructionof course! — so that students and proceed as quickly or slowly as needed so as to not become frustrated or bored

If any of those elements are on YOUR wish list, then YourTeacher.com may be the right program for you, because all of the above are standard features of YourTeacher.com!

Acclaimed by Homeschoolers

One of the things that drew our interest in YourTeacher.com were the reviews and testimonials by homeschoolers:

  • “Lessons are very thorough and offer a number of ways for students to learn and practice the material. Explanations are excellent. This is one of the most truly ‘independent-learning’; math courses available.”
    – Cathy Duffy, Author of “100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum”
    (Read more.)
  • “YourTeacher.com excels in the comprehensiveness and clarity of the lessons, in the ease of use, and in functionality.”
    – Maria Miller, Founder of HomeschoolMath.net
    (Read more.)
  • “”I can personally vouch for this program … awesome!” – Paula H., Co-op Member
  • “WE LOVE YOUR PROGRAM” – Shawna, homeschooler
  • “… perfect for homeschoolers.” – Lisa, homeschooler
  • “… an absolute godsend for us.” – Linda, homeschooler
  • “I love it!” – Melanie, homeschooler
  • “The best website for math on the Internet.” – Shirley, homeschooler
  • “I LOVE your site!!!! So do my children.” – Tamara, homeschooler
  • “I love your lessons…” – Cherie, homeschooler

Available FREE, Exclusively Through the Co-op!

This offer definitely goes into our Group Buy “Hall of Fame” — up to 3 months of a leading math curriculum, absolutely FREE — a $69.50 value! But don’t delay! To take full advantage of this special offer, sign up now! Your free subscription to YourTeacher.com will expire at midnight, August 31!

To take full advantage of this special offer, place your order TODAY!

Homeschool Buyers Co-op

Homeschool Buyers Co-op

I have mentioned on here before the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. This is a free website that offers great deals to homeschoolers. I finally joined (no idea why I waited so long), and I can tell you it is completely painless. And, the deals are amazing!
Membership is free and confidential, and gives you access to great discounts from over 100 educational suppliers.
They also have a “SmartPoints” program where you get points for doing things that benefit you and other homeschoolers. You can then use your SmartPoints to buy curriculum.

If you click the following link and join, I’ll get 100 SmartPoints, and you’ll get 100 SmartPoints just for joining. (Click me!)

Tune in tomorrow for a great freebie that you will need to be a member of the co-op to join. Free higher level math for the summer . . . be sure to check it out.

The ultimate field trip

Did you know Disneyworld has special homeschool days?

Well, they do. I know we are a long way from Florida here in Chicagoland, but I also know lots of people make trips down to Disney on a regular basis. So, if you are planning a trip, or looking for an idea for your family vacation this year, you will want to consider this offer.

Check their website for all the prices and scheduling info. I found their prices for these days quite competitive compared to regular ticket prices.

Disney Homeschool Days Experiential Learning With a Touch of  Magic
Information - Tickets
Discover the Magic of the Arts
September 7-9, 2010 Have you ever dreamed of being a stage  performer? How about commercial artist or a designer? When it comes to  careers in the Arts, you're only limited by your  imagination. This summer, the Arts come to life for Homeschoolers
Click Here to Learn More ©Disney Entertainment and event  components subject to change without notice.
This is a promotional e-mail from Disney Destinations at the following locations:
Walt Disney World® Resort
Attn: E-mail Marketing
1375 Buena Vista Drive
P.O. Box 10000
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32930

And, even if you can’t make the trip to Disney, your child can get a phone call to bring the magic home. Check out more free stuff in Chicago for this free phone call.

Free movie tickets

American Family, Marcus Theatres team up to send kids to the movies

Kids Rule … especially when it comes to summertime fun!merican  Family, Marcus Theatres               team up to send kids to the movies

With this in mind, American Family and Marcus Theatres are continuing their popular Kids Rule summer film series for the fifth straight year.

To get in on the fun, pick up your free admission passes from a participating American Family agent. (See links below.) Without a pass, these shows cost $2.75 per person.

Then, for designated movies throughout summer, just sit back and enjoy the show. We’ll even throw in some complimentary popcorn.

What’s playing?

Kids Rule films show every Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. from June 23 through Aug. 12 at participating Marcus Theatres.

There are a number of participating agents that will offer these free tickets to kids while supplies last. Check out all the details and locations of the agents at the American Family Insurance Kids Rule website. (scroll down on that page to find the nearest agent)

Father’s Day ideas

Need some last minute Father’s Day ideas for the kids to make or put together? Here are some from Lapbook Lessons. I know my crafty daughters will have a blast with these:

Hey Everyone!
Just some helpful links if you’re planning on a Father’s Day Lapbook……
or if you need something for you’re little ones to present Dad with this Sunday…..

Father’s Day Treat Tags (for gifts)
Dad’s Tool Belt
Father’s Day Coupon Cards/ Bookmark Coupons
Me & My Dad Printable Card
Father’s Day Coloring Pages
Father’s Day Poem

Father’s Day Lapbooks:
Father’s Day Lapbook (free membership)
Father’s Day Freebies:
Lapbook Examples:
please visit our forum and leave it in the comments section!
Don’t forget to post what you make!
Also, through today you can get a free 8×10 collage at Walgreen’s
Any other fun ideas for Father’s Day? Homeschool dads deserve special recognition.

Journey to the Stars DVD

Found this on the Homeschool Buyers Co-op site:

Resource: FREE “Journey to the Stars” DVD from NASA
Provider: NASA: Journey to the Stars
Summary: Age Range: 5-18 (Grades 5-12) NASA and the American Museum of Natural History have produced a planetarium show about the stars in our cosmos including exploding stars, giant stars, dwarf stars, neutron stars, and even our own star, the Sun
Description: But you don’t have to go to a planetarium to experience it, because NASA will send you a Journey to the Stars DVD absolutely free!

Your free DVD comes with a free Teacher’s Guide and activities for grades 3-12 that are fun, innovative, and meet national science standards. (Preview the guide at the website.)

The DVD is narrated by actress Whoopi Goldberg who takes you on a virtual trip through time and space. “Best of all, the show is dead-on accurate. Visuals depict stars using real data from NASA spacecraft and the finest theoretical models modern science has to offer.” You can even watch a YouTube video about the true-life science in Journey to the Stars.

When you get to the website you’ll see an introduction and information about Journey to the Stars. Read the information and click on “The journey begins here” near the bottom of the page to request your free copy of the DVD. Or simply click HERE to order your DVD now.

Don’t miss this opportunity!


Contributed by: Diane Flynn Keith, ©Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved. Diane Flynn Keith publishes the rave-reviewed ClickSchooling® daily ezine with 12,000+ subscribers. If you’re ready to jump-start your homeschooling, save time and money, and have more fun learning with your children, get your FREE subscription to ClickSchooling® now at http://www.homefires.com/free.asp.

Check out the NASA site for more details.

TOS Crew Reviews coming

Last year I had the joy of reviewing products for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew (aka TOS Crew). Now and then I posted those reviews here, but most of them found their home on my regular blog, Delighting in His Richness.

This year, as I head into my second year on the voyage, I decided to relocate the reviews to this website as they pertain to homeschooling and homeschoolers and I thought my readers here would benefit more from hearing about all of these great products.

So, starting sometime this summer you will begin to see reviews on this site every week or so. These reviews will share with you my honest opinion about the products, and how they worked (or didn’t) in a real live homeschooling family’s home. I’ll tell you what we loved and what we struggled with, and of course I’ll tell you where you can get your hands on them as well.

While you are waiting, let me share my absolute favorites from this past year (click the product name to see my review):

All About Spelling — I love, love, love this program! We received Levels 1 and 2 and also the corresponding readers. This program was amazing for my middle daughter that I started it with and we can’t wait to use it with the rest of the younger kids as well. This program is absolutely amazing and helps bring reading, writing, and spelling all together and helps kids really make connections that make sense.

Super Star Speech — Many products are available to homeschoolers for math, reading, spelling, science, and history. Even music, foreign language, and geography make a good showing. But, what about Speech Therapy? I was definitely intimidated to tackle this one at home. Super Star Speech has made it easy and the success we have found through the tools, knowledge, and methods spelled out in this book have been impressive. Excellent resource!

Mystery of History 3 from Bright Ideas Press — History can either be dry or too detailed, but this series has found the great balance of offering enough information to keep you interested, and enough hands on activities to make it stick. I definitely plan on purchasing other volumes from this series when we finish up with this one. Great material, beautiful text, and lots of great resources to go along with it on an accompanying CD.

There were lots of other great products, and you can see all my reviews here, and be sure to check back in here for other great reviews in the year ahead.

Disclaimer: These products were provided to me free of charge as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

$1 movies!

$1 Kids Summer Movies Start on June 14 and runs 9 Weeks!

A Different Fun Film Each Week!

$1 per ticket, all ages!  Each week, Monday through Friday at 10:00am we offer an entertaining PG movie for only $1.

Playing at the following theaters:  Bay City 8, Canton Cinema, Capital 8, Forum 8, Grand Haven 9, Hamilton 16 IMAX, Holland 7, Jackson 10, Kalamazoo 10, Kendall 10, Krafft 8, Lafayette 7, Lansing Mall Cinema, Oxford 7, Portage 16 IMAX, Quality 16, Randall 15 IMAX, Saginaw 12, Savoy 16, W. Columbia 7, Wabash Landing 9, Willow Knolls 14

Click here for movie lineup